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Bike trip to Ooty, Kodai

In this post I will pen down our overall experience of this bike trip with a hope it will help fellow bikers who plan to do this trip sometime in future.

It was Mar 25th, 2016 and it was a long weekend of 3 days, me and couple of friends wanted to make a good use of it. With the temperature soaring in Bangalore, we decided to ride to hill stations and decided with Ooty, Kodai. Plan was to follow the route Bangalore -> Ooty -> Conoor -> Kodaikanal -> Bangalore. So here it goes.

Day 1

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That’s my Gixxer! I started off at 4AM from Whitefield. We 3 friends met together at Magadi and continued to Mysore.

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Had a wonderful breakfast at Hotel Mylari at Mysore. This is definitely worth a mention.

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From Mysore, we headed towards Ooty. Target was to reach Ooty for lunch, book a lodge and have some time to roam around some places in Ooty.

The road between Marase to Gudlupet was under construction, so there was too much dust because of the heavy vehicles and this really slowed us down. This might be like this for another 5-6 months I belive. So if you are heading to Ooty in this period, I would recommend taking some alternate route.

Roads in the Bandipur Wildlife resorvior are well maintained, but too many road bumps is a turn off.

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Then comes a ghat section stretch to reach Ooty. This is well maintained and it was a bliss to ride.

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We reached Ooty at around 1PM; luckily we managed to get a room for 1500Rs with 3 beds at a lodge called Shiva’s Inn, which happens to be right opposite to Ooty railway station.

Later that day, after the lunch we relaxed a bit and then decide to head towards Avalanche. Google suggested there were 2 lake view points; Emerald and Avalanche lakes. On reaching Avalanche, we were disappointed to know it is closed after 4.30PM! Then we head to Emerald lake.P1090922.JPG

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Below is a shot from a view point on way back to Ooty. Roads to these places are excellent it is highly recommended to take this ride to Avalanche.

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After returning to Ooty, we did some shopping for home made chocolate then returned back to lodge and relaxed.

Day 2

Next day we started at around 7AM and head towards Doddabetta. Again excellent roads leading to Doddabetta and we reached our destination in less than 30 mins. But here again we were disappointed to find entrance to Doddabetta opens only after 8.30AM. We did have much time to spend in Ooty, so we headed back.

On the way back we visited the Tea factory. Now let me tell you the funda with this tea factory, they say parking free, entry free, they also hand over some discount coupon during entry, free tea samples, all to know you will finally end up in their shop where they sell you tea. We soon returned to Ooty.

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Next stop was Conoor, it is around 30kms from Ooty. We managed to squeeze in 2 places in Conoor before heading to Kodai, that was Lamb’s rock and Dolphin’s Nose. Out of these 2, Lamb’s rock is just a normal view point (nothing lamb about that) and Dolphin’s Nose is just a waste of time! Also the roads leading to these 2 places are very congested and during peak time this road will be traffic jammed.

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From there we started our long journey to Kodaikanal. It was around 230kms journey. On the way I was able to capture some delightful moments.

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We reached Palani at around 8 and we still had the cover 65kms with one of the toughest ghat section. Below is the route to give you an idea.

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We managed to reach Kodai at around 9.30PM and we had our lodge booked at Hotel Springvalley for 1100Rs.

Day 3

This was going to be the toughest day of all. We started off at 8AM. We first visited the Kodaikanal lake, which was very calming.

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Later we head to Coaker’s walk.

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From there we head to Dolphin’s Nose. Yes, there’s a Dolphin’s nose point here too. You will have to trek for around 30 mins to reach this point, from Dolphin’s nose you can further reach Echo point.

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The trio🙂

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After climbing back up for another 45 mins, we next head to Pillar’s rock.

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Yes, needed a lot of energy drinks!

From Pillar’s rock, we rode back to Kodai, had our lunch and began the return journey. It was around 1.30PM we started from Kodai and we had to cover ~480kms to reach Bangalore via the Salem route.

The return journey was a bit treacherous, mainly because of high temperature’s during summer. We had to continuously hydrate ourselves with tender coconut and energy drinks.

Finally we reached Bangalore around 11.00PM and that was earlier than we had expected actually. Below is the route we followed.

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Hope you enjoyed this post! Thank you for reading.

 

Red-whiskered Bulbul

These birds are mainly found in Asia and I must say they are pretty abundant near my house. These belong to the Bulbul family. Cute name for this cute looking bird huh.. Below are some of the shots I have taken.

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Disclamier : No photoshop or copy-paste used in the the images coming next!

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Yana trek

17th November 2012 it was, the day my teammates finally decided to go on a trip; our first, and which better place than Yana. Why I say that because Yana is a perfect trek spot for starters, not too rough, tiring but has enough to make it a memorable one!

I am basically from Surathkal, Mangalore. We decided to start our journey from Udupi as that turned out to be the convinient place for most of us. The plan was to start from Udupi early morning, have a break at Maravanthe, reach Yana by afternoon and if lucky visit some falls. Distance from Udupi to Yana is approx 180km. Google maps tells you it takes 4 hours, but trust me with the rough patch of road in between, it will take more!

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 We had booked a 22 seater vehicle. The above pic courtesy Lancy Fernandes. The guy had bought a Nikon DSLR cam just a week back. Turned out to be pretty useful. Even I was pretty excited to explore more with my cam, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10.

We started off from Udupi at 8.00 AM. On the way gave a visit to the Aanegudde temple. Next stop was Maravanthe beach, where we had our breakfast. After that it was a non stop journey till the Yana. Entertainment was never a problem as we had many dancers in our group.

 

We made a deviation to the left which led us to a narrower path. This deviation comes around 40kms before Sirsi.

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We reached Yana base location at around 1.00 PM. Vehicle can reach upto this location which meant that was the starting point of our trekking.. yay! I noticed there weren’t much shops around there. Just one, where you can get some basic materials, cold drinks and some handicraft items (expensive!).

We decided to refil our batteries before starting the trek, so had our lunch . Soon after that at around 1.30 PM, we started with our trekking. Err.. there wasn’t much adventure, as it was just walking the up and down slopes! Ya that’s why I had mentioned this is a trekking spot for starters.

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On the way we found some small waterfalls. Ofcourse this excited us shutterbugs which made us get some clicks.

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Just 30mins of walk we started seeing the initial glimpses of the unusual rock formations. It was a magnificient sight! 

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From this point there onwards we had steps to climb. With the sun right on top of head, this was a bit draining. 

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In between we found some rock structures which were in our reach to climb. 

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 At exactly 2.30 PM reached the Bhairaveshwara Parvatha. This is the larger of the parvatha’s and the more devine one.

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As you can see, the sheer size of the black sharp edged rock outcrops kept us amazed. The structure and color of these rock has been a mystery and even the science was not able to provide concrete reason how these are get those charateristics. Now that was the intersting this for me in this trip.

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There is a shop there where you can find bondas (tender coconut). Ya right nobody would miss that after that dehydrating walk in the noon sun! 

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Above are the pics of the temple there. It is belived there is a rock formation representing Shiva. Water drips on top of that rock formation 24*7, 365 days. And the amout of water dripping is uniform throughout the year. 

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Then we moved into the cave inside that rock. My cam is not a well performer at low light regions, so I could not get many good clicks inside there.

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Some clicks when coming out through the rock.

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After a bit of relaxation, we decided to leave. So we started our return journey at around 3.30 PM. 

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On my way back I was not going to miss on taking some nature shots. So that’s exactly what I did..

As expected the down journey was much quicker. We reached the base location before 4.00 PM. Just one thing was missing to complete the trekking and that was the group photo😀.
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We left Yana soon after that. Return journey was made fun with some interesting  and err.. unseen, unusual or whatever dance performaces😉  The falls plan got dumped as we did not have enough time. We made a quick visit to Murudeshwara. It was dark already when we reached there. The place was fully lit and the huge Gopura and the Shiva statue made us dumb struck!

Overall it turned out to be a very exciting, power packed day which was badly needed by all pf us. Hope there are many more trips like these in the future.

Please do comment. I will be glad to help if you need any further info on Yana.

Thank you for reading!

Water droplets

I am a big fan of water droplets photography, but was never sure if my Panasonic Lumix could handle it well. So couple od days back I deiced to give it a shot.

Turned out my Lumix is not that bad! Initially the shots were not coming good. Then I started to fiddle with the manual settings; with flash, without flash, changing the shutter speed etc. The best I got was with flash and shutter at 1/320sec.

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Yakshagana..

Yakshagana is popular art here at Dakshina Kannada. Its free and mostly performed at the nights. Anytime before the rainy season you can catch up these shows somewhere or the other.

My parents are a big fan of this art. Even I enjoy going to this occasionally. The OCCASION is when its performed nearby to my house ( so that if i feel sleepy i can reach home soon and go to bed😉 ) and when its on a weekend.   

The snaps i have taken below are from a Yakshangana performed at Sada Shiva Temple, which is just a few minutes away from my home. This was the maximum I was able to zoom in at 16x zoom.

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This is Lord Krishna. I simply love the variety of colors they put in to their costumes.

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Just by the look of that guy gives you a impressions that he is the “Evil guy” right? 

Bird photography..

Lucky me, there are lots of trees around my room and they make a very good place for the birds to come and rest. Atleast most of the snaps taken by me are around my house itself and a couple of them are very rare ones i must say!  

I have really enjoyed Bird photography. It takes a lot of patience and very slow movements cause you cant afford to scare them off. Ya there are some that like posing ;) 

Thanks to Project Noah i have identified most of the birds. Here are some of my clicks.

 

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The common one.. Pigeon..  

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This ones called White-throated Kingfisher. 

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A shorebird. These are very abundent in the nearby seashores. Seen mostly during early mornings.

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Majestic would be the right caption for this. This is the Brahminy Kite.

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This is most rare bird i have been able to capture. This is Indian Golden Oriole.

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The Mynah. A small bird but very high vocal!

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