Updates
Registration open for, Trek to Nishane Betta and Kote Betta

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cycle is a funny machine,
the driver is it’s engine!
Life is like a 10 gear cycle,
Most of us have gears we never use!!
Yet another journey with BASC, yet another journey with Patrick, yet another milestone achieved!
This seems to have become a habit now!
It was during the Ganesh festival weekend that Patrick organized a seemingly incredible 160+ km Cycle ride to Devarayanadurga. I was like, why not, after all I always complain about not getting enough company to accompany me on my occasional weekend cycle rides in and around Bangalore!
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Monday, August 11, 2014

I am Vinayak Surve, a Veterinarian from Mumbai. My childhood and teenage life is spent in Sahyadri, Konkan region, Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra. Naturally, I have some experience of crossing hills, rivers, forest and different challenging trails.
10511224_10152300048143806_1838582536680786333_nPreparations:
Thought about going to Kaurava Kunda trek was exciting to me because it was my first trek with experienced trekking group where I was supposed to meet new friends with great interest in trekking. I received an email from Patrick (organizer) and rushed to buy trekking tools and gears like wind jacket, sleeping bag, torch, snacks, etc. Sharing this pre-trekking excitement was great fun with friends, family, colleagues and everyone whom I met during that week.

Monday, June 30, 2014


Not sure how many leeches have bitten me and not sure where and all it attacked. Certainly it was one of my most difficult monsoon treks as of now. The rain, wind, steep ascend and the leeches made it tough, for all my buddies. Did many treks earlier in monsoon, however this was the one where I got leech bites all over my body. You might be thinking introduction itself is started from leeches! Of course during the course of the two days, everyone was more concerned about the leeches.
Nishani Motte / Betta is relatively unknown peak in the range of Bhagamandala (Talacauvery) range, Coorg. The trek distance from the base point Talacauvery is around 14 to 15 kilometers. We can enjoy the 360 degree panorama view, which is wonderful and most beautiful. Layers of the hills covered with clouds and mist is awesome. We can spot the villages, across the Kerala border, if the view is clear.

Our planned trek route was:
1st Day: Talacauvery to Nishani Motte (Betta) – Night Camp at APC
2nd Day: APC – Kurudi – Bhagamandala

27.06.2014
We started our journey with 21trek friends, at 10.45pm from Shanthala Silks, in a mini bus. Many known faces and few were new. This was my first trek with Vinay who organized this event. The journey was pleasant and reached the Bhagamandala around 6 am.

28.06.2014
Before this, I had been at Bhagamandala, thrice. Each time the weather was pleasant, greenery everywhere and had seen the entire range flooded with small falls. The Triveni Sangama was in full flow each time. Unfortunately, this time I was disappointed; understood from a local that, since a week, there was no rain in this range. 
2_Sangama
After getting freshened up in the morning, took Sri Bhagandeshwara Swamy darshanam and headed to have breakfast at a nearby hotel. Packed pulav for lunch and had idly-vada for breakfast. Meantime Vinay purchased the grocery items, for the preparation of the day’s dinner and the next day’s breakfast. Our guide Jayaprakash & his colleague (another forest official) joined us and we finished the necessary formalities for the trek, at the Bhagamandala Forest Office.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

1 It was my first trek with Bangalore ASCENDers (BASC), I was so excited about the event and I called Vinay many times to know the details about the trek. Common meeting point was at Jayanagar 4th block near Jain Temple, we gathered at 7.30 PM but started journey by 8.30 PM. 
IMG_8254-SMILESince we all were hungry we decided to have food on the way, so we went to Kamath hotel and finished food and started journey by 10.30 PM.
There were 3 cars, I was in Promod’s car, Kunal and Sathish were accompanying along with me and we started our journey towards Kabbal-durga. It was a great journey, in-between Pramod was cracking nice jokes.

Monday, April 21, 2014

BASC completed its first cleanup drive in Kumaraparvatha (KP) on the occasion of its 5th B'Day. A big THANKS to all the participants (Satya, Sandeep, Anitha, Vinuthna, Ramkumar, Govind, Ram roop, Sreedhar, Srikanth, Kamal & Skanda) for the hard work done in collecting garbage and taking it back to Kukke. Team work made BASC's first clean-up drive a successful event. Also thanks to driver, Chetan & his friend Lokesh for joining us in cleanup drive. We collected 22 bags of garbage!!! And same we took back to Bangalore and dumped in plastic recycle plant near Nayandahalli. Thanks to plant owner Selva who waited for us till 11:15PM.

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Write-up from Sandeep Kulkarni:

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Let me breakdown my post event write up into two parts.

1. One about the cleanup drive and creating awareness

2. General Event write up.

1. Cleanup drive and creating awareness.

I never imagined a cleanup drive would be so much fun. As a team we got to undo at least some of the mess, which some people had left behind. We could not completely wipe out the man made hazardous materials, but it was a great attempt though.

If more and more individuals come together and work together we not only can make Kumaraparvata litter free but also create a basic awareness amongst all those nature lovers who come to Kumaraparvata, to be more responsible. (Applies to other places too). A big round of thanks to the entire team who stood united during the whole event. Also a special thanks to our driver Chetan and spotter Lokesh, who voluntarily participated in the cleanup event and also helped us to bring back the wastage to Bangalore.

Thanks to Ambareesh Karanth for short listing me for this event.

2. General Event write up

No sooner I saw the registrations open for BASC Kumaraparvata clean up drive, event. I registered. I was looking forward for the clean up activity but prior to the trek my main motivation was to reach the peak. (Nothing to hide though). We did not reach the peak, but in the end and I came out as a proud and happy man after making some contribution during this event.

It all started on a Friday late evening 18th April at 10PM where we assembled for our pickup. Amongst the whole team, I only knew Ram Roop as I had met him during the Hampi photography event. Around 10:20PM odd, our vehicle arrived. Surprisingly we could see a driver and along side him was another person, you can call him navigator/spotter/cleaner. Let me tell you these two people not only accompanied us to Kukke but also till Bhattara Mane, involving in the cleanup activity all the way. It was like having two extra pair of hands and indeed a pleasant surprise. Believe me it helped a lot too!

Others in the group comprised of Ram Kumar, Govind, Ambareesh, Satya, Skanda, Kamal, Dr Srikant, Sridhar, Anita and Vinutna. Chetan was the driver and Lokesh was his friend accompanying him. It was a regular drive on Mangalore highway where heavy rains greeted us after Kunigal. For few minutes it was rain, rain and more rain. Eventually, after around 25-30 minutes of time, it stopped to rain. We had couple of breaks during the journey, one initially, just after the 60 kilometer toll road ends and the other one somewhere near Sakaleshpura. We made it to Kukke around 4 20 AM. The van was parked next to the Kumaradhara river. We got freshened up in a while and around 6 10 AM we started towards Kukke. We had breakfast at the hotel opposite to Neo Mysore Cafe. We filled our water bottles were about to start for the trek.

There was a change in plan. Initially we thought, all would go to the peak and camp. But since it was raining in Kukke since 4 days, we thought of reaching the peak and coming back to Bhattaramane. Chetan and Lokesh told, they would accompany us along the trek. Ambareesh split the entire team of 12 + 2 into two.

1_Start

First Team which would trek fast and reach the peak and start cleaning from the Kumaraparvata peak. 

Second Team which would start cleanup activity right from ground zero, I mean from the (main road) entrance till Bhattaramane.

2_StrategyIt was 7 AM i think when we started. Being part of the first team, I felt good, I thought I could trek fast and cover good distance and start cleanup at the peak. The team comprised of Govind, Ram Kumar, Ram Roop, Satya, Skanda, myself and Sridhar. We stayed together at a good speed till Bheemana Bande after which Sridhar and myself were behind by 5 minutes than the rest of the team. We did not do any cleanup on the way and our only intention was to reach Bhattaramane quick. Then dump extra luggage and start cleaning from over there. The first team (except me and Sridhar) reached Bhattaramane around 8 40AM. I was behind by 10-12 minutes owing to my cramps and Sridhar was behind me by 3 minutes or so. But the good thing was I walked alone. So much serenity, so much silence, nature at its best, cannot ask for more. The humidity was there, but that was sidelined. When I reached Bhattaramane, Ram and others were ready to make a move. I too immediately reduced my baggage weight by unloading some of the stuffs at Bhattaramane. Meanwhile Sridhar too came. All of us then made a move towards the forest check post, and Sridhar caught up with us over there.  5_CleanupThis was the first time, I was making a move from Bhattaramane this early and that too without lunch. For a minute I was wondering whether, not having food would make a difference. But it did not. It indeed was a time saver. We reached the first view point and started picking litter over there. Then towards second view point and slowly we gathered litter all along the way till Kallu Mantap water source. It was 11 45 AM I guess. We had covered whole lot of ground and also reached Mantap pretty quick.   6_CleanupRam and Govind decided we would finish snacks/food and then start once again with the cleanup. So we took a break near the Kallu mantap water source and after 20 minutes we were back again. Dividing ourselves into different teams, we scouted the area around the water source for 1.5 hours more. We ended up with 4 full bags of waste. Govind's bag was a huge one more than 7 kilos. While me and Sridhar took a break near the water source, Ram, Govind and others made a move to the Kallu mantap, to put up banners asking nature lovers to keep KP clean.7_Cleanup

4_KalluMantapAt 1 40PM, we took a call, not to move towards the peak, due to many reasons. One being time constraint. It would be difficult to reach peak, do a cleanup and then bring back waste, before it turns dark. And we did not have torches too.

Second being chances of rain. If it rains, its really difficult to manage, since few of us were carrying lot of luggage. So we headed right back to Bhattaramane. Initially I was disappointed that, I could not reach the peak. But, yeah, reaching peak was never the event's priority. It was cleanup. 6_LuggageGetting down was a bit tough, the way was packed with stones. Ram, Govind, Satya, Sridhar each carried one fully loaded bag containing plastic waste. Me and Skanda initially managed to share the load by carrying the bag using a stick, with each one holding one end. But it was difficult and needed synchronization. The moment Skanda took the bag by himself, he rocketed. Meanwhile Ram and Govind too were ahead of us. So it was 4 of us behind, Ram, Satya, Sridhar and me. After certain distance, Ram took up Satya’s bag and me took Sridhar's bag. We finally made it to forest check post at around 4 50 PM or something.

Ambareesh and others were about to enter the forest, looking out for us, if we needed any help to get the waste bags back. Now the whole team came back to Bhattaramane. We freshened up and it was a pleasant surprise to see, lunch was still available. Food felt really good after this cleanup exercise. Ate till my stomach was full and took couple of minutes to rest. 1_View1Ram Roop went towards view point 1 to take some pictures and rest of the crew headed to a nearby view point. Evening dinner was served at 8PM. Then it was sleep time. We woke up early. Everyone was now focused on how to get the bags down and also collect the waste bags which had been gathered by Team 2 along the way. Yes Team 2 had worked pretty hard to gather stuffs along the way to Bhattaramane. In the process they had accumulated the litter at certain points, which needed to be picked up along the way down.

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1_PlacardStarted early, Satya, took one waste gunny bag and headed first then, Ram Kumar and Ram Roop headed with their gunny bags too followed by Govind and Ambareesh. Skanda managed to take Govind's backpack along with his and Kamal took Ram Kumar's and one more backpack with him . Vinuthna took Satya's backpack along with hers, I had my backpack and one gunny bag with me. Anita, Vinuthna , Dr Srikant, Sridhar, Chetan and Lokesh were the one's who were looking out for waste and litter along the way. Rest of them, had loaded and sealed bags, hence proceeded right with the descent.

As usual, I was the slowest during the descent, but right after Bhattaramane, where we encounter a major dustbin, Govind, Ambareesh, Anita, Sridhar, Dr Srikant, stayed back segregating the waste from the dustbin and picking plastic ones. Now I got a chance to move ahead. Meanwhile Skanda too started looking out for litter along the way. On the way, I then caught up with Ram Kumar and Kamal who were taking a breather. Then I caught up with Vinuthna, Lokesh and Chetan. Their tally of bags had almost doubled. Together between them they now had 6 plastic bags hanging by a big wooden stick plus their backpacks. Later I took a break when some of the guys moved ahead. Meanwhile, Ram Roop and Satya had made it to the main road ,and Satya was back again, to take few more bags. Eventually the whole team was back to the entrance by 10 15 AM.

Ram Kumar, Chetan and Lokesh went ahead to bring the vehicle near the entrance so that we could load the bags right up over here. A family who noticed and appreciated what we were doing, agreed to drop Ram Kumar, Chetan and Lokesh to the place where our TT was parked. Indeed thanks to them. One more team from Mangalore comprising of 4-5 guys lent us their entire nylon thread which we used to tie up few bags. Thanks to you too guys. But we could only load few of the bags since there was a electric wire, which would come in contact with the bags. So with few bags loaded we headed towards Kumaradhara river where we found shelter under a tree and loads of time to tie up the bags on top of the van. All the huge bags were now bundled into medium size gunny bags and the total tally went up to 22 bags. Chetan and Govind did a tremendous job in loading the bags on the van and later all of us made it to the Kumaradhara river to take a dip. The water was warm and it felt good. The cleanup activity was a success. We felt refreshed and then we moved to the same hotel where we had our breakfast.

9_wastes

8_Wastes

Completed our lunch and were off by 3 30 PM. With couple of breaks in between we made it to Nelamangala by 9 30 PM. We could make it to Nayandahalli by 11 PM after dropping few of them at Shantala Silks. I got down at Nayandahalli, where the van proceeded to a recycler.

So two days of sheer fun & hard work came to a close. 

Things to take away.

> Loads of time spent amidst nature.

> Tremendous team work.

> Doing our bit, in keeping KP clean.

> Meeting interesting & like-minded people.

> Dip in Kumaradhara

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Write-up from Ram Roop

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On the weekend before Earth Day ( 22nd April ) 12 enthusiastic members from BASC embarked on an ambitious and noble cause of removing the non bio-degradable waste ( plastics bottles , covers etc ) from the beautiful Kumara Parvatha .

We arrived at Kukke at 4:30 AM on Saturday 19/April/2014 and after having a heavy breakfast we split-up into two teams comprising of 7 members. I was part of the team comprising of Ramkumar , Govind , Skanda , Satya, Srikanth and Sandeep and our task was to clean up the region starting from Bhattru Mane to the peak.

We started our trek at 7:00AM and our staggering pace ensured that we reached Bhattru Mane at 8:40 AM .  From Bhattru Mane we went to the office of the forest guard. The officer there was pleased to hear about the brilliant initiative by Bangalore Ascenders and even offered to help us by requesting his sub-ordinate to assist us with disposing the garbage.

3_Cleanup

As we trekked towards the Kallu Mantapa it was clear that we will have an extremely difficult task of clearing the massive garbage left behind. After filling multiple bags of garbage it was clear that it would not be feasible to trek beyond Kallu Mantapa and go towards the peak owing to time constraints.

After collecting all the garbage around Kallu Mantapa we headed back to Bhatru Mane . A few of us felt adventurous and slept at the breathtaking view point - “Raja Seat” . Even though most of us had sleeping bags we were forced to use a tarpaulin sheet as a bed sheet owing to the intermittent rain fall.

The next day ( Sunday 20/April/2014 ) we left Bhattru Mane at 8:10Am as we knew that our descend will be extremely slow as each of us had to carry a garbage bag in addition to our trekking bag. After reaching the base of the mountain we tied the garbage bags to the top of our Tempo Traveller and cooled ourselves in a nearby lake. Next we ate a sumptuous lunch and headed back to Bangalore.

1_Garbage

Wanna know about the trash we found at KP? … keep reading ( order - most expected to the least expected )

·         Cigarette packets

·         Potato chips packets / Chocolate wrappers

·         Water bottles

·         Alcohol bottles

·         Shoes

·         A dominos pizza box + the seasoning, etc.

Each of us had a great experience at KP and we are happy that we removed as much garbage as possible from the beautiful peak .

The task of having a clean and green Kumara Parvatha will be tough and each of us realize that this initiative should be repeated multiple times to achieve that goal , but “ A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step “ , and I am glad that Bangalore Ascenders ( special thanks to Ambareesh for organizing the event ) have taken the initiative to kick start “project KP” ( taking the liberty to give the initiative a name ).

I would like to thank Ambareesh Karanth for giving me the opportunity to be part of such a great initiative and I would also like to thank all the participants for having made this a memorable experience.Until next time , Happy trekking

Join Bangalore ASCENDers @ CLICK HERE

Date: 19 & 20 April 2014

Composed by: Sandeep Kulkarni

Event organized by: Ambareesh Karanth

Image Gallery:

Dr Srikanth, Sandeep Kulkarni, Ram Roop

The team : Ambareesh Karanth, Govind Gorur, RamKumar UN, Satya Prakash Panigrahi, Ram Roop, Skanda S, Anitha MS, Vinuthna, Dr Srikanth K, Sridhar Thyagarajan, Sandeep Srinivas Kulkarni, Chetan, Lokesh

Sunday, April 20, 2014

All right! Here goes my first write-up for Bangalore Ascenders. It had been a while since I did a night trek, so even a short one of a couple of hours held the excitement in me. Darkness has it’s own light: something which many people forget! But the more important excuse was it was the birthday of BASC.

So the evening of 19th April found a group of “not-complete-strangers” and “we-all-love-BASC” standing outside the KSRTC Mysore Satellite Bus Stand. Once we all had gathered, we started out for the trek without much ado. Midway, we decided to grab a bite and we stopped at the way-side restaurant. After much discussion over the dinner (read: I was discussing with my tummy whether a south meal or a north meal would be right), I chose the wrong one: the north meal, and realized this, the moment the south meals were served. Well no harm done. They say hunger is the best sauce, and it always is true.

Once the dinner was done, and I had tucked away my usual “Orbit – Lime flavored” strip in my arm pouch we were raring to go. In our car (piloted by Ravindra), we had a good time, discussing wildlife, cycling and Bangalore roads! And soon we had reached the village from where our trek was supposed to start.

After a couple and a bit more kilometers in the dark, a few wrong turns, and spotting black scorpions (the poisonous kind) we were on the right trail. For both me and Ravindra, the steep initial climb meant that we had to put our cameras back in our back packs. Then once the initial trail was covered, me and Akshatha fell behind, to stay a bit farther away from the torch lights. I tell you, darkness has its own light. The hills and the valleys in between looked so beautifully still in the light of the night. The sky was cloudy, hence all the stars were hidden above their generous cover. Slowly we climbed the trail, me making sure that I sweep the group (it was then that I realized that I take lead only when it is a completely unknown trail, the joy of finding untouched and un-trodden paths are a sheer joy).3_CampFire
Collecting some twigs for the fire, we started climbing up slowly. By the time we reached to the top, the folks had already settled down and were getting ready for the camp fire! And it was the sight at the top that always takes your breath away. On one side, were the city lights, and on the other, was the mask of perpetual darkness. Far on the eastern side, we could see small lights on the hills: signs of civilization. And on the west was the shades of dark. And amongst us were friends who shared the

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bangalore ASCENDers (BASC) completed 5th year on 17th April 2014. We like to thank all 30+ Organisers and 4850+ members for their support in BASC success.

In 5th year BASC completed 103 (10%) events organised by 26 (18%) Organisers taking 1478 (7%) members. Also 1264 (6%) members joined last year. And you guys won’t believe, total expenditure from all 103 events is Rs.21,98,283! yes 22 lakh rupees!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

This was my 7th Bangalore ASCENDers (BASC) trek and I have met Patrick in 4 out of those 7 treks. This was my first difficult trek but being with Patrick I was chilled out about it.
2For me the trek really started when I was woken out of my sleep at 5AM in KSRTC bus. Within few minutes we were off the bus and marching in dark terrain guided by Patrick's GPS and our torch lights. It seemed as if a bison or elephant might be lurking at any corner to pounce upon us. That set the theme for rest of the trek.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Confusion, commotion, sense of urgency filled the air at Bangalore railway station.. It was 9.00PM. All excited I was rushing towards platform no 9, under bridge, to meet fellow BASC members to embark on our two day trek to Koosali Falls.
A few familiar faces & lot many faces yet to be familiarized, it was to be a really exciting trek. As the Customary “HI, hello, what’s your name “were exchanged we waited for the train to arrive .We had a loooonnnngggg train journey to make           (11 hr’s)!!!
Somehow the 11 hrs.’ journey didn’t seem as bad as it sounded the previous night, all thanks to the BASC community, it’s never a dull moment in this high-spirited group :)
10005899_10152282466361291_1805150945_oIt was 11 AM the next day and the train came to halt at Mookambika station, the place where we were supposed to get off the train. This was the time when we actually got to see the entire group.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

River Rafting in Dandeli was always in my TODO list after doing Rafting in Bheemeshwari. At last got a chance to try out river Rafting in Dandeli with BASC team. I really thank Raveendra for organizing this event and giving a chance to all of us to participate .There are so many memories in detailing. Its a good test to my memory and writing skills.I hope to keep it crisp and still penning everything down.
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Monday, January 27, 2014


Day 0  (24 Jan 2014) - 9 50 pm to 7 AM

Having registered for the event, pretty early, I eagerly waited for the day to come. 24 January 2014 was the day, and I was rearing to go. This was a photography event, but photography was second on my mind, I was more interested travelling out of town, visiting a new place, adding some more memorable moments. And indeed it turned out better than what I anticipated. Apart from the quality time, which I spent, whole event turned out with lots of surprises, which in the end left me with only one option, to write a bigger blog post.

I came to Shantala silks at around 9 50 pm, and was waiting for the vehicle to arrive. Once the cab arrived people started boarding the cab and I went back to put the luggage inside the boot which was big, (enough to hold 15+ full size backpacks). When I boarded the cab I occupied the last seat, where I met Jawahar. I spoke to him for a while and soon (even before Jalahalli cross) he was off to sleep. I was joined by Pramod at Jalahalli cross. I spoke to him about our usual IT stuffs and soon spoke with Vasanth too, who was sitting in the last but one seat, to my front.
I too was dozed off to sleep only to be woken up by some pot holes along the NH 13. We were not being tossed up in the last seat, but it was not so comfortable either. Luckily I managed to catch some sleep and wake up only after reaching Hospet, where we were kind of doing circles, trying to find the shortest route to Kamalapura. In Hospet, one thing I noticed was the sizable number of people who were engaged in morning walks. That came as a surprise to me, (and I guess even to Dr Harish too who told me, about it later), who was expecting a sleepy town.
Day 1 (25 Jan 2014) - 7:20 AM to 9 30 AM

We reached Kamalapura around 7:20 am, and we made our way to the Mayura KSTDC guest house. The accommodation had quite a huge campus. It was at a distance from the main road, hence, ensuring lots of parking space, lots of space to roam around, and very less noise. It also guaranteed a nice place for camp fire. Did we carry any wood for camp fire? More about it shortly. There were two dormitories which were made available for us, and soon people starting getting freshened up. Till I got a turn to get freshened up, Vinay, Dr Harish, Harsha and me, went out to Kamalapura, to get some much needed stuffs.

At around 9 30 am odd, once everyone was ready, we started from the KSTDC guest house towards the LOST CITY of Hampi. It felt good, really good, to be back after so many years. We had to have our breakfast, before that, Vinay, Dr Harish and Ram or Sumant (not sure who) got down and paid a visit to the Information Officer at Kamalapura, to fix our Itinerary so that we could make most out of the two days. Finally around 15 minutes later all of them were back. We were also in luck as the Information Officer also got us hooked up our guide for the next two days, Satish, who would be waiting for us at the Virupaksha temple.
Then we headed out to a nearby hotel which seemed to be nice as told by the Officer earlier. It was good, but it turned out to be too slow and we lost some time and it impacted us and we ended up not making it to the Sunset point on Mathunga Hill on Day 1. More on that later. Also in the KSTDC accommodation we had lots of other people, infact a whole group of architecture students from Delhi. ( Got this info from the Officer, who told he himself would have accompanied us, in case he was not occupied with this group). But none the less, our guide packed an equal punch. (who also belted out some emotional, appreciative lines towards end of day 2, while we were about to depart to Bangalore).
Day 1 (25 Jan 2014) - 10 45 AM to 2 PM

We met our guide Satish and proceeded towards Virupaksha temple. Virupaksha temple is the oldest and the principal temple in Hampi. Virupaksha is a form of Shiva. On the way we could see a huge shuttered structure, most likely the chariot, we could see the Hampi market. As we enter we can find a 3 headed Basavanna to our left. Also very close to the entrance we could see an inscription of Varaha. Our guide Satish told us that, this has been inscribed so that, enemies / invaders would retreat on the sight of this. We saw such an inscription on couple of other temples too. We entered into the temple, and completed the Darshan. The guide showed us few paintings which were present on the ceiling and he also explained to us the significance of few of them. There are also shrines of Goddess Pampa and Bhuvaneshwari. We went there too. Also there were couple of places within the temple premises very close to the shrines where our guide could show us the natural camera. The inverted shadow of the temple Gopura is very very clearly visible in natural light through  a small opening in the wall.

1_VirupakshaTemple 
It was another exciting Friday evening and I was all set for an exploratory trek with BASC. With the overwhelming sense of exploration spinning inside my head, I started my experiment to try some new route, right after I left home for our first meeting point Shantala Silk, Majestic. I chose a wrong route and then I was very sure of being the last one to reach the assembly point :D. Felt great to meet some known trekking mates and some new faces with lots of cheers and energy. Few more pickups on the way and we started heading towards the 'mystic’ exploratory trek to lesser known waterfalls of Western Ghats!IMG_5443Ravi, our captain, pulled the trigger for introduction round, which I feel is always one of the funniest moments of any trek. Slowly we all started getting into the comfort zone, with many experiences shared by fellow trekkers and adventurers. Those heavy duty laughter and ragging was ruling the atmosphere gradually and conditioning our minds for more and more fun ahead for two days in the wild!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Get Set Trek!
So, finally I got to meet Bangalore Ascenders! It was so exciting to see my name get shortlisted. Thanks a lot to Rajesh for expanding the team size and accommodating all of us :) I started rehearsing for the trek as the day drew closer, thinking about the things to carry, people I'm going to meet, how to introduce myself and how to get over the initial nervous feeling and start socializing!
1549533_805232806160588_277954243_nThe day of Saturday, 18th Jan 2014, we were off for a night trek to Makalidurga hilltop Shiva temple, lead by Major Rajesh :) The schedule was to assemble in Majestic railway station at 5.30 pm and take the Hindupur bound train at 6.00. I had planned to start from home in Bommanahalli at 3.30 but as usual, got delayed and started at 4.15. I had considering to take my bike but was not sure of the overnight parking facility in Majestic railway station and how safe it was. So decided on taking a bus. But  I hadn't anticipated the route the bus would took - via Shanthi nagar and Double road, looked like a round about way and with inching traffic on a Saturday evening in Bangalore, I barely managed to reach Platform no.8 (Thanks to the SMS from Rajesh) at 5.55 after one hour-and-a-half long journey counting every minute :| 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Well I am not much of a writer but just I have shared the thoughts and the journey from my end so that we can look at it after days and remember the time we spent together.

DSC_0211 Night trek to Bramhagiri was conducted by Bangalore ASCENDers (BASC) on 18th January 2014. The moment we all met up in Platform-9 it was one heck of a journey. To start of with, we were in wrong platform with no idea of which train to climb into until BKS called up asked. That’s when we realized we are in wrong platform & ran to platform 8 and got into train. Subratho was supposed to enter in a DDLJ style but could not make it, probably he was not as fast of Kajol, but jokes apart, sorry that he missed it.

DSC_0279 We took out attendance and some informal introductions in the train. The moment we started with dumb charades is when it lit up more. We were so involved that we would have missed the Nandi stop if it was not for Mudassar (of-course he was the organizer). Got down and went on with formal undertaking and introduction while Mudassar was negotiating with Auto. After a long 4 kms auto (since I was in back seat & Jyothsna was continuously saying she was hungry) we finally got down at our trek's starting point. Packed food at nearest cafe and told the owner to be ready with next day's breakfast. By almost 9 we started ascending just when the moon started giving us its light to carry further.

DSC_0043We trekked for almost an hour and half and came to dinner point where we had some nice view of the city and airport. We took photos, had moon light dinner and some more photos before we continue our trek. With my obsession of being in front of the group, I carried on with Mudassar and Preetham. We took wrong right turns searching for the temple; after 5 wrong turns we reached the temple by around 11PM. We explored the surroundings and gathered wood for campfire. After cutting birthday cake we started with individual trek stories, BASC blood camp initiatives and others. After all the fun we tried sleeping for few hours by around 2.30AM. When I opened my eyes at 4.15AM all I can see is a human standing next to door seeing out, got scared. It was Mr. George who apparently could not sleep. Eventually everyone got up and it was cold!! We went for fire and thankfully it was still burning. We spent the next one hours constantly struggling to burn the damp wood and finding that warm air from the fire.

DSC_0117By almost 5.30am we took the stairs for peak and found that it’s even more cold and windy. We all snuggled up behind a rock to avoid the wind where I listened to iPod. It was one of the most amazing moments of this trek. We took group photos and fooled around a bit till 6.30am but sun was still not up. Also thanks to Surabhi's impeccable mobile network service that we confirmed that there are no train back on Sunday. Then we decided it’s time for us to head back, started descending half way through we saw the sun rise, started picking up whatever trash we can find (thanks Preetham for this), lost our way badly and lost track of  other half team. Finally everyone grouped up reached the cafe and probably did more business to that cafe owner than any single day of his life. We took the bus back to Bangalore and this is where I had the best one hour sleep of my life.

Now thinking back thanks to Mudassar for arranging it so nicely without any hiccups and all of you who made it as one of the most memorable trek for me.

Written by: Akash

Post- 2

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Here comes the first trek of the year. From the very start the plan was a roller coaster ride. I persuaded my friends (Tiwari and Piyush) to come for a BASC trek and I ended up not making to the list. Later the wait list got cleared and we went for the trek.

DSCN2575As opposed to previous experiences, this time I went from train. We all assembled at platform 9 at around 5:30 PM and suddenly got the news that this is the wrong platform. We rushed to platform 8 and boarded the train. We had great rounds of dumb charades on way to base camp. After reaching a small village we reached the base camp from an Auto (two fully packed autos). Our stomach already started asking for food. We packed some food from hotel and had tea & nariyal-pani. We started climbing at around 9PM.

As we were there for a more special purpose celebration of Tiwari's Birthday, I was hoping that we should reach top before 12AM. Apart from frequent chocolate/biscuit breaks we killed our most of the time in getting ourselves by anyone having the camera. Some people got new names on the trek (for instance - Majnu). In between DSC_0132 we had a break where we enjoyed fried rice and tomato rice. Surbhi enjoyed it more than anyone else as she liked the curry a little more than others.

We reached the night camping site just in time (@ 11:55PM). Piyush and I quickly started assembling the cake we bought with us. We celebrated the birthday there. It was a very unique experience to me at-least, I hope Tiwari also felt the same. Fortunately, the cake came out well and everyone enjoyed, we also had the camp fire going on. Mudassar and Shrinivas  exchanged some BASC programs and Trek stories, which were very interesting. At about 2AM the fire started dying and temperature started dropping. I didn't wanted to sleep as I wanted to make sure that I am up at sunrise. Still we had a small nap in freezing cold.

DSCN2581When I woke I saw George's silhouette at the door right in front of me. We were very happy to see that fire hadn’t died completely so we enjoyed it for some more time. Around 6AM we reached the peak where it was freeze cold. We had to hide behind a rock to avoid the chilly winds. After sometime we had some clicks and then we started descending. While on our way back, we lost track of the correct path which delayed the plan a bit. But overall it was a nice experience.

Written by: Vivek V V

Post - 3

DSCN2585 It was a wonderful trek with BASC. Trekking in moonlight has always enthralled me. In short, it's a beautiful memory of playing dumb charades in train with loads of fun, a moonlight dinner over bed of rocks, trekking in the moon-lit trail to the temple, cold windy night, incinerating the remnants of doors and windows from the temple (that we eventually rejoiced as 'Camp fire'), birthday celebration of Ravindra, inspiring/scaring experiences of Mudassar's OG ventures, exploring the camping place with less than 100m visibility etc...

Our struggle to find the way back to the village in the morning mist engulfed us all around, truly added some fun and we ended up doing little exploration in a small over-night trek! It was an icing on the cake.

Thank you guys for making this trek delightful. This will always make me feel exuberant whenever I take a look at that full moon and contemplate about my next moonlight trek to relive every moment! Happy trekking!

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Written by: Abhishek

Image Gallery: Akash, Vivek V V, Abhishek

Composed by: Jithendra B N

Event organized by: Mudassar

Event Date: 18th January 2014

The Crew: Srikanth BK, Preetham G Raj, Devchand, Nishit Desai, Srujan, Shailesh Thakur, Deepika Muthusamy, Abhishek Gupta, Guru Prakash, Akshar Kowlani, Prawin, Surabhi, Sanjay Kumar, Badrinath Padhy, Ravindra Tiwari, Piyush Jain,Vivek V Velankar, Jyothsna, George, Mudassar.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The final 12 out of around 25+ entries from different participants which they took during different events organized by Bangalore Ascenders.
The complete set has been published in,
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.656640624375298.1073741844.118321651540534&type=1
Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bangaloreascenders/sets/72157639775852193/with/11952874504/
Included those in its order,
# 1: Patadakallu
1
Entry Id: clicks2013-23
Image By: Shivakumar S Gowda
Location: Patadakallu
Description about the Image: f/4, 1/1000 sec, ISO-100, Focal length-18mm
Event name in which image was took: Photography Trip to Badami, Aihole & Pattadakallu: BAP-1 on 6th & 7th Jul 2013