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Monday, November 28, 2011

Trekked Ombattu Gudda (OG) in 11 hours!!!
OG7.JPG


Yes even it was difficult for us to believe! Started on Saturday (Nov 26th 2011) morning at 6:30AM from Gundya and reached OG at 5:30PM :-) :-) Even pushed ourself to reached Lakshmi Estate on Saturday night itself by 10PM! We trekked more than 30km in a day.

Ombattu Gudda (nine hills) Trek is very famous for its mysterious route! Its in Kabbinale reserve forest, at the height of 971m. OG is a trekkers paradise, and can scare the daylights out of even a hardened trekker. No trial to follow and in dense vegetation its damn easy to get lost. May be only 3 out of 10 team will conquer OG. If lost its not even easy trace back trial to reach the start point. Many teams have spent even 2 days to come back after getting lost on day1. Also wild elephants, bear, bison, poisonous snakes and blood suckers (leeches) add more toughness and challenges to OG trek.

Note: Need permission from Forest department as this is restricted area.

OG map.jpg

OG is about 20-25km trek to peak depending on the trial we take, and to Hosakere its around 10km. Starting point is Gundya, around 38km from Sakleshpura or 260km from Bangalore. Dharmasthala and Mangalore busses will go via Gundya. Trek exit is through Hosakere in Mudigere. Last bus to Mudigere is @ 5:PM. From Mudigere there are many buses to Bangalore.

Usually Bangalore ASCENDers (BASC) gets huge response for OG trek events! Its really a tough task for organiser to select a team. Ours was a 13 member team (Abhishek Sooda, Ambareesh Karanth, Anitha, Avinash Kodikal, Naveen A, Naveen Mallesh, Rahul, Rajesh P Nayak, Samudyatha, Sanketh Shetty, Somashekara, Sri Harsha, and Vikas) with 3 trekkers experiencing first trek! and 2 guys never did 2 days tough trek. But they had tremendous spirit to summit OG.

We reached Gundya very early in the morning, so slept in TT itself for more than an hour waiting for the sunlight. We got down near Kabbinale bridge, took our trekking gears and all were ready for the tough trek. One can easily make out the excitation and eager in every faces to climb OG. After crossing Kabbinale bridge (1.5km from Gundya Forest checkpost towards Dharmasthala) we followed a mud road to the right which takes inside the Gundaya village. Houses are there on both sides of the road, but after about 15 walk no civilization, its dense forest. Still a jeep track continues till the point where Kabbinale joins Adda Hole. Its around 3hrs easy walk with crossing few small streams, experiencing beauty of dense forest. We saw fresh & old elephant dung on the way! We need to be very cautious as there are chances of deviating from jeep track as many paths will be joining (both left & right) and also due to tree falling on path. Always we need to follow wide trail and never trek off the track.
KB_Cross.JPG

In the Kabbinale river crossing point, we relaxed and had breakfast. Water was crystal clear and very tasty. After spending half an hour we left @ 11AM, we crossed Kabbinale river and continued to walk on the jeep track. We were clearly hearing Adda hole river flowing to the right of us. OG7_2.JPG
After about an half an hour walk, track will join Adda hole (near big rocks), from here there is no jeep track, we need to move along with narrow foot path. Now the path is inside dense forest and is scary as we saw few poisonous vipers.
frog.JPG

Ahead we got a 'Y' junction, right goes to Devara Gundi falls (below) and straight path is OG trial. We were not interested in going to falls as it was full of slippery rocks so very risky, also water was very less.. We continued to trek straight. After walking for 15 minutes again we got a 'Y' junction, right goes to Devara Gundi falls (above) or joins Adda hole and straight goes inside dense jungle. Right path is what is mapped in Survey map in red dots, which goes on the bank of Adda hole (which we followed in OG/3). But we went straight, can't justify why, but I always try a different route. As we moved further, path became very narrow and often interrupted by fallen trees. Around 2PM we reached a small stream, and decided to have lunch there. I was really surprised by the first time trekkers as they were walking without much difficulty, also didn't ask for breaks in between! and I should thank Rajesh & Naveen Mallesh who were sweepers till now were motivating & pushing the whole team.

Finished lunch and filled water now ready to move forward. Crossed the stream, went ahead slightly towards right as it was going towards top of a hill. We all climbed the hill, now forest was not dense and trees were very straight and tall. Rajesh checked GPS location in his iPhone, we were on the verge of the forest which will open up in OG range. All were happy that we were on right way and also didn't get lost in jungle. We continued further it was an uphill climb, by 3:30PM we were out of jungle and reached grassland of OG range. Actually we directly reached 2nd peak of OG from its south side (normal route is to take left from Addahole and reach OG range from its east side). All were so happy that we will be climbing OG on day1 only! ogclimb.JPG
OG_climb.JPG

Now challenging task was to climb rest 7 peaks to reach OG that too under hot sun and heavy wind. This time Rajesh & Naveen Mallesh were leading the team and I & Somashekara were pushing the team as sweepers. It was not an easy task at all, wind was literally pushing out of the hill if we don't hold the grass for support. Now the pace has drastically come down. Finally @ 5:30PM we were on top of OG! It was a great feeling for all of us, after very challenging climb. We have climbed OG in only 11hours! This was supposed to be a 2 days TOUGH trek in Jungle, but the team made it a single day trek! Its great team effort, helping and motivating each other. kallu.JPG
We could clearly see Deepadakallu & Jenkal betta towards North-East direction and Jeep track (which leads Lakshmi Estate) towards North-West direction. We need to cross a small jungle patch to reach the jeep track. It was getting dark, so we hurried towards jeep track after taking few group photos. We were out of forest patch by 6:30PM and took rest on jeep track. Left (down path) takes to Saraswathi estate (may be around 1.5km) and right (up path) takes to Lakshmi Estate / Bhyrapura / Hosakere. It was already almost dark now, so we started towards Laksmi estate, its about 3hrs downhill (almost) walk on a easy jeep track. Again Naveen M and Rajesh went ahead, me and Abhishek were at the end. He was very slow and needed support to walk as he had pain in legs. It was dark night trek with dense jungle surrounding us. We were lucky to see 2 snakes on the path. It was really a wonderful experience with cold breeze and very silent jungle. First batch reached estate by 9:45PM, we 2 reached late @ 10:30PM.

We are really thankful to Lakshmi estate guys for proving us a room to rest for the night and allowed us to cook in the morning. We called our driver and asked him to come to Hosakere from estate landline as there was no mobile signal in the area. We reached back to Bangalore on Sunday night itself. Credit of this 'Single Day trek to OG' goes to the entire team. Great spirit shown by each and everyone, kudos to them.
Group1.JPG


Experiences shared;

Sri Harsha:
It was amazing adventurous expedition..! It was a wonderful experience and i will reminisce it for a very very long time..! You guys just rock..!
It was a wonderful team and more than that, it was a wonderfully co-ordinated event. Kudos to Ambareesh, Rajesh and Naveen for taking the baton and making sure we got the sense of an adventure trip as well as exploring new places.

Anitha:
No words to express.....,
Stillllllllll..Awesomeeeeeeeeeee......Inspiringggggggggggg......Adventuroussssssssssss....,
This was my first trek with BASC and definitely the most adventurous trek I love.
The experience was just thrilling, full of  extreme experiences and fun in the pure nature,
away from the civilization for the time period.
Thanks to Ambareesh for giving me an opportunity and being a motivation throughout the trek.
Thanks to every single hand who lent me to move along the trek. Ambareesh was leading the group, Rajesh and Naveen as sweeper making sure that everyone is in front of him and experienced trekkers in between the everyone was motivating me to reach Ombattu Gudda.
and  and and and............. Its the Great team which made it a successful trek.

Sanketh:
My second trek with BASC and a hell a lot of exciting moments this time as well. Thanks Ambareesh for the opportunity and the team as a whole for the wonderful experience. Oorige hogovaaga innodu betta torsi hemmeyinda adanna hattidini anbahudu...  Ha ha...   :-)

Photo Link;


Event Organized by: Ambareesh Karanth
Visit our Group @ CLICK HERE
Join Bangalore ASCENDersCLICK HERE
Written by: Ambareesh Karanth

Sunday, November 27, 2011

(PART 1 is here)
Sleep was hard to come by during the night as the wind continued to howl. A large part of the night was spent just awaiting the dawn. I was the first one up in the camp. I hastily got ready and decided to head off for a morning stroll along the stream.

Morning view from the campsite
By now the sun had risen but still wasn’t visible due to the hills in the east. The banks of such streams are rather fertile. These are the only spots that tree growth can be observed at such altitudes in the ghats. I proceeded to sit by the stream take a  few shots of the stream and frogs I observed hopping nearby.

A frog by the Bandajje stream
On heading back to the campsite I had some cup noodles and packed up. It was now time to proceed to our next destination, Ballarayana Durga fort. There is no genuine path to the fort. Most of route involved navigating our way through the tall montane grass over a series of undulating hills. After completing a series of these we could finally catch a glimpse of the ruined fort through our binoculars. A rather straight forward path along the ridge of a few hills became apparent and the excitement was evident among the group.
Far away, on the path leading to the fort, we suddenly glimpsed movement. There were excited cries among the group of the possibility that we may have spotted an elephant. On closer inspection the animal appeared bovine. We quickly assumed it to be a bison (gaur), a terrific find none-the-less. I was still rather sceptical though and decided to put my 300mm of zoom to use and take a snap. On observing the image on the LCD we realised it was just a buffalo and chuckled at our naivety.
At this point Phrabhakar began moving a little ahead of the group and assumed the lead. I was at the back and had lost sight of him till I saw our brave pioneer rapidly scampering backward while simultaneously taking photographs. A moment later we saw the cause for his panic, he was being chased by a rather angry buffalo.

Thats the one!
The group tried moving forward as one unit and tossing stones at the bovine, but sadly to no avail. It seemed to enrage the buffalo bull further and made us scamper up a nearby hill. Any further and we’d be forced off the cliff.
If you know me or have read my blog before I’m sure you saw that coming. This is the third trek I’m getting into bovine trouble. Anyways…….

The group being chased up the hill. Photo Courtesy: Siddharth
We thought of approaching the fort from an alternate route through the valley. This plan was soon scrapped on sighting more buffaloes grazing on the opposite hill.
Some of the guys were panic stricken by the number of buffaloes around us while others saw the funny side of it. Battle lines had been drawn, strategies meticulously planned and troops summoned….this was war!!
We observed that it was just a single individual and not an entire herd that was making life difficult for us. Eventually we decided to bide our time till the buffalo moved away from the path and then make a run for it. And run for it we did! Being towards the tail of the group I was forced to push myself hard. I sprinted and refused to look back till I was a thousand meters from the war zone.
From here on the path to the fort was a rather smooth one. We did see a few more buffaloes in the distance causing a little bit of panic in our ranks. But none of these seemed to take any interest in us. We quickly ascended to the fort with our cameras vigorously clicking away. We had won this battle and it was now time to celebrate with refreshments. 
A panoramic view from the fort.
Not much is known about Ballarayana Durga. After a good bit of googling I’ve still been unsuccessful in finding information on the fort and would love it if you could provide me with some.  One thing is certain though, the views from here are breathtaking. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

A view from the fort. HDR
As per the plan, we were to start our descent from here on. Our first attempt to do so saw us reach a dead end. In the distance we could see the rain clouds brewing and pouring on distant valleys. As be backtracked we happened to startle a rather large dark rat snake who decided to quickly slither away from us. On walking a bit further we could see something that resembled a jeep track in the distance, down in the valley. There appeared no visible way to get to the track though. Johan decided to lead the way. We followed him, along cattle tracks, through prickly grass down into a valley. Along the way, we managed to startle some more wildlife, a hare on this occasion. After an hour or so we hit a trail that we assumed would take us to the jeep track.
The open grasslands were now only a distant memory as be began traversing through dense forest again.  We all moved fast as we were hungry and were looking  for a place to have lunch away from the festering leeches. We soon hit the jeep track that further led to a house that I assume belonged to a local priest. With civilization just a stone’s throw away, we decided to break for lunch at the house.

A close-up of one of the many streams flowing through the forest.
It was at this point it dawned upon me that till that point we hadn’t seen a single other person apart from our group mates for the duration of two whole days.
Form here it was a rather straight path through fields then villages. Before we knew it we managed to get a jeep to drop us to Sunkasale village. Our first order of business here was a nice cup of tea, my first in two days. Next, we boarded a bus to the temple town of Hornadu, where we were catch a bus to Bangalore later that night.
On getting to Hornadu we freshened up and decided to seek blessings at TheAnnapoorneshwari  temple. This temple makes up almost half of the town, which just about tells you it’s prominence among the people.  The temple also offers an evening meal to its devotees. Kind of like a South Indian version of the Punjabi Langar.
With our bodies fresh and our stomach satiated we boarded our bus back to Bangalore.

Route:
To:  Bangalore>Dharmasthala>Ujire>Mundajje
Fro: Sultanpet>Sunkasale>Hornadu> Bangalore
GPS track compiled by Naveen.


Event Name: Trek to Bandaje Arbbi falls and Ballalarayana Durga fort: BABD/6_26-27-Nov-2011
Original Writeup by: Aniruddha
Event organized by: Girish

Image Galleries: Raghavendra, Siddharth, Aniruddha, Brijesh, Girish, Johan, Naveen, Prabhakar

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I sat there, all alone near the peak of a nameless hill. The sun began to recede slowly, the light began to dim. The beauty of the dusk had once again set upon the Ghats. In the distance, I glanced upon the Arabian sea.  I enjoyed every moment up there, the rustle of the shola grass, the screaming wind, the sudden bouts of mist and thought to myself, ‘this is life’.

Sunset.
I sat there, alone, thinking how fortunate I was to experience such a feeling again. It was just three months ago that I had a crazy bicycle crash on tour. I couldn’t walk for a month after and the effects lingered on till about a few days before the trek.
The trek I am talking about was one to Bandajje Arbi falls and Ballarayana Durga fort. It was organized by the Bangalore Ascenders group.  This route is located in the Charmadi Ghats area in the Dakshina Kanada district of Karnataka.
I set out from home on the night on Friday night, the 25th of November. Needless to say I had butterflies in my stomach. Majestic bus stand, Bangalore, platform 14 was the spot designated to meet the rest of the travelling party. The group consisted of 12 guys, all rather experienced at such outings.  After a hasty round of introductions we were all seated in the bus. We arrived at our destination, a town called Dharmasthala, before the break of dawn. We had to wait for sunrise before we could get ourselves some breakfast and a ride to the base village of our trek, Mundajje. A little after daybreak we hired 2 gypsies and were off.
After navigating some non-existent roads for an hour we finally reached Mundajje. And so here began our trek. We quickly moved through the local fields and into the forest. The lack of moisture in the forest bed made sure the leech menace was minimal. The terrain was undulating till the first stream crossing.
The stream crossing was slightly tricky. The lucky ones only got their feet wet unlike others who happened to drop their belongings.  After this point the route got steeper, the sun rose higher and the humidity began to sink in.  Progress was slow and frequent breaks became necessary. Every gust of wind was greeted with smiles from the travellers and a cacophony of noises from the drying forest.

Johan standing under a particularly large fig tree.
After about 4 hours in the forest we finally hit the high altitude grasslands. These grasses called shola grasses are endemic to the south of the Western Ghats. Reaching the grasslands always brings renewed energy to a group on any trek. The wind blows freely here, the weather is cool and one can view the most beautiful vistas in all directions. After the monotony of the forest the grasslands are often a sight for sore eyes.

Bandajje Arbi Waterfall in the distance.
We were informed by our leader, Girish, that the Bandajje Arbi waterfalls were barely a few kilometres away. Soon the falls became visible in the distance and got the shutterbugs amongst us excited.  Our proposed campsite was in the direction of the falls so we continued to head in that direction. Halfway to the falls we decided to stop for lunch. Signs of the presence of wild animals in the area were evident. The ground was littered with elephant and bison dung.
We moved forward and reached the stream that would flow to culminate at the falls. Girish and a few others left to identify a campsite. I just decided to loiter around by the stream and click a few photographs. After an hour or so and a lot of gaffes the camp, …umm more like two flimsy sheets of tarpaulin were set up. It was now time for the restless among us to explore the area.

Bandajje stream flowing by our campsite.

Johan and Dan decided to ascend to the peak of this hill which looked to be the tallest in the vicinity. I decided to join them, hoping I’d get a few good clicks up top. What I got though was way more than any of us bargained for. The other side of this hill was more of a steep rock face. It provided us a panoramic view of the entire area. In the distance I glanced upon Ballarayana Durga fort, our destination for the next day.  The wind here was crazy and refused to let us stand still for more than a few seconds. After a few superman poses we decided to head down. At this point it was about 5pm. I decided to let the two of them carry on and wait half-way up this hill for the sunset in the west. Though the grand sunset I envisioned never occurred the time spent alone on that hillside was simply magical.

  View from the hilltop.
As darkness began to set in I started moving towards base-camp.  As the entire team began to gather we had only one thing on our mind, dinner.  A three course meal in the middle of nowhere is a godsend. We started with soup; some awful MTR precooked rice and rotis and topped it off with canned Gulab Jamun.
The night was rather rough with constant gusts of wind sending shivers through our bodies. The fact that our tarpaulin structure collapsed in the middle of the night did not help our cause of getting some sleep.

PART 2
Event Name: Trek to Bandaje Arbbi falls and Ballalarayana Durga fort: BABD/6_26-27-Nov-2011
Original Writeup by: Aniruddha
Event organized by: Girish
Image Galleries: Raghavendra, Siddharth, Aniruddha, Brijesh, Girish, Johan, Naveen, Prabhakar

Monday, November 21, 2011

Time for me to share my experience about the most beautiful historical place in Karnataka, Hampi,,, machi !!!!
Many of my freinds visited this place and they used to share their experience with unusual words ohh its sooper, ahh its surprising with the architects around any many other sounds,, ohh lala !!!!
After seeing the images of Hampi & hearing the history behind was planning to go to Hampi & then I heard  abt the group called BASC which organizes diff type of trips at very reasonable packages.
We a group of 18 ppl sat into mini bus on 19/Nov started our journey from Bangalore , we stopped our vehicle at Kamat hotel for dinner. After 5 hrs we were in Hampi city. It was around 7-8hrs journey from Bangalore 360kms.
Every 1 were new to me except Ramya(my colleague), within very few hrs we all became 1 group & moved further, sharing our personal & official life Histories. Every1 had a story of their own :P ,
Below are the list of people,
  1. Mohan(Me :P ),
  2. Ramya( artistic photographer),
  3. Abha Kumari ( food expert ),
  4. Krutika ( looks like silent creature at first sight ),
  5. Deepak ( Nikon expert ),
  6. Rajesh ( I phone master/multi tasker ),
  7. Jinu ( Trekking master ),
  8. Karthik ( Seemed lil reserved at first then he was casual ),
  9. Girish ( Exited photographer, funda GURU ),
  10. Mitesh ( Sensitive darling, he wont speak until you start the conversation ),
  11. Srinivas ramanna ( Busy bee, you cant find him in the group he will be busy alone ),
  12. Pradeep ( My room mate, chocolate boy ) he had lot of chocos in his bag,
  13. Priya alias Castle mountain ( Busy when group is free & free when group is busy ),
  14. Gururaj ( New owner of Nikon ),
  15. Vijayalakshmi ( She has comments for all photos, light is not gud ya :P ),
  16. I forgot uncle’s name, he was very energetic n enthu,
  17. 2 nd name which I forgot, silent guy who didn’t spk first whole day n he said gud mrng on 2nd day & ashte nothing after that,
  18. Last but not the least Mr. Yadunandana – Organiser for hampi trip, perfect gentleman managed group with his 5-10 mins time limit !!!
Short summary abt Hampi !!!
Hampi is a 700 year old city built by Hakka and Bukka in the year 1336 on the banks of river Tungabhadra. It’s the capital city of Vijayanagar empire. They built the city under the guidance of Saint from Sringeri mutt called Vidyaranya. The city Hampi was built during the days of Mohammedan attacks. The palace was very much apt at that time. It was at the banks of river Tungabhadra and it’s full of rocky Hills. It’s really difficult to any one to cross those rocks to conquerthe empire at that time.
Spread over an area more than 25 square kilometers (10 square miles), Hampi ruins is packed with giant temples, palaces, market streets, aquatic structures , fortifications and an abundance of other ancient monuments.
The Vijayanagar Empire was ruled by the likes of HakkaBukka I and II , Virupaksha Raya, Krishnadeva Raya, Achyuta Raya, etc. It was under Krishnadeva Raya that Vijaynagar empire found its most prosperous days.
Hampi has a number of festivals throughout the year – both cultural and religious. The most celebrated festival is the Vijaya Utsav, known as Hampi Festival, held for three days during November. This is a cultural carnival attracting many tourists, showcasing special puppetry shows, music and dance followed by fireworks and a procession culminating the end of the festival.

Travel within city
Travelling around Hampi can be fun, as the region is steeped in history and travelling around the place can be quite interesting. You can move around Hampi through bikes, motorcycles, cars or even boats. These are the various types of internal travel options present in the ancient capital of Hampi. There are no night fares for any mode of transport.

Taxi
Renting a car can be more costly and can cost you around Rs 800-1000. You can travel to the guesthouses that are located across the river through boats for prices ranging around Rs 10 to 15.

Auto Rickshaw
You can also opt for rickshaws, in case you want to beat the heat. Rickshaw rates are fixed and slightly negotiable, so make sure that you get the best out of the bargain. The charges are normally around Rs 400-500 per day. You can also hire a guide to accompany you long the trip and this may cost you extra.
Rented Bicycle You can rent a bicycle in Hampi in order to travel up and down the hill.

Rented Motorcycle
You can also rent out a motorcycle while on a trip in Hampi as this mode of travel can give you more freedom. You can rent out 100cc and 150cc vehicles for charges of around 200 INR to 250 INR per day. This may be slightly more expensive, but you can ride through the expanse of Hampi and take in the sheer magic of the place. 

Started from Virupaksha temple

Virupaksha Temple !!! Virupaksha Temple !!!
Virupaksha temple is the oldest and the principal temple in Hampi.This temple is located on the south bank of the river Tungabadra, It believed that this temple has been functioning uninterruptedly ever since its inception in the 7th century AD.That makes this one of the oldest functioning temples in India.
Balakrishna Temple !!

Balakrishna temple Balakrishna Temple !!
Inside Balakrishna Temple !!
Balakrishna temple 1 Temple of Balakrishna temple !!

Krishnadevaraya built this temple in 1513 A.D. to commemorate his victory over Prataparudra Gajapati, the ruler of Orissa. During the battle he seized an image of child Krishna and brought it to Vijayanagara as war trophy. He then built this temple to consecrate the image. An inscription describing the conquest and the consecration of this temple on 16 February 1515 by Krishnadevaraya is found on a slab in front of this temple. Built in the centre of a courtyard, the temple possesses a sanctum, an antechamber, an ardha mantapa, a circumambulatory passage, a pillared hall with three entrances and an open pillared mantapa, in addition to a number of other shrines for the attendant deities. The sanctum is at present empty. The image of Balakrishna showing him as a child holding butter in the right hand is now resting in the Government Museum at Madras. 

Bazaar opp to Balakrishna Temple !! 

Bazaar opp to Balakrishna Temple Bazaar opp to Balakrishna Temple !!
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple !!

Lakshmi Narasimha Temple Lakshmi Narasimha Temple !!
This is the largest statue in Hampi. Narasimha is sitting on the coil of a giant seven-headed snake called Sesha. The heads of the snake acts as the hood above his head. The god sits in a cross-legged Yoga position with a belt supporting the knees.The original statue contained the image of goddess Lakshmi, consort of the god, sitting on his lap. But this statue has been damaged seriously during the raid leading to the fall of Vijayanagara. Even the damaged portion of such a large statue of Lakshmi carved on his lap is missing. But the goddess’s hand is visible resting on his back in embracing posture. If you get a chance to go inside this enclosure, it is possible to see the hand of the goddess. Even the nails & the rings on her fingers are so perfectly executed. 

Badavi Linga !! 

Badavi Linga Badavi Linga !!
 
This is the largest monolithic Linga in Hampi. Located next to the Narasimha statue the Linga is housed inside a chamber with an opening in the front. One legend has it that this idol was originally carried around by a poor woman and it accidentally fell into the canal. So when the distraught woman prayed to the lord Shiva, the idol grew to the height it is today.

Queens Bath !!! 

Queen's bath Queens Bath !!!
 
In Hampi, the Queen’s Bath is part of the Royal Enclosure. This was constructed during the Vijaynagar Empire any time from 1336 to 1565. This is a enclosed space, consisting of a complex of changing rooms and a bath. At present only the bath is extant. 

Temple view from Queens bath complex !! 

View from Queen bath complex
View from Queens bath complex !!
Mahanavami Dhibba !!!
Mahanavami Dhibba Mahanavami Dhibba !!!
The massive stone basement called Mahanavami Dibba, also called as Dasara Dibba played a prominent part during the celebrations of the nine-day Navaratri festival.The Dibba is about 12 metres high up to the floor of the topmost platform. On the west side are the steps. It was from this side that the king ascended the platform during the festivities connected with the Dasara. On the east side is a small chamber projecting from the platform. Access to the chamber is by means of two flights of steps on the north and south located on the floor of the platform itself. The walls of this chamber contain many friezes and panels including figures of animals and clowns.

Bahamani Mosque !!! 

Bahamani Mosque Bahamani Mosque !!!
Under ground Shiva Temple !!
Temple inside Under ground Shiva temple Temple inside Under ground Shiva temple !!!
Pillars inside Under ground Shiva temple
Pillars inside Under ground Shiva temple !!

This temple dedicated for Lord Siva was built many meters below the ground level. For this reason, almost all the time the sanctum and the core parts of the temple are under water, restricting entry to the inner areas. A water cannel system too is visible around the main temple. But this canal is dry and you can walk down to a point from where it’s impossible to go further. There is a small temple for Siva’s consort too near the mail shrine. The Kalyanamantapa (ceremonial marriage hall) is great a structure. It has been believed that this is one of the oldest temples in Hampi.

Our first day ends here on Malyavanta Hill with beautiful sunset view !!! 

Sun set manyavata hill Malyavanta Hill !!
 
First of all it is one of the few hilltops in Hampi where you can reach by a vehicle. That’s welcome news for those of you find it difficult to hike, despite a desire, to a Hampi hilltop.

Sunset from Malyavanta Hill !!! 

Sunset View from Malyavanta HillSunset View from Malyavanta Hill !! 
Ran to rooms, get re freshed was thinking of good, nice, calm place for dinner then thought about Mango tree restaurant, This is a very popular restaurant in Hampi, especially among the backpackers. The popularity is more so because of the settings. The dining area is essentially a terraced slop overlooking the river Thungabhadra. You need to sit on the matted floor cross-legged, in the typical Indian way, with the low table in front of you. The last row facing the river is often more popular.
Returned to rooms n slept off early as our Organizer Mr Yadu instructed to woke up early in the mrng to reach Mathanga parvatha to see Beautiful Sunrise !!! 

Mathanga parvatha Sun rise Sunrise, Mathanga Parvatha !!
 
We started our walk early in the morning at 5.40 am to watch beautiful sunrise. The climb can be little difficult as the path is slant & rocky, but is rewarding. The tallest hill in Hampi and has a 360 degree view. There is the charming river to north flowing amidst neatly arranged boulders, to the south is Virupaksha temple standing tall. 
Sunrise view Sunrise view !!
 
We came back to rooms,  had break fast & started our 2nd day from Achyutharaya Temple
Achyutharaya Temple Entrance point of Achyutharaya Temple !!
 
This temple is an example of Vijayanagara style temple architecture in its most advanced form than any other temples in Hampi, Resonating the imposing architectural style of Vijayanagara, Achyutraya Raya’s temple was built 500 years ago. Its foundation was laid by an officer in Achyuta Raya’s court. Hence the temple was named after him. It exemplifies the most advanced form of the temple built in Hampi. It was the last contribution of the Vijaynagara Empire before it declined. The temple is dedicated to the heavenly deity Tiruvengalanatha, a form of Lord Shiva.

Achyutharaya Temple view from Mathanga Parvatha !!! 

Aerial veiw of Achyutharaya temple from Mathanga parvatha Achyutharaya Temple Aerial view from Mathanga Parvatha !!
 
Tunga River view from Yantrodharaka Temple !! 

Thunga river Tunga River !!
 
Purandara Mantapa !! 

Purandara Mantapa Purandaradasa Temple !!
 
This is a small open pillared pavilion with whitewashed top dedicated to the legendary poet Purandaradasa who lived in Hampi. The pavilion is located at the river shore near Vittala Temple. This is one of the areas at Hampi where people perform religious rituals. The pavilion is almost at the edge of the river that during monsoon the river water touches the platform or even submerges it.

Vittala Temple,
Vittala Temple is the most extravagant architectural showpiece of Hampi. The temple was originally built in the 15th century AD. The highlight of Vittala temple is its impressive pillared halls and the stone chariot. The halls are carved with an overwhelming array of sculptures on the giant granite pillars. The stone chariot located inside the campus is almost an iconic structure of Hampi.

Vittala Temple Entrance, 

Vittala temple entrance Vittala temple entrance !!
Stone chariot inside Vittala complex !!

Stone ChariotStone Chariot !!! 
It was originally a shrine of Garuda, Lord Vishnu’s Vehicle. The stone chariot is not a monolith. It’s actually carved from many giant granite blocks. The joints are neatly hidden with help of the carvings giving it a monolithic feel. The chariot is built on a rectangular platform and though now the giant stone wheels seem to rest on the platform it’s believed that these wheels could rotate on its axis.
Temple inside Vittala complex !! 

Temple inside Vittala Complex Temple inside Vittala Complex !!!
 
There is a museum too which says the history of hampi, its called Kamalapur museum.
Next destination after museum was Lotus Mahal.

Lotus Mahal – This was a socializing area for the women folks in the royal family. 

Lotus Mahal Lotus Mahal !!
This is a two storied structure with an open base floor the sidewalls are having tall arched windows. The upper floors have balconies with arched windows. Hook like structures are made on to the wall close to the windows to hang curtain. The arches of the ground floor are recessed and ornate. The decorations and architecture is a curious mix of Hindu and Islamic styles. Lotus Mahal’s Islamic style arches and the Hindu style multiplayer roof and base structure are often quoted for the ingenuity of the Vijayanagara artisans.

Lotus Mahall 1 Lotus Mahal !!
Elephant Stables !!

Elephant Stables Elephant Stables !!
One among the few least destroyed structures in Hampi, Elephant stable is a major tourist attraction. This long building with a row of domed chambers was used to ‘park’ the royal elephants. There are 11 domed tall chambers; some of them are inter- connected. 

The center one is specially decorated and big.

The center Dome The center Dome !!
Last but not the least, Jain temple for Sunset shoot !!

Jain temple at sunset time Jain temple at sunset time!!
one more sunset pic to finish my blog !!!

Sunset at Jain temple Sunset at Jain temple !!!
More details abt BASC - http://www.bangaloreascenders.org/
Details abt the places were reffered from these sites
  1. http://hampi.in/,
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampi
  3. http://hampi.in/distance-to-hampi - this link helps to reach Hampi from various towns and cities in India.
So finally we went back to rooms, packed our luggage, sat in bus reached back b’lore on 21/11/2012 at 3.45 Am .

Original Writeup by:  Mohan Rajendra
Visit our Group @ CLICK HERE
Writeup and embedded pictures by: Mohan Rajendra
Event organized by: Yadunandana
Image Gallery:
Yadunandana , Jinu John , Girish Motwani , Deepak , Gururaj , Krutika , Mohan