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Old 2nd October 2010, 10:47   #1
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Default Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way

Flowers are beautiful.. no doubt about this fact.
We even consider our most proud and priced posession, i.e. our children to be just like flowers

Flowers bring a sort of happiness to our living.

Flowers when given to a SAD person, it cheers him up
Flowers when given to a sick person, it paves way for his good health
Flowers when offered to GOD, it brings peace to our life
Flowers when used for decoration, it makes even a dull place vibrant, colourful and bright

When ever a child is born, all family, friends and neighbours converge to welcome the new born, celebrate the birth, share the happiness and look forward for a bright future for the new born and the near/dear ones.

Kashmir is often said to be the heaven on this earth. I have never been to Kashmir, i am hopeful of traveling to the heaven one fine day and experiencing the heavely pleasures.

Most of us know the effect of a single ROSE given to someone with the right words / emotions. We also know the effect of a bunch of flowers.

Imagine the effect of a plateau full of flowers..yellow, pink, white, violet and more.

Blooming once a year, that too lasting only 2 weeks, at the backdrop of majestic Sahyadri range, with the mother nature wearing her best lush green attire and waterbody as the long and flowing pallu of her saari.

Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-umrodi-dam.jpg

Throw in some clouds and misty fog, blurring the vision in few seconds and again defogging the view in a minute. Decorate it with a wonderful rainbow on the horizon, what more one desires.. one is practically in a heaven.

Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-rainbow-horizon.jpg

Yes, i am refering to the (mini) KAASmir here.
Kaas Plateau is near a small but buzzy town Satara in Maharastra.

When i mention Kaasmir, i also include the surrounding areas viz. Kaas Plateau, Kaas Flower Valley, Bamnoli, Triveni Sangam, Tapola, Shiva and Dattaguru temples, Thosegar falls, Sajjangad fort, Chalkewadi windmill farms and everything beautiful nature around.

Name:  Learning from Lalu uncle.jpg
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Myself, Wife and Daughter along with a friend Laluks drove to Kaas from Bangalore on Sept 23rd and returned to bangalore back on Sept 26th morning 4:30 AM. This log is to capture our experiences and pictures.

Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-bamnoli-water-body.jpg

When the Kaas flower valley bloomed this year, everyone converged to celebrate the nature, ofcourse ina traditional BHPian way i.e. driving our vehicles, meeting fellow BHPians, discussing cars, enjoying local food (or lack of it), discussing trivia and offtopics (both on/off forums) etc etc. Please read more about this celebration here in this thread below

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/team-b...ml#post2091433 (Drive and Meet: Kaas. Report and Pictures from Pg. 27)


This thread is to record our personal expereinces. I sincerely hope that Laluks would post his personal experience, comments and ofcourse his wonderfully shot pictures here, in additon to my own.

I, for sure will enjoy writing about this trip, hope you will enjoy reading this as well. Feel free to share your comments, views etc, but i would love if you stay focussed on the topic of this thread.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 2nd October 2010 at 11:06.
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Old 2nd October 2010, 10:58   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
When i mention Kaasmir, i also include the surrounding areas viz. Kaas Plateau, Kaas Flower Valley, Bamnoli, Triveni Sangam, Tapola, Shiva and Dattaguru temples, Thosegar falls, Sajjangad fort, Chalkewadi windmill farms and everything beautiful nature around.


Myself, Wife and Daughter along with a friend Laluks drove to Kaas from Bangalore on Sept 23rd and returned to bangalore back on Sept 25th morning. This log is to capture our experiences and pictures.
Now, the flower show started with star style.

1] Dattaguru temple is the place where i arranged a trip of my club in 2006.

2] Do you want to say that you returned to Bangalore on 26th rather than 25th?
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Old 2nd October 2010, 11:32   #3
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Nice of you to start the travelogue. Good pictures.

It was a wonderful experience and now we have a chance to relive it through your log.

I am hardpressed for time for the reasons you know, and hence my time online has reduced a lot. I will try and catch up with log.
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Old 2nd October 2010, 12:04   #4
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Was looking for this log eagerly. So , could the man who created this 'Kaas-mania' not join the group!? Yes, am taking about MX6. may be his leg injury was the reason! With you two, its again going to be a treat to the eyes!
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Old 2nd October 2010, 12:25   #5
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Who says I couln't join the group?
I led the convoy from Pune to Satara. Met almost all (except SVB and KS) at Mahendra, Then caught up with folks in the car park of Sajjangarh fort (historic location where peshwa mx6 irritated peshwa svb ), then waited for the convoy to join at Thosegar falls and finally had a grand time in Kaas, before being the last person to leave the reception committee near the falls between satara and kaas!

But the other person who made Kaas really famous in my log, viz. VRPrabhu, couldn't make it with us due to professional commitments.

Since I have a log already about Maharashtra, I shall put up my set of photos there. I've already loaded a few of the kaas trip in the meet thread.

Nice pic of the great rainbow you got there svb. And it's so nice to see KS sit with your daughter and tell some story.

KS, we'd miss your artistic touch to the photos. Hope you come back soon quickly.

I thought of driving to Kaas again today. But decided to skip it. Got to get my leg in shape before the Dushera time Sringeri trip!

Over to you SVB.

Last edited by MX6 : 2nd October 2010 at 12:32.
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Old 2nd October 2010, 22:29   #6
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Turboholic asked me at the Thosegar falls, how come i thought of starting a thread for Kaas drive & meet ?

Answer is simple, i think i learnt about Kaas sometime last october (2009) from a thread started by a BHPian named Genesis, flowers simply attracted me.

Kaas again resurfaced some time in June this year and the desire to visit Kaas grew many folds. I thank people like Ashishpallod, MX6, VRPrabhu, Turboholic etc who provided periodic fuel to retain the attraction. Some time in July, when i decided to start a thread, still i was not sure whether i would make it.

i learnt early in my career that if we state our desire openly, then we will find ways to fulfill it. Hence thought of starting the thread.

The first one i had to convince was my co-traveller for life (ie. wife). It did not took much efforts, mention of travelling to Maharastra resulted in a nod, when i showed the threads on Kaas and the flower valley, the nod got converted into a statement "i do not want to miss this years flower blooming season"

Managing time out to travel was another challenge, to my good fortune, the agreed date turned out to be a weekend 25th Sept, also the school authorities of my daughter's school were kind enough to ensure that her quarterly assessments got over the previous week and we can indeed travel. But then came the dark clouds of "the verdict" and it's potential after effects, potential withdrawal from the trip, and then the sudden twist in the story i.e. preponement of the journey by one day. This decision was made on the evening of 22nd sept in the span of 30-45 minutes and just 2 phone calls viz. one between Lalu and myself, second myself and wife.

Now at hindsight, i am happy that we could still manage to visit Kaas this year. I would have been more happy if my fellow bangy boyz could have joined the convoy drive, but i respect their decisions.

Lalu's presence provided lot of confidence to me as we were unsure about the situation after the so called verdict till we left Bangaluru. Infact we only learnt that the verdict got postponed when we were near Belgaum (Eventually the verdict got delivered one week after our trip to Kaas).

Apart from the confidence part, Lalu's presence helped in ensuring that there is a back up driver (in case of any emergency), lot many conversations about the cars, travels, photography, movies and work/life in general ensured that the time was well spent during the journey as well as at the destination.

I am thankful to Laluks for his shared passion and desire for this trip, accomodating the twist and managing his work priorites in the last hour and joining this trip.

But I am greedy, i would like to have his part of the story including the pictures so that this story would be indeed complete in that respect.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 2nd October 2010 at 22:44.
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Old 2nd October 2010, 23:37   #7
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So the final plan was as below

23rd Sept :
--------------
1 PM start from Bangaluru.

Lalu would reach my home just in time and leave his car in my parking lot and join me in the car.
We would join anainar at Tumkur at 2:30 PM and then drive tandem till satara.
Tea Break at Chitradurga, Fuel break at Ranibennur, Dinner break at Hotel Sankam, Belgaum

2 AM (next day) reach Satara, check into Hotel Maharaja. I made quick call and ensured that we get 2 non AC rooms. My marathi speaking ability helped in this without I have to make advance payment / money transfer of any sort.

24th Sept :
----------------
10:00 AM till 7 PM : visit to flower valley, thosegar falls, sajjanghad, windmill farm.

25th Sept :
----------------
5 AM to 8 AM : revisit the flower valley for taking pictures
9 AM to 10:30 AM : Meet the BHPians rom Pune, Mumbai, Baramati
11 AM : start from Satara, drive bank to Bangaluru.

on way visit Bhilwadi (Chitale Bandhu) and/or Kolhapur Mahalaxmi and reach home by midnight.

Preparations :
---------------
Approx distance that we would cover was 1600KMs over 2+ days. Such a travel would need a vehicle in excellent condition. My 17 months old ever-ready Honda ANHC provides lots of confidence to me to take up such trips.

Still lot many things needed to be done prior to the trip on 23rd Sept.

I still had an important client meeting on 23rd morning, i managed to get it done by 11 AM.

Second key job was purchasing some snacks, packaged food, bread, juices etc needed for the trip.

Third was getting the vehicle cleaned thoroughly including interiors, exteriors, engine bay and under the car chassis. It took about 50 minutes at the neighbourhood service station to get it done.
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-car-wash.jpg

Fourth key job was fueling and ensuring right air pressure in the wheels (including spare wheel). Visit to the neighbourhood IOCL fuel station ensured everything ready within 10 minutes.

Next was to fill up enough water bottles, one never knows when one would need them. I generally ensure that we carry 10-12 ltrs of water on our any trip. ANHC has enough space to stack five, 1 liter bottles inside the cabin and remaining bottles under the rear seat along with the two umbrellas.

next was to refresh the memory stick with addditional music. Wife had already downloaded some latest bollyhood hits as well as marathi songs written by Mr. Sandip Khare, composed by Dr Salil Kulkarni and sung by both of them together. These additional music folders were added to my 16 GB memory stick which had other genre / type of music including Golden oldies, devotional in Hindi, Marathi and Kannada languages and instrumental as well.

Took some printouts of the distance charts, as well as the XLS sheet prepared during the Kaas trip confirmations.

Wife had already done the packing for the trip including some sandwiches to be consumed on the way at the tea break. We quickly finished the lunch and wife started winding down the kitchen and home.

In the morning, Lalu called to inform that he would be delayed by some 30 minutes as he too had last minute priorities at work.

For the first time in 6+ years (she started attending playschool once she turned 2 years), my daughter did not attend the school (remained absent) as i did not had time to pick her up from the school early.

At 1:20 PM anainar calls and informs that he is on NICE road and would stop at CCD near the second toll both prior to Tumkur for Dinner. He would wait for us there so that we can drive together.

Eventually at 1:30 PM we were ready, with everything loaded into the vehicle. Lalu reached by 1:40 PM, and we started our trip by 1:45 PM. Called up anainar and confirmed that we indeed have started from home.

So at last, after so much of twists in (or turns of) the events we were on our way to Kaas.

770KMs long journey (one way) to see flowers !!!...only crazy guys seems to do such a thing, in other words, we were crazy.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 2nd October 2010 at 23:52.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 00:45   #8
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Hey..that's a great way to start a t-log ! Waiting for all those pics which is sure going to give me wicked thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
770KMs long journey (one way) to see flowers !!!...only crazy guys seems to do such a thing, in other words, we were crazy.
Or in the best terms used in this forum, you could say "in other words, we are bhpians" rest is all understood !

PS : Are we supposed to wash the engine bay with pressure wash? I was told that this could damage the ABS unit which is present in the engine bay [my swift's ABS unit is well exposed inside the bonnet and every time they do pressure wash in the engine bay, the brakes make a lot of noise under hard breaking till it dries - usually one day]

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 3rd October 2010 at 00:50.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 15:42   #9
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I managed to complete or postpone most of my engagements for the thursday and friday, except one. A conference call with a very senior colleague. This person called me (as agreed) by 1.50 PM and the discussion started. When the call ended, i found myself somewhere near the Gauribidanur. We had missed the turn on the NH207 towards dobbaspet and went straight ahead.

Enquired the local people and then took a detour through some bad stretches of road, tiny hamlets and eventually jouned NH4 at Tumkur. Most probably the route followed by us is as below.
Name:  YelahankaTumkur Road.JPG
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The road between Tondebhavi and Koratagere is in a very bad shape
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-01-doddaballapurkoratahalli-stretch.jpg

Unfortunately i have lost the pictures taken by D90 on this stretch as they were over written once the picture count went beyond 1000. What i have is couple of images taken by wife from my Sony P&S. I am attaching some landscape images on the way
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-02-landscape-i.jpg
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-03-landscape-ii.jpg
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-05-lanscape-iii.jpg

Village school assembly
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-04-village-school.jpg

Some of my cousins who have stayed true to their profession of being a vagabond
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-06-some-my-true-profession-cousins.jpg

We saw some farms on the way
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-07-farm-i.jpg

On route we saw a sunflower farm, stoped for some 20+ minutes, interacted with the farmer and took some pictures.
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-08-sun-flower-farm-i.jpg
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-09-sun-flower-farm-iii.jpg
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-10-sun-flower.jpg

Some quick recollections about sunflower farming

Quote:
It takes about 2.5 months for one cycle of farming. generally only once cycle per year.
Sunflower farming does not need much water like sugar cane, paddy etc.
The yield is about 6-10 quintals (1 quintal = 100KG) per acre of land. It cost the farmer about 6000-7000 RS per acre in input costs in all. They get about twice the money they invested if the crop is good. They sell their crop (sunflower seeds) in Tumkur, the oil mills buy it in bulk. Farmers are not aware how much oil is extracted per quintal.

I enquired about the financing, answer was only rich farmer get financing from the reputed banks. The smaller and lesser known farmers would get finance only from Grameen Banks that too at higher rates. I found scale and credibility playing the role in deciding the financing as well as interest rates.
Learning about the sunflower farming was very enriching to all of us. It was a surprise for us to note that the sunflowers were facing away from the sun.

We also saw some corn fields
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-11-corn-field.jpg
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-12-corn-field-ii.jpg
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-13-corn-field-iii.jpg
Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way-14-corn.jpg

We joined the NH4 at Tumkur. I list here the toll gate timings/Toll rates on NH4 along with some milestones/activities

16:49 KJ Halli RS 40/-
17:27 Guilalu RS 35/-

25 minutes Tea break at VRL before Chitradurga
10 minutes re-fueling break at Ranibennur BPCL Ghar dhabha

It rained from Davangere till we crossed Hubli BP.

20:30 Bankapur RS 40/-
21:15 Hubli BP RS 34/-
22:03 Bagewadi RS 30/-
22:10 Hotel Sankam
23:30 Resume after Dinner from Sankam
23:48 Hattargi RS 30/-
00:35 Kognli RS 25/-
00:52 Kini RS 52/-
01:30 Taswade RS 52/-
02:05 Hotel Maharaja Residency Satara

Checkin could not have been faster, just write the name and sign in the register. Attendent took us to the room straightaway

02:15 Hit the bed.

Total fuel consumed for this 790 KH journey was 60.45L (FE 13.06 KMPL)

Last edited by StarVegabond : 3rd October 2010 at 15:46.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 16:21   #10
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Hey Star, nice start. Good to see the colors of friendship arched you in the form of a rainbow .

Waiting for more, sad to see Lalu is busy and not actively participating. Will miss lot of wonder shots!
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Old 3rd October 2010, 18:37   #11
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@SVB,

From Koratagere you can also head to Madhugiri to spot Black Bucks! There a WLS there along with the fort!

We went and walked for 5 km, but could spot only one!
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Old 4th October 2010, 08:22   #12
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Now this is what I was waiting for ...

let the more come in kaas, bamnoli, vasota and lake
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Old 4th October 2010, 11:18   #13
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Hey Star now I know the reason. If you rmemeber I had also asked you to see if we could have a similar meet in Karnataka. I suggest Madikere here. what dou you think?

Lovely write up and excellent pics. I wish I had similar writing skills. I am glued to this thread now.

Cheers.

Turboholic.



Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Turboholic asked me at the Thosegar falls, how come i thought of starting a thread for Kaas drive & meet ?

Answer is simple, i think i learnt about Kaas sometime last october (2009) from a thread started by a BHPian named Genesis, flowers simply attracted me.

Kaas again resurfaced some time in June this year and the desire to visit Kaas grew many folds. I thank people like Ashishpallod, MX6, VRPrabhu, Turboholic etc who provided periodic fuel to retain the attraction. Some time in July, when i decided to start a thread, still i was not sure whether i would make it.

i learnt early in my career that if we state our desire openly, then we will find ways to fulfill it. Hence thought of starting the thread.

The first one i had to convince was my co-traveller for life (ie. wife). It did not took much efforts, mention of travelling to Maharastra resulted in a nod, when i showed the threads on Kaas and the flower valley, the nod got converted into a statement "i do not want to miss this years flower blooming season"

Managing time out to travel was another challenge, to my good fortune, the agreed date turned out to be a weekend 25th Sept, also the school authorities of my daughter's school were kind enough to ensure that her quarterly assessments got over the previous week and we can indeed travel. But then came the dark clouds of "the verdict" and it's potential after effects, potential withdrawal from the trip, and then the sudden twist in the story i.e. preponement of the journey by one day. This decision was made on the evening of 22nd sept in the span of 30-45 minutes and just 2 phone calls viz. one between Lalu and myself, second myself and wife.

Now at hindsight, i am happy that we could still manage to visit Kaas this year. I would have been more happy if my fellow bangy boyz could have joined the convoy drive, but i respect their decisions.

Lalu's presence provided lot of confidence to me as we were unsure about the situation after the so called verdict till we left Bangaluru. Infact we only learnt that the verdict got postponed when we were near Belgaum (Eventually the verdict got delivered one week after our trip to Kaas).

Apart from the confidence part, Lalu's presence helped in ensuring that there is a back up driver (in case of any emergency), lot many conversations about the cars, travels, photography, movies and work/life in general ensured that the time was well spent during the journey as well as at the destination.

I am thankful to Laluks for his shared passion and desire for this trip, accomodating the twist and managing his work priorites in the last hour and joining this trip.

But I am greedy, i would like to have his part of the story including the pictures so that this story would be indeed complete in that respect.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:17   #14
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Looks like Maharashtra is the toast of the season!!! By the looks of the start you have given, you guys must have had a rocking trip.

It is always a pleasure to read travelogues by you star. Keep 'em coming!!!
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Old 4th October 2010, 14:54   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
1] Dattaguru temple is the place where i arranged a trip of my club in 2006.

2] Do you want to say that you returned to Bangalore on 26th rather than 25th?
Yes, i remember reading about it some where.
i corrected the date just in time (within 20 minutes editing window)

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Nice of you to start the travelogue. Good pictures.

It was a wonderful experience and now we have a chance to relive it through your log.

I am hardpressed for time for the reasons you know, and hence my time online has reduced a lot. I will try and catch up with log.
ofcourse work and family priorities are important. may be you can share your view at a later date when you are free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
Was looking for this log eagerly.
hi LDL, hope to keep you interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
PS : Are we supposed to wash the engine bay with pressure wash? I was told that this could damage the ABS unit which is present in the engine bay [my swift's ABS unit is well exposed inside the bonnet and every time they do pressure wash in the engine bay, the brakes make a lot of noise under hard breaking till it dries - usually one day]
i have never faced any issues till now, i have got the engine bay cleaned atleast 3 times in last 17 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacs View Post
Hey Star, nice start. Good to see the colors of friendship arched you in the form of a rainbow .

Waiting for more, sad to see Lalu is busy and not actively participating. Will miss lot of wonder shots!
Raibow was a special moment. i had seen a complete rainbow in a semi circular fashion only in the paintings or school text books, not in real life. My photograph did not do any justice to the true colours in the rainbow.

I am still hopeful some day in near future Lalu would post his pictures of Kaas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
@SVB,

From Koratagere you can also head to Madhugiri to spot Black Bucks! There a WLS there along with the fort!

We went and walked for 5 km, but could spot only one!
Thanks ampere, i was not knowing about Madhugiri WLS. will try and visit some day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadabhi View Post
Now this is what I was waiting for ...

let the more come in kaas, bamnoli, vasota and lake
hi Abhi, your pictures in the Drive and meet thread were very good.
we did not visit vasota, but Tapola.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboholic View Post
Hey Star now I know the reason. If you rmemeber I had also asked you to see if we could have a similar meet in Karnataka. I suggest Madikere here. what dou you think?

Lovely write up and excellent pics. I wish I had similar writing skills. I am glued to this thread now.
Sure i remember. As pointed out by MX6, there are lot many choices in Karnataka. i suggest you start a thread, interested people might join from Maharastra, Karnataka, Goa, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andrapradesh. Hope it will be a bigger event.

Thanks for your appreciation, Thanks for reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Jog - beaches/ temples of Uttarakannada
Hampi - Badami - Pattadakal - Gokak
Udupi - Sringeri - Kolluru - Beaches of Udupi/ SC district
Mysore - Kodagu - Srirangapatna

And many more attractions.

@SVB. You need to keep the posts coming. Else this log will become a Grandeur of Karnataka or a T-BHP meet in Karnataka log. So stop standing still like Gomateshwara and start posting boss!
As you have lived in Karnataka, i presume you know everything about karnataka. i hope you will help Turboholic in shaping his ambition of having a drive and meet in Karnataka.

regarding the speed of posting, i do have some challenges like job, work, customers, e-mails, phone calls, etc etc. My apologies if the speed of my posting is slow. I will try to improve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Looks like Maharashtra is the toast of the season!!! By the looks of the start you have given, you guys must have had a rocking trip.

It is always a pleasure to read travelogues by you star. Keep 'em coming!!!
Hi Addy,

We had a good trip, most importantly a safe trip, meeting the fellow BHPians was like a post dinner desert.

ofcourse we could not meet all the BHPians who made it on this trip. Eating deserts only for the meal or eating the entire spread is not good for health anyway. hence we generally choose which one to eat. When there is an entire spread, I would just have a visual treat and prefer to eat the ones which I like the most.

Thanks for your appreciation, i will try to complete this asap.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 4th October 2010 at 15:06.
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