Monday, October 18, 2010

“It is there, but it is not” – Trip to Lepakshi (Andhra Pradesh)

This weekend was more of confusion. Where to go to? Lepakshi or Shivaganga? We stretched till 12AM on Friday with Google searches. But couldn figure out which one to pick. Atlast decided we will sleep :P .

Junior Kumbakarna was still in bed at 8 AM. Had to blow thousands of horns to wake him up :). After a herculean task he got up and we started at 9.30 to Lepakshi. Had breakfast from Marathahalli and the wheels started rolling to AndhraPradesh by 10.00 AM. Speedometer marked km as 485.

Lepakshi is actually a small village that is situated in the east of Hindupur, which falls under the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. This settlement is famous for its artistic temples, which date back to the 16th century. A striking specimen of the Vijayanagar style of architecture is the Lepakshi Temple. It has a huge complex where three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Virabhadra are to be found.

Sun was just above the head. Trip was not going that easy as last week trip to Hogenakkal. We crossed Nandi Hills deviation. Speedometer was touching 109-112 most of the time. Roads were too good and lonely. Could hardly see some people. Finally at around 12 we reached Bagepalli. We took a left turn to Lepakshi. Another 20 more kms.

We loved the village roads. Both side they have agricultural lands, mainly Corn. Corns were lying beside the roads.

I could see some interesting faces on the road. Most of them were camera friendly. They were easily posing to me!

One thing I noticed was “It is there, But it is not”. So many people were in farms and roads. But hardly found any houses near the road side. Where do they live?

Many Shepherds were on roads. Enjoyed clicking some pics!

A huge Nandi Statue welcomed us. We asked some of the villagers about temple. We couldn hardly understand any word. Felt like Telegu is bit complicate :P We tried Hindi. One guy came to our help. Asked us "Aapko kis temple mein jana hei?" Logged to team-bhp site from BB and found it's Veerbhadra temple. We parked our bike near a small shop, left our shoes there and walked to temple.

Amazed at seeing the architecture. I have been to Tanjavur, the city with Chocolate temple. I suppose this is great in architecture too. We took some pictures, spend around 2 hours there. By the time tummy started calling for help. We were damn hungry. Came out and had couple of tender coconuts. It was more than enough. Started back at 3.30 P.M. We just stopped to have a tea.

Bangalore welcomed us with a heavy shower. Enjoyed it a lot. I have never seen such a rain in Bangalore. I was not able to drive. Some how we crossed Devanahalli. As always rain was just in a diameter of 2 km :)

I could see some amazing cloud formation in the golden hour. By the time I stopped the bike, brother took the gear and gave me. Clicked a lovely shot.

Back to Marathahalli at around 6. It was a nice trip. I will give 8/10. After a long time I am taking so many pictures. Thanks to team-bhp members for the wonderful writing in the site. Just because of that we visited Lepakshi. If we missed this, it would have been a great loss. Speedometer stopped at 740 Km. Overall 230 kms up and down.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trip to Hogenakkal

After such a long time I am writing a Travelogue. Fridays hit so many google searches from me and cousin. We will try to find a good place around Bangalore to have a trip in weekend. Our target destination will be below 100 kms. After seeing Hogenakkal pictures and travelogues we planned to go there. It is around 180+ kms, so was worried to have a long trip in bike. Till midnight we were in confusion. At last a one rupee coin came to our help and we tossed it. Immersed ourselves into sleep with dreams about Hogenakkal.

Our plan was to start at 5 AM. But we woke up at 4 and started by 4.45. I was afraid to give him the key. He is another avatar of “Kumbakarna”. I started the ride. Sun was on the way to Bangalore, not yet reached :). Roads were dark. I was riding at a speed of 90-95 kmph. Was bit worried to go beyond that, as roads were still pinch dark. By around 7 AM we crossed Krishnagiri. Now we have 70 more kms. We had a stop and had a nice morning tea.

Roads were clearer now. But I was not able to concentrate on driving. The nature was so scenic in early morning. I often had a look at sky, nearby places, farms. I stopped the bike, handed over key to him and took my gear out. Clicked some captures. Couple of people came to us, prob getting scared of the big camera which I was having J After 10 min of photoshoot we started again. Dharmapuri was about 40 kms then. I took out my BB and searched in google map to find out from where we need to deviate to Hogenakkal. In another half an hour we crossed Dharmapuri and moved to Hogennakal Road.

I have no words to describe the beauty of nature. Let my pictures speak for me. Felt like I am in Kerala (prob Kerala before 50 years?). Could see so many agricultural lands, paddy fields.

We were sure that we will reach destination in another 30 min. Roads were too good. Our stomach started making its call. Searched for a hotel all through. Atlast we found one typical Tamil nadu hotel in “Pennagramam”. It was so delicious. We were surprised to see the bill. Just 40 rs? If I were in Bangalore, I had to pay a minimum of 150 Rs for that breakfast. Still 15 more kms to reach. As expected by 9 AM we reached Hogenakkal.

We parked our Bike in the Parking ground. Need to walk till falls. Agents started coming asking for Oil Massage. Got the ticket to enter the falls. They found my cousins’ mobile camera and asked us to get camera pass for that also. It was strange :P

I became sad after seeing the first falls. Thought we wasted our money just to see this small falls. But it was just a starting. There were so many small falls in each nook and corner.

Found that so many boats waiting for us. Everyone was asking for 800 -1200 for two people. We had a bargain and got one nice guy for 600 Rs. It was a nice time in the boat. After some 10 min in boat, we were asked to get down and start walk through forest. The boatman carried the boat and started walking with us. Around 1 km we walked through the forest.

There it came to another falls. That was the biggest. As a photographer I felt I am a failure to capture the entire beauty. It was an Amazing view!

There were ladies frying Fish. I thought I will take a picture. That lady asked me “Are you seeing Fish for the first time?”

Again into the boat. At around 12 we were back in the starting point. Had a quick bath in a small fall and started back to Bangalore.

We had a nice time there and were really missing the place. Wanted to stay back for some more time. But if we were late, it will be hard to drive back to Bangalore at night. Speedo meter tried to hit the max of 115 km and we came back in Bangalore by 4 PM.