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Dhanushkodi – A Land Lost To The Ocean!

We had planned a one-day family trip to Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi. After visiting Devipattinam and the temples in Rameswaram, we took a ride to Dhanushkodi, the abandoned town.

A little bit of history…

Being a seashore town, Dhanushkodi was quite frequently exposed to cyclones and storms. A part of the town had even sunk down during the 1948-1949. But, it was in 1964, when nature finally decided to unleash its fury with cyclonic storms that killed almost 1800 innocent lives. After that, the town was declared unfit for living and eventually abandoned. The locals told that almost 2.5 km of the town is still under water and was visible for quite sometime during the 2004 Tsunami when the water receded.

There was a temple while we enter Dhanushkodi. The belief is that, Vibishanan, brother of Ravanan, was crowned as the king of Srilanka in that spot by Rama (in the epic Ramayana). There are paintings inside the temple depicting the events of the ceremony and the important incidents in Ramayana involving Vibishanan.

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We started towards the town and once we reached, we found that we were only at the entrance. There are vans that take us to the actual town. They charge us Rs. 150 per head. The van took us through rough sands and beach waters! Through out the way, we can see dunes of sand which are the left overs of the sea. The sea had calm waters with an innocent look as if it never took over the town!

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It took 20 minutes of adventurous ride to reach there. A few shops have come up commercialising the area, owing to the large number of tourists visiting the spot. Even roads are coming up making it easier for everyone to reach there in future. We were granted 30 mins over there and we took a walk to look around.

There was a church or whatever is left of the church, which just few of its walls and the altar.

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Beside the church was the police quarters.

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The remains of the Lord Rama temple.

We also spotted a big post office amidst the ruins. We entered it and found it nearly submerged in sand.

We could also see few houses here and there.

Near the beach, there is a small temple with a priest.

The place will make us rethink our view about life. One moment the town was flourishing with people and the other moment it was declared unfit to live. The place reminded us that, when it comes to nature, we have absolutely no chance against it! And, that we have to appreciate the wonderful life when we have still got! The place itself is a living reminder of that. With mixed feelings and memories, we returned back in the same van.

I would recommend everyone to visit this place at least once, as you get to see the ruins of an old town, plus a thrilling ride on a beach! 😀

Happy Travelling! 🙂

Nandi Hills – A Weekend GetAway

It was an early Saturday morning that we had planned for a trip to Nandi hills. We started off from Bengaluru around 4.30 am and reached the foot of the hills after an hours sleepy travel. They don’t permit anyone before 6 am. So, we became one among the queue of cars and were waiting till 6 before travelling further. We were expecting thick fog but it was quite a clear morning. We got our tickets and started our walk towards the hill top. It was quite freezing, yet the walk was with no less enthusiasm. When we reached the top, the sun had slowly started to show up. The orange beauty’s arrival was so captivating that it was until sometime that we noticed the clouds floating right beneath us from the view point. We can hardly see what was under the clouds! No words to explain the peace we could feel. We can just sit and watch them for hours! It’s really hard to not appreciate the beauty of the nature. We spent some time gathering memories. One side of the Nandi hills is Tipu Drop, which is were Tipu Sultan pushed down his prisoners.

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There are also wood houses, which are currently not permitted to enter. But, worth a few clicks!

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Please do not open any food packets over the hill top, as you will be swarmed by monkeys.

Few spots around Nandi hills:

Here’s a list of famous spots that are worth seeing if you are planning to go to Nandi hills.

Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple:

There is a temple near the view point which represents Lord Shiva’s final stage of renunciation. It felt more like a commercialised place. There is a small temple tank where we could spend some time.

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Bogha Nandheeshwara Temple:

This is a twin temple of the Yoga Nandeeshwara temple in the Nandi Village. It houses Lord Shiva in his childhood, youth and married phases. The temple showcased a beautiful architecture and had pillars with intricate designs that reminds the historic importance of the place. It held a huge temple tank called ‘Sringeri Teertha’ with big fishes and turtles.

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Ghati Subramanya Temple:

It takes around 45 minutes to reach Ghati Subramanya temple in Doddaballapura from the Nandi village. We could see a lot of snake idols even before entering the temple. We had to wait for around twenty minutes to get a glimpse of the prime deity. Lord Subramanya in a snake form and Lord Narasimha are carved back to back. So, a mirror is placed behind the idol to get a view of Lord Narasimha.

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Gudibande Fort:

Our next stop was Gudibande fort in Chikkaballapura. It was around 60 kms away from the Ghati Subramanya temple and the road was quite bad. Once we reached it, we found that it was actually a huge mountain and few of us were hesitant to climb such a height, even though there were steps throughout the way to the top. Considering the travel we had took to reach the place, we all set to climb the stairs. Better take water bottles and snacks. There were a few families spending their time. The fort belonged to a chieftain Byre Gowda. We were able to see the turrets, secret passages and the rooms of the soldiers which takes us back in time. There were also few constructions which were actually ponds used for rain water harvesting! The walls were made by huge stones stacked upon one another in a zig-zag architecture. Amazement dwells on us as we wonder how long and how difficult it would have been to come up with such a wonderful piece of historical monument! It took nearly around 45 minutes to reach the top which holds a small temple and an amazing view of the town below. It was really worth the climb!

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This fort is not quite famous yet. It would also be good if government maintains this place properly, even with a fee, as this fort is a living reminder of architectural intelligence and historical importance.

Also, the opinions about this place are totally subjective. But, I’d say, if you want something different from a regular tourist spot and if you are into history, just go for it. But, better go in groups as it is not crowded.

Overall, it was a great one-day trip with my friends! And, I’d recommend anyone to visit Nandi hills as it will give you a sunrise which you could never forget!

Happy Travelling! 🙂

Wayanad – A Trip To God’s Own Country!

I, along with four of my friends, planned a two-day trip to Wayanad and when the day arrived we were more than excited! We had booked an Innova and started off from Bangalore by 4 pm. We couldn’t take the shorter Bandipur route as it was almost time for closing. So, by the time we reached our homestay in Wayanad, it was almost 1 am, including the time we lost taking wrong roads. But, we hardly realised it as we were deeply involved in enjoying the exhilarating views of the winding roads through out the journey. We even spotted elephants on the sides of the road!

Homestay:

The homestay ‘Marsim Holiday Homes’ was in Vythiri and the care-taker Ismail gave us a warm welcome even during those late hours. He took us to the cottage we had booked, which was a 2BHK that costs around 3500/day. The rooms were neatly maintained, cozy and gave us the warmth of staying at home. We woke up early next day to check out the views around the homestay and were astound to find lush greenery and a river flowing its way beside the homestay! The fog, the green environment and the chillness reminded us that there was a reason for calling the place as God’s own country! There is also a hotel managed by Marsim Holiday Homes, which is very close to the stay with reasonable pricing.

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We spent few minutes to capture memories of the place and finally got ready by 9 am to start our adventurous trip to Chembra Peak!

Day 1:

Chembra Peak:

It was approximately 27kms away from our stay and it took around one hour to reach the car parking. It costs Rs.750 for a group to trek and they also send a guide with us. Trekkers are not allowed after 2 pm. It takes almost two hours to reach the peak which is a 2.5km trek. We are initially welcomed by a trek through forest and the path becomes steeper as we go. And, at the end we were almost climbing our way through the rocks in the mountain. Everything, from the short fresh water stream that crossed our way to the astounding views from every direction, helped us get back our lost stamina. Yet, water bottles and glucose are a must! There is a heart- shaped lake which is a picturesque spot and once we climb a little more we reach the peak and we are presented with a breath-taking view, that gives instant peace to our mind and helps us forget the rough trek! We spent half an hour completely immersed in the view and finally started our trek back down to the place we started, which took around 1.5 hours. This was equally challenging considering the steep paths we had taken while climbing! On the whole it was one of the best trekking experience we had ever had!

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We had our lunch in a hotel at the entrance of the peak and started our travel towards our next destination – Soochipara falls!

Soochipara falls:

It took an hour for us to reach Soochipara from Chembra Peak (approx. 13 km). We have to take a really steep and a km long path from the parking and through out the way we hardly get a glimpse of the falls. Once we reach the end of the tiresome walk we are gifted with the appealing view of the beautiful falls. We can spend hours by just watching the falls. As it falls with a great force, girls are not allowed to get close to it and were allowed to spend time in the pools created by the flow of the water. The water is super-chill and the rocks inside the pools are  too much slippery. One cannot come out without falling even once. It also has sharp rocks, so one should be very cautious while walking their way across the water, especially towards the falls. We spent an hour in the falls until the closing time. It was yet another wonderful experience for the day! There is a room for changing clothes but it is nowhere near to the falls. We need to walk back to the entrance for it and is also poorly maintained. So, we had to reach back our homestay with shivers.

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Day 2:

Pookode lake:

The next day we planned to visit Pookode lake which was very close to our stay (approx 3 km). It was a pleasant place to spend time. It took around twenty minutes to get an entry and wait for our turn for the boat. They give us thirty minutes of a memorable experience around the approximately 40-feet lake. The greenery, water lilies, water birds and the stunning view of the lake takes our mind off from everything else. Few other attractions include an aquarium, magic mirrors, children’s park and a fish spa.

Pookode Lake

After spending an hour over there, we started our journey towards our final stop in Wayanad – The Edakkal caves!

Edakkal Caves:

It was an hour’s travel from Vythiri (approx. 40 km). It was another trekking experience, except that this had steps after a particular point. The path was overall quite steep, but even aged people were walking enthusiastically. After a 20-minutes walk over the steep path, it takes another twenty minutes to take the stairs and reach the caves above. It is quite a big cave with pre-historic carvings nearly all over the walls. We can spend a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes. It takes around twenty minutes to reach all the way down to the entrance. The main attraction was the cave, the trek experience and the historical importance of the place.

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And, with that we made our way back to Bangalore, took Bandipur route and reached around 10 pm. We were lucky enough to spot bisons, deers and elephant enroute, which gave us an experience of a safari ride!

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Important points to note:

1) Try starting early in the morning and finish the trek before afternoon to avoid a sunny trek.
2) Don’t carry too many luggages
3) Carry water bottles, glucose and snacks
4) Have your caps and sunscreens
5) Carry a first aid kit, though may not be necessary all the time.
6) Wear shoes

Marsim Holiday Homes:

1 km-Pozhuthana Road (Banasura Sagar Dam Road)
Vythiri, Wayanad.
Contact: Ismail N.P. (091-9744584240)

Happy Travelling! 😀

Antaragange Trekking – An adventurous trip!

I, along with three of my friends, planned to visit Antaragange after a few positive reviews and suggestions from our colleagues.

On 7 Aug 2016, we boarded a bus to Kolar around 10 am from Kempegowda Bus Station (Terminal 3). Kolar is approximately 60 kms away from Bengaluru. It was a normal boring journey until we entered the Kolar district. Kolar invited us with beautiful hillocks which looked more like pebbles glued together, unlike regular range of mountains. We were looking at them awe-struck and hoping how adventurous would it be if we could climb or trek on one of them, completely unaware that the rest of our day was on one of these beautiful hills!

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We reached Kolar around 12 noon and took an auto to Antaragange, which was a short 5 min journey. Once we get down at the entrance, we climbed a few hundred stairs (approx. 10 min walk) to the temple at the top. Though the pathway was steep, we never realised it, thanks to the lush greenery and with beautiful butterflies distracting us. There are few benches and rocks where we could rest.

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At the top, we were warmly welcomed by a large troop of monkeys. People around there had spoiled the monkeys by offering snacks. So, they had started mugging from everyone who doesn’t offer them any. Particularly, if you happen to wear a bag or have something in your hands, be prepared for an attack! The older monkeys hardly move. But, the area has an alarmingly large number of young monkeys, which most often, play among themselves but occasionally tries to jump on us when they get bored!

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The temple looked quite small but with a powerful deity, Lord Siva.

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There was a poorly maintained temple tank/pond and near that was the main attraction of the temple, a perennial water flow in between two ‘Nandi’ (Bull) statues. The water is pure and drinkable. We loaded our bottles with the water and prepared for the awesome trek!

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The entrance of the trekking path was guarded by trees and we started our journey with nature by walking beneath the low branches.

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With a few steps and a climb over a rock, we arrived at an open space. From there, the path was completely filled with rocks. We had to carefully climb on the rocks to move forward. There were few stone steps now and then, but only near the mouth of the mountain. The path was also filled with thorny bushes everywhere. So, better take necessary first aids! It is impossible to trek at one stretch. There are many big boulders near which we can rest and have our snacks. Good thing was, there were no monkeys in the entire trekking path. The mountain was very steep and careful steps are required to avoid accidental slips and leg sprains. Though it is required to concentrate on moving forward, it is also equally important to look back and get stunned by the awesome city view. The scattered hills, literally, look like floating islands. There are many such view points and picturesque spots which are worth the tiresome trekking.

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It took around 45 minutes to reach the main attraction of the trek – Caves! There are two caves which could be explored ONLY with the help of a local guide. A guide offered to help explore the caves for Rs.200. For the first cave, there were two entrances. One, was a two-way journey – we enter and exit through the same path and the other was a one-way journey which would bring us out to the place we started through a different path. We took the latter. When I say caves, never assume it as a dark open walk-able area! These caves are a formation by huge boulders stacked upon one another.

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Every step needs ourselves to be squeezed and stretched. Sometimes, we have to climb few rocks and sometimes we have to slide across them. The most important part was to know where to place our legs and where to push ourselves into as there were only small spaces. Luckily, our guide helped us with clear instructions. Every step through the cave was challenging and adventurous! It grows dark once we get deeper into the cave. We could only see the silhouettes of the rocks with the very limited sun lights gushing through some holes in the cave. So, a flashlight is a must! After squeezing ourselves through the rocks, we finally reached the centre of the cave – a relatively bigger place to stand! From there we again climbed through the rocks and came out of the cave and it was great to see the scenic view again after long periods of darkness! It took almost 1 hour to complete our journey through the first cave, mostly due to the fact that we were four members.

Then we made our journey to the second cave which was near to the first one.

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This cave is very small and narrow. Only three people at a time can go inside. People who had already explored the cave warned us that once inside, it is either do or die and there won’t be any place for second thoughts. We took their words as a challenge and entered into the cave, thirsty for a new challenging adventure! We had to squeeze ourselves even more than the first cave. There was only one place where we were able to stand and after that all we could do was either bending or crawling. It becomes pitch dark within moments we enter into the cave. Without flashlight there is no way to move forward as even the rocks disappear in the darkness. With few crawls and climbs, we were able to get to the main attraction of that cave – a small water body. This is actually the water that flows to the Nandi (Bull) statues in the temple. It is difficult even for two people to sit near that water flow. The silent pitch darkness with only the sound of the water flowing, gave us an inexplicable experience! The water was refreshing and even more tastier than the one at the temple.

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After spending few minutes enjoying the moment, we had to squeeze ourselves back to the mouth of the cave. We completed the second cave in less than 20 minutes.

We started trekking downhill and as the hill is quite steep, we need to have a control over our pace. We reached the mouth of the mountain in 25 minutes and successfully completed our adventurous trek!

We took an auto back to the Kolar bus stand and boarded a bus to Bengaluru.

Points to remember:

  • Try starting early in the morning and finish the trek before afternoon to avoid a sunny trek. It takes approximately 4 hours for the trek & cave experiences. So, plan your trip accordingly.
  • Don’t carry too many luggage
  • Carry water bottles and snacks
  • Have your caps and sunscreens
  • Carry a first aid kit, though may not be necessary all the time.
  • Wear shoes
  • A flash light is a must
  • Not many shops are available near Antaragange. So, bring your own food or get a parcel at the Kolar bus station.
  • Come in groups, especially someone strong should be there to help pulling others up the boulders inside the cave. If you are a group of girls, it is always better to bring few guy friends to feel safe.
  • Most important! – Never forget to enjoy the views and take snaps! 🙂

Antaragange trekking is a must see and I’m always going to suggest it to others.

Please post in your comments and let me know if you have any queries or experiences to share.

Happy Trekking! 🙂

Harry Potter Books – Free Download

I’m a hugeeeee Harry Potter fan and I have read all the books at least 5 times! For my other fellow Harry Potter fans, I present the PDF versions of the books for free download!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Have a magical reading experience! 😀

Credits:
https://sites.google.com/site/dadastasty/harry-potter-and-the-sorcerer-s-stone

My favourite TV Series !!!

Hey All,

Today in My Space, I’m going to share about the TV series which I recently started watching and in which I got completely lost! 😀

The TV Series “The Vampire Diaries” is the one which got me completely addicted to it! The story revolves around three vampires Elena, Stefan and Damon, where Stefan (the good one) and Damon (the bad one) are brothers. Though Stefan is a good guy, I feel he is kind of boring 😛 !!! Damon is way too cool!!! 😀

I usually download and watch the videos through kickass torrents. And, trust me, you cannot stop watching the videos one after the other. I’m currently in Season 5 Episode 12 and everyday it’s getting more and more thrilling! Though the earlier episodes were lot more fun, still its worth watching! The plot gets more intense and cruel with every season, which makes it more interesting. Though it involves so much of blood, it’s not THAT disgusting!

The good thing in the Vampire Diaries is, if someone dies, there are always so many chances that they will come back alive some day! Because we have a handy-dandy witch, Bonnie! 🙂 She is also one of the most important character. And, there is one friendly face, Caroline! She is a friend for everyone, including the villain :D. I, especially, like the Claus – Caroline sequences, where Claus tries to impress her and Caroline insults him. It will be more like a child fight :D. And, then there is Matt, who always cares for Elena, but still remains a human. I don’t like Tyler much,  because of his alpha nature :P, but still he is on the good side. And, Jeremy, Elena’s brother is a caring person. And, I don’t like him and Bonnie together, don’t know why 😦 ! Catherine is a selfish vampire! I don’t like her attitude, personally! 😛

And, in the Original vampires, there is Alisha, who is a loyal person and is a man of honours. I like him the most in the Original vampire family. Rebecca, his sister, is an emotional vampire who easily falls in trap and finds it hard to stop trusting wrong people. I don’t like Claus much, as he is a cruel person, but I forgive him when he is with Caroline :P.

Overall, the series is fantastic and I’m restraining myself from watching more than one video per day. Trust me, it’s way too difficult! 😛

To be crisp, The Vampire Diaries is the BEST !!! 😀

The Vampire Diaries

Are you into Vampire Diaries?

Please leave a comment on who is your favourite character and the reason you like them… 🙂 I’d love to hear it!

Have a good one!