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Old 17th December 2008, 03:03   #1
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Default Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.

Corporate office life is an all-encompassing affair of my time. So much so that a bunch of good pals and I hadnt had time to meet since April 2008. Friday night, everyone happened to be free for the first time, at the same time. So a quick conference call later at 1230 am , we decided to meet in the next 1 hour and head to one of our favorite destinations - Gopalaswamy Betta, and its sunrise view.

It was 130 am by the time we picked up the last pal from Kengeri and pushed off. We motored non-stop till Maddur, when one of the group had to eat since he'd not had dinner. We found McDonald's to be closed and thought we'd head to Maddur Coffee Day. This was a new Coffee Day on the right at Maddur - something I'd not been to before. Pulled in, got out, and was pleasantly surprised to run into a Team-BHP troupe of hellstar, prabhuav, kartikkumar, mclaren1885, tadu and others. After some time, we bid our good-byes and headed our seperate ways.


Mandya and beyond on the Mysore highway :

This is the best example of how this country is not a motoring one. On what was a beautiful highway, there are sudden and unexpectedly large hand-sculpted, unmarked speedbreakers. These are strategically positioned to break cars since all of them are on curves or dips in the road where they hide stealthily to break your vehicle. There is nothing scientific about these speedbreakers - some are small - but large enough to rouse everyone out of sleep, and most others are put there to simply junk your vehicle. Everyone - please dont let your guard down when traversing the stretch between Mandya-Mysore.

NOTE TO GOVERNMENT: Use a simple solution of grill railings to prevent people from crossing that high-speed HIGHWAY at will. Do your homework and not take shortcuts all the time !!!

Hit Mysore by 345 am to find the princely city gloriously resplendant with its palaces lit up and no distractions to prevent you from enjoying those scenes while passing by. Hit the Nanjangud route to head towards Gundlupet.



Mysore to Gundlupet

Nothing remarkable about this road except that it is a single carriageway and being close to the state borders, has a fair share of truck traffic. As everywhere, the multiple road humps need to be looked out for on this road. I pulled over at the town before Gundlupet (forget the name) for the onlybreather of this drive, conveniently in front of an SBM ATM where I continued to draw below the poverty line.

This road can be described as being from 2 time-periods in history.

From Mysore-Gundlupet: Current era. Average, but acceptable motorable road

Gundlupet onwards: British era was when this stretch last saw its piece of asphalt. I doubt even SUV drivers will like this stretch, let alone a lowly Swift!


Gopalaswamy Betta

We arrived at the gate of the forest at 515 am and had to sleep it out till 645 am when the guard appeared and unlocked the gate. Its a beautiful place and to see rabbits, birds resting on the roads was a sight. I felt guilty when they had to scamper/fly to safety due to my (slow) approaching car.

The ghat road was even sillier - not that ghat roads are supposed to be forebearers of high-speed motoring, but I swear, even this road hasnt been relaid since the British era. Still enjoyed the climb up. Its so steep that it has to be taken in 1st gear - 2nd gear wont do. Finally reached the top by 715 am.

The walk through the mountains, spotting of elephants/deer/rabbits/birds/other fauna, clean air, nature at its best was the much needed medicine from drab, mechanical and stressed city life.

Finally, had the prasada lunch at the temple - a simplistic yet tasty puliyogare, hot curd rice and the banana-based sweet. Left by around 145 pm. Picked up some of the freshest vegetables I have seen, that were being sold on the road back down - freshly plucked from the fields behind. The freshness of these is something unseen in cities.


Balmuri Falls

Decided last minute while slowing down at the Nanjangud Road police checkpost that we will go to Balmuri Falls instead of a direct blast to Bangalore. This really isnt a "falls" by a traditional sense of that word, but a man-made dyke on which KRS downstream water cascades gently by on the way to the fields. Its OK for a nice water-in-the-hair jig without worrying about dangers of a bigger waterfall. But I was not happy seeing the absolute lack of any government involvement in tourism development here and the excessive peddling of booze.

Left by around 630 pm from Balmuri Falls back to BLR. Encounted a massive traffic pileup before Mandya due to some accident involving a spot-death. Finally after 10 mins in this jam, reached home by 915 pm to what was the highest quality time I've spent in almost a year. The camera's battery ran out and therefore no photos of Balmuri Falls was possible - a pity since standing waist-deep in water there and admiring the scenery, I realized what a great shot that would have been.


Some pics of Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta:
Attached Thumbnails
Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-deer.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01310.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01311.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01312.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01313.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01314.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01320.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01329.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01342.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01368.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01403.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01433.jpg  


Last edited by theMAG : 17th December 2008 at 03:20.
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Old 17th December 2008, 04:18   #2
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Wow, the first and last pictures are mind blowing. Keep'm coming !
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Old 17th December 2008, 06:27   #3
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I heard that there is some ice on this mountain in all seasons. Is that true?
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Old 17th December 2008, 07:18   #4
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Lovely short trip there Mahesh. Maybe we can do it together soon again. Pictures are very nice and remember..
Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
The camera's battery ran out and therefore no photos of Balmuri Falls was possible - a pity since standing waist-deep in water there and admiring the scenery, I realized what a great shot that would have been.
Battery never dies when you're taking unimportant pictures - Murphy.
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Old 17th December 2008, 07:28   #5
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Hilarious report and lovely photographs. Running into Team-BHPians at 0130 in any CCD around Bangalore is not at all surprising, it is inevitable.

PS: My first Team-BHP meet was at CCD.
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Old 17th December 2008, 08:01   #6
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Really loved the report and the photos. The last time I went there was a couple of years back. Not surprised at the road conditions at the hills. The roads pretty much messed up back then. Steep roads with loose gravel resulting in lots of wheelspins.

You have an option to stay overnight at the top in the Forest bungalow or camp in the open grounds after obtaining permission from the Range forest officer in Bandipur. Last year few of my friends spent the new year night on the top. Spotted a leopard too.
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Old 17th December 2008, 09:17   #7
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Buddi nice to know you had a wonderful and a pleasant getaway. For once we gotto see some pics in a travelogue from your end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Lovely short trip there Mahesh. Maybe we can do it together soon again. Pictures are very nice and remember..
Battery never dies when you're taking unimportant pictures - Murphy.
Call me if you are planning to go there, we can visit beechinahalli dam also.
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Old 17th December 2008, 14:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakhon View Post
I heard that there is some ice on this mountain in all seasons. Is that true?
Yup - its fog covered 24/7/365. Hence the name Himavath


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Lovely short trip there Mahesh. Maybe we can do it together soon again. Pictures are very nice and remember..
Battery never dies when you're taking unimportant pictures - Murphy.
I'm on leave from 25 Dec- 5th Jan. Let me know when you're free and we'll do a trip.
I completely agree with Uncle Murphy. May this wise gent's soul R.I.P


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Buddi nice to know you had a wonderful and a pleasant getaway. For once we gotto see some pics in a travelogue from your end.
SwamigaLe, only on my last Kollur trip I didnt have pics in time to put up in the travelog. Now, it would have been a different matter if you had presented me with a snazzy dSLR on account of me being such a nice guy.
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Old 17th December 2008, 15:07   #9
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ahaa maggi saar am i surprised to see a travelogue from your end but i must say its very well written and good pics too...

keep it flowing...
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Old 17th December 2008, 15:24   #10
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Very good photos especially first , third and last.

reg the speedbreakers - i think only in India, people can just make their own speed breakers at will on public roads. I think these could also have been made by locals
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Old 17th December 2008, 15:26   #11
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Nice one Maggie, so finally you got some time out. Thats good !!

When are getting married? Then, You will get(create) more such weekends to drive around with your better half.

Abhi
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Old 17th December 2008, 15:55   #12
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thats a nice crisp report with some very nice pictures.

I dont know if you noticed but as you make you way from the turn off from the Gundulpet - Bandipur road and move towards the entrance of the Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta you would see tree houses known in kerala as " erru maddam" these have been put up to guard the surronding crop fields from the invading elephants. So i f you were sleeping at the gate you were lucky not to have seen the herds ... they are usually active during the early parts of the day.

There is also a forest guest house at the top , th rooms can be booked from Kaadu mane which is the forest departments office in Malleshwaram, Bangalore. offficials who have stayed there say its a wonderful experince as the grass covered hills start to teem with wildlife after nighfall. And there have been several Leopard sightings in the vicinity of the guest house.

And oh yes , it was a vey pleasant surprise to see you at the CCD , and you seem to have lost a lot of weight ! lasttime i saw you was when you were stranded on the village road after having " lost your nuts " during th Nandi Hills drive .

Last edited by hellstar : 17th December 2008 at 16:00. Reason: typo correction
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Old 17th December 2008, 16:14   #13
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Finally theMagesh posts his travelogue.

You seem to spend a lot of time lost in your 'Corporate office life', but still draw below the poverty line?! Something's seriously wrong with you.

How far is this place from Bangalore?
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Old 17th December 2008, 19:41   #14
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Glad you made it back without losing your nuts .
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Old 17th December 2008, 22:15   #15
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Final instalment of photos
Attached Thumbnails
Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01317.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01331.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01369.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-dsc01400.jpg  

Impromptu getaway to Himavath Gopalaswamy Betta - Saturday December 13 2008.-guesthouse.jpg  


Last edited by theMAG : 17th December 2008 at 22:18.
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