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Old 1st November 2010, 08:10   #1
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Default A trilogy of trilogies, down here

Back from my most recent trip yesterday. 3.5 days and 1450 kms.

A trilogy of ghat drives that I dreamed always of doing in 1 day. A trilogy of sanctuary drive-throughs. And a trilogy of high-altitude drives.


Bends that give the Mercedes an inferiority complex.

Wild boars and bisons grazing on the roadside as if they were country cattle

A perpetual dilemma of finding out if the elephants or tamed or wild ( well, I figured out how in the end )

A freeze moment with wild elephants bang in the middle of the road. A tusker and his female companion. Yet again driving home the point that you catch guys on their best behaviour when they're with girls.

An experience of sipping fresh coffee outside an estate/hotel watching oil tankers force themselves up the road.

A sweaty drive through what could be the worst surface of roads in the state - but enjoyable nevertheless. Bending through thick canopies that create darkness in broad daylight, sweltering heat that makes the need of clothes a redundancy, very close to a rainforest in these parts. Snakes basking by the roadside and almost nil traffic.

Blinding high-speed drive through a very good ghat road, high traffic, vehicles maxing around the bends dangerously.

Truck-Bus standoffs that put Tarantino's Mexican standoffs to shame, on this ghat, as a lone whistling thrush coos away.

Scenic estates, more standoffs, on top of the state, where a sage attained liberation hundreds of years ago. A young mom asking her 4 year old ( clad in a cap, a cute little jacket, thick shoes and I'm sure they've not started walking yet ) in English ( I know where they are from ) : " Are you feeling cold ? Are you doing ok ? " . Flashes images of the fisherwoman that I saw a few days back : of her plonking her a near 2 year old hard on the pushcart with a thud ( I expected that 2 year old to start wailing, but he didn't even wince a little bit :( ). Reality.

More bends down the hill and again up the hill brushing away the temptations to visit 2 waterfalls that are very close.

Back home in a near-hallucination state.


Pics coming up next, before the day ends
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Old 1st November 2010, 21:29   #2
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The routes

Day 1 : Bangalore - Mysore - Gundlupet - Bandipur

Day 2 : Bandipur - Theppakadu - Masinagudi - Ooty - Bandipur - Sulthan Bathery - Mananthavadi - Kutta - Nagarahole - Hunsur - KR Nagar - Hassan

Day 3 : Hassan - Sakleshpur - Byakaravalli circle - Hettur - Bisle Ghat - Subramanya - Shiradi ghat - Dharmasthala - Charmadi ghat - Mudigere - Belur - Hassan

Day 4 - Hassan - Belur - Chikkamagalur - Mullayyanagiri - Lingadahalli - Kemmannugundi - Lingadahalli - Birur - Tumkur - Bangalore

My car clocked it's 20000 km on this trip. Sample this : it ran a paltry 3500 kms from April 2008 to April 2010. And the remaining, 16500 from April this year to now. As they say, you do it once and you like it or don't like it from then on. That applies to my first long drive earlier this year.

And the first installment of pics, many more to come. Some jeers and cheers please

1. View from the way to Mullayyanagiri
2. A tusker in Bandipur reserve forest
3. View from the Bison Valley View point, on the way up to Ooty from Masinakudi
4, 5 & 6 views from different hairpins
7, 8 & 9 view from Nagarahole drive through
10 A view from a bridge inside the Yasalur range of Bisle Ghat
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Last edited by airguitar : 1st November 2010 at 21:36.
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Old 1st November 2010, 21:45   #3
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BTW< How does one tinge the photos with the TBHP logos ?
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Old 1st November 2010, 21:58   #4
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Looks like you had an awesome trip. Looking forward to the entire travelogue

Quote:
Originally Posted by airguitar View Post
BTW< How does one tinge the photos with the TBHP logos ?
You will have to reduce the resolution further and get it to fit, then the logos should come
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Old 1st November 2010, 22:01   #5
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@Airguitar - Whoa!!! Bet you beer to dollar, you've got one of the most expensive camera OR you're a professional photographer. I'm literally blown away with the amazing quality of your pics. 1 & 9 are pure wallpaper stuff.

You'll get the TBhp logos on the pics only when the images are cropped in lesser size. But my humble request is, pls don't. If you don't mind, they're going to beautify my desktop
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Old 1st November 2010, 22:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
Looks like you had an awesome trip. Looking forward to the entire travelogue



You will have to reduce the resolution further and get it to fit, then the logos should come

Thanks KRR for the tip and Aargee, I'll not crop it And no, I don't have an expensive camera : only an entry level DSLR with the kit lens. All I ensure is more light gets in when it's dark and cut the light out a bit when it's too bright and the rest, Mother Nature does it
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Old 1st November 2010, 22:18   #7
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Hi airguitar,

wonderful pictures there. please continue your log, i look forward to read your experiences as well as see/appreciate the pictures.

thanks for sharing.
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Old 1st November 2010, 22:41   #8
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Interesting start there airguitar. I liked the pachyderm photo a lot. Pity it was looking the other way. And what's your ride pal? 16.5 K is a lot of driving in such a period!
You mentioned only about your playing around with exposure. What you have deliberately underplayed is your wonderful composition. Looking forward to more pics.
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Old 1st November 2010, 22:49   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Interesting start there airguitar. I liked the pachyderm photo a lot. Pity it was looking the other way. And what's your ride pal? 16.5 K is a lot of driving in such a period!
You mentioned only about your playing around with exposure. What you have deliberately underplayed is your wonderful composition. Looking forward to more pics.

Thanks SVB and MX6 : I drive a swift and yeh it feels like a lot looking back. No wonder I get spasms and cramps on my back and arms ( I need to start a "hazards of driving" thread ), although I have no way of attributing it to the driving I've done : I'm sure there are folks in here who drive an awful lot more than what I've done and would like to hear if the body takes some damage


And yes, there are more photos coming this way. But will ring in some road updates before that. Please stand by.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 00:36   #10
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Some really good captures there airguitar, especially the first and the 2nd picture.
Look forward to more.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 01:34   #11
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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

The plan was to start at 4 AM last Thursday ( 28th October ) from Bangalore. But came back home at 2 AM because of a late night dinner that ran even late and was in no position to begin at 4 AM. The trip started at 9 AM, 5 hours behind schedule and so the original plan of doing Ooty and getting back to Bandipur before nightfall was a tough call. Plus, it made sense to take the Safari that evening as opposed to the next morning and so, cut short the plans for that day.

9 AM : Hoskote

9.30 AM : Varthur. A 2 wheeler lady driver knocks a pedestrian down and the wailing pedestrian creates a ruckus. Ominous start, I thought.

10.15 AM : Stuck at E.City traffic, remember weekday morning 10AM, but not before I'd a pleasant drive from Varthur -> Ramasagara -> Heelalige -> Chandapura circle. Ambulances are wailing, huge crowds staring at what could well be a pot of treasure. Unfortunately, these are tell-tale signs of an accident. Not sure what had happened, but huge gathering though.

Brief hold up there, but get to NICE road ( this non descript entrance can always be missed in the traffic, gosh ). A breeze till Kumbalgodu and the nice part was no more weaving-through-the-gottigere-village near Bannerghatta. Quick early lunch at Kamat Drive-in and move on briskly till Mysore RR. Some work happening on Mysore RR, so some diversions, a brand new i10 lay with shattered windscreen and broken frontsides, at one such diversion that had a huge mound of soil. So much for safe driving.

Hit NH 212, and the travel travail begins, bad bad stretch till Nanjangud : saving grace the discarded railway carriages making for good pictures.

Then on, pretty smooth till Gundlupet/Bandipur. 3.15 PM Bandipur, JLR. Just in time for the 4 PM safari ( they have advanced it by 30 minutes to avoid fading light and they're not allowed to switch their lights on when they're off the highway on the safari tracks ).

4 PM sharp start on the safari and we see scared car drivers hurriedly parking on the road side. Elephants! The safari jeep driver drives to about 2 feet from the elephants, he knows them all too well, they're tamed elephants. The curious bunch of creatures put their trunks in through the window trying to grab anything they find. It's my hand. A brief arm wrestle and they mercifully let go of my hand not before spraying copious amounts of whatever they were eating on my T and jacket.

Safari itself uneventful, usual deers and sambars, a tortoise here a few peacocks there. The saving grace was the half-tailed massive tusker and the sloth bear who stood 2 feeted scraping his chest but deciding to coyly run away into the fading light.

Back for the night sleep over to JLR, there is another lodge a block or 2 away : Bandipur plaza and there is a small shop that sells essentials - chips, soft drinks, toothpaste, soaps etc.


Second installment of photos here. Again in no particular order of the itinerary ( some of these are actually photos from day 2 the travelogue for which is coming your way ).

11. Even cattle know you're new to this place. Somewhere near Donigal

12. A view through the window. Again near Donigal.

13, 14 & 15 - Along the way to Bisle

16 A view off the Bisle ghat ( will leave it to trekkers like Addy to confirm if this is Kumara Parvatha ).

17 , 18, 19 & 20 All again from the Bisle Ghat stretch.
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Last edited by airguitar : 2nd November 2010 at 01:39.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 06:49   #12
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@AG There is no set pattern of the whole drive! But looks like you just want to visit the wilderness!!

Again did solo on 4 wheels, or you had some one for company this time?

Nice pictures.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 07:28   #13
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Lovely pictures. Grab time to catch the moment and enjoy travel at the same time - nothing more to make drives a pleasure.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 09:14   #14
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Thanks, guys. Yeh no solo this time, with part of the family. It was bit too long to have been solo . And yes, Ampere, no set pattern, but Bisle had to be there.

A few more photos, Installment 3, more photos coming as well as the day 2 travelogue.

11. The Charmadi Standoff. Classic scene, vintage Charmadi. The tanker kept brushing against stones on the left side, generating sparks at dusk

12. On the way to Mullayyanagiri

13. The mullappaswamy temple atop Mullayyanagiri

14. Signature Birur photo

15. My 20k.
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Last edited by airguitar : 2nd November 2010 at 09:18.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 09:46   #15
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Dream Drive, u just did AG! Nice captures.

Btw, I see in the snap that, the Seat belt sign is ON. Just curious, how determined are you, to drive with Belts on?
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