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Monday, May 07, 2012

Karnataka Temples Pilgrimage

We undertook a pilgrimage to Karnataka temples. After some careful evaluation, we selected KSTDC tour, as it covered lot of places, and takes care of all the logistics. Here's a link to the Karnataka Temples Tour on Karnataka Tourism Website.
The detailed itinerary is listed here -
09.00 pm Departure from Badami House, Bangalore*
05.00 am Arrive at Horanadu and fresh-up
05.00 am - 08.00 am Darshan of Goddess of Annapurneshwari & breakfast
08.20 am - 08.40 am Visit Kalaseshwara Temple, Kalasa
11.40 am - 01.40 pm Darshan of Goddess Sharadambe, Vidya Shankara Temple & Lunch
06.00 pm - 07.00 pm Darshan of Goddess Mookambika, Kollur & halt
06.00 am Depart from Kollur
07.00 am - 07.30 am Breakfast
07.45 am - 09.15 am Darshan of Lord Murudeshwara & Visit Murudeshwara beach, park
11.15 am - 11.45 am Darshan of Lord Ganesha, Anegudde
12.30 pm - 03.00 pm Darshan of Lord Krishna & Lunch
03.00 pm - 04.00 pm Visit Malpe Beach
04.45 pm - 06.15 pm Relax at Panambur beach
05.00 pm Arrive at Katil,Darshan of Goddess Durga Parameshwari and Halt
05.30 am Departure to Kadri Manjunath Swamy Temple
06.30 am - 08.00 am Goddess Mangaladevi and breakfast
10.30 am - 01.30 pm Darshan of Lord Manjunatheshwara at Dharmasthala
04.00 pm - 09.00 pm Darshan of Aadhi Subramanya & Kukke Subramanya
09.00 pm Depart to Bangalore
05.30 am Tour ends at Badami House, Bangalore

Places Visited:
Horanadu (Annapoorneshwari Temple)
Kalasa (Kalaseshwara Temple)
Sringeri (Sharada temple)
Kollur (Mookambika Temple)
Murudeshwara (Murudeshwara Temple)
Anegudda (Vinayaka Temple)
Udupi (Krishna Temple)
Malpe (Beach)
Kateel (Durgaparameshwari Temple)
Mangalore (Sri Gokarnatheswara temple, Kadri Manjunath Temple and Mangaladevi Temple)
Dharmasthala (Manjunath Temple)
Kukke Subramanya (Subramanya Temple).

A tentative Route Map, of the journey...

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This is the final route map, that we ended upon -
View Larger Map Trip Review: We enjoyed the trip thoroughly. The driver and the Guide were very accomodative and co-operative. The cleaner too did his job of cleaning up the interiors of the bus thoroughly everyday. The accomodation provided at Kollur (Annapoorni Guest House) was OK, but the one at Kateel (Soundarya Palace) was very good indeed. The time provided for the temple darshan was sufficient, and with the breadth of places covered, this tour was very memorable to us. The visit to the scenic Murudeshwara temple just stays on in your memories forever.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Drive to Madikeri & Nagarhole
After waiting for the last moment to embark on the KSTDC tour to Nagarhole I decided to drive up to Madikeri (due to lack of tickets). I was able to book one homestay on the last minute (courtesy http://www.tripadvisor.in/).

I did enough planning to cover Nagarhole also, but had to drop it in the interests of time. I decided to cover Kushalnagar (incl. Bylakuppe), Madikeri & Talacauvery.

Route Map

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Route Details
Bangalore to Mysore (SH17) route : Bangalore – Bidadi – Ramanagaram – Chennapatna – Maddur – Mandya – Srirangapatna – Mysore. The distance is about 140 km.

Mysore to Madikere (SH88) route : Mysore – Yelwal – Hunsur – Kempalapura – Piriyapatna – Bylakuppe – Kushalnagara – Suntikoppa – Madikeri . This stretch’s distance is approximately 115km.

The Journey
We started from bangalore around 6:15 AM on a saturday morning. Took the Corporation circle - Nayandahalli - Mysore Road route and reached Kengeri by 7:15 AM. Then, after resisting the temptation to break the fast at Kamat Lokaruchi (Ramanagara), due to the heavy rush, we were forced to drive until Channapatna and break the fast at Kadambam (2 kms after Channapatna at 8:15 AM). Wow, after relishing the hot pongal and khara bath, drove towards Mysore. Deciding against the Srirangapatna - KRS - Yelwal route, I wanted to try the ring road (as my mind pictured it to be more scenic). After reaching Columbia Asia hospital (9:30), I took the right to proceed on the ring road towards Hunsur road. OMG, after braving terrible roads, under construction, finally reached the Hunsur road junction (10:30). There on the roads were just a cruise, though it was only 2-lane (NO Tolls), the roads were perfectly laid (like the Chennai ECR).

After about an hours drive, reached Bylakuppe around 11:30 AM (There is a board showing the entrance to the Golden temple, take this left). The Tibetian settlements / construction are a treat to watch. Watching an area full of Monks nearby our own place was an experience. We spent some time at the Golden temple, and then drove towards Kushal Nagar.

Immediately after Kushal nagar, within 2 - 3 kms, we spotted the Cauvery Nisarga Dhama on the left. There was a food court almost completed, but yet to start. After a few sighs, we parked the car in the parking area and proceeded towards the Rope Bridge. Walking on this bridge was an experience. Then we took some photographs of the River, Elephants, Deers and Bamboo Huts and started from there around 1:45 PM.

Then, we reached Madikeri at 2:30 and had lunch at Hotel Niel Sagar (good byt little expensive),and then settled into the Homestay.

We started towards Abbey falls around 4:30 and the drive was very scenic, but spoilt to an extent by the heavy traffic on the day. We encountered heavy downhill traffic on the narrow lane, and managed to cover the 8 km journey in about 45 mins. THen after parking, we had to take a half km mini trek down the hill towards the falls.

After some few clicks, we panted heavily and climbed up the half km and started the drive downhill. WE reached Madikeri (Raja's park) around 6:15 PM. There was huge parking space for the Raja's Park.

Raja's park was very breezy and misty. The cool breeze was enjoyable as was the mini train and the valley view. We enjoyed the musical fountain (starts around 7:00 PM), and then had dinner at Athithi restaurant (has a car parking too). Adjacent to Athithi was the Coorg Spices shop, and we shopped for some coffee, elachi and other spices.

Next day (Sunday) morning, we started at 7:00 AM, had breakfast and proceeded towards Talacauvery (deviation from Thimmaiah Circle). Note that Madikeri has 2 famous circles, Thimmaiah and Cariappa circles. Talacauvery was 50 kms from Madikeri. After 3 kms on the Madikeri - Mangalore highway (SH), we had to take a sharp left (U) turn (clear sign boards helped us). From there on it was a scenic drive through the hilly villages Appangla, Bettageri, Kargunda and then Cherambane.
After passing through Bhagamandala, we reached Talacauvery by 9:00.

After having darshan of the pond, and the Agasthiaswamy & Ganesha temples, I decided to climb (365 steps) the Brahmagiri hill. The view from the hilltop (valley and the rolling mountain ranges beyond) was fabulous for panorama shots, My Nokia N8 Panorama software failed me that day :-)

Then, we started at 10:00 AM, and then stopped at a Forest spices shop. Then we had darshan of Lord Bhagandeshwara at Bhagamandala temple, and after the scenic drive, reached Madikeri at 11:30 AM.

We the started from Madikeri at 12:45 PM after lunch, and reached Kushal Nagar in 45 mins, Hunsur at 2:15 and Yelwal (2:45). Then we took the KRS - Srirangapatna road and reached Srirangapatna at 3:15. Then, I realised that while going also, we could have taken this road, and would have saved 30 mins easily. The road was ok to drive at 40 - 50 kmph. Then, we stopped at Kadambam@Channapatna (4:15) for tiffin and then braving some procession at Ramanagara, reached Kengeri at 5:30 PM. Then took the nice road to Bannerghatta road, and reached Silk board at 6:30 PM).

Other Points to Note:
1. There are ATMs at Madikeri, so do not worry.
2. There are petrol pumps at Kushal Nagar and Madikeri (3 or 4). But, they dont accept credit cards.

Upon reflecting back, the trip was very good, especially the drive to Abbey Falls and Talacauvery. The roads were very good from Mysore to Madikeri with no speed humps and was enjoyable. Upon writing this blog, I regret that we could have covered Nagarhole too, but then it would have been a stretch really for a 2 day weekend trip.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dodda Mallur Krishna Temple

The Deiva Dharisanam show on Sunday Morning, sparked the thoughts of a visit to the Dodda Mallur Sri Navaneetha Krishna Temple. Here's a youtube video of the episide to cherish (Thanks to the original uploader)...

We decided to embark on a half day / morning trip to the temple. Google maps showed that it was about 74 kms from Bangalore towards Mysore (near Channapatna, the land of toys).

We started at around 6:00 AM, took the Mysore road, via corporation circle and reached Mylasandra (near RV College of Engineering) around 7:00 AM. We had breakfast (nice Khara Bath) at Airavata (after waking up the servers and cooks:-)), and from there on it was little less than a hours drive. We reached the temple around 8:30 AM. Having parked the car (ample space for around 100 cars) we bought some garlands and archana items and proceeded towards the temple.

One can make out that the temple was quite old, but nevertheless not badly maintained. The scars and the fades on the walls and sculptures on the pillars were ample evidence. The temple has idols of Lord Venkateshwara, Goddess Mahalakshmi Thayar and then Lord Navaneetha Krishna.

Idol of Lord Krishna within the temple

Then Google maps showed that there is one more temple in the vicinity - Lord Narasimha temple, and we decided to visit there. One has to take the road opp. to the arch of the Krishna temple, and proceed for about 2 - 3 kms. One can encounter a level crossing, proceeding further once can spot a board written in Kannada showing directions (pointing towards the right). This small road, takes you through lush greenery and paddy / sugarcane fields and finally to the temple. The Narasimha temple is also quite old (~1000 years), and we got to know from the priest the legacy of the temple. There is a river that flows adjoining the temple, and it offers a pleasant sight.

Then after some shopping at the Channapatna Toys shop on the roadside, we proceeded towards Kengeri, took the NICE road, paid Rs. 70 toll (45 from Kengeri to Bannerghatta road, and Rs. 25 from Bannerghatta road to Hosur road). Later on I realized that it was about 15 kms longer, anyway as the road was good, it didn't bother much, as time taken was similar to the onward journey time.

Route Map (onward)

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Route Map (return)

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Sri.Ramaprameya / Navaneetha Krishna Temple
Sri.Ramaprameya / Navaneetha Krishna Temple is a beautiful temple which is still intact and protected monument.

One can find the idol of Narayana or Veera Narayan in the main Garbhagriha, the idol is a classic Hoysala master piece and is similar to any other Narayana idol with a richly decorated prabhavali, a Conch, Chakra and a Gadha in each hand.
When you start taking a pradakshina, you can find Lakshmi Devi to the right of the main temple. After you proceed a bit further, you will find the idol of Sri.Krishna in the form of a small child and is known by the name - Navaneetha Krishna.

Navaneetha Krishna is in the form of a child who is in crawling position, its the most beautiful idol which I have ever seen. The Lord is decorated with a decorated Uda dhaara(silver thread, tangled with bells around his waist) and his one hand is holding the butter and the other hand he is supporting himself while crawling.

The temple is constructed in typical Vijayanagara Style and one can find huge pillars surrounding the temple complex. Also, the whole complex is covered with stone masonary, and the Ratha Mantapa, which is outside the temple is beautifully carved in stone and is quite huge.

One can also find a Tula Bhara Mantapa just in front of the temple, which again resembles Vijayanagara style and one can compare this with the Tula Mantapa present in Nandi and Hampi as well.

Sri.Nadi Narasimha temple
This temple is unique to its kind, apart from Sri.Gunja Narasimha temple in Tirumakudal Narasipura, this is one temple which I found situated on the banks of a river.

The temple is belived to be 1000 years old, but looking at the structure, one feel it is renovated some 200 - 300 years back. While taking the pradakshina around the temple, one has to notice the image of Hanuman who is seated in meditation posture is worth watching along with other Dasha Avathara of Vishnu.

Just opposite to the temple, you can find a small valley, which might be a third order stream for the river Shimsha which flows then joins river Cauvery later.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Drive to Ghati Subramanya Temple

Ghati Subramanya is one of the popular pilgrim centers located near Doddaballapur of Bangalore Rural district. Ghati Subrahmanya is located about 60 Kms from Bangalore.

The temple here is dedicated to Lord Subramanya and Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. It is believed that the idol of Shri subrahmanya is self originated. The uniqueness of the temple is, Sri Subrahmanya is facing east and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha is facing west in a single image. One can have darshan of Lord Narasimha through a mirror placed rear side.

This unique and ancient temple attracts many a pilgrims. Special pooja's will be performed the event of Brahmarathotsava, i.e., on the day of Pushya shudda Shashti. Narasimha Jayanti is other major festival celebrated here. Marriage functions are also held here.

It is Lord Murugan's temple and very much in tradition with the "Kukke" subramanya temple. Here you find him in the "Naga" avathar and all the "sarpa (snake) dosha" related poojas are performed here.

Free lunch is provided daily for the devotees.

How to Reach
Take the road from Hebbal towards Bangalore International Airport (Devanahalli). Before touching Yelahanka, take a slight left on the service road, and proceed towards Yelahanka level crossing. After about a KM you will see the Yelahanka Traffic Police Station on the left. Take a left turn immediately after this, and proceed straight to Doddaballapur.

Another route is to proceed straight towards Devanahalli. After Devanahalli bus stand, there is a left turn that moves towards Doddaballapur. Proceed along here until you reach the road coming from Bangalore (Hindupur Road). Take a right here and proceed for about 5 kms, you would be in Doddaballapur.

From D.B.Pura, proceed straight until you see the arch towards Ghati Subramanya. Ask locals for directions (they are generally helpful).

Shri Subrahmanya Temple
S.S. Ghati Post,
Doddaballapur Taluk,
Pin code: 561 203,
Bangalore Rural district.
Phone Number : 080-27657131 (Just Dial)

My Travel
On a gloomy noon, around 3:15 PM we started off. At around 4:00 PM, just as I crossed Yelahanka the sky blackened, and mother nature presented her beauty !

With bit of difficulty, in controlling my nature loving personality and driving personality, I managed to wade through the tar in the drizzle towards Doddaballapur.

I mistakenly took a slight deviation towards Doddaballapur Railway station, and took a moment to capture this.

Then, got back on track and proceeded straight for about 5 kms. There was a junction, with direction boards. Went straight for about 3 kms and found the arch showing the entrance to the road to Ghati Subramanya.

Beleive me the road was very scenic and the apt time, is to drive around during cloudly evenings. We had to pass through one more level crossing, and it was real fun driving in those roads. There were lot of road side vegetable sellers, selling fresh vegetables. We had decided to check them on our return and proceed.

Just as you near Ghati, the road turns into a scenic motorway, with slopes and curves, it makes for a real chilling drive.

We reached Ghati around 5:30 PM. There was ample parking space, but we parked near a shop, and were forced to buy garlands there (for free parking) :-) After taking a few snaps outside, we had a good darshan at the temple. Not being able to identify the deity, "where is Subramanya", I asked the priest, and he helped me gleefully by showing his hand :-) Infact, I was only loooking at Lord Narasimha, and then noticed Lord Subramanya.

After buying a few photographs of the Unique B/W Lord Muruga, and some snaps of the Monkeys around, in the drizzle, we ran towards the car, and started off around 6:15 PM... On our return, we bought some fresh vegetables, in the drizzle. It was real fun...

The return drive from Doddabalapur towards Yelahanka was even more fun. The light began to fade and traffic piled up (though all fast moving traffic). It was real fun driving on 2 lane roads during drizzle, waiting for the right moment for overtaking and cruising ahead. Without much fuss, we reached Hebbal flyover around 7:30 PM and after some shopping & dining at Esteem Mall, we reached home around 9:00 PM.

It was a really enjoyable drive of about 130 kms, and it happened during the right time (and it was my first noticeably long journey on my i10 with the new Michelins).

Route Map

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Someshwara Temple, Ulsoor

Being in Bangalore for more than 6 years and not having visited the Someshwara temple was a sin. I was searching for a Kaala Bhairava temple, around Marathahalli / Old Airport Road / Kagadasapura, etc. After about a month of frantic searching, I got to know from many friends and relatives that only the Someshwara temple in Ulsoor houses the deity - Lord Kala Bhairava.

Brief Introduction about the temple
Someshwara temple is one of the prominent ancient temples of Bangalore. The main temple was supposedly built during by Chola dynasty, while the impressive Rajagopuram and the compound of the temple was built by chieftain Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore. Endowed with splendid architecture, the Someshwara temple bears shimmering Rajagopuram (tower) and Dhwajastambha (massive pillar) which provide glimpse of the master craftsmanship.

The presiding deity being worshipped at the temple is Lord Someshwara (Shiva). In addition, the main temple houses these deities:
1. Lord Vinayaka
2. Lord Murugan with Valli & Deivanai
3. Goddess Vishnu Durgai
4. Lord Dakshinamoorthy
5. Lord Chandikeswarar
5. Lord Kaala Bhairava

The temple houses other deities of Kamakshamma, Arunachaleswara, Bhimeswara, Nanjundeswara, Panchalingeswara and the Navagraha Gods.

On the eve of Shivarathri in the month of February, devotees flock to the Someshwara temple in large numbers. Worshippers crowd here to have a darshan of Lord Shiva, the main deity and the Pancha Lingeswaras . The temple celebrates Brahmotsava on the full moon day and Kamakshamma Pallaki Utsava festivals in the month of April. The deity of the temple, Goddess Kamakshamma, is taken in a procession in a Pallaki (palanquin) around the temple.

My Experience
With this, on an Ashtami day, we went to this temple. One could get a Tamilnadu feel, in and around the temple. There are quite many garland shops around the temple, and they sell the famed Bilva leaves. Around 7:00 AM, when we went to see the Lord, Abhishekam was being performed on Lord Shiva. We had offered the flower garlands, and proceeded to see the other deities.

I was surprised to find so many deities around the main temple. As it was a Thursday, special poojas were performed to Lord Dakshinamoorthy. We then lit the coconut lamp dedicated to Lord Kaala Bhairava, and offered our prayers.

Overall, it was a very blissful experience, and I have made it a point to visit this temple, at least once a month.

Some Pics of the temple

Around the prakaram

Main temple Vimanam


Photo of the aerial representation

A View of the Gopuram from Inside

A View of the Gopuram from Outside

Location of the temple
The temple is situated next to Bazaar Street Ulsoor. While travelling from MG Road, one has to pass the trinity circle, and proceed straight on Old Madras Road. On the left you would see the Fame Lido Mall, and the on the next signal, you will find Bazaar street on the left. Proceed straight for about 100 metres, and you will find a small street on the left. Take this left and you can spot the temple immediately.

View Larger Map

Parking space is limited, so in crowded days you may not get parking space for cars. But on normal days, there is just enough space to park about 10 cars.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Wheels

Its been about 20 months and 19000 odd kms on my red i10 with the Bridgestone stock tyres, and no problems whatsoever. But, the yearning for more road grip and big boots were always on. Half the age, and not the age to die, but as it happens, it had to happen :-) Well, I decided its soon.

The Finished product
Before jumping to a bit more story and the thought process, here's how it all ended.

Choosing the right tyre
It was not very tough to decide the brand of the tyre. Google listed www.team-bhp.com forums, and there were plenty of posts on it. Unanimous choice was Michelin for the driving comfort, though there were some cons that it is not 100% made for bad indian roads. Hey but we have lot of 4-laned tolled roads now, and as most of the fuel would be burnt there, I decided to go in for Michelin straightaway.

I had to do a thorough research to find the right upsize for my i10. Courtesy lots of Tyre size calculators online, I was able to list down these options:

Original Tyre Size
Tyre codeDiameter Circumference Difference
155/80 R13 578 mm 1816 mm 0 %

Upsize Options
Tyre codeDiameter Circumference Difference
175/65 R13 558 mm 1753 mm -3.55 %
185/65 R13 571 mm 1794 mm -1.3 %
165/70 R13 561 mm 1762 mm -2.94 %
175/70 R13 575 mm 1806 mm -0.52 %
185/70 R13 589 mm 1850 mm 1.9 %
155/75 R13 563 mm 1769 mm -2.68 %
165/75 R13 578 mm 1816 mm -0.09 %
175/75 R13 593 mm 1863 mm 2.51 %
155/80 R13 578 mm 1816 mm 0 %
165/80 R13 594 mm 1866 mm 2.77 %
175/60 R14 566 mm 1778 mm -2.18 %
185/60 R14 578 mm 1816 mm -0.1 %
155/65 R14 557 mm 1750 mm -3.65 %
165/65 R14 570 mm 1791 mm -1.4 %
175/65 R14 583 mm 1832 mm 0.85 %
185/65 R14 596 mm 1872 mm 3.1 %
155/70 R14 573 mm 1800 mm -0.97 %
165/70 R14 587 mm 1844 mm 1.45 %
175/70 R14 601 mm 1888 mm 3.87 %
155/75 R14 588 mm 1847 mm 1.71 %

RIM Size & Width
I had a tough time to decide whether to go for a R13 or R14 dia Rim. R14 would decrease the profile, making the ride bit rough. If I had maintained the profile, then I had to endure few scratches on the body when riding on speed humps. Greater RIM Dia would increase the visual appearance, but that could lead to a not so good ride quality. Hence, I decided to go with R13 Rims only.

Then, I had to choose the RIM Width that is appropriate for the new tyre's width. I've covered those in detail in the upcoming sections.

Deciding on Tyre Size
I had to choose a tyre size such that the overall difference in circumference should be less than +-2%. While increasing the diameter could have increased the profile for a comfortable ride quality on smooth roads, it would have scrapped few coatings from the wheel cavity, and damaged the front mud-flaps on sharp turns. Decreasing the diameter could have adverse effects on the ground clearance. Esp. on indian roads with sewage mini bridges, converted to massive speed humps, you need to maintain (as far as possible) the original ground clearance.

155 was ruled out, so I had to choose from 165 to 185. Ideally there was only a choice between 185 and 175, as 165 too seemed apparently small. The visual appeal from 175 was much more than 165, so the options were narrowed down to 175 or 185.

While 185 would give a better look, I know I have to compromise a bit more on mileage. Moreover, there was the concern of the tyre protruding out of the body awkwardly which could result in a mismatch in looks vs size. Moreover, there was a concern on team-bhp, that on few i10s, 185/60 R14 had touched the inner wheel cavity on bumpy roads. One of my friend had 185/60 R13 on his i10, sporting the Yokohama A-Drives that looked classy. But, I figured out that it has decreased the circumference by -81.68mm that is -4.5% difference. But, he seems to be pretty happy with his tyres and ground clearance. I still was not able to make the choice between 185 & 175. Unfortunately or I would say fortunately (as it narrowed down the options available) Michelin did not have 180/70 R13, so I decided on 175/70 R13 finally.

I also found out that the 175/70 R13 tyre had a speed rating of H (i.e. upto 210 kmph). With the realization that I could experience more stability on highways, I knew I am making a wise decision.

Choosing Alloys over Stock Rims
Another choice to make, was whether to mount the tyre on the stock rim or whether to go for alloys. Remember that if you increase the width of your tyre, you need wider Rims to accomodate them, else you would experience the sidewall strain, that can cause a cushioned ride and shorter tyre life. The recommended RIM Width for 175" wide tyres are 5J to 6J. So, 5.5 would be the ideal width. This was one of the most important factors to opt for alloy wheels during tyre upsizes.

So, having convinced myself that it makes sense to spend extra bucks to get a rich look, I decided to go for new alloy rims that could get me a wider Rims (good enough to mount 175 or even 185) and having more stable ride quality and increased tyre life.

I had a red-lip design in mind, to go with the body colour of my i10, but at the same time had other factors to consider such as strength of the casting, width of the spokes, number of spokes, etc. It was a contentious decision to opt for more spoke width, than the visually appealing red-lip design. So, I chose this design, that I would call "The violent Sudarshan Chakra", for it looks gorgeously violent !!!

I also had to go for a change in bolts to new chrome bolts, as it would match with the alloy looks, and provides better safety for tyres, in case, I had to park my car at a public garage for a longer period. The new chrome bolts come with a unique lock key, that would fit with the stock toolkit to fasten or unfasten.

The Numbers
New Tyre Size: 175/70 R13 (Stock: 155/80 R13)
Brand: Michelin (Stock: Bridgestone)
Speed Rating: H (Stock: S)
Alloy Wheel: CP Wheels
Rim Width: 5.5J (Stock: 4.5J)
Cost: Ask me!

Links to Tyre size calculators

Links to Alloy Wheel manufacturers Web-site

Michelin Logo

OEM Michelin Tyre Pics

Some Alloy wheels designs that I considered

Pics Shot during Fitting

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Drive to Yelagiri and Jalagamparai Falls

Drive to Yelagiri
It was a late decision to go for a weekend drive. As we wanted the drive to be smooth and visit unseen (rather undriven) places, we zeroed upon Yelagiri Hills.

Yelagiri is a hill station near Jolarpet, in Tamilnadu. It is at an altitude of 1400 metres above sea level. There are 14 hairpin bends on the ghat road. For information on Yelagiri Hills and the places of interest, visit http://wikitravel.org/en/Yelagiri.

Before embarking on the journey, I had a brief understanding of the places to visit at Yelagiri, courtesy - http://www.yelagirihills.com/where_to_go.htm

The Start
We started early around 6:30 AM in the morning. We reached Hosur around 7:15 AM, and had breakfast at Gowrishankar / Vasanta Vihar Hotel on the back side of the bus stand. It is the tasty pongal served in the morning, that lured us there. And we had a sumptuous breakfast before embarking to Yelagiri.

Then we took the Chennai Highway from Krishnagiri and proceeded towards Jolarpet. I got deterred by a wrong route board, and took a detour near a place called Natrampalli... At this point, I realized that on the new SW version on my N8, Google maps had stopped working. Ovi Maps, did not have this road at all :-) After enquiring from few locals, we were asked to proceed on a bit rough road. After about 30 mins (20 kms) we reached Jolarpet. After struggling to find a way past the Railway Level Crossing, we reached Vaniyambadi - Tirupattur SH, which was very good (though 2 way). After enquiries at roadside shops, we found the road to Yelagiri, at a place called Ponneri. There was a Ganesha Temple just before the start of the Ghat section, and we took a moment there.

The ghat section was very good, and the roads were well laid with umpteen warning and direction signboards. There was a name painted on every hairpin bend, and we managed to click every one of those. We stopped at the 7th Hairpin bend to get a panoramic view of the adjoining plains. The view as ever from a hilltop was just beautiful. Then just after clearing 11th hairpin bend, we saw the Telescope house.

The Telescope House
The telescope house, situated on a cliff is not functional now. There is no telescope or anything as such, and is unmanned.

The sound of trees swaying in the breeze greeted us to the top of the cliff. We spent a breezy 15 minutes, captivated by the valley view and the cool breeze.

Then, after a few more hairpin bends, came Athanoor town and we were greeted by this signboard.

Punganoor Artificial Lake-cum-Park
After having parked our car at the Parking lot (Rs. 20) at Punganoor Lake, we proceeded towards the lake hoping for some decent boating experience. But, we were taken aback by the lack of motor boats, all that was available were pedal and row boats. There was also a children's park beside the lake.

After taking a few photographs and a semi circular stroll around the lake, we thought what next, and decided to just drive around.

Murugan Temple
A few minutes away from Athanoor towards Nilavoor, is the Murugan temple. The temple is situated on a hillock, and one has to climb about 100 steps to reach the temple. After some oofs and aaahs, we were able to find the temple.

Nilavoor Lake
Not knowing where to go next, we saw up some sign boards of a Sports Adventure camp at a place called Nilavoor. The word adventure prompted me to drive to Nilavoor (about 6 kms from Athanoor). We were greeeted by a mud coloured lake :-) yes, the water was brownie, but yes we decided to pedal our way for about an hour. And we couldn't manage more than 20 mins. After tasting some Jackfruit, we decided to return.

We enquired about Jalagamparai falls to a few locals and got to know that the falls is on the other side of the hill, about 5 kms trek from Nilavoor. However, if one had to go by road, its about 44 kms, as we had to go downhill, then to Tirupattur, and take the scenic Jalagamparai Falls road. As we were pretty tired, and wanted to explore on road, we decided to go to Jalagamparai falls. We had Milk at an Aavin Milk outlet at Athanoor and then proceeded downhill. It took us about 1.5 hours (90 mins) to cover the 44 kms stretch. The road to Jalagamparai (though was narrow) was very scenic with rich vegetation all around. Jalagamparai is about 14 kms from Tirupattur.

Jalagamparai Waterfalls
We were greeted by a crowd of Monkeys at the falls. There was no water from the falls as it was not raining at that time. There was a temple slightly above the base of the falls (about 75 steps). We then got to know from the locals that the actual place of the falls is about a half km trek. I wanted to do the mini trek to proceed to the exact place of the water fall. However, one local warned me that the trek path is deserted and immediately I spotted a snake zipping past about 5 feet in from of us. Then, we decided to heed to the warning and just took a few snaps and started on the return journey.

Return Drive
From Tirupattur, we took the Krishnagiri road, quite good though 2 way. Easily I could drive at 80kmph and occasionally touch 100. In about 45 minutes we reached Bargur (about 40 kms from Tirupattur), From there on we joined the Chennai - Bangalore Highway and from there on it was a cruise.

We reached Hosur around 4:30 and had tiffin at Gowrishankar (don't ask me why again), but, It was just so good, atleast to me.

Route Map
While writing this blog, I observed that the routes we had taken were not present on the Google maps. I added these roads through mapmaker, but even then was not able to chart out the route that we had taken.

However, the simplest route is to proceed towards Vaniyambadi, and take the Vaniyambadi Tirupattur road and take the Yelagiri Ghat Road at Ponneri.

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