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Old 10th September 2011, 18:44   #1
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Default Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore

Friends, Please find a short travelogue of our monsoon getaway to Chikamaglur and surrounding places.

The Plan: It was during the 1st week of August I started researching TBHP forums to locate a decent accomodation in Chikmagalur and fortunately I bumped into one that referred me to Monis Eagle Eye Holidays (thanks to Shushrutha). I visited their homepage and was impressed with the facilities and packages that they had on offer and finally decided to book a Tree House. Initially planned for the weekend of 22nd Aug but had to postpone the dates as it was already booked. Then, checked for weekend of Sep 9 and to my illuck, someone had blocked Sep 10 thereby eliminating any chance of going with this date. Finally I had to settle for the weekend of Sep 2nd - Sep 4th for which I got the booking confirmed.

Accomodation: Tree House
Rate: 2K per person per night inclusive of all meals. 50% for children between 6-12yrs and no charge for children below 6yrs.

Day0: Ganesh Chaturthi at home
Performed pooja at home, Filled up the fuel tank of my ANHC UT Beauty, checked the tyre pressure and Keyed in the destination into my new MMI navigation v6.1 on CASKA which gave me the exact route (NH48 - On Optimal setup) that I wanted (this route was also suggested by many BHPians) without any hassles.

Onward Journey: (NH48) BLR->Nelamangala -> Channarayapatna->Hassan->Belur->Chikmagalur

Day1:
Started at 5:30 AM from home (Marathhalli) and headed straight on the route suggested by MMI and in no time we were on NH4 which was a breezy drive all the way to Nelamangala. From Nelamangala we had to take a left towards Hassan and this route also was very good all the way to Hassan. Stopped for breakfast at Hotel Ganesh between Solur and Hassan around 7AM. Had hot tatte idly with yummy sambar and coffee. After freshning up, started again at 7:30 AM and reached Chikmagalur around 10:30AM after passing Hassan and Belur. It was already raining cats and dogs at Chikmagalur and all of us started to feel hungry again due to the early breakfast that we had. So, checked on the MMI to find nearby restaurents and it threw us so many options out of which we decided to camp at Hotel Ashoka. We had poori, Idly vada and coffee which tasted just perfect for the weather and spent about 30 Mins there before continuing our journey to our destination (Monis Eagle Eye Holidays resort). We took the Balehonnur-Sringeri route and Just about 20Kms from Chickmagalur on this route, We reached Aldur junction and from at exactly 18Kms from Aldur Junction, we have to take a right at Kadabagere junction opposite to the Kadabagere church to enter Khandya temple road which leads to the Bhadra wildlife zone checkpost. We have to take 1st right immediately after the checkpost and there we realise that we have actually entered thick forest reserve of Bhadra wildlife sanctuary. We have to drive around 7-10Kms before we reach the Resort as per the directions provided by them.

As soon as we entered the main gate of the resort, we were surprised to see the path leading to the office was actually atleast 2Kms on a kaccha narrow road in the middle of coffee estate. We have to take a steep uphill left turn to finally reach the parking lot which was an adventure all by itself. Wife and kids were thrilled at the location and the drive leading to this place. Thanks to ANHC for keeping all of us fresh without having to complain of any kind of aches and pains.

We went to the reception where we were welcomed with a drink. The location of reception itself is so scenic overlooking steep landscapes with all those rain clouds passing by the mountains was really breathtaking.
We completed all the formalities and the office boys lead us to our treehouse (TH 1) which is a double room occupancy. We had to trek all the way uphill with very good pathway to reach the treehouse. As soon as we reached it, all of us were very excited to see the same from a distance. As we approached it we found that it was indeed a pakka treehouse as we had to climb the staircase all the way up to enter the main hall where Some of the resort folks were waiting for us upstairs to greet us.

As soon as all of us were inside the treehouse literally on top of a huge tree, we had a different feeling altogether. The kids and wife were on cloud nine enjoying the scenic beauty on all 4 sides with cool air entering from all over and to add to all this it was raining steadily as well. The treehouse has a huge hall cum room with a hammok, two balconies one in the front and one at the rear. Both balconies have wodden table and chair (cylendrical logs) setup that makes it ideal to enjoy coktail with starters at night. It also has another separate room with all amenities along with a huge attached bathroom which is offcourse open to nature on all 4 sides. Having said that, we do have provision of pulling the screen to cover all 4 sides of the treehouse including bathroom if you need privacy.
Coming to the lighting aspect of treehouse,it has only 3 CFL lights 1 in the main room, 1 in the bedroom and the 3rd in bathroom. Apart from these, it also has 2 kerosene lanterns that will add to the beauty of the treehouse when lit at night and we can just live in these lantern lights withoug having to switch on the CFLs.

Food: Mind you the resort do not entertain room service as it would invite unwanted guests in the form of insects and other animals. They only serve starters and drinks between 7:30PM - 9PM. We will have to go to the restaurent for all 3 meals which is buffet having both Veg/non-veg. Apart from this, they will serve morning Coffee to the treehouse and also evening tea/snacks at 4PM (need to call them and confirm the time). The food served was homely and tasty. I would not say that it is excellent but it was ideal for the weather.

They will also arrange for a common campfire around 7:30PM depending on the weather where they will serve starters and drinks as well.
The package includes,
Coracle ride
Fishing
Trekking
Campfire
A Walk inside the estate

As soon as we finished our lunch at 2PM, we had confirmed our availability for coracle ride and fishing that starts from 3PM-6PM. We assembled at the recepetion at sharp 3PM where the guide was waiting for us with life jackets. It was still raining steady all the while and we started our trek to their private lake which was approx 2KM in the jungle. We had to walk in the slippery pathway with slush all around us and we also passed by couple of natural springs. But beware of leaches all over the place. This being rainy season, we find them almost everywhere. so we had to roll our pants upto the knee just to make sure that we spot them incase they latch on to us to suck blood. We finally reached the lake and got ready for the coracle ride in the rain. It was a different experience alltogether which everyone enjoyed, especially the kids. We headed for fishing as soon as we were done with the coracle ride. I had never done fishing before in my life and was very excited to do now. As soon as I dropped the fishing hook in the lake, I could hear someone pulling the hook from other end and with my instinct, I pulled the rod back all the way to see a huge fish coming out. Wow, what a start to my fishing career. My wife and kids were really happy to see me at it. There were another couple along side us fishing and they were struggling to get a fish hooked and were surprised to see me get a big one. We spent 30 mins fishing where my wife too ended up with a big fish and I ended up catching 3 big ones in all. Unfortunately, the other couple could manage only 1 before they finally gave up.

While we were busy fishing, we never noticed that there were couple of leeches that had crept into our (my son and Mine) floaters. We got rid of the one that was stuck to my son, but the other one went away on its own after sucking bulk of my O-ve blood and being overly bloated. I immediately took a snap of that thing which you can find it below. We finally headed back to our treehouse as it was getting dark and still raining pretty heavy. We reached the treehouse at 6PM and now we had to start worrying about the night as there was absolutely no light around us anywhere except in the treehouse. The boys came over to light the lanterns and went away leaving us all alone in the wilderness. It started getting cooler with all the sounds being made by various insects and my son started getting scared. We went down to the restaurant to have dinner where we had to trek all the way down using a torch avoiding any sort of contact with leeches and other insects. It was one hell of a trek which we had never done before. We qucickly finished our dinner and retired for the day at 9:30PM as all of us were pretty tired.
End of Day 1 with lot of activities. We had booked a cab for visiting Agumbe and Sringeri on Day2 @ 2.6K.

Scary lake in the wilderness enroute Chikmagalur
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Water gushing out of a virtual dam belonging to one of the estates just before our resort.

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Driveway to the reception inside the resort

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Scenic backgound from the reception
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Trek towards the treehouse
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Different views of the Treehouse
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On the way to Coracle ride and Fishing
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Gearing up for coracle ride
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My first ever catch
Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore-img_0101.jpg

The Leech that sucked my blood

Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore-img_0108.jpg

Getting ready for the night life

Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore-img_0112.jpg

Night scene at the treehouse
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Day 2
It was raining non-stop throughout the night and all of us woke up at 6:30AM to enjoy the beautiful view of nature around us. We ordered coffee and were ready for the sight seeing tour at 9AM after having breakfast.
A good neat cab was waiting for us and we zoomed off in no time. The plan we to head straight to Agumbe and on our way back visit Sringeri and other places nearby before returning back to our home away from home.
Let me tell you that the overnight rain had not yet stopped even at 10AM while were on the move and all of us had a good opportunity to see full blown Bhadra and Tunga rivers flowing in their own glory and fury. I clicked some snaps using my new 75-300mm Canon zoom lens with haze filter which I purchased recently from my colleague and I was using this for the 1st time. While enroute to Agumbe we spotted many peacocks one was crossing the road right infront of us which was a sight to watch. We also got to know unknown stories of some people when we passed a beautiful looking hill called Shilube Gudda. The driver said that on a good friday, catholics who have made vows to Jesus christ will carry a huge Holy Cross all the way to the top of this hill and plant it there.
After driving for 2hrs, we finally reached Agumbe town where were greeted with thick fog at 11AM with almost zero visibility which is a speciality of Agumbe. Not to mention that it was also raining heavily in batches. We reached the sunset point at 11:30AM in the morning where we quickly grabbed some pics and also visited a beautiful lake adjacent to it. We then headed straight to Sringeri where we visited the historic holy temple of goddess Sharadamba. We were just in time for the aarati followed by prasadam in the form of lunch (Lunch prasadam is available 365 days). All of us had a very good lunch at the temple and then headed straignt to Sirimane Falls, which not many people know about. It is about 12Kms from Sringeri. We had no idea how the falls would turn out to be and once we reached there, it was absolute beauty. This Sirimane falls is a MUST see place especially during this season. The water was gushing in full force and within no time all of us were fully drenched with this force. We took some pics of this beautiful falls before heading back to our treehouse. On our way back the driver stopped at a hanging bridge that connected two villages across the river Tunga. We took some time off to go over it and take some more pics while the driver had his lunch after which we reached our resort at 5:30PM.
We had a very good outing for Day2 which all of us enjoyed a lot. We went to the campfire at 7:30PM, had dinner and finally retired for the day.

River Bhadra in full flow
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Shilube Gudda
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Peacock crossing the road
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River Tunga upto the Brim
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Agumbe at 11:30AM
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Monkey Family trying to stay together during heavy rain - Very Touching
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Lake adjacent to Agumbe View point
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Sringeri - Sharadamba Temple 01
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Sringeri - Sharadamba Temple 02
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Sirimane Falls 01
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Sirimane Falls 02
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Day3
Route: Chikmagalur->Belur->Hassan->Sravanabelagola->Bangalore
This was the day of our return back to Bangalore. We got up as usual at 6:30PM, had breakfast, settled the bills and started our journey back home at 9:30AM. On the way back, I set my MMI to go via Sravanabelagola before returning to Bangalore and it gave us back what we wanted. After reaching Hassan, We had our lunch at Godhavari restaurant around 1PM and reached Sravanabelagola at 2:30PM. This place is famous for the statue of Bahubali (Gomateshwar) that lies atop a huge hill. We had to climb more than 500 steps to reach the top. My wife was real exhausted half way through as the climb was quite steep. We finally reached on top, had darshan of Bahubali before desending back to our ANHC and reached home at 7:30PM after passing through heavy traffic at Nelamangala toll booth and into the city as it was a Sunday evening where everyone will be heading back home from their vacation.

It was a very good vacation for all of us with a different experience living in a treehouse literally a jungle life cut off from TV and other equipments. I would suggest Monis Eagle Eye Holidays resort for folks who love this kind of outings and who would enjoy living in the middle of nature.

Hope this write-up will be helpful for you guys incase you plan to do the route. Feedback, suggestions, views always welcome.

Tour Summary:
Total distance: 662Kms
Fuel Consumption: 42 Ltrs approx
Avg Mileage reading with intermittent AC: 15.8 Kmpl

MMI - 100% accuracy with 0% loss of connectivity all along the trip.

Sravanabelagola - View from the foothill
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Sravanabelagola - View from the top
Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore-sbelagola03.jpg

Last edited by kirantp : 10th September 2011 at 18:50.
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Old 10th September 2011, 19:07   #2
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Default Re: Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangal

Hey Kiran, nice TL there!

The tree house must've been a good experience, right? I stayed in one of those at Jim Corbett (they are also called "machans"). Sringeri and Agumbe brings back good memories from college!

Did you happen to drive through Kudremukh? It's splendid during the monsoons.

Wonderful TL and pics! Bet the ANHC was a pleasure to drive. Was this before or after the ICE upgrade? The passengers would have had quite some cabin entertainment.

Cheers!
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Old 10th September 2011, 19:26   #3
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Default Re: Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangal

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Hey Kiran, nice TL there!

The tree house must've been a good experience, right? I stayed in one of those at Jim Corbett (they are also called "machans"). Sringeri and Agumbe brings back good memories from college!

Did you happen to drive through Kudremukh? It's splendid during the monsoons.

Wonderful TL and pics! Bet the ANHC was a pleasure to drive. Was this before or after the ICE upgrade? The passengers would have had quite some cabin entertainment.

Cheers!
Thanks dude. We could not do Kudremukh as we were running out of time. We did this trip just 2 weeks ago and I got my ICE done 2 days ago so kids have not yet had a chance to go at it.

Planning a short dash to Lepakshi sometime in the next 2 weeks so that they can get a feel of it. Just keeping it to myself now and shall surprise them with this quick trip.
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Old 11th September 2011, 19:38   #4
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Friends, please find some more snaps of the travelogue.

View of nature from the treehouse
Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore-img_0111.jpg

Wife doing some daring photography in the wild just behind the treehouse. They have recently dug up huge trenches on either sides just where she is standing to restrict panthers from tresspassing into the premises.. Finally she returned bleeding with a leech stuck to her ankle.

Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore-img_0138.jpg

Campfire in the rain with starters and drinks being served at the other end.
Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore-campfire.jpg

I am wired while Junior poses and sub-junior is busy munching
Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore-wired.jpg

Elephant getting a good wash on our way back to Bangalore
Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangalore-elephant.jpg

Last edited by kirantp : 11th September 2011 at 19:42.
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Old 11th September 2011, 21:18   #5
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Default Re: Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangal

One of the places for breakfast (or evening snacks) is the Town Canteen where they serve yummy benne masala dosas. It is located towards the other end of the town (when you enter the city from Bangalore, continue on the IG road - bus stand road - for a couple of kms to reach this place) - towards the shimoga road.

Hope people who go there next time take notice of this place

Last edited by null : 11th September 2011 at 21:20.
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Old 11th September 2011, 22:14   #6
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One of the places for breakfast (or evening snacks) is the Town Canteen where they serve yummy benne masala dosas. It is located towards the other end of the town (when you enter the city from Bangalore, continue on the IG road - bus stand road - for a couple of kms to reach this place) - towards the shimoga road.

Hope people who go there next time take notice of this place
Thanks for your inputs friend. Have taken a note of this and will surely dropy by during our next outing in that route.
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Old 11th September 2011, 23:03   #7
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Kiran,

Nicely written account of your enjoyable expedition to Chikmagalur.

You people look really nice and warm and we all are very happy to have you on board indeed.

Your snaps are great and yes the monkey family photo was really touching.

I had as good a time reading the accounts and going through the snaps as you you guys enjoying it.

This account found me bloating with anticipation-will we be able to do it next time!! Lot of trekking is involved which I am not sure if my wife will be able to make.Still we would like to give it a try.

A piece of advice-next time if you happen to venture out to places infested with leaches-please carry coarse stockings that reach above your knees. They will prevent the leaches from attacking you.

And if possible carry a small piece of tobacco. Touch the leach with it-it ill immediately fall off-elders say.Or drop cigarette ash on it-or light a match and burn it(so cruel!)

Thanks for sharing this nice account Kiran.Glad that the City and MapmyIndia have been great.
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Old 11th September 2011, 23:19   #8
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Kiran,

Nicely written account of your enjoyable expedition to Chikmagalur.

You people look really nice and warm and we all are very happy to have you on board indeed.

Your snaps are great and yes the monkey family photo was really touching.

I had as good a time reading the accounts and going through the snaps as you you guys enjoying it.

This account found me bloating with anticipation-will we be able to do it next time!! Lot of trekking is involved which I am not sure if my wife will be able to make.Still we would like to give it a try.
You guys will definitely be able to do it very soon dude. She will make it and lets all hope for it.

A piece of advice-next time if you happen to venture out to places infested with leaches-please carry coarse stockings that reach above your knees. They will prevent the leaches from attacking you.

And if possible carry a small piece of tobacco. Touch the leach with it-it ill immediately fall off-elders say.Or drop cigarette ash on it-or light a match and burn it(so cruel!)

Thanks for sharing this nice account Kiran.Glad that the City and MapmyIndia have been great.
Mate. Thanks a lot for your feedback and valuable suggestions on tackling the leeches. Little did we know that we would be encountering them over there. Now that we know what we need to do if and when we face them again, we are game for it . I will pass on this info to my wife and kids so that they will be geared up during our next such outing.
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Old 12th September 2011, 00:15   #9
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A piece of advice-next time if you happen to venture out to places infested with leaches-please carry coarse stockings that reach above your knees. They will prevent the leaches from attacking you.

And if possible carry a small piece of tobacco. Touch the leach with it-it ill immediately fall off-elders say.Or drop cigarette ash on it-or light a match and burn it(so cruel!)
Simplest thing : carry some salt; that deters leeches. At all the waterfalls that are controlled by the Govt. (controlled as in, money is collected at the gate), the gate-keeper generally provides everyone a small bag of salt.
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Old 12th September 2011, 00:22   #10
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Default Re: Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangal

Nice refreshing TL there kiran!
Cool snaps to go along with the crisp narration.
The place looks really good, and from what you mention, the facilities sound good too.
How many such tree houses do they have there?
No issues with mosquitoes and other insects at night?

Loved the monkey pic at agumbe! I'd taken a similar family pic during our agumbe trip too.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2435033 (Trip to Agumbe)

First monkey was at the same lake, family pic was at the zoo at tavarekoppa.

btw, How could you miss the town canteen at chikmagalur?
Mr.Malnad aka Fauji has suggested it in many threads, I've been waiting to check it out myself

And for leeches, I'd say amrutanjan is the best remedy! I've tried quite a few during my treks like tobaco, salt and so on, but amrutanjan has been most effective in raining conditions. Just apply it on your legs before heading out, and you won't even need socks!

Last edited by figo_united : 12th September 2011 at 00:25.
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Old 12th September 2011, 09:30   #11
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Kiran,

I had another reading of your nice account.

1. Is photography prohibited at the Gomateshwara? I would have loved to see the Bahubali statue.

2. What happened to those 3 huge fish you caught?

3. Nice that you could access TBHP even on the tree top.
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Old 12th September 2011, 10:48   #12
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Nice refreshing TL there kiran!
First monkey was at the same lake, family pic was at the zoo at tavarekoppa.

btw, How could you miss the town canteen at chikmagalur?
And for leeches, I'd say amrutanjan is the best remedy! I've tried quite a few during my treks like tobaco, salt and so on, but amrutanjan has been most effective in raining conditions. Just apply it on your legs before heading out, and you won't even need socks!
Nice TL and snaps. Thanks for sharing.

Yes, how come you missed out Town canteen???

Odomos i another alternative to shoo away leeches!!

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Originally Posted by charthom View Post
Kiran,


1. Is photography prohibited at the Gomateshwara? I would have loved to see the Bahubali statue.
I dont think so. I am not sure of the latest restrictions if any.

Kiran,

I have only one friendly suggestion. See if you can post process these snaps in either Picasa or photoshop. the outcome will be fabulous.

Also, how come you missed out Kundadri which is close to Agumbe? Anyway, keep that for your Tirthahalli trip in Malnad next, which you can plan in the long week ends coming in next few months
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Old 12th September 2011, 10:56   #13
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Default Re: Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangal

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Originally Posted by kirantp View Post
On our way back the driver stopped at a hanging bridge that connected two villages across the river Tunga.
Hey Kiran, Nice travelogue,

By any chance, the hanging bridge you stopped by was it in HariharaPura?

and the snap of Tunga, was it taken on a bridge on way from Sringeri to Koppa?
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Old 12th September 2011, 11:28   #14
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Default Re: Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangal

Hi Kiran,
fantastic travelogue, and also a very detailed one too.
The monkey family pic is excellent and indeed touching too
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Old 12th September 2011, 11:42   #15
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Default Re: Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore-Chikmagalur-Sringeri-Agumbe-Shravanabelagola-Bangal

Very nice narration and pictures Kiran. Eagle Eye looks like a nice place. Loved the monkey picture (I'm sure most other would like it too). Even I have encountered peacocks during my trips to Agumbe.

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They have recently dug up huge trenches on either sides just where she is standing to restrict panthers from tresspassing into the premises
Did you really believe that?
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