Madhya Pradesh Part 3- Khajuraho

We drove from Orchha to Khajuraho in a taxi [Rs.2500/- for the drop]

On way our driver took us to see ruins around Maharaja Chhatrasal Museum, beside NH 39.

Also the Baruasagar Fort, which falls in U.P. as the M.P. & U.P. borders get crossed several times while taking NH 39.

We reached Khajuraho by afternoon. We checked into Hotel Harmony [Rs.1500/- per night for double room, WiFi for Rs.50/- per day per person, booked at] had our lunch from hotel restaurant (which was horrible) and waited for sun to mellow down to step out.

We had asked our hotel staff to arrange for a next day morning safari ticket for Panna National Park, but they somehow hadn’t done it, and when we reached we sort of missed on asking them to confirm it. By the time we followed up with them, it was 5:00 p.m. and all tickets were sold out already on the website. Safari tickets for both timings have to be bought a day before online via agents in Khajuraho, in case you miss, you need to hire a cab to drive all the way to Panna National Park gate and stand in queue to buy the tickets an hour before the safari starts. Finally we had to bank on afternoon safari.

We finally got out at 5:30 p.m. to check out the Western group of Temples near by. Khajuraho is more organised and looks way too posh for ancient ruins, given the kind of foreigners pouring here this can be expected. The markets are like any other tourist destination, full of same old stuff, but you can bargain here like no other place.

There are other campuses, the southern & eastern group of temples, for which you can hire a auto to cover in Rs.300/-. Since we were not going for Morning safari, we had time to cover all these place next day. We asked our taxi guy who¬†we brought from Orchha, as he was around, to take us around and drop and pick at Panna after that. He offered a very reasonable price of Rs. 1500/- for the entire day’s ride around Khajuraho, as opposed to locals auto/taxi guys asking for Rs.2500/- to Rs.3000/-. (I have mentioned our Taxi guy’s contact at the bottom of this post, he does trips all across M.P. and up towards north as well)

Southern temples are part of Jain temple complex, which is an old stone structure, painted and renovated now.                                                                                    img_20161010_120608

Eastern temples are more scattered around, most important one being a Chatrabhuj Temple, with the most beautifully carved statue as shown in picture in a stack above.

Through out our stay in Khajuraho, we found Raja Cafe really comforting, with a nice menu and AC seating area. Prices are same as Bangalore, so a bit on higher side as compared to places around M.P. We had our breakfast, lunches and dinners there itself.

We left for our Safari at 12:45 p.m. from Khajuraho to Panna National Park Madla gate.¬†The place isn’t exactly organised, and you’ll come across lot of shitty Govt. style of handling things. The counter for buying¬†tickets is a joke, the guy responsible turns up just minutes before safari starts, and all jeeps and guide flank the place to finish their fish for the day.

On the board only charges mentioned are Safari ticket for Rs.1500/- & Guide fees for Rs.360/-, rest you will be asked for random commissions and the safari jeep has extra cost of Rs.2500/- not mentioned anywhere officially . People usually blurt out any number at you when you ask, so make sure to ask them repeatedly about the total amount expected.

Overall the visit to Panna was serene, even though we did not spot any major wild, the rain made the weather pleasant and and enjoyable ride.

We returned back with our taxi, that waited outside the Park, to Khajuraho hotel by 7:00 p.m. Had dinner at Raja Cafe and headed back to prepare for next morning to leave Khajuraho.

You can read about rest of places covered in Gwalior & Orchha. Our detailed itinerary

For Taxi you can reach Bir Singh Yadav at +919109773211 for trips all across M.P. and even U.P. or Uttarakhand


Monsoon at Gersoppa (Jog Falls & Around)

Yamini, an ardent traveler-mom from our group has been part of our most memorable group trips, she is also a travel writer for several Malayalam Magazines, and is very good at chalking out a unique itinerary for her fellow travelers (though, as a USP of our travel-motto, she goes with the flow and does not plan much) which is why I requested her to write for us, and enlighten us with the amazing trip she and the girls had exploring western ghat side of Karnataka over a weekend.

Write-up by Yamini Vasudevan

“Not all those who wander are lost”

JRR Tolkein was completely wrong that day. We, a group of five – Mini, Nivedita, Karthi, Me and my son Shashank will wholeheartedly agree that. We were on a trail to Gerusoppa Jain Temple, located 34 kilometres from Honnavar near Shimoga. The expedition was part of a weekend trip to Jog Falls and some places in and around Shimoga.
We were strongly believing in Tolkein.
jog fall trip collage copy
“We’ve lost our way, said Nivedita.
Mini was confident that we’ll find the way. So was Karthi.
“I remember a hanging bridge landmark somewhere,” exclaimed Karthi.
Shashank was excited to be inside the forest with no idea where to go.
I told you, Tolkein was wrong.
As we stood on the banks of Sharavathi river, waiting for the boat to take us to the other side,first drop fell on my brand new phone, up from the sky. Rain has this magic. Sometimes, as a silhouette, sometimes pitter patter, or sometimes downpour. I have enjoyed everything all this while. But on the phone… Erghhh!
But this time it was a joy-killer. As we got engrossed in the various imageries that we saw about this Jain temple in blogs, our boat came right infront of us. It was just  less than a kilometre to the other side. But boats are the only mode of transport that takes you to the other side.
Giving  five rupees per person as boat charge, we reached the other part of Gerusoppa.
The place was extremely untouched that we ourselves felt dumbstruck.
One or two autos were waiting, but we decided to trek.
The three-kilometre trek was not so easy. Initial one kilometre was through tarred roads. Mini and Shashank were cruising along way ahead of us. We, the-supposed-to-be-young three were trailing behind. Yes… the lagging was only physical. Mentally we five were just excited about the awaiting wonder.
We walked on and on…
There began the trail through muddy tracks and unrepaired roads. For most of the parts, there were barely any roads. But still, we trudged along with no one soul to ask the way to ‘Chathurmukha Basdi Jain Temple’. We decided to move ahead. We spotted a few buffaloes and asked them if they can help us. The paths were getting murkier with occasional rains.
The road was ending there. We realised that we have reached the other side of the bank of Sharavathi river. Sharavathi is a 128 kilometre long river that flows entirely through Karnataka.
We were wandering and were lost too.
Mini and Karthi intervened and did some vague attempts to find the way. At the end of this road, where we were standing clueless, there was a road that traverse through dense forests. We took a diversion through this road but to no avail. The wanderers in us didn’t want to return.
It was then we realised that the only landmark that we can think of is a hanging bridge that we read in one of the blog posts. While we took our steps back we noticed a wooden bridge ( where we earlier spotted buffaloes) The wooden bridge was actually covered by the dense flaura and fauna and hence we missed it.
If you thought wooden bridge itself is tough to climb, then you should wait for some more minutes. The wooden bridge then gave way to a hanging bridge which lays across Netrani river.
And what a sight that was. Made of iron cables and wooden planks, the hanging bridge is adventure, fun and excitement combined. Mini led us while Nivedita and Karthi clicked every other frame from top. I don’t remember what I and Shashank did. Maybe standing still on the bridge and looking around, savouring the ambience.
We were just more than happy for getting back to the correct route. The bridge is around half a kilometre long and one person width. After more than 15 to 20 minutes photo session and zigzagging throughout the bridge, we almost reached the destination.
The density of the forest was just banging all around us. It was almost noon, but darkness set a veil around us. We traversed through the muddy track and finally there was light.
Every temple or Basadi there had something to offer.
Our first pitstop was Sri Parshwanatha Temple along with Jwalamalini Temple. This is supposedly the only temple where pooja is performed. As we entered the temple premises, a set of dogs barked upon us. The bravest among the five – Shashank and his mother – found a safe shelter somewhere. It was later known that those dogs are the temple priest’s companion and a
By that time rain thickened. We sat on the concrete bench and chatted with the priest. He said that Jwalamalini was the chief Goddess of Narasimharajapura. History suggests that there were more than 100 jain basadis in and around Gerusoppa. The area flourishned from 13th to 16th century. Besides, it was also the capital Saluva kings. But the time period of Rani Chennabyradevi is supposed to be the golden age of Gerusoppa. And due to such heritage connections,Gerusoppa was also called the Harappa of Jains.
True to its name, covered with greenery and without any human soul ( barring the priest and his helper, who was our guide as well) Gerusoppa Jain Temple will never find its name in any tourist’s itinerary.
Opposite to Parshwanatha temple was a small basadi which was dysfunctional.
The dog was accompanying us most of the time as if he owns the place. Yes… he too owns a big place in this world.
The sanctum sanctorum was almost nil except a stone structure. Outside this, we saw a few stone inscriptions,  There were some Jain statues, idols of some Thirthankaras and a few other inscriptions. Opposite to this on a higher platform are Mahavira Basadi and Neminatha Basadi, both practically not functioning and in dismay.
The main attraction of Gerusoppa Jain temple , Chaturmukha Basadi is around 400 metres further up. When we reached there, a group of labourers were beautifying the surroundings of the Basadi. I was literally happy to see the authorities taking time to preserve this ASI structure.
As the name indicates, Chathurmukha Basadi is a four-faced structure, the names being Ajitha natha, Sambhunatha, Abhinandana & Vimalnatha. Built with granite on an elevated star-shaped platform, the temple is very much constructed in Hoysala architecture style. But we didn’t get any official confirmation on this.
The temple is very much like how we see in blogs and travelogues. A beautiful lawn, that is well-preserved, adds charm to the temple. Cleanliness is maintained all over. We doubted if the cleanliness may be because it is still an untouched treasure.
Very less people take the pain to reach here. Maybe that’s why the priest, the helper and even the dogs were surprised on seeing four women and a boy coming here. But trust me, the three souls that we met there were very helpful and did no harm. They even took the pain to bid us goodbye by calling a boat for our return journey. As we boarded from another bank and as we were the only travellers, we had to pay 250 bucks. The guy, in a jiffy, took us to the other side of Sharavathi river where our car was parked.
We once again chanted what JRR Tolkein said long back: “Not all those who wander are lost.”
The end.

Update: Google maps just recently furnished the Digambar Jain ruins at the Gerosoppa Reservoir map. Screenshot for reference :
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 1.59.14 PM

You can also read another post about this same trip by Nivedita Datta, who is also part of our group –¬†

The Enchanting Forest Part 1

kanha 1

Sal tree forest in Kanha

It had been years since I was ignoring my allure for the wild, Tigers to be precise. It had been years since I actually went for those Jungle Safaris, which were way too frequent as a child being daughter of an I.F.S. officer. Reasons span from between making a life for yourself to becoming too self-occupied. Also, this year I was running out of ideas for summer trips. Almost every place that came to mind was either a winter destination or otherwise – but definitely¬†too hot for¬†summer. I wanted to use my Labour day weekend on something nice. I finally decided I have to do my long pending visit to a National Park during summer time and meet the man of the jungle, no sorry …God of the jungle “The Tiger(s)”

Summer is said to be best time to do a Jungle Safari for obvious reasons. The Jungle runs out of water in most of internal areas, and the man-made water holes or lakes become their obvious abode or regular visit area, that helps us spot them more often. That said, however, some National Parks like Ranthambore in Rajasthan, Kanha in Madhya Pradesh, assure a visitor atleast one sight of the national animal. This is just possible because these 2 Tiger Reserves have had enough funding and support for them to develop their skills at striking a balance between a wildlife friendly ecosystem and host tourists without disturbing it much. On the other hand, most wildlife animals in these 2 national parks have seen more visitors in their lifetime than any other – making the animals almost ‘human’ friendly. That may not look like¬†a merit though, it isn’t. Other famous Nationals Parks like Jim Corbett in Uttarakhand, Panna & Bandhavgarh in M.P., Bandipur & Nagarhole in Karnataka, Periyar in Kerela,¬†Sundarbans in Bengal or Kaziranga of Assam – none of them can assure you a fruitful visit, even in the summers. That is, if and when you call spotting a ‘Tiger’ as a fruitful visit. Luckily for me right before visiting Kanha,

I happened to visit Tadoba Tiger Reserve situated in Chandrapur, Maharashtra – nearby for me – and my most ever visited NP. Tadoba has increasingly become popular among the wildlife enthusiasts in the past decade, due to magnificent efforts made my the staff in charge for years together, including my Dad. It now houses almost 56 Tigers, and a vast variety of wildlife species well-protected. Only down-side we could feel was not being able to freely move around as we did when young. We were allowed to get down from the jeep! pick a stick..take a stroll till the machaan .. ah! nostalgia.

Tadoba Lake

Tadoba Lake

The Wildlife Protection Act passed recently a couple years ago, strictly prohibits anyone and everyone from entering or wandering about in the reserve premises – including the officers themselves and many other restrictions. Safari rides are monitored and monetised, with strict timings.

A male cheetal running in the meadows | the solitary one - A Barking deer | A witty take at Tiger lovers

A male cheetal running in the meadows | the solitary one – A Barking deer | A witty take at Tiger lovers

Anyway, my luck boasted of its goodness in Tadoba Andhari Reserve itself. Even though a 60¬†second glimpse of a Tigress and its grown cubs, it was worth it. The charge that you experience within your body that urges to hold your breath while the King of the jungle strolls before you – is just out of the world. I couldn’t manage to click a good shot on my Cam, at this amateur moment I was experiencing. I made a mental note to make up for it at Kanha – my 2nd chance. We also saw a 20 sec glimpse of a bear in Tadoba, I had wished for that¬†too ūüôā

Pillars from World War II   |   Colourful hues at Tadoba

Pillars from World War II | Colourful hues at Tadoba

While Tadoba was a usual family visit with homies, Kanha was going to be with the girls, and we all were very excited about it. Everyone flew from Bangalore to Nagpur. We had made a taxi booking with Kumar Travels in Nagpur for a drop at Kanha and pick-up 3 days later. A air-conditioned 6-seater Innova costed us Rs.7000/- one way, including all taxes and driver charges Рbest deal I could find. Nagpur to Kanha is approx 275 kms, and with amazing highway built, it takes not more than 5 hours to reach. We left Nagpur in the morning, and were in Kanha in no time by afternoon. We had a booking at the Forest Rest house at Kisli, Kanha Р1 of few accommodations that are inside the reserve. Only Govt. accommodations are situated within the reserve and you have to be lucky to find vacancy in them, as they always have priority given to the Govt.Officials than civilians. All private resorts are always outside the National Park Main Gate.

Kisli FRH

Kisli FRH

Kanha is divided into 4 zones open for tourist visits Рwhich is only 20% of the entire forest area. Kisli, Kanha, Mukki & Sarahi. Each one has its own gate, where you require to buy an entry pass at the designated safari timings i.e. 6 a.m. & 4 p.m. Morning Safari is longer for about 4 1/2 hours, while evening on is only for 2 hours. Costs do not vary, so it is advised to take up morning safari for larger zones of Kanha or Mukki. Kisli & Sarahi are relatively tiny zones. Each safari ride includes cost for the Zonal fees + Jeep + Guide fees. Kanha is defined the premium zone, costing more than other 3 zones. Each Jeep can house 6 people. Kanha = 1850 + 1800 + 300 per jeep & Mukki = Kisli = Sarahi = 1250 + 1800 + 300 per jeep Since we were 4 of us, we had more comfort in the jeep to be frank.

We had no booking for Safari the day we reached. Ideally all tourists, living in a resort outside, buy the passes¬†at the gate itself when they enter. For us, we had already entered and come inside, and we also had booked taxi only for a drop, as it did not make sense to keep it for next 2 days when we won’t be able to use it for anything. With no commute options, we couldn’t have made a visit to the gate outside in any way. We requested the Range officer to help us. After a couple of phone calls and some recommendations from my now Retd. Papa, they were able to take payment from us and arrange the next day safaris. You always need to fill a long form for each Safari you opt for, with duly filled details of all members boarding the Jeep, ID number and all. You also need to present your ID cards for verification. There are no advance bookings, unless you have contacts, one needs to fill such a form at the gate and get a pass. Ticket window opens at 5:30 a.m. & 3:30 a.m. for the respective safaris. We were lucky to get it all sorted out from within the reserve ūüėõ Since we were staying for 2 days, we decided to check out each of 4 zones using 4 Jeep safaris. We pooled in and paid for all in¬†advance.

Our first evening, while we gazed at the beautiful landscape before the Guest house, where cheetals grazed without a care, and monkeys hanged out Рwe all eagerly awaited to enter that huge forest the next morning.

A herd of female barasinghas .. posed for us for couple of minutes

A herd of female barasinghas .. posed for us for couple of minutes

For the first morning we opted for Kanha Safari, we were told we can have breakfast at the Kanha Visitor Centre in middle of safari where they take a customary halt. We pulled ourselves out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and braved out in the dark to board our jeep. Dawn just broke and we rode our way into the beautiful dense jungle of Sal trees.

Barahsingha (12 anteler deer) and the thinking man..

Barahsingha (12 anteler deer) and the thinking man..

We were greeted by a humbling sight of the near extinct ‘Barasingha’ – with the 12 tipped antlers. Barasingha is a species very unique to habitats like Kanha, they have recently been propagated to other Reserves for conservation purposes. Next we saw many beautiful Birds, and some tiger paw marks that were moving in completely different direction. Somehow our guide did not seem too determined to show us one today, so we headed where we were headed. Kanha zone has large beautiful landscapes, and several lakes. We saw way too many peacocks, in the heat, opening their feathers and all. Unlike the usual belief, peacocks do not open feathers cause of the rain, but only when a peahen is in sight and they are horny. Yea, thats about it. So we saw 2-3 peacocks courting a single peahen, talk about choices! ;). The Visitor Centre has a cafetaria, that serves limited menu like fried goods and beverages. You won’t find plastic much, don’t expect chips n shit. If you aren’t a fan of fried breakfast, advisable to pack fruits and other items you like to have. There is also a museum fabricated for your amusement and knowledge, not great but a reasonable effort to fill¬†you with information. Our close to 5 hour safari was okay, with not much to boast of, but witnessing the landscape is always worth it.

Birds that we spotted with our puny lenses

Birds that we spotted with our puny lenses

Our evening visit was for Kisli zone. Our guide and the driver were much more talkative and easy to mingle with, we made sure they understood our dismay about fruitless morning safari. We saw more and more peacocks, stopped and clicked them in every possible pose. While we were at it, we did come across some paws, and then suddenly – one of the jeeps crossing us informed us about a Tiger sitting in an area near by, according to them we should hurry up before he decided to leave. Right that second our driver hit off on an unauthorised speed to help us catch a glimpse. You won’t believe..this was a ride of our life-time! we were literally flying in the behind of this open jeep, the ride was a total rollercoaster, ups and downs, turns and swirls! All that to catch one glimpse of a Tiger. On our way, we came across atleast 8 more jeeps who urged us to hurry up before HE leaves. When we finally reached, there were atleast another 15 vehicles, holding their breath to catch a glimpse. By this time, Mr.Tiger was feeling too exposed and he had moved into the bushes. We could just about make out an outline, about 6 feet away from us in the bushes, our driver had drove us that close. Because of this, all other vehicles were already angry on him for arriving late, and blocking them out. It didn’t matter, as ‘Munna’ gave a rats ass about whether we could see him or not, but ofcourse (they have names for most famous tigers – google him, you’ll see him). Munna is famous for having a unique letter-like ‘CAT’ appear on his brow. After we missed him, the guides had estimated him to¬†cross the adjacent road to head where he was headed. They were right, and we saw him finally in the open, but from far away. With so many jeeps around, you might guess its so cruel and noisy for the chap. Well, it is, and it is very sad indeed, that we flang the poor guy like that. From a tourist’s perspective, he has paid a large amount for a single 2-3 hour ride, and as an Indian would think – he has to ‘paisa vasool’ it! On this our tour guide had some ‘tippani’ to share. According to him(and we noticed that guy), the only loud tourist during this ordeal was one in an opposite jeep, who unlike all other 20 vehicles couldn’t control his excitement+temper. When a Tiger is around, humans by default lose their voice – but not this guy. Our guide said, such impatient and loud tourists always came from Pune put by him “Poona wale choona lagate hain”. A funny anecdote, but we needn’t take him seriously ūüėČ

Beauty & the Beast

Beauty & the Beast

We all finally saw the magnanimous humble fantastic animal on earth. Did you know that Tigers are on top of our food chain? Every continent or terrain has one such beast on top of food chain, in order to create ‘Order’. Basically help you survive. You might’ve seen that documentary about introduction of Wolfs changing the environment in Northern America, well..Tigers will mean that to Indian sub-continent. We are too ignorant to care for it, or even question our existence in absence of Tigers. But they are essential for us nonetheless.

Next morning we had booked for Mukki zone. Our Guide, Mr. Jaisingh is quite a famous guy already. He has witnessed many historic feats that take place in jungle with the Tiger, and features in¬†some of famous Kanha youtube videos recording such events. While he told us about all such stories, we enjoyed our jeep ride, munching on junk food. And suddenly! paws! “Chal chal, nikaal nikaal” were the hushed in excitement instructions given to the driver by Jaisingh. He was just coaxing the driver to go faster, when we had to push brakes as one Jeep blocked us on a very narrow road. Jaisingh turned back at us with wide eyes, suppressing his voice “Madam! Tiger ..Tiger!”. There he was. The large beast, very much aware of our presence and the awe on our faces, but still ignoring us and looking at his surroundings for something. Just before we tracked this guy, some jeeps passing by were talking about spotting a Tigress in this same road, she had slipped away from the crowd in the hills. The Tiger was trying to smell in that direction, probably looking for the Tigress. tiger 1

Anyway, this Tiger decided to walk down in our direction..towards the jeeps. Holy Sh** , we had lost our voices, and might just have a heart attack. He was just 10 feet away..walking closer and closer, while we struggled to back out the jeeps in the muddy hill on a downward slope. The one jeep ahead of us, was just 2 feet away from the Tiger. They were shit worked up! “Gaadi pe chadhaana hai kya? peeche lo!!” While the dear Tiger was so damn humble, he kept walking giving us a chance to view him, it felt like he knew we were really really trying to get out of his way, and had no intention of disturbing him. The Tiger patiently waited till we could back out our vehicles. Finally he thought it was better to change his route, and he went away into the bushes on side. Some Jeeps tracked him some more time, as he was bound to come out at the lower road down the hill given his track. On our way back we heard more stories from passing jeeps of seeing Tigress with cubs, we were so jealous! Some saw him¬†bathing in the river. So so so jealous!

Last zone to do in evening was Sarahi. The FRH we were living at is actually right beside Sarahi. Ever since we arrived, Sarahi was the hot zone where more than one Tiger was residing at for that period. On our first night, we actually heard roars which scared the shit out of us for real. The guards confirmed that Tigers were infact in this zone, so quite possible we heard them. But in 2 days, Tigers take a walk and change their area of residence. We didn’t find anyone in Sarahi, unfortunately. Some Barking deer calls, very close by, but no one came out. That was our last evening in lovely Kanha, and we were almost melancholic and saying quiet goodbyes staring into the full-moon evening.

kisli 2

Planned something for May 1st yet?

I received just too many queries from girls for the upcoming long weekend.¬†Although the Meetup group already devised a plan sometime back last month, I’m gonna throw some ideas for who haven’t.

You can always count on various trekking planners that Bangalore is so full of. BTC, Thrillophilia, Lets Go Hiking, Bangalore Adventure & Climbing Meetup, Hiking Meetup, Bangalore Ascenders to name a few.
These planners offer you a proper package comprising of pick-up + drop to locations closest to you, basic trek guidance, may be tents/gear if required and post-trek Breakfast.
Most Bangaloreans who own vehicles choose to drive themselves to the various trek points, the more the merrier. But if you do not have such options to favour you, opting for any of trek packages is the best bet. You might not need so much help doing the trek and coming down as such, but having the transport arranged to the trek location is totally worth it.

Now Bangalore has many many hills around it for a trek, but not all fit well to the summer time! Night-trek options are always better for a hot hot summer. You need to start late at night, at around 11-12 am, and start your ascend by 3 am. You reach the top for a beautiful sunrise, descend back just in time for a hearty breakfast.
Treks around Bangalore (40 – 150 km)
1. Skandagiri: This was one of my first treks around Bangalore, and a great choice to begin with. This one is famous for a moon-lit night trek, where you literally will not need even a pocket-torch if the full moon is on the watch ūüôā

You might be lucky to get cloudy cover if you are really early in the morning!

You might be lucky to get cloudy cover if you are really early in the morning!

Unfortunately, most people couldn’t understand this when we last went with Thrillophilia for this night trek. Blind people I tell you! full-moon night went completely went unnoticed for these ignorant dumbheads – kept shining their silly torches into our path and our faces. Morons. If you go there – please choose to do so on a full-moon night, and try respect the natural light. Pretty please.
2. Antargange РThis one is known for its caves, and definitely a fun trek with lots of boulders and huge rock to climb. On this one, we started at 3 am, it has a temple at its foot, and while descending we decided to take a non-trail route. Finding our own route. It was bloody tough. But fun as well. Lot more pressure on our knees cause of that.

lots of boulders!

lots of boulders!

3. Kunti betta – This was super fun, it has a naturally formed huge rock slide at the foot, that you will find the village kids playing at.. This has a temple campus as well at the foot. Reaching the top, there is a protruding cliff where you can hang out at. You will find many pics of that online.

natural rock slide

natural rock slide

Places I would not recommend for summers are Savana Durga, Makali Durga, Ramanagara(‘Sholay’ land) & Madhugiri. Sep-Jan would be a better time for these, as they are very rocky and tough to ascend when hot.

Treks around Bangalore (300 + km)
1. Tadianamol (Coorg) – This is undoubtedly the first choice of Bangaloreans, be it in monsoons or summers. But you can add the Coffee flower bloom charm to this little trip, and it’ll sum up for a pleasant long weekend, accompanied by traditional Coorg cuisine at a nice homestay ūüėČ

Courtesy: Rockyfeet treks & Google images

Courtesy: Rockyfeet treks & Google images

2. Kodachadri (Shimoga) РHas a beautiful landscape as the pictures from google will make it evident immediately. This happens to be a good choice in summer too.

Courtesy: Google images

Courtesy: Google images

3. Kemmangundi (Chikamagaluru) – Serene landscape as I’ve been told by friends, dense forest. Club it with a relaxed homestay experience and traditional local food. Avoid Mulayangiri, nothing much to its credit. On way to BB hills you may want to stop by your vehicle and check out the neighbouring landscapes and hills instead of the tourist clad famous spots.

Zpoint - how you can expect it to look like in Summer..

Zpoint – how you can expect it to look like in Summer..

For summer treks as I mentioned earlier, you need to be very early. As day heat is just a killer!

Liesure destinations:

In case trekking doesn’t interest you, following places may turn out to be a cooler ground in summers. Nope it isn’t Wayanad, or Valparai or Ooty either! Recently some friends who visited reported them to be quite hot for a hill station in summer. Munnar may still be cooler, my guess. Kodaikanal may be? But the crowds will be a turn off for sure.
I will rather suggest you to go off and use the opportunity to spot some wild animals i summer. You know that right? summers bring out wild animals more often for you to spot them than in other seasons..

Masinagundi (near Mysore): Many friends have suggested this place to me time and again. There are many resorts, that are within and near by jungles, so you can literally have tea and breakfast, while gazing at deers grazing in the vicinity!

Look for resorts ... if you are okay to spend much

Look for resorts … if you are okay to spend much

Nagarhole National Park (Kudremukh): The resorts here are mostly expensive, and Kabini being the ideal one. You can also look for other resorts for a lesser price, but afaik, this is the only resort that gets you closest to the National Park, and better experience. But I don’t want to sound like they paid me for it ūüėõ .. try stay inside/near the forest to experience some exciting strolls.

Liesure & Luxury come with a price!

Liesure & Luxury come with a price!

Bandipur is also an option, though my estimation says it will be quite hot in those jungles too.

I found this simple easy map to denote various well-known destinations around Bangalore on one of Bangalore travel groups:

Credit : Diganta Malakar (downloaded for reference from Bangalore Travelers group)

Credit : Diganta Malakar (downloaded for reference from Bangalore Travelers group)