This Independence Day came on a Sunday and I was at Karur. Obviously we planned for an outing. After thinking about a couple of genres we decided on mountains. A couple of options and we finalized on Kollimalai. 2 bikes, 4 friends, 1 destination. I was excited coz this was one trip with a decently bigger number of people. But then, next day morning, with one person with a bad hangover, we ended up with just 2 of us... Kollimalai is a precious herbal spot. Even the wind seemed the carry a medicated herbal essence. The hill range has been spoken of in several Tamil Literatures. I remember once in school days, I read a poem ‘ Kollimalai enakkilaya Chellimalai Amme…’. Well. I forgot who wrote it and in which literary work was it!!! Does it ring a bell to any of you guys?..
Savandurga is near about 60 Km from Bangalore is the largest monolith in the world. Famous for trekking , Narasimmah swami temple and the hill itself. What I noticed were the trees. As this is a very big monolith, trees have adapted to grow on rocks like one in the above picture, there were many like this. This is the natural Bonsai tree, growing on the limited soil and water supply. We climbed on to the hill in the sun, it was very hot but I enjoyed clickinig these trees.
I was bit skeptical about this in the beginning when S had this idea of spending couple of days in the back waters of Kerala @ Alleppey. Nevertheless, we made up our mind and decided to go ahead. It was really a memorable and a wonderful experience. After getting the details from our family friend, who had been there last year we dialled to Mr Alex from Seasons Cruise. Nice gentleman he is... he took care of A-Z of our travel. As soon as we alighted from the train, a cab was waiting to pick us up and he dropped us to a homestay where in we could refresh ourselves. Houseboat -stand (If I may call so) was at the walking distance from homestay and we started our journey in the morning.
Predictably my favorite beaches are located in my home state of Karnataka , though I like Goan beaches , they are too crowded for my comfort. I haven't been to Kerala 's beaches and the beaches in Tamil Nadu (at least the ones I have been to) were very dirty and full of dead fish. I have been to Mumbai's beaches but they were dirtier than the TN ones. In Andhra Pradesh and Orissa the beaches were so hot that I couldn't enjoy being there and to my bad luck I visited these states in the peak of summer so I don't have particularly fond memories of these locations. Anyway now cutting the chatter here are some of my most favorite beaches in Karnataka . The holy beach behind the main temple in Gokarna , crowded but it is so long that one can find some secluded place...
Day 1:We took the Rajhamsa from Bangalore to Hampi. This is a direct bus but a better choice would have been a Volvo to Hospet and local transport to Hampi which is 12 km from Hospet. As soon as we set foot in Hampi , guides and rickshaw drivers stalked us like any typical tourist spot. We walked past them to figure our way to Padma Guest house (try this number if you want to book 08394 241331) which is just around the corner of the street, haggled with the landlady Padma (as Chetan had hinted me to bargain prices), checked in for Rs.350. But I feel the price was not a bad option considering I am not the foreigner who would take a room for Rs.50 and soak in the culture.