mathukathe

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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.

Schmooze Award

I’m wholeheartedly thankful to Neela of neel3.wordpress.com for awarding me Schmooze Blogger award in “easy conversational style” category.

The initiator of Schmooze Award is still unknown. This schmooze is not a snooze anymore. More than hundreds or even thousands are sharing this award globally. As per the rules one cannot retain schmooze award, but nobody is left to award anymore within my vicinity and I’m the last one to get this.

Eventually, I’m really happy to have this one.

Tulasi Habba

Location: My House Verandah, Bangalore.

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.

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Vodafone Stinks

It’s a quite old saying “Too much is too bad”, and this directly incriminates to the new Vodafone brand awareness campaign that started in India on Friday the September 21 2007. It was 24 hour continuous broadcast of new ad on all Star TV channels, thanks their tie-ups. This again implies to another saying “Old wine in a new bottle”, likewise “Old pug in a new kennel” message.

The agencies like Weiden and Kennedy(Vodafone global media agency), Maxus(Vodafone India media agency) and ofcourse Ogilvy & Mather(agency of former Hutchison-Essar) combined and sketched a campaign to completely abolish well established Hutch brand-image from memory of people. After three weeks of extensive broadcast of Vodafone brand through several ads over TV, newspaper, magazines, glow-signs, hoardings, posters, web and even PVC board nailed into stem of trees(as seen in above pic) left a stinking sense over peoples mind. Now, wherever you go Vodafone ads follows you than their failing network. I strongly advice that media agencies of Vodafone should revise their branding plans in India again and reduce this abundance. Now even beautiful combination of red & white leaving residual vulgar taste to eyes.

It shows that new Vodafone campaigns are portraying brand awareness in complexity theme as against Hutchison-Essar’s way of elegant & simplicity. Surprisingly. Both Indian private GSM telecom giants Bharti Airtel and Vodafone share same red color branding all over. As Vodafone uses tomato red shade, whereas Airtel uses a gradient of true red & dark(crimson) red and even BSNL uses a flat light burgundy shade as background art, all painting country red.

Vodafone Joke:
Take a deep fry pan, add 1/2 litre of oil into it. Dip your cellphone into freshly prepared cornflour mixture and fry it in a medium flame until it turns brown. Now your delicious Vadafone ready. Serve hot, garnishing suggested.

Trek to Ranganatha Swamy Hill - A Marvelous Expedition

Click here for photos from my camera

Click here for photos from Ananda’s camera

Introduction:
If you are a die hard trekker, game for arduous paths and adventure runs through your veins, then Ranganatha Swamy Hill is the place for you. Ranganatha Swamy Hill is also called as Bilikal Hill. This beautiful hill is located at Konavaradoddi village, Maralavadi post, Kanakapura taluk and belongs to Bangalore Rural District.

Ranganatha Swamy Hill doesn’t pose any ancient significance. Villagers say it’s named after a stone that emerged from ground atop of mountain, later named as God Ranganatha Swamy. Ranganatha Swamy Temple is one of the oldest temples found in nearby villages. Ranganatha Swamy temple is looked after by a committee of villagers. The temple is open only on Saturdays and there will be a special ritual offered to god on that day.

Useful Figures(Approximate):
Distance (from Bangalore): about 45kms
Elevation (above ground): 1500fts
Elevation (above sea level): 4200 – 4800fts
Distance from base to hilltop: 3 – 4kms

Expedition:
It was partially cloudy on Saturday the 29th September 2007, 10:30am. The team of 9 namely Ananda H.M.(Organizer), Sutapa Pal, Kotresh, Jagadish, Sameer, Abhishek, Roshan, Venkatesh and myself all geared for adventure. We started with a walk for about 10 minutes towards base camp. This walk exposed us to a scenic beauty of farmland, tall trees, sunflower plantations and hills all around, I then called it as Heaven.

The Trek consisted of 3 checkpoints separated by three boulders, where way to first to second checkpoint is characterised by tough, narrow, steep and muddy path. Second to third is easy, less slant and shadowed. Second to third is again dense with trees, narrow and steep path. We heightened the enjoyment by taking photographs, sharing Sardarji jokes and here Jagadish got a new pet name “Pintu”, that’s because it’s his pet dog’s name.

After 2.5 hours of climbing at about 1:00pm we are at hilltop, visited Ranganatha Swamy Temple followed by lunch and little nap. At 3:00pm we started for sightseeing around the hill. It’s a wowing panoramic view of surrounding hills, lakes, farmland and countryside while facing to a strong current of wind at the rock tip. Maybe these words are not sufficient to describe the beauty, it can only be experienced. I pity those members who purposely missed it to watch cricket or any other reason.

At 4:00pm Ananda & Venkatesh prepared hot lemon-tea. Soon after sipping tea with snacks, at 4:30pm we left hilltop and started towards base. After 1.5 hours of descending with bum-smashing drops, at 6:00pm we are base. Upon reaching base Sutapa unable to believe that she had climbed this magnificent hill with her own strength. And surprisingly Sameer, Roshan, Abhishek & Venkatesh reached base 30 minutes earlier to us.

After reaching base, Ananda distributed sweets among village children and we finally said good-bye with a sheer bliss of achievement.

Some Useful Tips:

  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. Have a strong bamboo stick along with you that will serve as an extra limb while climbing up and down.
  4. Carry sufficient water.
  5. Wear shoe that has a demonstrated ability of holding over rocks & grasses.
  6. While climbing down try move in side-wise or zig-zag manner, this will not only give additional grip to your foot but, also reduce body weight over your knees.
  7. 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.
  8. And don’t forget camera, to Click!!!

Last Word:
Our hearty thanks to Ananda H.M. for organising such marvelous expedition. And I wish best-of-luck for your next expedition to this place.