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Old 8th January 2013, 16:24   #1
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Default Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

Disclaimer: This is my first travelogue and I am not a great writer. Please pardon me for any mistakes that you may notice.

We (me and my wife) normally head out of Bangalore once a month for a weekend drive. The last couple of weekends were really dull and nothing useful had been done (read=no travelling). While in office on a Monday morning, I was going through one of the threads in T-BHP where the writer had written so much about Sakleshpur. The pictures in his tread were awesome. I was wondering if I can somehow take a leave on Friday, we could drive down to Sakleshpur and spend two full days amidst nature.

With this thought, I started searching for places in Sakleshpur. We wanted a place where nature takes precedence over anything else. We wanted a place where we could spend two days in complete isolation. No noise, no pollution and most importantly no cellphone. While going through many threads, we found a place called Mugilu. I went through their website and also couple of threads where T-BHP members had been there and returned completely satisfied. This convinced me that THIS is the place I need to be. I was going there with a lot of expectation and I must tell you, the place didnít disappoint.

First on my to-do list was to get permission to take a leave on Friday which I eventually got. Then I had to immediately call the owners of Mugilu to check availability of rooms. With information from their website, I called up Mr. Chandan, the owner. Fortunately, from the earlier threads I knew that Chandan is also a T-BHP member and this was more of a reason to book here. Chandan confirmed that rooms are available for the weekend and the booking was done immediately.

So here was the plan:

Day 1: Friday (4th Jan). Leave Bangalore at 6 AM. Visit Shravanabelagola on the way. Reach Mugilu by 12 PM.
Day 2: Saturday (5th Jan). Visit Manjarabad Fort, Hemavathy Back waters.
Day 3: Sunday (6th Jan). Leave Mugilu by 11 AM. Reach Bangalore by 4 PM.

By the time all the formalities could be completed, it was Tuesday. It was then a long wait till Friday. Finally on Thursday we started packing our bags and also some snacks for our journey. The previous day of the journey meant I had to get the fuel filled to the max and also get the air checked. Everything was OK and with the thought of lush green meadows in Sakleshpur, we went to sleep.

The route:

Tumkur Road Flyover Ė Nelamangala Ė Kunigal Ė Shravanabelagola Ė Channarayapatna Ė Hassan Ė Sakleshpur Ė Mugilu

Chandan had asked us not to follow the route shown by Google Maps to reach Mugilu as this road was not in good shape. Instead, he had asked us to reach Manjarabad Fort and call him so that he can guide us.

With this plan we started our journey.

Day 1: Friday.

Normally, people donít get a sound sleep when they are supposed to go on a trip the next morning. But with me, that is normally not the case. We had slept at 10 PM the previous night and from what my wife tells me, I literally had a ďsoundĒ sleep of close to 7 hours. Woke up at 5 AM and got ready quickly. A cup of coffee before leaving makes us cheerful enough to carry all the luggage to the car. Exactly by 6 AM, we are on the way to the destination.

We reached Nelamangala by 6.20 AM and take a left towards Kunigal. Itís a beautiful highway and driving is always a pleasure when you are in the company of the Vento TDi. We are maintaining a brisk pace and then we spot something in the ORVM. This is it. We had to stop.

A beautiful sunrise:
Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05705.jpg
We take a couple of pictures and leave.
Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05717.jpg
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The road is beautiful and in no time we reach Shravanabelagola. It is 7.35 AM and time for breakfast before climbing the hill. We find a decent hotel and have some wonderful dosas followed by coffee. Climbing without breakfast would have been impossible as we later found out. The climb was tough. We started the climb at 8.10 AM and what made it a bit comfortable is that this was not the 12 PM sun that was beating down on us. The sun was there, but it was not harsh.

Some pictures of the place.

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By the time we came down it was 9.15 AM, just like we had planned. We had coconut water and then relaxed a bit in our car. We left at 9.30 AM and joined the Bangalore-Mangalore highway at Channarayapatna. From there, it was a non-stop drive till Manjarabad Fort. Once we reached, we had a thought of going inside the fort. But, the sun was too harsh and we wanted to see this place Mugilu desparately.

We called Chandan from this point and he guided us to Mugilu. The route taken from Manjarabad fort is shown below. The blue line (7.5 kms) is the state highway which is in a bad shape. The black line is a mud road (1.5 kms) which leads to Mugilu. Google Maps does not this mud road and hence this picture.

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-route-mugilu.png

It was 11.45 AM and we had reached Mugilu, our home for the next couple of days. We are greeted by Chandan on arrival and he guides us to our room. One look at the room and I was convinced that I had made the right choice. The colour scheme, the view from the balcony, the peace of mind, the birds chirping away, the butterflies.. oh fantastic.
Some pictures of the room.
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We are told that the lunch would be ready by 1.15 PM. Who cares for lunch when you have such views from the balcony?

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05793.jpg

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05794.jpg

We freshen ourselves and sit in the balcony thinking of nothing. Absolutely nothing.

We then head out for lunch to the common dining area. Chandan and his wife Sapna also arrive shortly and have lunch with us over discussions about city life as compared to the life at this place. We learn that although it is much peaceful, there is difficulty in terms of infrastructure and labour. After a good meal, we head out to our room to take a nap. Watching the sunset from the meadows is the next plan.

We get ready by 5.15 PM and take a walk in the meadows which is just a stoneís throw away from Mugilu. The meadows are there, but itís not green. Its brown as winter has set in. Have a look.
Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05819.jpg

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Later, Sapna informs that for the meadows to be green we have to visit during September/October. Thatís when the rains would have stopped and the meadows would have been green. Just like this.

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05833.jpg

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We wait till the sun sets and then go back to our room by 6.15 PM as it gets dark pretty quickly. We order some snacks and sit and do nothing. Thatís what we have come here for. Later, we again go out to have dinner. Chandan has left for Bangalore and his wife Sapna accompanies us for dinner. Over dinner, we again chat for some time. This would eventually become a ritual for the next two days. Each discussion makes us think about how life is meaningless in the city. We then reach our room and retire for the day.

Day 2: to be contd.
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Old 8th January 2013, 16:29   #2
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

Nice read.

You are clearly misinformed that you are not a good writer! Nice short trip. Waiting for you to unfold more.

Regards.
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Old 8th January 2013, 21:10   #3
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

A very nice start indeed. The photographs fantastic. Is it a DSLR?
The rooms in the homestay are very appealing and fascinating. You are right when you say that "Who cares for lunch when you have such views from the balcony?"
Where did you stop for breakfast in Shravabelagola? How are the eateries?
Will be waiting for the remaining portion of the travelogue!

Regards

Samish
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Old 9th January 2013, 09:13   #4
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Nice read.

You are clearly misinformed that you are not a good writer! Nice short trip. Waiting for you to unfold more.

Regards.
Thanks saket77. The remaining part of the trip will be updated by today evening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samish_g View Post
A very nice start indeed. The photographs fantastic. Is it a DSLR?
The rooms in the homestay are very appealing and fascinating. You are right when you say that "Who cares for lunch when you have such views from the balcony?"
Where did you stop for breakfast in Shravabelagola? How are the eateries?
Will be waiting for the remaining portion of the travelogue!

Regards

Samish
Thanks Samish. Yes I use a Sony Alpha33 DSLR with Sigma 18-200 lens.

We had breakfast at a hotel just before the main entrance. It is on the left had side. Sorry I forgot the name of the hotel. But it is supposed to be the biggest and cleanest hotel in Shravanabelagola. Please see the picture attached, it is just on the left hand side from where I have taken the photograph.

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05725.jpg

Regards,
Anant
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Old 9th January 2013, 16:52   #5
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

Day 2: Saturday.

Well, it was a day where our only agenda was to visit the Fort and Hemavathy river back waters. Both very close by. So most of the day was free and we could go to both the places in half an hourís time. Previous night we had thought of getting up late (since we donít have the pleasure of doing it in the city) and going to these places leisurely. But, normally when you think something like this we always happen to wake up earlier than what we used to in the city.

It is something which we did not regret. Have a look at this. Mist all around. Can you feel the cold?

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05999.jpg

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I immediately wake up my wife and head out for a walk in the meadows. What more can you ask for?

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Thats our favourite dog - Shunti - She kept following us where ever we went.
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Watch closely. Those are water droplets on the web.

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We stay there for an hour and get back to our room. We sit in the balcony and simply gaze at nature that is surrounding us all 360 degrees.

Later, we get ready and go to have breakfast. At this point, I must mention the care and dedication people at Mugilu have put in to make our stay pleasurable. My heartfelt thanks go out to Sapna for taking care of our food preferences and also Gopal Anna, who had been taking care of us all throughout the stay. It is 11 AM by the time we finish everything and then we head out to Manjarabad Fort.

Shravanabelagola had around 650 steps one way and it was a bit tough. We were informed that to reach the fort there are around 250 steps. We kept thinking that it would be a easy climb but we were proved wrong the moment we started the climb. It was 12 PM sun beating down on us. We went to the Fort at a wrong time. My advice to fellow travellers is to reach the fort early so that you can negate the effect of the sun.

We started the climb and it seemed like these are steps to hell. It never ended. While we took 30 minutes to climb 650 steps at Shravanabelagola, here it took us 45 minutes to climb 250 steps. By the time we reached the top we were exhausted. We took some pictures but not many.

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05872.jpg

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05886.jpg

One thing we noticed is that there are absolutely no boards indicating it to be Manjarabad Fort. No signages on the highway too. No details of the history which led to construction of the fort. Absolutely nothing. Only Google baba knew about the location and we trust him very much.

Anyway, we got down quickly and came back to Mugilu by 1 PM. We were tired like anything. Our plan to visit the Hemavathy back waters was quickly shelved as we were already tired and we were also informed that there is no water there. We quickly had lunch and slept for a nice 3 hours. The rest was terribly needed.

We then decided to take our car to the meadows for a photo shoot while the sun sets.

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05921.jpg

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We were back in our rooms by 6.30 and then we ordered for some snacks and coffee. I must tell you that the food prepared at Mugilu was extremely tasty and hygienic. We enjoyed it to the core. The rest of the evening was spent chatting and cursing that we have to leave the next day.

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05990.jpg

At dinner, we were in company of Sapna. We were hearing stories of how consumerism has taken over small towns like Sakleshpur. The way satellite television has made inroads into these small villages has to be seen. Sapna was telling us how DOVE is the largest selling soap in Sakleshpur. We were quite amazed. She was also telling us the problems they are facing with labour. Everybody is shifting to cities like Bangalore and finding workers was a big headache. Over this chit chat we finished our dinner and retired for the day. The saddest part was that we were supposed to leave the next day.

Day 3: Sunday

We were supposed to leave at 11 AM. So we absolutely had nothing in mind as to how we spend time. We just wanted get up early, talk a walk and then just relax. We were ready after finishing our breakfast by 9.30 AM. The next 1.5 hours were dedicated to the amazing balcony. We sat there till about 11 AM and then made our way to check-out. We bid good bye to Chandan and Sapna for the last time with a promise that we will return to this place sometime in September. Thatís when the meadows will be green.
We thank both Chandan and Sapna for making our stay so comfortable. We will be back.

The rest of the journey was uneventful. We stopped at Kamat Upachar (20 Kms further from Hassan) for lunch at around 1 PM and then were back in our house at 3.30 PM.

All in all, it was three days spent beautifully amidst nature.

Please feel free to ask me anything regarding the place or the journey.

Regards,
Anant
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Old 9th January 2013, 17:11   #6
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

Quote:
Originally Posted by samish_g View Post
A very nice start indeed. The photographs fantastic. Is it a DSLR?
The rooms in the homestay are very appealing and fascinating. You are right when you say that "Who cares for lunch when you have such views from the balcony?"
Where did you stop for breakfast in Shravabelagola? How are the eateries?
Will be waiting for the remaining portion of the travelogue!

Regards

Samish
I was browsing through some photos and in one of the pics I could read the name of the hotel. Its HOTEL RAGHU. Please see the picture attached. The blue car is mine and the hotel name is visible too.

Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies-dsc05735.jpg

Hope you like rest of the travelogue.

Regards,
Anant
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Old 10th January 2013, 21:40   #7
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

A great travelogue indeed @Anant. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Yes, we could feel the chill through the photographs. The photographs of the morning mist and the flowers are extremely fascinating. After reading our travelogue, I am tempted to visit this place soon.
Great writing. Keep it up.

Regards,

Samish
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Old 16th January 2013, 18:58   #8
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

Lovely travelogue and thanks for sharing.Could you post up some more pictures of Mugilu if you have some more with you.Tripadvisor reviewers have not been kind to Mugilu for some weird reason and so your review would be a real eye opener.
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Old 17th January 2013, 07:20   #9
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

Nice travelogue and excellent pictures, thanks for sharing
I was looking forward to read your experience on the visit to Hemavathy river backwaters but found that you did not visit.
About Manjarabad Fort, yes there are no signages/tourist information, just a few shops at the bend on the highway. I had to ask a shopkeeper how to reach the fort. The climb was not too bad but some of the steps are steep and yes, it's better to be there before 11am for a comfortable visit.
Inside the fort, neglect is very apparent with mindless graffiti and engraving all over the place, shows how much we care for our history

On the route to Mugilu - just after the shops on the highway near Manajarabad, there is a fork with one road that goes up into the hills (the Mangalore highway continues down to the right of this road) and there were a few signages for some resorts there, is that the one you took ?

Last edited by NPV : 17th January 2013 at 07:23.
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Old 25th January 2013, 22:59   #10
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

Anant,

Nice travelogue, excellent pics and a really good narration. It doesn't feel that this is your first travelogue and be rest assured that you are indeed a good writer and narrator. Thanks for sharing this little gem.
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Old 29th January 2013, 12:34   #11
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This is a good write-up indeed !

Next time when you venture to Saklshpur, check out the Shettyhalli Rosary Church near Gorur..
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Old 29th January 2013, 12:40   #12
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Default Re: Sakleshpur - To reach for the skies

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Originally Posted by anantu2001 View Post

Hope you like rest of the travelogue.

Regards,
Anant
Very nice travelogue Anant. The place will be even more beautiful if you travel in the monsoon. This year's monsoon was bad and hence you can see more brown than green. But it will be the best time to visit.

Btw, do you stay near Nagarbhavi? I see a Vento and a Captiva (as described in your signature and pictures) parked there everyday on my way to office.

Last edited by addyhemmige : 29th January 2013 at 12:42. Reason: Added quote & comment
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Old 11th July 2013, 17:05   #13
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Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Very nice travelogue Anant. The place will be even more beautiful if you travel in the monsoon. This year's monsoon was bad and hence you can see more brown than green. But it will be the best time to visit.

Btw, do you stay near Nagarbhavi? I see a Vento and a Captiva (as described in your signature and pictures) parked there everyday on my way to office.
Hey addyhemmige,

Really sorry for a very late reply!!! Yes, we stay in Nagarbhavi. Our office in on the main road which leads to Bangalore University. PM me your number, we can meet.

Regards,
Anant
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