Sunday 7 December 2014

Didupe and Ermai Falls - Must visit places near Mangalore

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Out Of Office - Didupe and Ermai

Didupe Falls - 

"Hittala gida maddalla" is a famous saying in Kannada - Meaning we never value what is available in our own garden. Very true..!! It took 24 years for me to visit this place in spite of it being so beautiful and so close to my place. Hardly 40 kms from my Home..!!

It was a much awaited outing for we school friend who did not meet up for quite sometime and at the right time all of us were back home for Dasara holidays. Actually one of my blog post put in facebook triggered the idea of going somewhere and it was executed successfully too..!! A quick check on nice but less explored places near by lead us to these 2 places. Abhilash got his Car and we headed towards the destination. 

Both the falls' are beautiful in their own way and are in par with many a famous falls'. But these are less explored and less famous. May be the connectivity and lack of knowledge about the place is main reason. One more reason might even be that not many tourist places around to make this one famous. (If abbey in Madikeri is so famous, then these deserve at least half of it undoubtedly)

Both Didupe and Ermai Challenge you a bit since no direct road till the falls and you need to walk at least a km for both. 

If Didupe has only one level, Ermai has multiple levels and you can kind of go to the middle level with a little adventure. If you wanna take shower under falls then Didupe is the right place. To swim, Ermai is better.  During rainy season, you might end up donating blood to a few leaches so be aware of that if you are visiting during Monsoon. Leaches are not as dangerous as slippery rocks. So be careful if you are visiting during monsoon. Mind you every foot step near rocks.

As of 2014, the place was decent with less dirt (Although not free from..!) I wish it remains the same even if it becomes famous. Not only these places, but lets try to keep any place we visit as clean as possible because no one wants to see dirt in such serene places

How To reach..?

Didupe - Ujire is the nearest town and didupe is 23 kms from Ujire. Take Charmadi road and in Somanthadka take a deviation. Ask for villagers to guide since no sign boards are available. You will need to trek ~2 kms to reach the falls.

Ermai - On the way to Didupe, take deviation from Kukkavu. Park vehicle near a water stream which blocks the path and walk in arecanut tree bridge.

Photos -
Ermai Falls

Didupe Falls

Mandalpatti - A must visit place in Coorg / Madikeri

Mandalpatti aka Mugilpete..!

Some places remain untouched for too long time and suddenly something will trigger all the rush of tourists to the spot. Mandalpatti is one such place in Karnataka which had hardly seen any tourists till Yograj Bhat's Galipata Movie.! Soon after the movie, the place has gained so much of popularity that today there are 70+ jeeps waiting near Madikeri to take tourists to the place. Daily hundreds of people come here and witness the wonder of nature.!

I have visited the place 4 times and next season I would not mind going there again. So if you are in coorg, then definitely a must visit..! If you do not visit Raja seat or abbey falls or any other place in coorg, you probably dont miss much, but if you do not visit this place, then no doubt you will miss  one of the beautiful place in coorg. 

My first visit was a sudden plan during my college days. Me and 3 of my friends suddenly planned for it and had a good ride from my place Puttur. It was around 120 kms ride from my place. The place was so beautiful that we decided to take all our class mates there. But did not think of the season and when we went we could not believe our eyes that the place which looked like a green heaven looked so dry..! But it was fun since we went for a small trek near by..

The 3rd and 4th visits were with family and I feel happy for showing my Mom Dad and my Sis this wonderful place. Wish I could take my parents every place I visit but that would actually be troubling them than making them feel an out of world experience. :P So these kind of places are ones which come to help you when you want to take your family and spend some nice time with them.. :)

However, the place is not the same in all the seasons. Avoid rainy season and definitely avoid summer. Post Monsoon is the best time to visit. Early morning and after 2.00pm would be the ideal time to visit. A mixture of good view and mist will be available during that time unless your luck is too poor.

There is not much of trekking opportunity. But, you can go around for a few kms and make it a mini trek. 

Road condition is pretty bad for last 4-5kms and it has been so for a few years now..! Rest of the road is pretty decent. But the last 4-5 kms will be a nightmare if you try taking your own vehicle. 

How to reach.?
Madikeri is one of the busiest tourist places in Karnataka and reaching Madikeri is not difficult from any place in Karnataka. Its around 250 kms from Bangalore, 120 kms from Mysore and 140 kms from Mangalore. From Madikeri, head towards Abbey falls and on the way you find a deviation to Mandalpatti. Best option is to hire a Jeep either from Madikeri, Abbey falls or from Mandalpatti cross and sit comfortably..!! Let the jeep driver worry about driving in one of the worst roads you can ever come across.

As of 2014 October, Jeep rates from Mandalpatti cross in abbey falls road (~12 kms ) and last 4 Kms are INR 1000 and INR 600-700 respectively. 

Photos - 
Posting Photos from 3 of my 4 visits to the place. All in different seasons.!

Bike ride in 2009

College Trip (Still digging my HDD for photos. Will upload as soon as found :|)

With Family in 2014.
The same lone tree..!! It has not changed even a bit in 5 years..!!

Tuesday 21 October 2014


Google Hampi and you will find hundreds of pages with description. But that cannot stop me from posting my version of Hampi and What I have seen there.! 

It was yet another solo trip and I left from my home without any fixed plan other than that I was sure I will be visiting Hampi , Badami , Aihole and Pattadakallu. All I said my parents when I left from home was - "Will be back within a week but dono when". When you have time and money, you dont need to care for anything else and this trip was one such for me.! Had enough time sufficient balance in my account.. :P

After finishing Badami , Aihole and Pattadakallu I headed towards Hampi. I did not know about Hospete (Probably I did not study well before going to hampi. A big mistake from my side..!)  But once I reached Hospet, only then I realized its a pretty big and decent town. Enough hotels and lodges available in Hospet and Hampi is just 13 kms from here. I would suggest Hospet is the best option to stay since it has all facility and is well connected to Hampi. 

Early morning I left to Hampi and once again I was not sure about the option I should take up to round the 'ancient city' - Hampi..! Thought of taking some bike for rent over there. (There are rental bikes available for 150-200 rs near the main temple in Hampi) But, thought that would not be the best option since I would be wasting much of time in finding the route or planning the route and right at that time this auto driver came to me saying he will take me around the whole place for just rs 350.! I felt its a fair deal and boarded his auto - purpose served, he showed me all the places, saved time, economical and a bonus was he was kinda guide to me too..!

Hampi has got a lot of attractions and if you wanna  study about it, better hire a guide for whole day and extract as much as possible from him. However, most of the places do not need a guide if you just wanna witness the greatness of the dynasties which ruled Hampi. But, a guide is a must in the main attraction of Hampi - The Vijaya Vittala temple. Without a guide probably its difficult to appreciate the beauty and greatness of the place.! The world famous stone chariot, the musical pillars everything are present in this place and make sure you have atleast 2.5 hours to spend in this place. If you are a kannadiga, then Hampi is one of the place not to be missed in your life time. Even if you are touring to Karnataka and not sure about the places to be visited, mark this. Its worth spending a day here and also do visit Badami, Pattadakallu and Aihole

How to reach.?
There are enough buses from most part of Karnataka to Hospet and once in Hospet, reaching Hampi is just a matter of half an hour journey.

Reaching Hampi and staying in Hampi is not at all a challenge, challenge is making your mind to get off your bed on a weekend and head towards the destination..! 

Photos -

If the empire had as big 'Palace' as in 2nd pic just for its royal elephants, then we can imagine how big the actual palace where king lived would have been..!! 
It believed during Krishnadevaraya, the empire had over 5000 elephants. I just feel so proud that I am from a country where a kind could afford to have 5000 elephants..!! 

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Gadaikallu trek


My First trekking experience way back in 2009 and I am writing about it in 2014.! I don't need to dig into memory to recall all that happened in the trek but definitely need to dig into my HDD for the photos. :)

In our entire group none of them had a camera and the best camera was a 2MP camera in the cell phone. However, to carry memories you don't need a camera. We were all not that serious about trekking etc when we went there and it was just for fun and a new experience we went for the trek. With no idea about trekking, had not carried enough water and all we had is half litre water per person for entire trek!

With some extra pounds and fat in body, I was the slowest to trek and I was the one who found it difficult to trek through even though its not a tough path. But, somewhere I still feel nice about my first trek when I look back.

Gadaikallu is one of the few trekking places available in Dakshina Kannada district and is present in Belthangady Taluk. The place is also called as Jamalabad fort as the rock and the fort is named by Tippu sulthan after he conquered it. Most part of the trek route, steps are present and some feel it as an advantage but I would say they hurt your knee since the height of each step is too much.. 

Gadaikallu gives a pretty decent trekking experience and definitely can visit once if you are near by. During summer scorching sun burns you and hence going early morning is preferred. Also, Carry enough water. (After this trek, the first thing i make sure in every trek is to have enough water :P and this is what I mainly learnt from the trek :) )

How to reach?
Even though own vehicle is most convenient option to visit this place, there are buses available from Belthangady to Manjotti. But frequency of buses is very low.

Photos - 

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Sita Fall / Kudlu Theertha

Sitha falls or Kudlu theertha

If you are searching for places around Udupi or Manipal then this is one of the best for a day out.

It was when I was doing my Masters in Manipal University when we had a long gap between exams and nothing to do, we decided to go Sita falls which is a near by place. It was in long time in pending list and just wanted to visit the place.

Frequency of my nature visits, trekking, ride everything had come down once I went to Manipal and this mini trek was something I was waiting for too long.

This nature visit involves 3-4 Kms of moderate trek in forest and a visit to falls.

Best time to visit - Monsoon and Post monsoon i.e. July to December.

How to reach?

From Bangalore (Would say not worth to travel all the way from Bangalore to see this place since you have better options around.)

Reach Udupi or Karkala from Bangalore. If you are in either of the two places, then reach Hebri - (Enough private buses ply via Hebri). Hire an Auto/Taxi from Hebri to Kudlu. If you are hiring a vehicle, then ask him to wait for you to return since you will not get any vehicle to return.

Photos -

Maklidurga Trek

Maklidurga Trek

One of the most economical trek I have ever been! Thanks to Indian railways for cheapest fare between any places!

Maklidurga is around 60 Kms from Bangalore and provides not so great but a decent trekking experience. The view is just normal if you have been to treks around Bangalore earlier. If you go by train(I would suggest you to go by train. In less than 150 rs you will be done with your one day outing including the expenses of chips and coca cola you buy! Yes sounds crazy but it really does.)

Its about 1.5 hrs journey from Bangalore to Maklidurga station in train. Trek includes 2 kms walk in railway track till the base of Maklidurga. Its little confusing in the beginning since there is no clear marking or path towards the peak. If you are visiting for the first time and in confusion, then better ask some localities or any other group for the route. We missed it and hence had walked extra 2 miles in hot sun.!

Overall a decent get away near Bangalore if you love trekking and most importantly if its a month end and you have an empty pocket but your heart is not letting you cover the blanket and sleep on a particular weekend, then this is the place which would solve your purpose.!

How to reach?

By Train - Train starts from Yashwanthpur station at about 8.00am. Destination is Maklidurga railway station. Walk towards Maklidurga hill for 2 Kms and you are at the base of Maklidurga.
Return train is available at 4.30. (However, the day we went train had come only at 5.45..)
If you happen to trek back to base early, I would suggest to return by road since there is no point in waiting for train for too long.

Best Time - I had been there during summer. Not much forest around so all would change with season is the weather only and not scenery. Would be better during monsoon but definitely not great even during monsoon.

Photos -


Saturday 20 September 2014

Amboli and Swapnaveil

Swapnaveil -

 A difficult to reach place, but all good things in life are not easy to obtain and so is this heaven.

No proper approach road, no proper sign boards leading to the place but an excellent show arranged for you by nature. (But only for a limited period in a year. i.e. during monsoon - from July - October)

What do you get to see in Swapnaveil?
A few small falls and an excellent view of forest/Ghat section from a cliff. We visited the place during monsoon and it was an out of the world experience here.

Most of the people here do not really know the place. Even the taxi driver did not know this place and the place was suggested to me by a friend of mine. A must visit kind of place but only if you are here during monsoon.

Amboli -

A very famous tourist attraction in Karnataka - Maharashtra border area. A nice place to take get refreshed under falls. Even if you are not a water lover, you will love to see the falls in a scenic foreground.

Mist is what adds to the beauty of both the places.

Can plan as given below -

1 - Visit Amboli and feel refreshed in the falls, have a nature watch at all nature watch spots near by.

2 - Visit Hiranyakeshi (A small cave which gives birth to a river. Nice one to visit once since its nearby)

3 - Visit Swapnaveil

4 - Visit Thillari falls if time permits (I have not visited the place since we did not have time to visit.)

How to reach?

Hiring a taxi or own vehicle are the only 2 options if you want to cover all the above places.

(While hiring taxi, please confirm with the taxi guys about the Maharastra state tax to be paid. Some arrange taxi without any extra charges so do confirm before hand. )

Public transport is available to Amboli but not so frequent. No public transport available to Thillari and Swapnaveil.

Photos -


Sunday 29 June 2014

KavaleDurga fort

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Out Of Office - Kavaledurga fort trek KavaleDurga

Yet another solo trek of my trekking life..!!!

Its always exciting to trek alone than travelling alone. People ask me "doesn't it bore you to trek alone". How would it bore you when all you have in your mind is trekking and not anything else. Yes its fun to trek with friends but that doesn't mean its boring to trek alone. At least for me. 
Let me come to KavaleDurga fort. The day I visited the fort, I did not find anyone else in my entire trek and it was totally abandoned place that day. However, did not look very dangerous too.There is an abandoned fort and in the middle there is a temple where I heard there will be a fair once in a year however that day I did not find anyone there too. 
Not very exciting trek if you are not near by Thrithahalli. Not worth a trek after travelling from long distance because you have better places nearby and I would suggest visit those rather than this place. However I was studying in Manipal when I visited here. It was hardly 80 kms from my place so it was kinda worth a trek. 
Not a very hard trek, but not an easy one too. Takes around 2hrs to complete the trek.
How to reach - 
From Udupi ->
Udupi -> Hebri -> Agumbe (Can spend some time here if early morning) -> Kaimara (lies on Thirthalli road and take a left here) -> Kavaledurga fort.


Monday 10 March 2014


Bored of trekking? Or in search of a good place for a family trip or a fun ride? This is one of the good ones near Bangalore. Wiki calls it a waterfall but I would say it is not. It’s gush of water in between rocks making a roar and giving some thrill to someone who watches it. If you have in mind that it’s a waterfall and some calm water available at the bottom of falls to swim, you will be disappointed. It’s a wide river flowing in a very narrow path made by natural rocks.  Water is ferocious and any drama there would cost life. Some thrilling spots available though and can go to those rocks at your own risk (Not too much of risk though. But refrain from taking kids to such places.)

I have visited the place twice and would not mind visiting a few more times too. River Kaveri and Arkavathi confluence is called Sangama you need to park your vehicle there. Cross the river (‘Teppa’ service available if water level is high, if not can cross on your own.!)  A few very old buses available from there to Mekedaatu (Rs 40 as of july 2013) and it’s fun to travel in those buses, esp if you would like to sit on the top of the bus. I did and its fun!

My second visit to the place was unplanned one or can call it a different plan finally turned out to be a visit to Mekedatu. Me and Charan planned to visit Muthathi for all the hype that place has over internet. Thought it would be a great treat to eyes but only found it to be a pathetic place to witness all the bad we do to nature. The river bank in Muthathi is so dangerous to walk with all empty drinks’ bottles thrown carelessly inspite of ‘Strict rules’ (?) by forest department on not carrying Liquor anywhere nearby. Disappointed we, had to visit some other place and my pick was riding to Mekedaatu and it was a nice 2nd time experience.
Mekedaatu is 100kms away from Bangalore and is present in Kanakapura Taluk. Road condition is excellent till and I promise you will experience a very good ride/drive. After that for a small distance the road condition is bad with a small ghat section.

How to reach?
I would prefer private vehicle for this place and I am not sure about public transport availability. However till Kanakapura good number of buses are available from Bangalore.

Driving direction – Bangalore -> Kanakapura -> Sangama.