Sunday, August 15, 2010

BR hills - Shivanasamudra falls

Monsoon retreat at BR hills-

BR is always on top of our minds when planning for any trips and monsoons are the right time to visit here (some disagree but visiting this place in the monsoon is a treat). Less crowds, ambient weather, drizzle all the time, lush greenery, a perfect place to have some peace of mind. You have nothing much to do, just sit back, relax and enjoy the weather over a hot cup of tea...
The "FIGO" was out on the highway for its first major sojourn and I'm impressed by the US car maker... the things I liked about the FIGO are...
1> Terrific legroom for the front row and sufficient space for the rear.
2> Big and wide boot - it takes in all the heavy luggage you put inside.
3> I liked the simple design, not too classy, not too stait.
4> The ride is wonderful and smooth.
this list will go on as the figo gobbles up more miles...

the few bits and pieces I personally thought could have been better...
1> The indicator signals are on to the left, a discomfort factor
2> The rear passenger windows are open up very little and no power windows there
3> From the outsied, the petrol engine makes more noise than the diesel :O
Overall I have enjoyed the ride so far in the FIGO trying out all the seats...

We took the Bangalore-Mysore-Nanjangud-Kaulande-Santhemarahalli-Yellandur-BR hills and the roads were bad (especially Mysore-Nanjangud-Yellapur stretch). Early morning ride and we had all cozied up inside and with intermittent rains, it was a jolly good ride! We had booked at the same Rajatadri Villa where we had stayed last time too and we had got a big room sufficient to accomodate 8-10 people.

Immediately after reaching, the first thing we did was to have lunch at the Giridarshini hotel and then proceeded towards K Gudi. K Gudi is about 24 kms from BR hills through thick, green jungle where the chances of sighting is more than in the safari rounds!! A lovely Racquet tailed drongo couple welcomed us and that was my 1st avian shot from the newly acquired Canon 100-400 IS lens, quite a heavyweight lens it is!
We reached the forest office at K Gudi driving slowly being watchfull all around, the office is located few metres away from the Jungle lodges property, were surprised to see the board indicating the charges for safari rides, treks etc... We had to wait for some time before we took the department jeep safari paying Rs 130/- that lasted for more than an hour in the park. The forests were lush green and wet and the weather just right, the sun hardly visible through the day. Expectations were bare minimum but still got to see more than expected numbers of Spotted deer, Barking deer, Sambar deer in the park. With the sun hardly visible, it gets dark very fast and also the gates b/w K Gudi and BR hills is closed from 6pm to 6am. As we slowly drove back almost at the end of the 24kms, suddenly we stopped seeing something coming out of the bushes, Lo behold Wild dogs aka Dhole's aka Kaadu Naayigalu...
There were two of them and were trying to cross the road but seeing the Figo they halted and retreated back into the bushes. This took us by surprise and as always we were not prepared with our camera gears and by the time we had them ready, they were almost gone. The hide and seek continued for some time and finally they decided on going back and return later. We waited and tried going up and down, but no further luck on our side!
Back at the lodge, it was mist all around and the weather was just perfect for a evening cup of hot tea. Then later after dinner, an early end to the day in the cozy comforts of the room.
Early morning, I was the first to wake up and silently sneaked out of the room with the others still fast asleep snoring happily. Rains had stopped, cool breeze lashing onto my face, no traffic yet and I ventured out for a walk alone. It was a long time having heard the early morning chirping of the birds and with the cool breeze, it was fun and relaxing. Check the videos that I took on my E63 (I had left the camera behind intentionally)!
video
The time gap b/w the videos was hardly 2-3 mts, se the light difference...amazing!
video
Listen to the sounds of the breeze blowing, chirping of the birds and lush greenery everywhere...
video
Then again past 6am, we drove towards K Gudi forest area, the weather was still cloudy and damp. Then again we were taken by surprise as we again got to see the wild dogs again. 1,2,3... one by one they were visible and it was a pack of about 8-10 of them.
But sensing our vehicle they darted into the bushes at a safe distance from us. Our Wild dogs luck continued as we have got to see them 8 out of times wherever we go.

After breakfast, we checked out and proceeded towards home. Now we took the BR hills - Chamarajanagar - Yellandur - Kollegal - Malavalli - Kanakapura - Bangalore.
Enroute we stopped at the Madhyaranga near Shimsha (2nd of the 3 Ranganatha temples; Adhiranga temple at Srirangapatna, Madhyaranga temple at Shivanasamudra, Antyaranga temple at Srirangam). From here we took a deviation again to visit the Gaganachukki and Bharachukki falls also known as Shivanasamudra falls or the Bluff.
Gaganachukki was a dissappointment with water trickling down but Bharachukki was better but not at its best.
The Churmuri, sliced cucumbers, water melons kept us busy till our stomachs went full. This route is good and well tarred and we reached Bangalore with no further hassles.

Route suggested to BR hills: Bangalore - Kanakapura - Malavalli - Kollegala - Yellandur - BR hills - K Gudi - road conditions are good and nice to drive on.


Care for the nature and the nature cares for you!
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