Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mukruthi - A path which goes deep in my Heart....




It was Dream come true, I was planning for this trek past 6 months & permission required from the forest department to reach the place. The park is characterized by montanez grasslands and shrub and interspersed with sholas in a high altitude area of high rainfall, near-freezing temperatures and high winds. It is home to an array of endangered wildlife, including Royal Bengal Tiger and Asian Elephant, but its main mammal attraction is the Nilgiri Tahr. The park was previously known as Nilgiri Tahr National Park.

The D day arrived, Thanks to srini Sir Helped me  to visit such beautiful place. Myself & group friends ( Shankar, Karthikeyan, Ramesh Muthiyan, Karthik, Madhav, Aravind, sudhir) All of us from Bangalore and Ramesh alone from Chennai.  Saddiq from Kerala my friend who is good photographer joined us for the trip.
The plan by srini sir was well jotted out.

1st Day - Pandiar – Devarbetta - Mukruthi Peak  - Kolaribetta-  Camping in Mukruthi River Bed  - 13 Kms
2nd Day – Mukruthi Camp Site –Pichkalbetta  – Western Catchment – Bangitapal Road – 27 Kms


The highest mountains inside the Park are Kollaribetta 2630m, Mukurthi 2550m and Nilgiri 2470m.

We Reached Gudalur pick up point & got pick up by the forest department – The mind started saying lets drop mobile, Dump the office memory log.. The Heart started pumping fresh air, The Jeep entered a no man’s land which en route to Pandiar. Shankar “Let’s call Ramesh and check where is now as the group was worried”. Jeep stopped at last signal point for Airtel. Ramesh States he on the way to ooty crossed conoor .  Post which  we started traveling towards  Pandiar, entrance to guest house covered with huge trees and  back drop is shola forest. We meet Srini sir and got introduced to the group. Group had a good breakfast and started packing things to start the Trip. Time clocked 9:00 AM as were already late and need start climbing.

The group climbed the Kolaribetta – as we climbed the Peak, we can see the clear skies around with water table in front of us. “The blue skies reflection falls on the lake and the banks of the lakes are reflecting with orange sand both sides” as we reached a point the trail started going flat and lot marsh plants that keep the area green. Time was 11:30 Am we crossed cloud traffic. “You would cross a road with heavy traffic, thy trail walked us through the green & gray grass painted and suddenly you see mass of cloud crossing you and you can feel it”. The group in front of vanishes and you alone walk inside the clouds………

video

Mukruthi – The place is just amazing (no foot print of Humans)

Mukruthi – The place is just amazing (no foot print of Humans)

The group took a break below Mukruthi peak had lunch, and the time was 1:45 Pm. The peak seen in front as pathway to climb. Time clocked 2:30 Pm we kept all the bags down covered with all thing as chance of rain. The group took regular trail to reach the Peak. My self and Sandeep planned to take direct incline towards the peak top. Sandeep & guard were in the front and I started climbing behind them, Heavy rain started & rocks were slippery with grass each step to climb the peak need to be monitored. We reached the top by 3:15 Pm and others yet to come and below video will recall the beautiful memory …..By the time we reached the peak top, it was raining heavily and once reached the entire place was surrounded with clouds and nothing was seen on the opposite side. This particular moment is most memorable one in my life time. The entire group one by one reached the top at 3.45 PM and took some rest. We were waiting for the mist to clear as we can see the Nilamabur forest area on the Kerala Side..

She is pretty beautiful; the current place where I stood was painted in black rocks & green grass. Opposite side the clouds where drifting towards us welcoming us to a beautiful world. Every moment filled with Joy cherished with best buddies besides…  “ Dilon mein tum apni betabiyan leke chal rahe ho, Toh zinda ho tum! Nazar mein khwaabon ki bijliyan leke chal rahe ho, Toh zinda ho tum!”


Time clocked 4:00 Pm, the group started descending, the Trail was clear . Sudhir did not make it to the top as he was not well. The moment we reached the lunch point, we searched for him. He was standing below the trees hiding himself  from the rain. The way to kolaribetta is different but we can see the Peak from the place where we stood. Group reached the evening camp point by 5:00 Pm. 
Note : The below click taken by karthick from my group.



Mukruthi - The Valley between Human touch & nature Paradise.

“The camp place was surrounded with mountains and as the time clocked down as the cold breeze setting across. Thanks to Srini sir for arranging such beautiful trip on the 1st day. Camp fire set with hot bajis & hot Tea given. Hats off to such a wonderful treatment by TN forest department…..

 Unlucky that no clear skies we could have clicked some star trails. Time clocked 10:00 PM, all were in to the tents & cozy sleeping bags, while the forest guards were planning for next day trip. I woke up at 3:00 Am, it dam chill inside the tent and I could not sleep. The fire was burning as huge logs were kept, I sat around the fire and started Hearing some animals noise, must be bison around the place. Made myself warm and went back to the tent to sleep. It was 5:00 after which could not sleep, the outside temperature was 10 degree freezing. I was waiting for the sunrise click, as we are in the middle of the valley. Sun takes more time to show up in this place.

The group quickly started moving in that area to click some macro of dew droplet and everyone was busy clicking. Time clocked 9:00 Am and everything for the second day trek is packed and taken care well. We are climbing pitchukabetta, once we reach the Top, we saw the Lake on the opposite side the view was just amazing and every one took a small nap. Remember the second day trek is yet to take it toll on the people who are coming the group. Sudhir recovered well and fit to climb now.

We started moving towards the western catchment area, the time was 11:45 am we got down from slope and entered in to a road which linking the wireless station. Lime juice was ready waiting for the guys and everyone had good small nap before the lunch time. The roads surrounded by both side mountains and clouds drifting along the path way, we were told chance of sighting niligiri thar in this area and group started walking silently, as we reached a curving point, the watcher alerted a group of niligiri thar is seen. Immediately all were with cam madhav has good chance to take as he good range Lens and he tried his luck. Myself had small chance but tried my luck with the 55-300 lenses could not get clear click.
video



Mukruthi - Earthen dam Exit Route.

The time was 1:30 PM halted in western catchment area near a dam , The dam here were built in late 1960 in Anna period to prevent water going to kerala. There is also underground pipeline links to paykara and which in turn helps to irrigate the Coimbatore, ooty & erode area 2:00PM, srini alerted guys we need to go long way from here. We are late an hour need to walk faster. The place visited after this was more beautiful up & down of the mountains and reached point where you see wireless tower on the other side of mountain clearly signifies we are on top peak.

The evening dawn is started setting in and all were carry good amount of luggage – 25 kgs by myself . The group started walking little slowly asking for what is the end point. To Movitivate us, Srini sir saidwe see shed on top mountain if we reach there, there comes and end point . “As I walked my eyes was searching for the end point, my calf muscles started paining  as we climbed up and down, My heart says to take rest. Mind acts immediately to state stop thinking and lets move. The End point has come , 6.45 PM and the group took small rest every one now not able to walk properly except the few ( Myself, Sandeep & srini sir). I had a last bottle of water which I had in hand. The night started creeping & wind started blowing cold, Sudhir was down badly after this he not able to walk properly.

Srini sir said it will take 2hr 30 min to reach ooty bus stand, the bus at 10:30 PM. Srini sir, myself & Sandeep started walking and the group walking slowly at the back. The watcher who came along with had been given torch to bring the Jeep . He Just ran like deer with torchs J Hats off to the courage these guys.  We see Jeep light in distance and it came up time was 8:00 PM. Sir said to pick up the last guy sudhir and other group guys jumped in to 2 vehicles. 3rd came ours and we were walking down. By this time my tongue started drying feeling hungry- second day we have walked 28 kms. 

The 3 vehicles started moving quickly to ooty , they also took shortcut in avalanche area going through forest road to cut short on the time.  Here come the bus stand  at 10:15 Pm 15 mins before the departure.  The pain in the body remains after going through such beautiful and unforgettable trip the mind is lite. What else you can ask for from this trip.



  Sincere Thanks: Hats of Srini sir & his team of watchers DFO and forest guard. We were treated like officers in the trip. These memories stay long way in our hearts…..

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Tala Kaveri wildlife sanctuary Trek- Nishanbetta- Benjatuhole – Kubeyrangi


Bhagmangala trek – Named as trek, it was interesting name which captures my imagination; I wanted to go for some good trek.  We started from Bangalore – 21st Dec Night, Driver – sir raganthitu is shot but it blocked in the night so we need to Mysore- Hunsur – Madkeri – Bhagmangala – Talakaveri.
We reached Bhagmangala  at 5:15 AM, the climate was so cold , the group got down to find the forest  office.  The forest office is on the way to talakevri – Time was 6:15 AM we got down to find some ood hotel, we found a hotel just opposite temple where we had good food and parcel was also taken along with us for afternoon Lunch. Time was 9:05 am the group was getting ready for the trek. Meanwhile Pratap and Deepak were in forest office met the forest officer. After getting the permission we were given 2 guides to go visit the beautiful paradise.
Talacauvery wildlife sanctuary has following trek route –
1.       Talacauvery – Nadumalai- Mundrote  - 23 kms which we were supposed to take it.
2.       Talacavery – Nishanbetta- Benjatuhole – Kubeyrangi – Route chosen by the group
The trek route got changed because of challenges on returning back to Talacauvery as we do not have timely connectivity. It was flat track in the beginning of the trek with lot of shades and it 

is jeep track.  The time was 9:45 AM, our 1st foot steps to the beautiful valley started.  The time was 10:30 AM as we started facing the heat of the trek little up’s and downs. Most of water bottle started to dry time time get small nap as the group started to have lunch at 12:15 PM. We are thankful 2 wonderful souls who take care of us. Jayaprakash & Ayyapa forest guide who went in search of water and got all water bottles filled.  

Tala Kaveri - Trek - 1st Day Ascent to the Peak


Time was 1:15 PM the group started to climb, we are on the way to nishanebetta.  We face huge challenging task.  The actual Mountain is on the other side; we need to cross 2 flaps of mountain inorder to reach the actual mountain which is 2000 M above sea level.  The final ascent to the peak was at 2:30 PM, the sun was scotching us badly “my heart started to pump up extra breath and mind started to say let us keep every step forward to conquer the final destination”.  I just turned back to see where my shadow fall, the people at the back are seen likes ants and while my eyes captured the greenish mountains..
 I started feel the pain from my calf muscles as “My heart says let wait foe while and mind says come on move forward”, every step forward was covered with huge stones and grass and slipping sand and we need watch our steps. Hmmm- as the heart throb was little faster.+
 The time was 3 :00 PM the final peak top is reached. Every pain is overwhelmed with joy when u actualy feel it once reaching the destination “It was like 3 layers of heart” a bluish sky, below mountains with lot curves up and down with tiny rays which surpass the shola forest – I never seen such thick vegetation’s “just heard from geography books” now is the time to feel what is shola forest and how is the vegetation here.
 I can still feel the Air which was gushing in to the hill top where the group was sitting. The surface of the mountain painted with yellowish and greenish grass . By the time everyone one reached the Hill top was 3:15 PM. We had small naps and while everyone was were clicking pics with eyes to save it in our deep heart….

Thy time was 3:30 Pm the Descent to Nishanebetta forest guest house begun, the slops where covered with thrones and thick cover blankets of grass and   each steps need to be taken forward carefully.  meanwhile Ayyappa the forest guide got hurt by having small ankle twist so he was slowly limping down from the hill top. Anup & Srivatsava was coming along with him


Tala Kaveri - Trek - Camp Site - Benjatuhole



The time was 3 :00 PM the final peak top is reached. Every pain is overwhelmed with joy when u actualy feel it once reaching the destination “It was like 3 layers of heart” a bluish sky, below mountains with lot curves up and down with tiny rays which surpass the shola forest – I never seen such thick vegetation’s “just heard from geography books” now is the time to feel what is shola forest and how is the vegetation here.  I can still feel the Air which was gushing in to the hill top where the group was sitting. The surface of the mountain painted with yellowish and greenish grass . By the time everyone one reached the Hill top was 3:15 PM. We had small naps and while everyone was were clicking pics with eyes to save it in our deep heart….
Thy time was 3:30 Pm the Descent to Nishanebetta forest guest house begun, the slops where covered with thrones and thick cover blankets of grass and   each steps need to be taken forward carefully.  meanwhile Ayyappa the forest guide got hurt by having small ankle twist so he was slowly limping down from the hill top. Anup & Srivatsava was coming along with him.
The time was 5:00 Pm when entire group reached the forest camp. The camp is in the middle of the forest with thick forest surrounded . the forest house had equipped with solar panel electricity with battery back up . The people in the group started cooking – Niranjan, Deepak had cut vegetables and tulasi joined the group and hot pot with all food was getting ready as the day was coming to end with most memorable things which we had felt and come  across in the trek.  Post dinner everyone we chose a place to see sleep in open space in front of the forest guest house, with star studded night.

Tala Kaveri - Trek in Shola Paradise..


Next day morning we all got up by 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM the group was ready for the next day trek. Today we are going to Benjatuhole which is 8 kms from the forest guest house.  As we started walking inside forest side we reached 2 viewpoints where the group sat for a while and enjoyed every moments of it. A place like that one side with thick green pastures of vegetation and other side dry grass with pathway and in the front both mountain meet with bluish sky. It was quite beautiful and every moment of it can be felt truly. The place we sat it was slope with dry grass and the wind from the shola forest blows harder and every one of us pain of trekking to this spot was blown out by the splendid beauty of the place. The time was 11:35 Pm we reached benjatuhole a small stream inside forest . to reach this place we need to trek down in to the deep forest  and covered with huge evergreen trees of chola forest.


The group & the guide sat down together and discussing whether we need trek forward if we trek forward will the group can come back on time to the guest house. Taking  the group health and static condition we have decided to go back the same way we came from. The decision was wise and the result was felt when the group reached the forest guest house by 3:30 PM. Anup was badly hurt his leg he has bad cracks which gave more way experience the bad time. The entire group took rest for a while before we headed to end point kumbeyrangi  4kms from forest guest house.


Thanks to pratap – a very silent and patience organizer & thanks to BASC – Bangalore Asceders Club for arranging wonderful trek. I m looking forward to be part of more exploration like this….


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hampi - Entry into Ancient Paradise



Hampi – Why this place is famous for?

The first historical settlements in Hampi date back to 1 CE.Hampi formed one of the core areas of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1565, when it was finally laid siege to by the Deccan Muslim confederacy. Hampi was chosen because of its strategic location, bounded by the torrential Tungabhadra River on one side and surrounded by defensible hills on the other three sides.
Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river. It is 353 km from bangalore and 74 km away from Bellary. Hosapete (Hospet), 13 km away, is the nearest railway head. Mantralayam, which is also on the banks of Tunghabhadra, in AP is some 150 km away.The principal industries of the village are agriculture, the support of the Virupaksha temple and some other local holy places in the vicinity, and tourism. The annual Vijayanagar Festival is organized by the Government of Karnataka in November.


We reached Hampi at 8:00 Am as we are already delayed. The group got together and introduced our self. The 1st foot steep closer to the Temple is Massive view the Temple Arch. One Side the Snake charmers blends it tune to get the Snake out.. It also magnetic effects in pulling us in to Virupaksha Temple past..   

Virupaksha Temple : At present, the main temple consists of a sanctum, three ante chambers, a pillared hall and an open pillared hall. A pillared cloister, entrance gateways, courtyards, smaller shrines and other structures surround the temple.The nine-tiered eastern gateway, which is the largest at 50 meters, is well-proportioned and incorporates some earlier structures. It has a brick superstructure and a stone base. It gives access to the outer court containing many sub-shrines.The smaller eastern gateway leads to the inner court with its numerous smaller shrines. A narrow channel of the Tungabhadra River flows along the temple's terrace and then descends to the temple-kitchen and out through the outer court.Krishnadevaraya, one of the famous kings of the Vijayanagara Empire was a major patron of this temple. The most ornate of all structures in the temple, the central pillared hall is believed to be his addition to this temple. So is the gateway tower giving access to the inner courtyard of the temple. Inscriptions on a stone plaque installed next to the pillared hall explain his contribution to the temple. It is recorded that Krishna Devaraya commissioned this hall in 1510 AD.
Virupaksha Temple is the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi and has been considered the most sacred sanctuary over the centuries. It is also called as the Pampapathi temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, known here as Virupaksha, as the consort of the local goddess Pampa who is associated with the Tungabhadra River. The temple has a 160-foot (49 m) high tower at its entrance. Apart from Shiva, the temple complex also contains shrines of the Hindu goddesses Bhuvaneshwari and Pampa.


Someone Just pinched to feel that “I Just came back to the Present” The time Nicked – 10:30 Am and we saw thr other place . Hemakutta Group Hills, Krishna Bazaar & Pushkarni, Badavilinga  Temple, Lakshmi Narasimha Temple. Every ones stomach started ringing bells and the group was Hungry. By the time we completed Lunch and started again to visit other place .. coming up Elephant Staple , Loitus Mahal.