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Old 13th December 2008, 20:25   #1
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Smile Travelogue : Chikmagalur and Kemmungundi was my destination this time ...

Hola Folks

Back after a wonderful sojourn at chikmagalur.The trip was well planned in advance,albeit however things dint look rosy a few days before the travel date. Work as usual started playing spoilsport and I somehow managed to get outta the hustle and do the trip.

The whole idea was to celebrate my 1st wedding anniversary away from home. I was so lost and engrossed with work that I even went ahead and posted my confirmation for the Yelagiri Drive. Only later did I realize my blunder while I was talking to my better half about the drive dates . Uugghh !!!

I wanted this whole trip plan to be a complete surprise, since my better half always wanted to see Chikmagalur and thought what better gift for our 1st anniversary. A week before the trip, the whole scene was uncovered. There goes my surprise through the window, its pretty tough to keep surprises under wraps when you are married and live under the same roof.I am sure the married folks here can agree.

My bookings were done well in advance at Nature Craft Homestay in Chikmagalur. The plan was simple, visit as many places possible and catch up with a few old friends from Hassan.

Day 1 : 06-Dec-08

Route Taken : Bangalore--Nelamangala--Chennarayapattana--Hassan--Belur--Chikmagalur. ( roughly about 240kms)


Am sure everyone knows this route and the road conditions too well.
Left Bangalore only by 7:00am and a blessing is disguise was that petrol prices had reduced by Rs5 ? Surprisingly most IOC bunks along the route aint selling normal petrol " only Xtra Premium is available saar " was the common response. I tanked up at IOC before the Nelamangala Cross.

Took me 3 hrs to reach hassan and speeds hovered around 80-90kmph, sedate eh?

For those traveling along this route the best bet for breakfast is Kamat at Chennarayapattana, else try Venkatesh's hotel for the yummy Ghee Dosa's its famous for. Am sure most of you chaps who travel regularly on this route would know this place.
Its on the same road as Malnad College of Engineering. This was my 1st stop for breakfast and my bro-in-law with his friends caught up with us here. I too tanked up my grumbling belly with dosa's only to realize I was already feeling sleepy.

Its only 11:30am and my bro-in-law tells gives us the idea of checking out the Windmills around hassan. There are 40 odd such Windmills in Hassan to harness Wind Energy and convert the same to electicity.

Wifey gave a go and zoom we were off on the Hassan - Halebidu road to check out this magnificient thingy.
We visited the mountain rite after the MAster Control Facility of ISRO in Hassan ( Master Control Facility (ISRO) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

Please ensure you don't pull your cam's or bazooka's around the MCF. If they ever spot you pulling your camera out , before you realize you will have someone pointing a gun at your face.

I was informed well in advance and realized the magnitude of the warning only when we saw the number of gun weilding chaps along the towers.

The approach road is nothing short of an OTR track once you deviate from the Hassan-Halebidu road.So watch out and drive carefully if you plan to visit this place and forgot doing this place if in case it rains.

On flat dry surfaces there was absolutely no traction with the S-drives, all that the car would do was wheel spin.

Am posting a few pics, was in half the mind to pull my camera and shoot since the place was that full of dust.Dint even bother to change the lense coz of the dust factor.

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The car was all dirty and we had to send it for a wash in one of the service stations in hassan before we could continue our drive. Me and wifey headed over to her friends house while my bro-in-law got the car washed.

It was 3pm now and I get a call from Ansar at Nature Craft asking us when we would reach chikmagalur. My bad, I had informed Ansar that we would join them for lunch which apparently dint happen.A few aplogies and then we decided to leave Hassan and head to chikmagalur.

Hit the hassan - belur highway and was in for a complete surprise. Excellent road and what more, I did a top whack of 180+ (as per speedo) on this road GPS showed 177kmph.

Flat 40 mins we are in chikmagalur . Call up Ansar and we are guided to his place, which methinks is the closest homestay to Chikmagalur town. Ask for some snacks since we missed lunch and we are served hot kebabs with coffee. Dont ask me anything about the combo, it tasted yummy.

For the rest of the evening we did nothing much other than spending some quality time with Ansar and his his family. Dinner was served at 9pm and hell Ansar's mom cooks really well. The taste of the chicken biriyani served during the 1st night still lingers on my tongue.

I fell asleep by 10pm and so did wifey.

to be continued.. Critics welcome..
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Old 13th December 2008, 20:57   #2
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Nice stuff Riju , keep em coming.. How is the approach road to nature craft? Tell me you did drive the Bababundagiri strech too..
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Old 13th December 2008, 21:14   #3
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Great !!! But do they allow to roam around this place. Or you need some special permission ?
Your Car's Alloy are the same as mine
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Old 13th December 2008, 21:22   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrage View Post
Nice stuff Riju , keep em coming.. How is the approach road to nature craft? Tell me you did drive the Bababundagiri strech too..
Dilip Nature Craft is on the same road which takes you to Muthodi forest range from Chikmagalur.Take a left at Nagalakshmi (?) theatre and follow the road, 8.5 kms to be precise is the distance from this right to Nature Craft.

Yes I did drive the Mullayanagiri and Bababudangiri stretch too. More pics to follow on day 2 and day 3, until then patience anna.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sowmya View Post
Great !!! But do they allow to roam around this place. Or you need some special permission ?
All you need to do is ensure you dont take the immediate left after the MCF to the mountains. Drive a km or 2 ahead , you will find a electic station on your right.Take the left from here, no-one will stop you.
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Old 14th December 2008, 00:47   #5
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Looking forward to some more excellent snaps, the shot of the Baleno on the crest of the hill is simply superb!!
And many more joyous anniversaries to you two. Many belated anniversary wishes.

Last edited by Lukeskywalker : 14th December 2008 at 00:49.
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Old 14th December 2008, 00:54   #6
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Excellent Pics Riju and a couple of pics (the sky view and by the water bed) @ a first look appear absolutely awesome and brother you have some real talent in pixing.
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Old 14th December 2008, 02:34   #7
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Brings back wonderful memories of days when I used to ride more and drive less. Have done this route on bike 2.5 years back. Waiting for updates and more pics.
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Old 14th December 2008, 11:20   #8
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Day 2 : 7-Dec-08

Wake up by about 7am and get myself a bed coffee and damn its chilly out in the woods here. I take a stroll only to realize my toes are going numb. Well where in bangalore would you get to experience such a thing, I continue my walk through their estate.

Todays agenda is to visit Kemmungundi and Hebbe falls. My bro-in-law is joining us at 10am with his friend for the drive. Meanwhile me and wifey spend time with Ansar's family and have a lovely breakfast. Apparently the boys enroute have had a flat tyre and are getting it fixed in Belur. Its already 11am and am already going bonkers waiting endlessly.

11:30 am they arrive and we ask Ansar as to whats the best route to do Kemmungundi. We are asked to take the road towards Tarikere and then deviate at Lingadahalli towards Kemmungundi.

Reason the 51kms of road from Chikmagalur via Mullayangiri and Bababudangiri towards Kemmungundi is in shambles.

Route taken : Chikmagalur--Aralaguppe--Thogarihankal--Lingadahalli and take a left at the Petrol bunk.This detour is easy to spot,simply watch out for the pertol bunk. From here on its 21kms roughly to Kemmungundi.


Roads are excellent till the detour and from there on its a drive via villages for the next 20kms or so.Bad patches here and there so take it easy.Total distance from Chikmagalur is close to 72kms.

For those of you visiting this place, dont waste your time at the Kalahatti water falls, aint worth the time.

We drive thru the winding roads and reach kemmungundi. Mind you these are estate roads and hence watch out for those occasionally speeding MM540's and the Bolero Invader's.

Kemmungundi is a very small town which has hardly anything to offer other than the trails in its mountains. Hebbe is close to 8/9 kms from Kemmungundi, you need to hire a jeep to get to the waterfalls. We hired a jeep from here for 700 bucks (to and fro) to the waterfalls, the deal being we get 90mins at the waterfalls.

All excited we jump into the jeep and we are in for a rough and a bone jarring drive through the mountains.

Let the pictures speak for its self about the terrain.Truly a jeepers and trekkers paradise.

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Our destination for the day.

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You gotto cross 3 such small streams to get to the waterfalls. This is another 5-10 mins walk from where the jeep drops you off.

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The man and his ride.

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The parting shot from the trail.

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We are done visiting the waterfalls and take our drive back since its already getting dark. Back at the waterfalls I saw a group of imbeciles opening up their booze and partying.

Sucha nasty sight to say the least, would these fellas booze and dirty their own houses and backyards ?


I wonder when will our tourist places be rid of such morons, We walk back to our jeep cursing these fellas.

Back at kemmungundi and we order for some hot omlettes. Carry your own food and water when you travel to this place, coz there aint any hotels or shops.
7pm and we reach Lingadahalli cross, only to realize my cars headlamps stop working. There aint any street lights all along this winding ghat roads and yeah all hell broke loose. I barely can see anything, no mobile coverage and not a single soul in sight for the last 5/6 kms.Pull over the car and 3 mins of switching on and off, voilaa the lights come on. Only highbeam seems to work, I drive on apologising to every single passing vehicle for not dimming my lights.

Its 8:30pm by the time we reach Chikmagalur, the boys bid their good byes and are off to hassan.We catch up with some good dinner and retire for the day. Has been a lovely day and yes my anniversary was spent at Hebbe.

to be continued ..
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Old 14th December 2008, 11:44   #9
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Riju, belated anniversary wishes to you both. May you have many many more of such wonderful anniversaries in the future too.

Simply loved the pictures. Just can't take my eyes off them. That said, we shall meet very soon for a tutorial class on how to use PS.
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Old 14th December 2008, 12:33   #10
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As usual well written. A touch on driving experience too would be more interesting

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to be continued.. Critics welcome..
No idea, but the photos does not seems to be natural.

Last edited by Surprise : 14th December 2008 at 12:37.
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Old 14th December 2008, 14:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
Looking forward to some more excellent snaps, the shot of the Baleno on the crest of the hill is simply superb!!
And many more joyous anniversaries to you two. Many belated anniversary wishes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VJ_MAVRICK View Post
Excellent Pics Riju and a couple of pics (the sky view and by the water bed) @ a first look appear absolutely awesome and brother you have some real talent in pixing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
Riju, belated anniversary wishes to you both. May you have many many more of such wonderful anniversaries in the future too.

Simply loved the pictures. Just can't take my eyes off them. That said, we shall meet very soon for a tutorial class on how to use PS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surprise View Post
As usual well written. A touch on driving experience too would be more interesting.
Thanks guys and Surprise yes I sure will write about the driving experience.

Quote:
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No idea, but the photos does not seems to be natural.
All the pics of the trail were shot in 3 exposures each, in Aperture Priority mode. Used photomatix and merged them with some tone mapping.
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Old 14th December 2008, 16:52   #12
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To,
Rjstyles69,
Bangalore.

Subject: pics in your travelogue.

Dear sir,
First of all, my good wishes for your marriage anniversary.
Today, i came through your travelogue of chikmangalur trip.
The write up is good but the pictures are best.
The pics are so beautiful that we need those pics as wallpapers for our PC.
So, i request you to post some full resolution pictures for us.
I hope, you will do for needful.
regards

Yours truly
Ashish

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 14th December 2008 at 17:02.
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Old 14th December 2008, 18:36   #13
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Awesome pics Riju. Do you have any of the gun-toting gentlemen?
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Old 14th December 2008, 18:46   #14
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Dear Rjstyles69, really nice pics. I specially liked the pic no 1043 and 1050. also liked some of your landscape photos. could easily go into a tourist brochure
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Old 14th December 2008, 18:52   #15
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Nice travelogue and pics Riju. Can you post the original pics of stream pls....
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