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Old 25th May 2010, 11:01   #1
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Thumbs up Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur

It had been more than a year since my wife and I had gone on a trip anywhere outside Bangalore. The last one was to BR Hills and that too was a distant memory now. And now the walls were starting to close in. The noise, pollution, commute, work etc etc were becoming the ball and chain around our ankles, making us drag ourselves through the day.

Finally, we decided enough is enough. Its time to break free and get out of this town for at least 3 days. We wanted this so badly that we could not even wait for another week. The hunt for place/town and stay started almost simultaneously. One thing that was certain was that we wanted a homestay experience this time. Finally it became a showdown between Chikkamaglur and Coorg. Since the shortlisted homestays in Coorg were all full, we settled for Woodways in CKM. It had good reviews from fellow BHPians as well. Though it was slightly more pricey, the photos on the website and reviews seemed to justify the price.

So, rooms booked, leave notices given (wifey also works), bags packed, we headed out of Bangalore on 21st May, 2010 at 7 AM. There were total of 4.25 passengers. My MIL, SIL, Wifey, yours truly and our 1 yr old kid out on her first road trip from Bangalore.

TBHP advised us to take Magadi route, which was an advice well given, and taken! The light drizzle in the morning was just what the doctor ordered to have a pleasant start.

The drive to Magadi and through to NH48 was quite pleasant. Road was two laned but traffic was less and there were no potholes or speed breakers! First stop was for breakfast at CCD. When traveling with the opposite gender (and i had 4 of them with me!) clean toilets becomes a must-have. Thank heavens for CCD and A1s wherever they are.

Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-ccd.jpg


Tummies filled and we hit the road again. Our hosts from the homestay called us when we were at CCD and insisted that we must pay a visit to Belur temple on our way there. We decided to follow their advice and stopped over at Belur. This temple is another example of excellent Hoysala architecture (others beings Somnathpuram, Halebidu). The mind boggles at the thought of engineering expertise that existed back in those days. Here are a few examples:

The Stambha and the Gopura
Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-belur-pillar-gate.jpg

The Main Temple, Chennakesava Temple:
Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-belur-front-wide-angle.jpg

Some wall carvings. It is amazing how way back in 1117 they were able to make such precise copies:
Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-belur-elephants.jpg

Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-belur-wall-carvings.jpg

I think this is the Andal Temple
Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-belur-side-temple.jpg

The temple also has a water tank and a well in its courtyard.

Thankfully, since it was a cloudy day, the stone courtyard was not hot enough to burn the soles of our feet and we could roam around easily.

After taking in the sights and smells of the temple, we headed for our homestay, and more importantly, LUNCH!

To be continued....

Last edited by amitoj : 25th May 2010 at 11:02.
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:38   #2
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The CCD outlets are so popular in Bangalore but not in here in south, don't know why. I love the CCD's for their cleanliness & sweet ambience; they're really heaven in highways.
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The mind boggles at the thought of engineering expertise that existed back in those days
Very true

Keep them coming, waiting to read
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:50   #3
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The pillar in the second pic is not plastered or fixed on the base. The pillar is 42 feet tall, made of single stone and standing on its own weight.

Info from guide at the temple.
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:02   #4
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Default Day 1 Continued..

The GPS, which had been a bit of a let down on the SH earlier, faithfully guided us to Chikkamaglur KSRTC bus stand. The instructions from the hosts from that point on were spot on and we arrived at the Woodways homestay just in time for lunch!
Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-homestay.jpg


We were probably the first ones to arrive, but were soon joined by an elderly couple from England. Right after a sumptuous meal, the hosts paid us a visit to welcome us and to chalk out some sort of plan for us.

We were not in any hurry to do any sightseeing. Point was to unwind and relax. So, while rest of the crew went for a siesta, i walked around the coffee estate and clicked a few more pics.

The home stay was a clean, well maintained beautiful bungalow.

Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-homestay-inside.jpg

There was a lot of natural light all around.

Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-homestay-inside-2.jpg

And the view from the bungalow was also nice

Run to the hills (almost): Chikkamaglur-homestay-view.jpg

The staff there was quite friendly. Even their dog was also very friendly, although the poor thing was deaf. If anything my daughter will remember from this trip, it will be Brownie, the dog. She absolutely adored him.

By now more guests had arrived and the hosts made sure that they introduced everyone to each other. After some more lazing around, it was time for a bonfire and snacks etc, followed by dinner and a sound sleep!

Arrangements were made for a jeep safari into the Bhadra wildlife sanctuary next day morning. I couldn't wait to use the rented 100-400 L IS Canon lens!!

Coming up next: Bhadra and Mulliyangiri peak
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:46   #5
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I'm impressed with the depth of view on the photos of chennakesava and andal temple.
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:57   #6
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Sorry for OT. Are lenses available for rent in B'lore? If yes, only Canons or Nikkors as well? For how much did you rent this lens? Details & procedures shall be of help..Please.

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I couldn't wait to use the rented 100-400 L IS Canon lens!!
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Old 25th May 2010, 13:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Sorry for OT. Are lenses available for rent in B'lore? If yes, only Canons or Nikkors as well? For how much did you rent this lens? Details & procedures shall be of help..Please.
Even i am interested to know. Though, i assume he borrowed it from a friend and used the term "rented"

Nice travelogue Amitoj. That homestay looks beautiful and bang amidst a lot of greenry. What was the tarrif?
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Old 25th May 2010, 13:21   #8
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Hey, even I am curious to know about where these lenses are rented from. This will enable us to test lenses before purchasing them
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Old 25th May 2010, 13:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
The CCD outlets are so popular in Bangalore but not in here in south, don't know why. I love the CCD's for their cleanliness & sweet ambience; they're really heaven in highways.

Very true

Keep them coming, waiting to read
Very true. And most of them that are far away from Bangalore do not suffer from the young hippie crowd out for just a drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArunV View Post
The pillar in the second pic is not plastered or fixed on the base. The pillar is 42 feet tall, made of single stone and standing on its own weight.

Info from guide at the temple.
Thats a neat piece of info Arun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
I'm impressed with the depth of view on the photos of chennakesava and andal temple.
That's the magic of the Canon 10-22 wide angle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Sorry for OT. Are lenses available for rent in B'lore? If yes, only Canons or Nikkors as well? For how much did you rent this lens? Details & procedures shall be of help..Please.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Even i am interested to know. Though, i assume he borrowed it from a friend and used the term "rented"

Nice travelogue Amitoj. That homestay looks beautiful and bang amidst a lot of greenry. What was the tarrif?
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Originally Posted by thedreamcatcher View Post
Hey, even I am curious to know about where these lenses are rented from. This will enable us to test lenses before purchasing them
For the lenses, there are at least two places from where you can rent them out. One is
Elephas Creations - Nature and Wildlife Photography Solutions
This is run by Sudhir Shivaram, a leading wildlife photographer. I rented 100-400mm lens from him. The rates are mentioned on his website. For three days, the rental was 2150/-. The procedure for renting is mentioned in the FAQ.

GD, i think he has only one Nikkor lens.

The 10-22mm was rented from a guy in Jayanagar. Let me know if you need his cellphone number. This one was 1200/- for three days. You need to provide him with a DL copy and address proof. I am not sure whether he has any Nikkor lenses or not, but he did have Sigma lenses too.
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Old 25th May 2010, 13:40   #10
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Nice to hear the lens rentals are catching up in India! Anyway, I have my own 10-20 mm lens. Yet to unleash it in India (since the last 1 year). Waiting desperately for the monsoons.
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Old 25th May 2010, 13:56   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Very true. And most of them that are far away from Bangalore do not suffer from the young hippie crowd out for just a drive
Very true

Quote:
That's the magic of the Canon 10-22 wide angle.
Wide angles are wide angles, best suited when it comes to capturing good scenics, nature or any outdoors. Nothing beats it.
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:01   #12
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The homestay looks good.. how much did they charge for a day?
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:06   #13
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The tariff for the homestay was 2500/- per person per night, all meals, tea/coffee included.

Woodway Home Stay - Chikamagalur
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Old 25th May 2010, 14:34   #14
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Amazing photos, waiting for more. The home stay really looks neat and well maintained. Any idea how many people can this place accommodate ?
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Old 25th May 2010, 15:01   #15
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Aah haa, so the travelogue starts. Keep going Amitoj and we are waiting for loads of photographs.

About the renting things, I think Jayanth Sharma also have lens rent facility or he is about to start renting out. And he sure will have Nikkor as he is shooting Nikon these days.
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