Saturday, November 29, 2014

Heaven on Earth

From Santosh Hotel we trekked downwards through deep dense rain forests, piercing through canopy, wading through streams, sliding along valley, slipping on leaves, crossing fallen woods, jumping across boulders, bending along entangled bushes and reached ultimatum. Excitement galore as we reached culmination. That was pure "Heaven on Earth" in middle of dense rain forests of Kollur. The water was pristine, the weather was calm, the plunge was energetic and devoid of any human activity. Fortunately we did not encounter any snakes this time! It was tranquilizer to watch the waterfall thundering down to the deep pool with high energy. The attraction was none other than the beautiful 120 feet Arishinagundi Waterfalls. What a magnificent splendor to watch in middle of deep dense western ghats. Every sweat drop is worth to reach this place. The only sound we could hear was from waterfall and chirping birds. Western ghats are home to many such splendid treasures. Due to absence of civilization, there was not single waste nearby waterfall. We made it this time with help of wonderful guides. We had to climb down for 5kms through thick forests with profuse sweating. It was "Heaven on Earth" as we reached this magnificent sight. Our strain was eradicated after bathing in ice cold water.

Do hear grand orchestral music from Soundlift "Heaven on Earth" on this occassion and feel the passion of western ghats.

SoundLift - Heaven on Earth:

Linked to Skywatch Friday

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A sojourn at Devarakolli waterfalls

02 Oct 2014,

Diverging paths from Bangalore were having tough times, thanks to the prolonged weekend. The holidays were keeping the city outskirts busy rather than the city itself. There was gigantic pile of motors lined up all along the highway leading to Mysore. The pathetic Shiraadi ghat road tempted us to drive along the longest Sampaje ghat road via Madikeri to Udupi. We dawned our day embracing normal traffic and later enjoying heavenly NICE road. 45mins later we were in Kengeri. The excitement peaked since we had crossed city at brisk pace but the zeal did not last long. The actual traffic snarls began showing up in few kms of drive. Our plan boomeranged with gazillion motors lined up all along the humps and town limits. The lousy traffic stagnated the smooth journey for more than 20mins as we entered town limits of Channapattana, Ramanagara, Mandya, Madhur. It was tough drive with the wheels barely scraping the asphalted surface, hands swaying around 1-2 gear, hardly any peddle on throttle, motor toiling along statically swollen & crumbled humps, radiating mid-day sun and melancholy of crazy honkers. The optimistic drive past Mandya was impeded by frequent pessimistic speed breakers. The cumulative delay was 3hrs. The journey which started at 7:30AM lasted for 5 hours and eventually reached Srirangapattana at 12:30PM. We were devastated by the abysmal traffic with full house restaurants adding fury to the situation and stomach.

A sigh of relief after Srirangapattana but still not hopeful of smooth journey due to traffic flow towards Madikeri. However, things were alright except for frequent humps till Bailukuppe. Phew man! That was tedious drive for no reason. The difficult drive was later overridden by the lush green hillocks. Yes, they are our lovely Western Ghats. Driving past Suntikoppa was heaven, piercing the dense canopy of rainforest (with Andy Blueman's rainforest music), floating the motor along hairpin bends. Moreover, the lack of humps, feeble traffic, well paved roads provided festive touch for eyes and drive. 2PM, we were in Madikeri and there is no need to explain the Joy. We were having roller-coaster drive descending the Sampaje Ghat with flat bitumen surface. As we descended 15kms, we stopped nearby glistening waterfall called Devarakolli waterfall. It was not surprise since we knew it from long time. The only new entry was its name which I came to know from shopkeepers nearby. As you know, Madikeri is famous for Abbey & Iruppu waterfalls. However, there are many other unknown waterfalls nearby namely, Devaragundi and Kalyala waterfalls (requires 1km trek). Devarakolli waterfall is not so prominent mainly due to fact tourists hardly descend down Sampaje ghat from Madikeri. In fact there is not much space for taking bath but nice hangout for few hours. The waterfall was at considerable glory since monsoon had just receded. It would be heavenly to watch during peak monsoon season though. At the end, if you are planning for Madikeri, just descend down Sampaje ghat to view beautiful shining waterfall. Don't worry, roads are fabulous and there is space for motor parking.

Here are pictures and a short video of visit. Hope you enjoy!

About the waterfall:

To give some heads-up, this is not official description rather my own narration. There was no info-board nearby and whatever mentioned here is based on my observations. Situated along Mani-Madikeri state highway right in middle of western ghats, the waterfall derives its name from the village Devarakolli. The waterfall seemed to have height of about 120feet. It has two stage zig-zag plunge followed by a short cascade. When I say zig-zag, the first stage and second stage are not visible at one sight but need to look them at different angles. Few shops situated nearby provides snacks and tea. The waterfall is easily accessible along the highway and parking place is available for vehicles.

From this place, we enjoyed smooth journey till Udupi (except for few stretches from Sampaje to Sulya). It was whopping 12 hr journey battered by the hectic traffic along Mysore highway. However, from Srirangapattana, we barely took 7:30hrs to reach Udupi despite 45 minutes of break. After the initial heck, the waterfall and western ghats added extra psychological smoothness to drive. The warmth the lovely rainforests deliver along with the beautiful waterfalls nestled in them can only be experienced and cannot be penned (rather keyed) down. End of day, we reached the culmination safely.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sunset in your Eyes

Just returning from visit to Ramadevara betta last week during deepavali festival. The Sun had lit the sky with deepavali lamp. The sky after rains, is lit colorfully by the sinking sun with golden light. I feel, this phenomenon has some scientific fact behind it. The Sunset coupled with stray clouds paint the sky with dramatic patterns during golden hour, few minutes after rains. The patterns are vivid if the rays of Sun pierce through the shattered clouds! This time, even in Ramanagara, the scene was similar. There was significant rain for 10mins and later on the sunset with clouds created colorful medley in the sky. The rocky hills and green fields added more charm to the entire scene. The lone upright slender tree added to the rule of thirds placement to the composition :). Overall a perfect scene to capture HDR images. I had GND even this time which again restricted exposure bracketing to 5. The final HDR was composed sparing the +2EV picture for all of them since +1EV had enough shadow details. The images were blend in Luminance HDR and final editing with Darktable. Not to forget the "auto-align" option in Luminance HDR which is very important when you compose HDR hand-held. Lot of tweakings were carried out in darktable to match the "Sunset seen in my eyes" :).

The title is used to depict the "Sunset seen in my eyes" that day hoping for colorful days with vivid outlook. I hope you enjoy the pictorical Sunset in your eyes too!

This time the musical credit goes to the beautiful work by Poland musician TrancEye - Sunset In Your Eyes. Just lovely piece of music with orchestral melody and spectacular piano. Here are special aspects of music.

--> 2:20 orchestral melody followed by medley of piano at 2:45
--> the silent piano melody 3:23
--> beautiful breakdown outset at 3:51

The orchestral atmosphere from 2:21 to 3:15 is just mind blowing with gradual tempo build-up around 3:35 which sets up perfect breakdown pattern at 4:18 :)

TranceEye - Sunset in your eyes:


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