The rock-cut steps, hot from the summer afternoon sun, literally burned my feet as I hurried towards the couple of steps a little up ahead which looked cool, thanks to a temple next to them. I was not even half way through the 614 steps. Heck, I hadn’t even crossed 50 steps and I was already questioning my decision to climb the Vindhyagiri hills, on this scorching August afternoon. “Is it worth?”, I asked myself. “Maybe it is but for now, I need to get to the steps which were not as hot as a furnace.” I had wanted to see this more than 58 feet tall statue of Bahubali (also know as Gomateshwara) since a while now, so atleast I knew there is no looking back.
Bahubali Standing Tall – Shravanabelagola
I wanted to see the monolith up close for which Shravanabelagola is famous for, up close.… continue reading
Monsoons are beautiful, especially in the western ghats. There are no second thoughts about it. The entire region looks as refreshingly green as it can, thanks to the monsoon showers that wash – off every single strand of dust leaf small or big. So a ride somewhere in the western ghats was inevitable and ‘Where’ was not a tough question to answer. The fact that Chikmagalur is arguably the most beautiful part of Karnataka and its close proximity from Bangalore only made matters much easier and it seemed that it was just a matter of couple more days before we were off to Chikmagalur. That was last year, a plan which never materialized. This monsoon however, things were better.
Magical clouds and refreshing greenery, Chikmagalur
As we rode through the switchbacks on our way to the Baba Budangiri peak, the fog seemed to grow thicker and thicker.… continue reading
‘If you have to relax in the shade, the over-hanging rock there seems a much better choice’, I said to myself as I halfheartedly pulled myself from the soft grass that had been my bed for the past half an hour. The sun seemed to be at its brightest and no one in his right mind would even think of walking even a small distance out in this heat if (s)he doesn’t have to, let alone climb huge boulders a hundred feet high. I however, love climbing so climb I will, I decided. With heat billowing from the hot-like-a furnace rocks under my feet and the scorching rays of the sun from above, there I was, making my way up through thorny bushes and narrow gaps.
The inviting ‘top’ – Hampi
The views got better every time I turned to look back stopping at random intervals. … continue reading
Sunsets are beautiful. Sunsets where the land gives way to the vastness of the sea, even better. After all my visits to some popular while some not so popular beaches, this is something I can vouch for. While it is true that no sunset (or sunrise) can be as beautiful and enchanting as those over the Himalayas, beach-sunsets too, have something unique about them. As the Sun slowly sets over the horizon, everything at the beaches seem to slow down. After-all, it is indeed very hard to notice anything else as the rays of the setting start Sun start painting the sky with a thousand shades of yellow and then red.
Sunset at Kudle Beach, Gokarna
Just like everyone else, I too like to sit by the beach and watch this magical display of colors, something which has been happening since billions of years but still feels uniquely gorgeous every single time.… continue reading
The invitation for the trek had come as a surprise but I did not think twice before responding to it in affirmative. Irrespective of whether I am trekking in the Himalayas or trekking on railway treks, I have always enjoyed them, so saying yes to yet another trek was the most natural thing to do. But that was not the only thing that had intrigued me about this particular one. The fact that the yes came a split second sooner than it would come otherwise was also because of the fact that this was going to be a night trek. Something which I had never experienced before.
The bonfire at the Paradise Beach, Gokarna
Leaving puffs of smoke behind, our matador crawled through the narrow roads of Gokarna for what seemed to be hours, with more than twice the number of people crammed inside the vehicle than it was designed to accommodate.… continue reading
We were supposed to meet the last month but few things came in between and we couldn’t. As they say, things happen only when they are supposed to! When our proposed meeting did not materialize the last time, I, by no chance had expected another meeting happening so soon. However, serendipity works in strange ways! Within less than a month of having missed the first chance, another date with the beauty was fixed. And in what a wonderful way! I have always fancied SUVs. The newer ones, all the more. So when I found one fine morning in the outskirts of Bangalore fall set to go on a date with one from the Jaguar Land Rover stable, I was way too much excited.
The New Discovery Sport
At the Wild Re-treat Adventure Club, I was all set to experience some off-roading fun with Jaguar and Land Rover’s all new Discovery Sport.… continue reading
Gokarna I had heard was what Goa used to be, a significant number of years back. Clean & not so crowded beaches, a laid back vibe and a lot of hippies enjoying the sun. While that was exactly what I found when I reached Gokarna on a humid April afternoon, what took me by surprise was another side of this quaint little coastal town. One which I had known nothing about. One which seemed to be deeply religious and has chosen to move ahead at its own pace rather than trying to race with the world.
Intricate carvings on a wooden rath, Gokarna
As I walked through the narrow lanes of this hippie-hangout, I found myself lost in the beauty and simplicity of the place. Blue, green and bright-yellow houses with red-tilled roofs gave the place a rustic charm.… continue reading
I had stayed at a backpacker’s hostel during my last solo trip to Goa and had quite liked it. Though the hostel was not one of the best, it had helped me get an idea about what to expect and what not to while staying in such environments and I personally did not find many items that I could complain about or which bothered me in any way. During my visit to Gokarna the previous weekend (more on that coming soon), I chose to stay at a backpacker’s hostel again. This one however was quite different from the previous one I had stayed at in Goa. Different in a good way.
Gokarna Beach from the cafe, Zostel Gokarna
One of the first things I remember however was the tiring half-a-kilometer up-hill walk which I had to endure in that sweltering heat.… continue reading