Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Arakeshwara temple-Haleyedatore

The ancient Arakeshwara temple is one of the Panchalingas. This temple is said to have been built by the Ganga Rulers & situated on the banks of river Kaveri, K.R.Nagar Mysore district. It stands out strikingly against the background of the river and the lush greenery to make a perfect poster.
The chirping of the birds and the gurgling of the river are soothing to the ears. The greenery surrounding the riverbanks is breathtaking. All these put together was the picture perfect. The sanctum has a small Linga and one can feel the powerful vibrations from the lord.
The temple is a host to many Shivalingas and to Goddess Parvathi. Poojas (rituals) are conducted every day at the temple. On the auspicious Rathasapthami day the first rays of the Sun directly falls on the Deity this shows the perfection of the architectural designers of those times.
First I went to the river the water level was quite high because of Monsoon. Here one can have a quick bath or just splash around. Swimming in this area is not advisable due to the strong under currents.
This temple is mainly built of stone. As soon as I went inside the main entrance, two virtues of this place caught our attention, cleanliness and calmness of the place. This place is amazingly clean and tidy. The wide corridors were welcoming us as if with open arms.
The square pillars stood as a proof of the donations and contributions of well wishers made to the temple. All the details of contributions and names of the generous were inscribed on them in Kannada.
The celestial bull or the ‘Nandi’ stood guard at the entrance, as is the case in all the ‘shivalayas’. We then entered the main temple. Inside the sanctum sanctorum is the one foot tall lingam. This is said to be an ‘udhbava lingam’ meaning lingam which was naturally formed (and not manmade).
After that I went around in ‘pradakshina’. In the surrounding corridor are 41 small ‘shivalingas’ was depicting various forms of Lord Shiva. In the center is the main temple and to the right side of the Lord is a temple dedicated to Goddess Parvathi. The stucco images decorated the upper portion of the temple.
Suryanaraya & Kalideva
A few steps lead you into the temple with stone pillars and beautiful clean stone courtyard where you can walk and peacefully experience the calmness of the temple, which has stood witness to mankind for a century.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monsoon climbers....

Every season has its own way of wooing nature and nature has its own way of reciprocating and monsoon is one where everything in nature is soaked clean fresh and gives a soothing feeling, seeing rain in a city or a village on a sea shore or forest is different at each of these places but on top of a mountain its ultimate heavenly feeling, it's only the mountains and rain and the person on top of it, a complete blend.
Though it's completely insane and not at all advisable to climb a mountain during rains it's a different kind of madness when we started towards Ambaragudda, all the mountains hills completely covered with a green blanket so very fresh and inviting which nature enthusiast would ignore or not be tempted to climb those hills.
YHA Mangalore finalized ambaragudda trek and we started, i had visited this place many other times but not in monsoon, we parked our van and leading the team started our climb in heavy rain, there was cool breeze very thick fog and raining continuously.
Few years back this place also faced the threat of depletion of forest and other natural resources owing to mining operations but now this place is safe & also Karnataka Bio-Divercify board recently announced as Heritage Site, in order to prevent the landscape from soil erosion, protects the Shola forest and the corridor for wild animals and watershed value of the region. Few places affected by mining still we can see few places affected by big mass of Manganese mining.
After a few minutes climb we reached the top but we could not get a clear view due to thick fog, normally we can see 2 sharps humps in the top of the ‘Ambaragudda’ so we stepped towards to the next hump in chilly breeze. We can’t spend much time on the top of the mountain because of heavy rain & strong winds. On return we saw some local estates slowly acquiring the land of Ambaragudda step by step. Whatever happens hope the beauty of the Ambaragudda would remain the same. Though completely soaked in the end it was worth all the strain and attack of the leeches a wonderful monsoon climb made us feel light and fresh.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Showery outing…

A wonderful freedom trip in the wild we got to see another beautiful waterfall. As usual Sunday morning 4 of our team players hit the road, keeping 2-3 places in mind we started our journey, Sunday morning was very pleasant with bright sun in sky. As per our plan we chose to go this unknown place, 3 years back I had tried to go this place but reached a different place altogether this time we decided to ask few village locals,
We spotted a few who were having a morning session of updating each other with latest worldly matters we interrupted them to enquire about the falls and the whole group got so excited and were eager to help and guide us many more joined them and were in action full swing after half an hour of total excitement with villagers we started our journey riding in the slush slippery road we finally reached the last house of that village,
There was one more guy who joined us and now totally with a seven member team we started walking down stream after an hour walking in the stream we reached the first step of Kadandlaje Arbi waterfall, by then rain started pouring and we could hardly take any photos the rocks were very slippery and treading carefully we stepped on another huge rock to get to the main waterfall.
Scenery around was very beautiful with sheets of water pouring on our head from the fall as well as rain we could not make out as to whether it was fall or rain we swam in the pool for some time enjoying rain and fall glory but due to heavy rain water flowing started to increase and very soon the stream and pool suddenly seemed quiet dangerous we couldn’t retrace our step back through river as it had swollen.
While climbing down some of our teammates faced some hazardous problem due to Rising River we changed our route inside the forest instead of river path. After all just one hour of heavy rain had great impact on the water level of the stream it had increased 5 times high &was very violent, finally we reached the village & had hot tea to charge our soaked bodies, and the villagers were of great help and treated us very nicely their simple kind nature to help was such a contrast to our limited life in the city, totally drenched it was rather a chilling experience...........
A great Kuringallu(Kurinjalu) range...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bliss in Solitaire.......

When I reached Chalakudy railway station it was 2.30 in the morning, this is the only nearest approachable city to the reach the falls, usually all my treks or hikes and adventure is with my group of friends or a team and known region with a known language, this time it so happened I was on a visit to Kerala and since I had heard of these beautiful waterfalls I thought I could see when I was there, so finally I landed in Chalakudy.
Station early in the morning travelling alone and an unknown language totally exhausted with the journey and feeling very sleepy with heavy rains at the place I thought I should spend the night at the station itself there were hardly anyone with just one or two who were fast asleep on the platform I also sat on a bench a had a small nap.
Bus stand is around 4km from the station I freshened up and waited for a bus to reach the bus stand to catch a bus since the early morning bus to reach was delayed I missed the first bus to reach Athirapally.
I had breakfast and waited for the next bus, the only problem here is local language and food other places people are able to converse in Hindi or English but here we have to know the local language or we end up in big trouble being an alien, after lot of sign and medieval way of communicating I reached Athirapally.
I took tickets for entry & started to walk little fast. After 5 minutes walk I reached top of the waterfalls. Perched high above in the Sholayar forest ranges on the fringes of Kerala's famed rain forests, the Athirapalli waterfalls provides a restful escape for those wanting to leave the hurried pace of city life behind.
The view from the top of the waterfalls was fantastic but I was not satisfied so I asked a forest guard about the route to reach the bottom of the falls accordingly as per his guidance I followed an easier path & reached bottom within 15 minutes. There was a big crowd on top but not a single soul at the bottom. The volume & sound of the falls seemed like blasting a chain of grenades at one place.
With great difficultly I took some picture of the falls ,totally drenched it was a great experience I enjoyed all alone under a wild falls spent more time at the bottom & started back. I heard there were 2 more waterfalls near Athirapally.
But in a village except for tourist vehicles we can't get a single Auto or Car for rent. Nothing was available here. I missed the 9 o’clock bus I enquired locals & got the 12o clock one to reach the next place.
Finally I started to walk in the direction of hill station (valparai) which is along side of the Chalkudy River, walking alone on the beautiful road in Sholayar forest was very pleasant experience to me. Around 3 km’s walk I reached Charpa waterfalls here its Plunges on to the side of the road it’s a sight to watch and enjoy. Spending much time near this I left this place.
Charpa waterfalls...
After 2 km’s walk I reached a Vazhachal waterfall which is at a small distance from the road. Athirapalli & Vazhachal waterfalls are a part of the Chalakudy River and 5 km apart on the road to hill station (valparai) which has excellent tea estate and is one of India's highest elephant density habitats and is a crucial corridor between Parambikulam and Malayattur. Vazhachal waterfall...
Vazhachal is popular for its flora and herbal plantations (maintained by the forest department) it’s cool, misty waters cascading down with the backdrop of thick green forest and rocky terrain gives a scintillating experience ,I walked back on the well maintained roads a solitary wonderful trek all together connecting with nature in a wonderful way was very pleasant........