Migrated Birds near my house

Recently I could see a small group of birds having water in the pond near to our house. I didn't see those birds earlier in that pond, may be migrated from a larger distance. I wish I knew ornithology to identify about their whereabouts. 

pond near by my house

migrated birds

migrated birds

Dudhsagar Waterfalls and Trekking

Trekking to Dudhsagar waterfalls during monsoon was on my list of trekking from quite a long time and could realize it in the last week. Searching a lot on internet made plan and started from Hyderabad through direct train planning to get down at Castle Rock railway station. In the joueny while enquiring about trekking to Dudhsagar an employee of Indian railways suggested train stops at Dudhsagar station also why don’t you get down there?

on the way to visit water fall from Dudh Sagar station

I read a lot on trekking fourteen kilometers from blogs but I felt it may be monotous walk on railway track. Keeping that in mind I got down at Caranzol railway station where train stops for a minute or two. Caranzol is seven kilometers from Dudhsagar station after the Castle Rock station. We started our trek at 31/900 and completed at 38/900 from Caranzol to Dudhsagar.

Railway milestone at Caranzol

Railway milestone at Dudhsagar

Started trekking on railway track, crossed tunnels bearing numbers 5,6,7,8,9,10 and 11. But one can enjoy the beauty of nature. Don’t worry if the train comes when you are on track or tunnel. Just make way for it and also you can stand adjacent to wall, don’t be panic. Space is enough to stand while the train is passing. It took almost two and half hours to reach Dudhsagar railway station.

train engine passing while trekking
tunnel made at the bottom of huge rock

entering small tunnel

small water fall refreshing to see

in middle of trekking

view while trekking on railway track

seen from railway track at Dudhsagar

From Dudhsagar railway station the water falls is around 400 meters and one has to pass small tunnel (No.12) Finally, I could see the magnificent waterfalls with water flowing like milk.

close view of Dudhsagar water falls

With some courage I went till bottom of waterfalls from not so smooth and steep route from the route in between tunnel 12 and 13. While going down it was easy and while climbing up it was difficult as the route is steep. I could see the beauty of waterfalls with bridge in front of it. This is not the view one can see in usual blogs in which the train is passing in front of waterfalls. Water force is high during monsoon and don’t take chance to go to bottom of falls in this route as it is quite dangerous with slippery rocks.

in between tunnel no. 12 and 13

Dudhsagar view from bottom (this is not the popular view seen on websites and blogs)

first glimpse of waterfall after crossing tunnel 12 and 13 before the full view

Popular full view of Dudhsagar waterfall, to get this move a half kilometer or so from Dudhsagar waterfall towards Kulem crossing tunnels 12 & 13

Nothing is available to eat around waterfalls except a man selling low quality biscuits and snacks at an higher price. It was quite late and we were planning to go to Kulem as there is no electricity or place to stay at Dudh Sagar station. 

Dilip cafe and Boarding at Castle Rock

We couldn't get any trains towards Kulem but many suggested to take train towards Castle Rock station as trains are not there towards Kulem and one has to request railway engine drivers or guard man of goods train to drop till Kulem station. 

a small place to sit at Dudu Sagar station

visitors on goods train requesting guards

We reached Castle Rock and came to know that nothing is there to stay except PWD guest house which may or may not give accommodation to visitors. Just on the other side of Castle Rock station small market is there and food is available. We could eat excellent vegetarian food at Dilip Cafe and boarding. It will be open till 10:00 PM. We stayed at Castle Rock station waiting hall for that night. It is quite clean but toilets are not so clean and often railway engines stop near the waiting hall making huge sound.

Trekking routes to Dudhsagar waterfalls:

Route 1: from castle rock via Caranzol

Castle rock railway station to Dudhsagar railway station is fourteen kilometer and in between caranzol station is present. At caranzol station the extra engines attached at the back side of train to push the train uphill from kulem will be detached. One can walk fourteen kilometers from castle rock or seven kilometers from Caranzol. Both routes have beautiful scenery on right side.

I suggest you to walk from Caranzol, in case you want to trek. Walking on railway track is not so easy as it is thought of during monsoon.

Route 2: from Kulem to Dudhsagar

Kulem to Dudh Sagar is almost ten kilometers and in between Sonalium station is there. At Kulem the extra engines are attached to push the train uphill till caranzol.

If you are taking this route, you can view the magnificent view of waterfalls with railway track in front of it. In case you are in time, you can view the train passing in front of waterfalls. This route is also equally scenic and one can enjoy.

Route 3:

This route is from Kulem and closed during Monsoon and can be reached to bottom of waterfalls through Jeep or pillion ride on pilot (pilot means a bike rider dropping you to your destination charging money. It is common in Goa.) Many will take this route in summer to reach a small villa and Dudhsagar baba temple. But cannot cross the water stream during monsoon so this route will be closed.

Must carry things:

1) Water proof bag or at least cover to keep your belongings safely from rain in-case you wish to drench in rain.

2) Rain coat.

3) Good quality Torch as lights are not there in Tunnels and it is must.

4) Sleeping bags in case you are not able to board train and need to stay at Dudh Sagar station.
Snacks or food to eat.

5) Most importantly the train ticket as Dudhsagar railway station doesn't issue any tickets. Take ticket beforehand either from Kulem or Castle Rock or Hubli station. At Hubli station trains usually stops for few minute so try to take tickets there. Don’t board trains without ticket as ticket checking inspector will be roaming here and there to catch hold and extort money as much as possible. Try to get into general compartment with ticket.

My Suggestion to trek this waterfall:

Get down at Dudhsagar station as all trains stop for a minute or two while going towards Kulem (or Goa) Visit Waterfalls, enjoy the view and if flow is less visit till bottom of falls with care. Start trekking towards Kulem, it is magnificent and one can witness the popular view of Dudhsagar with railway track in front of it. Stay at Kulem as forest guest house and local guest house are available and even you can sleep at waiting hall. There won’t be problem for food compared to Dudhsagar and Castle Rock as there is one chinese restaurant and an other udupi hotel. Visit Tambdi Surla and Bondla National park both are nearby. Take trains next day early morning from Kulem by Amaravathi express or any other.

If you are not interested in railway track trek, reach early to Dudhsagar, enjoy till evening and get back by evening either to Londa junction or Hubli.

Sharada Devi Temple, Shankara Mutt, Bangalore

Shankara Mutt at Bangalore is one of the branches of Sringeri Sharada Peetam and all the activities at Bangalore are coordinated under the guidelines of Sringeri Sharada Peetam.

the hall has the pictures depicting biography of Shankara on its pillars

Shankarapuram as the name hints has the idols of Sharada Devi and Adi guru Shankaracharya. Also, the adjacent hall has the biography of Adi Shankaracharya in pictures mounted on the pillars.

Sharada Devi temple

Adi Shankaracharya temple

Temple also has peaceful environment. Special pooja will be offered to Sharada Devi on special days and also on request. There is also a book store in the temple premises having books of Advaita, works of Shankaracharya, Astrology and others.

Reaching this temple is easy as it is very near to K. R. Market. BMTC buses will pass through main road and the temple is not even at a distance of five minute walk from the bus stop.

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, Bangalore

Gavi Gangadhreshwara Temple is one of the old temples of Bangalore, attracting devotees from all over the state. The cave temple is carved in single monolithic stone and has Shivalinga as main deity along with the idols of Goddess Parvathi and Dakshinamurthy. Every day pooja is performed and special pooja will be offered to Lord Dakshinamurthy on every Thursday.

Main temple from outside 

The temple architecture is so beautiful that on the day of Makara Sankranthi, sun light falls on Shivalinga passing through the horns of Nandi. Thousands of devotees visit this temple on that particular day to witness this and many TV channels arrange live telecast on this spectacular event.

picture showing how the sun light enters temple and falls on Shivalinga

sun light enters through this opening

it enters through the adjacent window before passing through ears of Nandi

Adjacent to temple, BBMP has maintained lustrous Green Park allowing public to walk or spend time. Many devotees have belief that visiting this temple for three weeks on Thursday will relieve them from all their worries. This temple is very near to Ramakrsihna Ashram bus stop.

Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple, Vidyaranyapura

Recently I had been to Vidyaranpura to visit Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple. Vidyaranpura is now one among the top housing localities of Bangalore which was just a small housing layout few years back. Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari temple at Vidayaranyapura has been one of the old temples of Bangalore attracting devotees from many places.

108 feet Gopuram of temple 

The temple has the tall Gopuram of 108 feet with artistic design and the greenery of tree on either sides of temple entrance has made it an peaceful place. Temple has Ganesha, Sharabeshwara, Devasana, Anjaneya, Goddess Saraswathi and Dakshina Murthy along with the other avatars of Goddess Durga.

Temple also has Yakshini, to which the chits are tied by the devotees with request to fulfil their wishes. It is being another temple in Bangalore having Medhaguru Dakshina Murthy apart from Gavi Gangadhareshwara temple. Special poojas are offered to Goddess on festivals and every tuesday. 

entrance gate of temple at the main road

Devotees offer garland made of lemons and saree to fulfill their wishes. In midst of Bangalore traffic and busy schedule visiting this temple would be a place of tranquil. Temple is near to Vidyaranyapura main bus stop and can be easily reached.

Bangalore - Bus stand through my lens

Recently had been to Bangalore, construction of Metro railway track and station was in progress. I clicked few photographs of majestic and the construction work. May be some day in future one may wonder at the construction work and the present day Majestic.

construction work

old KSRTC bus stand

Majestic - BMTC bus stand

KSRTC bus stand

Indian Railways Current Ticket Booking after Charting

Indian Railways provides an unique feature of current reservation to the passengers to travel with confirmed tickets based on the availability of the seats at the source station. Current reservation can be done at the source station after the preparation of chart but before the departure of train. After chart preparation the seats available for the current reservation can be known at the counter next to the enquiry and not at the regular advanced ticket reservation counter.

The information about current reservation can also be known online by providing the name of the source station. The trains departing from that station having the same station as the starting point in the next four hours and the availability of tickets in those trains will be displayed. There is no direct link on Indian Railways home page to access current reservation enquiry page but can be got by searching for “current reservation Indian Railways”.

To get the list of trains and seats availability click on the link “Current Reservation Enquiry” and type the source station name.

current reservation
type the source station name or code

Even the ticket issued for current reservation will be superscribed with “Journey cum Reservation ticket after charting”.
railway reservation booking

Sometimes current reservation may not be available due to huge number of waiting list tickets. It is better to check online and make alternate arrangements in case current reservation tickets are not available instead of going to railway station. Also, it is useful for the people who plan at the last moment and look for getting confirmed tickets.

Alternatively, IRCTC website (www.irctc.co.in) can also be used to book current reservation tickets after the initial chart preparation. As a benefit for passengers, IRCTC is offering the seats in current reservation at 10% discount on the reservation fare.

Padmavathi Temple and Jain Basadi - Humcha, Shimoga

Humcha or Hombuja Kshetra is one of the popular pilgrimage centers in Shivamogga district. The temple is built during the period of Jinadatta Raya. Temple is very close to the road and can be reached easily through public transport. Temple is present in the midst of green lustrous surroundings and it is a pleasure to see around from the top of hill having Parshwanatha idol.

Humcha Padmavathi Temple

Parshwanatha idol on top of the hill

There are temples of Devi Padmavathi and Parshwanatha at Humcha and many basadis are around. Festivals are celebrated with great pomp. Devotees all over the country visit this place but more number is from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.

Greenery around Humcha

Surrounding Greenery

Thirthalli and Shivamogga are nearby and one can opt for staying at those places. Even temple provides lodging facility at nominal prices.

Keesaragutta Sri Ramalingeshwara Swami Temple

Keesaragutta as the name suggests it is a hill (in Telugu, Gutta means hill) Keesaragutta is in city limits and one can be there early in the morning or evening to breath and feel the cold freeze. On the top of the hill there is Sri Ramalingeshwara temple. It is believed that the Shivalinga at this place was installed by Lord Rama. It is believed that Lord Shiva had appeared at this place before Lord Rama and hence the name Ramalingeshwara came to this temple.

Keesara entrance

Legend says that after killing Ravana, Lord Rama had come to this place atone for the sin of killing Ravana. Lord Rama asked Hanuman to get the Shivalingam from Varanasi but it was late by the time Hanuman arrived from Varanasi with Shivalingam. As the auspicious time of pratistapana (installation) was nearing and Lord Shiva himself appeared before Lord Rama and presented Shivalingam for installation. 

Keesara temple

temple buildings at Keesara

Shivalingas outside the temple

By knowing this Lord Hanuman on arrival threw all the Shivalingams in anger (101 in number), he brought from Varanasi and they are scattered all over at this place. Since Lord Shiva himself presented Shivalingam to Lord Rama at this place it is called as Swayambhu (self manifested) and the temple is popularly called as Ramalingeshwara temple as Shivalingam was installed by Lord Rama. Also, Lord Rama to console Hanuman told that he will be worshiped after Lord Shiva at this temple.

Hanuman statue outside temple

temple with moon at background

The presence of Shivalingas outside the temple (many in number) justifies the fact of what legend says. Even the view of city from the top hill looks beautiful. During Shivaratri festival special pooja will be performed at this temple and fair will be organised. 

Beside the hill there is a children park and can be used by public. Keesaragutta can be reached easily by the public transport as many number of buses ply from ECIL.

Two years of Blogging: 227 Posts and 51000 Visits!

As mentioned in earlier posts, I started blogging as a hobby to spend time at home shifting from Goa. But blogging in a way changed myself, making me to describe the things in a more simpler way. Blog posts of mine has all type of content which interests me. Because of that mine is not a niche blog and it is having information shared which I feel in a way useful to others.

Compared to last year, visitors to my blog have increased from 10000 to 50000 making me happy that content I wrote was of use to some visitors. Apart from the increase in number of visitors, Google page rank has also been increased to 2 from 0.

Now a days with the increase in the work pressure and winding up of graduate project work, was not able to update content on a regular basis like earlier. But I have made sure that every month i posted some useful content either of places or of few tips. I feel 50,000 visitors in two years is not a small number as mine is not a niche blog.

Thank you very much for your visit and I look forward for your valuable suggestions.

Mallela Theertham Waterfall

Mallela Theertham is one of the popular waterfalls of Nalla malla forest, a perfect spot during summer to get drenched in the water. The location of water fall is even though remote, one can easily reach with the help of sign-boards and an advantage is the presence of a single road to reach the water fall. One has to take diversion towards left in a village on the Srisailam road, on the way to Srisailam. Identifying route will not be difficult as display boards are there and villagers are also helpful.
entrance to waterfall

view of waterfall 

The location and surrounding of Mallela Theertham is maintained well with facilities to park vehicles and a small botanical garden with canteen. I guess the canteen will be open during the season and may not be there in other seasons as visitors are less. Greenery and pleasant environment allows relaxing brain and body!
waterfalls from a distance

on the way to falls

One has to step down to reach the water fall. Cement concrete steps (may be 250) are made with railings for support while climbing up. As the water fall is nearing we can feel the cold weather. It is advisable not to get in to water as it is very slippery. It is not allowed to get into water during monsoon as water flow will be high but during other season one can take bit risk as the water flow will be less. The rocks on which waterfalls is slippery with sharp edges, so be careful while getting into water.

Presence of temple next to water fall makes it even a spiritual place. Shivalinga along with Ganesha, Dattatreya and Durga make this place unique. Mallela Theertham is a must visit on the Srisailam route.