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Old 4th May 2012, 12:04   #1
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Default Summer Break at Tirthahalli

After a lot of deliberations on where to visit on the May 1st long weekend, we decided to go to Bananki Homestay at Tirthahalli. Called up Rachan at Bananki to enquire about availability and we got lucky. There was a reservation by someone else, but they had apparently not confirmed by making an advance deposit. I confirmed my booking and we were all set to go on Saturday 28th April. We were a group of 6 adults, 1 teenager, 1 budding Sachin Tendulkar and two young mischievous ones (my BIL’s kids aged 3 and 5). Hereafter the young mischievous ones will be referred to as YMO’s. The party was split into two groups, travelling a day apart. My BIL, SIL and the YMO’s were arriving at Bananki on the 29th afternoon.

PS: Please excuse me for the picture quality. The pictures are from a old and basic PS SONY 6 MP camera.

DAY 1


The plan was to leave early on 28th - planned at 6:00 (with the assumption that this would end up at at least 6:30). Guess what, we left the house at 6:45. I must say, I was pleased at the start time. But the joy was short lived. The moment we arrived at the NICE toll at Bannerghatta road, there was a huge pile of trucks and cars waiting at the toll. To add to that, my younger one had stomach issues and it had to be addressed immediately (irrespective of our location). After a delay of 30 minutes, we managed to cross the Toll. We had to make another stop to completely resolve my young ones issue. To cut a long story short, we finally exited the NICE road after a total delay of 1 hour. The ride then on was smooth.




View on NICE road
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Because of the delay, the original plan to have breakfast at Preeti Canteen – Birur was abandoned and we made a stop at Pai restaurant – Tiptur. We had Masala Dosa, Idli, Vada and chow-chow bath. The food was good, though the same cannot be said of the cleanliness of the restaurant.



After Breakfast, we went to Tarikere, overshot the road that leads to the ancient Hoysala temple at Amrutapura. At Tarikere, we asked for directions and were provided with two options. One that takes a deviation at the big Petrol pump (take a left when coming from Tarikere towards Bangalore). AVOID this road (cannot call this a road – more a path though a field with huge craters). Took my Innova at a crawling pace through this series of craters and reached Amrutapura. We were vowed at the temple architecture (typical Hoysala). The sculptures on the side of the temple were very intricate. After visiting the temple (spent about 50 minutes) we came back through another road that joins the NH206 a little further up (away from Tarikere). There are no boards at this junction to indicate the way to the temple.

Directions to Amrutapura:
When coming from Bangalore, about 5 kms from Tarikere look out for a small temple on the left side. Take a right at this point, to reach Amruthapura. From the main road, the temple is at a distance of approximately 8 kms



After the temple, drove straight to Bananki Homestay, Tirthahalli. Arpita and Rachan, greeted us to a sumptuous meal with Bele Holage.

After Lunch, we got ready and visited Kuppali –Kuvempu’s abode. First we visited Kavi Shyla, the place where Kuvempu used to get inspired by the view and pen his poems. Later we drove to Kuvempus house -this is the place where Kuvempu was born, raised, inspired and went on to become a legend. The backdrop of the house is something that money cannot buy, one has to be blessed to be born and raised in such a locale. As my daughter was saying “If I was born here, I would have been famous as a poet by now” – and IMHO she does write very good poems.
After spending an hour looking at the household items, portraits at the house / museum, we returned back to Bananki. Arpita served us tasty palak soup and then we were served a typical Malnad dinner -akki rotti, yannegai badanekai, Vattu shavige, kobri haalu, Huruli kaalu playa, huruli rasam, bajji etc. Though my kids were skeptical of staying in homestays, they thoroughly enjoyed day 1 at Bananki.

Amrutapura- Hoysala temple built in 12th Century
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Kupalli
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Day 2
Today was a lazy start. The young and the old in the group were very tired and did not want to rush. So after a heavy breakfast, we decided to go to Bheemanakatte (confluence of Tunga and Malati River). First we went to see the hanging bridge. This is a relatively new hanging bridge in very good condition and was very sturdy. This was built in 2007. People use this to walk across to villages on the other side, but during our visit, we could only see motorbikes being driven on the bridge. The view from the bridge is awesome. We then visited the sand banks at Bheemanakatte, spent some time there and returned back to Bananki for Lunch.



By this time, my BIL, SIL and the YMO's had arrived in Bananki.After lunch, all of us went to Chippalagudde – this is a spot where you can feed the fish in Tunga river. Each fish is supposed to be around 25 kgs. They come close to your hand and feed on the puffed rice that you can offer them.
The young ones and the young at heart had a good time here. After this we came back to Bananki, some of us had fiery water and others fiery soup. After dinner there were plans being made to visit a nearby hillock “Navilu gudda” for sunrise the next day. We were required to get up at 5:00 and head out by 5:30 AM. We retired for the night.

Hanging Bridge at Bhimanakatte
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My car from the bridge
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My Car
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Huge fishes at Chippalagudde

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Monkey watching us feeding the fishes
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Day 3


My daughter and I had resolved to get up early and have a go at the Sunrise. We woke up on time and raced to “Navilu Gudda”. The drive to this hillock is beautiful. One has to park the car at a distance and trek though a small trail to reach this hillock. After climbing the hillock, you are presented with a beautiful view of mountain ranges with dense growth all around you. But our main objective was defeated as the clouds played spoil sport. We could not see the magic unfold in the skies, but were not disappointed as the scenery was good enough to compensate for the lack of the magical sunrise. My camera does not do any justice to the view.
We return back to Bananki for a heavy breakfast. Today we plan to visit Sirimane falls (near Kigga). The route was Bananki -> Koppa[FONT=Wingdings][FONT=Wingdings]à[/FONT][/FONT]Sringeri[FONT=Wingdings][FONT=Wingdings]à[/FONT][/FONT] Agumbe[FONT=Wingdings][FONT=Wingdings]à[/FONT][/FONT] Kigga[FONT=Wingdings][FONT=Wingdings]à[/FONT][/FONT]Sirimane Falls. The drive to this place is as beautiful as one can imagine. Summer has no impact on the greenery around this area. The only thing missing was the numerous falls that I am sure should be crossing the roads on this stretch during monsoon.
We enjoy ourselves under the water falls and then head out to Agumbe, en-route to Kundadri hills. We stop at a picturesque spot on the road to have lunch. This is life, nice drive, beautiful scenery, good food, and most important of all, no emails and no phones. Arpita from Bananki had packed lunch for us and all of us enjoyed the picnic.
After Lunch, we headed towards Kundadri hills and what a climb this was. The climb is steep and the roads are very narrow. Fortunately we did not come across any vehicles from the opposite side. The view from the top was – what else, but astounding.
After spending some time enjoying the view, we started our descent to mother earth. On the way back to Tirthahalli, we visited Bhimanakatte again – for the benefit of my BIL, SIL amd YMO’s.

We returned back to Bananki for a sumptuous dinner.
Attempt to catch sunrise ar Navilu Gudda
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Sirimane Falls

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Our cars after reaching the peak of Kundadri

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Views from Kundadri

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After breakfast, checked out of Bananki and headed back. Stopped at CCD (Coffee Day) near Arsikere for lunch. The samosas there were something that I would like to forget in a hurry. The other items like Sandwiches, Brownie’s, cakes were good. After lunch, drove back to a crazy traffic at the JAS toll after Tumkur. It looked like entire Bangalore was returning back after the long weekend. We reached home at 6:30 PM. Home sweet home.
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Old 4th May 2012, 13:01   #2
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Default Re: Summer Break at Tirthahalli

Not sure why some of the pictures are not showing. Re-attaching the pictures from Amrutapura
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Old 4th May 2012, 22:43   #3
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Default Re: Summer Break at Tirthahalli

Hi Mahesh

Well written travelogue, thoroughly enjoyed your narration. Dont be apologetic about the pictures, some of them are very pleasing.

How much time did you take from Banaki to each of your destinations?

Cheers

VW
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Old 5th May 2012, 10:25   #4
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Default Re: Summer Break at Tirthahalli

Nice trip.
How far is this place from Bangalore ? and detailed route information would be helpful.
Would love to plan a trip to this place from PUNE

Can all these places be covered in 2 days if planned correctly ?
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Old 6th May 2012, 22:44   #5
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Default Re: Summer Break at Tirthahalli

Mahesh,

Nice account of your trip. I had never seen the hanging bridge at Bheemanakatte. Will make a point to visit ther next time. Sirimane falls looks lovely and still having water.Kundadri is just lovely. Amritapura is a hidden gem!


Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 View Post
Nice trip.
How far is this place from Bangalore ? and detailed route information would be helpful.
Would love to plan a trip to this place from PUNE

Can all these places be covered in 2 days if planned correctly ?
F150,

You need minimum of two days - apart from driving days - to cover important spots. You can actually spend a week exploring malnad liesiurely. You can talke a look at this thread which will give you a detailed itineraray.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ve-malnad.html (Monsoon is here, why not drive to Malnad?)
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Old 11th May 2012, 20:13   #6
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Default Re: Summer Break at Tirthahalli

Quote:
Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
Hi Mahesh

Well written travelogue, thoroughly enjoyed your narration. Dont be apologetic about the pictures, some of them are very pleasing.

How much time did you take from Banaki to each of your destinations?

Cheers

VW
Thanks VindyWheels. Compared to most of the photos posted in this forum, my pictures are of low quality.

Tirthahalli is around 338 kms from Bangalore. The route is Bangalore-> Nelamangala-> Tumkur (byepass) -> Tiptur -> Arsikere -> Kadur -> Birur -> Tarikere -> Bhadravati (Byepass) -> Shimoga (Byepass) -> Tirthahalli.

Bananki homestay is 8.5 kms from the bus stand at Tirthahalli towards Koppa.

Bananki to Kuppali (Kuvempu's abode) is a mere 15 minutes drive - 8 kms. Bananki to Chippalgudde is also a short drive - 25 - 30 minutes drive. Bheemankatte is around 45 minutes drive from Bananki.

Sirimane Falls, Kundadri betta are slightly far. More than the distance, its the drive through the ghats that is time consuming - for two reasons. You would want to enjoy the scenery as you drive and the roads are narrow. It would be a day trip to complete Sirimane Falls, Agumbe, Kundadri betta (you can also add in Sringeri, if you plan to visit the temple).

Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 View Post
Nice trip.
How far is this place from Bangalore ? and detailed route information would be helpful.
Would love to plan a trip to this place from PUNE

Can all these places be covered in 2 days if planned correctly ?
F150, As Fauji has replied, it is possible to do this in 2 days, but IMHO you will not be doing any justice in two days. You will be rushing it. I have not even covered some of the more scenic spots like Sigandur, Kodachadri (the jeep drive here is supposed to be one heck of a experience and a scenery to die for).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Mahesh,

Nice account of your trip. I had never seen the hanging bridge at Bheemanakatte. Will make a point to visit ther next time. Sirimane falls looks lovely and still having water.Kundadri is just lovely. Amritapura is a hidden gem!

F150,

You need minimum of two days - apart from driving days - to cover important spots. You can actually spend a week exploring malnad liesiurely. You can talke a look at this thread which will give you a detailed itineraray.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ve-malnad.html (Monsoon is here, why not drive to Malnad?)
Thank you sir. Your travelogues were of a great help in making my trip successful.
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