Sunday, January 31, 2016

Antaragange revisit and candid hill climb

Myself and wife visited Anataragange on a overcast Sunday of July. The aim was to introduce nearby places to my wife and enjoy sometime with placid nature breathing pristine air. We started late due to implied morning routines. My better half prepared tasty Bisibele bath for breakfast and we packed the same to savor lunch along with snacks.

We began our journey around 11:30AM and drove towards KR Puram. The smoothly laid National Highway was relatively empty while the toll gate was clogged with vehicles. There was almost 20mins of delay waiting for our turn to cross the toll booth. On the way, we halted at Kamat for short break. After a sailing drive along NH-4, our chariot reached Kolar at 1:30PM. With the help of locals, we reached Anataragange.

Known as Dakshina-Kaashi, Antaragange in Kolar is famous for mystical water tumbling from hillocks diving towards small pool. The origin of water is not known to anyone. The water flows throughout the year without any dry-period. The taste is sweeter than mineral water and one can drink it raw without hesitation. The intensity was not as experienced in my last visit but sweetness was still pleasant

After having initial glimpse and sipping pure aqua rolling from hillocks, we started roaming along the contour of the temple area. While on a casual walk, we instantly spotted steps leading further up towards peak of hill. One of the person enthused us to explore at the same time cautioning about the hardship involved. My impression was he would have exaggerated the scene but I was wrong. My assumption was that the trail leads to nearby view point, however was leading to the peak of hillock. We realized it when group of children were stepping downwards after arduous hike.

I was gung-ho about reaching summit, but it was first hike for my sweetheart. At times, I was apprehensive but her enthu was also at very high. This provided confidence for me too which tempted us to reach the culmination. The trails which were unbeknown to us, were well marked by the bygone hikers. We intermittently took short breaks whenever felt tired. The cloud cover & gentle breeze provided reprieve from radiating sun & fatigue. After nearly an hour of trudge over uneven rocky path, rugged surface, bushy trails, we reached the peak point. Both were exhilarated and tired too :). We sat on boulder for nearly an hour and enjoyed the pristine air blowing from west along with thick monsoon clouds. One can view neighboring village and bird-eye view of Kolar town. Also the bucolic scenes of cattle grazing is soul enthralling.


I took few shots and kept camera for short timelapse. Both of us had short gab as well. Around 4:30PM, we realized the cloud build up over the distant horizon and brewing storm approaching the hillock. We started stepping down and reached in 30 mins. After final glimpse, we bid goodbye to Antaragange and reached parking lot to have well deserved lunch. The tasty Bisibele bath was devoured in no time. We had closed windows to avoid monkey menace.

Once done with lunch, we started towards Bangalore and on the way, clouds crumbled over stratosphere, rattling windshield with monsoon rain drops. I thanked almighty for covering us with diffused sunlight and delayed rain without which we could not have managed to reach the peak. Also the delayed rain smoothened our downhill path which otherwise would have been slippery affair without umbrella. My wife too enjoyed climbing which was her maiden experience. Even though tired, she reconciled after reaching the culmination. We could have enjoyed glorious sunset from hilltop, but for valid reasons, we did not stay. Anataragange is undoubtedly famous for cave exploration which I wish to plan in near future. Nevertheless, we had exhilarating experience climbing hills as well :-)

After relishing light refreshment in Kamat Upahar we reached Bangalore around 7PM ending one more beautiful journey. We climbed in normal chappals but do wear good sports shoe. The rocks are slippery. Avoid clear skies since it is daunting to hike under radiating Sun & scanty vegetation.

Here is a short video with timelapse of Antaragange (both the water flow & hill-view). It includes a short HDR timelapse as well

Friday, January 29, 2016

Skywatch Friday - An Impromptu drive to Chunchi Falls

The actual plan for the day was to visit T K Falls situated near Bangalore. However few untoward incidents swerved us from visiting this waterfall. I was with high expectation to visit T K falls as a consequence of month long rains. The plan failed miserably. With omnipresent prolific beauty of nature, it was not worth settling behind polluted bars of city. The soul desperately wanted emancipation from city mayhem. Without thinking much, I steered towards chunchi falls. With umpteen time left for the day, we reached chunchi falls and drenched under serenity of nature. This was even maiden waterfall visit of my wife as well. The nature welcomed us with beautiful landscape and roaring waterfalls.

The Nature creates a spectacle over the skies after weeks of rains. The situation was no different at chunchi falls during golden hour Sunset. There was abundant rains for 2-3 weeks in and around Bangalore during September time-frame. The consequence was exuberant waterfall, lush greenery, gentle weather and why not beautiful sun sneaking through the blue clouds. I had an opportunity to photograph such a glorious evening in chunchi falls. These glories look fantastic as HDR images. I was honored to capture the bucolic vibe with blessings of mother nature. Here are the visual captures for you!


The following images were caught en-route to Bangalore.

Linked to Skywatch Friday

Friday, January 22, 2016

Skywatch Friday - Monsoon Vibe over Ramadevara Hills

I had revisit towards Ramadevara betta as yearned in my previous blog to relive the glorious moments of last year's visit. The intense desire was driven by the beauty of nature from vantage. Few weeks back, Ramanagara received torrential rains by which the place would have soaked in monsoon & drenched with verdancy. Also the panoramic view atop the hill would be exhilarating to experience with gentle breeze, green mountains, gorgeous sunset and monsoon clouds.


Nature always complements me during every visit and this time it was no different.On reaching the view point (which I missed in my last visit), we were transfixed by the beauty surrounding the area. The cool breeze, the sailing monsoon clouds, distant rains, the approaching storm, green robed hillocks woven with amorphous boulders, verdant plains and why not the colourful rainbow is what required to enthral a soul. Soon the ominous clouds displayed their might by dousing the region with torrential rains.

The scene after the rains is awe-inspiring which I am unable to nail in literature. The extravaganza of nature can only be experienced
more than jotting them down ;). With the combination of rain drenched mountains, the colorful rainbow, the natural scent of breeze, thick clouds and monsoon rains, mother nature imbued absolute serenity over the region.

The umpteen rains resulted in slick surface which was difficult to negotiate at times. The landscape beneath was absolute stunner to watch. Viewing the beauty of Ramadevara betta I realized, you don't need to spend exorbitant amount on exotic destinations; Just look around, choose the right time and start!

I managed to grab fading rainbow timelapse just before heavens opened up. Once rains outset, we dashed for cover towards roofed viewpoint. It was splendid combination of nature elements creating festive fervour over stratosphere and we were honoured to be part of that festival. We started with sweltering weather of city and ended up with cool weather showered by mother nature. The perspective I witnessed was lot different than my last visit. That's the vividness of this beautiful nature. It has vividness, tranquillity and uniqueness. It would be an understatement if I do not exaggerate the remarkable display of the beauty portrayed by the mother nature. The monsoon rains had sculpt tender green structures over landscape and skies adorned with dark thick monsoon clouds.

Hope you enjoyed the visual treats of benevolent nature. Now it's time to enjoy few motion pictures and hope you enjoy them too!

Fading rainbow, and monsoon cloud timelapses from Ramadevara hill

Beautiful landscape & monsoon rain captures from Ramadevara hill

Ramadevara Hill, Ramanagara

Linked to Skywatch Friday

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Shivamogga Diaries - Hazy Gajanur Dam

This is my final visit to tourist destinations nearby Shivamogga. There are lot more to visit though but no time as of now. Shivamogga district hosts some of exotic waterfalls deep within western ghats! Hope I will be able to nail them in future!

The ceremonial and as well concluding day of my short trip, I dawned for a quick visit to Gajanur dam. It was 9PM when morning routines were completed and there was 2 more hours to go. I quickly decided to visit Gajanur dam which was just 15kms from Shivamogga town. I asked auto-rickshaw about the bus and he said being Sunday, barely I would spot any. He offered me to carry in auto with agreed amount and we set out towards Gajanur dam.

Gajanur dam is located along NH-13 connecting Shivamogga and Mangalore. From bus-stop one can see entrance gate towards dam. Being semi-malnad region, the region was covered with thick forests and vegetation. Within 30mins we reached the spot and I paid Rs.5 to gain entry into the dam site. Once again the influence of stratocumulous clouds marred my photography thirst. Despite having GND filter, it turned out to be fatal. Startocumulous clouds are excellent for twilight photography but they thwart day time plans. My visit to Gajanur dam was ephemeral and I had no plans for protracted stay in Shivamogga. Literally, I was disappointed but happy I could visit. Probably I hope for better luck during next visit.


Gajanur dam is built across Tunga River is longer than Bhadra reservoir. The reservoir is constructed for irrigation purpose. I am not sure about the dimensions of the dam. The visit to dam top is again restricted :(. The river bed also hosts numerous crocodiles as per locals. A government guest house is located nearby dam. I am again not sure if it is meant for public or only few top officials.

After the short uninspiring visit, I ascended the same auto-rickshaw. Alongside the bleak visit, the rickshaw driver rattled out on my delay to return. I had to retaliate to his obnoxious comments by reminding him of journey accord. Fleetingly, a commotion erupted. To my plight, rickshaw driver levied heavy charge for the transit. This was my first bummer with auto-rickshaw in unknown location.

Food: Food stalls tend to overcharge. Shivamogga is ideal location.

Transport: Numerous buses ply from Shivamogga town towards Gajanur dam. Do not buy into auto-rickshaws. They tend to dupe the travelers by deviating from negotiated rate.

Best Time to visit: Monsoon season would be ideal for enjoying the benevolent nature. Other seasons, please visit during evening hours to catch glimpse of golden hour Sun.

More info:

Nearby attractions: Mandagadde bird sanctuary, Sakrebailu elephant camp, Lion-Tiger Safari

I tried to remove haze with level correction & software GND filter but still no luck. When there is haze, it is better to turn pictures Black & White :)


Finally, watch a short video of the visit

Monday, January 18, 2016

Shivamogga Diaries - Splendurous Bhadra reservoir

After the Koodli visit, it is time to relax to complement overnight sleep. An hour of bright sleep, refreshed my nerves and I was ready for next destination which was Bhadra Reservoir. Bhadra reservoir landscape was unknown for me and hence started my journey with low expectation but end of day it delivered lot of pleasure to soul :).

I went straight to the private bus stop and sought help of locals to navigate towards Bhadra Reservoir. The courteous people aptly guided me to board a bus towards Lakkavalli and seek assistance of conductor to alight at Bhadra Reservoir. Bhadra reservoir is about 30kms from Shivamogga town and has many direct buses leading to destination. A 15 minute wait, I caught up with private bus destined to Lakkavalli. I requested Bus conductor to guide me to right stop and he did as well. An hour journey meandering through gorgeous rural landscape & tiny hills, here I am at the entrance of Bhadra Reservoir.

The first sight experience was mediocre. A gentle plunge of water through the dam gates were the initial glimpse. I knew there is something special at the top. As I approached the dam, I spotted the steps leading towards the dam's summit. An easy climb of 700-800 steps will lead you to the vantage point and the experience is just spellbound!! What an enchanting nature hemmed between the tiny hillocks. The interspersed stratocumulous clouds and Sun were drawing artistic pattern over Bhadra river. A true mesmerizing sight for landscape photographers & nature lovers. It was possible to even explore further but I restrained myself owing to lack of time.


The Bhadra reservoir stands with a height of 186feet serving irrigation purpose for neighboring villages. Many villages were submerged to construct the dam. The original plan was 230feet however was reduced to 186feet due to seemingly drowning of Narasimharajapura town. All beauty comes at the cost of pain of villagers. Plans are in place to construct gardens and recreational facilities at the dam sight on similar lines as KRS Dam. However, this program is currently hampered due to lack of funds. The Bhadra reservoir provides irrigation for 5 lakh acres of right bank and 1 lakh acre of left bank comprising of two harvests. The entry to dam top is restricted by the authorities may be due to suicidal cases or security purpose. A resort run by government here costs 2.8k per day.

For an hour, I was rejoicing the breeze of nature and my camera with beautiful timelapse of spraying Sun. The stratocumulous clouds in conjunction with Sun shower rays of glory with dramatic contrast & pattern.

During evening hour, I saw sailing boat over the Bhadra river which tempted me to get down from the dam and rushed towards the boating camp. As I hustled towards gate with enthusiasm, one of the villager lamented that the facility is only for tenants of resort. I was disgusted with my decision since the golden hour was ON. Rather than climbing back, I started chatting with villager. The description on Bhadra Reservoir is consequence of his narration :). Anyways beautiful twilight vivid sky and timelapse of the transition placated my soul!

Once satisfied with the visit, I prepped up for return journey. Caught a private bus and easily reached Shivamogga.

Food: Only condiments & snacks are available nearby the dam sight

Transport: Ample buses run from Shivamogga towards Lakkavalli. Seek guidance of conductors to alight at right stop.

Best time to visit: Probably post monsoon when we have scattered clouds and not much rains. Monsoon season, the water will be sludgy

Majority of emotions are penned down in my previous blog Rise Above

At the end watch a short video of Bhadra reservoir.

The timelapse contains few frames captured from Bhadra Reservoir. Hoep you enjoy as well!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...