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Old 31st July 2009, 09:49   #1
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Default 'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...

“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible.”-Stuart Chase
A very good friend of mine underwent a brain surgery late last year. Though the tumor was removed, he has not recovered his vision even after 9 months. Initially the doctors were somewhat positive, saying that though it may take some time, he should recover at least partial sight. But after a recent check-up, they mentioned that there hasn't been any significant improvement till date, so the chances of him getting his sight back are very low. Currently he is at home, with his parents, trying to keep himself entertained by listening to the TV and he certainly is trying his best to keep his spirits up.

Sometime last month, he was flipping through the channels and stopped on a Kannada channel showing a program which covers mysterious occurrences, miraculous places etc. That particular episode spoke about a small village, a hill near the edge of the forest, with a 'Anjaneya' shrine and a natural spring on top of the hill, whose water has some miraculous curative properties etc. Apparently they also interviewed some individuals who had been cured of seemingly incurable ailments after drinking that water.

He heard most of the episode, but he had missed the initial part where they had mentioned the route to the place. He could only recollect that the place was called 'Kabri' or something similar and that it is close to Kanakapura.

Having known him for more than 20 years, I know that under normal circumstances, he wouldn't have have paid attention to such 'superstitious' programs and would have flipped channels without a second thought. But he is in a situation where medical science seems to have run out of options; and there is willing to try anything that offers any hope.

A couple of days after this program was telecast, he mentioned about this place to check if we could get some water from this spring. Though my first thought was to dissuade him from being irrational, I felt that it is easy for me to pontificate since I am not in his position; and maybe I should not be passing judgements about stuff which I myself haven't seen or experienced. There are still a lot of things that haven't been scientifically explained. So who knows...

With the sketchy details he had mentioned, I and Mr.Patil tried to figure out more about this place. Googling did not help at all... emails to the TV channel did elicit any response and we couldn't reach them via phone. Then one day a casual conversation between Mr.Patil and his office cab driver veered towards this topic and when asked about this 'Kabri' village, he mentioned that there was indeed a place called 'Kebre' near Kanakapura.

Armed with this correct spelling, my colleague Shashi dug up quite a few details about this village and the route. Since I estimated that it would be a couple of hours drive from Bangalore, I planned a quick trip on a Saturday or a Sunday.

Things did not work out as planned, one weekend I had a viral fever, some other commitments took over the subsequent weekends... and last Sunday Mr.Patil was out of action with a flu and could not make it. With Sangeetha off to her parents house, I did not have any other plans for the day and decided to do the trip.

Since one of the other things on my 'To do' list was to catch up with Kiran, here was an opportunity to do some multi tasking! Called him up, mentioned about the plans and he was quite excited too... especially since he had seen this program on TV and was quite curious to check out the place!

On Sunday, 26th July 09, I met up with Kiran on Bull-Temple road and we headed off towards Kanakapura and then to Kebre. The route was as per the map below:

Drive time, from Bull-Temple road to Kebre: @2 hours.
Total distance covered (To & Fro): 157kms
Time required to walk up the hill: @ 1 hour.
Time spent on the top (Including the trek down to the cave): @2 hours.
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-map.gif
Map courtesy: Online maps, GPS Navigation, Driving Directions, Local Search

Kanakapura road leads to quite a few interesting places...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-1.jpg

Stopped to buy some water and took a couple of pics of this big guy...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-2.jpg

We did not waste any time enroute, once we were close to Kanakapura, we stopped every couple of Kms to ask for directions. Crossed Kanakapura and took the road leading to 'Kodihalli'. Crossed Kodihalli and took the road to Kebre village and reached the 'Govina Kallu Betta' as this hill is called. Parked the Xing and headed up the path leading up the hill...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-3.jpg

Thanks to the recent rains, the area around looks very green and inviting!
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-4.jpg

The path is dotted with shady trees...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-5.jpg

This old lady from the nearby village is a regular visitor to this place and she mentioned that apart from the spring and the temple, we should also visit the cave where the idol was originally found...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-6.jpg

The path winds its way up to the top of the hill...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-7.jpg

Oye Dude.. wait for me!
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-8.jpg

After the place got featured on TV, quite a few visitors have been interested in the place... and a road has been laid through the fields to reach the hill...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-9.jpg

A Ganesha shrine carved into a niche in the rock...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-10.jpg

Since this area is contagious to the Bannerghatta National Park, there is quite a bit of greenery around and occasionally wild elephants can be seen wandering around in these areas...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-11.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-12.jpg

Time for a breather... near the top.
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-13.jpg

Reached the temple on the top and saw this small pool of water in a hole dug up next to the temple... was this the 'holy spring' ? The priest at the temple clarified that the 'Sanjeevini Kola' was actually next to a Ganesha temple that we had passed on the way up. (Not the Ganesha in the niche in the rock, but another small & simple looking building close to the top.)
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-14.jpg

We decided that we'll collect the water on the way down. The next place to see was the cave where 'Anjaneya' is supposed to have performed penance... and where the idol now housed in the temple on the top was originally found. Kiran spotted a couple of kids loitering around and asked them about the 'gavi' (Cave). The Kids volunteered to show us the way...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-16.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-17.jpg

Off they went.. hopping from rock to rock and we found it tough to keep pace with the kids as we gingerly stepped our way through the path...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-18.jpg

Oh Come on! Walk fast!! At this pace, it will be nightfall before we reach the cave...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-19.jpg

Hmmm... I just walked down this path...can I make it back up??
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-20.jpg

Oye huduga... innu yeshtu doora hogabeku?
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-21.jpg

Are you nuts?
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-22.jpg

Swalpa taalu guru!
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-23.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-24.jpg

Break time please...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-25.jpg

An empty beehive...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-26.jpg

Yeh kahaaaan...aagaye hum.
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-27.jpg

Second thoughts...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-28.jpg

Hmmm!!! Looks interesting...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-29.jpg

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Old 31st July 2009, 10:00   #2
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Careful Sir , those caves look exciting but a bit dangerous. The countryside photos are amazing
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Old 31st July 2009, 10:09   #3
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Default Trip to Kebre...

We had taken a flashlight along with us and could crawl quite a bit into the cave... apparently, if we squeeze though the narrow hole at the end, it leads to a much bigger cave below the one we were in... but we decided to explore that during another visit, took some pics and headed back out...
'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-30.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-31.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-32.jpg

"Did you take monkey photos?.. Did you take monkey photos?" he asked.
"Yes, I just did.", I replied...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-33.jpg

The small white spot near the bottom-left corner of the pic is the Xing parked near the foot of the hill...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-34.jpg

We headed back up to the top of the hill...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-35.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-36.jpg

The idol housed in the temple at the top, this was originally found in the cave...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-37.jpg

A view from near the temple on the top...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-38.jpg

We stopped at the 'Sanjeevini kola' to fill up a couple of bottles. The boys were happily gulping down the water from the spring. But it did not look too inviting to us... so we decided to taste it only after running it through a water filter.

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-39.jpg

Task accomplished! we started our walk down the hill...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-40.jpg

This is actually natural rock, though it looks like a block of concrete. The hillside is dotted with lots of such rocks...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-42.jpg

More pix...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-43.jpg

And we reached the Xing...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-44.jpg

One last look at the hill... we agreed that this place is quite good for a one day picnic sort of visit. And I need to get Sangeetha to this place too...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-45.jpg

Why did the chicken cross the road?

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-46.jpg

Some pics while driving through a couple of villages along the route...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-47.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-48.jpg


'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-50.jpg

Some more pix...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-51.jpg

Quite colorful!

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-52.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-53.jpg

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-54.jpg

A flash of florescent green next to the road...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-55.jpg

Turned out to be paddy saplings, ready to be transplanted to the fields...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-56.jpg

The road to Kodihalli...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-57.jpg

Frames for growing silk-worms...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-58.jpg

Weaving their silken magic...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-59.jpg

A temple in along the roadside...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-60.jpg

A banyan tree...

'Xing'ing around ! - Belief...-61.jpg

We reached Bangalore by around 7.00pm. I dropped Kiran back to his place and headed back to base.

Either me, Mr.Patil or Kiran will be doing a weekend trip to our friend's home-town to take the water. And yes, one thing is for sure... I am not planning to add in any further in this log on whether the water has any effect on my friend or not. I would like to be neutral about the whole thing and as the guy on the TV program says... "Nambidre nambi, bitre bidi". i.e. "Believe it or not".

In any case, it was a good drive and an interesting day out for us.
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Old 31st July 2009, 10:33   #4
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Beautiful pictures. Just looking at these pictures makes me feel so relaxed and composed.

You should have ventured into the cave. There are similar caves here in the nilgiris. Its best to throw a stone as further you can and wait for a while before you enter a cave. At times the owner of the cave may not like your intrusion. Again, nice pictures.
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Old 31st July 2009, 10:36   #5
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Excellent stuff. Nice narration, supported by great pictures and it is indeed wonderful place to visit for a great trek. The view from the top and the cave looks quite awesome. It still looks quite pristine as people have not really discovered this place so that they can really mess it up, just like any other tourist place.

For once, I am really glad to see large rocks, with nothing written on them and we can enjoy their natural beauty. Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 31st July 2009, 12:10   #6
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Lovely pics. So did your friend have any benefit?
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Old 31st July 2009, 12:22   #7
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Very nice pictures and narration, almost felt like I was there looking at the pics. I hope the water collected does your friend good and his eye sight comes back.
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Old 31st July 2009, 16:24   #8
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Great pics as always ! C'mon, do share with us if your friend got better or not, just for curiosity sake ! Anyhow, sincerely hope that he recovers his eyesight soon, holy means or otherwise !
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Old 31st July 2009, 17:02   #9
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Excellent snaps and well said..The map will help anyone planning to visit there. Our prayers will be there for a miracle...

Last edited by gadadhar : 31st July 2009 at 17:03.
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Old 31st July 2009, 17:09   #10
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A friend in need, is a friend indeed.

The water from the caves, and the collective prayers from all of us here.
May your friend have a great life full of joy and happiness and these dark clouds become the bringers of spring.
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Old 31st July 2009, 17:53   #11
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Very interesting read. Very different from the usal Travelogue. Good luck for your friend.
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Old 31st July 2009, 18:02   #12
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I showed the pictures to my gf and she stood there all the time with just one question - did it work. You really do need to tell us now...hehe.
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Old 31st July 2009, 20:53   #13
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Nice pictures. Really liked the way you narrated those things with some excellent pictures to back it up.

Cave looks quite dangerous....Have you seen the movie "Descent" might know why its dangerous. sorry its OT.

Even i am eager to know whether your friend got his sight back or not.
Wish him a speedy recovery.
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Old 31st July 2009, 23:16   #14
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great travelogue as always hotstuff

sensible and mature decision to leave the outcome unwritten.

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Old 1st August 2009, 04:35   #15
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Hotstuff, very interesting travelogue and very well written. And needless to say wonderful pics as well.

Hope your friend recovers very soon. Miracles do happen and thats the reason it is called 'MIRACLES'.

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