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Old 2nd November 2010, 11:58   #16
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Originally Posted by pramod View Post
Btw, I see in the snap that, the Seat belt sign is ON. Just curious, how determined are you, to drive with Belts on?
From the picture one can make out that the vehicle is stand still at idle with hazards on. So I would give the benefit of doubt to AG. Nevertheless, its very important to drive howsoever small distance with seat belts on.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 12:01   #17
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Originally Posted by airguitar View Post
Thanks, guys.

So the idea of the trip was to cover Bisle Ghat at any cost and some sanctuaries down south karnataka. Not really related to each other, but the plan was to start at Bandipur and move upwards scouring parts of coorg and reach Hassan and then do around Hassan/Sakleshpur. It started on another route enquiry thread where Addy, Pramod and Jeev provided valuable inputs. And then laluks' thread that some of those roads were done on his swift was the final shot in the arm.

I personally believe that other than a few folks who are from these parts in Southwest Karnataka ( Madikeri/Somawarapete/Kodlipete/Sakleshpura/Sullia ), not many regular travelers explore this side of the state : Bisle, Pushpagiri etc
You did the trip finally!!! Looks like you had a whale of a time. Lovely pictures AG. How was your experience on the moon surface of Bisle?

True, not many people traverse through this region due to which it has retained some of its charm. One reason could be the horrible roads. I don't see any improvement in the near future. So, we have to grin and bear it as we have doing for the past few years.


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11. Even cattle know you're new to this place. Somewhere near Donigal
I know this place. Me and my friends had a small picnic at this place sometime back on the way to Kaginahare.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 22:45   #18
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I always wear the seatbelt when I'm a passenger but sometimes skip when I'm the driver ( perhaps I have more confidence in me than in others; but I know I should each time :(



Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
From the picture one can make out that the vehicle is stand still at idle with hazards on. So I would give the benefit of doubt to AG. Nevertheless, its very important to drive howsoever small distance with seat belts on.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 22:49   #19
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The moon surface , yes.

My car's bottom scraped twice and I've picked up a puncture ( I don't know if I picked it up here or on the disgusting Mudigere - Belur road ).

More in the coming posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
You did the trip finally!!! Looks like you had a whale of a time. Lovely pictures AG. How was your experience on the moon surface of Bisle?

True, not many people traverse through this region due to which it has retained some of its charm. One reason could be the horrible roads. I don't see any improvement in the near future. So, we have to grin and bear it as we have doing for the past few years.

I know this place. Me and my friends had a small picnic at this place sometime back on the way to Kaginahare.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 23:37   #20
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Day 2 : Wake up to the "Oook Oook Oook Oook"s of the Greater Coucal. It's called Kembootha in Kannada ( Trans : Red Devil ). The bird is pretty elusive, although you hear it a lot more , you hardly get to see it. If you're from the Karnataka country side, chances are that your mom would have told you that if you see the bird, you would have the luck of getting to eat a sweet dish that day ( smart moms, really, it's very hard to see the bird usually ). Tell that to me now, and I'll laugh it off. The irony in life is that when you're a child you always want to grow up and when you grow up, you wish you were still that small child.

Start at 6.30 AM after a hot coffee; zoom past the Kakkanalla check post on the border where we are curtly told off to put our cameras away. Move on till Theppakaadu and into Masinagudi. Fuel up. Hit the legendary 36 bends. Quick stop at the Bison valley view point. Move on to cross the final bend, typical Ooty, dull, cold but green, spirit-lifting, colourful all at the same time. As is typical of me, just turn back at Ooty, no sightseeing, no touristy places. Think of driving through Goodalur, but chuck the idea away as the 36 bends beckon again, now downhill. Back at JLR at 10.15 AM. So typical of Tamil Nadu roads, not a blemish anywhere all along. Quick breakfast and head towards Sulthan Bathery at 11 AM. Odd patches aside, road good. Sulthan Bathery - Mananthavadi ( I was tempted to use the handful of Malayalam words to impress locals there, but finally decided not to ). Good drive through the Muthanga sanctuary. At Mananthavady, head towards Kutta. Mananthavady - Kutta road is very good.

2.15 PM Kutta. Head towards Nagarahole.

At the check post :

"Where are you from?"
"Bandipur"
"Where are you heading to?"
"Hassan"
"Bandipur to Hassan, why THIS way?"
"Naav swalpa Hange, Nagarahole drive madbeku anta aase" ( We're a bit like that, wanted to drive through Nagarahole")
and then we play nice "what's the way to get to hassan"?
"through Hunsur"

Right-o. Move on. The drive through Nagarahole felt very loooong. Deers, stags crossing the road, peacocks prancing. Uneventful. Until we saw 2 4-legged behemoths. a few hundred meters away. One appeared a tusker, and I've always been wary of them; they get cranky for new apparent reason. But were relieved somewhat to see a female with him. Yet, I wasn't willing to drive closer. Then luckily came local KA09 Trax. They laughed at me and asked me to follow them. Get very very close to the Elephant couple, there is not telling which way they can run. Suddenly the Trax guy decides to honk them away and the Tusker started runnign amok. Fortunately, not in our direction but into the bushes. The moment was a bit too overwhelming to shoot on a camera. Everything happened in a trice. Nevermind, good experience still.

The other end of the park is close to Hunsur. The stretch through the park is very good, no bad stretches.

From Hunsur through Katte Malalavadi to KR Nagar : roads patchy. From KR Nagar -> Hole Narsipur->Hassan : very good.

Stay overnight at the Southern Star. On the expensive side.

Installment 4 of the photos : All photos from Day 2 : Bandipur - Ooty - Bandipur - S.Bathery - Mananthavady - Tholpetti - Kutta - Nagarahole - Hunsur - KR Nagar - Hassan
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Old 2nd November 2010, 23:43   #21
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Installment 5, again all from Day 2
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Old 2nd November 2010, 23:48   #22
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Next set, all again from day 2
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Old 3rd November 2010, 00:50   #23
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Great travel airguitar and great pics. The pics of the wilderness are really catchy, and the one with cattle on a grassland is really beautiful.

Entry level DSLR or Point and shoot, its the eyes which are the best cameras, electronics just adds its part.

A random wilderness visit is really a welcome one beyond the rush of the concrete jungle. Reading your travelogue, seems you really enjoyed every bit of it. Great going! Waiting for more.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 09:52   #24
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@Airguitar- great pics first of all and very nice write up.
I was planning a trip to Nagarhole this weekend. Can we cover Bandipur and Nagarhole in 2 days?
Thinking of this
Reach Kutta late evening Thu
Fri morning- take safari into nagarhole
Fri evening- see a couple of places around( irupu falls?)
Sat morning leave after breakfast and reach Bandipur
Sat evening leave Bandipur around 4-5PM
Where did you stay in Kutta and Bandipur? Most places are full, except a couple of homestays( which i do not know about-just got ref)
How far is Nagarhole-Bandipur?
Sorry for posting so many questions!
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Old 3rd November 2010, 10:28   #25
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@Airguitar - sorry to give you the same comment - your pics are mind blowing, atleast to me. I'm going for a 5* with you; hope that makes your day.

Looks like Ooty is getting beautified with your lens
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Old 3rd November 2010, 10:54   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airguitar View Post
Then luckily came local KA09 Trax. They laughed at me and asked me to follow them. Get very very close to the Elephant couple, there is not telling which way they can run. Suddenly the Trax guy decides to honk them away and the Tusker started runnign amok. Fortunately, not in our direction but into the bushes. The moment was a bit too overwhelming to shoot on a camera. Everything happened in a trice. Nevermind, good experience still.
It is because of folks like the Trax guy, that people think of banning traffic through forest areas. That was a very bad thing to do on his part. He travels in the forest and wants the residents of the forest to move away, how dumb is that? You were very lucky that the tusker did not run towards you.

The drive through the forest has to be enjoyed and not hurried up. And please, never honk inside the forest areas. Sorry for the OT, but I just wanted to say this

Note from the Team-BHP Support Staff : Post edited. Please refrain from using foul language, even indirectly. Abusive language – whether used directly or indirectly - is STRICTLY prohibited on Team-BHP.

Last edited by FlyingSpur : 4th November 2010 at 18:13. Reason: No foul language, please, even indirectly.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 11:19   #27
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@ addyhemmige - The drive through the forest has to be enjoyed and not hurried up. And please, never honk inside the forest areas.
Bingo. Absolutely true, and I dont think its OT. That was very irresponsible on the part of the Trax driver.

AG - keep them coming. Looking at the pics I feel PnS or SLR does not matter; what matters how you expore and how you fit the visuals in the frame. Truly amazing. Am going 5-star way with this.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 21:19   #28
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Thanks for the appreciation, guys.

@Addy, I'm as p*ssed as you are with the Trax guy. He looked like a local ; so even more disappointed. This what makes me wonder sometimes, who appreciate the nice environs around their place : the locals or the visitors.

I'd parked a few hundred meters away to let the elephants pass. 10 minutes and the elephants showed no signs of moving away, I was preparing to turn back head to Kutta and reach Hassan via Somwarapete. That's when this happened. I am a very leisurely driver and don't honk things off. Sometimes when I feel like God, I don't even honk inside the city : I let all hurrying things pass by

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkh View Post
@Airguitar- great pics first of all and very nice write up.
I was planning a trip to Nagarhole this weekend. Can we cover Bandipur and Nagarhole in 2 days?
Thinking of this
Reach Kutta late evening Thu
Fri morning- take safari into nagarhole
Fri evening- see a couple of places around( irupu falls?)
Sat morning leave after breakfast and reach Bandipur
Sat evening leave Bandipur around 4-5PM
Where did you stay in Kutta and Bandipur? Most places are full, except a couple of homestays( which i do not know about-just got ref)
How far is Nagarhole-Bandipur?
Sorry for posting so many questions!
You could : the itinerary looks ok except for the fact that leaving N.Hole Sat morning, you'll have to hurry through Bandipur, which would be a shame. You might want to leave N.Hole after morning safari and hit Bandipur for the evening one. I stayed at JLR in Bandipur. In other Ooty thread, it was brought up that Bandipur Plaza lodge next to JLR was a good alternative option at Bandipur I didn't stay at Kutta - I just drove through N.Hole.

Re kutta, not sure you might want to look at the "enchanting kutta" thread or I remember in one of the threads that Pramod had suggested a homestay.

Thursday evening 3 PM N.Hole; Friday early morning start from N.Hole; Friday evening Safari at Bandipur. Saturday morning quick drive to Mudumalai/turn back at a timely point and getting back could be an option.

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team : Please use the "edit" button if posting within 20 minutes of the first post, instead of creating another back-to-back post.

Also use "Multi Quote" option for quoting Multiple posts.

Last edited by Technocrat : 9th November 2010 at 23:00. Reason: Please read the note in your post, thansk
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Old 3rd November 2010, 22:13   #29
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Day 3

Begin from Hassan at 8 AM. Drive through to Sakleshpura. Just before you enter the town is the Ossoor Hotel, My defacto eating place whenever I travel this way. Saturday morning, so no vehicular traffic yet, hotel near empty ( visit this hotel on a Sunday evening to believe how crowded it can get ). There are no words to describe the feeling of sipping coffee standing outside the hotel watching vehicles groan up the slope.

Quick move towards Byakravalli road the left deviation near the Manjarabad fort board. Just before that was the road entrance on the right to Mudigere, for a second the thought of taking that road towards Hosakere for a glimpse of Ettina Bhuja Peak was flickering, but suppressed. Bisle, the goal. Reasonably narrow roads with the side soil washed away by the rains leaving 0.5 - 1 foot jumps off the tarmac. Patchy road, I got a curt "gaadi kelage iliayalva" ( won't your vehicle get off the roads ) from a local Omni driver coming from the opposite side. I never heard anyone say something curtly to me in the Malnad parts of Karnataka - so a first

Average to below average road condition till a few kms past Byakaravalli circle. From then on until Hettur the roads are very good and after that begins the vagary. Good stretches, horrible stretches. Looking at the surface texture you can say how much it rains in these parts. The heat, the dark green leaves of plants, the humid air makes it inevitable for me to draw a comparison to the Agumbe/Hulikal areas. The roads of course, the Bisle road and the Agumbe road are chalk and cheese.

4 spots not to be missed for a stop and soak-in :

1. The forest dept run, "Beauty Point"
2. The downsloping hairpin where you can park your car for eternity on the roadside and keep watching the hills yonder
3. The bridge over the river ( see photos in installments before ) - what river is this ? Any Bisle trekker knows ?
4. The temple at Boodhi Chavadi at the fag end

Much of the road belongs to the Yasalur Range. All along I could see what looked like Elephant dung ( but there was no way an elephant could have crossed from left to right unless it was some tamed elephant that was made to walk those roads ). At one point you see a small stream decided to take it's own course and cut the road, awesome sight, no one controls Nature.

Of course, I've to mention that my car's bottom scraped twice ( once my fault I didn't do slow enough and the other, I couldn't do much ).

The last 5-6 kms belonging to Subramanya zone are smooth and you do it in no time, took a right at Suubramanya into Gundya, and then to Dharmasthala. I always like as well as dread the Gundya Dharmasthala stretch. Drivers enjoy the good road as well as the sharp cuts at the bends a slight error and it can go boom. Esp there are 3-4 points where the road ascends/descends and simultaneously turns sharply to the left or the right so it's not uncommon for folks to end up on the wrong side centrimetres away from a speedy oncoming vehicle. I consistently honk on this stretch whenever I'm here.

From Dharmasthala to Ujire to Charmadi ( my vehicle suffered a bird hit some bird from no where flew in and crashed into my car, recovered and flew away ) to Mudigere. 6th time drive on Charmadi in as many months. All vehicles went honk honk right through. Frustrating, but probably required. Usual stop at the Annappaswamy temple for pictures and then move on. On that horrible stretch between Mudigere and Belur. This is a beautiful stretch when you do it in the mornings through Gonibeedu and Cheekanahalli, but it has worsened drastically. Was frustratring to miss the potholes time and again and crash into it at that time ( 6.30 PM ). The road oscillates betwen bad and worse till about 5-6 kms before Belur ( Tholalu ). Back to Hassan from Belur, the road is a dream. Dinner at Sri Krishna, a deluxe meal and all set to float into sleep.

More photos from the Bisle drive.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 22:19   #30
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More photos - Bisle and Charmadi
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