A ride of 80 kms to Pearl Valley, again for the third time doesn’t appear as a tough challenge apparently. But since Two out of the Seven member team were trying long distance for the first time, it definitely needed some determination and resilience. Kudos to Mayank Singh and Prasitha!! The route offered exactly what we were looking for – distance of 70-80 kms with an elevation gain of 600m. The team split in to three smaller groups while riding from Pearl Valley to Thattekere.
Climbing at waterfalls was unplanned and it had always been fun to climb with Srinivas Patibandla.
Archu Hassan, Thanks for all the fruits that you bought for the team:)
We would recommend breakfast at Raghavendra Bhavan if you ever get a chance to visit Anekal. Don’t miss to try a glass of Buttermilk at just Rs1!!
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Traveling free/with very small amounts of money, is not for everyone.
Without money, nothing goes as you expect in regard to food, shelter and travel (obviously only if you are having expectations). Sometimes things go wrong.
But we feel it worth doing because the positives one gain from the experiences outweigh “may happen” negatives.
Best possible ways to travel for free are
Having said that, If you are looking to travel in the cheapest possible way (but without having to hitchhike, bike-pack, free camp in unknown locations and do other crazy things we do) then you should continue reading…..
There are only three things we need for survival.
When traveling, though the list is not so clear-cut, we claim that we need to
We at Adventure Junkie, encourage people to travel without expectations and help you to travel the same way we travel.
You can choose to volunteer to
In return, we arrange basic food, shelter, health insurance (we don’t want you to bear any more expenses/time while traveling for free/least possible cost) and travel expenses.
To volunteer with us, visit http://www.adventurejunkie.in/voluntourist/
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We decided Melukote as destination for our two days cycling event since it is 141 km from Bangalore making it an ideal location. The terrain and landscape around Melukote is Challenging and Panoramic. The event was decided by Monu, Niharika and me (Sonu). We were not expecting anyone to join us since the distance that we had set is not suitable for beginners. Three of us had done cycling to TG Halli reservoir a couple of months ago. The benefits of riding with someone like Niharika who is Super Randonneur are many – Preparedness, Expertise and of course food!! There is always something to learn from those experienced in such long rides. We left BTM layout at 06:00 and had breakfast at Bidadi. You can’t afford to lose focus on Mysore roads during weekends, there was lot of traffic and thus we decided not to ride back and instead see places around Melukote and visit SriRangapatna. We covered a distance of 105 km from Bangalore to Mandya in 5.5 hours including time for breakfast and adequate breaks.
The terrain from Mandya to Melukote is awesome and gets challenging. We made the mistake of not having lunch in Mandya and got ourselves exhausted. Luckily, Niharika had sandwich, Bananas and Electrolyte capsules which helped immensely. We took around 4.5-5 hours to reach Melukote from Mandya. We had our lunch at Jakkanahalli and then the final uphill stretch of around 6 km was considerably easy. Farms, Canals, Lakes along the way were pretext to take ample rest. Hospitality of the villagers was something that makes this journey much more memorable.
Melukote is a laid back temple town in the Cauvery basin, temples of Yoga Narasimha and Cheluva Narayana Swamy are the epicenter of religious activity. There are many options for accommodation but Monu had booked Ramanuja pilgrim assistance center in advance. Caretakers here made us feel at home. This center has few rooms with hot water facility. Dinner is home cooked and delicious. We visited both the temples the same evening. All the activities in the temples are carried out by priests who know Sanskrit and Tamil literature. Ramanujacharya who hailed from Tamil Nadu stayed here for twelve years. I later came to know that Melukote is also the birth place of Late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalitha.
Next day, we woke up early and after warm up visited Raya Gopura, Tonnuru Kere (lake). Surprisingly I didn’t feel any pain or difficulty during our ride to Sri Rangapatna. We had our breakfast at Pandavapura and visited Aale Mane(Place where Jaggery is made) and Sri Ranganathaswamy temple and Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon before returning by bus.
This cycling tour had given lot of confidence for longer rides and BRM’s in sight!!
Flying a sky lantern is fun only till it lasts.
Flying sky lanterns have become popular at outdoor events, weddings, birthdays, music festivals, new years and also in organized camping events.
Livestock, if swallowed, wire could puncture stomach lining. Elsewhere, Coastguards say lanterns which travel several kilometers and to an altitude of 1000m, are routinely mistaken for distress flames.
10318 Sky Lanterns were released last year at annual freedom faithnet global event.
Even claimed biodegradeable sky lanterns contain metal wires and plastic which take years to decompose. They must fall back to earth somewhere resulting in-at the very least-an eyeshore for someone to clean up.
200000 sky lanterns are being sold in UK every year.
A handful of countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Germany, Austria and Malta have already introduced bans.
Glastonbury festival organisers banned chinese lanterns and in 2011, festival organiser Michael Eavis called for a nationwide ban.
We, at Adventure Junkie have done quite a few 100+ km rides and three multi day cycling trips covering 700+ km in total. But this one is special. We set out to ride around 70 km to Hesaraghatta grasslands from BTM layout. Here are the few details about Hesaraghatta lake.
Well, there is no water in the lake now. It was built in 1894 and once supplied water to the city. Grassland now spread across the entire area is a paradise for cyclists & is a quiet place to spend few hours on a weekend. Nrityagram and Vipassana Meditation center are other nearby places one can visit.
We met another cyclist who joined us for a ride around the lake, we explored the trials around the lake and visited a temple on the tank bund.
On the way back we found a puppy limping across the road. He had struggled his way out of a drain and unable to walk properly. This little guy made this trip special. We took him to a nearby bakery & tried to feed him milk in a coconut shell. He was so weak that he dropped his face in milk without drinking it. Hesaraghatta lake is visited by many people on weekends who often come in cars, cyclists too frequent this place. But none of the cars stopped to help. Even the bakery owner refused to allow the puppy in the vicinity of his shop, reason – “who will remove the carcass if it dies here”
So we took him to CARE, Jakkur since their rescue vehicle was somewhere else. We carried puppy in small backpack. It was a revelation at the CARE centre. There were many abandoned animals, those hit in accidents, few cases of animal cruelty – a dog with no ears (A drunkard decided to have fun by cutting ears off completely).
Why did none of the cars stop to help that little puppy. Is it because they didn’t have time or their cosy cars get dirty if they help a stray dog? All those who abandon their pets when they get old and sick, those who turn blind-eye to animals in distress makes me wonder – Who is the animal!? Human with no humanity or a stray dog which can be your loyal friend??
When you show love to a dog, feed and care them they develop a lasting bond. And in return you get unconditional love, loyalty that none can match, for your entire life or till their last breath. This Diwali many more birds and animals may need help. It doesn’t take much time to find a rescue centre nearby and help those in distress.
Contact details of CARE, Jakkur:
Difficuly: Easy Altitude: 1290m Temperature: 18-30°C Group: Sujeeth, Suneeth, Shilesh, Rohit, Sumit, Hadi
It is called as Muthyalamaduvu in Kannada. They say there is a waterfall which forms an illusion of stream of pearls & hence the name pearl valley. But we found it dry every-time we pedaled there. Later onwards, we started using the destination for performance measuring.
From our perspective, event thought us many things. To set predetermined way-points, breakdowns improved our ability to manage things using our limited resources. We, Adventure Junkie feels proud to open door to others to “Get Outdoors!”. There were many in the group who pedaled after a long gap of at least 5 years. Mt Everest is attractive but its more appealing because of the effort it demands. If no effort is required to reach Everest, everybody can climb it and eventually loses its attractiveness & its same here, in cycling. You did something which majority of the population are hesitant to do. We applaud your effort for believing in yourself!
Distance pedaled = 75 km Difficulty: Medium Route: via Hosur road, chandapura>Anekal>Pearl Valley. Group: Sujeeth, Vijayashree, Sharanbasappa, Nischal, Adithya bhat, Soumaya Maharana, Murugappan, Kedar, Swapnil, Mohit, Manoj Poddar, Manohar S, Chandan Singh, Sharath, Chandru, Varun, Arpan Shukla, Surender shukla, Vishu, Snehashis, Rajan, Abhinav Ankur, sourav.
I am an Adventure Junkie & my friend, Shailesh a trained climber. We make a terrific team be it long treks, 10k runs or even late night parties. We were meeting after a long time & one day treks around Bangalore could not satisfy our insatiable hunger for adventure. The obvious choice was Kumaraparvata (KP), 3rd highest peak in Karnataka but considered as the toughest, most challenging in South India. This mountain range can bring anyone down on their knees. KP is deep inside the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary spread across 102 km2. An overnight journey from Bangalore took us to the Lap of Nature, Western Ghats.
Subramanya is a beautiful, small temple town famous for Kukke Sri Subramanya temple. This is my fourth visit to Subramanya & second trek to KP. As we reached here, I noticed couple of things. First, not much has changed since my last visit a year ago. I didn’t see any large commercial spaces coming up or any forest area being cleared. A very positive sign. I identified a particular tree with bigger Jackfruits this time. Second, I don’t understand why people throw-up after travelling in these Ghats. Can’t blame them, some people are just not made for the mountains.
Take a right before the temple and continue on the narrow road until you find a sign post showing the way into the forest.Trek starts from here, a very long one indeed. We divided the entire 24km trail in to 5 stretches. First stretch is from the base to Bhattaramane. This part is very humid & drains lot of energy. The fact that it takes so long just to reach the forest camp is enough to make you quit.
The damp ground, birds chirping all around, a woodpecker at a distance, all that fog around us, the ‘twisted and turned’ trees were very pleasant. But the animal dung & few mowed down trees kept us alert throughout. You can say positive fear. We found it difficult to manage the drinking water we were carrying through this humid forest trial. I forgot to mention, we were using ‘MyTracks’ to keep check on our progress though we lost GPS connectivity more than a few times.
Everyone who goes on a trek to KP rests & eats here. It’s impossible to miss. And you just can’t forget it. Bhattaramane is serving to everyone who comes to trek here. There are 5 newspaper & magazine articles written about this house. The popularity of this house is growing ever since.
We ate simple & delicious meal here, refilled water and continued our journey after making necessary entries in the log book at the forest camp.
This second stretch from forest camp to Mantapa – water hole is not as steep as the first & not so humid but completely exposed to the sun. We rested under tress found at regular distances or on the small rocks. As we were continuing on the winding path, we spotted a Spectacled King Cobra going into the bush nearby. Finally we reached Mantapa and decided to camp on the Mantapa itself assuming that it would give shelter if it rains.
Uncertainty, Trouble & Thrill!!
After pitching the tent we went down to bring water & took some photographs. The view from here is exhilarating, vast & complex mountain ranges, the trial from Bhattaramane were all a sight to behold.
It started to drizzle; we enjoyed it for a while & stayed in the tent eating biscuits & chocolates. Our worst fear was about to become reality. The dark clouds gathered in no time & it became gloomy all of a sudden. Soon drizzle turned into thunderstorms. The Mantapa under which we were camping gave no shelter at all. Winds were so strong that the flexible tent poles came off the ground and we had to venture out to pitch it back. Strong winds and heavy downpour continued for couple of hours and one of the tent pole split into two unable to withstand such force. The scenic & magnificent Pushpagiri showed its other face, dangerous and scary. It just didn’t end, rained the whole night and slowly water started to seep in. Next morning when we woke up we encountered Honey bees all around the tent since Mantapa offered some shelter from rain. They compelled us to stay in for couple of hours more than we had actually planned. Luckily they went on their business soon. And we found out the food parcel that we had left outside the previous night was gone. It was probably carried away by an animal. We assumed it to be a Indian Wild Dog or a Fox. Whichever animal it was I knew I have missed an appointment with the wild visitor.
Well, that night was the most adventurous and memorable in my life.
Usually most trekkers find it easy even though the trial from Mantapa to Sheshaparvata is steeper than stretch one. Reasons being – it’s not humid and early morning trek is easier. The vertical cliff of Sheshaparvata offers very good view and it’s a nice place for some photos.
Sheshaparvata to Kumaraparvata and to Beedhalli Forest camp is very dense and cool. Here light doesn’t penetrate to the ground & very foggy throughout the day. We were happy since it was nice and cool which we deserved after that long night. This is the most scenic part of the trek where ground & trees are covered by mosses and lichens except during the mid summer. We could hear mating calls of the Common Langur. The big spiders and their webs covered with dew were simply amazing. We were observing everything in detail. In other words, we were very much lost in the nature completely unaware of the ground covered with wet leaves and twigs infested with blood sucking leeches. As soon as we pulled off the last leech from our shoes we increased our pace stooping regularly at only those places where sun light was bright to get rid of the leeches. We climbed a steep rock just before reaching KP and spent half an hour on the flat peak and started to descend towards Somawarpet. Descend has dense forest and slippery with many streams. If you trek during monsoon you will have to cross knee high streams. Three steep rocks makes descend difficult if it rains. This is a typical tropical forest; we expected mosquitoes and insects swarming around us.
There are only two buses from Beedhalli forest camp (Actually 4km away) one at 7 AM and second at 3:45PM. When we reached forest camp it was around 3 PM but the bus was away on a ‘marriage duty’ and was unavailable for that day. So we had to walk another 7km to get a free ride on private jeeps plying on that road.
The villages are vey serene and her people helpful and honest. We found numerous streams in full flow, large estates with coffee and pepper plantations. And if you know a local here you can try a hand at terrace paddy cultivation. We saw few home stays on the way to Somawarpet but I don’t think all of them have websites to book online.
LEAVE NO TRACE & HARM NO WILDLIFE
People coming from Somawarpet don’t have to trek long distance (7km) to reach KP so it is easier to carry heavy backpacks for one day trek from this side. Mostly these backpacks contain booze, cigarettes, playing cards and plastic carry bags and are thrown carelessly on the peak. Sadly, those who love nature and come to trek here are polluting it. It is necessary we all follow “Leave no trace” principles.
This place is a Protected Wildlife Sanctuary famous for bird species. You can find them in large numbers if you have a keen eye. I have spotted King Cobra on my two treks. We have to ensure not to harm any of these animals and keep a safe distance from them. Happy Trekking!!
KP, I will come back again, Miss you!!
Top things to see:
Top things to do:
As you wriggle out of the highway, you can see a board hanging which says “Karwar- Kashmir of Karnataka”. You’ll be wondering and linking the similarities between Kashmir and Karwar.
Is it Ocean? Is it Snow? High Altitude Mountains?
Just Local administration’s attempt to increase the tourist inflow?!!
Winter months of November, December, January and October also seems right time if incessant rain has stopped.
Buses and Trains ply to Karwar from Bangalore, Mangalore, Kochi and Mumbai frequently / own vehicle is always better if you have plan of getting around the city.
Cotton cloths, Cowboy hat, Floaters, Life Jacket, Cold Cream, Medications, Glucose, Kayaks, Sunscreen if you are visiting during summer.
Where to stay:
Many resorts flourish in Karwar but the best one according to the survey is in the midst of Kurumgad Island. It has luxuriantly grown Mangoes and other trees which obviously fail to interest common man!.
Sujeeth.S.R – 9663153111 (email@example.com)
Suneeth.S.R – 7259811995 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sharanbasappa – 8904111870 (email@example.com)
Karwar, vividly beautiful place will sneakingly nudge the adventure out of you, bit by bit. But those bits of adventure has heaped up in mind to plan revisiting Karwar with Kayak-Sailing.