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Monday, March 25, 2013

"We may Travel so Many Miles in our Life, but only few miles remains with us Forever"

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First of all, I would like to say tons and tons of Thanks to Patrick for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to join the trekking to Kolli Hills. This was my 3rd Trekking from BASC which PAT organized and overall it is a sixth trekking.

I was nowhere in the Confirmed/Waiting list for this Trekking till the last day. On Friday (22-Mar-2013) at around 12 PM, I reached office and logged in to FB after sometime and was surprised to see a message from Patrick. He asked me to join for the trekking that night. Without a Second thought I rung to my Mom's no and got blues properly but I did not want to miss this opportunity so I called her back well prepared to convinced but to my surprise she was cool and she agreed to pack my bag for the trekking :D Later I pinged my TL that I am leaving as early as 6 PM that day (Yes, it is early because my shift is between 11AM-8PM) he immediately responded saying have a nice trek with a Smiley, I was wondering for a while how did he guessed it so right but didn't wanted to continue the conversation. Then I pinged my Manager that I am leaving at 6 PM and I also informed him that I have spoken with my TL, He said no issues but he had a question running in his mind, after a while he pinged - Trekking again? or something serious?. I had to tell the truth to everyone because I have all my Team mates, 4 Project Managers and a Tower head in my friend list. FB is a perfect Lie Detector :O and I got to know that all my fellow team mates and colleagues are following my posts and activities so closely in FB :D BUT WHO CARES ;)

I pinged My Best friend Rohit (we know each other since montessori :D we are like a son to each others Parents) who is working as an HR in Flipkart to inform him about my trip. He promised me to pick me up from my office and drop me at home and then in Majestic without hesitating even for a second :) I seriously had no idea how everything went on so well that day :). As Rohit promised me, he dropped me in Majestic finally at 8PM. I was in touch with Aashish all the way to majestic but still I went to Platform No 15 of KSRTC bus stand instead of BMTC and then I had to sprint to BMTC. Finally I joined Pat, DK , Aashish and group of Strangers who had been selected for the trekking. Here I got to Know from Pat that Niranjan(Niru) and some more guys are going to join us directly in Hosur.

We boarded the Bus from Majestic to ShantiNagar as we dont get direct bus to Hosur(or Direct buses are low in frequency). We reached Hosur around 10:30PM and as always Pat asked everyone to have their food in the available hotels and assemble at a common point. I, Pat and DK went in search of road side eateries :) we preferred road side hotel because we wanted to have authentic Tamil Nadu parota but we ended up eating Kababs, Half Boiled, Fried rice and Dosas. We joined the others at the common point and went towards the Mini Bus which Patrick managed to arrange in Hosur to avoid interstate permit of Rs 6000. We loaded the Dikki with our Bags and settled down in our seats quite comfortably and our journey to the starting point Pilancholai started with a trailer of the movie KUMKI :/

March 23, 2013

DSC_0451 (1)We reached our starting point around 6'o clock in the morning, we unloaded our bags from the Dikki and we divided almost equally all the things which Patrick asked the volunteers to bring. Some of us was quite comfortable and ready to begin the journey and others like me was restless and badly in need of using the Wash room. I , Aashish and DK decided to carry required water and ascended the near by hill to finish our daily chores. Man !!! it is a beautiful experience :) Attending the nature call in an open space with a beautiful view Sun rise right in front us :) I guess this beautiful view took me few extra minutes to disconnect the call with out the thoughts of that I am in a Roaming Service(Open Space). I am sure there were few more ppl like me who experienced the same :) Finally everyone was ready to begin the River bed trekking. We met the forest department guy who came there for the regular check around this place. His name was PeriyaSamy. Around 8Am we were told that Forest officer is coming to meet us at 10 AM and we have to take his permission to proceed with our plan. Since we travelled last night, many of us were hungry and we decided to eat parota at Periyasamy Hotel.

Our wait for the forest officer seems to be unending for that day but finally periyasamy arrived again, he had went to wear his uniform as his officer promised to meet us at 11 AM. Officer did not come to meet us and his phone was turned off. Periyasamy and other guard gave permission for the river bed trekking on a condition that we will trek for few hours and come back to puliancholai before evening. Lots of Discussion and Ideas were flowing out from everyone :) Some ideas were like starting the trek after 7 PM with a torch and once all the forest guards leave for their home (Suresh Idea) and other plan by Dinesh was like going to the Top in the bus and starting the trek from the other end so that Guards wont question us or even if they question us they cant send us back to the starting point.
Patrick did not want to miss the opportunity we have got so it was his call ofcourse which we were supposed to follow and he decided to trek for some distance and play in the pools on the way and return back to the starting point before the evening.
DSC_0462 The trekking along the river bed was so strainful as we started the trekking around 12 PM and there were only boulders and our paths was not a straight line for even 10 mts. We walked for little more than hour and decided to have Lunch at a point where we were told by the guards that it was the last source of water (Readymade Chapati and Kakras). There was a cave made by the Tree roots and it was wonderful and we took few pics. We had an Introduction session so late and that too after more than an hour of trekking :D Once we finished our Lunch and introduction session, we decided to go back to the last pool which we crossed and play for a while and the plan was to go back to Puliancholai and go to the top in our bus and stay for the night and then start trekking from the falls to Puliancholai.

IMG_4815 We reached the pool and played for a hour and continued our trekking back to the puliacholai. Here the group was split into small groups, one group decided to go back to periyasamy hotel and eat, while other group is enjoying their swimming in other pool. But Me and Patrick decided to explore the near by small hill :) the rocks was like someone arranged the slabs of boulders :) It was resembling the slabs which we use to play the game LAGORI :) It was wonderful exploration and the feeling of achievement. Suresh and Aithal (If I am not wrong) took mine and pat's pics from the near by pool, we descended and on the way back guard took few of us(late comers) into a shortcut and we reached Puliancholai in few mins from that point. We were quite a good number of customers to the small hotels and mango vendors. I hope they had a good business that day and I wish many more tourists would go there so that these ppl will have a good business forever. We also ended up paying Rs 800 to the guards for accompanying us and make them not to create any nuisance/problem on the next day.

IMG_4812 We started our journey around 4PM to the top and we got to know from some one that the top is about 50 Kms and it takes around 3 hours to reach. On the way, showtime began and this time it was a complete and different movie (Tamil). I heard some ppl were asking for the subtitles ;) Around 5 PM we reached some town in Salem and had a tasty Bajjis, Paniyaram and coffee. We took a break of almost 45 mins. During the break or in the journey we had decided to buy the chicken for the Dinner and so we stopped at a Chicken shop which is near to the Fort on the way to the top and we bought 5 Kgs of chicken and other groceries required for the dinner and then again started our journey. Also we continued the movie which was stopped before taking a break for snacks. We Finished watching the movie. Some of us were singing , while others was sleeping and taking pics. The journey to the top would be wonderful if it was a day time, it had 70 hair pin bends and beautiful views. Finally we reached the top around 9:30 PM. We decided to stay at Bus shelter near the Arpaleeshwar temple. Few of us went to fetch water for drinking and cooking purpose and others were divided into cooking team and helping team. Helping team was cutting the vegetables and etc and cooking team was setting up the fire for cooking and etc. There were nearly 15 non vegetarians and about 6 pure vegetarians and it was planned to cook chicken curry and Bisibele path. Niru, Ram and others cooked bisibele bath, Suresh, Myself, DK, Pat and all were looking after chicken curry and Suresh is the chief cook :D Suresh!! thanks to this jovial and kind hearted guy for his hospitality and tasty chicken curry.

IMG_4765 Me and DK managed to secure few soft chicken pieces for the Barbeque which we planned to do after the dinner. Dinner was wonderful and we had a mouth watering(ofcourse whole body was watering because it is very spicy) chicken curry with Bisibele bath. Pat , Sanjay , Aashish and few more guys decided to sleep in bus. I and Dk managed to reserve our berth in the bus shelter for sleeping that night. With in Half an hour after the dinner, everyone except me and DK managed to sleep and some were snoring (It was like a Lion Roaring) :/ I and Dk made Barbeque and slogged few chicken pieces and went for a walk around the temple and then finally we too dozed off and it was around 2 AM.

March 24, 2013

Pat was supposed to wake us by 4:30 AM but he woke us up by 5:30 or 6:00 and as usual I was the last person to wake up ;) We all packed up only the required things for the day and rest were kept in the Bus to minimize the weight of our bags. We had coffee/tea in the hotels around the temple. Patrick had already bought the entry ticket to the Aagaya Gangai falls which is 10 Rs per person. We were flattered by the Huge hills and mesmerizing views :) No words are enough to explain the beauty of mother nature. I thanked Pat everytime I was feeling that I would have missed all these if I had not come. The Path to the fall was only descending and some times P3231482 more steep but it was easy as there were man made concrete steps almost till the foot of the falls. Though water was less in the falls, it was looking wonderful and high. We had a photo session for ten mins and immediately started to follow the water flow between the hills. Finally, as planned, we are on the track of River Bed trekking. The views all along this path was so beautiful, with silent and adorable music of water flow. Some times leaping, some times jumping and sometimes climbing, the trekking along this path can neither be explained completely nor compared to other trekking places. It was completely a different experience and it is treat to the eyes of Nature Lovers. There was no moment that I regretted for walking in such a terrain and being part of this trekking, though it was difficult. We need not have to carry any water in our water bottles as there was fresh water running almost till the end of the trekking and which in turn reduced the weight of our backpack. We took a break at 9:30 AM. Niru and Suresh decided to cook break fast and others decided to play in the pool and some non swimmers like me enjoyed dipping our tired legs in the cold and flowing water. The Breakfast was Shavige Bath prepared from Ragi vermicelli. We had our breakfast and winded up soon to continue our trekking to cover as much as distance possible before the peak afternoon. For 20 mins to half an hour we were off the river bed and trekking in the forest before we joined the river bed again and we came across one Muruga statue in the forest and in this trail one could find arrow marks painted with Red and Yellow color. At around 1:00 PM we all were together again on a big boulder. We rested for 20 mins or so. I triggered an idea of preparing lunch but it failed. We decided to trek for another one hour and take lunch break. Now, Niru and Pat decided to cook Maggi for the lunch, Ashtosh and others helped in cooking by bringing fresh water for the cooking. Supraja and others helped in cutting vegetables. I, Suresh, Dinesh, Dk, Aashish, Ashna, and Supraja were discussing about various things :) DInesh has a good sense of humor and nice timing of the jokes ;) Suresh was very jovial and cool guy and ofcourse he was the soft target for pulling legs :) Had a wonderful time, stomach-paining and Eyes-watering laughs because of you guys :) Thanks to you all. And Special thanks to Dinesh for providing his Box to me for the lunch.

IMG_4583 After Lunch, around 3:30 PM we started our trekking to Puliancholai again and by now sun was little low in altitude and so was little easy to trek.Around 4:30 PM we came across few young guys who told us that we need to trek for another half an hour to reach Puliancholai but it took almost 30 mins to reach the spot where we had our lunch and Introduction previous day. Here we took a break for few minutes and started our trek very soon to reach the pool and play/bath in the pool. I, Ganesh, Niru and Datta reached the pool first. Followed by Anand, DK, Sanjay, Sreeharsha, Aashna, Sanjib, Ashtosh and etc reaching there after ten mins. Patrick, SUpraja, Suresh and few more guys reached after half an hour. DSC02059 We had nice fun in the pool :D Later Aashna and Aashish gave me a shock that my Spectacles which is kept on my clothes is broken. Someone knowingly or unknowingly stepped on my spectacles and making me half blind for the rest of the time till we reach bangalore and write this very long write up :D :D We came out from the pool, changed our dress and started towards puliancholai at 6PM and it was about 20-30 mins trekking. We had fish fry and raw mangoes. Around 7 PM we started towards Salem and on the way we watched KUMKI movie completely. We reached Salem around 9:30 PM. Vegetarians decided to have dinner in Sarvana Bhavan and Non vegetarians were guided by Pat and Suresh to famous Selvi Mess. I , Pat, DK, Suresh, Sanjay and Supraja headed to Selvi mess and we had tasty Non vegetarian food at a very reasonable price. Around 11:15 PM we started towards hosur and reached around 3:40AM. Dinesh and Aashna went together in a two wheeler from hosur. Aithal had to go near Electronic city to take his vehicle from his friend's place. ShreeDhar decided to go in Rail to Bangalore East station as he had parked his vehicle over there. Patrick, Supraja, Suresh and others went in a different bus which goes only till Madiwala. Me, DK, Ashtosh, Niranjan, Ram and etc boarded Market bus and reached Bangalore.

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It was a wonderful trekking with a super group of 21 to an Awesome place. Though original plan of trekking to Aagaya ganga falls from Puliancholai failed and we did not trek as per the plan on first day, our trek on second day from the Falls to Pulain cholai was wonderful and overwritten all the bitter experience and frustration of first day. Thanks to Patrick for being so cool and well organised trekking.

DK- My 4th Trekking with him. As always he is so energetic and adventurous. Also by coincidence he happened to be the youngest Ascender in all my 4 Trekkings with him.

Aashish- My 3rd Trekking with him. He is so matured and gives a matured guidance during the trekking. He is very simple and helpful in nature.

Patrick-This was my third trekking under him. He is very cool, kind and adventurous guy. He has a good listening skills, he will listen to each and everyone and takes the action which is good to all of us. Also you dont have to think twice before doing anything adventurous because before you he would have already planned to do it or you just tell him, he will accompany you like exploring an unknown hill or dangerous caves, whatever it is he will be with you :D

Suresh- Very Jovial , Kind hearted, Bold, Humorist, Good Cook, Energetic etc ( Can't lie more than this buddy )

Niranjan- Another experienced BASC organizer, Cool, Silent, Good Cook, Friendly and energetic guy

Ram- Good singer, Talkative and non stop entertainer

Sreeharsha Aithal- Got to know after coming back to Bangalore that he is my senior in Engineering :) Good to Know :) Nice, cool and Down to Earth person you are

Ashtosh- Accountant of this trekking :) Silent but a very good photographer. Thanks for capturing my many single pics

Ganesh- Cool attitude and friendly. Nice photography buddy :)

Sanjay- A guy next door attitude :) open hearted person and good entertainer

Anand- He is an IBMer :P Dude we have to file a case in Consumer Court, lets catch up in next trekking and discuss the same :P

Sanjib- Cool guy! :)

Aashna- Very experienced trekker :) Unending laughs. :P You are very energetic keep it up

Supraja- Little low energetic person but have a very good will power... Slow and steady wins the race

Shreedhar- He is elder person in our team I guess. Good energetic and knowledgeable person

Datta- Trekker from a very long time. Very very experienced person. You had a unique cap :)

Dinesh - A Best comedian in the team. Superb timing for cracking the joke :D very good entertainer

Ranga- Good swimmer :) and very cool

Sreevatsav sharma- Very silent .. I haven't noticed you much talking to anyone :)

Gururaj - He is another good photographer in our team :) silent and cool guy. Round cap on you head, shorts and DSLR camera only comes into my mind :) Thanks for the photgraphy

I just wrote what I felt about the group and about my experience with you guys in the two days river bed trekking to Kolli hills.Also I am not good in writing or expressing my feelings in words with a proper grammar and words. I have just tried my best and I am sorry If any statement of mine is hurting you :) See you all in upcoming trekking events

All the best to all your future endeavours.

Join Bangalore ASCENDers @ CLICK HERE

Written by: Rajesh
Date: March 23rd and 24th.

Event organized by: Patrick Samuel
Image Gallery:
Ashutosh, Gururaj, Srivat Sharma, Anand Kumar, Datha

The Crew: DK, Aashish, Patrick, Suresh, Niranjan, Ram, Sreeharsha Aithal, Ashtosh, Ganesh, Sanjay, Anand, Sanjib, Aashna, Supraja, Shreedhar, Datta, Dinesh, Ranga, Sreevatsav sharma, Gururaj, Rajesh

Monday, March 18, 2013

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Western Ghats has a unique identifications and hidden treasury in it, which a common man can’t reach.  Bandaje Arbi Falls is one of those places where water  flows through all seasons of the year.  Bandaje Arbi Falls located in Charmudi ghat in Dakshina Kannada district is around 12km away from Ujire (close to Dharmasthala) and trek starts from the village Mundajje.  One should have strong determination and energy to reach this falls and enjoy the glory of Mother Nature.

On the day I joined Bangalore Ascenders (BASC), I had a list of must visit places in and around Karnataka.  Bandaje Arbi Falls & Ballalarayana Durga was also one in the list.  When I saw the event registration mail by Niranjan (Event Organizer), i called  my friends Sudhakar & Chandrakanth (CK) and asked them to register soon.  Due to time constrain CK could not join us.  We were not sure of getting short listed to this event as the team size was only 12 members.  Luckily we both were able to make our self in the shortlisted participants and got ready  to go to Bandaje.

As BASC common point of boarding is Shanthala Silk House, I was much ahead of the stipulated time 9.30pm. 

BASC Assemble Point - Shanthala Silk House

Already couple of friends (co-trekkers) were present there (soon everyone joined).  I got a warm welcome by Ram, Umesh and later  by Niranjan.  We left Bangalore around 10.30pm in Tempo Traveler (TT).

We had a brief introduction about our self followed by our previous trekking experience on the way in TT.  The team members were Ram, Umesh, Venu, Govind, Sreeharsha, Sudhakar, Harsh, Diptankar, Ashutosh, Satish, Niranjan & I.  Govind & Sreeharsha had already done few events with me at Dabbe Falls & Kanoor Kote; I got nine new friends again.  Introduction part went on till 12 midnight and everyone slid in to deep sleep.  The seats were not so comfortable and I was struggling to sleep…..

Day – 1: 16th March, 2013

We reached Ujire (via Dharmasthala) around 4.30 am.  We finished our morning itinerary and had delicious breakfast - Upma & Idly.  Packed Chitranna for lunch. 

Niranjan explained itinerary for next two days. Bandaje which is around 16km from the start point. Day 1 we need to cover Bandaje and  night camping near water falls, 2nd day head towards Ballalarayana Durga, exit at Sunkasale, visit Horanadu and return back to Bangalore. 

The plan was , divide the Group into two and first group enters the forest, wait somewhere around 2km from the start point for the second group to join. 

Umesh is a local guy who knows Tulu (local language) , first group headed towards Narayan Gowda’s house.  We had walked almost 2km in jeep track crossing two houses.  He managed the people talking in Tulu and entered into the forest.  We had to cross the last house ‘Babu Nayak’ and take right path to proceed towards the Bandaje Arbi falls.  The real trek started and we understood that the whole route is steep ascending for almost 15km.  The forest was completely thick and green.  As per the plan, we trekked around 2km and waited for other group to join. 

Being thick forest and no trail; it was very difficult to find out the route and reach the destination on-time.

The path was not so easy, everyone was sweating badly due to high humidity and steep ascend. After several breaks and two hours continuous trek, we reached the water stream around 10.30 am. 

We took a dip in water and got relaxed for some time.  Water was very cold!!!  The steep ascend continued, taking few breaks we reached the grassland.  70 % of Bandaje is covered by thick forest and the rest is open grass land. We decided to have lunch around 12:45 PM at the entrance of the grass land followed by a photography session. 

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We could view the beautiful falls from grass land and feel to reach falls within short time. But we couldn’t !!.We reached Waterfalls around 3:30PM

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We spent some time near falls and then decided to camp near the stream.  The plan for the evening was, first to prepare Maggie, relax for 1 hour, soup around 7pm, dinner at 9pm, camp fire, & then entertainment till 10pm.

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Umesh, Sudhakar, Ram were busy collecting the wood for camp fire.  Few of us took bath in the stream again. Oh my god, water was very cold. After the break, the Maggie preparation started.  Umesh was always ahead in all activities, he was able lit the fire.  Then came the real part of adventure !!! The rain started rudeness with sound of thunder and lightning.  Goodness we had 3 tarpaulins, using 2 we covered our luggage and rest we used it for our shelter.  Rain poured  for almost one hour and it shattered all our plan. There was nothing to shelter except open sky. 

The  ground was wet and we had tough time .  We all had yummy Maggie and planned the next strategy. We decided to have puliyogare for dinner.  We had tasty hot dinner around 8.30pm and decided to sleep.

We had to take care of the camp fire to protect from wild animals. Umesh took the initiatives.  I could not sleep well in the night.  It was my first experience to sleep in such a place which I could not think at all.  Thanks to the rain which  made our trek more adventurous.

Day-2: 17th March, 2013

I would like to appreciate capabilities of Ram during the trek.  He was one who does not have regular food, less sleep and always ahead in the group.  By curiosity asked the secret, understood he is a Yoga patu and does 2 hours every day.  I woke up around 4.15am, by the time Ram also got up.  We had tough time letting the fire ,Umesh again helped us.  Everyone got up by 6 am and finished our morning nature call and headed towards our second destination to conquer the Ballalarayna Durga.  The distance of the fort was almost 6-7km from falls and minimum 2 hours journey.

As per plan, we had to reach the fort before the humidity increases.  Our journey started around 7 am and the route began as planned before. 

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Nothing was changed in the ascend, except few steps flat surface.  We were able to enjoy the beautiful view of the entire valley.  In between we had photography sessions, breaks and chitchat talk.  After few kilometer treks, we were able to view the fort but we need to walk almost more than one hour.  The last part of the stretch was very difficult and real test for our strength.

We were able to conquer the fort by around 10a.m.

Except the shattered walls nothing much at Ballalarayana Durga, however you can enjoy the Mother Nature and the beautiful valley.  We met the king of the fort (forgot his name) who runs the cattle-shed in the fort.  He has around 50 cattle and he welcomes all visitors of the fort.  We decided to prepare once again for breakfast.  King offered his kitchen for preparation and provided the water with some bucks.  Everyone was hungry and then had delicious Maggie.  We had good time at fort and relaxed for 1hour before proceeding our descend.  Understood from the King that the Sunkasale (our end point of the trek) is around 6 km and one hour journey.  We decided to take one more hour break and did accordingly.

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We left the fort around 11.30 am and all were happy in the spirit of spending almost two hours at the fort. 

The pace was fast and we entered forest before reaching the jeep track.  Everyone back to their initial enthusiasm and taking very less break reached the Sunkasale at 2 pm.  Meantime Niranjan called the driver and asked him to come to Sunkasale. Within one hour TT reached and we boarded vehicle to reach Horanadu.

From Sunkasale, Horanadu is around 30 km.  Reached Horanadu by 3.30 pm and decided to take a dip in Bhadra river.  Everyone had holy bath in the river and Niranjan asked us to finish the feedback part after taking the bath.  We finished vote of thanks and feedback and then headed to Horanadu town.  Took Darshana of Horanadu Annapoorneshwari and had Prasad (dinner) and left at 10.30pm to Bangalore.  Though we trekked 25-27km in two days, there still remains my desire and passion to do more.  I was thinking what will be the next event in BASC for me through out my return journey ….

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Thanks to each one of my friends (co-trekkers) who were very co-operative, friendly and also who had taken photographs as and when requested to you all. Special thanks to Niranjan for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this wonderful trek.  No words to BASC, motivating and giving opportunity to enjoy the real beauty of Mother Nature.


Join Bangalore ASCENDers @ CLICK HERE

Written by: Sagar V 
Event organized by: Niranjan

Composed by: Honnegowda and Vinay

Date: 16th & 17th March, 2013

Image Gallery : Ashothosh

The Crew: Venugopal, Sreeharsha, Vidhya Sagar, Sudhakar,Umesh ,Govind Gorur,Harsh,Sathish anand, Ashothosh ,Deeptangan,Ram ,Niranjan