Beautiful Markonahalli Dam

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 / Posted by Sharat / comments (9)

Can there be a dam with the gates always open and still the dam holds water to its capacity? "YES" says Sir M. Vishveshwaraiah and Ganesh Iyer!!!  Welcome to Markonahalli Dam !!

Situated around 100kms from bangalore, Markonahalli Dam is relatively unknown dam to bangalorians considering the speciality it possesses. Markonahalli Dam is a dam built across the river Shimsha and hemavati in Kunigal Taluk of Tumkur district. It was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the king of Mysore under the guidance of his Diwan, Sir M Visweswaraiah in 1940. The main person who executed this unique project was Sri Ganesh Iyer.

This small whole controls  siphon!!

Always open gate. Courtesy: Ravikumar

The dam has 4 baby siphons and 2 big and 10 mini wood siphons which is designed in such a way that when the dam reaches its maximum capacity these siphons naturally allow water to pass through ever open gates!! Unlike usual dams where the crest gates are always closed to stop the flow of water, in this dam its always open and still the water doesnt flow unless the dam is full!!

 The technology behind these siphons is simple. Siphons are the only way for water to pass through. And these work on the simple principle of air flow. The air hole shown in the picture is always closed and when dam reaches its capacity water is forced to pass through the siphons since there is no way for air to enter except the closed hole!! Hence this dam requires no actual maintenance!! And the water in the whole dam can be cleared within one and half hour!!!

The watchman will explain you all the things about the dam if you give 10Rs per person. The time we visited was just perfect (Nov 20th) as we could go inside the dam to a water level, stand on the water and see the siphons internal structures!! I don't think there is any other dam where we can do the same.
only way for water to pass through
Going inside dam

Fish cultivation

Photo taken at water level inside dam!!

A security at the dam informed us that no major equipment has gone to repair in the last 70 years of its existence!! I wonder how many of the so called modern dams these days are of this quality!!

Sunset @ dam
Copyright protected !!
What a way to spend an evening!!

  The dam is a beautiful place to visit as it has scenic beauty. Sunset seen at this place is awesome. Wonderful colors just after the sunset refreshed our mind.  Its preferable to visit the dam in the evening  to see its natural beauty.

Who would not like to take girlfriend to this romantic evening? :P
How to reach:

Dam is near Yadiyur. 100kms away from bangalore. Take left 3kms before Yadiyur on NH48. Travel 6kms and reach the dam. Roads are just fantastic and easily accessible.
Do carry eatables if you want to spend more time at the place because there are no shops available at the dam place.

Bangalore -> Nelamangala (take left towards mangalore) -> Kunigal bypass -> take left 3kms before yadiyur. -> travel 6kms and reach the dam

Last but not least , Do not Spoil the place with plastics and bottles!!

Last Note: There is one more dam called Hirebhaskara Dam or Madenur Dam in Linganamakki backwater(near Sagar in shimoga district) which has the same technology and built by the same team of Sir M.V and Ganesh Iyer. The specialty of that dam is that every year during mansoon and most part of the year, the water is over the dam (19ft over dam when linganamakki is full) and still the dam is in condition!! Only during the summer the dam is visible. And no need to mention that the dam is not working since the linganamakki dam was built with greater height which makes this dam to submerge during mansoon.

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Nagarahole and Ranganatittu Trip

Friday, September 30, 2011 / Posted by Sharat / comments (1)

Nagarahole(snake stream in english)...!! Name itself is enough to get thrilled by the one who loves forests and nature.. Dense forest in southern part of Karnataka.

We were 8 colleagues and some ex-colleagues :P (Me, Shrimanth, Deepak, Lohith, Kiran, Sampath, Somanna and Naveen ) finally ready for the trip. One car and two bikes were on board. Shrimanth, sampath, somanna and me on bike and others were on car.

Day 1
Our plan was to start early in the morning but as usual we were delayed by 1 hr. So left at 6am in the morning. Had a breakfast on the way and were in Ranganatittu Bird sanctuary at 10.30am. Since it was just the start of a season in Ranganatittu, lots of birds yet to arrive from far away countries. Still we could see many birds. After the boat ride and couple of photo sessions we left for Nagarahole at 12 in the noon. 

 Reached Hunsur at 2pm and had lunch. We had a doubt whether 2 wheelers are allowed inside the national park but we were very excited to ride inside National Park and try our luck to spot wild animals. Reached the check-post at 3pm. which is around 35km from Hunsur. We had booked Murkal Guest house through a lohit's cousin who is a forest officer.But to our disappointment we were not allowed to take our bikes inside the  forest as wild elephants are in huge numbers.

We had two option, to take jeeps which are available 15kms away from the check-post or to take lift from fellow travelers. The wildlife safari is at another end of the National Park. Since we had planned to visit Irpu falls which is little bit far away from the other end of NP, we bikers left with no option but to take another long route  via gonikoppal to kutta which is just outside the other end of NP. We dropped our plans to stay inside the NP and planned to stay in a lodge @ kutta. This was the most difficult decision to make as we were very much excited to stay inside NP!!

Since the 4 wheelers are allowed to travel inside the  NP, it was decided that car will take the short route through the forest, book a lodge in kutta and bikers will take long route via Gonikoppal to kutta. Shrimanth left the bike and settled inside car!!

Me, Sampath and Somanna started our long journey through villages. It was bad roads everywhere!! We were forced to ride slowly by considering conditions of the road. By the time the car reached Kutta we were in ponnampet. Since it was already 5pm we dropped our plan to visit Irpu Falls and planned it for the next day.

We had taken Cricket bat and ball with us so that we can play somewhere on the way!!! But since we didnt had time to play along the way, we started playing when we reached kutta!!! I guess nobody would have traveled 250+ kms to play cricket!!

Day 2

We bikers had booked the car(for 400Rs ) to enter National Park early morning. Reached the Starting point of Jungle Safari at 7am. It was 1 and half hour of jungle safari and we were back to the starting point.

 There are many species of animals and birds in Nagarahole including Tigers. As jungle safari is pure luck, we were blessed to spot only deers, wild cat, wild pig, wild bear, mongoose, eagle, samba deer, variants of monkeys, peacock, wild hen etc.  Deers were everywhere.

Back to Kutta at 9am and had breakfast. Packed all the things and left for Irpu Falls which is around 15km away. Reached the base of falls at 10.30. The water was chilling cold, as if  someone had put ice over the falls. It was hardly 3-4 degrees!!! It was Ice water bath which I had never had..!! We could not feel our legs if we were in water continuously for more than 10 seconds!!

Then it was time to say good bye. Sun was burning hot. And we all departed at 12.30. Bikers took gonikoppal route and Car took jungle route again. After couple of breaks we were in Maddur Tifannys at 5pm. By that time Somanna  was about to die of starvation..!!! Eventhough we didn't had official lunch but had fruits/snacks on the way. After Peth pooja at Maddur Tifannys we decided to visit Kokkare Bellur which is 15km from maddur. When we reached the place we were actually disappointed with what we saw..!! There were few Flemingos staying in every tree in that village. We all thought it was waste of time and left as soon as possible.

Returned back to Bangalore by 7.30pm. The tour lacked the thrill of staying inside a National Park!! This was one trip where nothing worked as per the plan!! But still marked the first bike tour with colleagues.... After this Somanna and shrimanth came to know about the pain(:P !!) of travelling on bike more than 200km in a day and promised not to tour on bike again!! hahaha :-D :-D


Tour Map....

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First wicket Down..!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 / Posted by Sharat / comments (6)

This happens to be my first off travel blog..!! And is dedicated to my dear friend Anand Vardhan!! Fondly called as Vardhan, Dana etc. Call whatever he responds!!

It has been an overwhelming journey so far since we first met in 2002. Thanks  to Brahma Chaitanya Hostel or world famous as BC hostel....!!

Unforgettable 4 years in BC Hostel and 4 more adventurous years so far. I want to thank all my friends especially Ravi, Vardhan, Adiga, VMH, DVD, Arun Dixit. Though our core members of all our tours was only 3 (Me, Ravi and Vardhan) others too had their share, sometime or the other. Whenever we were together we used to laugh our heart out for hours without any reason or may be for very silly reason...!!

In those 4 years of our hostel days, we had never been to any trips as such and yes not even to nearby famous Chitradurga fort!! It all started with one of the most difficult trek to Kumara Parvatha in Apr 2008 which literally opened our eyes to enjoy the natural beauty around us. It was a damn good trek. And this was the start we all needed...!!

Our first bike trip started with a ride to Nandi hills 3 days after I bought my bike. And then it was series of long bike rides, treks and tours  followed. Bike ride to Madikeri in heavy mansoon, Ride to BR Hills and ooty where we encountered a tiger on road in a deep forest (Still I cant forget that scene!!), First 1000+ kilometer trip to Chikkamagaluru, Daring munnar and Valparai ride(1200km), Ride to Wayanad and many more which are not listed here.

We had planned to cover as much places as possible in these years still many places left uncovered. Sakleshpura railway track trek, Challenging Ombattu Gudda trek, Kodachadri trek to name a few. And the biggest of all “Leh-Ladakh trek” is been waiting for a while. I have promised my bike to show as many places I could!!! ;-)

My main purpose of buying the bike was to tour on it!! We had decided not to drive rash or to chase anybody. Few other measures not to get hurt while on any bike trip...!! Everytime my mom used to scold me for all the adventure we had on bike. In fact I was ordered to call home, every hour when on bike to inform our safety!!! Ravi was so sure of safe return that he used to book return ticket every time, to Hospet from bangalore .....!!!! ;-) ;-) (just kidding!!).

Whenever I gave call to Vardhan and Ravi, they were always there. Even though I planned all the trips, it was Ravi and Vardhan who took most of the burden. Since Ravi is in Hospet and Vardhan in KGF it was another added burden to come to bangalore as it was the starting point of most of the trips. I wonder how Ravi traveled another 10 hrs on bus to hospet after a tiring trek or after the long journey on bike. And for Vardhan it was another 100km to KGF on bike!!  And they were again ready for the next call!! Thank you guys for that!!

Well, coming back to Vardhan's marriage, I have given permission for his   marriage only after he assured not to miss out on few key treks and bike trips..!!! ;).

2 days before marriage he called me to inform me that I was the official photographer in his marriage!!! I thought he must be kidding but on the day of his marriage I got to know that there was no professional photographer or videographer present!!


His marriage was not just like any other marriage for us and therefore, me, ravi, adiga been to his house a day before the marriage itself...!! Though we had plans of building “Maduve Mantapa”,  we were never allowed to do that!! No need to mention  the hospitality showed by his family and relatives.
Ravi preparing Vardhan!!!
Aha!!! Madumaga!!
His marriage was the most traditional marriage I have ever seen!! I have always liked the marriages at home with all the traditional values in it when compared to the one in chowtry's . And this marriage was the one I would cherish for years to come. His uncle and Primary education minister Vishweshara Hegde Kageri and congressman Deshpande showered the blessings on the couple.

Though Vardhan's wicket is not the first one in our batch but certainly the first one from our core group.And I expect him to be in every trip we do, but the rear seat of his bike might not be free for friends anymore!! I hope we all tour/trek with our "family" once all the wickets are down..!!;-)

Wish you a very HAPPY MARRIED LIFE BUDDY............ 

Memories to cherish.........

Sharat Chandra

Kuduremukha Trekking!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011 / Posted by Sharat / comments (3)

I was planning for Brahmagiri trek in Madikeri but as new year was on the cards, many trekkers like us had already taken permission from the authorities. When I called the forest office all the slots were already booked. So changed the plan to trek Kudremukha.

Since it was not a bike trip I had expected many to join us. But still few managed to escape..! Our core team member Vardhan was busy in preparing for his marriage... So he missed too..!!

Before going to Kuduremukha I had booked a homestay near the starting point of the Kudremukha trek, ie @ Mullodi.  There are many homes which run homestay in Mullodi. We had booked at Satish's House.

Finally 9 were ready to take the challenge of trekking 22kms in a day : Me, Ravi,Alok,Umashankar, Prashant, Yashodhar, Vaman, Rajeev and Srinivas.

Dec 31st
New Year Celebration!!
We had booked the TT. Started @ 11pm on the 31st night. Picked all the guys and  we were on our way to Sringeri. Stopped our vehicle at one place and welcomed the new year by cutting the cakes.

Jan 1st

Reached Sringeri @ 8am. Visited Sharadamba Temple. Spent some time at the river. By that time Ravi arrived from Bellary.

Packed lunch at nearby hotel. Breakfast was planned at Rajeev's Home which is 15km from sringeri. Ravi had just come in but his dialogs had already started. He was telling Rajeev that "ನಾನು, ತಿಂಡಿ ಹಾಕಿದ್ದು ಸಾಕು ಸಾಕು ಅಂತ ಹೇಳ್ತೇನೆ, ಆದ್ರೆ ನೀನು ಒತ್ತಾಯ ಮಾಡಿ ಬಡಿಸಬೇಕು!!!"


Reached Rajeev's house. His parents and counsin welcomed us. Refreshed and had wonderful breakfast. Hot Dosa and Avalakki were delicious. Ravi had only 8 dosa's and few plates of Avalakki!!
Sirimane Falls

Took a group photo and left for Sirimane Falls which is 5km from Rajeev's house. Sirimane falls is not a big falls but it is easily accessible and  not much of risk is involved.

Had a great bath. It was already 1 in the noon and we left for Mullodi.

Paddy Fields on the way

Stopped at a hanging bridge for couple of snaps. We had packed Mangalore Buns for lunch on the way.

Hanumana Gundi Falls

HanumanaGundi Falls which is also known as sootanabbi falls lies on the way to Kudremukh. Visited the Falls which is on the roadside itself. The falls is beautiful but we didnt get into water as we had already had enough of entertainment in Sirimane Falls.

Stopped on the way @ a picturesque point in Kudremukha National Park and photo session was on. The same place some of us had visited 2 years back on bike. 
Kudremukha National Park

Photo Session @ Kudremukha NP
@Kudremukha NP

Photo Session @ Kudremukha NP
Lakya Dam from outside

Visited Lakya Dam inside the National Park which is built to collect the wastes from the iron ore factory. View from the dam was awesome But nobody were allowed to take camera on the dam. However we took snaps from mobile.
Satish's Guest house

Reached  Balegal and parked our TT. Satish had already sent a Jeep to Balegal. We took all our belongings and the jeep was heavily crowded with all the 9 members in it. Balegal to Mullodi is around 5km. Only 4 wheel drive Jeeps can take us to Mullodi as the roads are in worst condition. Reached Satish's house in 30 mins.

Camp Fire
Long exposure shot

Long exposure shot

Locked all our belongings in a room. Spent some time in front of Camp fire. Experimented with some long exposure snaps. Had dinner which was good if not great and went to sleep.

Jan 2nd

Initial part of trek
Woke up early and had breakfast. Packed our lunch (Chitranna). Guide was ready and waiting for us. 22kms of long trekking was ahead of us. 11km on one side... We were supposed to return atleast by 4.30 since Ravi had to catch bus from Kalasa. Without wasting time we started our trek.

Initial part of the trek was easier as it goes mostly through forests.and since we were not taking any of our belongings with us except the water bottles and Camera. It was quite easy for 4 kms. Only My bag was little heavier as I had carried my huge camera, lens and a Tripod with me.

After 4kms we took a break for 10mins. Had some buiscuits and fruits we carried. The destination was visible from long distance Vaman and Yashodhar were way behind.

Sun had started showing his full intensity and we were in grassland. Next 7kms is a difficult trek as we have to trek steep climbs in open sun. Only relief was not to carry the water with us since the water sources are available all the way to the top.

Beautiful Hills of Kudremukha
Beautiful Hills of Kudremukha

Even though we were under direct sun, we never felt heat because of cold breeze that was flowing. Every ascending step added beauty to the landscape.

Panorama of Hills @ kudremukha
Final countdown to the top

There were many other trekkers too. Our guide and Rajeev were far ahead. Yashodhar and Vaman were lagging behind. After many photo breaks we reached the top at 11.45am.

Noon hot sun and CLOUDS BELOW US.. Wow....!! What a sight it was...!! We were on cloud Nine..!!

Our group over Cloud Nine!!
Our group over Cloud Nine!!

Cloud below  us
Ravi taking photographs!!

Had a long photo session. After 30 mins Vaman and Yashodhar reached the top...!! Opened my tripod and clicked some group photos too... We were lucky enough to see the clouds below us because just the previous week other batch had trekked the same place but under the hot sun and no clouds!! Poor VMH and his company!!

We conquered Kudremukha!!
With my tripod

Spent about half an hour and it was time to leave. Reached a stream which is just 15 mins away from the top. Had our lunch.  It is around 3  hours of trek  back to reach the homestay.

Sun was burning hot and after couple of breaks we finally reached the Homestay at 3.45.

Tired Souls!!
Our Team

Waited for Others to come and had a great bath at the small stream that flows near the homestay. Chilled water bath was a welcome break after burning in sun for hours.

Jeep was ready and we were too. Packed all our belongings and left for Balegal where our TT was waiting for us. It was already 5.30. Reached Kalasa on time and thankfully bus going towards Bellary yet to arrive. Dropped Ravi and visited Kalasa Temple.Had Dinner in Horanadu Annapurneshwari Temple.

Left horanadu and reached Bangalore early morning at 3.30. And thus we had a Rocking Start to New Year!!!! 

For more pictures....

Kudremukha Peak Trek

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