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Old 1st January 2011, 21:24   #1
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Default A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

This one is going to take a while to finish. Plenty of pictures and some words. But I have to start this on this day, 1-1-11. A couple of teaser pictures for the day.

The master painter wakes up in the morning.
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010053.jpg

Riding into the dawn
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010057.jpg

Our Christmas card, painted by the forces of nature.
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010060.jpg

It was a beautiful sunrise. I had to stop to take pictures. Usually I do not, because I have to reach my destination as early as possible. But not on this day.

-Biju
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Old 1st January 2011, 21:44   #2
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

Lovely Pictures. Looks like one great travelogue coming up. Keep it coming sir.
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Old 1st January 2011, 21:52   #3
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

What? Another trip to Indore? Cool. Nice opening shots pjb. So many trips are going down memory lanes now, that it's going to be traffic jam there.
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Old 1st January 2011, 23:35   #4
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

nice pics...
which place is this? waiting eagerly for the pics...
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Old 2nd January 2011, 00:49   #5
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

Great pictures -I look forward to the next set. It must be very peaceful to drive at dawn. I guess you would be looking to reach your destination before the sun gets overhead?
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Old 2nd January 2011, 12:17   #6
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

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Originally Posted by BolBolero View Post
Lovely Pictures. Looks like one great travelogue coming up. Keep it coming sir.
Thanks Guatam. I hope you will find the pictures interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
What? Another trip to Indore? Cool. Nice opening shots pjb. So many trips are going down memory lanes now, that it's going to be traffic jam there.
No MS. Not another trip to Indore.

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Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
nice pics...
which place is this? waiting eagerly for the pics...
The sunrise pictures are taken somewhere along NH4 near Pune. Must be near Satara (I did not note down where exactly we stopped)

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Great pictures -I look forward to the next set. It must be very peaceful to drive at dawn. I guess you would be looking to reach your destination before the sun gets overhead?
I wanted to reach the destination before sunset.

@everyone, thank you for your words of encouragement. Now to get back to the story.

===============================

Christmas vacation was traditionally a Kerala vacation for us.

We would plan our trip home and book our train tickets well in advance.
I would also plan a 2-3 day trip to different places in Kerala. But those trips never materialized after we landed home.

As a compromise, the 2-3 day trips would change to day trips. We always ended up going to nearby places like Cherai, Fort Kochi, Athirappilly etc.
We must have gone to Athirappilly many times since it is only about 26 km from our home. During one of those trips we also went up to Malakkapara.

Then for one reason or another our trips to Kerala did not happen during the Christmas vacation. This helped us to go to other places around this season. We went to Shimla and Manali. We went to Indore. We went to Bangalore, Mysore & Ooty. This year again, there was no trip planned for Kerala since I had been there twice already.

So sometime in December I started of thinking of places to go to. Goa was an option. My family has never been there. But then the earliest I could leave Pune was on 23-Dec. Bad dates for a vacation in Goa. The accomodation rates mulitply themselves two or three times from that date. And then many hotels would add a Christmas eve dinner and a new year eve dinner costs to your bill. And worst of all, it will be very crowded. And anyway I was too late perhaps to get any hotel booking at affordable rates.

Where do we go then? I had a destination in mind. I have been wanting to take my family there for a long time. But I was not sure if my son and wife would like that place. For me, it would be like going back to a place I love. A place where I had made many friends. Unfortunately I had no contact with any of them. So I was hoping to get in touch with some of them by going there and searching them out.

I broke the idea to a friend. He looked interested. I showed him some pictures and did some pep talk. He was definitely interested.

How far is this place?

Not far. Approximately 600 km one side.

600 km? Isn't that too far to drive to?

Well, I cannot blame my friend. He has never driven such a long distance in a day. I told him not to worry since most of our drive would be along NH4. I even offered to drive his car for a while if he felt exhausted. My wife would drive our car. So that was settled.

Next task on the list was to book hotels. It should be easy. So I kept postponing this task till we had about two weeks left. I started calling up the hotels one by one, starting with the ones that had better reviews. To my dismay every hotel I called up was full for our dates. Finally we go the green signal from one hotel. Hotel Karthik. I breathed a sigh of relief.

There is no need to pay any advance sir. We have a lot of rooms free. You can come directly to the hotel and get the rooms.

The receptionist told me. And I trusted her.

That was a relief. I still called up another hotel (Hotel Shivanand) and the person there too assured us of two rooms. I could not find any reviews about these hotels. Finally I found a review about Hotel Shivanand. The review gave it a thumbs down. One cannot sleep well at night since the hotel is next to the bus stand and the nights would be very noisy. For us that was OK. We had hotel Karthik which was quite far from the bus stand and the pictures of it looked quite good. We would stay there.

I have always been fascinated by sunflowers. And during this trip I got a chance to click them. We passed by a few fields of sunflowers and stopped at one of those places.

A sunflower
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010153.jpg

A work of art
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010154.jpg

A sunflower field. The flowers following the sun
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010152.jpg

The elder flower siblings. Looking over their smaller ones
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010160.jpg

-Biju

To be contd.

Last edited by pjbiju : 2nd January 2011 at 12:23.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 12:54   #7
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

nice start bro !! Keep it coming
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Old 2nd January 2011, 13:07   #8
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

Hi Biju

I think your sun flower picture is from the farms between Hubli and Gadag.

Did you go to Hampi-Badami-Pattadakal ?

BTW, nice pictures, you seems to have mastered the art of post processing. may be i will request for couple of tips from you.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 15:53   #9
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hi Biju

I think your sun flower picture is from the farms between Hubli and Gadag.

Did you go to Hampi-Badami-Pattadakal ?

BTW, nice pictures, you seems to have mastered the art of post processing. may be i will request for couple of tips from you.
Star, does any of those farms belong to you?
You are absolutely right. They are from a farm between Hubli and Gadag.

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nice start bro !! Keep it coming
Thanks Neo. Hope to finish it over the next few days.
===========================================

We also decided to visit a few more places during this trip. And that meant we had to stay at one more place. And the place did not seem to have too many stay options. I sent a message to lukeskywalker and he replied promptly with the contact details of a hotel. I called up the hotel manager. Initially he said there are no rooms available. But then he said he can give us two non-A/C rooms. He requested to transfer an amount to the hotel's account number which I did.

Two days to go. I called up Hotel Karthik.

Sorry sir. We had 35 rooms free. But we had to give all our rooms away. There was a block booking we had to honour.

I was shocked. I called up the remaining hotels. Either they were too expensive or too far away. The ones that were close to our destination and within our budget had no rooms. Finally I called up the hotel next to the bus stand. The manager confirmed that he had kept two rooms for us. Well, we simply had no choice. We would take that hotel.

The route was more or less final. But this time, I did not take any printouts of maps and distances etc. I did not even wash my car. I always wash my car before even a day long trip. I just used the jopasu duster to clean the car in the morning. I was also suffering from throat infection and a bad cold. That's the reason, I gave the wash a miss this time.

We decided to leave Pune by 4:00 a.m.

23-Dec-2010
We woke up at 3:00 a.m. Wife had already packed everything the previous day. We took our iron box so that we could iron our clothes at the hotel. We were a bit delayed and finally started from home at 4:56 a.m. Met up with the friend soon in his Ford Ikon and we headed to NH4. We hit NH4 and then started driving a bit faster. I had dropped a mail to HVK the previous night. But it was too late in the night and I did not see his reply. Anyway things should be fine, I thought to myself.

It was then that I stopped to shoot the sunrise. It was fabulous. We stopped before Kolhapur for breakfast. We spent nearly 45 minutes there and then headed to Konduskar pump to fill up our cars. We would not need to fill up again till we reached our destination.

The drive upto Hubli was a simple affair. The roads are good. There are potholes on the Khambatki ghat section. The tolls are higher on the MH side and roads poorer. Tolls are lower in KA and the roads better. At least till Hubli. Beyond Kolhapur my wife drove till Dharwad.

We turned off at Hubli and stopped at a small eatery to have our early lunch. We had masala dosas and rice plates. Simple and good food.

A glimpse of things to come
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010187.jpg

-Biju

Last edited by pjbiju : 2nd January 2011 at 15:58.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 17:45   #10
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

You offered to drive his car? Then who drives your car?
And great to know it's not Indore again. Around the same time, a friend of mine was belting down Hampi, Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal, Belur and Halebidu!
All that on a bike.
Again some amazing photos you are coming up with PJB.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 19:02   #11
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

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You offered to drive his car? Then who drives your car?
And great to know it's not Indore again. Around the same time, a friend of mine was belting down Hampi, Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal, Belur and Halebidu!
All that on a bike.
Again some amazing photos you are coming up with PJB.
We had three drivers. My friend (the same one who came to Kaas), My wife and myself. This meant one of the drivers could get some respite when needed. Anyway my friend drove the whole trip. It was me, who got some respite between Kolhapur and Dharwad when my wife took over the wheels of the Swift.

============================================

The roads between Hubli and Gadag was fantastic. There were a few potholes in between. But those could easily be driven around without slowing down because of the good visibility and sparse traffic. We stopped on the way for some tender coconuts. Each tender coconut costed us Rs. 10 (half of what we pay in Pune these days).

The road between Gadag and Koppal again was fantastic. This road from Hubli to Koppal was NH63. Once we crossed Koppal, the roads started to deteriorate. Potholes started to appear. And also iron ore carrying trucks. But not as many as I had expected. Once we merged with NH13, the potholes disappeared. Small wells started appearing on the roads and more trucks. A couple of kilometers before the TB Dam circle, the trucks came to a halt. We too stood in line. For a while trucks passed us from the opposite side. Then they too stopped. And then buses, 3-wheelers, local vehicles (except trucks) started to drive down the oncoming lane. And those morons made sure everyone was stuck royally.

I got out of the car and talked to the truck driver in front. This was a regular affair. The wait could be 10 minutes or 2 hours depending upon the number of senseless morons on the roads. There was no check-post, nothing to cause the traffic jam, except for the TB Dam circle.

The sun was going down fast. I called up the manager at Hotel Shivanand. He assured that our rooms were waiting for us. I wanted to take our families to TB Dam for the sunset. Luckily for us, the traffic jam cleared quickly and we were able to get onto the TB Dam road.

A lot of things have changed since my days at Hospet 15 years ago. I thought we could drive straight upto Vaikunta Guest house. But then we were asked to park at the parking lot near the TB Dam circle, just after entering the gates. And I was shocked to see the large number of buses and other modes of transport already parked there. Earlier it was only on Aug 15, that people had to park around this area. We parked our cars and came on to the driveway. There were mini buses charging Rs. 20 per adult and Rs. 10 per child for taking us to the dam. Vaikunta Guest House area is closed for renovation. You cannot go up. The sun had gone down already. Not sure when the mini buses would leave the place, we walked up to the dam. We just managed to catch the last rays of the sun.

A few pictures of the TB Dam.

The giant structure on rails. I am not sure what it is used for.
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010183.jpg

Securing the dam waters
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010191.jpg

The kids enjoying their view of the sea-like reservoir
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010192.jpg

The Dam
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010189.jpg

The lights and fence
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010202.jpg

The fence - a close up
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010200.jpg

We had two more evenings. We should return to watch the sunset.

-Biju

To be contd.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 20:29   #12
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Default re: A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal

That giant structure on rails is an OHT crane (Over head traversing crane). These pics of TB dam is getting fond memories in me too pjb. You were there 15 years back? I was there 15 years back too! in 1996. I was incidentally there in TSPL for some weeks. Those days, skoda meant huge milling machines that was set in T SPL!
Loved those days on shop floor. Used to have idly and vada for 25 paise each. Used to feed the Monkeys that frequent the canteen gates! The first movie I saw there with friends was Merupu kalalu (minsara kanavu dubbed in Telugu), starring Arvind Swamy, Prabhu Deva and Kajol, when I went back there in 1997 for a few more weeks.
How quickly time flies!

Last edited by MX6 : 2nd January 2011 at 20:31.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 21:52   #13
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That giant structure on rails is an OHT crane (Over head traversing crane). These pics of TB dam is getting fond memories in me too pjb. You were there 15 years back? I was there 15 years back too! in 1996. I was incidentally there in TSPL for some weeks. Those days, skoda meant huge milling machines that was set in T SPL!
Loved those days on shop floor. Used to have idly and vada for 25 paise each. Used to feed the Monkeys that frequent the canteen gates! The first movie I saw there with friends was Merupu kalalu (minsara kanavu dubbed in Telugu), starring Arvind Swamy, Prabhu Deva and Kajol, when I went back there in 1997 for a few more weeks.
How quickly time flies!
Yes time really flies. Hospet has not changed a lot. A few new buildings. A few more hotels and a lot more tourists now, mostly domestic ones. The number of cinemas have reduced. I think there are only four of them now. I used to watch a lot of Telugu and Kannada movies those days. I used to cycle to TB Dam quite often. The Dam and the garden has not changed much.

============================================

Seeing that there was not much that we could see at the top, we decided to walk down to the garden. We crossed the canal using the bridge and started walking down. There were thousands of flying termites/alates near the lights. They got into our dresses and the kids screamed their way through the bridge. Now we need to buy tickets to watch the musical fountain show. It was installed sometime around 1995/96 if I recall correctly. We walked through the garden. Watched the fountains and also watched the musical fountain show.

I had taken my tripod along. But I never took it out of the car during the entire trip.

A nandi statue enveloped in a mist of water.
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010204.jpg

A row of fountains
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010215.jpg

More fountains
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010216.jpg

Another one
A Photologue: Pune to Hampi, Badami, Aihole & Pattadakkal-p1010218.jpg

I have a video of the musical fountain show, at least the last few minutes of the show. I will try to see if I can upload that as well.

-Biju

To be contd...

Last edited by pjbiju : 2nd January 2011 at 21:54.
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Old 2nd January 2011, 22:05   #14
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Hey PJBiju,

Excellent images, all beautiful..nothing to single out. I am getting to appreciate the travellouges here at tbhp, noting less then awesome experiences to read.

Thanks for the effort. A very happy new year to every on your side!

Cheers!!
Kalesh
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Old 2nd January 2011, 22:17   #15
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The Nandi Statue inside Water has come out fantasitically mate
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