Monday, November 30, 2009

Kaidala Temple

I decided to head to Kaidala after completing Fort Madhugiri.From Madhugiri Kaidala is about 50 kms.The roads leading to this place was under repair,so had a tough time navigating to this place.
The main vigraha of Lord Channakeshava is quite impressive.Legend has it that famous sculptor -Jakkanachari had built this impressive vigraha in his left hand.

Apart from the main vigraha ,there are a few sculptures worth seeing.I asked the poojari if i could take a snap.I was waiting for almost 30 minutes to pop this question to him.

He said -"just dont ask-you may click the snaps".I was just delighted at this and went ahead to click couple of snaps. :)

Another hoysala temple of Sri Gangadhareshwara Temple is just right beside it.I clicked a few snaps here as well.The priest here seemed to be quite rude.A small kid 7- 8 years was just holding the pillar and he admonished him badly for that.I was sad and left the place after praying to Lord shiva.Headed back to bangalore.Had lunch on the way back @Kamat and reached home by 4pm.

Another fort,another temple ,another day,i am just loving it :)

Fort Madhugiri

Well i had been covering forts in the tumkur district and one major fort eluded me in my quest -Madhugiri fort.After Nijagal, Devarayandurga, Channarayandurga, Midigeshi and Madakasira,finally Madhugiri is conquered :)

I parked my vehicle in front of the fort which coincidentally also houses a court complex.Started the trek @ 8:30 am.The climb is relatively easy and made good ground.
At the first level of the fort,one can spot a huge kalyani which is now dry unfortunately.There are some interesting rooms -the entry to which is dificult since there is some thick undergrowth.However i managed to check out these places.They seems to be massive granaries -since the there were no doors to these places ,except for a small opening for one person to enter.

The huge watchtower near the granary is simply majestic.As one climbs this watch tower ,one feels like a king literally :).Proceeding from here ,one has to climb a series of steps carved out of the rocks.The iron railings are missings/worn out and there are none now.The steep climb from here ,leads to a place which is the trickiest part of the fort.
One has to be very careful,since this climb to the entrance to the next level of the fort ,might be fatal if one slips from here.Meanwhile i noticed a few abonded footwear and i assumed somebody should be on the fort.While climbing this stretch it is advised that one climbs with barefoot.
After reaching level 2,the steps vanish,all that remains is faint carved steps in the rocks which again is very slippery.Thinking that i might be very near to the summit i reached the next level 3.Again the entrance to the place is a bit tricky and slippery.I reached this place thinking that i had reached the summit when i heard some voices,it turned out some local people had climbed the fort ahead of me and they were returning back.They posed for the snaps and i carried on.From here it becomes even tricker where one has to climb only on steep rockface.Due to rains recently there was some algae around and i had my heart in my mouth.

Finally i managed to reach the level 4 and the topmost level of the fort.Spent about half an hour clicking snaps and resting which is when i realised that during my climb i hadnt drank any water :) .Quickly had some water since i was very thirsty by then.I had delayed drinking water thinking everytime that the summit was just around the corner.

I climbed down slowly by around 11:30 am ,on the way i saw many people climbing up the fort.The climbdown-i enjoyed the gentle breeze blowing and took multiple breaks to enjoy the view from the fort.

I also liked the court complex below,which also houses a watch tower :).One the way back i decided to visit Kaidala

To be continued..

Monday, November 23, 2009

Charmadi ghat trek

Alekan falls-Balekalgudda-Kodekalgudda-Anadka falls

To start with i havent trekked much in the charmadi ghat ranges and was wondering about it.Thats when my friend Aravind GJ's blog caught my attention.After making all the enquiries me and my friend Mahantesh decided to go for this trek

I booked a Rajahamsa thinking that i will get down at Kottigehara in the charmadi ghats but my plans were squashed when the conductor mocked at me saying that rajahamsa dont go via the charmadi ghat.Nevertheless we reached dharmasthala at 5:15 am in the morning which was a blessing in disguise for us.As soon as we got down we got a bus headed towards shimoga via the charmadi ghat.

Checked with the conductor and the driver and they didnt know where the falls come ,i decided that we will get down before kottigehara and walk downhill instead of uphill.The morning was very pleasant and the walk was too good.We met a guy who scared us telling us not to venture into the gudda.He guided us to Alekan falls.We finished our morning ablutions and had breakfast which we had got.

We came to the road and we met a guy who told us that he was from the estate nearby and told us that there would be a auto which would bring labourers and we could take the same auto towards bidurutala village.Soon enough the Auto came by and we took it to reach bidurutale @Rs 30 :) .We started climbing the place which was quite steep.It took us about an hour to cover the steep 3km stretch with our heavy backpacks.We managed to reach the village when one guy was heading out and he was in a hurry .We dumped bags at his house and told him that we will return back for the evening.
He asked us to stick to the "kal-dari" and we did so,but after about 3 kms,the the path abruptly ended with thick shola jungle.It was impossible to move ahead since the undergrowth was full and we even couldnt see anything due to such thick growth.We took a left turn and climbed a small peak.I checked all the peaks and managed to pin-point Balekalgudda-the tallest of them all.Next was to figure out the route.Small calculation of going over the small hillocks would lead us to the peak.But i was worried since i thought there might be a valley which i would not be able to see and i was sure that if there is a valley there would be a shola forest there.Luckily we managed to reach Balekalgudda.The weather was very pleasant .We took a few snaps and decided to rest for a while atop the peak.

After spending about an hour on the peak,it began to get very windy,we decided to get down and check out Kodekalgudda which is right opposite to Balakalgudda,but again one has to climb down and go through a circuituos route since there is cliff and a valley between the peak and kodekalgudda.We slowly trekked along and reached kodekalgudda in about 45 minutes.By now the sun was playing hide and seek.We were exhausted by now and decided to rest for a while.I was wary since the place looked like an ideal habitat of bear.Didnt want to take any chances.Besides it was getting overcast and hence we decided to head towards bidurutale village ,our basecamp for the day.

After loosing our way a bit ,we managed to reach the village by 4pm .There were some tense moments when we ran out of water for a while ,thankfully we made it in one-piece to the village.We headed out to dharmasthala the next day ,dumped our bags in a room and we decided to hire a jeep to anadka falls.The return trip cost us about Rs600 which was well worth it since the driver also came with us a guide to show the falls.From didupe village one has to walk for about 3 kms through the village ,mountains and the cross the stream in between to reach the falls.The falls is simply amazing and one of the best i have seen till date.We both had a bath for about 45 mintues ,before decided to head back.

Came back had lunch at guruprasad hotel in ujire ,before heading back to dharmasthala .We had a bath ,had darshan and then headed back to bangalore by the 11pm bus

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fort Madakasira

After a 3 week jinx ,i finally decided to break the shackles and was on tender hooks as to when will i get out of bangalore

Started early by 5:20 am and headed to dobaspet via the nice road.Had a quick breakfast at the now usual hotel at madhugiri and moved on.Even as i was heading towards madakasira as fast as i could ,i couldnt resist the photo oppurtunity with plenty of birds on this route

Spent almost 30-40 minutes enroute in clicking snaps of the kingfishers and the parrots.Finally reached madakasira at around 9:30 am ,quickly started climbing the fort.

The small town has grown inside the walls of the fort and one has to wade through the street before entering the fort.After a brief period of about 20 mintues climb ,reached the amazing staircase which is surrounded by two huge rocks which are very tall.There is a lot of shade here and the one can enjoy the cool breeze blowing over the rock face.

Relaxed at this point for a while before heading for more ahead.The next stop was at the the viewpoint where one can find the amazing vistas of the madakasira town.

After clicking numerous snaps ,finally moved ahead.Here one can see two huge towers ,one of the biggest in the forts that i have come across in my visit to the forts.Relaxed a bit ,enjoying the the huge towers and sinking in the moment-had some oranges.It was getting sunny and decided to move ahead to explore the temple and the fort ahead.There is a small kalyani here and temple of lord shiva.

There is a open space with rock boulders just behind this ,meandered through this place which finally leads to a flight of steps to the top of the fort,decided to give it a miss since there was a gang of monkeys and i have had bad experiences once before in shivagange.

There are no decent places to eat in madakasira ,i had packed mosaranna ,so managed to survive the scare.I had my food just outside hemavathy .It was simply blazing hot ,rested for a while under some tree shade.Hemavathy is about 35 kms from Madakasira and is home to panchaligeshwara built by Nolumbas in the 10 century.

The temple complex also has a ASI musuem.The temple has some intricately carved sculptures.One unique thing about this place is Lord shiva can be seen in the Manava Akara which is unique.Apart from this the giant Nandi in front of each of the temple complexes is another unique thing about this place.Headed back to bangalore,which was uneventful this time around