Archive for April, 2010

A Journey to the Roots

Posted in My-Travel on April 22, 2010 by prajwalpai

Date : 13th and 14th March’2010
Group : Prajwal,Venu,SK,Sethu,Charles,Venki,Moorthy,San and Ramesh

I was born in Shimoga but within few months from birth, My Dad got tranferred to Chickmagalur. Chickmagalur was the place I have spent my entire childhood . When our UBS gang started on the lines of planning another trip, Many places were shortlisted. When I saw Chickmagalur being one of them, I got fixated on this. I did a lot of lobbying to make sure that we went only to this place. Actually, nobody had been to Chickmagalur before and everybody was keen on this so no lobbying was necessary.
When finally the dates were fixed, I felt that we were less people. Prabhu,Pravin and Sudhi were the key people from our gang missing this time. Sethu kind of stepped into Prabhu’s shoes and I invited Charlie to accompany us and thus we finally had enough number of people to form a group. We all did miss Sudhi though.
Departure :
Chikmagalur is just 240 km from Bangalore and so is just a short journey. We had plans to leave by 9 in the night so that we could reach late night and get some sleep and have a productive weekend. I had mild cold and terrible wheezing and so had taken a sick off on the day of departure. When the TT came to my place and as soon as I got into the TT , I was offered Wine and Rum (which I declined) and this was even before I could sit or take off my backpack.
We had hardly crossed Banashankari and one of the guys puked! It was past midnight by the time we left Bangalore and reached only by morning 8. We all had kind of a tiring journey and everybody needed some rest before we could start our fun weekend.

Home Stay : When Venu first sent a mail on the HomeStay we were planning to stay at, It gave me a chuckle reading the name. The name of the homestay was ‘FarmVille’. It was kind of a huge villa and it indeed was in the midst of a coffee plantations. The name obviously names on one of the most popular app on Facebook made it really funny. It was close to 8 km from the main city of Chikmagalur. The day when we arrived in Chikmagalur, we had touch time finding this place. WE even didnt have network to call the manager but finally Airtel arrived to our rescue and SK got some feeble signal. The manager came to pick us up and direct us to the farm from the point where we were stranded at 6 in the morning. He told us that it was just half km from that point but it took atleast 5 mins and our odometer incrementer by atleast 3km.

FarmVille - Home Stay

FarmVille - Home Stay

The homestay indeed was very impressive and looked like it was newly built. The interiors and the sanitation department was well taken care off. We stayed in multiple rooms and had the whole place for ourself. The terrace was kinda open with a shelter and looked more like a cafe with all the dinner tables. Around the Homestay was the coffee plantation and a nice view of the mountain range around Chikmagalur.  It had a badminton court right outside and everything in place to make a bonfire.

Day 1 : Mullayanagiri,Manikyadhara and KemmanuGundi
Everybody had a late start on saturday morning. As everybody was getting ready , Some got tempted by the badminton court and the rackets to play shuttle. So, by the end of couple of games(which my team won ūüôā

Playing Badminton

Playing Badminton

I was very exhausted. I think my cold and wheezing had a major part to play in making things worse for me.  All we wanted to do that day was to take a dip under any of the water falls. Our guide took us first to Mullayanagiri.

Mullayanagiri was a great place to start. As our cab went towards the tip of the mountain on a narrow but well maintained road with cliff on the other side, We witnessed some breathtaking view and we got a feel of the place. It wasnt really as hot as we expected but a pleasant sun. We reached the tip from where we had to climb few steps to see the M’gire temple.

Mullayanagiri pic

Mullayanagiri pic

. Its a ritual that we need to carry wooden logs over our head during our few final steps of the temple. The temple of ‘Mullaya’ is very well maintained and we were served a very tasty raagi drink (forgot the name). There is a cave below the temple and many myths about that cave.

Our group was desperate for a dip and so the next place we headed was supposed to be some falls, But the guide kinda conned us here. He tooks us to a small falls and a resulting small water stream.In fact doesnt deserve to be called a falls. To make matters worst, the water was ice cold and our feet literally went numb just after few mins in that water.

In Freezing water

In Freezing water

Our next desperate hunt for a water fall was M’dara falls. This place had a nice view and the water falls here is supposed to have water entire year. This was again a huge disappointment as the water was really scarce and again nowhere close to the kind of falls we were expecting to see. It was more or less like a shower falling from a high place. It was close to 3 and the whole group was hungry , demoralized and desperate for a swim. We had good lunch which we had packed from our home stay.

Our original plan was to visit one more falls but we decided that we were done with falls in this area. The next target was Kemmanugundi. ¬†It ¬†was already late by the time we reached this place. Thanks to our ill-informed guide, we hit a point ahead of which our TT couldnt go. It was very very similar to Dhanushkodi experiance. The road ahead was really bad and it was actually a jungle terrain ride and a road didnt exist. We somehow managed to get a 4×4 jeep ride.

Jeep Ride

Jeep Ride

This was again a ride which I will never forget my entire life, The experience has just to be experienced. On the jeep we reached a point ahead of which we had to walk. It was almost close to dark and we had to cross 5 streams of water to reach the falls. The Jeep ride and the falls made our day. The falls again was more than what we expected. The freezing water didnt stop some brave souls in our group from swimming.  The return journey for me was a disaster, The jeep ride on our way back tire me off and the whole of TT journey I was feeling pukish. The sky did look brilliant that night. It had never seen such density of stars in the sky and so many falling stars.

When I came back to our home stay, an induced puking set me free. I was feeling more fresh than ever throughout the day. It was time to raise our spirits around the bonfire .

Bon Fire

Bon Fire

In the pondy trip, Everybody remembers that San created a scene(in a funny way) but at Chikamagalur, Instead of a scene, He made a full movie. He started with few of his old materials from Pondy. He repeated the 110%, The ‘talk in kannada’ ¬†and few more things that I dont remember now. I am banking on few stories being recollected in the comments section. What followed that night will be etched in everybody’s mind and I dont see a need to account that in this blog. ¬†All in all, It was fun and a night to remember.
Day 2 – Coffee estate walkthrough and Arrival
Sunday was a day of  rest.  Having an eventful long night, most ppl woke up late. I somehow was feeling fresh by 8 in the morning. With everybody sleeping, I went on a stroll with my camera. San was still almost unconscious and rest of the ppl were getting up one by one and we had a good breakfast with fresh pineapple juice. We again played some badminton. We dropped all the plans that we had for the day and decided to go on a walk around the home-stay we were staying.

Through the Coffee Estate

Through the Coffee Estate

The guide again misled us into believing that we could swim in some water body. The guide wanted to take us to a view point from where the whole of Chikmagalur was visible but we gave up on walking after some 45 mins. We saw the plantations around and the coffee berries too. The walk around the estate was very refreshing and made us really hungry by lunch time. We had a late lunch by 3 and set on our journey back.

Back to Bengaluru :
The journey back was somehow seemed long. We left Chikmagalur by 3.30 I think and had plans to stop at Belur if possible. When we reached Belur, nobody including me was in a mood to get down from the vehicle. We all happily watched Arundathi and then we had fun watching Om Shanthi Om. We stopped for dinner at a slow serviced dhaba where we had dinner spanning close to 2 hours. I think I reached back home by midnight on Sunday.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

The best part of the trip for me was seeing the house I grew up in. The house¬†hasn’t¬†changed a bit in 2 decades. I still remember, I used to spend most of my evening sloping down this stair railing which again used to result in me buying new shorts every month ūüôā

Ah… Childhood.

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