Tales of a Traveller

Exploring the unexplored.

Archive for the tag “Trekking”

The Lion Forest

That’s wha t the name of the this forest literally means – The Singharaja Forest. This forest is a Heritage site as declared by UNESCO. They say this is among the world’s best Rain Forests to be visiting. If one is taking this trip to the forest one must be prepared to walk miles of kms in a day, continuously. Also one must be prepared to get bitten by a lot of leeches and be prepared to see a lot of reptiles.

We took a bus from Pettah in Colombo to Deniyaya, that is a another entrance to the forest, it is a less explored place. Though the ditance was less than 150 kms, it took us a good 6 hrs to get there by the direct bus we took.

Our guide for the forest tour Sanjaya Ruwan was there waiting for us with his Tuk Tuk. He rode through some crazy little roads for a little over 15 kms and we arrived out the tiny cute little homestay that he had arranged for us.

The place was neatly tucked just outside the forest area. It was so serene and beautiful that we just ended up clicking one too many clicks even before we began the trek through the forest. We began the trek early in the morning so that we could see many birds and the reptiles in the area.

Sanjaya got to the home stay early in the morning. He smeared salt all around my feet saying that it keeps the leeches away. The the trek began, we say some crazy Green Pit Vipers and Black Pit Vipers apart from climbing and walking through this humongous forest to get to some of the waterfalls in the region. The place was simply awesome, very fresh.

After this the next day, we walked around in another direction to see a different kind of flora n fauna. We saw a few Sri Lankan endemic birds. And I also saw a snake that was eating a frog and clicked a few pics.

The greenery was just too peaceful to leave, apart from the fact that there was no mobile network coverage, it was a different level of serenity and joy. After the joyous trip we began on our way back. This time we took a bus to Galle and then the Highway bus to Colombo. We reached much quicker than the time we took to reach there.

The guide in Singharaja Forest Sanjaya did an awesome job, taking us around to the best parts of the jungle. It was a weekend that was very well spent. The joy and the elation was simply profound.

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Kempu (red), mannu (soil) and gundi (pit) — Kemmangundi

The ride to kemmangundi was with BMC Bangalore Motorcycle Club, we all met at Parle G factory on tumkur road. We had our formal introductions and then the briefing by our Pilot Roshan/ Vasu. We were about 15 bikes. We rode to tumkur at a steady pace before we stopped at our favourite joint for breakfast where all of us gobbled up Idli’s and Vada’s and a few managed Dosa’s too. Everybody slurped their cups of Coffee n Tea.
The we continued on our journey. I was more of a pillion on this ride, clicking photographs and enjoying the ride. We rode through a state highway with people crossing the roads like maniacs and also we had cows n dogs enjoying the roads at their leisure.
We reached Kemmangundi in Chikmangalur around about Lunchtime and unwinded ourselves to enjoy the place. We all had Lunch and then took some rest before we headed to explore the place. We rode to Kalhatti Falls and then we headed to a garden which was well maintained. Vasu Sir, Imran and many others had their share of fun with the sprinklers installed to water the lawn grass.
Then we trekked to a place from where the view was serene and blissful.
We took our strolls and enjoyed the trail. Clicking loads of pics and helping each other in the steep climb. The place has a lot of trails on offer and can be enjoyed for trekking and other adventure sports in winter.

Distance – 275 kms from Blore Approx

Cost – Around 2k per head in a decent Overnight Home Stay including 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner & 1 Breakfast.

Shivgange – Weekend Ride & Trek

As planned on the previous ride, I was all clear on where i was headed to this weekend. All I wasn’t sure was, who would partner me if at all someone would join in. This time it was Ravi who somehow managed to scrape some time off on a sunday from his busy schedule that he adheres to all week as vasu Sir was on some pre planned work at home.

We started at about 12.15 near Vasu Sir’s house. We both headed on to Tumkur highway and continued on our merry ways untill we realized that we both had to fill petrol. We stopped for Gas and then vroomed on.

The road was awesome, we reached Dabbaspet and took the left to Shivgange and reached there by around 1.30 pm. We parked our bikes and started the climb.

The climb has a few temples, Devi Temple and Shiva Temple to begin with before the actual climb to the Top begins. On the top there is a beautiful statue of Nandi carved out of single. The climb to the top is about two kilometers from the parking lot. But this is actually more of a steep climb that most trekking enthusiasts will enjoy. The climb was very steep, but was manageable.

The climate was very windy and cool yesterday and so we were able to cover the distance more easily. We enjoyed the trek, as it began drizzling on our way to the top, the camera wasn’t put to action. But once the rain stopped, we began clicking and manged to get a few decent snaps.

The descent downhill was as mush scary as the ascend. My legs began disco dancing (shaking) after a certain point of time, because of the jerks my knees had to encounter.

It was fun spending a sunday enjoying in a different way.

Shivganage – 65 kms from Blore

Time Taken – 1.5 hours

Route – Blore – Dabbaspet – left to Shivgange

Road – Decent roads.

PS : Photos will be uploaded soon.

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Trek – Udhayagiri Fort

The moment I saw Arun’s mail in my Inbox I knew he had arranged the so-called heritage photography trip that which I had requested him. As I went through the mail, my eagerness to travel was triggered more. I knew i was to embark on a journey into the realm of the mountains and the wild. I was so very excited and willing to join. I completed all the formalities and listed myself to join the ride and trek.

It encompassed a total ride of around 650 kms and the trek was at the Easy + level.

The day before the trek I was too excited and overjoyed that I was merely able to catch some sleep.

Jaiswal had requested me to give him a Wake up call, and I did the same as I called up most of my mates to make sure they woke me up as the scheduled meeting time was at 3.30 in the morning. At the scheduled hour at 2.30 in the morning, I got my wake up calls and my alarms began ringing. I ran helter skelter just to keep them all at check. Then once I was up and running I began with my wake up call to Jaiswal. It just dint seem right to me, he had like hit the sack real hard the other night that he was kinda knocked off and he dint receive my call, which meant he dint wake up. So I hit the road on my own and reached Koyambedu, one of the last assembly points, apparently the closest to my house.

There I saw the entire party waiting for me and a few more participants. There was a small Tea Kadai that was open at that time, where we all grabbed a Tea each waiting for the others to join in. Once all of them reached, we began with the ride to Udhayagiri, there were 2 cars and a total of 6 bikes. The fun just began. It was decided that Arun would take the lead while I would sweep for all the riders. We hit the direct highway to nellore, the ride was smooth and the traffic was very less, it wasnt bad at all. Just the odd confusion for me as there were different bikes here unlike my trips with my Bullet Club where identifying the bikes and riders would never be difficult.

It was about 2 hours when we reached Nellore, where we had Padma a participant from Bangalore who joined us for the trek. We then had breakfast there in Nellore, munching bites of Idly, Dosa, Pongal and also got food packed for lunch, we requested the guy to spare us the chutney and just give us the food and dosa with just sambhar and no chutney.

Once we deviated from Nellore towards Udhayagiri, the roads became narrow and we began enjoying the picturesque views that nature had to offer. After about a ride of around 70 kms we reached another major deviation from where we had to take a right turn that lead us to Udhayagiri. There we took a break and waited for the cars to arrive.

Then from there it was another half n hour drive to Udhayagiri, where we all took bottles of water and packed food and all required essentials and clicked pictures on the base of the hill from where we were to start our trek. The hill was very inviting and less intimidating. We began with a slow and steady pace and continued to move on. The experienced trekkers just kept climbing on without any rest or breather, they were just at it from the word go.

On the way there were kids from the village bursting crackers and having fun near a point where water would continuously drip and it would be ice cold too. Clicked their pictures and continued on. Taking short breaks here and there we finally reached the so called entrance of the fort. It was the only door that was in tact, while the rest had worn away in time. It was brilliant and the view from most points was breathtaking. The architecture and the way in which it was all constructed was just amazing, it was just the thing that told us, that the enemy had to wait patiently for about 18 months in order to be able to get close to the fort and to capture it.

We got to a point from there on, which was referred to as Dil Chahta Hai Point, just because some shooting for the film took place there it seems. We helped ourselves to some neat photographs. Then we just followed the trail and also had a few painted arrows that was helping us navigate the terrain and trail. We came across huge elephant grass and most points one we were on top, then we proceed towards the Pedda Masudi ( Big Mosque ). On the waay we saw a bed rock and enjoyed our time on it and clicked a few memorable snaps. We lost our way wand ended up in a different cliff, then we walked back to find the correct trail before we managed to get to the Big Mosque, once there we took rest, had our chocolates and lunch, but the whole thing was kinda spoilt as the jerk in the hotel had packed the food with the chutney in it and so the food was irrevocably spoilt. But then some of them drew enough courage to still have it and suffice their hunger. I munched a few biscuits that i otherwise had stored in my bag for such emergencies.

Then we clicked a few pics, before beginning to start the downward trek. This was interesting as the climb at that point began t feel less painful as when we were descending all the force was to be borne by the knee and thigh muscles, even the stomach and kidneys began to hurt. But then without loosing heart and listening to my favorite myself, just kept moving continuously and slowly towards the base of the hill. Once at the base, it was only me and Raghul, the rest of them took at least 30 mins more to reach which gave us like an awesome breather and time for a very short power nap.

Once they all got back, we all changed back into our riding kit and began with the return journey. The roads were dark, the buses were unforgiving and the curves were never ending. It was a thrill ride, we rode to nellore and had dinner in the same place where we had break fast. Then we all proceeded, on the way we took numerous break only because i was kinda falling asleep on the saddle in spite of the constant chewing of the GUM. Then took breaks for Chai and constantly rode before we reached the last toll near red hills before we all met for the last time, bid farewell to everyone and got back home.

One huge round of applause to the entire team of participants and for Arun, who initiated the ride and trek.

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Route – Chennai – Nellore – Udhayagiri and back the same way – Total  kms 640

Mode of Transport – Royal Enfield Classic 350

Petrol – Rs. 2000

Food & Water – Rs. 200 midway at Nellore for both ways

Other Requirements – Amazing Spirit and Attitude and a penchant for fun and frolic. Of Course a Camera.

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