Friday, September 30, 2016

Adventure at AK waterfalls

Having reached a village of 3 houses at the remote corner of western ghats, our next task was to find out the location of the falls we were searching for. A cowherd mentioned that there was a small stream and that was it. But it did not looked like a waterfall. So I went into one of the houses in the village. The people were friendly and invited me inside to have a cup of tea. This is something I have experienced at many places in the remote areas of Malnad/coastal area in Karnataka. A nice gesture.

A small waterfall on the way
The person told that the waterfall was on the upstream of the same water body we had seen before. We just need to walk a bit along the stream, he mentioned. He made it as simple as walking on MG road!!

But situation on ground was different. Getting down into the stream from the road itself was a task for us. Sankara indicated that he would not prefer to come further. That left me to venture further alone. It was a tough walk as the rocks were slippery. 

Route along the stream
A little further, I reached a stage that looked like a waterfall. But the appearance of the falls at a far distance behind the canopy made me realise that the main waterfall was still further away. I climbed up the small waterfall followed by couple of similar ones. There was no path to go around the stream and hence I had to climb up along the water.

I was drenched by then and was profusely sweating due to humidity. The climbing became difficult and risky as a small mistake would result in serious injury. The place looked beautiful and serene but also scary!! The thought “What if a snake comes?” made me even more cautious before stepping my foot and placing my hand on the surface of the rock. It looked like a snake territory even though I did not find a trace of it!!

Entry to the stream!!
I reached a point where I felt was the limit of my risk taking. To get a better view, I had to make some manoeuvres but decided not to do it. The whole journey from the road had taken just 20 minutes but I was exhausted. But it was an unique and amazing experience.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

People go crazy at Avala Betta

Avala Betta would have been one more hillock with a temple on top. There are many such places near Bengaluru and only few are known to general public. Avala betta would been one of those unknowns but few incidents made it famous. People standing on the edge of a rock overlooking the hills went viral.

Avalabetta spot!!

This place was in my wish list long before it became famous. But it was only realised last week. The route to Avala Betta passes through Devanahalli and Chikkaballapur. After deviation from NH-7 and passing through few villages leads to the base of the hill. Forest department has constructed nice concrete road to the top. Point to be noted is that the big vehicles (Tempo traveler, bus) are not allowed to the top. Hence people coming on such vehicles should be prepared to walk for 2 km. I am not sure whether any transport facility is available from the base.

Road to Avala betta
The place seem to be crowded but did not find any difficulty in parking the car. We had reached the end of the road where forest department had constructed guest house for Government guys. The place commanded some good views of the surroundings. It would be a nice place for overnight stay but it requires some contacts!!

View from guest house
We went to the base of the temple and climbed about 50 steps to reach the Lakshmi Narasimha temple. The path split into two. The path on the right side leads to the “google spot”!! There is a board mentioning not to proceed further but neither people nor authorities bother about it. Few minutes of walk and we were at the spot. 

Queue at photo point!!
It was a mad rush of people to get photographed at this spot. Search for “Avala betta” in google and you can see many photos with people standing at the edge of the hill. They simply look stunning and people are crazy about it. It is not dangerous as seen in the photograph as it is just a profusion of the rock and unlike depicted in photos, there is no “thousand feet depth” below. The fall is still fatal but one need to careless for that.

Not so high!!
I spent photographing the mad rush to the place. That looked more appealing to me!!

Back to temple. The path to the left takes to the top of the cliff. The last part is very challenging and dangerous. Not many people try to climb the last stretch. Here is the photo of the cliff with “google spot” at the bottom.

This is how it looks from guest house. Nice, right?

Final words

I see Avala betta as a nice spot. There are opportunities for tourism if done responsibly. But the typical signs of a popular location is already seen in the form of garbage at many locations. Hope it improves.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Thottikallu falls

A waterfalls at the outskirts of Bengaluru!! It is more popularly known as TK falls. It is about 4 km from Kanakapura road. The deviation is at Kaggalipura. The falls is situated in a rocky area surrounded by forests. Monsoon is the time when there is some water. But unfortunately the area is filled with alcohol bottles and broken glass. Not surprising at all considering its proximity to Bengaluru!! Even the area around the temple is not spared. 

It could have been a serene area if not for broken glasses.