A Place Lost in Time!

Bengaluru saw a record rainfall this year. On a rainy night, we set out for Gandikota and Belum Caves. The combination of incessant rainfall and a Friday night was enough to make us anxious about the infamous traffic situation in the city during a rainy day. For once we predicted our destiny right.
We boarded the APSRTC Super Luxury bus to Jammalamadagu at 9 pm. After running a complete circle for searching the bus, we came to know that the buses are identified by their route number instead of the registration number. While most people visit Gandikota by their personal or a hired transport, we chose public transport- not that we had a better choice.
APSRTC runs 2 buses to Jammalamadagu. One at 7pm and the other at 9pm. We chose the 9pm one as we did not want to be cooling our heels in the bus station upon arrival. Gandikota is about 15kms from Jammalamadagu and we were confident about finding some form of transport from there.
Rewinding back to Friday 9pm, the bus started after an ago…

Monsoon is HERE

Leech bites are like battle scars(light humour) which warriors get in a war. Leech bites are an irritation frankly speaking but they are an integral part of the monsoon trek in the Western Ghats. I had got three cool meaty bites upon closer inspection.  5:30am I woke up to the pattering sound of rains. Everyone was in deep slumber, as they say, one gets excellent sleep early into the morning. We were a group of 21 on a fast trek to Tadiyandamol organized by Bangalore Trekking Club (BTC). It is the highest peak in Kodagu district, the third highest in Karnataka. It majestically rises to an altitude of 1748m above sea level. My sleep was very fitful as I tried to experiment with all kinds of angles. I was glad that it was raining since Karnataka is reeling under severe successive droughts. Monsoon treks are special due to several reasons- the monsoon experience itself, the fantastic views of clouds rising from the mountains and the leeches obviously. We began our trek after a sumptuous br…

The Scented Gulmohar

Flashback :
The clock strikes noon and we rush out of the hall. The exams have ended and the much-awaited summer vacation has begun. I cannot exactly recollect the date but it must be after the season of spring had set in. Bengaluru also was known as the Garden City of India was decked up in a flowery maze with wide varieties such as Gulmohars, Raintree etc. Those were the days when I used to celebrate the end of another academic year and the beginning of our days of freedom rather than the onset of spring season. I used to scowl at the rain gods who used to intermittently threaten with brief spells of rain. 
Present day: The evening climate has freshened up after a brief shower of rain. A much-needed respite from the searing afternoon heat. Bengaluru has been drastically turned into a concrete jungle with little thought being put into the aftereffects. The South part of the city is one of the core residential areas due to which there is substantial tree cover being retained. The mai…

The Sounds of the Forest

@1890m above sea level, we are being blasted by torrential downpour along with heavy gusts of wind as we try to devour our packed lunch after a moderately challenging 5 hour trek to the Kudremukha peak. The surrounding views are fully shrouded in thick mist and there is an eerie silence except for the rustling of our raincoats in the bellowing rain and wind.        When the rain died down eventually, I dropped my makeshift raincoat and reached to get my food packet. Within seconds, the wind again whipped up, splattering rain onto our faces. I was chilled to the bone in a matter of few seconds. Kuduremukha is a mountain range and name of a peak located in Chikkamagaluru, in Karnataka. The name Kuduremukha literally means 'horse-face' (in the Kannada language) and refers to a particular picturesque view of a side of the mountain that resembles a horse's face. It was also referred to as 'Samseparvata', historically since it was approached from Samse village. Kuduremukh …

The view with a Heart

The backwaters hummed along the pitch of our voices as the ripples on the waters reminisced us of the typical sea waves. The wind was refreshing as it strove to cleanse us from the ever increasingly polluted city weather. The evening was beautiful but the setting sun decided to hide among the scattered clouds which denied us the perfect sunset. The neatly laid stone floor beneath our feet was a testament to the skill of the artisans and this temple was known to be submerged and subsequently restored slab by slab. We were at the Venugopal Swamy temple on the banks of KRS backwaters, Mysore. Having a large built-up area and also being a very photogenic spot, we indulged in some creative photography.  With the sun setting and this being only an intermediate destination, we resumed our journey towards Wayanad.

      The Scorpio whistled through the dark highways with no stop-overs in between barring for dinner and as we crossed into Kerala few people had warned us about running int…

Into The Abyss

Oct 2nd - 2.30am
Damn, I'm too jumpy about the alarm.
4.45am-  Seriously?  Swearing once again, I pulled over my blanket. 
5.45am- Finally it's about time and I feel surprisingly fresh. Why not, given the fact that I literally snapped my neck over 2 false alarms. It's time to "dress to impress" as I feel over-prepared of meeting my time to target of at 6.30am.
          Surprise surprise it has rained all night and it is still raining! Perfect weather for an outing I would say, considering we got roasted just a week back at Shivgange and reading on my darkness meter shot through the roof. Overconfidence makes one lazy said once, a punctual man as I finally took leave at 6.50am.
          As I stepped out into the falling rain, the crisp chilled morning air made me nostalgic about the old Bengaluru weather. The otherwise unkempt streets looked as if they had been washed by a housemaid. The large pools of standing water were a grim remainder of the city's infra…

A Tale of Twists and Turns

Starting Point: Almora. The joyride began exactly at 7am on a windy morning from a height of 1861 metres. Now the reason I call this as a joyride is the fact that we meander through the beautiful ghat roads with breathtaking vistas of the valley and the pine forests. Terraced gardens enriched the beauty and with captivating deep plunges into the valley, the drivers here live their lives on a knife's edge everyday.         I am hooked on to the beauty of the nature's bounty bestowed upon this blessed land as we continue to turn and twist through the roads with several heart stopping moments. The Koshi river flows serenely dried out at several places due to summer. Come monsoon and it will be transformed into a raging magical beauty.          I'm furiously snapping photographs on my Nexus 5 and one photograph shows the trucks parked by the wayside. It is unseemingly beautiful against the backdrop of the stunning mountains and a lunging sheer drop on the other side. 

I am pleasa…