Saturday, August 31, 2013

Short notes from Chunchi Falls visit

17 Aug, 2013

Eventually, I preserved some time to garner travelogue of Chunchi falls visit. Don't confuse this with Chunchanakatte falls nearby K.R.Nagar :-). Hope you will enjoy the short blog!

As mentioned earlier, monsoon season is the best time to visit waterfalls. The beautiful waterfalls are most of them located in western ghats. Some of them require trekking till the waterfall area which is difficult in midst of pouring rains of Malnad. Also the taste of water here is unexplainable. Visiting waterfalls nearby western ghats requires more people with you since inclement weather and dense forests may turn around situation in any possible direction. Since I was alone again, I decided to visit nearby Chunchi waterfall which is not so much familiar to many people. The waterfall plunges from a height of 80feet between narrow gorge. The rocky landscape is very tough and intimidating here. It requires some effort to get to the view point. The source of water here is Arkavati river which eventually meets Cauvery river in Sangama. The rocky valley  along with waterfalls is amazing to watch. Also, since source of Arkavati river is not abundant Western ghats, the glory of waterfall can only be felt for few months (around August-Oct).

This time I had packed some food since Kanakapura route does not have good food outlets. Chunchi falls is around 85kms from Bangalore. One has to take the same route as Sangama to reach the waterfall site. Even this time I woke up early and prepared breakfast before starting my journey. As usual, the city roads were alive at around 7:30AM itself. The pathetic part of journey was the dreadful section from Banashankari to NICE road junction along Kanakapura road. They are not pot-holes but wells :(. The pot-holes were so deep and these roads added huge traffic jams all along till the parched section terminated. I only hoped to have my back was in-tact :D. The stretch is worst than Shiraadi ghat road. Also it was difficult to judge the depth of pot-holes since they were filled with rain water. After NICE road junction, it was really soothing journey with beautifully laid NH-209 through the woods and lakes. No humps too! Except along the bridges, the roads are quite wide. Watch out for crazy dogs and abrupt cattle crossing :-). They pose huge threat to bikers.


At around 10AM, I reached Kanakapura. The deviation towards Sangama is closed for repair work. I sought help of locals to travel along alternate path. The first 1-2kms are not so good but are being relayed. Small section is covered with gravel which bikers have to note. Road thereafter is absolutely fantastic. One can easily maintain healthy speed of 60kmph. I stopped at many places to enjoy rural landscapes and have some food. The fresh air was truly relishing to breath. The coconut plantations, beautiful hillocks, the farm land and tank bunds were so much enchanting to view. The monsoon had filled all the lakes with full acqua too!


It was 11AM when I reached the waterfall area. The tourism department levies Rs.10/- parking charge on two-wheeler. The waterfall gush could be heard at a distance itself however cannot be seen. It is hidden within the rocky valley which one has to descend from hill to reach the site. The walk path is bit complicated with bushes, slippery rocks and water springs at some places. There is no proper mark to reach the site. You can take help of local shepherds who take some money to guide you to waterfall area. The rock surface is uneven en-route. You need to be extra cautious not slip in uncontrolled manner. Also at many places, the gradient is non-uniform (sometimes high depth) and one has to step down really slow. Watch out for the  snakes :-) (I spotted one!). They usually are present nearby long grown grass areas. After too much of circus, I reached the waterfall view point. It was marvelous to watch the plunge. Really worth so much of hard workout. The torrent is not much as one in western ghats but eye catching. The water plunges down to deep valley, flows in between beautiful hillocks and eventually meets Cauvery river at Sangama. The flow before plummet did not have much velocity. I believe due to steep plunge, the waterfall gains velocity (or the pattern of rocks before the fall?).







After nearly an hour of fun, I started ascending again to top of hill. The up-hilling is easier but tiry too with camera bag. The main advantage of such travel is that, they increase your stamina. Also you will have very nice workout too ;-). Once I reached the top, I walked down to another place to view point. From view point, the aerial view of waterfalls is wonderful. However the platform seemed to be bit old and not maintained (it seemed may collapse anytime). So be careful! Nearby the view point, you can locate one more waterfall. It is easy to descend here. No rocks and easy geography. The place looked totally abandoned with no human presence at all! I was the only one nearby this waterfall :-). You can even have mini bath here if you wish. This waterfall plunges with multiple levels and divisions. The view from mid of hill was so beautiful to watch. I stayed at this place for some time however did not taste water. Later, I moved back to the parking lot. There is also beautiful channel en-route to second falls. There are some old stone benches to relax nearby parking lot. I was fully tired and sweating tremendously. After bit of relax, I drank full bottle of water. Not many people could be seen here. May be people are not so much familiar about the place.




Around 2:30PM, I started my return journey. I felt like visiting Sangama and Mekedaatu, however dropped due to time constraint. It would consume 3 more hrs at those places and getting back to city during night in bike is quite miserable. On the way, I bracketed some panorama shots too! Once again, I enjoyed the rural landscape to the max. The overcast weather was very much helpful in masking off the SUN effect. Around 3:30PM, I reached Kanakapura. I was also very hungry too! When enquired locals on good lunch, they pointed me to Vasu Hotel nearby town circle. At first glance, it seemed to be quite old hotel in town with steel roof. They do not serve meals but rice-sambar and curd rice. There is very limited menu here. I had rice-sambar and curd-rice. They also contained masale vade and bajji with each plate. How is taste? Absolutely tasty :-). That was cheap and best meals I ever had. Only Rs.20/- each :D. The taste and quality was so good :-) with sufficient quantity. This is one of the hotels to note along Kanakapura route. Do not miss afternoon meals here :-). You can also pack for further journey. The hotel has limited menu but seem to have maintained quality food (the crowd was the example). After lunch, Mysore Pak in enclosure caught my eye :D. They were looking very good and packed some for myself. When I tasted at home, it was so delicious and mouth watering. The mysore pak was melting so easily in tongue ;-). Rs.40/- is charge for 1/4KG of mysore pak. They also have laddus too! Don't forget to pack some for you too if you visit the place :-).

After having tasty and quality lunch, I headed towards Bangalore. En-route I had tasty tender coconut. There are lots of tender coconut hoards sold by villagers along NH-209. They have good amount of water too! The main trouble during return journey was awkward crossing of crazy dogs. They are highest trouble makers here. At one place, I encountered a group of 10-15 dogs lined up all along the breadth of NH-209. That was horrible sight to watch and and they do not listen to horn also :-(. Bit more noise, they will start chasing you :-) which as bike rider you never want it to happen. It is better to maintain a healthy speed of not more than 50kmph. At 6PM, I was back at home.

Chunchi waterfalls is really wonderful place for nature lovers. The lack of crowd also is a plus point. This is my 3rd waterfall visit during this monsoon season. I am not sure which one is next even though there are many plans!

How to reach:

Same as Sangama route as mentioned here. Just before 6kms from Sangama, you will find a cross to reach Chunchi falls. The signboards are in Kannada and hence seek help of locals if you cannot read it. From the cross, the roads are not so good with improper directions. Locals guide you very well, if you feel lost. Enjoy the beautiful landscape all along this inner route.


There are many dhabas en-route. I am unaware of their quality. As mentioned earlier, Vasu hotel in Kanakapura is very good and cheap option. However they serve only South Indian Vegetarian food with limited menu.

Whats special this time:

I have revived my panorama passion with this trip. Also Chunchi fall HDR is bonus this time ;-). Read the dedicated write up here

It would have been a great timelapse from view point as well as hills with clouds en-route. However they required tripod which I did not have. Here is the short video of visit

Twilight magic at Maravanthe Beach

Yesterday, I was browsing through my redundant hard drive where I backup my pictures. There are humongous amount of pictures and the hard drive is almost full. Will need to buy a new one. The collection had begun way back around 4 years and now it is almost impossible to track where is what :-). My main interests were the old pictures taken way back when I started to shoot some basic stuffs. Even now I am amateur photographer and there is long way to go.

My eye peeped into the folder of Maravanthe beach. I saw this photo and wanted to share. Last year, during our return journey from Murudeshwar, there was beautiful twilight at Maravanthe beach, near Kundapur. Who does not know about Maravanthe beach ;-). The natural beauty where Souparnika river teases Arabian sea in between highway, is one of the wonders of nature. Candid travelers commuting from Kundapur to Bhatkal will have instant surprise watching this combination of river and sea :D and as expected lots of people exclaim too ;-). So here is the picture taken during the twilight time when sky was showing up with bright orange colors with amazing pattern. Hope you will enjoy the picture ;-).

What's special with this picture? There were people which was removed using GIMP re-synthesizer plug-in :-). Do you see anymore ;-).

After few minutes, the sky turned full pink :-) and here is picture. I have shared this in Murudeshwar blog and re-visiting again. I was really lucky to be there when sky showed up with dramatic patterns. The setting was around f/4 and 1/30s I believe for both pictures. f/4 was chosen mainly to grab more light into sensor. The only regret was not capturing timelapse. The sky turning from orange to red and eventually pattern fading away, would have been a great timelapse. Nevertheless, I am happy with whatever results I achieved.

Also, I shot video too which I am re-sharing.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Some HDR and Panorama during Jog Falls visit

Western ghats are the best place to visit during Monsoon time. Despite of inclement weather, once reached, they are heaven. During our day long stay in Jog falls, I did some trial HDR and panorama. In real terms, HDR was not required at falls site since overcast weather provided some good lighting. The only reason I bracketed HDR shots was to get nice colors on image :-).

The first is the panorama shot of Jog falls from bungalow view point (not british bungalow) located nearby. We wanted some good elevated view point to enjoy the jog falls entirely. As we were roaming around, we could spot this as perfect place. We were relaxing for some time after concluding individual photo-shoots :-). Later it started raining and we went inside the bungalow premises. The view of falls was so gorgeous. However apart from the 4 falls, there was also gowri-shankar falls which is alive only during monsoon. After rain receded, a thought entered into my mind to grab panorama shot including gowri-shankar falls. I took six shots by fixing up white balance as well as aperture. The final image stitching was straight forward with Hugin Panorama creator. The overcast weather made sure the lighting to be uniform in all images. The SUN would have altered exposure bias atleast in few of images.

We had hired taxi to visit other view points nearby Jog falls. On the way, we stopped on the Sharavati bridge for some time. The flow control of the river is based on the water outflow from Linganamakki Dam. The same path plunges as Jog falls after few distance. Eventually the Sharavati river meets Arabian sea in Honavar which is 60kms from here. I personally feel you should never miss the Konkan railway journey along beautiful Sharavati river basin near Honavar.

I composed HDR shots nearby bridge totaling 5 shots ranging from -2 to +2 in increments of 1EV.  The reason behind composing HDR was, camera's light meter either used to expose sky or the river. Not both at a time. The final image turned out to be OK but huge haze at background. Probably I required CPL filter here.

Next HDR is of Jog falls itself. As I mentioned earlier, there was no requirement of HDR. I just wanted those bright colors in final image. Again 5 shots ranging from -2 to +2 with increments of 1EV. I increased the green color balance and some applied few color corrections on image. The main interest in image is the clouds which would have not been exposed in normal shots. The Raja falls was plummeting towards narrow gorge which generated misty envelop around the area. Due to this it was difficult to predict when would sight become totally clear. When it cleared, people were thronging to view and shoot the waterfall including us :-).


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Krisha Nee Begane Baaro -- Memoirs of Sri Krishna Janmashtami

This year unfortunately the Krishna Janmashtami falls in mid of week. Hence cannot join my parents for the festival. For us, Janmashtami is the prominent festival of all (Not even Deepavali). We celebrate with full vigour and joy :-). Especially we look forward to the festival to relish variety of laddus and chakkuli prepared by mother :D. Also not to forget the tasty rave shyavige and moode idli ;-). The main granduer of festival is special food ;-). Entire Udupi will be in celebration mood and schools and colleges will have holiday on that day. Usually it rains heavily in Udupi during Janmashtami to resemble the birth of Lord Krishna during which Vasudeva carried Krishna under heavy rains along Yamuna river. However nowadays rains are not guaranteed. During our school days it used to rain most of the times. This writeup is to cherish those moments of celebration and archive the same.

The day starts with Palaahaara (i.e. no rice food). Remember no rice food but we used to have healthy rave shyavige made by mother :D. This day also includes final touch for laddus and some are prepared during this day. The main worship happens to god only at night. Just for convention, a pooje is carried out in morning. It is really tempting while rolling those laddus :D but we are not supposed to eat until next day morning. The actual celebration starts at night around 9PM and should conclude at 12AM which is Krishna's birth time. However only few people carry out till 12AM and many like us try to conclude around 11PM itself so that mother can rest early. The laddu is offered only to Sri Krishna on this day and the same is kept aside to offer to Lord Hanuman next day. On this day, it is believed Lord Hanuman does strict fasting and hence offer is done next day. This is reason why we are not supposed to eat during Janmashtami day :-). The only laddu we eat on this day is Ginger laddu prepared with jaggery liquid. That is so spicy too! Mother will force us to eat. It is gesture to heal the stomach pain of Devaki after delivering Lord Krishna. Post Mahapooje, arghya pradaana is carried out to both main deity and Tulasi plant with milk by every individual in house. Eventually day ends with one more dose of Palaahaara :D.

Next day begins early around 5AM. During this day, mother prepares beaten rice panchakajjaya and moode idli. The pending offering to Lord Hanuman is committed along with freshly made eatables. After the rituals, it is time enjoy delicious food with variety of laddus :-). We used to have hefty breakfast and no lunch further. Once the stomach celebrations get over, we share the sweets with relatives and they used to share back (one more batch of intake :D). The main laddus mother used to prepare were besan, rava, groundnut, sesame and fried paddy powder.
In afternoon, we used to leave to Udupi town to enjoy Vitlapindi festival celebration. During the day, Lord Krishna made of clay is carried in golden chariot for a procession along car street. There used to be huge crowd and even now one can see same enthusiasm among people of Udupi. The dancing people painted like tiger (Pili Vesha), the dexterity of Chande group, the celebrating people and of-course the mosaru-kudike (crushing of mud pot filled with curd) are joyous to watch. The celebrations used to end with immersion of Krishna's Idol in Madhva Sarovara.



These celebrations happen every year with full vigor and devotion. Even in the rush and rain, people's enthusiasm has not come down over the years. However, photographers find it bit difficult to shoot due to space constraint :-).

Here is video I shot during last year's Vitlapindi celebrations:

There are lot of beautiful songs on Lord Krishna. Personally I love to hear following songs not only during Janmashtami but more frequently. I did not find links for some and have provided for some which I could google!

Some of devotional songs

1) The blending of Mand, Kaapi and Jhonpuri(or Darbaari Kaanada?) in Baaro Krishnayya:
2) Krishnani begane baaro in Yaman Kalyani:
3) The combination of Bhairavi and Ranjani in Indu Enage Govinda:
4) Bhairavi, Athana and Suruti in Odi Baarayya
5) Beautiful mix of Kamach, Hindola and Kaanada in Elliruvano ranga
6) Pillangoviya cheluva Krishnana in Mohanakalyani:

Some of core classical songs

1) Baalagopala in Bhairavi. Especially I love the elaborate alaapana of Sri Dr.BalamuraliKrishna. I am not finding the link. However I found some good one here with few piano and orchestral mix!:
2) Chethaha Sri Baalakrishnam in Dwijavanti. Hear the beautiful vocal by Sri Manakkal Rangarajan:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Single lens challenge (Landscape with 50mm lens)

09 August 2013

Recently in one of the photography blogs, there was a mention to voluntarily challenge ourselves with single lens in hand. This is basically to understand the significance of each lens you own. This was really different sort of trial. During my visit to hometown, I decided to take up such task. I chose 50mm lens for landscape :-). Generally landscapes are shot in less focal length (18mm or below). I wanted to try some landscapes with 50mm lens and also 50mm was relatively less utilized lens in my kitty. Hence I decided to work out with 50mm lens.

After mounting the lens, I headed towards the paddy fields. Even this time there was not much rain also bright SUN showed up many times. This turned out to be boon for me due to which I could visit Hanumangundi waterfalls. In contrary to that, it was raining heavily in Western ghats :-). However due to sunny weather at hometown, I could convince mother to visit waterfalls :D.

Coming back, I started off with few flowers. The backlit SUN exposed nice colors of flowers. Later I shot some pictures of streams too!


Next is paddy fields. Now after seeing that peacock, I felt like having tele-lens :-) but I remembered my intention before lamenting further. Good thing was, the peacock did not fly even at this distance. Usually they fly away by looking at humans from distance itself. May be this peacock knew that I did not have tele lens and stood calm :-).  These are the walk paths we used to travel along during childhood days while going to school. I still remember those days when heavy rains would unify both wells and paddy fields. It was difficult to wade through this path during those days and differentiate between well and paddy field. But still we used to manage very well and never crib ;-)





This one is one major streams in our village. There was good amount of water flowing. It originates from one of hillocks nearby. The picture was taken standing on rock surface. The surface was too much slippery too! The main problem with nifty-fifty lens is that there is no image stabilization. I forgot to carry tripod too :(. There was good possibility of milky way shot if I had carried tripod with me.



The conclusion is that, 50mm lens is generally good for abstract landscapes and vegetations. However, the full landscapes can be only felt using lower focal length lenses. Whatever may be the conclusion, I was happy with some of the results except that I did not have zoom lens to capture peacock!

Long back I had misconception that 50mm lens mimics eye's focal length. That's not true for crop sensor cameras like mine. It applies only to full frame cameras. Whereas these lenses produce an effective focal length of 80mm in crop sensor cameras like mine. So you basically need 35mm lens to mimic eye and not 50mm if you are owning crop sensor DSLR :(

Feedbacks and critiques are always welcome.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

HDR from terrace :-)

While riding back from office, there was beautiful sunset at the horizon. The colors were so majestic and sun rays piercing through clouds were delightful to watch. I was pretty much desperate to reach home :-). By the time I reached home, the SUN had already sunk from horizon :-(. Nevertheless, the twilight colors were so beautiful :-). I wanted to grab some snaps. I did some experiments with white balance and depth of field. Consequently either buildings or sky were exposed in images. So time to grab HDR shots :D. During twilight it would be great if you have higher dynamic range and hence I configured Magic Lantern to grab 5 shots ranging from -2 to +2. I kept camera on wall of terrace to arrive at aligned shots. Luminance HDR did good job again. I increased alpha value a bit and decreased beta value. Some post corrections in GIMP gave me this final image. Hope you will enjoy the image. Comments and critiques are always welcome.

HDR from terrace ;-)

Camera: Canon EOS 550D
Lens: 18-55mm kit lens
Focal Length: 18mm
Focus: Manual
Aperture: f/22
ISO: 100
Picture Style: Neutral
Metering: Center weighted average
No of images: 5
Exposures: -2.-1,0,+1,+2 (3s for middle one)
ML Firmware: v2.3
Softwares: Luminance HDR (Fatal operator), GIMP

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Revisiting the Panorama Art and HDR of Chunchi falls

It has been long time since I composed panorama shots. Earlier when I was extensively using pocket camera SX210IS, I used to compose many panorama shots. It had option of panorama bracketing which made things very easy. I am not using pocket camera to that extent and left it at home town for quick shooting. Nowadays even mobile camera has HDR and panorama options. However, EOS550D does not have one. The only option is to have Ultra Wide Angle lens. But the UWL lenses are bit expensive to buy as of now. I need to wait some more time until I pile up some budget to buy it. Till then only option is to be contended with 18mm focal length.

During my visit to Chunchi falls, I encountered many beautiful landscapes en-route. They were delightful to watch. It is at that time when I felt 18mm also not enough to compose the beautiful landscape in a frame. Finally decided to compose panorama shots manually and hand-held. My prediction was at-least 80% of subject would be properly aligned in final composition (40% area each from center axis). At some places, 6shots were taken and at some I went till 9 shots.

The problem with this approach is varying lighting. Hence one has to fix up the white balance as well as depth of field properly before proceeding with bracketing. I fixed the white balance to cloudy and probably depth of field to f/11. I also made sure that focus point was infinity. This technique is difficult to apply when things are moving and they are in frame always like sea waves or waterfalls. Hence I did not compose any panorama of waterfall site. I have tried panorama of Kaup beach many times but changing wave position misalign final image. However in the images I composed nothing was moving except clouds. The clouds move out of frame after sometime and also were moving slowly. Hence panorama was pretty much easy. Hope you will enjoy the pictures. I will try out few more in coming days. Enlarge and view to have real feel of the pictures.

The panorama shots were stitched together with beautiful open source software, Hugin panorama creator. It is also available for windows. It has got many features like exposure correction, manual control point selection etc.. I am yet to explore more on the features of software.

This image was taken from parking place of waterfall site. It came out to be bit tricky. It consisted of 6 shots out of which first one had less exposure bias. In final image, the left half turned out to be too much under-exposed and right half was proper. I had to turn off the exposure correction in software and increased the exposure bias of first image to match with other images. Finally the composed image turned out well. My main interests were the hills and channel.

This image was straight forward. My only expectation was to keep both bulls and hills in the frame which I was able to achieve.

This came out really well. I am happy with hills, clouds and road in image. The only problematic portion is that road should have not clipped in the middle. It is not software's mistake but mine. I should have framed images properly.

There was nothing to capture as HDR in Chunchi falls since lighting was perfect. Still I tried HDR shot. The composed image really came out well. The final image has more colors than the normal LDR shot we take. Only concern is, the waterfall filled lesser portion of frame. The greenery of trees is spread well throughout the image which would not have been possible with normal shots and also rocks have showed up natural color. The picture was taken from view point located at a distance from waterfalls. No RAW this time too :(


Camera: Canon EOS 550D
Lens: 18-55mm kit lens
Focal Length: 28mm
Focus: Manual
Aperture: f/25 (You know why!)
ISO: 100
Picture Style: Neutral
Metering: Center weighted average
No of images: 3
Exposures: -2,0,+2 (1/15s for middle one)
ML Firmware: v2.3
Softwares: Luminance HDR (Fatal operator), GIMP

As always, feedback and critiques are highly appreciated.

Friday, August 16, 2013

ಎಳಮುರಿ ಸೊಪ್ಪು ತಂಬೂಳಿ

ಒಂದೆಲಗ ತಂಬೂಳಿಯ ನಂತರ ನನ್ನ ಅಚ್ಚು ಮೆಚ್ಚಿನ ತಂಬೂಳಿ ಎಳಮುರಿ ಸೊಪ್ಪು ತಂಬೂಳಿ. ಬಹಳ ಕೂಲ್ ತಂಬೂಳಿ ಇದು. ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೂಡ ಬೆಳೆಯಬಹುದು. ಒಂದೆಲಗ ಗಿಡದಂತೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಆರೈಕೆ ಕೂಡ ಬೇಕಿಲ್ಲ. ಕರಾವಳಿಯ ಹಲವಾರು ಮನೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಗಿಡವನ್ನು ಕಾಣಬಹುದು. ಹೊಟ್ಟೆ ಉರಿ, ಬಾಯಿ ಹುಣ್ಣಿಗೆ ಶೀಘ್ರ ಪರಿಹಾರ :-). ಇದನ್ನು ಹಾಗೆಯೇ ಕುಡಿಯಬಹುದು ಅಥವಾ ಅನ್ನಕ್ಕೆ ಕಲಸಿ ತಿನ್ನಬಹುದು. ತಂಬೂಳಿ ತಯಾರಿಸುವುದು ಕೂಡ ಬಹಳ ಸುಲಭ.

ಬೇಕಾಗುವ ಸಾಮಾಗ್ರಿಗಳು:

೧) ಎಳಮುರಿ ಸೊಪ್ಪಿನ ಎಲೆಗಳು
೨) ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ತೆಂಗಿನಕಾಯಿ ತುರಿ
೩) ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಜೀರಿಗೆ
೪) ಒಗ್ಗರಣೆ ಸಾಮಾಗ್ರಿಗಳು (ಸಾಸಿವೆ, ಕಡ್ಲೆ ಬೇಳೆ, ಘಾಟಿ ಮೆಣಸು, ಕರಿಬೇವು ಸೊಪ್ಪು)

ಮೊದಲು ಸೊಪ್ಪಿನ ಎಲೆಗಳನ್ನು ಬಿಡಿಸಿ, ಅದನ್ನು ತುಪ್ಪದೊಂದಿಗೆ ಬಾಣಲಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕರಿಯಿರಿ. ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಕಪ್ಪಾಗುವವರೆಗೆ ಕರಿಯಿರಿ. ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಕಪ್ಪಾಗಲು ಬಿಡಬೇಡಿ. ಕರಿದ ಸೊಪ್ಪಿಗೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಜೀರಿಗೆ ಮತ್ತು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ತೆಂಗಿನಕಾಯಿ ತುರಿಯನ್ನು ಸೇರಿಸಿ  ಮಿಶ್ರಣ ಸಣ್ಣವಾಗುವರೆಗೆ ಮಿಕ್ಸಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ರುಬ್ಬಿ. ಹಾಗೆಯೇ ಪಕ್ಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಗ್ಗರಣೆಗೆ ತಯಾರಿ ನಡೆಸಿ. ಸಾಸಿವೆ, ಕಡ್ಲೆ ಬೇಳೆ, ಕರಿಬೇವು ಸೊಪ್ಪು ಮತ್ತು ಘಾಟಿ ಮೆಣಸು ಸರಿಯಾದ ಸಮಯಕ್ಕೆ ಸೇರಿಸಿ ತುಪ್ಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಕರಿಯಿರಿ. ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಒಗ್ಗರಣೆಯನ್ನು ತಂಬೂಳಿ ಮಿಶ್ರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಸೇರಿಸಿ ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಬೇಕಾಗುವಷ್ಟು ಉಪ್ಪು ಹಾಕಿ. ಇಷ್ಟಾದಲ್ಲಿ ತಂಬೂಳಿ ಮುದ್ದೆ ತಯಾರು :-). ನಿಮಗೆ ಬೇಕಾದಷ್ಟು ಮುದ್ದೆಯನ್ನು ತೆಗೆದು ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆ ಇಲ್ಲವೇ ಮೊಸರು ಸೇರಿಸಿ. ತಂಬೂಳಿಯನ್ನು ಅನ್ನಕ್ಕೆ ಕಲಸಿ ಉಂಡು ಆನಂದಿಸಿ :-).

ಮುದ್ದೆಯನ್ನು ಒಂದೆರಡು ದಿನ ತಂಪು ಪೆಟ್ಟಿಗೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಇಡಬಹುದು. ಹೆಚ್ಚು ದಿನ ಇಟ್ಟರೆ ತೆಂಗಿನಕಾಯಿಯ ವಾಸನೆ ಹಬ್ಬುತ್ತದೆ. ಹಾಗೆ ಮಿಶ್ರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪವೇ ತೆಂಗಿನಕಾಯಿ ಸೇರಿಸಿದರೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದು

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Roaring Hanuman Gundi Falls in middle of dense Western ghats

10th Aug 2013

Hanuman Gundi falls which is also called as Soothanabbi falls, plunges from height of 22mts in middle of dense and beautiful western ghats. Situated in border area of Chikmagalur district (which it originally belongs to) and Udupi district, it is prominent tourist attraction for locals like us :-). The falls is under jurisdiction of Kuduremukh National Park. It is main start point of Tunga River. The name comes from mythology which says Lord Hanuman carried out austerity nearby waterfalls. Many people do not visit during peak monsoon season. I wanted to visit the falls to enjoy its full flow. Despite of rains, I did visit the falls and drenched in heavy rains :-). As always my camera also drenched and co-operated with me on similar lines as during Sakaleshpura-Subramanya train journey :D.

Here starts my travelogue ;-). The falls is situated exactly around 60kms from my hometown. However the geography is pretty much tough to reach the place and hence requires almost 2hrs to commute. I had to go alone this time too but as said earlier I am used to that now. My mother asked me to start as early as possible. By 9AM I was ready to go. The monsoon had just taken break and there was only intermittent showers with bright SUN. Of-course very high humid weather too! It started raining when I started my journey however receded after few minutes. I wanted to take car but the bad roads till Karkala compelled me to take public transport. Also I was not aware of road condition from Karkala to HanumanGundi.

At 9:20AM here comes our good old AC bus "PM Travels" destined to Karkala. It has no window too :D only tarpaulin. There comes first bad news :(. The conductor informed that the trip is restricted till Belman. Nevertheless it is very easy to get buses to Karkala from Belman. That day was really bad. Even after 30 minutes of wait not even a single bus could be spotted to Karkala from Belman. Belman lies in middle of Padubidri-Karkala state highway. Eventually a service bus arrived to heal our frustration. The bus immediately was jam packed and I got a last seat! I prayed god to take care of my back :D. The road from Belman to Karkala is completely tortured and dreadful and the last seat added some more music :D. The highway between Padubidri-Karkala is being completely re-structured and re-layed. The half cooked work has left all the miseries with it. Also during Monsoon season,  it is impossible to carry out road work in coastal Karnataka. We were really helpless. Fortunately the driver seemed to very much mature and drove smoothly.

Around 11AM, I reached Karkala and my stream of bad luck continued. Two buses to HanumanGundi were canceled. The next bus was only around 12:30PM. I had no choice other than to wait. I had light snacks and packed some biscuits too! Around 12:15PM, I caught Balehonnur bus which has stop at Hanuman Gundi. HanumanGundi is exactly 30kms distant from Karkala but it takes 75mins to reach. The up-hilling of western ghats delays the journey.

The bus started around 12:30PM and 14kms thereafter we entered Kuduremukh National Park gate. Casual travelers need to take pass to enter park jurisdiction. There starts the joy :-). The beautiful western ghats were looking so gorgeous and monsoon has decorated them full greenery. The clouds kissing the hillocks, the water springs, the curvy roads, lush greenery all round and not to forget the torrential monsoon rains were eye catching and delightful. The water springs at many places OMG were so much ravishing. I felt, I should have taken car to capture all these. Yes, the roads are so beautiful. It is NH-13 which runs from Mangalore to Sholapur. Even though roads are narrow, it is very well paved with no pot-holes. I was surprised to see the beautiful roads despite the torrential monsoon rains this year. I missed car for other reasons too which is driving through picturesque western ghats with monsoon rains which is truly mesmerizing experience. The sight of layered hills was absolutely stunning. It is really joyous to drive along these beautiful curvy roads and hairpin bends with monsoon rains. My prediction was wrong again on condition of roads :-(. Nevertheless, I enjoyed whatever could be from within bus. The forest department has installed many dustbins to shred off garbage and erected signboards requesting not to disturb the peace of wild animals. I request visitors to make use of them and not to litter the western ghats. Please do not spoil the western ghats which are one of true pride of India.

3kms before Hanumangundi falls, a deviation could be spotted to reach Hanumangundi falls from NH-13. The bus conductor asked me the intention to visit the place. When said about falls, he uttered in Tulu "Barsadu yenchina maarayre. umbula pattundu toole" (Why are you visiting falls during rains. Leeches will bite you). Hmmm... I kept silent. Exactly around 2PM, here I am at hanuman gundi falls. It was raining tremendously heavy too :D. So much enjoying these monsoon rains. You need to take Rs.20 ticket to reach falls spot. Two forest guards issue tickets and thrive to maintain serenity of the place. Surprisingly a bit high number of visitors could be seen and most of them were locals. Even forest guards were surprised at my enthusiasm of visiting alone in middle of heavy rains.

The roaring sound could be heard even from road. The forest department has constructed around 250 steps to reach waterfalls. I was totally stunned when I reached water fall spot. OMG what a glory. Thats the purest water you can get which is straight out of western ghats. I tasted it and it was so sweet :-). Tunga river is so sweet from my experiences of Chibbalagudde visit. The statement "Ganga Snana, Tunga Paana" (Bath in Ganga, drink water in Tunga) is very much authentic. The sound of torrent was so much powerful and it superseded the joy of screaming people. My camera was busy too ;-). I took many snaps and videos including the milky way :-). The glorious water fall in middle of beautiful dense western ghats had already made my day. My heart became light and unknowingly my eyes were filled with tears of joy. I went to capture some more snaps from different platform. I got completely drenched in the rain as well as from water bouncing from rocks. Even my DSLR was so happy to capture the moments and co-operated with me without any hesitation. The velocity of water such that even my camera was struggling to auto focus. I really felt the need of wide angle lens to capture the entire site in one frame. Whilst the normal lens captured many beautiful snaps. I will definitely visit the place every year for sure especially during peak monsoon season.



Here are bonus milky way pics ;-)

The overcast skies and dense forest cover setup perfect lighting for milky way photo shoot ;-). I could get shutter speed of 1s with aperture as low as f/16. Also  due to torrent, even a shutter of 1/6s would produce proper milky way. Hope you enjoy these images :-)



After nearly 90 minutes of pure natural magic, I stepped up to reach the main highway. There are benches to sit and relax at the top. A bus just had passed off and the next bus was 45 minutes due. Some group also had come along with me. They were screaming so much nearby waterfall spot and leeches had bit them :-). Hence maintain silence to avoid leech bites :D. Carry crystal salt for safety. I did not carry anything and to my luck no leech disturbed me ;-). I had some buscuits and friendly chat with courteous forest guards. Both were really lovely people and narrated mythology behind the name of place. I asked if we could trek along Kuduremukh National Forest which they said one can do so after having written permission from Forest Department in Kuduremukh or Karkala.


Hanuman at hanuman gundi! This was the only monkey I could see nearby place. 

After sometime what a surprise! The sun sneaked through the dense canopy of western ghats which is a rare sight during monsoon season. I had also kept my clothes for drying which were totally wet after drenching in heavy rains. At around 3:50PM, the bus arrived jam packed. I stood till Karkala. After 2kms, there was gorgeous landscape of layered western ghats with Sun's reflections. I would have taken that scenery if I had come by car :(. It took only 40mins to reach Karkala due to downhill. I caught up bus to Shirva (last seat again :D) and eventually reached my village around 5:30PM. My father provided me two full glasses of tasty tender coconut water. Later I had delicious full meals at home :D. What a day it was :-). Started with so many hiccups and confusion and eventually everything was straight up. Removed all my anxiety and I was in complete relaxed mood. Not a bit tired too!

How to reach:

I do not know from Bangalore. If you reach Karkala, travel along NH-13 towards Shringeri. After 27kms of travel, you will find deviation towards Balehonnur. Follow that road for 3kms to reach Hanuman Gundi. Please make arrangements of your own for transport. You will be tempted to halt at many places ;-).

Best time to visit:

I highly recommend peak Monsoon season despite of difficulty. The water-fall has throughout year flow with maximum velocity during peak monsoon season. Whatever may be your level of expertise of swimming, do not swim during high torrents. It is not easy to manage here with tough landscape. If you have some more time, do visit Lakhya Dam near Kuduremukh and Sirimane falls near Shringeri. Should be able to cover in 3hrs.

Some Requests:

1) Do not litter the beautiful western ghats
2) Do not scream with joy [or else leeches will bite you ;-)]. Maintain sanctity of place by silently enjoying the landscape.
3) Please follow guidelines of forest guards.

Whats up this time!

Nothing special this time :-). HDR was not required here since lighting was perfect. Even for HDR, tripod was must since shutter was going beyond 5s. I did not have tripod and with heavy rains there was no possibility of setting up tripod. There was nothing to capture as timelapse however if I had own arrangements, would have captured some timelapse of clouds and sun's reflection with beautiful layered western ghats en-route.

The Video:

Finally I spared some time to compose the video ;-). The gush of water and the landscape tempted me to upload some clips to YT. Watch and enjoy with natural sound :-).

Last Note

I do not want to trouble my camera furthermore. I have finally ordered a weather coat for it :-).


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