Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Peak 1252, Jenkal Betta & Dipadakallu Betta

To begin with there were 8 members willing to make this trek but finally there were only 3 of the lot willing, after much persuasion Gururaj convinced a 4th member Karthik for this trek.
The idea was to trek from Bettada Bhaireshwara -> Peak 1252-> Jenkal Betta -> Dipadakallu Betta -> OG -> Gundia check post.

7th November:
We board a bus to Hassan -> Sakleshpur.
From Sakleshpur at 6:30 am

8th November:
The jeep is waiting for us at Sakleshpur that takes us initially to Bettada Bhaireshwara Temple.
From Bettada Baireshwara temple
The priest at the temple scared us away and sent us to trek from Hodachalli, he was somehow not happy about your plans. By the time we started trekking it was Noon... There was absolutely no cloud cover and 95 % of the time we were exposed to direct sun. Our first stop was at Peak 1252 as planned and then to Jenkal Betta.
From Hodachalli - Trek began here

Jenkal Betta:
Is the tallest among all the peaks in the vicinity. The view up from here is majestic and is almost at 75Degree inclination. By the time we scaled down Jenkal betta it was 17:00 hours. We decided to take shelter for the night in the thick forest cover in the adjacent valley.
From Janukallu Gudda from Peak 1252

From Twilight Killer.....

Night out:
The entry into the virgin forests with a sickle in hand was quite adventurous. The spot we chose was perfect, it had thick tree cover to protect us from strong chill breeze, stream near by to help us cook and plenty of fire wood to keep the camp fire rocking. Well the camp fire had more smoke in it than fire or warmth, the reason being the fire wood was moist and dew had set in..
From RED Hot Coke
However we kept the fire starting as early as 18:00 hours upto 8:00 next morn., special thanks to Purushottam who took special interest staying up almost all night. Well karthik was busy smoking his lungs out.
From MTR Breakfast

8th November - Dipadkallu Betta:
Next morning we started at 9:00 hours out of the forest and head straight to Dipadkallu Betta we were ontop by 10:30 hours.
From Dipadkallu.....
The view from top was quite good, but with limited visibility. However seeing the thick undergrowth in the forests leading us to OG we decided not to head that way due to lack of mind and resources and preparedness.. We decided to get to Maragunda via Bettada Baireshwara temple. The trek down Dipadkallu Betta was pretty challenging having to get past tall grass negotiating drops all along the rock face. Towards the end we had to cut through thick virgin forests we managed get past this which took about an hour to clear and make our way through it safe.
From Purushottam, Gururaj, Karthik & Rohit in Order

The Trek Ends:
The way back to Maragonda was pretty simple and did not take much time. We had to wait a long time for the KSRTC Bus to come by and pick us up and drop us to Sakleshpur. We boarded a bus to Bangalore at 18:30 to reach Bangalore at 1:00 hours.

From Dipadkal as seen from Jenkallu Gudda

1.The weather conditions are extreme, hot during day and cold at nights
2.95% of the trek is in lack of tree cover/any-kind of shade
3.Water is available in plenty almost everywhere, carrying half to one litre is sufficient.
4.Carry fruits and vegetables those that can be eaten raw.
5.Jeep is an expensive affair, all places have bus connectivity from Sakleshpur.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Preparing to get lost

Preparing to get lost Here

If all goes well we start our trek from "Bettada Bhaireshwara Devasthana" then down to Jenkal Betta and then to Dipadakallu Gudda and then to Ombattu Gudde and back to Gundia Check post.

Three Days will determine our fate ...
We make it alive there is no story like it!
Three guys could be history - Vinay alias Kulla, Preetham both from Hewlett Packard & finally myself ex HP. We are attempting this 'cause we got balls of steel ......

Why so?
Never attempted before, limited water sources, naxal infested, thick virgin forests

The tentative date in order: 7th 8th & 9th of November 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Khudremukh Trek

This trek & tour was an accident...
The original destination was one of
#1 Silent Valley [4 day trek] or
#2 Ombattu gudde from Deepadakallu gudde or
#3 Biking in Khudremukh forest ranges
When Preetham The man who lives horrific Dreams ditched us last minute I had no options but to start marketting & plan a trek cum tour.
There were just too many people who joined in and out on various days so I wont name them all.. Here are the ones i remember - ..............someone fill this up

Khudremukh Getting there [1st October 2008]
To begin with, the bad girls occupied the most comfortable front seats [3 Nos. Mamtha(M), Rashmi(M) & Soumya(S) (not sure of her real name, she had many nicks);M=>Married!].
View from Kalasha just before Sun Rise

Sun Rise view from Kalasha again ...

Gangatikal Peak [2nd October 2008]We were late and left with no other choice and had to trek gagatikal peak [4km from Bhagavathi Guest house]. The trek starts from the state highway connecting khudremukh - karkala route.
Gangatikal Trek Mid way
One needs to take permission from Karkala Forest Range officer before attempting this trek (It was a costly affair, better be students you get 50% off, carry college id cards etc to claim this benefit).
Ladies First
The trek was over in no time at all, it ended with light showers. The best part of this trek was - from the peak we got to see great panoromic view of the entire Khudremukh Forest Range. We missed Nagappa all along this trek. This is not very popular among trekkers but i must say its better than Khudremukh Peak....
Panorama from Gangatial Peak - 4 photos conjoined

Hanumangundi & Lakya Dam
Since it was a small trek we had time to cover 2 more places Hanumangundi and Lakya dam. We had a lot of tax-free entertainment at Hanumangundi falls. We just went on a brief walk over Lakya dam and head back to the dorm.
We spent the night at Bhadra Dormitory with Onion Free Lunch and played poker - Mamtha seemed to be an addict now and we hit the bed when she Won!

Kurinjal Peak [3rd October 2008]
Day 2 Nagappa, Gururaj and Harish (guru's cousin) joined in.
Vivek Mari River Crossing
Well as always Nagappa had an intersting overnight journey.
Back View of Nagappa.....
This time Nagappa sat with an aunty and ajji, the aunty & ajji found Nagappa pretty interesting offered him Chocolates and put him to sleep... :). Nagappa also bought an intersting monkey cap which looked more like an undy. My breakfast was affected due to too much laughing.. however the trek began at 9:30 am from the Bhagavati Guest house Gate.
The trek was a good one, we had to first cross a stream. The terrain was beautiful but leach infested.. Dettol seemed to work wonders, we soaked our socks and shoes with dettol and kept going. Just below the peak was an abandonded guest house in ruins, further up we hit the peak where the terrain suddenly changed from elephant grass to short shrubs with strange insects. It was a 7Km * 2 trek overall. At one point nearing the peak we had to take the route cutting across and leading us Uphill..this was the only point of confusion, the rest seemed pretty staright forward. On our way back we took a slightly differnt route and accidently hit a bridge that lead us to the main road and we had to walk slightly more to get back to the guest house but saved effort removing shoes.
ಮಾಂಸ ಪರ್ವಥ Harish, Kulla [Vinay] & Venkat[from CISCO] decided to head back to Bangalore, I guess they had enough... We did not get accomodation in Bhagavti guest house and we left early to Karkala. We halted at a lodge beside the bus stop, it was my day at poker.

Karkala - Udupi - Malpe - St. Mary's Island - Kaapu [4th October 2008]:
We visited the nearby Karkala Gomateshwara, spent a couple of hours before leaving to Upupi Krishna Temple and checked out "Outlook Dosa" -> Well the dosa is just a media hype as the hotel server himself admits, it tastes no extra-ordinary but one good thing is that all food items served don't have onion n Garlic in them... Meanwhile Ashwin [Prosperous Architect] & Sameer [Pakka Hindu] escaped...
Three Blind Sailors..

Not much has changed in and around Malpe and St. Mary's Island except that the tickets cost more 70 Bucks per head.
Ravi Posing
The island has not changed much except that beer cans and plastics have increased. Kaapu beach had a good crowd and tax free entertainment. The lighhouse and view atop was too good.. We left after sunset and halted at Udupi.

Stay at Udupi:
The lodge was too good and we got every bit of 1.5K we paid for it. The room was called "Honeymoon Special with AC". It had 2 big rooms, 2 double cots with attached bath, a royal swing, 2 plush sofa sets, a fridge and a Bathtub! However the swinging event stopped soon after Harish and me in a joint operation brought it down:D, everyone waited eagerly to swim around in the bath tub. I was lucky to go 2 rounds! The AC was over used and started getting on Jatin's sleep, he sleep walked and put it off.. the room got stuffy, vivek woke up and turn on fan.. Someone else woke up and swithed the AC on again... I wasn't aware of these happenings I slept away from both the Fan & AC blast. However Nagappa slept peacefully inbetween both Jatin and Vivek sharing the same bed and had no complaints...

Koodalteertha - Augumbe - Sringeri [5th October 2008]:
One needs to take a right-diversion while going towards Augumbe from Hebri to Koodalteertha water falls. Its a 13km drive and a 5 km * 2 trek in thick forests infested with leeches. The trek's a good one. We started early to reach early hence we were to first set of people to make it.
Awesome Water Fall - 2 photos joined
One doesn't need to take permission to trek around in this Someshwara wildlife reserve. The waterfall is amazing with a very different terrain around it. The water falls staright down without being cut down by any projecting rocks all along. The impact is pretty hard with literally no boulders around, you find only fine powdered rocks all around the fall. However the lazy ladies decided to terminate the trek pre-maturely for reasons unknown, I suspect lack of will and moral support from guys as well, but they missed the very best part of the trek! While crossing a stream Nagappa got excited and lost once of his slippers,
before he got to it, the currents washed it away, he was lucky I was around, I managed to throw a few rocks and twigs and slow it down and Nagappa managed to get a hold back of his slippers.
Ravi Strips..

Augumbe was cloudy and we could not see the sun set, however a pretty gal in pink and black kept us waiting and we soon left to Sringeri.
Sringeri was crowded on account of Navarathi celebrations. After a brief visit we had dinner and head straight to Bangalore via Balehonur ->Chickmagalur.
The drive was bumpy with everyone having puking sensation.
We reached home by 5:00 hours. The total expenses worked out to be around 2k.

#1 No Nagappa No entertainment, Know Nagappa know entertainment...
#2 After effects -> Nagappa on his way to office on the 6th morning dozed off in a Volvo bus facing him was a pretty lady, the driver accidently braked suddenly... Guess what happened next [:D], well it didn't end here, same day while heading back home, he again dozed off and got off 3 stops later :D...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Narashima Parvatha


Due to intense naxal activities in and around Narashima Parvatha, it is quite difficult to get people to accompany you for the trek. Well I managed to brain wash 3 people into this trek. The others dropped out after hearing stories about Naxals attacking a local Doctor / money lender. The group consisted of just Meeliya, Ganesh, Amar & Roti(me).

As usual we had not booked any tickets and had the freedom to reach majestic at our convenience. We made it to 21:15 hours Red bus to Sringeri. Reached Sringeri by 5.
After a brief visit to the temple complex (Amar took exceptionally a long time to complete eleven rounds in the temple complex) soon after we headed straight to Kigga [12 km from Sringeri].

Guide menace
On reaching Kigga, we found no guides who were willing to take us up. We had to wait till 11:00 to get hold of ಎಣ್ಣೆ ರಾಮಾ [Boozer Rama]. The best drink out here to beat the heat is a local lassi sold in Lolly kind plastic packing. We gulped down 4 each to beat the heat.

The Trek Begins:
The trek initially begins through small huts on level ground and soon turns into a 60Degree inclination. The climb to the top took us 2 hours. There have been other blogs where they mention it as 4-5 hours, but it does not take that much.

The view from the top is majestic as any other peak. You can spot Khudremuk peak from here. There is not much to see or do on the peak.
There is no portable water anywhere. There is a dirty twin pond on the peak which people use to bathe and drink from [:D].

On the peak you will find a solitary Forest guard house which is bound to collapse anymoment. There is also a small nandi further up. One can enter Augumbe Ghats, Bharkana Falls and then to Bharkana View Point. We could not do it as we were illegally trekking in the forests. I also understand that this trek has been closed due to frequent naxal - police encounters.

Trek Ends:After lunch we soon started get down the same way back down. It took us about an hour to reach the temple. We next went to Sirimane water falls which is 6 km from Kigga, it is a commercialised place but well maintained.
The bus back to Sringeri was at 18:45 hours. After reaching Sringeri we booked tickets for 20:45 hours, we werent lucky to get Rajahamsa tickets we had to settle down with Red bus. Meeliya, Ganesh & Amar tried some kind of `Sinus Killer` at a local shop in Sringeri, impressed by it they decided to buy it. Well everyone bought one or the other weird stuff from here.

The ride back home was bumpy and left us with no sleep. The leech bites started to get itchy too. We reached bangalore at 05:15 hours.

Panoramic view from Narashimaparvatha over Sringeri:

Expense Sheet:
Bangalore - Sringeri - 200 [Red Bus]
Food - 49
Sringeri - Kigga - 6 [Local transport]
Guide fees - 30 per head [120]
Kigga - Sirimane falls- 40 per head [160]
Sringeri - Bangalore - 200 [Red Bus]
Total - 525

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Nijagal Betta

Grasshopper on Nijagal Betta

Chameleon Smiling
After a lot of hasty decision it was decided we head off to Nijagal Betta after hari-sadu shared a blog about nijagal betta, even though it lagged detailed directional information we decided to find out on the way. Just 5 showed up on Saturday morning. Preetham(the man who lives horrific dreams :P), Vinay(‘Kulla’ – the short one), Ravi (‘mari’- small boy), Jatin(my nephew) & Rohit(myself).

Hard Dive!
We had a quick breakfast at a local restaurant on Tumkur road within city limits, we left the place soon after having parceled 3 idlis each for lunch. Our next stop was Dobespet for directions at the local post office.

Shivagange view
Nijagal Betta:
Nijagal Betta is not popular; it’s got a Dargha on top with a temple in ruins at the base and a twin-kalyani. Nice place for photographing birds, monkeys, insects and reptiles. The climb to the top was not tiring at all. The peak had flat land and seems like a natural stone maze. We saw 3 stone enclosures what looked like a pre-historic temple shelter & temple ruins. On the way up we stopped by the Dharga, the place did not look inviting and we left soon. On the way back we also got into a cave. Its cold and dark inside with limited access. We also found a lot of beehives clinging dangerously to the rock surfaces over the cave entrance.

Stone Enclosure on the Peak
The view of the NH7 from the peak is excellent; a railway track runs parallel to the road. We saw a couple of passenger trains and goods trains pass by. After a bit of photography we left the place by 17:00 hours.

Reliance Petrol Pump & Resturant
We stopped by A1 Plaza Resturant (Affiliated to Reliance) adjacent to Nijagal Betta.

How to get there?
The place is 65 km from Bangalore city. To get there, take the NICE Road [Nandi Infrastructure Corridor] Once on Tumkur Road soon after Dobespet look for Reliance Petrol pump on the Right hand side of the Road. The hillock on the Left side facing it is Nijagal Betta. To get to the peak we took our bikes under the railway pass and parked bikes adjacent to the path leading to the peak.

Tripple Engine powered Goods Train [@300mm Zoom]
MORE PHOTOS: http://picasaweb.google.com/rohitc/NijagalBetta

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rs.100/- Wired Remote for Canon 350/400D

Canon camera 350D the one I own does not come with a 2 sec timer as its competitors. The other problem is taking photos in the bulb mode without introducing shakes. Hence it made sense to wire out a simple wired remote with parts locally available. The only problem I faced while buying out raw materials was the 2.5mm Stereo Male Jack. It’s pretty unpopular and difficult to find. With a lot of searching in and around Bangalore I found only a 2.5mm to 3.5mm male to female converter.

The assembly was pretty easy it took about 3 hours including digging out my old Soldering Iron, wires and a suitable plastic casing to mount the assembly.

Raw Materials:
1. 2.5mm stereo male jack or 2.5mm male to 3.5 mm female converter.
2. 1+ mts of 3 channel insulated copper wire or old stereo headphone
3. 1 double-pole-single-throw switch [DP switch] – Panel mount type
4. 2 Click-Effect Push Switches – Panel mount type
5. A plastic or metal casing

Wiring Diagram:

End Result:

1. 2.5mm to 3.5mm stereo male to female jack converter - Rs.40
2. Double pole single throw switch - Rs.20
3. 2 click effect push switches 20 * 2 - Rs.40
Total : Rs.100