Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Taipei, Taiwan

10th-23rd September 2006
This was my first visit to Taiwan. I had one weekend to visit some of the places in Taipei, its capital city. The photos may not be very clear because of cloudy climate. The rains in Taiwan make be remember the rains in our western ghats.
Taipei 101:
This is the tallest building currently in the world. It has 101 floors and is 508 mts height. Also, it has the fastest elevator which takes just 35 seconds to reach from bottom to top.

Photo taken from the observatory at 89th floor.

Chaing Kai Shek memorial hall:

This is in memory of Chaing Kai Shek, the founder of modern Taiwan. This beautiful monument is at the center of the city.

The theatre at the hall.
Shilin night market:

Taipei is famous for night markets, Shilin is one of the busiest places in night.

Taipei Zoo:

Taipei has a big zoo and it houses a lot of animals/birds/reptiles from different parts of the world. The animals seem to be well maintained compared to our Mysore zoo.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Kukke Subramanya and Dharmasthala

2nd-3rd September 2006

I had visited Kukke Subramanya several times. It formed the “base camp” for Kumara Parvatha and railway track treks. But this time I went as a pilgrim with my family. Since Dharmasthala was nearby, it was also added to the itinerary.

The journey till Shakleshpur was great, but the troubles started after that. The Shiradi ghat road was at its worst condition. A nightmare for the man behind the steering. And adding salt to the injury are the monster trucks on the road.

The next two hours drive was very tiring and was cursing myself for taking this “National highway”. The more scenic “Bisle” could have been a better choice.

At Gundya, took the deviation to Kukke Subramaya. Even after several celebrity visits (latest being our Tendulkar), this road is in worst condition. The 22 kms took me 45 minutes. Finally, reached Kukke at 12:45PM. We got decent rooms at Ashlesha for very nominal price.

The Kumaradhara river at Kukke Subramanya.

The Subramaya temple under the foothills of mighty Kumara Parvatha (covered under clouds).
The Adi Subramaya temple.
Next day, we went to Dharmasthala. We had to stand in the queue for 1 hour for the darsan. I was impressed by the cleanliness of the place and the arrangements for the visitors.
We decided to take the Charmadi ghat route for the return journey. The distance was more but we could avoid the hopeless stretch of Shiradi ghat road.

The view of Arbi Bandaje falls(a small white line) at the beginning of the ghat. This was the place where I did my first trek during my college days.

The Charmadi ghat road. Monsoons are just over and green everywhere.
A waterfalls on the way.
Charmadi ghat view.

Route: Bangalore-> Hassan-> Sakleshpur-> Gundya-> Kukke Subramaya-> Dharmasthala-> Mudigere-> Belur-> Hassan-> Bangalore

Distance: Bangalore - Hassan : 180kms

Hassan - Sakleshpur: 40kms

Sakleshpur - Gundya: 40kms

Gundya - Kukke Subramanya: 22 kms

Kukke Subramaya - Dharmasthala: 60kms

Dharmasthala - Mudigere: 68kms

Mudigere - Belur: 37kms

Belur - Hassan: 40kms