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.
The very title here is an indication of what this post is going to be about. Yes it was my first ever bike trip. Another enduring, animated, serene and blissful experience to the wish list.60..65..70..engines stroking 3000 rpm...the bikes roaring on the dark roads;zooming past the wide paths me, Shreyas and Anuj set off on our bike trip to Wayanad. Dinner on the way on Mysore road at Kamat's and a night halt at Hotel Mayura in Srirangapatana , just enough to accommodate three of us in a room but at 450 bucks was worth, considering the time for which we had to halt. We freshned up in the morning, a cup of tea and we started off at 6 am to Wayanad , Via Nanjangud , Gundulpet, Bandipur. It took us no less than 3 hours to reach Wayanad.
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.
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...
After another long gap we got an opportunity, in the form of a 4 day Christmas holiday, to go on an outing. It was late by the time we started planning and getting accommodation was getting difficult. After evaluating different options, we closed in on to either Coonoor or Kudremukh. We got a booking in a small hotel in Coonoor. But Kudremukh was more tempting as we had read quite a bit about it and it appeared more beautiful and pristine. Kudremukh or "Kudere Mukha"literaly means "Horse Face". It gets this name from the highest peak in that region which resembles the face of a horse. It belongs to the Western Ghats mountain ranges of India and has 600 sq. km. of protected forests. There was a large open pit iron ore mine by KIOCL ( Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd.) which has ceased operations now owing to environmental pressures.