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Old 21st June 2012, 21:50   #1
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Default The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

We are heading out to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh in June End. That trip alone would be around 8000 Kms if not more. It is mandatory to perform oil changes and get a complete car check-up done before the trip.
But there was a small hickup for this plan. My car had done just about 5000 kms from my previous service. I still had about 3000kms to go before the next service. So the service would have to be a premature service at 5000kms. That is when it struck us why not go for another 3 day trip which is about 2000kms and it would be perfect to give the car for servicing after returning back. Also, the summer heat has got us and we heard the monsoons have hit Karnataka and Kerala. So this would be the best time to head towards the monsoons to meet them, instead of waiting in Hyderabad for the monsoons to meet us. A point to note here is that, the monsoons have caught is us first in Hyderabad and just before we left Hyderabad, it started raining here. But Little did we know that this impromptu unplanned trip would be one of the best trip I have ever done.

The hunt for the destination began and one thread in team-bhp sealed the deal for us. It was Samurai's excursion to Muthodi
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...-otr-meet.html (Muthodi Forest Drive: The post-OTR meet that became part-OTR meet)

Reaching Muthodi by Friday Afternoon and staying at Muthodi on Friday night was the only part of the trip that was planned. From there on, we just went where we felt like going.

The amount of fun we had can be explained by just one pic.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-untitled1.jpg

Last edited by himavanth_m : 22nd June 2012 at 03:27.
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Old 21st June 2012, 22:38   #2
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

We started from Hyderabad at about 8 30 PM on friday night. The route taken
Hyderabad - Kurnool - Chikballapur - Dobbaspet - Tumkur - Kadur - Birur - Kemmanigudi - Muthodi.

We took the route via Kemmanigudi because we had heard a lot about this and the beauty of this place. We could have easily reached Muthodi by taking the Kadur - Chikmagalur - Muthodi, which by the way would have been way faster and better route for sedans. But we had a Safari 4x4 and road condition did not matter to us. So the road less traveled it is for us.

My safari ready to go. Alas one fog light goes kaput.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0074.jpg

The route upto Chikballapur is a complete 4 laned route and the journey was uneventful. The sunlight came somewhere inbetween the Chikballapur - Dobbaspet section stretch.

Early morning blues
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0070.jpg

We had breakfast at Tiptur on a road side restaurant. We had another coffee break near Arisekere Coffee day. After the coffee we were all fresh and ready to proceed.

A lot can happen over a coffee
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2212.jpg

The roads upto Birur were in great condition. It was smoot tarmac and not too much traffic since it was Friday morning.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2214.jpg

After Birur, we took a left and went towards Ligadahalli and the roads upto this place were also in decent condtion as seen in this pic
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0082.jpg

The road deteriorates progressively after this.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0095.jpg

Then very close to Kemmanigudi, there is a checkpost for entry into Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. This is when the road completely disintegrates into just gravel and rocks as can been seen in the pic below
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0105.jpg

But I am a strong believer in bad roads lead to good destinations and I was proved right again. This led us to some of the most scenic drives we have ever been part of.
The following pic is just the beginning of what we were about to witness
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0108.jpg

Some more pics of the fantastic views:
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0097.jpg

My car ready to take on the rough tracks the we throw at it
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0116.jpg

After covering some distance we see a signboard showing a direction to Hebbe Falls. We decided that we will visit the falls. However we were warned that my safari wouldnt make it and we would regret the decision. Little did they know that my safari was a fully capable vehicle. So we decided to tackle the rocky terrain Head on.

While heading down hill, we did not loose traction. But because of the incline angle my car was gathering speed even in first gear. And the road was just rocks. Rocks rocks and more rocks. Such speeds would damage the suspension. So had to go at crawling speeds.

After crossing certain distance we realized that Hebbe Falls was another 10 Kms away and it was already 1 PM. We thought that it would take forever at these speeds to reach the falls and it would be best if we head back to save drive through the jungles in the night. This is when I realized the true importance of a 4x4 system.

Due to the steep inclines on the way up and rocky terrain, I was not able to get any traction on the rear wheels. So it was time to switch on 4H. So I switched on 4H and tried to climb the incline. But the incline was very steep. I had to press half clutch and run the vehicle with the risk of getting the clutch fried. But wait, I have a 4L in my Safari and that was enough. Got the vehicle to a complete halt, switched on 4L and there you go. The car was ready to tackle the terrain. Now it was climbing the steep incline with ease and no clutch input and all 4 wheels getting power delivered hence getting enough traction to take the vehicle through.

The following 3 videos show some of the steep inclines that I had to tackle
Part 1: Reversing the beast was a pain in the narrow roads


Part 2: Tackling one such steep incline


Part 3: Another climb just for testing the 4 L.


All this took us a good 2 hours as we were stopping at every nook and corner to take pics. After this small detour, we were on our way to Muthodi.

The next leg of my journey in my next post.

Last edited by himavanth_m : 22nd June 2012 at 03:28.
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Old 21st June 2012, 23:20   #3
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

Continuing from my previous post. A pic of my safari somewhere enroute to Hebbe Falls
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2254.jpg

Back on track to Muthodi
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2233.jpg


The next leg of the drive took me some through some of the most breathtaking views. There are just no words to describe the beauty of this place. The weather was also perfect. It was not raining but it was cloudy, foggy and windy. What else could we ask for in the drive? It was perfect. Just perfect.

I will let the pictures do the talking here. No comments, nothing. Just plain pictures.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2269.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2271.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0151.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0156.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0157.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0158.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0159.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0161.jpg

Safari fits perfectly
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0164.jpg
Live to Drive: Apt for this pic
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0165.jpg

The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0185.jpg

After the above views, the road took us into the jungles. No people were around, no road was around. It was just us.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0188.jpg

After covering some distance we finally reached the second checkpost for Bhadra wildlife sanctuary which notifies that the end has come. The tar road to Attigundi and Mullayangari peak starts and we are back to seeing people after a long time. But after going about 5 kms from exit point, there is again another diversion to re enter the Bhadra wildlife sanctuary. This is where the roads get really worse.
These 3 pics are among my favourite pics of my ride after entering the forest range again.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0206.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0208.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0210.jpg

Somewhere enroute to Muthodi Forest camp
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2286.jpg

Finally we reached the Muthodi Forest camp. Immediately went for a small safari. This is not the right season for a Forest safari at Muthodi. So we did not expect to see too much . However, we saw spotted Deer, Bee hives, lot of bees entering the car and some Peacocks.

Pic of the forest camp in evening.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2297.jpg

There is no power in this camp. No cell phone works apart from BSNL. We were very happy that we finally made it to this place. We had to make calls. So after taking some rest at the guest house, went a certain distance where airtel cell works, made phone calls to home informing that we are safe. On our way back to forest camp after making phone calls, we saw an owl sitting right in between the road. We waited a couple of minutes for the owl to leave. We did not click photos of the owl because we did not want to disturb the bird with the flash. It flew away because another deer decided to take a peek into the road. But the deer was much more clever. It saw the car and ran away.

We headed back to our rooms after a really long and eventful day. We were so thrilled that we got to see so much. We got much more than what we bargained for already. No matter how the trip happens after this, we really did not care.

During the night, we were scared to sit outside the cottages even for 5 minutes. It was pitch dark and we were very afraid especially after listening to the stories about tigers and snakes there. We slept early as there was nothing much else to do and got up early for next day.

Last edited by himavanth_m : 22nd June 2012 at 03:30.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 01:22   #4
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

The next day we got up early went to the river that is flowing right next to the forest camp.

Some more pics of the river and the camp
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0311.jpg

The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0288.jpg

We spent some time at the river and then checked out of the camp. We bid adieu to the Bhadra Tiger Reserve
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0327.jpg

The gate of the reserve. It is open throughout because there are some villages inside the forest.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0319.jpg

Our initial plan was Chickmagalur - Halebeedu - Belur - Charmadi Ghats - Kudremukh - Agumbe and night stay at Agumbe.

The road to Chikmagalur from Muthodi is in good shape and is easily accessible by any car. But it is single laned and if there are two vehicles, it is very difficult fit both the vehicles.

The Narrow roads.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0330.jpg

Customary Safari Pic.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0334.jpg

We reached Chikmagalur at about 10 and had our brunch there. Then we headed to Halebeedu. Ideally, Belur is closer and people first visit Belur, but we had to head towards Charmadi Ghats, hence we went to Halebeedu first.

Halebeedu: This place is famous for two temples viz. Hoysaleswara temple and Kedareswara temple. Both are in same complex and both are Lord Shiva temples side by side. In front of each of these temples is a huge statue of Nandi. These temples are architectural marvels and are recognized as one of the World Heritage Sites. The beauty of the architecture lies in the stone carvings done from single stone. The amount of details cut in these stones is truly unbelievable. These kind of details could not be got even if we use all of today's technology and manufacturing techniques. Apparently, the nandi bull in front of the main temple complex was never completed.

If you want more information regarding this place, the following Wiki links would be of great help.
Hoysaleswara Temple - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some pics of the temple below:
Note: We are allowed to take these pics. So there should not be any issues of uploading these pics. ( We are not allowed to take pics of the statue of the lord and we duly followed the rules )

The main entrance
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2299.jpg

The details on the roof
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2308.jpg

Close up of detailed stone carvings
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2315.jpg

Endless stone carvings. Each telling its own story of the Hindu Mythology.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2320.jpg

The Nandi statue in front of one of the temples
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2321.jpg

After looking around the temple, our next destination was Belur. Belur is about 15 kms away from Halebeedu. The road is in good shape. We reached belur in about 20 minutes.

Belur: This is again one of the finest examples of Hoyasala Architechture and stone carvings. This is again another World Heritage Site. This is the home of Chennakesava Temple ( Temple of Lord Vishnu). There is a huge gopuran in the entrance and once you enter the temple premises, one is greeted with a vast open expance and in the middle of this stands the main temple. There are other temples surrounding this main temple.There is also a small pond in one side of the temple for water.

When we entered the main temple, we found that the this temple has more details than the one at Halebeedu. Even though this has fewer sculptures, this temple had more details. There were 3d stone carvings as in, there was a carving and there was a gap between this carving and the main pillar. But these carvings were not attached. They are part of the main pillar itself. This must have required precision sculpting. We were truly amazed.

For those interested, the following wiki link gives a good detail
Chennakesava Temple - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and
Belur - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The pics of the temple at Belur

The majestic gopuram
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0350.jpg

The intricate stone carvings. A finger can pass behind these sculptures, giving 3d effect through stone carvings
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0355.jpg

Intricate and precision sculpting on the roof. How can one carve so beautifully and get it up there is a mystery to me
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0357.jpg

One of the temples in the main temple premises
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0363.jpg

View of the main temple
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0364.jpg

After an enriching experience at both these places, it was time to hit the road again. By the time we finished Belur, it was almost 2PM and we had a lot of distance to cover. This is when all the plans went haywire for good.

Next leg of my journey in my next post

Last edited by himavanth_m : 22nd June 2012 at 01:32.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 02:03   #5
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

We were not hungry as we had a heavy brunch and we were eager to push forward. The road we were planning to take was Belur - Mudigere - Charmadi - Kudremukh - Agumbe

The roads upto Mudigere were in excellent condition. It is a 2 laned road and newly laid smooth tarmac had helped us gain some distance. But at Mudigere, we realized that if we go to Charmadi and then Kudremukh, it would add additional 60kms and we would be missing out on most of the beautiful scenery near Kudremukh. At this same time, one of the friends saw that Mangalore is 120kms from this place. And then we started thinking. Since we had done so much of ghat section and jungle trails, it would be a good idea to take a break from this and head to a beach. And hence in the split of a moment the plan changed. Mangalore was too far down south. And Udupi was just at the right place. So it was time to head to Udupi. We will be back again to drive through the Charmadi Ghats. But it would not be this time.

The new plan was like this:
We would directly head to Kudremukh from Mudigere via Kalasa. Near Kudremukh, we will have a short break and enjoy the views. Anyway Kudremukh is a trekking place and we dont have enough time to trek. So we would just enjoy the views and go past the place. Once the ghats are over, even if the rest of the journey to Udupi was at night, we wouldnt miss too much. Hence taking into consideration this new plan we changed our route midway and drove directly to Kudremukh.

After crossing Mudigere, the road to Kudremukh is good to some distance, but aftter that the road gets pretty bad and potholed. All cars can make it, but one would cover the distance with a slow average speed due to bad roads.

The rest of this post is just pics of the road en-route and some of the breathtaking views we came across.

Somewhere after crossing Mudigere but before Kalasa
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0389.jpg

Bhadra river enroute
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0390.jpg

another view of the Bhadra river
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2383.jpg

The pic of my Safari with me.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2418.jpg

Just before the ghat section starts, we were greated with Fog. Dense fog it was. But initial ghat section road was in good shape
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2337.jpg

The fog gets thicker
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2348.jpg

After the fog disappears, we realized that the roads have worsened.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2366.jpg

Closer to Kalasa we found Tea plantations. This was totally unexpected. We saw both Tea and Coffee plantations in the same trip. yay!(Coffee plantations near Chikmagalur)

Some pics of the tea plantations
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2430.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2432.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2434.jpg

At Kalasa we had some food and filled diesel and decided to proceed further.

Closer to the Kudremukh ranges, it was getting darker. But the views were still breathtaking.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0410.jpg
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2451.jpg

By the time we reached Lakya dam (Which comes after crossing Kudremukh) it was almost 6 30 PM. The entry to the dam is closed at 6 PM. So we could not enter. Also we over estimated ourselves. We thought we would be towards the end of ghat section, but were were at the beginning when the sun set. As we were getting down, we were greeted with more fog with visibility of less than 5m. So we went at snails pace in the rest of the ghat section.

After the ghat section, it was again smooth sailing. The road was decent but traffic was heavy. Somewhere here, my safari hit another milestone. 70,000kms. My safari took me to a lot of places without any complain. I have another trip of 8000kms coming up. And I hope this vehicle serves me more kms over the next few years without troubles. This vehicle is close to my heart now.

Pic of the 70,000km mark.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2473.jpg

The route we took was Kalasa - Kudremukh - Karkala - Manipal - Udupi. When we entered Udupi, it was raining cats and dogs. It was 8 30 PM and we were tired after a long day. Luckily we found a good hotel at reasonable price easily (maybe because it was off-season). It was also about 7kms from Malpe beach and it was close enough for us considering that we were very tired. We checked in, had some food and slept for the night hoping that the weather would clear up so that we can enjoy the beach early next day.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 03:16   #6
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The last and Final Day of my travel. We have already covered a lot of places and there were a lot more ahead.
So the plan was straight forward. The route to be taken
Udupi - Someshwara - Agumbe - Thirthahalli - Shimoga. Reach Shimoga by 3PM. And then proceed further to Hyderabad so that we are in Hyd by 5 Am and ready to office on Monday after a quick nap. But plans will be plans. And even on this day, we did more than what we have planned for.

Early morning, we left for the beach. We were happy to see clear skies. We knew the boat ride to St. Mary's island would be closed. So we went directly to Malpe beach. The beach is really beautiful, but this being a monsoon season, it is very unsafe to get into water. The waves were rough and harsh. Anyway, we were short on time and we had no time to get into water. But once we sat on the beach, we lost track of time. Initial plan was to spend about 15 minutes, but we ended up spending 1 hour there.

Some pics of the beach. From the pics it is clear that the waves are rough.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0414.jpg

The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0415.jpg

The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0423.jpg

The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0431.jpg

The fine sand in the beach
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-dsc_0434.jpg

I feel that the beach was very well clean, but I think this is mostly because of low turnout of people to this peach. I could see some plastic thrown around on the beach. I hope that the authorities some strict action in order keep the beach clean and neat.

We head back to the hotel, freshened up, had breakfast and checked out. We had another long drive ahead. This drive was through Someshwara forest ranges and Agumbe.

While at Udupi, we only missed the Lord Krishna temple. But we saved this for another day because we have another plan to visit St. Mary's island after monsoons. During that time, we would visit the temple anyways. Hence we had to let go off visiting this temple. With a heavy heart we left Udupi towards Agumbe.

On the way, we just checked out the Manipal Institute of Technology
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2489.jpg

After entering the Someshwara Forest range, we found a beautiful view of the river enroute
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2494.jpg

And the Safari looks Majestic as ever
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2502.jpg

Then we had to tackle the hairpin bends on the Agumbe Udupi route. We had a lot of fun driving in these ghats through heavy rain

On the way we found these waterfalls. We also had a leech attack at this waterfall. Since I had prior experience with leeches, we were not afraid and did not panic.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2511.jpg

We were after all reaching the second most wettest place in India. So there had to be rain and we were happy to see rain. Over the 3 days, apart from Halebeedu and Belur, we did not see sun at all.

The videos of my drive to Agumbe

Part 1:


Part 2:


At Agumbe we were treated with lot of Fog.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2515.jpg

After reaching Agumbe, we found a signboard that said Shringeri 30kms and Thirthahalli 30kms. Then our heart began to take over. The brain said no more places, just go home relax and reach office the next day. But the heart said "You have come much distance covering so many places. When will you ever get another opportunity to come here. So why dont you make the most of it and visit Sringeri as well. An addition of 30 kms is like an drop in the ocean". Needless to say we listened to our heart and visited the third temple in 3 days.

Shringeri:

In Sringeri, Adi Shankaracharya established the first Matha ( Sringeri Sarada Peetham) . It is also home to the temple of Godess Saraswati Devi (Shri Sharadamba temple). The idol is adorned with jewels and diamonds and it is truly a magnificent sight to see. It is a place that one should not miss. I am unable to explain in words what I have seen.
In addition to this temple, there is Vidyasankara temple as well in the premises. Unlike Belur and Halebeedu, this temple was built during the Vijayanagara Empire. Just beside the temple, Tunga river flows and it is a sight to visit.

More information about Sringeri can be found at the following Wiki Link
Shringeri - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Adi Shankaracharya
Adi Shankara - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We were happy that we visited this temple. We also felt that there was a stroke of luck involved here. The temple closes down at 2 PM. We luckily reached the temple premises at 1 45 PM. We were able to see all the temples within the premises. Also there is free lunch provided inside the temple which closes at 2 30 PM. I always loved to sit on the floor and eat with others in such temples. I got an opportunity to do that at Sringeri temple. It was 2:15 PM and we were lucky that we could get an opportunity to eat the food provided by the temple.

Tunga River picking up water as monsoons begin
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2522.jpg

Rope Bridge to Sringeri Sharada Peetha
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2526.jpg

Pic of the Vidyasankara Temple
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2528.jpg

Pic of the temple Premises
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2529.jpg


After the splendid experience, it was time to head to Thirthahalli and visit the Kolavara homestay that we had stayed in Feb 2011. This is another place I wanted to see in monsoons and I got an opportunity to see it.

But this time the drive to the river front near Kolavara heritage was much more challenging. It was through slush and the tyres were skidding a lot. So it was time to engage the safari in 4H and continue the drive to the waterfront. This was truly worth it.

Tunga River
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2537.jpg

The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2538.jpg

The homestay owner said that it is possible to cross the river in a Safari. I was almost tempted to do it, but this time I listened to the heart because it was already 5 30 PM and we have not yet reached Shimoga. We had to reach Hyderabad by Monday morning as we did not get any leave for Monday. So it was time to head back to Hyderabad and no more adventures for the trip. There I thought, I will come back after the water in river subsides (May be in Feb), to cross the river in my Safari.

Me trying to do a U turn to head back after visiting the river.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2544.jpg

Logs of Acacia wood cut by the people there. People near Thirthahalli grow Acacia trees and sell them. These logs are used to make furniture.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2554.jpg

Finally we started our really really long journey back. We did not want more adventures, so we took the longer route which we were sure that the road surface was smooth.
The route taken:
Thirthahalli - Shimoga - Kadur - Dobbaspet - Chikballapur - Kurnool - Hyderabad.

Thirthahalli - Shimoga is a beautiful drive. The road is good and it is through forest. So it is very scenic. En-route there is one Elephant camp and a Tiger, Lion Safari. The tiger and lion safari near Shimoga has 15 to 20 tigers and lions which are bred there and are allowed to roam free in a limited area The jeep safaris here take you through this captive area. We could not visit this place due to lack of time, but there is always a next time right!

We drove continuously as long as we could, but alas the tiredness got to us. Just before we reached Anantapur ( About 400 kms from Hyderabad), we were very very sleepy. It was 1:30 AM. And we had atleast 4 hours more to drive. No way we could do it in this state. So we saw a tea stall, stopped the car there and slept inside the car for 3 hours. We woke up at 4. 30 Am and started our journey to Hyderabad again. We finally managed to cover 400kms in 5 hours and we were in Hyderabad at 9 30 AM.

Closer to Hyderabad it started raining heavily which slowed us down a lot, but still we managed to cover good distance.

It felt good to see the Outer Ring Road of Hyderabad.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2564.jpg

We finally reached home at 10 30 AM. Took an hours rest and it was back to office.

This was a hectic journey. But we enjoyed a lot and did not regret one bit. By the end of 3rd day, the first day seemed like it had happened long ago as we had covered so many things in such short span of time. During the entire journey, we covered 4 forest ranges - Bhadra, Someshwara, Kudremukh , Seethupally (Near Shimoga), A beach - Malpe beach, 2nd wettest place in India - Agumbe, Tunga and Bhadra river along with Tunga Bhadra river(near Kurnool) and last but not the least, 3 temples - Belur, Halebeedu and Sringeri. All these places in 3 days. Just out of pure madness. But That is what we enjoy the most.

Thanks a lot for reading through my travelogue. Hope it will be of some help for everyone planning to visit the Malnad Region and Udupi.

Last edited by himavanth_m : 22nd June 2012 at 11:15.
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Old 23rd June 2012, 13:03   #7
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd June 2012, 13:59   #8
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

Wow! Amazing stuff guys, keep up this spirit of adventure and share wonderful t-logs with us.

Its great to see another white safari being part of a splendid moutain-forest-beach trek. After reading TSK's t-log and this one, Safari has started haunting me again

Cheers

Vindy
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Old 23rd June 2012, 16:58   #9
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Good Travelogue,well complimented by your vehicle. I was born near Sringeri and Malnad is very close to my heart. I have spent a lot of summer holidays there and the beauty of this place is spellbound.

Off topic:-
My liking for Safari has been increasing day by day but the only thing stopping me is Vitamin M. More over the base model LX(10.5 lakhs) to the GX with ABS has around 4lakhs of difference, with the VX 4X4 nearing 17lakhs :(
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Old 24th June 2012, 15:55   #10
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Himavanth,

Just lovely!!! It is so refreshing to drive in Malnad during this time. Excellent pictures as well. Thanks for sharing. Rated Five stars for nice narration and excellent pictures. It is inviting to hit the road again during rains!!!
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Old 24th June 2012, 16:40   #11
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

Himavanth - lovely travelogue, awesome pictures, thanks for sharing
It's the unplanned trips that turn out to be best and your experience proves that.
Rating much deserved 5 stars !
You refer to 'Kemmanigudi' in your initial posts, did you mean Kemmangundi ?
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Old 24th June 2012, 18:29   #12
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

Nice one Himavanth. Also when did the Coffee Day come up on NH206 at Arsikere?
Can you exactly point me to the location. This would be a good data point to keep.

5-6 months back, I did not see any this road. (Not sure if it was there then.)
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Old 24th June 2012, 20:37   #13
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

Quote:
Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
Wow! Amazing stuff guys, keep up this spirit of adventure and share wonderful t-logs with us.

Its great to see another white safari being part of a splendid moutain-forest-beach trek. After reading TSK's t-log and this one, Safari has started haunting me again

Cheers

Vindy
Thanks a lot. Yes, the Safari has taken me to lot of places and hopefully will take me to a lot more. Buying a safari is a decision from the heart for most people and I am no exception. But I would advise some caution before jumping in to buy one. Ensure that is is a well informed decision before buying the Safari.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VMC View Post
Good Travelogue,well complimented by your vehicle. I was born near Sringeri and Malnad is very close to my heart. I have spent a lot of summer holidays there and the beauty of this place is spellbound.

Off topic:-
My liking for Safari has been increasing day by day but the only thing stopping me is Vitamin M. More over the base model LX(10.5 lakhs) to the GX with ABS has around 4lakhs of difference, with the VX 4X4 nearing 17lakhs :(
Is Malnad / Sringeri this green during summer as well? What are the temperatures and weather like in these areas during peak summer. I have fallen in love with this place and will go back there again.

Yes Safari has become expensive now a days. Especially in Bangalore. Best bet would be to buy a low KMs run, well maintained one year or two year old Safari at around 60 % of the price. I have waited almost a year to look for a good second hand safari 4x4. But the wait was well worth it. If you are not particular about 4x4 Safari, there are a lot of options around though. Mine is a VX 4x4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Himavanth,

Just lovely!!! It is so refreshing to drive in Malnad during this time. Excellent pictures as well. Thanks for sharing. Rated Five stars for nice narration and excellent pictures. It is inviting to hit the road again during rains!!!
Thanks. Yes it is inviting to hit the roads during monsoons. Hence, we are off to do Bhutan W-E drive, Tawang and Sikkim again for two weeks. We are leaving on June 29th. It might be crazy considering the monsoons. . But all the friends getting leave was not possible any other time. And we want to explore some part of that region in Monsoons. Off season is best time to get hotels at cheap rates.

I recently acquired a DSLR and I am learning to use it. Lot more to learn about the controls and lighting. Your appreciation of the photographs motivates me more to click better pictures and learn the settings faster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NPV View Post
Himavanth - lovely travelogue, awesome pictures, thanks for sharing
It's the unplanned trips that turn out to be best and your experience proves that.
Rating much deserved 5 stars !
You refer to 'Kemmanigudi' in your initial posts, did you mean Kemmangundi ?
Thanks for your appreciation. I am not sure about the spelling. Just checked google and it says Kemmannugundi. Dont know which spelling is right. Sorry about that in case I spelled the place incorrectly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Nice one Himavanth. Also when did the Coffee Day come up on NH206 at Arsikere?
Can you exactly point me to the location. This would be a good data point to keep.

5-6 months back, I did not see any this road. (Not sure if it was there then.)
I have no idea when the Coffee day started. The coffee day comes after crossing Tiptur and before reaching Arsikere. You will reach the place within 25-30 minutes after crossing Tiptur on the NH to Shimoga. Even we did not expect the coffee day there and so we had breakfast at some hotel in Tiptur. The coffee day was a pleasant surprise.

Another pic of the Coffee day. It looks like it has come up recently.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2211.jpg


Attaching another one of my favorite pic of the Safari hiding.
The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region-img_2262.jpg
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Old 25th June 2012, 12:03   #14
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Hello Himavanth, What can I say !!! The Malnad region and Tata Safari have been two things so close to my heart, and your post shines up my Monday morning !! Excellent writings and pictures ! Even I have the same "Live to Drive" pasted at the same place on my Safari !

Here's more :

1. The Cafe Coffee Day is a recent addition and is between Arsikere and Banavar. It is about 2 kms north of Arsikere.

2. The section of the road ( SH-66 ) beyond Lakya Dam in Kudremukh all the way down the ghats is next to heaven ! I note that it was dark when you traversed those sections, so you should re-do that stretch again to experience the magic !

3. Though I knew that there is a connecting road from Kemmmangundi to Muthodi through the forests without the need to traverse through Chikmagalur, I am not getting first hand information on that road. Can you plot a quick sketch on Google maps and add the image on this post so that it is easy to figure out ? I have been longing to do Muthodi - Kemmangundi for long, and your advice would be appreciated !

4. Did you drive up to the Shigekan IB in Muthodi ? Samurai's posts speak of heavenly views from there !

Thanks !
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Old 25th June 2012, 12:29   #15
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Default Re: The Quest for Monsoons in the Malnad Region

Beautiful pictures and narration Himavanth. Generally post monsoon is the best time to visit Malnad as it will be very green and cold but, if you have an SUV and don't mind bad roads and non stop rain (and maybe leeches), then monsoon is the best time. During summer, the forests will still be green, but the green grasslands will be dry and brown.

Btw, I had been near Kemmangundi just yesterday and although it wasn't raining that much, the weather was awesome!!! In the past 2 weeks I have trekked up Mullayanagiri and Bababudangiri and then went back there again yesterday. It was just super. The Muthodi-Kemmangundi road too is one of my regular haunts. The last I was there though, was a few months back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
...... we covered 4 forest ranges - Bhadra, Someshwara, Kudremukh , Seethupally (Near Shimoga), A beach - Malpe beach, 2nd wettest place in India - Agumbe, Tunga and Bhadra river along with Tunga Bhadra river(near Kurnool) and last but not the least, 3 temples - Belur, Halebeedu and Sringeri. All these places in 3 days. Just out of pure madness. But That is what we enjoy the most.
The above paragraph totally sums up your trip. Nice!!!

The 4th Sanctuary you have mentioned is Shettyhalli Wildlife Sanctuary and not Seethupally

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghunandanj View Post
3. Though I knew that there is a connecting road from Kemmmangundi to Muthodi through the forests without the need to traverse through Chikmagalur, I am not getting first hand information on that road. Can you plot a quick sketch on Google maps and add the image on this post so that it is easy to figure out ? I have been longing to do Muthodi - Kemmangundi for long, and your advice would be appreciated !
I have marked this road in the link below.

https://maps.google.co.in/maps?saddr...p=2&sz=13&z=12

The landmark is the KavikalGandi checkpost when coming from Chikmagalur. Take the first left turn (it is a left U turn) after the checkpost. There is a house at the junction. This is before Attigundi.

Last edited by addyhemmige : 25th June 2012 at 12:54. Reason: Added quote
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