Fujiyama, Japan

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Savandurga

Google Maps: Savandurga, Karnataka
I managed to pull out a team outing. Savandurga was perfect because of its proximity. The four of us managed to reach the top after quite a series of discussions but when we did it was triumph. The reservoir view was waiting for us with a luxuriant slope of a place to enjoy. 


We had brought ample beer and snacks to spend a peaceful couple of hours facing a scenic view. A cloudy sky, cool breeze and absence of anyone else was helping the cause. It proved once again that high-point views never disappoint. Last time I had missed something.


We were lucky that day last time to have a holiday and a vehicle at our disposal on the same day. The opportunity was too good to leave. Hence on the Republic Day we were climbing the hill of Savandurga, a fort not more than 30 miles from the periphery of Bangalore.


We had just crossed the beautiful Manchanabele reservoir and my motivation was to have a look at this lake from top of Savandurga. The climb started with the most pleasant weather that is trademark of Bangalore region.


The climb was steep and I regretted why I was not up for regular exercise. We had ample food supplies to take breaks and move again. However the late start meant we were not going to reach the top. It was a tough decision to make.


A fellow trekker returning from top suggested us to go for another 20 minutes where we will find caves to settle, take a break and return. It proved to be a good advice.


Our last settlement was just after the caves ended. We opened the last of resources which included a bottle of mazaa, cashew nuts, chips, snickers and few jokes to be cracked on Manoj. Another round of gossiping followed before we decided to leave for the day. The return was equally hectic because of the steep.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Mahabaleshwar

Google Maps: Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India
Trip: Mumbai > MahabaleshwarPanchgani > Bangalore

The twelve of us had gathered from different part of country for a cool-down break. Mahabaleshwar was expected to be cold this time of year. We were prepared but our preparations were never tested thanks to the daily dose of alcohol and a milder than expected climate at this hill station.

View on way to Sydney Point@Panchgani

We stayed at Panchgani, our hotel window opening to a majestic view of Dhom Lake. Morning excursion included trek to Sydney Point for a panoramic view of the lake. Unfortunately I had to take this up alone as everyone was in lazy hangover state.

Waterfall on way to Pratapgarh Fort@Mahabaleshwar

We started for Pratapgarh fort late in the afternoon after brunch. Pratapgarh Fort was headquarters to none other than Shivaji. It has height and defense to suit the resume of great Shivaji's den. We took the nose-side view of this fort. The visibility was another proof why this fort stood tall under attack.

Pratapgarh Fort@Mahabaleshwar

On our way back we visited the Table Land - a large flat plateau in the middle of Panchgani. Sunset was beautiful from here. By the time we came back it was late evening. We refreshed ourselves for another round of merriment at a nearby roadside restaurant.

Ravine Hotel@Panchgani

Next day we had a brief business session before we started for Kate's Point. From here was a view to behold. I could pledge we were in some other world. It was the winner of this trip and the team really enjoyed watching the Balakwadi reservoir from as many different angles as possible.

View from Kate's Point@Mahabaleshwar

We spent a good hour here before returning to cosy hotel room. It was time to say goodbye to our little expedition of fun. The next morning we checked out early and took a flight from Pune to Bangalore.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Nainital

Google Maps: Nainital, Uttarakhand, India
Trip: DelhiNainital > Pithoragarh > Delhi

We had an ideal start at 4 AM. By 6 we were half way on Moradabad Bypass and racing towards Nainital  Things took a u-turn at Tanda. The road was like a series of speed breakers.

View of Naini Lake@Nainital

It took us couple of hours to cross the bad patch to reach Bazpur after which the infrastructure improved. We entered Nainital through picturesque Kaladhungi route at 11 and were settled by noon.

Tanda route@Nainital

We quickly refreshed ourselves and walked out for a light brunch. Interrogating around for a good pub we were directed towards Manu Maharani. It has a beautiful wooden lounge. We ordered couple of pints and settled at the edge of this lounge from where Lake Naini was visible.

Naini Lake@Nainital

The view changed our plans. We took our car and drove to the lake area which was surprisingly crowded. We walked, shopped, chatted and ate. It was time to go back to our hotel which was offering complementary dinner. The dinner was supplemented with an exciting India-Pak T20 World Cup match which helped us relax.

Main market@Nainital

We slept a little longer than usual and woke up fresh. An uphill trek to Mall Rd warmed us. Later we checked out after a sumptuous breakfast. It was time to explore Nainital a little more and hence we started for the Himalaya Darshan point. It is on Mall Rd only but a little further.

Natural caves@Nainital

A tourist spot made of natural caves was on our way and we chose to visit it. It would have been magnificent  had it been left untouched. The commercialization has killed most of the charm this place had.

Viewpoint@Nainital

On the way, we stopped at a viewpoint which had a grand view of Naini Lake. We had Maggi & tea standing here. Himalaya Darshan was disappointing as clouds spoilt our view. We moved back quickly and started towards Kaladhungi. On the way we halted at Himalaya Botanical Garden.

Himalaya Botanical Garden@Nainital

Returning to Delhi via Haldwani was a bad idea as Haldwani-Rudrapur-Rampur road is worse and longer than Tanda route. Hence we were able to reach McDonalds @ Gajraula by 7 only. Thankfully we had an extra day to relax tomorrow and so we arrived home happily.