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Pun-toured : The Beautiful Western Ghats

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by nibedk, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Panorama Shots – How much I love them and this place is ideal for such shots

    Pano @ Kudremuck National Park

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    Pano @ Lakya Dam

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    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 11, 2015 ---
    We spent some time near Lakhya Dam. It started raining there as can be seen from the pics. The place was pretty serene but we could spend much time there as the rain started getting heavier.

    Papa and Beti Bonding

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    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 11, 2015 ---
    Next we went to Hanuman Gundi falls. Pretty beautiful location and nice waterfall. But one has to take pretty steep stairs down to be at the location. It would be like 30 meters down from the road. There is an entry fee of Rs. 30 for adults. The climb down is pretty steep, elderly and ones with joint pains should avoid. The water is pretty voluminous after monsoon and one can go still further down and have a nice bath. But the rocks are pretty slippery and once have to be careful as one wrong step can lead to life threatening injuries.

    Few click @ Hanuman Gundi Falls

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    Just before we started to return it started raining heavily and we had a hard time climbing back. It became wet and slippery everywhere. We had to carry our daughter along with umbrellas and I have to admit the climb up was very frightening. Climbing alone itself was difficult and we took turns to carry our daughter along. Then there is the fear of leeches and such climate is perfect for these small blood suckers. Fortunately for us we never had any issue throughout our trip, maybe we were ultra careful.

    Steep steps @ Hanuman Gundi

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    Kadambi Falls – There were many such small falls all along the way.

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    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 11, 2015 ---
    There is a beautiful Ganesh temple in the midst of a tea garden. We stopped by for a few clicks and had hot bhajjis and tea there.

    Few clicks of tea estates and the surrounding environs

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    The light was fading slowly and it added to the beauty

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    Finally some color other than green ... Phew!

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    Mist , Fog and Visbility

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    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 11, 2015 ---
    There was still light on the horizon after we came out of Kudremukh. We headed towards Annapoorneshwari Temple in Horanadu as planned. Very beautiful and clean temple and well maintained I must say. Most temples in South India are very clean and well maintained and this one was no exception.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 11, 2015 ---
    The above pic is of Annapoorneshwari Temple in Horanadu. It was almost dark whne we reached there so could not take any more photos. With camera not allowed inside smart phone cameras were carp in dark. Even the above pic is taken with Samsung S3.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 11, 2015 ---
    It was an awesome day and the scenic beauty of the place impressed us so much that we decided to drive through Kudremukh once more next day. It kept raining on and off through the day making the drive through the Western Ghats very dreamy. I had seen a lot of pictures on net and the scenery mostly matched. We were pretty confused before we had decided the place that we would be going to Kudremuk for this particular trip. No regrets what so ever. One of the best trips we could have had. The trip bought forward all the strengths of Fiat and made the drive all more engaging and the virgin beauty of the Western Ghats just after the monsoon was nothing short of mesmerizing.

    We had the option of covering Chikmaglur or go to Sringeri next day after the drive through the national park. The distance to Chikmaglur was more and I didn’t want to risk driving late in night again on the ghat roads. So it was decided that next day we would cover Sringeri and Agumbe Sunset Point. We were back to our hotel by 7:30 PM. Had our dinner and retired happily for the day unaware of what lay in store for us the next day.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
    PradeepM and joeswatmail like this.
  2. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Oct 4th 2014 - Day 3

    Weather was pretty similar as the day before and it made us more excited after what we had experienced. We had our breakfast at a small restaurant in Kalasa and started our drive through the Kudremukh again. We had noted down a few places from the previous day’s drive where we could have had a few pictures clicked but could not because of rain. We stopped at those places and took pictures. We kept on driving up and down through the park till our eyes got tired of seeing the beauty all around. I had never seen so much greenery in my life yet. I have been to 17 states in India and have visited Nepal and Bhutan as well, besides my work has taken me to US twice. But never had I experienced something so beautiful, something so calm and serene. This experience is going to stay with me for a ong time to come. I will let the pictures do the talking.

    Scenic all the way .....

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    The weather was just awesome through out

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    Windows Wallpaper :)

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    The fog added to the mystique of the place.

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    The roads in national park though narrow were brilliant to drive on

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    Drive through clouds

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    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 18, 2015 ---
    And Tauras was in a mood to pose as well.

    Am I not photgenic??

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    The best angle

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    Puntorama

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    Travel Partners :)

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    Tauras resting when I was bzz clicking

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    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 18, 2015 ---
    All good things come to an end and this feast for our eyes which continued for two days had to come to an end as well. Around 1:00 PM we proceeded towards Sringeri. The roads through the national park though narrow were pretty well laid and smooth. The same could not be said about the road to Sringeri. The problem was not the road itself rather the way the road was laid. The edges of the road were pretty sharp and the road was higher than the surrounding ground making it more dangerous. The chances of underbody hitting the ground was much more and if not driven carefully the tires would be cut by the edges on the road. At some places the roads were so narrow that one had to get off the road to let a vehicle pass by from the opposite direction.

    Few pictures on the way to Sringeri

    A small river

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    And a big one too

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    Tauras posing with a hanging bridge in teh background. Someplace on the way to Sringeri ....

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    Lush green fields

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    A lake on the way

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    We had planned to visit the Sringeri Mutt. We reached there around 1:00 PM and quickly had our lunch in a small restaurant nearby. It being Dusshera time the rush was just too much and it took us a lot of time to park the car. Seeing the rush we decided against going inside as daughter was not feeling particularly well. We could sense that she may fall sick due to all the stress and travelling.

    A snap of the Sringeri Mutt.

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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
    prabhjot, pdash and kgramesh like this.
  3. kgramesh

    kgramesh Amatore

    Messages:
    74
    Palakkad, KL
    Linea T-Jet
    Can't say which is better, the scenery or the white beauty. With such a car, you will always be tempted to go distances.
    And that heaven-like western ghats reminds us of the importance of conservation not only for our generation but for many ahead.
    nibedk likes this.
  4. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    At around 2:30 PM we started towards Agumbe sunset point. The roads were great and green all the way till the sunset point. It would be around 4:00 PM when we reached there hoping to get a glimpse of the sunset and take a few good snaps. But the climate changed almost instantly and it got foggy instantly almost in about 15 minutes. There was heavy rush at the spot and finding a parking spot was very difficult. I would have parked my car almost a kilometer from the sunset point. By the time we reached the top point it was completely covered with fog and mist and visibility was almost zero.

    Throughout the trip wherever we went it was feast for eyes

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    Check this out ... a driver's dream

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    Agumbe Sunset Point ... No sun .. No setting ... only fogging ....

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    No visibility at all

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    One more

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    One could hardly see 50 meters ahead

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    All hopes of catching the sunset came down crashing. The temperature dropped as well. There was a small pond near the place. We spent 5-10 minutes there and as it was getting darker pretty quickly. We started back towards our hotel around 5:30 PM. Even though we didn’t get to see the sunset but the place was pretty good and the fog and mist made it more beautiful. Few pictures from the place.

    Check out the traffic @ the place even though the visibility was so low. The vehicles moving towars right are going to the sunset point

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    It was 5:30 PM and this is what we could see after putting our headlight and foglights on

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    Snacks time. Visibility improved as we moved away from the sunset point.

    We stopped by a restaurant and had our customary evening tea along with Gobi Manchurian and Chicken Pakoda.

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    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 18, 2015 ---
    It was completely dark by the time we reached back Sringeri. Even though there was enough fuel to get us back to our hotel I thought of getting it filled up so that we can start early the next day without worrying about refueling. I have always stuck to IOCL with all my vehicles. The reason being I have Citibank IOC card and with my usage I get at least 3-4 tank full every year. We tried finding a IOCL and Google Maps suddenly started acting weird. The closest IOCL pump it showed was over 100 kms. We had no option and didn’t want to waste time finding one. So for the very first time we refilled our Punto at a HP Pump.

    Due to the road conditions between Kudremukh and Sringeri I wasn’t too keen on taking that route again. The fear was more of cutting the tires or underbody damage. The road in itself was not bad as I have mentioned before. We asked at the petrol bunk and they suggested the below mentioned route in the map. It was about 7:30 PM when we started back from Sringeri.

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    The one marked in grey was the one which we had taken in the morning. We were a little apprehensive as the other route almost took the same amount of time instead of being shorter by about 25 kms. But the petrol bunk guy assured us that the roads are good enough. We took the unknown road going by the petrol bunk attendant words. The road was good enough as he mentioned and traffic was almost nil. Roads were absolutely dark. Few kilometers ahead we saw a local bus which we thought was going to Kalasa going by the address written at back of the bus. We kept following it for about 20-30 minutes but it slowed us down considerably as the bus was moving pretty slowly. We overtook it and kept going on towards our destination with Google Maps guiding us. We kept driving till we were warned by my mobile that GPs signal has been lost and on checking we found out that there was no network as well.

    It was 8:30 PM already and we assumed that Kalasa should not be very far. Another 15 minutes of drive and the roads started becoming worse. It didn’t take me long to realize that may be we were on the wrong way. No mobile network yet, not a single vehicle to be soon got us worried. Our previous experience just two days back didn’t let us risk it again. We decide to drive back and find the nus if possible or else to get back to Sringeri if we do not get anyone to ask directions. After driving back for about 20 minutes we found the bus and were a bit relieved. GPS and network were back again. We decided to keep following the bus.

    We were a little surprised as we didn’t find any deviation that we had missed. We assumed that may be were on the right way. But still we continued following the bus. The bus stopped after sometime and a family got down. I just stopped to ask them if we were on the right way. Unfortunately we were not on the right way and they told that a diversion was missed some 10-12 kms back. I did tell them I have been driving pretty sedately and do not really think that we missed any diversion. They told us that it’s very difficult to figure that diversion in dark. The diversion looks more of a road to tea estate than a proper road.

    It was already 9:30 PM and immediately turned back. After travelling back for around 10 kms we finally found the road to Kalasa. As the family had told us sometime before it was extremely difficult to locate the road. It was very narrow and was at slight deviation from the main road. It looked like a road to some one’s house or a tea estate. It became broader a little while later and we were finally on our way to Kalasa. It was 11:00 PM when we reached our hotel. We weren’t as stressed out as the first day but didn’t feel good about another misadventure. The roads were again deserted and we couldn’t see a soul, but quite a few snakes again. We surely need to plan our trips better in future. We may not be lucky always.

    We were in for another surprise after dinner. Daughter had slight fever and cold which kept getting worse with time. I got sure of one thing though, that we will not be able to start early the next day. Somehow we managed to put our daughter to sleep and it was well past midnight when I and my wife retired for the day.

    Fifth lesson learnt: A known devil is better than an unknown angel
    We had already travelled Kalasa to Sringeri through the Kudremukh range and knew that the roads are good for most part. Though some part of it was a little narrow and the road edges were sharp at some places but the best part was we knew the road well having travelled almost twice. We could have driven a little carefully and could have had reached Kalasa quite early. Instead we took the other route and the journey which should have taken not more than 90 minutes took us close to 4 hours. So the unknown angel turned out to a bigger devil than the already known devil.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 18, 2015 ---
    @kgramesh I completely agree with you. But why just forests we need to conserve every available resources for our future generation so that they can have a better life.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
    pdash and prabhjot like this.
  5. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    Oct 5th 2014 - Day 4

    It was 8:30 AM when we got ready to return back to Hyderabad. Daughter still had fever and we knew the journey back home was not going to be easy one. We were already late and so we needed to drive well and take shorter breaks. We started our journey back after visiting the Kalaseshwara temple. This is a Lord Shiva’s temple and it was pretty similar to temples of north east.

    Ready for the drive back home

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    Kalaseshwara temple

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    While coming back we took the Belur route and it was better than the Sakleshpur route. This road though better was not something I would recommend anyone to travel after sunset. We were a little sad as our trip was getting over. It was decided some other time may be when our daughter grows up we would surely comeback to this place, stay at a better place and go trekking.

    Few pictures of the ghat roads.

    There was still fog around when we started

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    Early morning call :)

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    These scenes are still fresh in my mind

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    Finally we get to see the sun

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    Sun rays peircing through the canopy

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    The tea estates ... They were everywhere and looked gorgeous under the early morning sun

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    The belur route was scenic as well

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    Tauras taking a break when I decided to relieve myself :p

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    One more shot

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    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 18, 2015 ---
    I had noted down quite a few good restaurants which serve fish on Mangalore road while coming. I and my daughter are very fond of fish. We stopped at one such restaurant and had yummy fish. My wife is a vegetarian so mostly we have to order different dishes when we eat outside. I kept pestering the person attending to make it fast as we wanted to cross Bangalore as soon as possible. I had let my wife drive as much as possible before we touch Bangalore. I was pretty confident that I can cover Bangalore to Hyderabad in less than 7 hours. We had our lunch by 1:30 PM and the break was only about for 40 minutes. Since we had started late we wanted to keep our break time to minimum.

    Fish was yummy

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    Getting ready for the last leg of the trip. Outside the restaurant

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    My daughter too loves fish and was back to her cheerful self. But her fever still had us worried. She wasn't bothered though.

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    The NH48 traffic was pretty thick being the last day of a long weekend. Most of the folks were returning back for work and the average speeds would have been in 50s till we crossed Bangalore.

    Beautiful NH48. But busy as well

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    Some were busy driving and some busy feasting. CHeck out the cow. Thats the reason its hard to drive fast in India

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    As we reached closer to Bangalore two wheeler traffic increased as well

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    As soon as we touched Bangalore our speeds dropped drastically. We crossed Hebbal around 5:30 PM.

    Last few pictures

    Any idea what this is??

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    Toll gate

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    I took over the driver’s seat and we touched Kurnool after covering 350 odd kms in next 3.5 hrs. I maintained speeds above 120 most of the times and touched Kurnool at 9:00 PM. We were in two minds whether to continue our journey or stay back at Kurnool for the night. The experiences we had over the last 2-3 days forced us to think this way. But our daughter was not keeping well and we knew that best option was to get back home ASAP as she would feel the most comfortable at home only. We carried on and were home exactly at 12:10 AM. We could have made it earlier as well if not for the heavy downpour just after we crossed Kurnool. For the next 40 minutes we could manage only about 40-50 kms as the visibility was hardly 20-30 meters. So we covered around 600 kms in 6:40 hrs with an average speed of close to 100 km/hr. We thanked god, our starts and luck and promised to plan better for our future trips. We had learnt our lessons well and now understood what all needs to be taken into account when planning road trips.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
    PradeepM, pdash, kgramesh and 2 others like this.
  6. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @Ravi & @ramjn

    Mods a request. Is it possible to revive this thread and put it on home page.

    I started the thread in Oct 14 but could complete it in Mar 15. Please help. Put in a lot of effort to pen the travelogue as I had forgotten a lot fo stuff in six months time:(

    Thanks in advance:)
  7. punto_emotion

    punto_emotion Esperto

    Messages:
    1,245
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Hats off to the details you have captured in the travelogue. Fantastic pics
  8. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @punto_emotion . The two things that I love doing most driving and photography. Be it a bike or a car or cycle or plain running. I love the feel of speed. Photography is another activity which I love to core. It helps me distress and I can spend hours and hours behind a camera. Doesn't matter if its a SLR or P&S or a mobile cam I can keep clicking whole day long. It helps when your better half is a willing partner in your interests. My wife too loves traveling and after learning to drive she fights to drive the Fiat. She has taken keen interest in photography since I gifted her a camera on her first birthday after we met. Most of the pics have been taken by her and that too through the glass from inside the car.
  9. puntosat

    puntosat Superiore

    Messages:
    588
    Bangalore
    Nice travelogue..

    As asaid before Kudremukh is one of my top fav places in the world..

    I have been there almost every year for past 6-7 years and there is still a lot more to explore..

    Next time you go ..don't miss Bhagavati nature camp, Gangadikal trek..
  10. nibedk

    nibedk Regolare

    Messages:
    291
    Hyderabad
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    @puntosat .Yes with a 3 yr old kiddie I had to tick off those places. May be few years down the line when she grows up and can go trekking we will plan another trip. But I loved the place and will visit again for sure.
    prabhjot likes this.

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