Trip report – Hyderabad – Ooty

As planned, this happens to be an epic of own kind but it didn’t go well.

First I missed the connecting train from Vijayawada, as the train was late by 2 hrs. Had to take general boggy, reached Chennai at 5 in the evening. Walked up to Marina beach and came back to catch the Neelgiri exp. train. I was lucky till here but didn’t go alright at Metupalaiyam station. I was in waiting list and toy train was having only three small bogies; train left at scheduled time but without me.

Lesson learnt here and went to the bus stand which is at the walking distance. I was already heart broken, the missed toy train did no good. Got a bus to Coimbatore and waited there for my return train to Hyderabad.

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@ Marina beach, full of localities…

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GOPR0941

Srisailam–Hampi Trip–Part 2–Hampi

Part [0] [1] [2]

The Innova dropped me at some fruit market in Markapur town. Pretty much crowed place that was, may be due to the evening time, whatever it was but like any other desi town, crowded, polluted, noisy everywhere. Crossed the road and took a shared auto for railway station, which was 3 kms. away from there.

Unexpectedly, there was a long queue at the counter. After standing about 30 minutes in that queue got general boggy ticket to Hospet for 105 Rs. Train 17225 was schedule to come at 22:20, wait of an hour.

Its never easy to travel in general boggy, packed already. Exhausted, previous night was tough in the bus, then whole day of standing in queue for darshan, scaling Srisailam up n down, and now in general boggy standing! Pretty much horrible, standing by the door side, eyes were closing blink by blink, air was blowing like hell. Finally closed the door, sat down by it and within minutes I was flat sleeping on the floor like anything. Nice experience!!

Reached well in time, morning shower of rain welcomed in Hospet. Damn tired, searched for return train, no luck. Boarded a shared auto to bus stand, missed the only bus to Hyderabad by a minute, bad luck again.

Having no option left, had morning breakfast of idli and rice. There are plenty buses for Hampi, 13 kms. away. Situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra river, the ruins of Vijayanagara (capital of the Vijayanagara Empire) are spread across for about 25 kms. It takes good 2-3 full days exploration to see the legacy. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi. The history goes like this –

It was around the year 1296, when Alla-Udin-Khilji invaded southern India. People started to unite themselves to protect their religion and culture. The kingdom of Vijayanagara was founded and was ruled by four dynasties. The first one was Sangama dynasty founded by Harihara the first. It is said the sangama came from Warangal and some says they were Kannadigas. Sangama has five sons, Harihara, Bukka, Kempanna, Marappa and Muddappa. The first two played a vital role establishing the Vijayanagara Kingdom. Sangama dynasty ruled till 1447, when Narasimharaya established Saluwa dynasty. The next was Tulu dynasty, then came the great, Krishnadevaraya, who not only expanded the kingdom also did welfare of his pupil. He was a genius in many respect, composed so many literature, he himself was ‘’Kannada Rajya Rama Ramana’’

There are so many nice views, stayed there for 4-5 hrs. only. Seeing the Tungabhadra river, lying down on huge stone was an unique experience. Slept there for an hour before heading to the return journey.

Again no bus for Hyderabad, the only train leaves at 17:00 hrs. No energy left now, reaching Hyderabad was the only mission for the day. The bus conductor said Sindhanur is the place for you, there are 3-4 buses to Hyderabad from there. It was some 90 kms. west. It was really a bad day, missed the last bus. Conductor said Raichur is the place for you now, again some 90 kms.

Travelling with local was fun. I was clueless about the local language, Kannada, and they had upper edge due to little Hindi knowledge. A little girl, sitting besides me, wearing flowers (gajra) was cute and very talkative.

From Raichur, got the direct bus to Hyderabad with destination time of 10 pm. And local bus no. 147K dropped me outside my hotel at 12 mid-night.

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The first view of Hampi, bus stand and small market place ..

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View from the sunset point, two towers; right one is Bistappaya Tower, the VirupakSha Temple and the left one is Raya Tower. The Tungabhadra flows just beside these towers.

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VirupakSha Temple… This is the entrance point as well, near bus stand.

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A group of temples….

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This covers entire Hampi …….

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So much greenery, loved the view.

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Another one..

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Stone steps to sunset point – Hemakuta Hill.

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The Sunset point – Hemakuta Hill. Nice view from here, Slept almost an hour at this point praising & admiring the view.

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At last one signature pose!!.

Kharcha – Pani

Travel – 1345/-

Food – 370/-

Miscellaneous – 300/-

Total – Rs. 2015/-

Trip to Jog Falls

First thing first – Welcome to the travelogue.

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Welcome board near Jog Falls, which is about 30 min walk from here.

As discussed in my previous post, my itinerary was same except the reservation from Birur to Talguppa. I reserved a seat just before starting the trip, later which was beneficial because at 02:00 o’clock night no counter was open at Birur junction.

Train journey was as usual the same. A lot of sleeping and waiting at platforms. Journey from Birur to Talguppa was special, greenery all around, amazing.

Talguppa express reached its destination well in time (07:15) and outside the platform, a long queue of cars, auto shouting Jog, waterfall. Inquired about the fare and without doubt they were charging different-different (huge) amount. Bus stand is close by but no bus was there so took a shared van, fare was 50 bucks for 13 kms journey.

The entry fee for view point is 5 bucks. There are god number of eating joints inside the park/view point. Parking is also available for god-knows-what-charges and PWD rest house is also there.

Idli has become my favorite food by now, during the whole journey I ate idli at almost every station, funny though. So here also had a plate of idli and vada. Finished my breakfast and so weather became foggy, started raining. Seeing the fog, got little bit disappointed but that gave me the strength to walk towards the entry point of the falls, which is about 3 kms from view point.

Another disappointed came when I pressed the ON button of my camera, fuck! battery was dead! Now cell phone camera was the only option.

Morning rain made the weather pleasant, the air around smelled fresh n energetic. Sitting there, watching and listing the water fall was heaven.

Spent four hours there taking snaps, exploring here n there, sitting laying down on green grass, watching girls skidding n then crying, touching water, seeing waterfall & more waterfall and thinking why this name Jog, seeing waterfall & waterfall.

Then I was there in open road waiting for return ride, saw a roadside canteen and ordered fried rice. Got bus, fare 25 bucks. Boarded the train at Talguppa. Two n half of train journey dropped me at Shimoga (or Shivamogga – Gods own town, as one hoarding says there). KSRTC bus left in time and Monday 08:00 o’clock I was inside my bed.

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The first view of the fall..

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The last train station.. TalGuppa. It used to be a railbus journey but now its the usual meter gauge route.

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Listening the sweet relaxing nature;s music..

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One close view..!

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Fog going away, more brightness..

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Another view, walking the other end of the fall.

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As usual, signature pose!!!.

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Entry point…

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One more..!

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beautiful surrounding, nature;s bliss….

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Entire end train journey is full of greenery, rice fields all around. The land is really Gods own Land.. And I agree what with it.

Beautiful journey ended with a lot of fresh thoughts and new approach towards everything!

Kharcha-Pani-

Fare – Rs. 1830/-

Food – Rs. 500/-

Total = Rs. 2330/-

Mani Mahesh Yarta 2012

Sometime frustration is good, so back at office life was so hectic and miserable, I couldn’t hold of things of my own. Delhi half marathon was on neck, I promised myself a good practice but all in vain. And one day I decided to go on a holy trip of lifetime – to Mani Mahesh, a resting place of Bhole Shankar.

I posted on indiamike.com and other site but haven’t got any information about the Yatra time, further search on internet confirmed that Bada Snan is on 24th Sep 2012. I was preparing for it but got to know that on 23rd I have APFC exam and on 21st was best friends birthday. So I fixed 15th Sep as starting date of my Yatra from Delhi.

Day 1

‘How much to Chamba’ I was enquiring at Himachal Roadways ticket booking window at 9 PM on Saturday 15th. 510 bucks for ordinary bus and will leave at 11 PM, came a reply. Booking done, boarded the bus and left at right time.

Later next day when I reached Una, a station in Himachal, I realised that this was a slow moving bus and will take 20 hrs to reach its destination. Normally its not more than 14 hrs. of journey to Chamba. At 11:30 next day we were at Pathankot station, and bus was resting for 01:10 hrs. with moving time of 12:40. Meanwhile had lunch and one call to friend that I am all right an all that.

‘There is no bus to Bharmour, book a hotel and stay here. first bus will move at 5 in the morning’ someone gave me this information at Chamba station at 06:30 PM. Realised how one wrong decision leads to another, proper research is the key to successful travel. Anyways, booked a bed at rain-basera near Chamba station for 30 bucks a night. After dinner I dozed off at early as 9 o’clock.

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( View from Bharmour)

Day 2

5 AM bus as packed as it came from Dharamshala, however got conductor seat, he was busy ticketing. Tea break was at some place for 20 min, as we moved ahead got a news that road is blocked due to landslide.

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( JCB’s are like God here, clearing the road each and every time nature does something to road)

It was taking too much time so decided to cross by foot and wait other side to catch a bus, another 40 bucks less from my pocket and by 12 o’clock I was at Bharmour. On bus met with a guy who was first time coming for this yatra but had been to Amarnath 3 times. As per the tradition who is up to Mani Mahesh Yatra, must go to Bharmour temple before proceeding to further Yatra but I was lacking time so hurriedly caught a Bolero cab and reached Hadsar, 13 Km away from Bharmour, a base camp for Yatra. From here steep climb begins.

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( Hadsar, from here you have to go by foot)

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( Scenery changes with the climb, this is how the path looks like)

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( Dancho camps can be seen far below, had Bhandara here and moved )

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( Clear blue sky, pure bliss, loved that)

 

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( Zig-zag path, some camps of refreshment item. Sundarasi can be seen in this pics)

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( Barsati is must here, I forgot to pack, had to manage with this Smile )

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( Self portraits, I was alone and without camera, cell phone was only my companion )

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( Some random pics, its about to get dark I must move on)

I was so much occupied with myself and nature that I forgot I still have to climb 3 km. My legs were paining like hell, it was very hard to climb even a single step. A porter as carrying some pooja items in his back, I had to trail him else I will be lost. At 7 PM I was at Gauri Kund, saw a lunger, ‘ you can stay here free of cost, its dark now’, a sadhu was talking to me. I said good bye to the porter and thanked sadhu.

‘At night you can see star blinking up there like Mani, that’s why its called Mani Mahesh’ the sadhu was pointing at Kailash parvat. I asked some questions about weather and some rituals, he answers all my questions and said you are one of the luckiest person on the earth.

After pooja and lunger, blanket were distributed to all the pilgrims staying in that tent. I was carrying sleeping bag with me, still took two blanket and dozed off.

Day 3

At 2 o’clock in the night, I was awake and saw it was snowing outside. I had seen snowfall way back when I was school guy. Due to global warming, people going insane about nature, it never snowed in my home town otherwise we used to play and build so many thing in snow during Dec and Feb month. I was lost in memories and missing my parents, home. “Told you, you are lucky, its a miracle, never snowed during Yatra time” the sadhu was standing near me and looking outside. I smiled back silently.

Some morning snaps …

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( The board was in front of our tent, well coming all )

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( Some more….)

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( Some more….. )

My legs were paining like hell, I was not able to move a single step. At night, I was determined to visit the holy lake, Mani Mahesh Lake, and it was 20 min up as told by the sadhu. But took another bad decision of heading back and go downwards. I think I was scared of trapping for more days, And office, friend’s birthday, exam I thought I am gonna miss everything.

“You can not do anything without His permission, He allows you to visit Himself. Don’t worry some day He will call you again” the sadhu was consoling me, as I was heading down.. I got a companion, he said, he is from Bilaspur HP. He was here since yesterday afternoon and visited all the places Gauri Kund, Holly lake, Kamal Kund everything. he had been to Amarnath 2 times and said Pahalgam route is best for Amarnath, Invited me for next years Amarnath yatra in July first week.

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( The guy from Bilaspur, my guide, mentor on descend. He was well aware of natures gift, he showed me Brahmdand, used in many medicine. Bhojpatra, belpatri and use of it. What the meaning of Mandakini, tale about Ganga & Gomukh. He showed me Shiv-Gharaat and I tried to listen but was raining, could only hear river flow)

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( Self portrait)

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( And it was still snowing when we started downward journey )

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( Had to cross anyway 🙂 waterfall straight in our heads)

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( Some more snaps…)

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( The entire track of 14 km revolves around this river all the way up)

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( Dancho at the valley)

“Roads are blocked all the way till Chamba” I could only hear these words at 3 PM at Hadsar. I feared of trapping here and waited at a lungar. No one was ready to go, it was 13 Km to Bharmour, from where I could catch a bus. No, I can’t walk.

Finally one enthusiastic maxi cab driver came and said I can drop you till the landslide point from where Bharmour is only 2 km, some relief. Boarded and saw road was not going to be motorable for atleast 4 hrs. With the help of PWD workers I was able to cross. ‘It is 4, I must walk the distance in 1 hour to catch bus to Chamba.

“There is no way you can cross today” a policeman on duty said.

I cursed myself for my decision of coming downwards from the Holly place. I should have stayed up there and should have enjoyed natures beauty. With all that thought I was just roaming around “Do you need a room?" I heard a voice that came from my left. I saw a young boy and nodded. Without bargain I was in a room for 200 bucks a night. Again I cursed myself for spending money like this. Went outside and had tea bread omelette.

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( View from the dhaba, having tea bread omelette)

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( finally shoes were off…)

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( View from Hotel room… Me Go green,,,,,)

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( Stuff scattered on bed… )

Day 4

Early in the morning, an innova was going to Chamba I asked the driver to wait till I pack and bring my stuff. He nodded but when I came back with my bag, he was gone. I was nowhere again.

“Road id blocked but will moving at 08:20AM” HP bus driver was saying to me looking at his nokia 1100 cell phone. Good battery back up I thought and occupied a window seat. Ticket was done only for Khadamukh, the landslide point, 16 Km away. A big stone has blocked the road, Again the God, JCB was trying to remove that but it was very big, size of a truck. A fat policeman was trying to impress the public that he keeps a close eye on every activity in his area, it was quite interesting to listen him. Then three big blasts and stone was in pieces. Everyone was in a hurry, result – a heavy jam.

At Chamba, bought some apples and started journey towards Pathankot, quite fascinating to see the scenery and roads, trying to remember all the names thinking to come here back with my bike (read cycle) some day, when I will be heading to such pass some day.

Reached Pathankot at 6 PM and was waiting for bus.I was damn tired even to enquire about time n all. Haryana roadways conductor came and said come with us, will reach before that bus ( pointing towards HP roadways bus). ‘What time you will leave’ I asked. 07:15 came a reply.

Total expenditure-

Travelling
Del-Chmba 510
Chmba-Bhrmr 70
Lndslde-bhmr 40
Bhmr-Hdsr 30
Hdsr-Bhmr 30
Bhmr-Khdmkh 15
Khdmkh-Pkot 170
Pkot-Del 360
Total 1225
Food n All
Pkot 50
Chmba 50
Barsati+Glcose 50
Dinner Bhmr 40
Chmba 50
Pkot 40
Total 280
Grand Total 1505

 

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Jai Bhole..