Friday, February 13, 2009

Parallelly Unparallel.... The Sakaleshpura Trek...

The Greenway trek (other name for Sakaleshpura trek), through tunnels and over bridges in western ghats was really a breath taking experience. Ten of us went through this wonderful journey on a Parallel railway tracks, which stands Unparallel to others because of beauty and thrill hidden in it. Our walk was between Donigal and Yedakamuri (around 18kms). Most of us after finish hectic year end work in the company wanted to have some break. So we planned for this trek on December first weekend (6th Dec 08). Due to improper planning and traffic, seven of us got into train (Harisha and Akash couldn't make it). In train we met Bharath rao's (unfortunately 3 Bharath's were with us, so look at the team snap to know them clearly) friend Hemanth, who was on the way to Mysore, it took hardly few minutes for us to convince him for trek. I believe journey should be unplanned, which he experienced also had a great time. By morning 3.30 we were in Sakaleshpura. Took rest for few minutes in hotel, though had to struggle for finding one, most of them were filled. It was damn chilly at that time. Harisha and Akash joined us at hotel. After having breakfast, we took auto. But bcoz of some miss guiding we started trek around 4.5km before Donigal(which was supposed to be the starting point). We walked through coffee estates for two kms, before meeting railway track.
Harisha and
me posing like Veeru and Jai...
Within 200 mtrs of walk, we met the first train. We tried our best to pose in front of it, had little time though. Every train which goes in this track during day time are goods train ( with atleast 50-70 bogies and double engines). Sun rays piercing dense woods, created a magic. Just after walking for 30 mins, we were kind of adjusted to the track, where every step were matching with the sleepers (concrete beams over which rails are laid). We had a decent pace, may be walking at 4-5 kms, which i feel as good pace. Reached the first bridge, this is pretty long, with a drop of at least 150 feet. We spent some time here, just was really happy to be on some thing like that. Second one was really muddy, which made it to look really colorful. Some construction was going on near it. While talking to Srikanth recently, came to know few years back, there were no plates on bridges. Every step on that was full of risk and thrill. But now its safe also not much crunchy. Few hours later after crossing bridges we came near bridge where some repair work was going. But there was easy access to the river below. In no time we jumped in to the water. That was real fun. Took some amount of rest after having lunch(as usual thanks to MTR ready made food).
Falls seen from first Tunnel....
Started walking after having rejuvenated bath, we were there for the best part of the trip. We came near first Tunnel. Within few meters into the tunnel, you will be in complete darkness. First one is really interesting, there is opening somewhere in b/w, where you can have this nice view.
Now it was see-saw between Tunnels and Bridges here after. We encountered some great curves. Sun was bright, a clean blue sky made it look fantastic. No CGI can create images like these. Most of the tunnel construction work was done in 70's & 80's. You can see their efforts, cutting huge rocks, laying tracks on such a place is not a child's play.
Infront of first tunnel....
One of the many wonderful curves...
Dry grass were great, they were every where. Interplay b/w Tunnels n bridges was simply awesome. Tunnels were as small as 62 mtrs to long one around 674 mtrs. Torches were of great help, even you can hear heart beat, such a silent tunnel. Walking though the longest tunnel was indeed a great thrill. Took around 8 mins to cross this. But one which with 374 mtrs was the best of all. It's curvy, in almost all tunnels we could see light from the end, but in here, it was different. Hence most rememberable of the lot.

Almost nearing end of the journey on tracks, we were near a bridge. Sat beside it, engines were not as noisy as you can come across regularly. But what is in photo is just for fun. But others had wonderful experience here, most of the trains here won't horn from long distance. When our team was coming through pretty long tunnel, they just started to feel vibrations. They noticed the train, which was may be 100 feet away, so they jumped into drainage( dry one).

Met few workers on the way who were from area which were badly hit by drought. But they were happy for their jobs, bit scared though to be in lonely place like that.

Full team(except bharat):
Me, Sharath aka Dimpu, Bharath alias Naga, Benne alias nothing, Harisha, Hemanth, Lazy Prasad, Bharath rao and Akash(unfortunately fell ill during journey).
And finally Bharat in Joker's Nurse costume...Few more really interesting snaps...
Bridge on river some thing but not kwai....Tired team:
Wallpaper from a memorable trip:
Great effort from Indian railways to avoid any land slide, which were there for many kms: Just before coming out of railway tracks, Harisha n Bharatha ran on bridge to take a close snap. Shocking only two plates were there instead of three. That was really good look at. After this next 7 kms, tested us a lot. It was too steep, if you are lucky enough you get some jeeps here. Also goods train will stop, but we thought of walking back, so had walk on steep roads for next 2 hours.Steep muddy road...
Journey back home was not so easy, we took tickets in Sakaleshpura. But came to only 5 bogies will be unreserved. But even they were of no use. They were packed so badly, we couldn't even open the door. So had to get into luggage sections, which already had people sleeping. Huge door was open and tied, so had some wonderful chilly experience. Even though we were not much tired, our foot was paining badly. Walking on tracks for 18+ kms is not so easy, it definitely requires lots of patience.
In the end, walking for almost 30 kms with crossing 13 tunnels and 22 bridges was satisfying. Especially walking through tunnels is worth the journey.
For trekkers:Best season: Any time except June to August. But looks great b/w September to December.
Bangalore to Sakaleshpura: 250 kms.
Requires Stamina also Water scarcity will be there in summer. Early start is always preferable.
A great walk never to be missed...
Super Man(junath)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gopalswamy hill and Bandipura Trip

To end year with a great trip, we all head towards Mysore on 30th Dec. After a lot of confusion regarding where to go, we ended in this direction. This trip required early start from us, since most of us stay in all corners of Bangalore. Cab started from Yelahanka and reached Suresh's place by 6.20 AM by picking all of us. After the pooja, we headed towards mysore with an intention to cover Ranganathittu, Himavadgiri Gopalswamy hill and Bandipura safari.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: After a heavy breakfast on BM Highway, we reached Ranganathittu around 9.15AM. We had two special guests in the form of Shika(Sushil's daughter) and Yash(Poornima's son). Its a Bird sanctuary famous for wide range of Birds which come here in huge number during the month of september and october. Speciality with Ranganathittu is the boat trip which even though last for few minutes, will definitely leave a great impression. We had a nice guide cum boat rider, who said birds are mostly from India, even though claims are many birds belong to outer countries visit here. There were many birds even though we were almost one and half month late to the prime season. Many birds including Spoonbill, Cranes, Wide range of Stroks, Kingfisher, herons were there. Our boat went near a Crocodile, which was taking rest caring for nobody who visits the place. Few close snaps of birds were taken. Monkeys disturbed the sleepy huge numbered Bats, they started flying, whose number increased every second. They were so much in number it attracted every bodies attention. Few of the snaps which we took:

Gopalswamy betta/hill: Next our journey was towards to Gopalswamy hill, which is around 70km from Mysore. By the time we reached the base of the hill where the board reads hill is at 10Kms, we could feel drop in the temperature drastically. As our tempo traveller reached more height, we could feel cold even at noon on a bright sunny day. This place looks great with rich green grass, also famous for Elephants in a huge herd. In my previous trip to this place, there were tiger marks. This temple belongs to 14th century. It belongs to Bandipura reserve forest, there are as many as 76 lakes in around this place. At any time of the year, this place will be covered by mist hence the name "Himavad" giri. If you reach this place early morning you can witness ocean of clouds, which may also have very low visibility for the ride.
Windows of the world:

Bandipura National Forest: Its a reserve forest for Tiger(Project Tiger was initiliazed in 1973). Its hardly 40 mins journey from Gopalswamy hill. We wanted to go for a Safari, which starts early in morning as well as in the late afternoon. After collecting the tickets for the Safari, we waited a while for our Safari vehicle. Meanwhile, we also witnesses bundle of problems by monkeys in that area. One of them took a fresh Mountain dew drink from a car, opened it and started to drink along with running away from others to avoid any share. Mountain dew's one liner - "Darr ke aage jeeth hai", had no impact on it, since it was already dare enough to get into any cars and open up bags. Since our safari was bit late, we thought of having some snacks, they started coming close to us. One of them with a nice hair-style, had some problem with Sushil, it even hit him and gave some weired looks. Before getting into the bus, we saw lots of Macak(Monkey), Spotted deer and trained elephants. We got in bus expecting to see lots of wild animals. But the Safari was bit disappointing, since we could only see some Peacocks, Langurs, Few deers and some colorful birds. We had to satisfy ourself by looking at boards of Tigers and other creatures. But if they were in such a huge number that anybody could have seen them, then there would have not been events like "Project Tiger" or ads on TV. I think this is may be the time for us get serious about conserving their habitat to make Safari's great for the forthing coming generation.

With a happy mood we ended our journey, returned back to Bangalore to Celebrate new year with a new josh. Trip was amazing for many things like, kids had great time watchig birds and crocodile. Also yash was busy all the day taking snaps at all different angle possible.

Our Team:

From left: Impha, Sharayu, Poornima, Yash, Suresh, Ajit, Bhaskar, Shika, Anand, Sushil, me and Nandu

Super Man(junath)

Thursday, December 25, 2008


I am not talking about Root Mean Square value here, its about Free Software Movement founder Richard Matthew Stallman.
There were few mails circulating around about his visit to India, which said he will be visiting RVCE, Bangalore on 13th Dec. So i started early that day to reach RV, expecting lot of people in RV(since it was saturday). After traveling for almost a hour(around 18-20km), i reached that place. It was still 9.30(talk was at 10), security guards had no clue about this. So went around building to see some posters and even went near seminar halls, all were empty. So i went directly to Principal chamber, where i came to know its in NMKRV college, in Jayanagar. He gave his invitation to me. While coming out of the college i met few more guys, who came like me to this place. So we left that place, took some bus till Banashankari, then reached NMKRV around 10.50AM. But i was shocked to see this, since its just half km from my place also opposite to Lassie park which is our weekend adda.

Amit(who i met in RV) had some phone no. of organizers. Seminar hall was pretty big, but bit surprised to see not more than 70-80 people.
My knowledge about Linux is not great. I just use it bit more than a normal user and till now thought Linus Torvalds has done a great thing by creating some thing like this, which can attract attention of today's youth. But it all changed after the talk.
Poster of the talk had heading like "Free Software, Free Society". This also said about the book release of RMS essays in Kannada. Since we were bit late, we did miss some introduction also RMS had already started speaking. He said about how he realized about the need which may arise in future for free software. He coated a nice example by saying "If somebody is drowning and i am the only guy who knows how to swim, then i'll do it until and unless the drowning guy is not Bush!!!". Talk went on with his initial hackings, time spent on writing the tonnes of lines of code. Also about a parallel Operating System which is similar to Unix. His initial struggle to come up with something like this was really inspiring. These guys(RMS with few others) started working FS(Free S/w) from 1983, but Mr. Torvalds wrote kernel in year 1993. He kept it as proprietary for a couple of years. So what ever the work did by RMS and others blended with this kernel to form a free Unix-like OS. This made Torvalds popular and he attracted a lot of attention world wide. Almost a decade of work done by RMS and few enthusiasts went unnoticed. Also he said about their efforts of coming up with their own kernel since 85 failed for many reasons. RMS insisted us to say not just "LINUX" but as "GNU/LINUX". If you are wondering(for not a Linux user)what about GNU is, then it stands for Gnu's Not Unix. ( Gnu is nothing but Wildebeest, which most of you would have noticed in NGC or Discovery, generally they will form a huge herd). GNU started in January 1984 with a goal to develop "a sufficient body of free software to get along without any software that is not free". This was definitely an eye-opener for me at least, since i never bothered much about these stuff.
The talk went on with many interesting things. Shockingly there are hardly 4-5 GNU/Linux versions which are free, i mean really free. The most popular distributions(Fedora, Mandriva, Ubuntu and many more) what we get in market are not free, i mean they have some proprietary programs for which source code will not be available, rather it will be lines of binary codes which obviously cannot be edited without knowing what they do. Few of the GNU/Linux versions which have complete source code are Ututo, Blag, Gnusence, Trisquel...
This later led to Q&A session, which had few interesting questions. RMS insisted to us read a lot and write a lot of codes and also said "Instead of God we worship Editor". After this there was book release, which had most of the essays of RMS and others transliterated in Kannada by a bunch of great guys.
I had a chance to be in a snap with RMS......

Two days later RMS was in mysore, talk was in SJCE. Came to know through Pavan that there were many enthusiastic students to attend his talk. This talk did impress me a lot. I also saw few snaps of RMS visiting some schools in Bangalore, where they are teaching GNU/Linux to kids. This is definitely a great development(which initially started in Kerala and now many schools in Karnataka too are doing this). Hope that RMS get more recognition for his work. Also more people gets involved into this.

Free Software Free Society
Super Man(junath)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Raghu dixit..... A Sunday Evening.....

Let the things happen!!! Believe me this is the thing which i have in mind.

Today(16th Nov,Sunday) me and Paresh went to Garuda Swagath(new one in Jayanagar), to purchase some books also to spend some time. There was this poster of Raghu, being his fans, we first went near it. It was dated 16th November named "Music of the Earth", but because of my screwed up memory i had to check my cell for today's date. Was stunned to see, its today, more interestingly it was 6.31pm in cell. Also show was on the same building at the same time. Wow!!! great thing to happen on an unplanned weekend. Just went there in no time, but it was crowded. Some how got place to stand, where we could see Mr.RD(Raghu Dixit, may be the next RD, if you are wondering about who is the first, then its the Boss R.D. Burman). He was in is typical, most stylish lungi and black T-shirt.
The show started with the song "I still love you". This is the song from his first album. As each and every-moment went on, it started to become crowded. This song is good. I never heard it before. Second song was, "Hey bhagwan". Even though i am an Atheist, i liked it. May be this song says about Raghu a lot, when he was striving for a break.
The show went on with the songs(given below), i noted the songs, so the order was like this:
I still Love you...
Hey bhagwan- In his second Zindagi...
Mysore se aayi- Even he knows about mysore's...
Guduguduiya sedi nodu- May be Raghu's best till now...
Amber- Smooth as silk...
Khidki... Windows should use this as their next booting tune...
Lokadha chinte- his next album. Nice song with a funny tune...
Ninna poojege- Most probably nowadays youths anthem...
Neene beku- My favourite track after the Gudugudiya...
Soruthihudu maniya maligi- Shishunala Sharif's one more track...
Eno idhe- One more wonderful song from Psycho...
I'm in Mumbai waiting for a miracle- Which has been done already...

Was indeed a great show. Hope that he does more shows and even movies like this. Brilliant, Folk-Rock combi, High pitch hypnotizing voice, Passionate and many more makes him special. He is one more reason for me to say "Proud to being a Mysorean".
Recently i missed the chance to attend his show in Jayanagar on Kannada Rajyotsava occasion. But now really happy.
Hey wait a second how can i forget about his sense of humor. His timing is excellent. Few of the things happened in the show are as below.
* After Hey bhagwan, everybody started shouting Pyscho... Raghu in response "Nan makla est jana theatre-ge hogidhri kai etthi (almost everybody raised their hand), mathe yaakro producer dhud bartha illa antha phone maad-thare".
* Somewhere in between crowd started to sing, he "nilsrapa saaku, haadinalli swalpa ragha, shruthi, taaLa ella irbeku... en sumne archothira". This was cool.
* When he was singing Eno idhe, somewhere he was struck since he couldn't remember the lyrics. Somebody in the crowd was singing, so he "aarthi kottu kari beka, lyrics gotthirauru yaaradhru banni..."
* May be the best part of the day. Almost at the end of the show, crowd started shouting "Once more!, once more!!!". In reply "ondhu vare ganTe indha ondhe samane haad-heLtha idhini, haalu-niru kudi antha heLauru yaaru illa, once more anthe once more!!!"

Till now i used to listen to his songs in TV and sometimes in FM and even the downloaded version. But thought of saying good-bye to those and purchased the album. Was a great time. Nice way to end a sunday to avoid monday blues.....

Raghu is a nice guy, who reply most of his scraps. I wish him all the best for every thing he does.

Super Man(junath)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mullayanagiri Trek

On Friday night(24th October) we left Bangalore to trek the summit of Karnataka-Mullayanagiri, which is the highest peak b/w vindhya mountains and nilgiris with a massive height of 1910 mfs(6317 feet). This is situated in Chikamagalur district, around 12km from city and also part of western ghats.
(click on images to expand) Peak covered by mist..

After a nice journey through great roads, we reached Chikamagalur. On saturday morning after having the breakfast, we reached Sarpadhaari(Snake's path) from where the trekking starts. This is around 12km from the city. With few liters of water, we started trekking, just within 30 mins we started to see the beauty of western ghats. At few places it was steep also bit slippery because of mist and previous day rain. We reached the top of the small cliff from where the photo session started.

Temperature started to drop with height. When we reached the nandhi, visibility was hardly 10-15 meters. From nandhi its bit steep, till cave. The priest in the temple told that few decades back, tigers were there. The Cave:
Second cave is pretty long, we could go hardly 20 feet inside, from there on its was muddy, also nobody was interested in crawling. Few more steps from here we reached top, where it was like a heaven. Its a great panaromic view. Lush green mountain chains, looked smooth and curvy. We could see few huge lakes in and around the city. Slowly clouds started to cover the mountains, as a thin blanket.

Bhaanalli oDo megha girigo ninthalle yoga....
We were so close to the summit and wanted to be on it for few seconds at least, started climbing the temple top one after the other....
On the Summit....

After having the lunch we went Ayyanakere (has lot of historical significance),which is in Sakharayapattana (around 18kms from the city). We saw few ponds on the way confusing it with Ayyankere, but once we reached there entire idea changed. It is so huge, came to know its the second biggest in the state. Time was already 5pm, so we couldn't stay for long.
Awesome Ayyankere....

When we came back from the lake it was already dark and had to walk more than 1km because of mist. Visibility was too low, it had rained for few hours more over land slide is common, so we walked and our driver followed us. No stars, not even single light source that we could get other than the vehicle headlights. Had to wake up priest for dinner, by the time we finished it time was around 11pm. To set up tent we took nearly a hour struggling with torches.
Tent and the Track....
It was a shivering night. In recent past this was one of the most coldest night we faced. Since we had our tent at the entrance of the of the temple, crowd started to build pretty early, making hell a lot of noise and waking us up. This is one Sunday morning which i'll remember for a long time. We could get a glimpse of sunrise it was awesome!!!. After having a coffee, we packed our luggage and tents. We took only the things which were necessary for our trek, kept other in the cab and told our driver to come to Bababudangiri.
Sunrise from the peak

Bababudangiri: Walk on the Edge
Just besides the temple, there's a small route which leads to a wonderful walk. We could see the tower, which was our destination. Luckily it was bright sunny day with no clouds. I have read few blogs in which most of them couldn't complete their walk because of mist. While getting down from a rock i slipped had small scratches. After just a few hundred meters, we saw wide range of grass, with small flowers covering wide spectrum of colors. We named it "The Valley of Flower", which were every where from here on.
Harisha and HM took few great snaps here. A couple of hour later we had our breakfast (thanks to MTR) and reached view point. Few kids were there, then went crazy by seeing us, this view point didn't had much for us, since we had seen better than this already.
From here onwards at least for one hour or so journey was challenging, some times we were hardly a foot away from a thousand feet fall or even more. Jumping, rock-climbing whatever we could try, we did but with real care. This was worth the journey. This picture may not depict the complexity...
We reached the towers, sat for while relaxing and watching the peak we came from, eating cucumber(may be the best one till now) it was so cold, the air was pure. Harisha played Pink Floyd n few others. This was really great time i had since ages.
From here we reached, Galikere and then to Bababudangiri. We were so hungry, we had parota and dates. Bababudangiri is spoiled to the core. Wherever you go, you can find plastic, bottles and clothes. Manikyadhara is falls which can be avoided without any regrets. We were a day before to a yearly function, wherein nearly a lakh people will gather for function. This temple looked really great from the viewpoint, with saffron flag waving before clear blue sky.

Beautiful Sunset

While coming back, the sky had a great transformation from blue to a crimson red. For 2-3kms we had great view. We were running short of batteries, hence could take only few snaps.
In mullayanagiri, there's a belief that if you carry a brick to the top of the hill(around 454 steps-Bharath's count) i.e., to the temple, it will bring good. Its a great thing, since some construction is going near temple it will be of great help to the masoners. Where as in Manikyadhara, you need to leave behind one item of the clothing to achieve the same. This belief has ruined this place. What an irony!

Few more wonderful snaps:
Keeping count of the trekkers:

May be the next windows wallpaper:

The Sholas:
Our team:
Harish, Bharath, Kiran, Shashi, Manjunath HM, Pradeep and me..

Reference: Few blogs, Karnataka tourism site and wikipedia. Also thanks to Harisha and HM for matured and wonderful photographs, i had really tough time to choose for the blog.
For Trekkers:
Best season- October to Feb mid.
Bangalore to Chikamagalur- 250kms
Complexity: Average on a clear day. Not much water sources on the way. May become really tough based on visibility and rain.

Open for Comments,

Super Man(junath)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Few memorable bowling actions!!!!

Article written on a funny note:
As a 11 year kid, i became addicted to Cricket. Since then i have seen few bowling actions which i remember may be because they were kind of Unique, Weird and always attracting crowds attention....

These are the few:
Paul Adams: Mr.Weirdo...

To start with the most wonderful action of all.
Many people would have tried this and would have laughed at themselves. Also known as Gogga, was a rare chinaman bowler. I still wonder how he aimed at the stumps!!!!!!

Carl Hooper: The dancing doll...

I wondered what made him to go back a step in the bowling crease. He would have confused many batsmen in his early days. Carl had a rhythmic smooth bowling action, which resembled some dancing style. Probably the most easiest action to identify, when somebody is mimicking him. A good all-rounder though, who did his best against India in most of the circumstances. Decent cricketer...

Shaun Pollock: Mr.Bow....

Real consistent with unrealistic style. Action which seemed cress-cross while delivering never had any problem with the line and the length. A great all rounder...

Shane warne: Who Caresssss.....

He walked as though he never cared for any body. Not more than six steps. Most easiest bowling action to mimic. Even a kinder-garden kid can copy this style. He was a great purchase for Rajasthan Royals, but was tested during second season.

Anil Kumble: The Jumbo Hopper...

Being most successful bowler for India, jumbo used to hop twice or trice before reaching the bowling crease. Fast uncharacteristic action for a Leg spinner, still made wonders for us. I wish him all the best for his retired life. I am sure he'll be a great coach. Any team would be lucky to get him as a coach.... Still he is not done yet, waiting for IPL season 3.

Muttian Muralitharan: Ooohhhh!!!!!

Batsmen would have had really tough time in identifying the ball behind those two eyeballs, which were larger than the ball itself. Though the most controversial, has almost all record in his name. May be "The Bowling Bradman".

Fannie de villiers: Mr.Hook..
He had weird way of holding the ball, which made me to call him Mr.Hook. I don't think any other bowler troubled Sachin as much as he did. He had a short and crisp cricketing career....

Sohail Tanvir: Standing tall...

Who thought him the bowling. This is what happens if you practice alone. Commentators consider him as a wrong foot bowler, rather he has a quick arm action. Unique and tough to read, but not the difficult one.
His action reminded me of Steve jobs line:

"Stay foolish, stay Hungry" or "Bowl foolish , pick wickets!".

Mushtaq Ahmed: Arm roller...

A flying leg spinner, with an action started by licking the finger tips. I really don't know how far it helped him in picking up so many wickets. He used to roll his arms together, which probably is tough thing to do. He had a great career till Saki's entry. Look at the pick, may seems like he is doing some sort of yoga...

Few more:

Will update when i remember more...

Super Man(junath)