Sunday, May 14, 2017

146) Tadiandamol trek, Dolmen Circle & Chiklihole Dam: (29,30/4 & 1/5/2017)

Place: Tadiandmol Trek, Dolmen Circles & Chiklihole Dam (Shiva Temple)
Distance: Round Trip of 750kms.
Directions: Bangalore > Kunigal > Arkalgud > Dolmen Circle > Somwarpet > Chiklihole Dam > Virajpete
Krew: Ashok (Momz) > Pavan (Pavi) > Deepak (Deefu)> Datta (Dattu) > Karthik (Sp)
Bikes: Enfield > FZ > Pulsar                                                           
Previous Visit: Hosaholalu Temple.
Budget: Rs 5000/head (Last minute home stay booking! Should come around Rs 2000-3000/-)

It’s actually difficult to sum up these kind of chapters in 50words (Crap, just wasted few of them as well). Okay an awesome awesome 3 day trip this was. Tadiandmol, well was the big fish of the trip. But the hoodoo place of Dolmen was spooky and scary. And well the brilliant Shiva temple which had risen out of the reservoir after 33 years felt like icing on the cake. Moreover the home stay and the hospitality offered (no phone connectivity for 3 days) was just the thing needed.

As far as the planning goes, it was Deefu who initiated the plan. Then when we both froze upon Tadiandmol as the main destination. I told him about Dolmen’s Circles as well. On my way to office  a junior was reading newspaper and something caught my eye. An ancient Shiva temple in water has revealed itself after 33 years. And BaM! we had another place, looked like a substantial fit for the 3 day trip instored. Dattu, Pavi & Ashok made the perfect list for the chapter planned.

But one thing we struggled here is searching for homestay in prior. All the homestays were booked finally Deefu through his contacts booked a new homestay (we inaugurated the place I guess :P) with no name. But the homestay, to its name turned to be more like a home.
TIME: 20:00 (27/4/2017)
Have divided the article into 3 segments (day-wise) hope you enjoy reading it, Cheers!

DAY-1: (Initial struggle always bears sweeter fruits!)
The three day plan was for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. But I had taken leave on Friday as well, just to set myself up mentally and physically. On the reckoning day I was up at 04:30 did a few push-ups and sit-ups and was all set to go. The meet up was scheduled at Dattu’s place and I had thought the departure would be at around 07:00. But to my surprise everybody arrived on time and we departed Bangalore.
TIME: 06:15


RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Kunigal – CR Patna – Arkalgud – Somwarpete - Virajpete)
This was a long ride, but a fun one too! The plan was clear and simple, start off on Hassan road to avoid Mysore road traffic (long weekend) plus cover off Dolmen and Chiklihole on day 1 as the tension would ease out as the trips progresses.  Day 1 we rode almost 350kms from Bangalore to Virajpete.
As we left Bangalore, we fuelled up as we were sure we wouldn’t be stopping much in between until CR Patna.  We rode non-stop until the Hassan road deviation near Nelamangala. Once on the Hassan road we even though the traffic existed it was not evident as the roads are pretty freaking wide. We pulled over at our regular hotel for some yummy breakfast.
TIME: 07:30

Ashok (Momz) was full on god mode at the hotel. Munched down Idly vada, Dosa Vada, Kesari bath, and wait even I lost track now! After finishing a light tea outside we departed and cruised full on as the traffic got thinner. The “Ola game” we went on playing all throughout and it was not long before we pulled into CR Patna.
TIME: 10:00
Proceeding towards Holenarsipura we realised we had taken a good decision of coming via this route. The roads were damn good and the surroundings were peaceful and flooded with coconut trees. It was a very scenic route and we could also cover good amount of ground. Then we began “Dirty word” game and yeah we were laughing our asses off for much of the journey before we lost track of the road hehe. Asking the locals for direction we re-routed ourselves and finally ended up at the Doddmalathe road.
TIME: 12:30

Dolmen is basically a pre-historic rock formation dating back to 3000-4000BC. Also, people say they are places to summon the super natural spirits. In Karnataka, this is the only place discovered with these formations. Trust me, it was f’n spooky!
We asked the locals, for the directions, but unfortunately they were also as lost as we were. Finally getting a little guidance we got into an estate, from then on we explored the estate and finally we found the place.


A serene silence dwelled all throughout the place and the clouds had covered. A light drizzle began to shower down as we explored the place. There were all kinds of rock formation and small shelters spread across a good amount of land. About 50 dolmens exist at this place.
Trying the prince of Persia – running on walls thing to actual summoning of spirits we spent about an hour at this place before our tummies began to grumble. Also, we had to cover still around 100kms for the day. We pulled over at a hotel in Somwarpete for some yummy lunch.
TIME: 14:00

After a heavy lunch asking locals for directions we proceeded towards Kushalnagar. The roads were curvy and ran through the jungle. It was a sheer pleasure riding this stretch. But as we approached Haranagi Dam, a bridge was under construction and we were asked to take a detour. This route ran right beside the canal and the glittering waters were something that soothed our eyes. Finally joining back the highway we reached the Chiklihole dam premises.
TIME: 15:45

No doubt it was the place, but we were not able to find a way to the waters. Then as we rode further into the town, I kind off got a sneak peak of the temple afar. Immediately we pulled over and asked a guy if we could go through his house to the reservoir, he gladly obliged. The reservoir did have good amount of water, but the claim was the Shiva temple has unveiled because of the lack of water. We ran towards the temple and it was really astonishing. There was this old well, which also was submerged earlier. Here there was some water left and what took us back was a statue of a sage present within the well. It was actually pretty spooky.


We explored the place and then crashed in front of the temple. After turning into Shivas ourselves we decided to play Frisbee (which dattu had got).  Ashok and myself decided to get a bottle of water as our throats began to feel parched. The walk was never ending and finally we realised we were going in the wrong direction hehe. Grabbing some chocolates and a bottle of icy cold water we returned back to the site to find others inside the temple. The place was great and after having spent about 1.5hours we decided to head out further as we wanted to crash into the homestay before sunset.
TIME: 17:00

As we approached Virajpete, black clouds covered the sky and down came the ruthless Kodagu rain. We pulled over at a juice shop and loaded our bags. The rain never looked like it would subside; hence we decided to ride in the rain itself as searching for the homestay after sunset would be really difficult.  We called up the home owner and requested him to come to a bakery and following him deep within the estate we reached the homestay.
TIME: 19:15

It was a damn good home stay and we were all dripping wet.  As it was already dark, we decided not to explore in the night. The rains had died down and the campfire and snacks were ready by the time we got freshened up. We sat beside the campfire munching on the snacks and discussed the plan for the next day. As were all tired and worn out we decided to crash early.
TIME: 00:30
So, that was Day-1. We did well to tick off two places off the list. Only one remaining was the big fish – Tadiandamol Trek. You set? I am!


DAY-2: (Hold of the Big fishes!)
I was up by 04:00 (Insomnia!) Took a bottle outside and sat outside as it was cold and nice. After about 2hours Deefu & Ashok joined me outside and were already afloat. We dried out socks over the dying the campfire which surprisingly lasted overnight. The breakfast and coffee arrived at about 08:00 and after belting some 5-6 dosas we decided to freshen up and head out to conquer the mighty peak.
TIME: 10:00
Tadiandmol was about 30kms from our homestay. The roads were super curvy and nice to ride upon. The last part of the stretch was bumpy. We parked our bikes a little before the actual entrance and decided to walk. Registering ourselves at the entrance we began the trek. (Slightly gui gui)
TIME: 11:00

We took about 2hours to climb up. It was calm and pleasant trek of easy difficulty. A straight trail runs right to the top with viewpoints here and there. It was more of a walk, but a very long one. Hence carrying sufficient water is of high importance. The trek can be segmented distinctly into the following sections:
i)                   Initial walk
ii)                  First Base
iii)                 Forest Zone
iv)                 Final Leap
Alright those were the 4 section, try to keep up with me here!

i) Initial walk:
After the registration of the names we entered the trail. A peak far away we could see right from the start. This trail runs through trees and shade, so one can actually cover this stretch pretty fast. After which the canopy the trees opened up leaving us at the mercy of the burning sun. Here Ashok and I had a race. We dashed away on the muddy path. This was done for another reason – to get away from one of the crowds who kept blabbering, it was kind of irritating.
TIME: 11:30

ii) First base:
This was the major part of the trek. I would say it was around 50-60%. It was this semi-steep easy stretch which offered breath taking views all along. The terrain was similar to that of Skandagiri. It would be harsh on the hiker if it was monsoon, but nevertheless the slippery gravel made us loose our footings a couple of times as well. We did rest a couple of times during this stretch to catch our breath.
TIME: 12:15

iii) Forest Zone:
Another shade was like bliss. We were short of water and as we entered this zone, the temperatures dropped and we could feel it clear cut. It was very pleasant under the trees and we rested again here sipping on the water we had. Dattu and myself decided to head further earlier to give heads up.
TIME: 12:30

iv) Final Leap:
This was the last stretch. It is steep compared to the other stretches. Carefully manoeuvring we raced away to almost the top then sat back and waited for the others to join us. Once the others joined us we ascended the top.
TIME: 13:00

At the top there are a lot of breath taking viewpoints. We crashed in one of those and rested to restore our energy levels. As the sun was burning away in all its glory we slept for sometime and decided to head down after about 30-45mins at the top.
TIME: 14:00


The trek back to the base was a quick one. It took us about 1h and 20mins with two rest stops in between. We made it down the Final leap cautiously. After which it was just hopping from stone to stone dancing our way all the way into the forest zone. After a quick rest here, we proceeded seamlessly down balancing from rock to rock taking one step at a time. The long stretch was covered in a matter of 20-30mins. The last stretch was actually kind of like a time wrap. We kept walking thinking the end was near but it was never turning up hehe. Finally we reached the checkpost, drank about half a litre of butter milk each and proceeded to reach our bikes.
TIME: 15:30

The ride back was a pleasant one. Kept asking others “Guys, this route only we came haa, u sure?” :P We finished out lunch in one of the towns on our way back. After which we purchased the necessities in the next town and reached back our homestay.
Bodies were slightly busted, so had a good hot water bath and slept for an hour. We came out of the homestay, sipping on some good coffee we began to play cards sitting on the grass. Dattu introduced to a new game and BAM it took off as it involved beating the crap out of each other if somebody loses :P


Once the campfire was underway for the second night, the kababs and the pakoda arrived and then the card game intensified. We got into a good argument about crazy shits but the highlight as usual was Momz’s tailor made jokes. Once the food arrived we had and again got back to the campfire. Finally after a long session we decided to crash as there was no pressure for the next day.
TIME: 01:30

DAY-3: (Trickster ride back!)
I was up at 04:00 again and sat back with some juice until 06:00. By then Ashok had awoken. We were in a dilemma to take Mysore or Hassan route. But we chose Mysore route as we would be ending up in the noon, hoping the traffic to be thin. The fog was pretty dense so holding a cup of coffee we wandered into the estates into a small lake (fish breeding). Once the breakfast arrived, we gulped it down and then packed up and were all set to go.  We thanked the hosts whole heartedly and decided the bid adieu to the wonderful place unwillingly.
TIME: 09:30

RIDE 2: ( Virajpete – Gonikoppa – Hunsur – Mysore – Bangalore)
This was the final ride back to Bangalore. It stretched for about 300kms on a mixture of forest roads, country roads and highways. I knew the route via Gonikoppa was an awesome one as we had travelled on this route on our Mahe trip a few month earlier. But this time the traffic was pretty dense and it eased out as we approached Mysore. From Mysore we rode non-stop and reached our regular dhaba near Mandya for some lunch.
TIME: 14:30


After the lunch, we could see the dark clouds making its way into the sky. So, we decided to head back early as we didn’t want to be caught in both traffic and rain. The ride back was smooth and well-orchestrated.  We took exactly two stops and made back to NICE road junction. From here we split our ways to reach back our homes respectively.
TIME: 17:15

This was one awesome trip. 3 days without phone and with school friends felt really nice. Moreover the trip events fell into right slots as and when it progressed. Perfect synch and acceptance of each other’s abilities was the true factor which made us execute in a butter smooth manner”
Until next time, Cia \m/



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