Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Keppa joga Waterfalls

In mid-January of 2012, myself, Ashok, and Sunil flew to Sirsi and drove to Keppa Joga waterfalls to spend a short 1 day scouting trip to see what Keppa Joga Waterfalls looked like up close and personal. I had already been this place long back, the sparkling waterfalls, the beautiful cliff faces and the picturesque valleys make this a must visit place for nature lovers again and again.
We parked our bikes near to forest gate and walked half kilometers from the parking area and reached the first view tower from here waterfalls looks glorious initially it starts like a small stream and gets widened as it reaches the foot of the falls. The first view of the huge waterfalls made us all scream with joy.
It is a great scene to watch any waterfall in its full glory and this was a tall and huge one. Later we climbed down few steps and got to second view point. After taking in the exhilarating scenery from the second view point we decided to get down immediately next to the view tower which one was steeper and unfathomable. There is a regular route to get to the base throughout thick jungle but this time just for inquisitiveness we decided to get down from second view tower to reach the base.
After few minutes walk we reached one small rocky outcropped view point which took closer to the falls. This viewpoint is deeply hidden in the edge of the rock-strewn hill. From here we had seen the closer view of the falls, huge pond at bottom just one step away. From another side I glimpsed the complete glory of the Valley and the base was clearly visible from that end. The sight is just jaw dropping amazing and quite the daunting feeling.
There was no route to the base of the falls from that point. Even there was no trace for any human activities on further level. The route is steep downhill all the way to the base of the falls, the route is very scenic. The journey itself makes it worth.
It was even tougher to climb down without any guide or proper supporting tools; it was almost like getting down a huge steep rock. At start Ashok took the initiative to find the way to get down safely, at one part he reached edge of the rock was no way I was going to back down now. This was the moment ….and I knew now was time to put all of my previous climbing experience to bear. After searching for few minutes I find the way down edge of the huge rock and I crossed the rock there are two obvious crack lines going down.
Here the hill was still very high and the passage down was steep, difficult enough and no path leads further getting down was not so easy I get down for further downer it was a horrible, pathless, steep climb. I started climb down the right crack but early on seemed caught in a set of impossible moves. It was again very strenuous trying to make moves in a sunny day.
There was a slight gradient and after a short while I came across another small rock pile, less deeper than the last slope After many careful moves, we made it down to the bottom of the waterfalls. It was truly like to approaching to the different and amazing world.
Felt the heaven and tranquility surrounded in the crib of evergreen forests, landscaped valleys, impressive flora and fauna, magnificent pond and natural scenic beauty of the massive waterfalls were situated in a remote and pristine environment. I was overwhelmed with emotion and could not speak. After spending 1 hour on base, taking in the views and more picks, we had to prepare for the ascent.
I couldn’t able to find regular rout after a half mile walk towards river side. At one place we decided to hike through the thick shrubbery jungle. After 30 minutes climbing the forests become very thick and we couldn’t able to find any trace of the rout. Majestic bamboo groves, and thick shrubbery forest, as the sunlight faded away the forests became more and darker making us loose our way completely. Some part carrying a rope would have helped but not to be this time.
We kept climbing on and finally made it out of the jungle and arrived at the starting point. We were really getting tired of all the up and downs, so it was time to lighten the mood. We just freshened up near by watercourse and left the place before dark accumulates.
Photos by Rakesh Holla & Ashok hebbar

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kedareshwara Temple - Nagalapura

Those of us who have visited Nagalapura temples will surely remember being awestruck by the sheer magnificence of the temples, wondering and praising the ornamentation and embellishment. A notable feature of the decoration is the exuberance of detail and the effective repetition of the same motif. The of Kedareshwara temple & Keshva Temple was so much an architectural achievement as a remarkable example of tireless inventiveness and caprice in sculptured decoration.
The temple of Kedareshwara is situated about a furlong to the north and is located in a tiny enclosure. Here too, the shrine has a single sanctum without a tower opening into the vestibule which is connected to the Navaranga. The temple stands on a Jagati, the platform that can be reached by a couple of steps.
The outside of the temple walls again have the six friezes and the rows and carvings are exactly like the Channakeshava temple. The outer wall of the sanctum is a sixteen-cornered satellite structure with some finely carved images all around.  Above the friezes are numerous images of gods and goddesses protected by the turrets that run around. The top portion of the walls has rhythmic patterns of towers.
Some of the images on the wall include those of Ganesha, Mohini, Dharani-Varaha, Trivikrama, Lakshmi, Bhairava, Gajantaka, Brahma, Mahishasuramardhini,Arjuna,Shanumga, Parvathi-Paramesvara & Musical troops.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sathodi Waterfalls -Yellapur

After an exhausted journey we occupied the room and slept well. Everyone got up early and had heavy breakfast and were ready to leave by 8am.We hired 2 bikes and started heading along near Ganesh Gudi road. However it was still very early and the cold breeze was pleasing for me. We had to pass through the back waters of Kali River (Kodasalli) along the mud track.
We parked our vehicles to near forest gate and had taken few minutes walk through the forest. Since we had reached very early of the day probably we had avoided the usual crowd. Early in the morning when the first light falls on the waterfalls was so charming. The early morning freshness and sunrise amidst the waterfalls made its very memorable.
This majestic waterfall drops from Kallaramane Ghat and then joins further down to the backwaters of Kodasalli dam built across Kali River which has got rare and exceptional reptiles, rich and abundant forest with its wild habitat and enticing birds. At times they are just rushing along nearly horizontal rocks then they fall dramatically into a narrow canyon. The mist around makes the setting magical to view.
We showed up at a time when the lighting wasn't so great for photographing the waterfall we're practically looking against the sun. It was morning when we were there, but I believe that since this is a west-facing waterfall, the afternoons should yield a better photographing experience. The area of the falls provides ample opportunities for rock climbing and water sports.
Panoramic Mountain top views, tranquil backwater, the majestic beauty and timelessness of this awe-inspiring tropical rainforest, and breath taking scenery of the waterfalls are just spectacular outdoor experiences along the bike riding was indescribable in words and should be experienced.