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The Book:

The book is a letter written to a student who requested guidance from swamy to meliorate his studies. This later became popular amongst other students and got published as a book. This magnificent piece is just 12 page pocket size booklet of abundant knowledge and is a English translation of “Vidyarthigondu Pathra” that is originally in Kannada.

The book provides valuable guidance on:

  • Learning etiquettes
  • Disciplines
  • Respect to parents & teachers
  • Time management
  • Language practice
  • Methods to improve neatness of handwriting
  • Importance of meditation and yoga
  • Secrets of concentration and dedication
  • Diet & sleep
  • Preparation for examination
  • Handling examination stress
  • And many other vital aspects that are considered trivial

Book also throws light on difficulties faced by urban & village students and effective guidance to overcome them. This beautiful book suites for all ages at all times and has power to change anyone who dedicates himself to the guidance presented. I have found people got transformed and share experience alike and pity those who haven’t.

One can avail this book from Ramakrishna Mission situated at Bull Temple Road, Basavanagudi, Bangalore – 19. I was fortunate to get introduced to this book by a member of Ramakrishna Mission at my college campus. I have made sincere attempt to introduce this book to among my peers and others too. And still love to read this book now and then.

Last Word:

If this book can change me then it can change anyone who endows commitment & dedication towards it.

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Things to know before you start:
Distance from Bangalore: around 95 kms
Nearby town/village: Koratagere, Madhugiri, Dobbspet
Public transport available?: Yes
Elevation (above sea level): 5000fts
Elevation (above ground): 1700fts
Distance from base to hilltop: 3 – 4kms

Introduction:

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Never thought of trekking before, because you think it’s too painstaking to climb on your own. Fear that you get tan on your skin and lose that extra plump. If this is your concern then need not to worry, a trek to Siddara Betta doesn’t demand all these. Siddara Betta is about 95kms from Bangalore and belongs to Tumkur district. Way to Siddara Betta starts from Tumkur Road(NH-4) take a deviation to the right towards Dobbspet which is about 45 kms from Bangalore, another 32kms from there takes you to Koratagere and 12kms from Koratagere will lead you to Siddara Betta.

Siddara Betta has historic significance to it. As name defines in Kannada, Siddara Betta entails Hill of Saints. For decades this unique hill was home for numerous Hindu Saints for their sacred meditation and to obtain Nirvana. As time passed by, this practice got into an extinction. One can find very few saints chanting in distances. And it too has a old styled “Aashrama” at the base.

Team:

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Our team consisted of 22 people, most from my company, 6 from Symphony Services and 2 from State Education Department. Trekking was never this easy before, since whole trekking consisted of only two checkpoints commemorated by a cave temple of Siddeshwara found in middle of the way.

Checkpoint – 1: Trekking

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Trek to Siddeshwara temple consists of man-made stone stairs stretches for a distance of 3kms. This simple stretch takes you through lush greenery coming on the way. On route, one can also find huge boulders to pass through, even this has been eased by etching stairs on them and by providing support rod right through. In middle, you can also find a petty shop selling juice, snacks and cigarettes. After this you’ll find similar way of almost equal distance towards temple.

Checkpoint – 1: Cave Crawling

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Here comes the most interesting part of this whole trek, crawling inside caves. This starts from a visit to Siddeshwara temple inside the cave, and just from there starts cave crawling. Before starting hire a guide from temple, since it’s highly difficult to determine route inside caves.

Cave formation in Siddara Betta is nothing but crevices formed between rock & boulders. It’s advised to carry only necessary stuff inside, leave unnecessary outside and lighten your backpack. Inside cave, one can see places where saints were meditating before. A torch in-hand can be a good companion. While crawling I discovered a distinct, slightly dark & isolated place in middle of the cave and graded it as “Honeymoon” spot, Yes I mean it! After a few crawling, jumping, slipping and falling we saw some light coming from a gap that lead towards a huge hollow place inside boulders and a had a creepy tree similar to one shown in Harry Potter’s movies. It’s a view that one would’ve never imagined beyond. Finishing packed lunch there, we headed back to temple through some other way that god knows better and reached temple on time.

Checkpoint – 2: Trek to hilltop

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After spending a little time at temple space and with resident monkeys, we started towards hilltop which is another 1km from there. Here this doesn’t have any man-made stairs, but has easily walkable natural narrow ways. The hilltop is a plain huge boulder that exposes you to unstoppable 360° view of regions, plains and small mountains around. It’s a panorama no words can define it. Just after sipping refreshing hot lemon tea prepared by Ananda & Venkatesh, we started from there with a heavy heart. And it hardly took an hour to reach base.

Useful tips that help:

  1. Have an experienced member in your team, who already visited the place at least twice.
  2. Don’t try to climb in hurry, it may lead to slip-down.
  3. Carry sufficient water.
  4. Never forget to carry a electric torch with you
  5. Seek assistance from a guide at temple to guide you along Caves.
  6. Wear shoe that has a demonstrated ability of holding over rocks & grasses.
  7. While climbing down try move in side-wise or zig-zag manner, this will not only give additional grip to your foot and also reduce body weight over your knees.
  8. Carry your own garbage bag to collect waste like excess food, plastic bag etc & dispose it in any garbage dump in city. This will help keep the place clean.
  9. Don’t carry any food stuffs or any plastic bags in hand, since terrorist turned monkeys can snatch it from you and leaving a shock in your mind.
  10. And don’t forget camera, to Click!!!

Last word:
Our heartfelt thanks to Ananda H.M. for organising such marvelous expedition.

Somebody said this and it’s quite true, Kannada movies has changed. 2007 was the year Kannada movies deviated. Here I’m listing few movies one must see which were released and screened this year. And these are the movies you cannot afford to miss.

  • Mungaru Male
    Released: December 2006
    Salient Traits: Cinematography, Music, Lyrics and Simplicity.
    It all started with this movie, people hesitant to shell money on Kannada movies made jaws drop. Many of Telugu, Tamil, Mallu and even Gujarati friends of mine asked to accompany with them to watch this movie. Cool isn’t it?
  • Duniya
    Released: 2007
    Salient Traits: Story, screenplay and vital role of Vijay
    Story of a innocent but physically strong villager who reaches city to earn little money to build vault to his dead mother. He witness darkness of life and hooligan people for money. And ends up building his vault.
  • Milana
    Released: September 2007
    Salient Traits: Story, Screenplay, Acting & Music
    Story catches with a Die-Hard personality of Puneeth. Progreesive story makes you hooked.
  • Maathad Maathadu Mallige
    Released: September 2007
    Salient Traits: Story, theme, aesthetic location, art direction and cast.
    Story comes with strong message against globalisation. Leasing our lands for their development. For some scene it seems to stretched.
  • Savi Savi Nenapu
    Released: August 2007
    Salient Traits: Screenplay, direction, music and elegance
    It’s like any other love story with a polite impression. The photography and location makes movie elegant.
  • Geleya
    Released: October 2007
    Salient Traits: Casting, characterisation, acting, quality and screenplay
    This is like any other movie on rule & violence. One quite interesting things is focus on friendship. Few scenes are spine chilling. Whatever it could be, at the end of the day it makes a good entertainer.
  • Aa Dinagalu
    Released: October 2007
    Salient Traits: True story, casting and screenplay
    Based on true story from Agni Sridhar’s “Dadagiriya Dinagalu”. Movie takes you through the journey of real underworld. Movie has lots of twists and someplace lacks quality.