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Old 26th May 2010, 17:41   #46
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Very nice pictures. Renting the lens was truly worth it. This post brings memories of my Chikmaglur trip last year. Beautiful place. I think you really need to stay there for 3 days to enjoy the place. No point in a "rushed vacation". Enjoy the nature and make sure you still keep it clean

@paragsachania-Thanks for being the guide This again reminds me of the numerous trips we have made to Belur and Halebidu
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Old 26th May 2010, 20:15   #47
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Excellent Photographs and writeups Amitoj! The lenses really do justice to the photographs

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Oh!!! no no no!!! pls don't jump to conclusions; I'd a very bad experience with homestay at Coorg; I'm glad you'd a very good experience, but not all homestays are good.
What if someone calls up for accomodation & ends up in disaster? I'm sure they're aware of these things, but my question still will be, why let some unknown strangers in your house for money? Is it worth that risk?
There are many sides to homestays than one can imagine. I have seen the problems that you speak of. People have created nuisance, making it embarrassing for the homestay owners.

Many guests come only to get drunk and later create scenes. They stay up late into the night and get up at odd hours and expect the food to be ready and piping hot. Some bring along their marital issues and end up fighting. Many homestay owners have stepped in to resolve the matters.
There are more issues which cannot be mentioned in a public forum.

Some of the Homestays are in it purely for the money that it fetches as it is exempt from taxes. Some don't have estates which give sufficient crop to justify the running costs. Only a few homestays actually enjoy being hosts.

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Originally Posted by neo45007 View Post
Is it possible to do this trip in a day ?

Say : I Leave from Bangalore by 4 AM.
Reach Belur Temple, spend 1 hour and go to Chikkamaglur.
Go directly to this 'Mullanarayangiri / Trek mentioned' and on way back visit Halebid.
Reach Bangalore, may be late night.
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Should be do-able. But you might want to check what time the Halebid temple closes for the day. The roads are decent.
You can leave early, come to Mullayanagiri (morning times are best) and then visit Belur and Halebid as they are close to each other (14kms) and leave by evening. But if you really want to unwind, plan for an overnight stay.

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
The jeep was rented. As per my host, there is a new rule that no open top jeeps are allowed for safaris. I have my doubts about this "rule" though.
It is true and it is a old rule. The forest dept. does not permit open jeeps for safaris (you might be attacked by wild animals / you may be tempted to get down somewhere in the middle / your Vehicle might have a breakdown and you'll have to stay in the vehicle for a long time).

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
But, a minimum three nights stay is recommended to explore the region well (not "fully")
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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Next time i will make sure i spend at least 2 FULL days in that area so that i dont miss anything.
Chikmagalur can never be experienced in a single day. Myself, all of 34 years and love to explore, stay here and still might have missed many places that Chikmagalur offers.


Maybe I should start a seperate thread for Chikmagalur only, covering all the places with detailed photographs.


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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
EDIT: On a side note, you will see perhaps the most relaxed two wheeler riders in Hassan and Chikkamaglur.
Regarding Two-wheeler riders, I guess that's what anyone feels when seeing them on weekends. Spend some time with me and I'll show you wannabe racers.

P.S: I don't know if this is permitted here. But if anybody wishes to visit Chikmagalur, they can PM me for details and accommodation. Mods, please edit if inappropriate.
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Old 27th May 2010, 09:58   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
EDIT: On a side note, you will see perhaps the most relaxed two wheeler riders in Hassan and Chikkamaglur. There were a couple of "usual" two wheelers but they were more the exception than the norm.
You've got to be kidding. I have seen my fair share of two wheeler riders in Hassan, CKM & in Bangalore. Oh yes they are relaxed. So much relaxed that they forget they are in traffic or on the highway and ride on in their own little world oblivious to whatever happens around them (btw, I too ride a two wheeler)
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Old 27th May 2010, 13:48   #49
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Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Oh yes they are relaxed. So much relaxed that they forget they are in traffic or on the highway and ride on in their own little world oblivious to whatever happens around them

That is exactly what i was trying to say!

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Originally Posted by KA18 View Post
Excellent Photographs and writeups Amitoj! The lenses really do justice to the photographs


It is true and it is a old rule. The forest dept. does not permit open jeeps for safaris (you might be attacked by wild animals / you may be tempted to get down somewhere in the middle / your Vehicle might have a breakdown and you'll have to stay in the vehicle for a long time).

Chikmagalur can never be experienced in a single day. Myself, all of 34 years and love to explore, stay here and still might have missed many places that Chikmagalur offers.

Maybe I should start a seperate thread for Chikmagalur only, covering all the places with detailed photographs.
That is not a bad idea at all, to start a separate thread, IMO. It will help others in planning their vacations.

Regarding the forest deptt rule, it seems a bit silly. The safaris in BR Hills are all in open jeeps. Plus, the Bhadra safari includes a halt in the jungle where the guide himself asks you to get out and move around!!

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I think you really need to stay there for 3 days to enjoy the place. No point in a "rushed vacation". Enjoy the nature and make sure you still keep it clean

I agree
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Old 28th May 2010, 16:01   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
But this was the beginning of the most disappointing part of the trip. The jeep was NOT open top. What is the point of a jungle safari if you can not stand up and take in a 360 degree view. I dont know whether this was the worst part or that the jeep had screechy brakes that would scare the trees away! And then there was the guide who could not guide his way to his backside with a flashlight. When asked a question, his reply was, "I am new here". To which my reply was, "so are we!"
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Originally Posted by sbraj View Post
The jeep - it belonged to the homestays or they arranged it? In case they arranged it, then one could ask for a better one with open roof.
Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
The jeep was rented. As per my host, there is a new rule that no open top jeeps are allowed for safaris. I have my doubts about this "rule" though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KA18 View Post
It is true and it is a old rule. The forest dept. does not permit open jeeps for safaris (you might be attacked by wild animals / you may be tempted to get down somewhere in the middle / your Vehicle might have a breakdown and you'll have to stay in the vehicle for a long time).
Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Regarding the forest deptt rule, it seems a bit silly. The safaris in BR Hills are all in open jeeps. Plus, the Bhadra safari includes a halt in the jungle where the guide himself asks you to get out and move around!!
Actually it is not a forest department rule. I have been to most national parks in Karnataka and Bhadra is the only place that has this rule. I found out about it in late 2008 when I visited River Tern JLR.

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
As we showed up at the reception for the Safari, the area was deserted but for retired psychologist from Bangalore. He was an avid birder ready with his 400D and a monopod. It took 15 minutes more before everybody showed up. Since I had already discussed with the safari staff, they had pointed out the best spot on the Safari Jeep (Mahindra Pickup). We promptly took up those seats while the rest were contemplating the best position. Donít even consider getting into the Bolero, it has very little visibility and you have to sit with your back to the window. And yes, the top shall not come off, order of the RFO.

The forest gate is about 4Kms away from the resort. The weather which was pretty warm as we left turned cool once we entered the forest. The driver we had was not exactly an guide, he was not even a Safari driver. He drove like a transport driver, only interested to go from point A and point B. He explained nothing and just kept going, waiting for nothing. Whenever he saw wildlife, which was rare, he stopped for the photo shoot. This is where one really misses the professional guides like in Kabini.

Most scouting was done by couple of birders in the group, these guys could spot birds like a shark smells blood. This one was spotted by the retired psychologist. It was only 15ft away, but directly above the Jeep. Since the top canít come off and we canít get down, it was quite an acrobatic exercise to shoot this otherwise easy shot. I had to literally hang myself out and look upwards with the bazooka to shoot this.
This no open-top order was issued by a lady RFO in 2008. Looks like it is still in effect. Even the JLR staff was very miffed about it since most tourists complain about the silly order.
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Old 28th May 2010, 16:15   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
This no open-top order was issued by a lady RFO in 2008. Looks like it is still in effect. Even the JLR staff was very miffed about it since most tourists complain about the silly order.
There was a couple from England, staying at the home stay. The lady has been working for a conservation NGO in the region for quite some time and, over the bonfire, i asked her what is the biggest problem plaguing the wildlife sanctuaries. Without any hesitation, she said "political apathy" and also gave an example of an RFO who was posted there some time back who did not step into the forest area even once!! Now i am thinking it could be the same RFO that passed this order.
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Old 28th May 2010, 17:00   #52
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O Boy - Halebid temple is a must vist place, may be once I return to Blr a lot of places in my travel list. Thanks amitoj for sharing them.
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Old 28th May 2010, 18:26   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranjith.rajaram View Post
O Boy - Halebid temple is a must vist place, may be once I return to Blr a lot of places in my travel list. Thanks amitoj for sharing them.
Ranjit,

Thats why I am telling you, on the way back from Mysore go via Belur/Helibeid/CKM.
Take another day off!
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:51   #54
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Thats some real nice pics ! And lovely temples too! In Coorg, we stayed [bachelors] in a homestay and that was brilliant. Good food, and reasonable rates. And the icing on the cake was the host was a keralite too! and that made communication easy and good chicken side dishes too ! So all of us were happy with that and if I am going to Coorg again, I will choose the same place.

And the homestay you chose looks classy and neat! I am sure you would have had a great time there!
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Old 28th May 2010, 22:10   #55
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Nice travelogue Amitoj and lovely pics to go with it ! Loved reading it, must make a similar trip one day !
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Old 28th May 2010, 22:16   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Ranjit,

Thats why I am telling you, on the way back from Mysore go via Belur/Helibeid/CKM.
Take another day off!
Don't think Ranjith will do that. He doesn't find time to even come to my place. Damn busy.
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Old 29th May 2010, 13:29   #57
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Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
How can I not be a part of this thread when it talks about Belur where I have lived since birth till I graduated. Sorry guys if this is going to be too much of information but just makes me nostalgic about this wonderful place.
Thanks for the trivia, Parag!

I relooked the pictures on reading your mail and saw many things I had missed in Amit's pictures when I saw it the first time.

Thanks for the wonderful snaps, Amit!
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Old 2nd June 2010, 13:58   #58
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I was in Chikmaglur last October. It was a wonderful trip.
Some pics from my side.
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Old 3rd June 2010, 22:45   #59
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Nice right up. Awesome pics Amitoj and Fi.robin. I have decided! This is the place i will go right after i come back to India!
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Old 3rd June 2010, 22:55   #60
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Excellent info there Parag. I'm looking forward to meeting you over this weekend and discussion about temples. Now that we have mutually exchanged numbers, let's catch up and spend some quality time!
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