Thursday, October 15, 2009

3 Day trip Agumbe-shringeri-mulyanagiri

Oct 2-3-4

This trek was organized by Yhai-chandru.As usual set out in the TT,we arrived early morning at Doddamane -a homestay.The place is said to be about 120 years old ,it is looked after by Kasturamma The place is quite huge ,has got a tiled roof,lots of wooden pillars.We quickly got freshed up .By then breakfast was ready-Ricebath.Had them and we were ready to head towards our first point - Barkana falls view-point.

As we reached the point it started raining heavily,it was indeed a sight to be enjoyed.the whole place was green.We initially had to cross a waist high stream which was flowing in full throttle.Enroute we encountered several small and big streams.the water in the streams is worth drinking and had quite a few gulps enroute. It took us a little over an hour to cover the 6km stretch.The entire valley was covered with mist and we couldnt see anything,but
the walk through this decent stretch was quite a good experience.We returned back and then headed towards Jogi-gundi-another water falls.This was just about 2 kms of walk and the falls was just awesome in the monsoon.The water increased by almost 30% in the 15 minutes we stayed there.There was no way we could enter the falls area ,we soaked in the moment and started back.

We walked backed to the homestay.i bought myself a new umbrella nearby since the umbrella i bought was leaking due the heavy rain.We had lunch and rested for a while .We then headed to the Agumbe rainforest research station.Vipul gave us quite a bit of information about the research they undertake and what sort of work they are into.We decided to head toward the famous sunset point -again we were dissapointed due to the heavy fog-but all the while
enjoying the rain in Agumbe.

The next day we headed towards Kundadri betta-a jain shrine is said to be atop this scenic hill.The trek was along the winding road and the vistas as we walked ahead to the summit was worth watching.The summit has a jain shrine which remains locked.For a brief moment we
got a view of the plains from here since the entire area was covered by fog till then.The scenary from here will just blow you off your feet.Contended we headed to Sirimane falls-A good shallow
place for people to enjoy bathing in the falls.Even this falls was overflowing with heavy water output.I had a bath since the next destination was shringeri.Visited the temple ,had a fanstastic
darshan of sharadadevi and then headed for lunch at the temple.

Next destination was Mulyangiri ,we decided to halt at the sethalyanagiri devasthana.Travelling under heavy fog with zero visibility was quite a task.We hit the bit and it was raining heavily.The next morning was no better ,covered by thick fog.We decided to trek through the hills for a bit before we realized it would be futile ,we ended up trekking on the road.Soon after we again hit the grasslands up a decent hill.Here we were caught with winds of over 60 kmph and it was raining as well.People couldnt stand their ground.Finally we reached the summit with great
difficulty.The return back was uneventful -peppered with heavy rain and wind.We decided that it was time to head back home.Enroute we managed to stop at Belur-any number of visits to this place does not bore me at all.

The best part of this trip was rain-my favourite season.One has to experience the rains in the malnad region to know what monsoon really is.Hospitality of Kasturamma makes the homestay a really good experience

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fort Midigeshi

Date : 9/10/2009
History : The name Midigeshi is made up of 2 words Midi or himmadi-which means ankle in english and keshi means Hair. So there was once a queen who ruled this place who had long hair till her ankles and hence the name Midikeshi or Midigeshi.This place was steaming with political activity in its hey days and also has seen lot of bloodshed.History dates back to 9th century but Midigeshi gained prominence in the 16th century.

Source : My guide to history- Mr M.R Vijayashankar Metikurke

Started the day a little late and i was the culprit this time,i was late by about 25 minutes on this trip.Packed breakfast,fuel stop @shell and headed towards the nice road.I was joined by Pratibha and her friend Kiran on this trek.At about 8:30 am ,we were slighlty ahead of Devarayandurga when we decided to have breakfast,stopped the car and hogged on the
idlies that we had got.It was pleasant morning with lots of birds around the place.

We reached Midigeshi at around 10 am.An old man was curious to know as to why we were there ,he suspected as a part of the central govt employees who have come to assess the place :) .We convinced him that we had come there to see the fort,he insisted that we take a guide to show us the place.

Puttaraju would be our guide for the day,he said that he would join us in 10 minutes since he had to have his food,till then we decided to explore the ancient venkateshware temple at the base of the fort ,a small yet beautiful temple ,we finished clicking pictures by then Puttaraju -our guide was waiting for us show us around.Initial climb is a easy ,though one encounters loose gravel at certain places.

This fort can only be climbed from one side,after the intial easy clime,one encounters a steep cliff,one has to be careful while climbing this part of the fort.After this is there are is a fleet of steps.The steps slide towards one side and are very smooth in some areas ,one has to very careful here.Also one has to be careful not to look down from this place ,one can see the steep ascent made which can be hair-raising to say the least.We enter the the main entrance gate of the fort here.One can see the majestic strong walls of the fort with the the gun-slots and the canon points

As we moved further ,we could spot the ammunition storage area,we decided to explore it ,a 3 roomed area which was once the house of several types of ammunition.It is slightly tricky to approach this area since this place is lower than the ground level except for the roof ,there was dense undergrowth all around ,so we had to walk over the doom of the roof to enter this place.Finally we headed towards the summit -were one can spot the Minaret which is basically a tomb of erstwhile ruler

One can also checkout the rooms to stay one of which has a bathing area as well.Another important aspect of the rooms is that they have a small opening on the roof which was meant to be a natural ventilation opening ,a latch to this seems to be missing according to me.

Two huge ragi storage areas can also be spotted here.At the other end ,a little downhill is another living area with a water storage area.This water storage area has never dried till date apparently according to Puttaraju.We decided against exploring this place since the route was quite a steep climb down .

We took a deep breath sinked in the moment ,sun was blazing down ,puttaraju suggested that we start back since it is going to get more hot by the time we go down.We slowly started our trek downhill.Downhill was easy ,Puttaraju suggested we remove our footwear since it might be very slippery.We reached the base of the fort by around 1 pm.We drank water from the borewell
nearby and decided to rest as the sun was just blazing down.As soon as we settled down we spotted quite a few birds there -the priced catch was the woodpecker

According to Puttaraju,wildlife spotted by him include Bears,civet cat,fox,leopard-which has also killed livesstock

We also checked out an old jain temple -Bhagawan Suparshwanatha in the kayotsarga posture,renovation is underway at this temple now ,the folks where more than keen to show us the idol which was kept in a adjacent building.By now we were exhausted ,we headed to the nearest shop and gulped down some cold drinks which was when the body came back to normalcy :)

We had some lunch @ madhugiri and headed back .On the way back we decided to check out Goruvanahalli Lakshmi devasthana ,had darshan there.There is a dam called teetha ,relaxed there and headed back to bangalore .All in all a good day spent.

Acknowledgement : This place was first written by Srinidhi Raghavendra in deccan herald.