Sunday, June 30, 2013

74) Turahalli Forest & Omkar Hills: (31/3/2013 & 7/4/2013)

Place: Turahalli Forest & Omkar Hills.
Distance: 10 x 2 = 20kms.
Directions: Bangalore > Uttarahalli > Omkar hills > Turahalli Forest.
Participants: Sukesh > Karhtik (Sp)
Bikes: Pulsar.
Previous Visit: BR hills - The Furnace Ride.

This is quite a different kind of run when compared to the others done down the lane. These experiences of two runs are squeezed into this article. First we had visited Omkar Hills on 31st March, and Turahalli forest on 7th April. Both these places are less than 10kms, but worth every effort put as they made our morns worthwhile.

As Sukesh was new to the town of Bangalore, he wanted to explore the places around his part of town, which happened to be my part of town as well. So we decided to hit the road on separate days to explore and conquer the places nearby.

Yes I was up at 05:00 sharp, did a few push-ups and sit-ups, had a sip of coffee and was all set to go. Took the nearest route to Uttarahalli where Sukesh was put up. After picking up Sukesh we visited these wonderful places.

As we proceeded on the Uttarahalli main road, we passed in front of JSS college and we took a deviation to reach the temple premises. As we were just about to park the bike we saw a couple of beautiful peacocks running around behind the bushes. (After which we tried chasing it, that’s a different story :P) Alright here are the places you got to look out for at Omkar Hills:

i)  Clock Tower:

          * Largest tower in India, bigger than Big Ben.
          * Total Weight is 500kgs, each hand weighs 40kgs.
          * Total height is 40 feet.
     Other details are written out there get off your lazy butt and explore.

ii)  All God’s Club:

          * We call it by this name because there exists a huge tree, surrounding which are present all the religious big shots sitting at peace in their own sweet worlds.
          * The weather was pretty pleasant as it pretty early and best of all there weren’t people around.

iii)  Omkar temple:

          * This is the main attraction of this place.
          * It has 12 Lingas from different states.
          * The ambience of the place is excellent throughout the day.
          * We missed the pulliyogre this time, but nevertheless we spotted the beautiful Shanmukha temple afar.
          * We spent about 15-20mins at this wonderful place and decided to leave.



Turahalli forest is situated about 5kms from Uttarahalli. As Sukesh wanted to try riding my bike, we went to Sompura which is pretty much an empty site, only roads are laid and surroundings rich in green. It is opposite to Omkar hills and below the NICE road. We loafed around for about 30min here and there. And we did spot a couple of peacocks here dancing around in the lush green (this was on our 2nd visit, not the same day).


After roaming for some more time, we decided to visit the Turahalli forest as it was hardly just 2kms from where we were. As we rode between the thick eucalyptus trees the breeze carried a pleasant scent and made the ride a good one.
Then we spotted an abandoned kids camp, it had all kinds of things like info about bugs, roaches etc. It had also other camping essentials like rope climbing practise, crawling etc. We also spotted a huge “Snakes & Ladders” board painted on the floor, with a huge dice that was fixed on a support. (We did try playing, but the dice was an unbalanced mass :P i.e it always showed the same number ha-ha)


On both occasions we returned home early at about 09:00, and settled down for some heavy breakfast.

These were separate runs carried out on two different days. I felt these both were the missing but important links, the short trips that are very essential for the filling the entire whole.
Until Next Time Cia \m/




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

73) Biligiri Rangana Hills (Br Hills) - Furnace Ride: (16/3/2013)

Place: Biligirirangan Hills.
Distance:  200kms.
Directions: Bangalore – Bidadi – Channpatna – Kabblu – Shivanasamudra – Kollegala – BR hills.
Participants: Chethan(Zethu) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Pulsar.
Previous Visit: Kabbaladurga Trek.

This was another superb ride to the forest regions of the BR hills. But this time the entire area was scorched out as it was peak summer. Nevertheless the region looked good and the roads like always never disappointed us.

BR hills is one place we never get tired of visiting. So it was always up there in the list. Once Zethu confirmed he was free the weekend, we decided to hit the road. Unfortunately he couldn’t get his Avy along, so Pulsar had to be geared up.

Yeah I was up at about 05:00, did a few push-ups, had a sip of coffee and was all set to go. At about 06:00 Zethu arrived at my place, parked his bike and we set off.
TIME: 06:00

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Bidadi – Kabbalu – BR Hills Check post)
This was roughly umm., about 180kms stretch. With lot of breaks of course. As we left Bangalore we rode smooth on the SH-17 Mysore Road. Cruising past Kengeri, we reached Bidadi in about half an hour. After reaching Bidadi we pulled over at our regular hotel for some good Tatte Idly’s.  As we were munching down on our breakfast, the bright orange sun rose afar.


With good food and sun in our self we were all set to ride till Kabblu non-stop. That would be roughly 60-70kms stretch. We rode non-stop till Channpatna on the butter smooth Mysore road, then took a left deviation and continued towards Sathnur. The surroundings turned green and temperatures dropped slightly. The ride till Kabblu was a good one. After getting the first glimpse of the mighty hillock we stopped and sat on the road for a small break.

Continuing further we joined the NH-209 (Kanakpura Road) and from then we cruised at I must say a pretty good pace to reach Mallavali and then continuing further we reached Shivanasamudra.
At about 10:00 we entered the Kollegala premises. Since we knew the shortest route through the town to reach BR hills thanks to our previous runs, we reached the check post in just a matter of 30mins. Oh yeah we also had a wonderful pit stop amidst the green grass fields before reaching the BR hills.
TIME: 11:00


The ride to BR hills I must say is one of the best we've rode till date. This time it was pretty different as the trees stood like skeletons drooping from the sky. But nevertheless we felt happy cause chances of spotting wild were higher. As we started off we rode slow hoping to spot elephants like last time.  But the temperature kept shooting up and we picked up pace and finally stopped at the BR Forest Lake, and to our delight there was a herd of deer drinking the muddy waters of the lake.


Continuing further we made it to the temple on top. We observed a new monument being constructed. Even though it was blazing hot, cool breeze now and then hit our tired faces. On top we stood enjoying the aerial scorched view of the forest range we decided to leave. As we were just about to leave we caught up with a stranger who requested us to give an interview as he was conducting a survey about the place. Two pride horns shot out of my head and with an evil smile I spoke non –stop to the poor stranger.
Finishing the interview we decided to hit the road as it was noon and the sun rested directly above our heads.

RIDE 2: (BR hills – Kollegala – Kabblu – NanduDhaba)
The ride back to the check post was a smooth one, but unfortunately we couldn’t spot any animals. Once we were out of the forest region, I took over the bike and we continued to cruise along the village roads below the might hills. We stopped at a lot of places took light naps on the foot paths below trees, ate biscuits as we had fixed Bidadi as the place of lunch.


One incident that I would like to recall would be, as we were riding amidst the green fields towards Kollegala, we spotted a pipe overflowing with icy cold water which went into the fields. We rode a little further and looked at each other and then turned back and stopped and looked out for any angry farmers. When the coast was clear we sat below the pipe quenching our thirst as well as fiery heads.


After we made out of Kollegala, we began to hear a strange sound from the bike, Thankfully there was a mechanic nearby, we got it fixed and rode at a slow pace to reach Shivanasamudra. After this we were pretty much beginning to feel the heat draining out our energies. With lots of stops in between we reached Sathnur and continued further to reach Channapatna via Kabblu. After reaching Mysore road it was more or less like reaching home :D. Our energies shot up we rode non-stop till Bidadi as our tummies were real hungry.
TIME: 16:30

Once we reached The Dhaba we grabbed something to drink and ordered a good meal. Sat back and munching slowly we spent the next 1.5hrs at the Dhaba.
The last stretch was hardly 20kms, and the sun had was almost disappearing at the horizon, so during the last stretch all we had to do was to keep our eyes open after that heavy meal :P, without any difficulties we reached back home safely. Thanked each other for tagging along and headed our ways.
TIME: 19:00


“ This had to be one of the those rides after which we were pretty much barbequed. But we did see a different side of this wonderful forest ranges & more importantly we accepted it completely  And after quite a break I must say I was very was happy to pull off a 400kms Run, Cheers!!"

Until next time Cia \m/



Friday, June 7, 2013

72) Kabbaladurga trek: (17/2/2013)

Place: Kabbaladurga – Return of Goats.
Distance: 100 x 2 = 200kms
Directions: Bangalore – Ramnagara – Channpatna(left) – Kabblu.
Participants: Abhishek (Abhi) > Deepak(Deefu) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Zeus > Pulsar.
Previous Visit: Nijagal Trek.
Budget: Rs350/head

This was another terrific trek to this superb hill. This time unlike last two I had company. None the less, it drained the living spirit of out our body. This hillock offers a much better challenge when compared to others such as Savandurga, ShivaGange etc.,.

Well as far as the planning goes, I wanted the Deepu – the mountain goat to visit this insane hillock. I had climbed it a twice before and knew that he would be more than merely satisfied. At dusk of the previous eve, Deepu informed that Abhi also would be tagging along.

Yeah I was up at about 05:30, did a few push-ups, sit-ups, had a small cup of coffee and was all set to go. Deepu & Abhi arrived at about 07:30, after about 15mins of formal greetings, we departed Bangalore.
TIME: 07:45

RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Kabblu)
This was about a 90kms stretch on our home ground SH-17 (Mysore Road). After making our way through the early traffic, we cruised the next 30kms with ease to reach Bidadi for some smashing breakfast.
After a superb breakfast we rode along the road at a slow pace till Chennpatna and took a left deviation. After the deviation the roads turned into 2-lane but the surroundings increased in its brilliance.


After travelling for another good 15kms we got the first glimpse of the magnificent hillock about 5kms away from the town. Trust me till date every time I look at this hill, it sends shivers down my spine. I began to narrate the my last time experiences climbing this hillock alone. After a small break on the road we resumed to reach the town. We parked our bike and were all set for a good day of hike.
TIME: 10:00


The ascension took us about 1.25hrs(75mins) with a lot of breaks and rests. The ascension was a tiring one as the sun was directly above our head. But Deefu was as usual on fire and lead us to another successful trek. ( I definitely need to learn to shut my mouth as my non-stop chattering drained most of my energy :P )

i) Initial Walk:


As we started off the trek, fortunately I knew the route pretty well this time. So without any worries guided the other two across a few houses and into the fields. As we walked along the sun did rise behind our backs and temperature began to rise. We spotted a strange white eagle kind of bird in this stretch. After crawling through the bushes we made it out of the shade and into the furnace we were.

ii) 3 Point Stretch:

Ah yeah, our favorite part of this entire climb. As Abhi didn't want to climb straight up as it was super steep, Deepu decided to go along with him in a roundabout path and asked me to continue on the 3-point one. So after about 10mins of hmm, I wouldn't say trekking but hanging onto the rock we met a few meters above at a common point.

ii) Viper Stretch:


By now both Abhi & me were pretty beginning to wear out. ( Abhi wasn't use to hiking, but i have no excuse; my non-stop story telling drained every ounce of  living being out of me) But we kept continuing taking breaks at regular intervals. As we reached the Viper Stretch, we sat sown on the dry leaves and took one long break simple chatting away to re-gain the energy. But Deepu showed no signs of tiring as he eagerly awaited for us to rise from our tired butts.

iv) Last Stretch:

 After having completed the Viper stretch, we continued on the hot boulders. The steps I told others was something new and it wasn't present during my first visit to this place. After another 10mins of hike, we finally could see the top fort wall. We pushed along to reach the top of the fort to feel the cool mountain breeze.
TIME: 11:15


As we reached the top, the first thing I did was to show others the place I had spotted the monitor lizard during my last encounter(62 – Kabbladurga). After which we walked one behind the other first to the main temple. Unlike last times the temple doors were open and we were greeted with warmth. We aspent about 15-20mins here and made it to the Nandi temple a few meters away. Again the doors to this temple were also open. So we sat inside the temple in the cool surroundings listening to the history of the place.(Aint’t religious but, it’s always nice to hear a story right?)


After reviving our energies we spent the next 15-20mins roaming around, exploring stables, storage buildings, ponds and other ruins on top. After the sun began hitting us real bad, we decided to hike down. Oh by the way we were out of water a long time back, half we had drunk other half given to some aunties :D.
TIME: 12:30


The decension took usabout 1hrs (60mins). Throughout this climb down Deepu lead and I was stuck between Deepu and Abhi. The hike down was much simpler as all we had to do was walk down using our senses. At steep places we would sit down/walk backwards. So it was pretty much easy going as far as this stretch was concerned.


After finishing the Viper Stretch and 3 Point stretch, we were back on the intial walk through the thick bushes. There we got ourselves some “Hal-Ice” which I must say tasted very good as we had long run out of water. Chewing on the super cool ice we returned to the town of Kabblu. We had some coconut water and cold water near a shop nearby and was all set to leave.
TIME: 13:45


RIDE 2: (Kabblu – Manju Dhaba)
After a hot tiring trek we decided to crash at some Dhaba for some lunch. Leaving Kabblu we rode a few kilometres, then turned back and had one last glimpse at the hillock, promising her a return we continued further to reach  Channpatna on Mysore road. After which the stop at Manju Dhaba was confirmed. 

We rode back at a decent pace to reach the Dhaba. After which we sat back and enjoyed a heavy excellent meal. It felt extra good as most of our energies were pretty much low. After the meal we just relaxed at the Dhaba for a few minutes and decided to ride back to Bangalore.
TIME: 16:00

RIDE 3: (Manju Dhaba – Bangalore)
This was flat 60kms stretch. The cruise back was a smooth one as it was a 4-lane road. All we had to do after that heavy meal was to open one of our eyes and keep going ha-ha!! Deepu & Abhi split and Kengeri after a showing a thumbs-up. And I continued further to reach back home.
TIME: 17:00


This hillock never fails to disappoint true hikers, have climbed this hillock thrice, but every experience was different. So i shan't stop writing to bug you all :P Haha, Cheers”
Until Next time Cia \m/