Weekend drive Bangalore ChikmagalurChikmagalurTotal No of days - 2Dated - May 2017
Behind the wheel & ContributorAnoop Kumar...know more about me
Total - 268kms and 5.5hrs
Day 1Enroute around 250kms from Hoskote is Belur, famed for the Chennekeswara temple. Below is the entry to the temple. Parking is around the temple premises, there is a parking fee of Rs50, chappals are to be deposited outside. We reached by 10:30 and by it was too hot to walk around. The entry to the temple...
Belur is a quaint town on the banks of river Yagachi. Once it was the capital of Hoysalas, The temples here were built of soap stone quarried from Tumkur. The stones are easy to chisel and attains iron like firmness when exposed to the atmosphere. To maintain the shine the stone is treated with a chemical wash and then wax polished once in ten years. A little more knowledge about the temple....
The Chennakeshava temple is dedicated to one of the 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. It took 103 years to complete the temple. The temples are intricately sculptured with elephants, lions, female figures, etc. The gravity pillar, 42 ft high is carved from a single rock and stands on its own weight.
Take rest and then have lunch at Eats of Arab. Biryani and chicken fry are hugely popular with the people here. Their food is quite similar to KFC, but patience is virtue after placing your order, although the wait is worth. Its located in the market ie IB road and marked in google maps as well. There are many eating joints veg as well as non-veg around.
Eats of Arab
We then drive to Muthodi or Bhadra National park, which is 30kms away. The roads are narrow and winding passing through small villages and plantations. There is a nature camp stay in the Bhadra national park.
The ticket counter
The evening safari starts at 4pm and morning at 6am. Sightings are more frequent in the morning safaris. There were two 10 seater jeeps waiting there. The people reach quite early to reserve their seats. Hardly we could get three seats for ourselves.
The one hour safari has a fixed route, those who come late have to wait for the jeeps to come back. The entry per person is Rs 400. The driver is the guide, he drives around and stops for a few secs where animals are sighted. We saw hog deers, sambar, spotted deer, peacocks, monitor lizard, monkeys and langurs, elephants, bison, boar etc. A mother elephant and its calf was crossing the road and seeing our jeep it started charging. To which our jeep driver reversed the jeep to a safe position and waited for them to cross.
The forest is thickly green so photography is a challenge. The path also is not that difficult. The 400 year old teak tree stands on a raised platform is another attraction seen here. We are not allowed to get down the jeep, so clicked from the jeep itself.
After an hours drive we were left back at the counter. There is a head of an elephant with tusks in a glass case just near the ticket counter.
We drive back and take a left turn to Hirekolale lake. The small lake, or preferably at this time is a beautiful place, nestled between the Kudremukh and other hills and offers a wide view around. The breeze is refreshing and rejuvenating. We spend some time and then make it back to the hotel.
Day 2 Today we visit Mullayangiri and Chandragiri in the Baba Budan giri ranges of Western Ghats. The route takes us through Seethalayana Mata temple where the piece of atma linga of Lord Shiva is said to be there.
The first is the tallest peak in Karnataka at 6400ft and has a temple and hill top cave. There are around 400 steps leading to the top. The trek is beautiful, with the winds, the green meadows around and the floating clouds....
The next location on the way is the Kavikalgandi which is also known as the horse shoe point. There is a 50 steps climb to the top to see the peaks around. The climate is good but Mullayangiri being the top most point decided to miss this out. It is behind the checkpost. Further drive to buttermilk falls or dabdabe falls but in google it is marked as Jhari waterfalls. The jeep ride of 6kms took Rs 900. Its located in the estate of the local MLA. The path is not paved and only a jeep can reach the point, personal vehicles carnt go. It was a rough drive but the falls are amazing.
Further one can drive to Hebbe falls but since water is less we didn't attempt. The Honnamana waterfall is also nearby, which is small one built in concrete with steps, there are many eateries around.
After buttermilk waterfall we drive to Budhangiri where we have lunch in Green home resort. On our way back we see the Siri cafe which had the beautiful sculpture of the lady.
We start for Ayyankere lake in the morning, it is supposed to be to be Karnataka's biggest lake. Before that we visit the coffee museum. It is a place where the history of coffee and the various processes the coffee goes through, are well explained. There is a lab also which is now not in use. Entry fee is Rs20 for adults and Rs10 for children. A lady guides us through and gives a good explanation about the entire museum. A 15 min video gives a glimpse to the lives of the people employed in the plantations for generations. There is no place to buy coffee or taste coffee here.
A little further Ayyankere lake is the Kalmaradi Mata temple which has the Bhilva patra park. We miss this as it was raining. Evening visit the Rama temple of Kondandarama which is over 1000 years old. A very beautiful and positive temple. We were given a writing board pen and paper and were asked to write "Jai Sri Ram", 108 times. It was a beautiful experience....The below pic shows the old temple, there is a gateway and entry arch recently built.
Day 4 Return back home. On our way back we visit Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the largest of Hoysala temples. Very similar to Chennakeshava temple, the temple has some very intricate and life like carvings. Scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas, beauties and beasts etc adorn the temple walls. Now for the pics
That brings an end to the beautiful trip. All trips end in a good note, but brings in a great responsibility. Readers lets also pledge to never litter the places we visit, so that the beauty of these magnetic places are preserved...........
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