A day’s outing to Avani betta

The weekend wasn’t planned to have any outings through the group, but one of the new members suggested us to go for some of the near by locations which are nothing-much-to-see-or-do kind of a places. Some blogs that we referred were –
1. http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/travel/the-hanging-pillar-and-other-wonders-of-lepakshi/article2836929.ece
2.http://www.hindu.com/mp/2008/08/04/stories/2008080450650200.htm
3.http://arunthetraveller.blogspot.com/2011/08/avani-glimpses-of-ramayana-in-karnataka.html
may be some more research was done for finding details on driving to this place.

But we were not interested in doing something hectic or hyped or even crowded, so we just chose to go a little hamlet of a place called Avani, situated in Kolar, hardly 100 kms drive from Bangalore. Some of us wanted to just get out for a day drive, and some of us were interested in doing a simple trek. Avani seemed to provide us both the options, so we went ahead.

blore-avani

 

Ofcourse we were following google maps to navigate our way to Avani, but you know..it hardly ever works out that well. We were on the highway for a while, and as we all got engrossed in chatter and some favorite tracks playing in the background, we all seemed to have lost track on the navigators (our phones). We cut path somewhere in Kolar to have some breakfast. After the breakfast, again we did the mistake of following the maps, instead of trusting the locals who directed us in a different way. So as you can see, we deviated a bit. And it didn’t bother us much, as we weren’t on a tight schedule either.

onward

But as we had got off the highway for some reason, there was more scope to come across beautiful views around. On one of the little rock hills (some betta) we spent time posing around for pictures and breathing in morning breeze with no sun to hinder the experience.
Once we realised we had lost our way, and there was no sign of a highway or directions to Avani, we began asking any villager or vehicles we came across for directions to Avani.What was supposed to be just 100 kms and an hour of drive, turned into a 3 hour journey. Finally after almost 2 hours of meandering we reached our destination of Avani Betta. It has a small ancient Temple at the foot of the hill. We began to ascend immediately and discovered how huge the hill actually was, but the climb would be called as easy on the scale of difficulty. Unless you are really out of touch with physical fitness, this will be easy.

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On the way up, there are little caves and couple of associated stories from both Ramayana & Mahabharata. But mostly Ramayana, where Sita slept, where she washed clothes, where she fed Luv and Kusha, where they got hot water from, for bathing and stuff. The temple on top is for Sita Mata, and apparently she was buried there. All stories about all such ancient landmarks seem to claim that our Gods had been there and there only. But you need not question the logic always, just enjoy the mythical stories and wonder in awe.
We also had some peculiarly weird encounters, targeted encounters (quite strategically so..) with creatures we fear. Navya in the morning happened to admit to her fear and disgust towards monkeys, and was chased by one at the temple on top – I mean he was really only and only interested in her for some reason. Swetha also at some point in morning expressed her fear of dogs, and one magically appeared to follow her out of no where to make her tremble for a couple of minutes. Me on the other hand who was almost felt confident about nothing to fear really – realised I hated those bright coloured chameleons to come anywhere near to – and voila!..one such chameleon shooed us off from the rock we relaxed on for an hour or so, by making really bold attack-like moves  ..on our way while descending..many of them jumped right in front of us. So in short, all of us had to face our lame-fears 😛 but we haven’t really got rid of them either. I still hate those creepy lizards! (respectively monkeys or dogs)

summary

 

It was a light stroll way up the temple, and good weather to cherish. We spent considerable time relaxing and chatting at the top of hill. We snacked on few things we brought with us. On our way back, we made sure to ask for directions from locals than looking at our stupid phones. This time we landed on highway exactly in 10 mins, turns out the whole route is on highway and Avani is just a few kms of diversion from the highway, infact there is a proper cut for you to move out from the highway to come to Avani. You will find a Adigas and CCD while returning on the highway to refuel after entire morning of being lost (if you were 😉 ).

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How far are we from our travel dream

I had done this a year back though, but some of the information is still relevant for an average Middle-class Indian. For an Indian traveler it is not often easier to pack his bags and make the world his oyster, unless he or she has a job that supports their visiting different countries, or is an aristocrat for that matter. An average Indian needs to work really hard and really save to be able to achieve his perfect traveler’s dream.

As obvious, our most accessible destinations happen to be most of the south-east asian countries, and some middle-eastern ones. While the european countries turn out to be a farther from us financially unlike the given its actual geographical proximity to us. Both America and South-Anerica, along with the southern-most hemisphere becomes practically a tough feat to access for an Indian, atleast with his/her personal savings.

destinations

Some exact numbers may not tally to the current scenario, but the fact remains, nothing has become cheaper for us. The prices have only increased, the gap has just widened more. We continue to struggle to save up enough to buy a home, some other basics and may be ‘travel the world’.

6 Months journey so far

I have not been able to update this blog for a while now, and that does not mean the Meetup group has gone dormant. We infact have been super busy planning away some amazing trips. I would say, it has been a very fruitful 6 months, very energetic and fun.

As a tribute to 6 months this group has completed, here is a ‘Report Card’ to see what The Traveler & Explorer Girls’ Group has been upto.

tnegg reportcard

We have gained more than anyone of us might have expected. A company to every place I dreamt of exploring, and friends who are as compassionate about things that matter. Friends you can now trust and be sure that nothing pulls down their travel plans. We all have a Whatsapp chat group right from the beginning, and its such a constant buzzer on your phone! really I mean atleast I would never mute it cause its for people who dream and breath about travel and travel only. It is amazing how I only imagined such people existed, and now I actually know some of them.

The monthly meetups happen on the first sunday, and venue is often picked up by any member. By the way, we are foodies too, most of us I’d say, so we make sure the venue is good food-coffee-chai place. The meetups have been shaping up just the way I hoped them to. I mean a bunch of girls – really crazy about going on a trip, come together, we put forward our thoughts, we consider factors like weather and days required, and before you know it – the plan is already shaping up. We continue the momentum by keeping in touch on Whatsapp. Most of our bookings and dates are finalised there.

Amongst the discussed trips on the meetups, we are now going to Chikmagalur on one of the weekends, and Bhutan is also finalised to happen in coming months, which a 10 day trip, planned from scratch by us. As usual, all plans were collectively achieved. Each of these trips consist of atleast 4-5 girls. A Badami-Bijapur-Aihole-Patakkadal historical trip was also on the cards on one of the long weekends, but it kind of fell-through due to some personal emergencies of few members. But not that it will not happen, we still have half a year left. A trek to Brahmagiri might also be on the cards post monsoon. We also wanted to check out scuba-diving nearby which one of the members suggested was completely worth it, being nearby – at Netrani Island, Murudeshwar. Apart from that we are almost sure about some more trips like that one to Himachal Pradesh in Feb,2015, we plan to cover Dalhousie, Kasol and the likes. Europe is on our minds ever since the 1st meet, and lets hope we all can have the required leaves from work and the money saved for that trip. Oh wait! I forgot about the trip to Kolkata in Nov,2014….it was kinda that just popped out of nowhere, as one of our crazy members had booked a ticket on a weird hunch for herself alone, ofcourse she asked us if we were interested..and turns some of us are always interested! always..

You can find details of what we did on our Chikmagalur trip in the coming posts. I will also be updating all the links to research and information referred by us for the same. I will keep posting about many other parallel research that we keep doing for our future trips – this has become like a full time job we do.

So as you can see, we are on our way to check the entire globe out (beginning from India ofcourse).