The very thought of getting away from the workplace inspires you for a quick escape from your mundane life, again with my colleagues
took a short weekend break to coorg…..

Coorg is a stone throw away place for people in Bangalore and Mysore, since we are from Chennai needed a little planning for advance booking
train tickets and accomudations, as-usual we do quite some research to ensure we get a decent stay at the best price.
We browsed a lot and setteled with “Valley Dew Homestay” which needed advance booking, although skeptical the place was looking picturisqu
I didn’t want to overload and planed the trip to be light on travel, we really wanted to chill out and relax maximum

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Plan
Nov -02 – Journey to Mysore
-03 – Visited
Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery (Tibetian Golden Temple)
NisargaDhama
Check in home-stay
Chill out
-04 – Visited
Triveni Sangam
Bagamandala
Talacauvery
Chiklihole Reservoir and dam
-05 – Visited
Dubare Elephant Camp
Check-out and Pack-up

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Day-1
After reaching Mysore, we quickly checked for a restraunt to refresh and have breakfast before boarding a bus to Kushalnagar
Tibetian monastry in Kushalnagar is a worthy visit and we had momo’s, hakka noodles as quick snack skipping lunch before moving
to Nisargadhama in Madikeri

We found Nisargdhama to be boring, this place is like a park where you have a lonely stroll with your girlfriend but not with friends,
but still we covered the entire place, meanwhile I called-up the resort guy for a pickup from Madikeri

The resort we booked is way interior completely isolated, the enroute is ir-regular road filled with rocky debris which a 4×4 or
suv can cover comfortably, all other hatchback will keep hitting the ground, but I must say the resort is beautifull surrounded by
lush green valley and fields, we reached around 8/9pm quickly took a bath and refreshed for dinner.
a hall, varadah + additional room with 6 beds was quite spacious. Owner of the resort is wealthy with 4 hills plantation, resort
has its own private waterfall. I’m very impresed with the resort that I’d recomend it for sure and would too like to visit again.

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If you have any speacial order you need to inform a day before so they can buy all the necessary provisions, food was cooked and tasty
spent some time with the camp fire burning before hitting the bed.

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Day-2
I woke up 1st to the sounds of waterfall and chirpy birds, the morning view was refreshing with the fog settling just above the fields,
quickly pushed everyone to start early so we can visit as much places we can, took the same 4×4, the drive from our
resort till triveni sangam was beautifull, scenic, at times the mist reduced the visibility to 30mtr, our 1st place to stop was
triveni sangam, took bath and walked our way to Bagamandala Temple.
The ascend starts from here to reach talacauvery (origin of the river), the winding road took us via numerous plantations and offered
incredible view of the valley, the time was 10am when we reached, talacauvery is a worshipped place where everyone can had a few
drops of water from the source and sprinkle on your head, believed for cleansing you off from the sins giving a sense of spirituality.
you can see a well like structure with full of coins which is one of the source for river Cauvery

Bramhagiri
I once visited coorg district for a trek to bramhagiri (proper trek), there is a well built steps which takes you to one of the
bramhagiri peaks which is above talacauvery, this too offers a splendid view but this day it was covered with mist and continously
drizzling, still we waited hoping the mist would clear but it didn’t, we started our descent….

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Dubare
The elephant camp on the bank of south cauvery surrounded by forest, you can see elephant bath, feed and a possible safari
There is also an option for rafting but not sure about its experience, the water is not fierce.
We spent some time crossing the river and watching elephant bathe and feeding and returened back to the jeep to visit Chiklihole Reservoir
and dam.IMG_6489-1

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We returned to the resort by late evening and checked on the waterfall inside our resort, Melvin got one leech bite and was
screaming :), running away to check on himself for any more leeches.

We spent our evening near the campfire and had our dinner when it started to rain, everyone got inside the blanket with pleasant
thoughts about our day.

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Woke up late, had breakfast, settled bills, packed and out of the resort to madikeri to do some shopping on spices and coffee, since
took bus to mysore and then visited the famous “Mysore Palace” for a light show before taking our train back to chennai.IMG_6627-1

All set to begin 1st travel for the year 2014 to Madurai for Jallikattu
Start from Chennai to Madurai 14-Jan-14 9:00pm SETC A/C bus, but unfortunately due to
technical issue the bus didn’t arrive and hence we were put in ultra deluxe bus, difference charge was refunded.
Varushathooda mudhal trip nenacha bus kedaikala!! mudhal trip eh ippadiya!!! nalla aarambam….. (nice way to start the trip)
Soon got dozed and only woke after reaching Madurai (name of busstand – maatudhavani)
caught a bus to Periyaarnilayam from where the following places are easily accessible
1) Meenakshi Amman Temple
2) Palamedu
3) Alanganallur
4) Thepakulam
Since this being a tourist season accommodation were pricey with some bargain I settled for a room 400 per day, took some rest got refreshed and started to Palamedu where
Jallikattu sport is played today (15-Jan-14).
About Jallikattu
Jallikattu is an ancient heroic tamil sport played during harvest festival of Pongal
Jallikattu, which is bull cuddling/holding, this sport is played to display bravery.

Vadivaasal - Bull release entrance

Vadivaasal – Bull release entrance

How Jallikattu is being played
Any participants will have to hang on to bull for a stipulated time to get a prize, if more than one participants hold the bull its a foul and prize goes to bull owner, below you can see a sequence of bull being held by a (participant/veeran)
Man clingin on the Bull pic1
Man clingin on the Bull pic2
Man clingin on the Bull pic3
Man clingin on the Bull pic4
Man clingin on the Bull pic5
Man clingin on the Bull pic6if no one gets a hold on the bull when the bull gets released into the Jallikattu Arena the bull owner can claim the prize, below you can see a bull on the free run terrorizing the participantsBull on a free run
At times things get ugly - its the nature of the sport

At times things get ugly – its the nature of the sport

Jallikattu Prize

During the ancient time, prospective brides uses this sport to select their husband, Successful “matadors” were chosen as grooms.
Now the prize varies from dhoti, gold, silver, silk saree, lockers and house-hold articles.
By the time I reached it was past 10am and the arena was brimming with energy.

The Arena Palamedu

The Arena Palamedu – brimming with energy

Since the gallery can accomodate 800-1000 people which is not suficient for this crowd pulling event, you can see people everywhere around the arena on lorry tops, house balcony, terrace, tree branches.
As I searched around for a good vantage point such that I can have good view to watch and also to click some pictures of the event, with some great bargain settled for a seat in gallery (500rs) but was very near to the place from where the bulls are released to the arena.Man clingin on the Bull pic8
Man clingin on the Bull pic7It is adviced that you carry snacks, water to refill your energy, a cap to protect from sun, the event starts by 8:00am goes on till 4:00pm during which almost 500 bulls gets released into arena.
Later visited the famous Meenakshi Temple before calling for the day
16-Jan-14
Today Jallikattu happens in Alanganallur which is world famous place for Jallikattu since the prize money is huge. I woke up early and was there @ alanganallur by 6:00am

The Arena Allanganallur

The Arena Allanganallur

special buses ply frequently to cater tourism for this season.
The event started with pooja for god Muneeswaran, songs praising the sport and then bulls belonging to temples get released free which tamers will not touch as a mark of respect to the gods.
Overwhelming joy can be felt when the 1st bull gets released as spectators whistle and shout keeping the sperits high for the tamers. The sport gets funnier when certain bulls come back to arena charging the tamers to entertain on their own will 🙂Man clingin on the Bull pic8
Again I bargained with a house owner for a view from balcony (500rs), this is not costly when compared to spectators who pay a lot to watch cricket from stadium.High Jump
This sport is worth and is not a cruel sport as projected by animal welfare groups, this sport clearly depcits the valour and needs more recognition from government

Hold

Hold

Release

Release

Came back to room for lunch and took a nap before visiting Thepakulam and left Madurai by 10:00pm happy for one of my wishlist getting fulfilled.

Part-1 Click Here – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Amitsar – Vaishno Devi – Shivkhori – Amarnath Yathra – Part-1

Jammu

Jammu

Jammu

We reached Jammu at 6:00am, had our breakfast in railway station, reached Katra by noon, memories of my earlier visit to Jammu during Ladakh biking made my journey more enjoyable as I kept admiring the beautiful valleys, after an hour drive there was a police check post where the bus stopped for a while and there was this kid standing next to the driver’s bay and in front of me suddenly asked “Gaadi Kyun nahi chala raha hey” and the entire bus laughed as the kid asked in an innocent tone, looks like he too was happily enjoying the journey until the bus came to standstill for the check post. …..Click Here to Continue Reading

After Ladakh on wheels in 2010, the urge to go J & K increased manifolds (to read Ladakh on Wheels click this link – Ladakh)

“Just can’t wait to see that beautiful valley again”,

Overview

Overview

J&K is one of the best place to visit in India, NJB was referring to holy trip Char-Dhaam which later changed to Amarnath, sadharnama Kovil-k appo appo dhan povoom (we don’t go temple regularly) and going for a holy trip like this is something I have never thought of doing it now which I felt to be done after getting old enough, but perception changed when NJB and Simon told they are going for sure and gave a rough plan covering Haridhwar, Rishikesh, Amritsar,

Vishno Devi, Shov Khori, Amarnath and stay in boat house @ Dal Lake Srinagar.

I felt it’s a good travel experience, really wanted to experience staying in boat house Dal Lake, 2nd Amarnath involves 3days of trekking, It’s been 3yrs since I did a trek in North India after Roopkund in 2009 which we did not complete past Bedni Bugyal due to bad weather. …..Click Here to Continue Reading

@ Varkala Station

@ Varkala Station

Chennai became too hot to handle and we all carved for a escape

We initially thought of Ernakulam + waterfalls which later shifted to Varkala – Kovalam – Ponmudi – Varkala
Tickets booked “Trivandrum Mail” (myself, P.Naveen, K.Naveen, Aravindan, Raga, Melvin, Sakthi & Sudhakar)
Varkala is a coastal town just (60km) before Trivandrum, whats special is the cliff adjoining the Arabian Sea  …..Click Here to Continue Reading

Delhi Airport

Delhi Airport

KF Shot From our Flight Indigo

KF Shot From our Flight Indigo

How it started In the month of Jan, I was discussing with my cousin for our next trekking destination and she was referring to her friend who had an idea of trip to Ladakh in the month of October involving trekking and sightseeing as well. As months passed by I came across a discussion on biking expedition to Ladakh put up by our CTC biking gang which sounded much more interesting than the usual tour and it is always special and more adventurous while hanging out with CTC biking gang. I didn’t give it a second thought and opted for it which was followed by many meetings and conference calls. …..Click Here to Continue Reading

I was in Bangalore when I saw mail for cycling trip in borders of three states (TN, KA & KL)
along with a short trek to Chembara, the route which I have already done a solo, bike trip (Gundlupet, Kalpetta, Gudalur, Ooty, Kotagiri & Metupalayam)
this route goes through reserve forest making it a favourite destination for such trips (Bandipur, Muthanga, Wayanadu, Mudumalai, Mukurthi).
I was feeling skeptical if I’d be able to successfully do cycling in this ghat section for its steep ascend, but I wanted to trek Chembara for a long time,
at 1st I thought I’ll do the trek alone but organizer Prem told it is not possible so I joined with “come what may attitude”
(enna dhan nadakum nadkatumea) …..Click Here to Continue Reading

Tea Estate

Wanted to visit Ooty for a long time so instead of just going for sightseeing in Ooty thought of doing a biking trip from Ooty – Wayanadu – Bandhipur – Ooty covering sceninc roads enroute tea estates in the Nilgiris range, …..Click Here to Continue Reading

Weeks before Deepavali myself along with my biking friends were discussing things to do the weekend post Deepavali, reason the day after Deepavali is Ram’s Birthday.

Ideas and suggestions flew which are the below.

1)      Pulicat lake
2)      Pondy trip
3)      Yercadu & Hogenikal
4)      Yelagiri

…..Click Here to Continue Reading

I’m sure you must have read my earlier post on Valparai – Athirappily, likewise this year I choose Kodaikanal as our catalyst destination. This time I didn’t take the pain in organizing, since I took the help of 3rd party (My Travel Choice) who offers tours & packages.  The package includes pickup from Chennai, drop at the hotel, sightseeing, breakfast, lunch & dinner and drop back to Chennai costing us 1750 INR per person for 3 days and 2 nights. Invitations were sent, out to my colleagues and almost 20 responded positively.

Start of Trip

…..Click Here to Continue Reading

Journey Begins

   
Day 1 – Chennai – Bangalore – Hassan

This time it was CTC’s 2nd anniversary and lots of trek invitation was sent out to celebrate, so i was very much interested in joining one of them which is GOA bike trip. I immediately registered for it which was being organized by Ram. I had already been on Valparai –Thekady – Munnar bike trip which was also organized by Ram earlier. Lots of mails started flowing for discussing about do’s and don’ts. Two days ahead the journey the bikes along with papers/books were parceled to Hassan where we will be picking up for the great ride ahead through the scenic Western Ghats – Kudos to NJ Balaji who took care to this.  …..Click Here to Continue Reading

Valparai – Athirapally
 
This time i had planned to visit Valparai on 5-sept-09 for catalyst along with my colleagues. Valparai is every travellers delight, this place is not known to many due to lack of tourism effort by the goverment for promoting its popularity. Since this is a road less travelled, this place still has a lot of hidden beauty. Lying in the borders of Tamil Nadu and Kerala the serene beauty is a feast for every eyes.
Valparai Pic-1

Valparai Pic-1

About the catalyst

The company for which i work has a wonderful policy where in rs 1500 will be allocated to every employee and this money can be used for a team outing. We need to have a minimum of 10 people in a group to make this happen.

…..Click Here to Continue Reading

It’s my long desire to start blogging and here i start to experience blogging, feel free to post your comments, let me start with my trekking experience to Talakona with Chennai Trekking Club (CTC).

This is my 7th trek with CTC, after registering it myself and got prepared for it. I took work from home on friday 3/07/09, since we have to start at friday night 9pm. Reached Koyembedu to park my bike by 9:25pm, met Sujay one of the fellow trekker who was also parking his bike, later we both walked our way to Natan Cafe (near bus stand) our pickup point. Some of the other trekkers were already there (Naru, Arpita, Vel, Karthick, ..) who were all waiting for the bus which started from Tidel Park, in the mean time we got introduced to each other, after a while our bus came and everybody boarder after dumping the luggage’s in the boot. …..Click Here to Continue Reading