Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cave adventure (1)

We see beautiful places everywhere we go; huge mountains, unending plains, scary jungles and nice forests are all great places to experience nature, but how often do we venture into the world beneath us? Unless you’re an avid spelunker, or a troglodyte, the answer is probably not too often, so like a cave man may be the instinct of our ancestors I get drawn towards caves and old temples and architecture so this weekend was another exploration my friend Rajesh Naik and me visited a beautiful cave he had organized the whole trip and I also joined him. Since it was beginning of summer this time we thought instead of climbing a mountain or going to a waterfall we planned to do something new so our exploration started on our bikes after a long hard drive we reached the place parked our bikes near a house and planned to take the help of locals to reach this unknown place, one local boy was very happy and eagerly agreed to guide us and we followed him, to reach the cave we had to follow a small stream flowing which led us to the bottom of the cave and actually it was the other way round the water source was from the cave, the next few hours walk was through the stream, this cave is some 20ft high from the stream, after a small climb we reached the entrance here a small group of 10 can stay at a time, due to heavy tree foliage the location of the entrance of the cave was covered fully we could not get a good photos, we spent some time outside and got ready to enter the first cave we had to change our clothing get our torches and camera then start.The entrance of the first one was very small, we like the cave man and our ancestors who were dwelling in such caves before, literally crawled inside this cave (I was wondering about civilization and evolution) well we are way ahead in times now .When I looked inside in torch light it was Strange and wonderful at the same time, these formations and others like them that take thousands of years to grow, only take seconds to change a life forever when seen in their full splendor. Inside the cave approximately 10 feet height some places 1 feet height & varies between 20-30 feet wide. After spending some time we climbed with rock support. Human face rock...!It was steep but we managed to climb but we had to cross another smaller hole to reach main hall. It was very slippy and very narrows, there were hundreds of bats and was constantly hitting our torches we just couldn’t escape from its attack. After a tough attempt we reached one big natural made hall.
This place is very nice surrounded by rough rocks, inside the hall there is a platform kind of place where the locals had to say a saint would meditate there and no wonder it's so peaceful and quiet it's a best place to meditate and calm the mind.Finally after many hours of exploration we finally emerged and started our way back but our minds were still dwelling in the prehistoric times, totally a unique experience than our regular treks.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Grandeur Etched In stone(5)

Chandramouliswara Temple-ArsikereThe ancient Siva Temple at Arsikere with a unique frontal polygonal Mandapa (hall) reflects the architecture and sculpture of the Hoysalas. The ancient temple dedicated to Lord Siva, known as Kattameswara and also Chandramouliswara Temple,
It reflects the grand architectural style of the Hoysalas with a specially designed polygonal ‘Mandapa’ (hall), in the front though modest in size and figure sculpture, is considered the most complex in architecture among surviving Hoysala monuments because of its ground plan: a 16-pointed star shaped Mantapa(hall), in addition to an asymmetrical star shaped shrine, whose star points are of three different types.The archives of 1220 AD refer to this temple as ‘Sri Kalameswara Temple’.The temple, which faces east like all Hoysala constructions, uses soapstone as basic building material and is an Ekakuta shrine (single shrine) with two Mantapas one open and one closed. All three units are connected to form a unity.
The sanctum (Garbagraha) enshrines a Linga, the universal symbol of God Shiva. The Mandapa is where the devotees gather. The closed Mandapa does not have any windows. The ceiling in the closed Mantapa is divided into nine compartments or "bays" by the four lathe turned pillars that support the ceiling. The entrance is through a "bay" between the two Mandapas.
The outer wall of the vestibule shares the same decoration as the outer wall of the shrine, but is inconspicuous because it forms a short continuation between the wall of the shrine and that of closed Mantapa. Near this temple ‘Malekal Thirupathi’ where the beautiful temple on the name of lord Venkatarama is located.
Malekal Thirupathi

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hirimariguppe...

Another wonderful place to add to our memories of wilderness was Harimariguppe, it's a very nice place to trek Dinesh Holla sir arranged the trek to this place, we reached village on a Saturday evening the villagers are always friendly and every ready to help one of the villagers was very gladly let us sleep at his place for the night and also arranged for the camp fire., his was starting point for the trek.Next day early in the morning we four members visited the Bangreballige waterfalls which was nearby, we returned and had bath in a stream and got ready for our trek, initially the trek for an hour or so was little dragging but once we started walking in the grassland things were better cool breeze green valley on one side greenery every where made our trek worthwhile.This peak was a little different it was a combination of two sharp peaks and from there we could see Kudremukh peak, we relaxed for some time had our lunch and started back on the way back when we had a look behind at the peak it was completely covered with fog and looked very nice a very pleasant trek a soft kind rather to slowly rekindle our spirits...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kudremukh trip...

Kudremukh was a long time dream and it came true this weekend, the whole trip was completely planned and organized by my friend Sudheer Kumar, as per our plan we had to reach Mullodi by evening, unfortunately Sudheer met with an accident and our plans were almost cancelled, but by evening we four of us started on our bikes and reached the base by 10pm.We halted for night at last house which is 10kms from Kudremukh and this is the starting trek point too, it’s only a short 13min trek and we can reach Somavathi falls second stage from here.
Early morning we started from this house and he had arranged a guide for us, initial one hour trek was very pleasant, we got to see group of wild deer at close range, the whole trekking route was open grass lands and thick Shola forests small streams with cool fresh mineral water, cool breeze walking in the thick Shola forest was heavenly. A completely unspoilt forest many beautiful colorful birds singing in the forest made us feel as though we were walking in dreamland, in the middle of our journey we saw first step of Somavathi waterfalls in the valley but due to time constraint we couldn't make it to the bottom.
After a long walk we reached the peak, walking in the clouds which was covering the mountains like a thick white woolen blanket and we in the midst wondering if this was heaven watching the beautiful valley and Hirimaryguppe range from Kudremukh was the most pleasurable experience.A beautiful view from the peak...Somavathi waterfalls -1st step
A dense Shola forest...Kudrekmuk is a paradise for bird watchers trekker’s photographers and nature lovers, on our way back we went to ruins of an old British bungalow near the peak; we had a light lunch and started descending the mountain with our heart contented by god's wonderful creations soaking our mind body and soul with beauty of the place.Painting in British Bungalow...