In all our Bike trip From Bangalore – Why Did We Choose to Visit Temples?

We are bikers, duo travelers to destinations in SouthIndia mostly bike trip from Bangalore. What started as a casual outing for coffee in Kanakapura road and Mysore road has soon become a planned bike trip to similar places.

And what started as fun riding bikes to nearby places has soon become a passionate bike ride to the far destinations.

To the readers wondering why we always go to places with temples, here is the reason behind it.

Bike Trip From Bangalore: How it Started After Our Marriage

Our very first official bike trip was from Bangalore to Srirangapatna and its nearby places on 26th August 2016. 

Definitely a date to remember in our life.

Then after a couple of train trips to Hampi and Belur, we challenged ourselves to go to different states in one day. That is how we went by bike from Bangalore to Lepakshi (Andhra Pradesh) via Nandi Hills (Karnataka).

But what gave us recognition as bike riders among friends (majorly in social media since we started posting pics and total Kms we rode), was a night bike trip to Hassan. That was an unplanned trip to Hassan and we rode 500kms back to back in less than 40 hrs, day and night.

That was a greatest milestone achievement in the year 2016.

In the following year 2017, after numerous 1 day and 2 day trips, we had set another milestone of 11 days continuous bike trip within SouthIndia.

We broke the 2017 record in the following year by going 12 days long bike trip within SouthIndia.

Well, if you see, either 1 day or 2 days or 11 long days, we always visit a famous temple in that particular place. Sometimes our trip plan will be weaved around a particular famous temple in that destination.

Why temples? Why not just go to a exotic destination, chill out and come back?

The Reason Behind Visiting Temples – On All Our Bike trip From Bangalore

The only connection I remember having with temples are those in my childhood. I remember my mother dragging me and my sibling to an ancient Lord Shiva temple in the town I grew, barely giving us time to change from school uniform to civil clothes. 

Many years after, I remember accompanying my roommate from Bangalore to Tirupati Balaji temple. 

And many years later, soon after our marriage, we went to temples with family as it was customary to darshan several temples. 

But here we are, riding to all the famous places, visiting the famous/ ancient temples, taking pics, and taking great effort sorting them in all possible harddisks.

Well, to begin with, I suggested going to Srirangapatna Ranganathar temple, as a meaningful destination for our first bike trip from Bangalore.

We liked the idea of keeping a meaningful destination instead of just hanging out in any restaurant and coming back.

Unintentionally we went on a couple of temple trips in the following months.

Later we came to know, both our families liked (assumed?) that we both went on a spiritual trip, spending our weekends in a meaningful way.

Only we both knew it was not just visiting temples, it was about meaningful destinations in our bike trips.

Also we had some meaningful conversations while we were there in the temples – about the architecture and about us. 

Sometimes our conversations gets more interesting, we used to compare with the previous temples we have visited, engage in that topic even after we return to our hotel rooms.

Like how we were amazed to see Karnataka’s only unique Hoysala arhictecture’s influence in Ambarnath temple, Mumbai.

Soon, by law of nature, we were naturally attracted to similar destinations, and many good things happened since then.

The Best thing Happened from Visiting Temples in Bike Trips

The constant planning and organizing the trips became my main hobby after marriage. 

We were always on the wheels, sometimes going to the same destinations again and again because we did not have any plans laid for that particular weekend. Or simply because of silly reasons like how we liked to have black coffee in Tiruvannamalai (200 kms bike trip from bangalore) and going to nearby Tirukoilur riding among sunflower fields. (See the pics here). 

Sometimes we go out shopping, but change our mind soon after we exit our apartment building, ride to the far destination for cuppa coffee and come back home late in the night. 

We soon became best friends riding together, talking about the past and the future.

In the past 5 yrs of married life (as of Sep 2020), we grew together as a strong couple and the complete credit goes to all the numerous travels we went (including the ones by train, air and car).

You can click on the following link to know the challenges we have faced over the course of time, against all odds how we became best friends and complimenting bike riders. 

Read – The Challenges we faced during our bike trips.

Had we not started visiting temples in our short bike trips from Bangalore, we would not have planned our 11 days long bike trip in the year 2017 and 12 days trips in the year 2018. Because it is difficult to just kill time without any purpose. 

Wow, what a journey we had. Looking back, it was like magic, but we did it. Riding under sun and moon, storm and rain, we rode bike continuously for those many long days.

You know what else we achieved from those bike trips?

Apart from becoming friends-

Apart from undertaking long bike trips and eventually becoming super confident riders-

We have realised one very important thing in life.

Together we are strong.

Together we can achieve anything.

As an individual, we have our own strengths and weaknesses. But when we both are together, we have only strength.

But Why did I go on a solo trip for 5 Days?.

Final Words – We are not Temple Crazy

Before you think of me as crazy visiting only the temples on our vacation – know this. I am not a spiritual nor a devoted traveler to temples. It’s just the curiosity to know the significant importance of many temples from one another. Also, I am totally in love with the ancient architecture and the lost temples. So you cannot find me visiting any modern age temples, or any non-historic temples for that matter.

Like this train trip to Belur in Karnataka, where we explored 2 less popular Hoysala architectures, the two very beautiful temples in Karnataka.

And once we have been to 24 temples in 3 days in Kumbakonam, it is the only place where temples are more than tea shops in TamilNadu. So could not get enough from those 3 days, we planned 11 days long motorbike trip to explore the Kumbakonam temple city.

Did we ever go on an exotic trips?.

Many actually, because we are not saints you see.

We did go exotic places like when we stayed in Aveda Resort in Kumarakom, The continental Inn for a week stay in Mumbai, The Grand Mercure in Mysore, Riva Resort in Goa to name a few.

24 Temples in 3 Days in Kumbakonam Masi Magam Festival 2017

During Kumbakonam Masi Magam festival we have visited 24 temples in 3 days by bike, thanks to my friend who rented out the bike to us. We reached Kumbakonam from Bangalore by train, stayed in Poppy’s SET Hotel for 3 days, roamed all around Kumbakonam mercilessly in motorbike for 3 days. 

Kumbakonam Masi Magam Festival 2017

Here are the list of temples we did darshan in Kumbakonam Masi Magam festival 2017.

I am straight away giving the list of all the temples names under each day we spent in Kumbakonam. Not going into details of the temples, or too many pics nor its history.

Here goes the list of temples we visited in Kumbakonam Masi Magam in the year 2017 – one of the memorable trip in our travel history.

Day 1 : 11 Mar 2017 in Kumbakonam, Just before Masi Magam

  • Abhi Mukteswarar temple
  • Viyala Someswarar temple
  • Tirupandurai Shivanandeeswarar (lord Murugan spl) temple
  • Thirunalur meginanam Sivan temple
  • Thiruccherai saranathan perumal temple, Divya desam
  • Thiruccherai Saraparameswarar temple
  • Nachiyar Kovil (kalyana kolam perumal/srinivasa perumal)
  • Ramanathaswamy/Saneeswaran Temple

Day2 : 12 Mar 2017

  • Ramar Temple, Kumbakonam
  • Thiruvisainallur Yoganandheeswarar/Sivayoginathar Temple (Risabha Rasi)
  • Sakkottai Amirthakalasanathar Temple
  • Marudhanallur (Karukudi) Sarguna Lingeswarar (Karukudinathar) temple
  • Then Pon Parappi, Swarnapureeswarar temple
  • Nageswaram Temple, Kumbakonam
  • Thirunageswaram Temple (Raghu temple)
  • Oppiliyappar Temple, DivyaDesam
  • Thirupampuram Seshapureeswarar/ Pambureswarar(Raghu Kethu temple)

Day 3 : 13 Mar 2017

  •  Saranathaperumal Temple, Divadesam, Kumbakonam
  • Thiruvalanchuzi ThiruValanchuzhi Nathar Temple (and Swetha Vinayagar Temple –Vellai Pillaiyar)
  • Darasuram- UNESCO
  • Swamimalai Murugan Temple
  • Innambur Ezhuthari Nathar Temple
  • Kottaiyur Kodeeswarar Temple

About Masi Magam and its Importance

The Masimaham is an annual event that occurs in Kumbakonam in the Tamil month of Masi (February–March) in the star of Magam.

Vast crowds of Hindu devotees gather at Kumbakonam to have a dip in the tank a.k.a Mahamaham tank.

All the rivers of India are believed to meet at the tank on this day and a purificatory bath at this tank on this day is considered equal to the combined dips in all the holy rivers of India.

Festival deities from all the temples in Kumbakonam arrive at the tank and at noon, all the deities bathe along with the devotees – it is called “Theerthavari“.

The purificatory bath is believed to remove sins and after the dip, pilgrims offer charitable gifts in the hope of being rewarded in the current life and subsequent lives.

The temple cars of major temples in Kumbakonam come around the city on the festival night. During the Mahamaham of 1992, the number of devotees were estimated to be one million. (Source – Wikipedia).

Our Story -Travelduo From Bangalore

We were able to darshan 24 temples continuously for 3 days because we planned everything beforehand, and our energy level matched to roam the temples back to back, by bike non stop.

Otherwise would have not been possible travelling by car and with the group or with more family members. It was the most memorable trip where we did crazy riding to temples in Kumbakonam Masi Magam Festival in the year 2017.

In the 3 days of roaming, we fell in Love with this beautiful temple town Kumbakonam, so in the same year and the next year we went road trip of 10+ days to Kumbakonam. Just for the love of most majestic and historically important temples in Kumbakonam.

https://www.travelduo.in/kumbakonam-famous-food-items/

https://www.travelduo.in/ulagalantha-perumal-temple-tirukoyilur/

https://www.travelduo.in/athi-varadar-darshan-kancheepuram-once-in-40-yrs/

https://www.travelduo.in/nandi-hills-temple-nearby-places-and-trekking/

Art of Living In Bangalore Ashram (How to Visit in detail)

If you are looking for details about visiting and/or enrolling to Art of Living in Bangalore ashram, this article has detailed answers.

About Art of Living In Bangalore Ashram

Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram in Bangalore is the headquarters of Art of Living Foundation located in more than 156 countries. The interested individuals can learn the “Art of Living” programs (scroll down to know more details) under the certified professionals all over the world, or can learn the Art of Living in Bangalore ashram directly.

It is an international center open for all the national and international participants with the in-house accommodation with food for the entire duration.

AOL Bangalore ashram is open for the visitors to explore, learn, meditate and spend time on all days.

(Note: Art of Living Ashram, Bangalore Ashram, Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram, Art of Living International Center are all the same).

We always travel past the Sri Sri Ravishankar ashram in Bangalore on all our bike trips via Kanakapura road, but never have set foot inside. Today we decided to give a try as we trying to go past this ashram while coming after coffee from rasta cafe. Anyways we have half a day left to end the weekend. 

This is the guide for someone looking to just visit or learn the courses of Art of Living In Bangalore Ashram – International Centre, Kanakapura Road.

AOL Bangalore Ashram – Location

Bangalore ashram – the International Centre is located in Kanakapura road, closer to Bannerghatta road and Banashankari. 

Use this map location for navigation – https://goo.gl/maps/gUnQurDUB6oXmeX1A.

The Art of Living International Centre

21st Km Kanakapura Road

Bangalore-560082

Tel: +91-80-28427060

www.vvmvp.org

A guide to Art of Living- Entrance Fee, Parking, Help Desk and Bus tour

  • Paid parking facilities are available adjacent to the main gate
  • First of all, you need to know that AOL ashram is always crowded. And it is super crowded on the weekends and during festive seasons.
  • Also, no vehicles are allowed beyond the entry desk at the security
  • Park your vehicles, walk to the help desk for any assistance
  • Free entry for the visitors at all times, but prior online booking is a must for attending any events. Any kind of current bookings are not allowed
  • Bus tours are available at 11 to 12 and 2 to 3 pm everyday
  • There is a coffee shop available next to the help desk for a quick refreshmentAlso there is organic vegetable shop here
  • Also there is organic vegetable shop here

Note: If you are a AOL program participant you will be registering at the security gate with a valid id and an entry coupon. If you are a AOL course participant – national or international, you will be arriving one day before for the Art of Living in Bangalore ashram, for check-in and accommodation.

Vishalakshi Mandap inside Art of Living Banglore Ashram

The main attraction of Ravishankar Ashram International centre Bangalore is the weekend satsang and yoga courses on time to time basis. It is open for all the local and international participants. All the major events and evening satsang takes place in this huge thousand petal lotus mandap located about 1 mile walk from the main gate.

How to Spend a day at Sri Sri Ravishankar Ashram in Bangalore

You can walk straight to this Vishalakshi Mandap or take time to explore all other area before reaching here. Here is the list of other places you could explore in Art of Living ashram Bangalore.

  • Opposite to the help desk, a place called Nakshatra vanam. A bunch of trees planted corresponding to zodiac signs and the planets. A peaceful place to hangout or for a walk.
  • From the main gate, located in 200m is Guru Paduka Vanam / sumeru mandap. This is huge area can accommodate vast gatherings on special occasions like Navarathri Pooja, Sri Sri Ravishankar’s birthday celebration etc. A nice place to hangout with the view of ducks in the water pond in the centre. 
  • Cafe Vishala and Children Play area –  Try out some of the freshly baked breads with coffee here. You will also get good healthy satvik food for reasonable prices. We had cinnamon bread and coffee while we were there. Children play area is located right next to the cafe and also don’t miss out the organic garden view from the cafe.
  • Shop for adulteration free organic products and groceries in Sattva stores. 
  • Shop in Madhurya – for all the handcrafted products, pooja items, wall hangings, cotton weaves etc.,

How to Participate in the “Art of Living” program

There are lots of programs designed for the wellness of children and adults of all ages. If you are interested to attend any of the programs, you need to register first in the following link, then book the available seats. 

Visit for the Ravishankar ashram courses – https://programs.org.in/ekam/index.php/public/

Take a look at the following screenshot to understand the requirements.

If you want to know more about the courses in detail, visit this website  https://bangaloreashram.org/

Also, for the national and international guests, there are good accommodation facilities with laundry services. 

Walk Walk Walk

We walked about 3 kms in those 2 hrs spent looking only for the places mentioned above. For that reason, next time we are planning to take a guided bus tour to look at all the places. Because there are many places need to be explored. Like panchakarma ayurvedic centre, goshala, yagyashala with lake view, pathshala, guest accommodation facilities etc., And Sri ma annapoorna hall where more than 20000 meals served in a day. The best time to visit the bangalore ashram is around 1.30pm, take the guided tour by 2 to 3 pm, take a break at the cafe for some time before you attend an evening program in the lotus mandap. 

If you want to know more about learning the Art of Living in Bangalore ashram, visit their Bangalore ashram website – https://bangaloreashram.org/

Hope you have got all the questions answere with respect to visiting the ashram and enrolling the courses.

Nandi Hills Temple – 9th Century Big Ornamental Temple with Breathtaking View of Beautiful Pond

We have been frequent visitors to Nandi hills temple by bike since the year 2016. Many visit Nandhi hills to watch sunset or to trek. Whereas we – travelduo bike riders, love the whole experience of riding to this place as such. And we always visit this famous temple with a very beautiful pond.

About Nandi Hills Temple

Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple is located at the foot of Nandi Hills, approximately 15kms away. Not to confuse this temple with Yoga Nandeeshwara temple a.k.a Nandi Temple located on top of the hills. But there is a connection between these two temples which many of us don’t know.

These two temples together depict the different forms of Lord Shiva. From Childhood to adult married form depicted in Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple. Whereas final phase of “renunciation” is depicted in Yoga Nandeeshwara temple at the hilltop.

Since it represents a departure from the married life, there are no festivals celebrated in Yoga Nandeeshwara temple.

Note: This Nandi Hills temple is not the same “Nandi temple” in Mysore.

In Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple you can see childhood form as “Arunachaleswara” shrine located on the south, youth form located on the north. (Both are beautiful majestic Shiva Lingas with individual Nandhi guarding them).

In Between “Arunachaleswarar” shrine and “Bogha Nandeeshwara” shrine is the “Uma Maheswara” shrine where Lord Shiva is married to Goddess Parvati, sitting on their Vehicle Nandhi. You will be amazed looking at the ornamental pillars which are small but breathtakingly beautiful. Scroll down to see the pics below.

Temple Pond – Pushkarni Details

Also there is a Kalynai / Pushkarni (temple pond) adjacent to the temple, a very beautiful pond which attracts hundreds of visitors for its exotic design, artistic appearance and its cultural heritage. It is also called Shringi Theertha, Myth says that it was created by Nandi and it is also the source of South Pinakini (South Pennar) River.

Pushkarni or Temple Pond in Bogha Nandeeshwara Temple
Pushkarni or Temple Pond in Bogha Nandeeshwara Temple

(Note: this pond pic is from internet search since it is beautifully captured than my mobile phone)

Update (14th July 2019) – Since last year we click pics from the Canon EOS 800 D DSLR camera we bought in 2018 for our long bike trip. Also we carried our personal phones whenever we couldn’t take out the DSLR or no space in luggage. Rajesh carried One Plus A6010, and whereas I carried Samsung galaxy S7. Got to tell you my Samsung pics were no good compared to the clarity of One plus. Decided that when I upgrade my phone, I would definitely go for the One plus only.

How to Reach Nandi Hills Temple (Boga Nandeeshwara Temple), Karnataka

This ancient temple of Karnataka was built in the 9th century by Nolamba Dynasty. Later it was under the patronage of successive notable South Indian dynasties like the Ganga Dynasty, the Chola dynasty, the Hoysala Empire and the Vijayanagara Empire. (Thanks to wikipedia).

This temple is located 60 to 70 kms away from the north of Bangalore, located at the base of Nandi Hills in Chikkaballapur District, Karnataka.

Bangalore airport to Nandi Hills is of 47 kms distance, with good bus and cab facilities.

There are bus facilities from Bangalore to Nandi hills, and from Nandi hills to Bogha Nandeeswara temple.

Thanks to “Archaeological survey of India”,  this famous Nandi Hills Temple is well maintained all the times.

Nandi Hills is famous for sunrise / sunset view and trekking, but less known for its 2 ancient temples. One must visit the temples to witness the beauty and vast history behind its architecture.

Riding to Nandi hills temple is always a pleasant experience. Once on the way to Nandi hills temple we spent time around the rose plantation, clicked some pics before we reached there.

Read – Kolar is another best place for one day road trip from Bangalore.

If you like to go trekking to far places from Bangalore, you could go either go Coorg or Talakona forest and waterfalls or Yercaud.

Where to Go From Here – 10 Things to do around Nandi Hills

After a couple of bike ride to Boga Nandeeshwara temple, we went one step ahead and visited multiple places far apart from this temple in one day. 

On 5th November 2016, We went on One day bike trip to the very famous Lepakshi Temple (Anantapur District, Andra Pradesh) after visiting Boga Nandeeshwara temple. I suggest travelling to Lepakshi Temple, which is one of  the best one day trips from Bangalore within 150 kms.

That day alone we rode bike for 300 kms on up and down journey. One of the memorable adventurous bike trips ever because we have traveled up and down two different states in one day. Good news is Lepakshi temple is just 76 kms away from the Nandi hills. 

On 21st jan 2017, we went on One day bike trip to visit Sri Ranganathar Temple (Rangastala) and Boga Nandeeswarar Temple (Nandi Hills) in Chikkaballapur District followed by Ghati Subramanya Temple in Doddabellapur District. We rode 286 Kms on that day alone. Another memorable bike ride experiences. 

Read – How to Travel to Hampi by Train From Bangalore.

Here are the 10 things you could do

Watching sunset and going on a trek are the most common things people would do in Nandi hills, here are the other things you could do.

  • Ride to Bangalore to Bogha Nandeeshwara temple, spend time around temple and in the temple pond.
  • Go Watch Sunset in Nandi Hills top after visiting Yoga Nandeeshwara temple at the hilltop
  • Go trekking in Nandi Hills (join any organised groups for trekking to Nandi Hills with food and water provided)
  • Visit Sri Ranganathar Swamy temple in Rangastala, 11 kms away from Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple
  • Trekking in Avalabetta Hill, 46 kms away from Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple
  • Visit Lepakshi Temple in Anantapur district, Andra State, 76 Kms away from the Nandi Hills
  • Go visit Ghati Subramanya temple, 29 kms away from Nandi Hills
  • Go watch traditional dance at Nrityagram located 50 kms away from Nandi hills towards Nelamangala.
  • Visit Grover Zampa Vineyards, spend a day at grapes plantation in the Devanahalli road.
  • Or stay in Discovery Village resort in Nandi Hills, enjoy the weather, sunrise and sunset for 2 days, nothing but chill with the family or friends.
Nandi Hills Bike ride from bangalore
One day Bike trip from Bangalore to Nandi Hills images
Nandi Hills temple, one day trip to nandi hills boga nandeeshwara temple images
Nandi Hills temple – Bogha Nandeeshwara Temple images
nandi hills bike trip temple images
Nandi Hills temple – Bogha Nandeeshwara Temple images
Nandi hills bike trip images
Boga Nandeeshwara temple main entrance
Nandi hills - Boga Nandeeshwara temple images
Boga Nandeeshwara temple – Inside entrance to main sanctum
Nandi hills - Boga Nandeeshwara temple images
Nandi hills – Boga Nandeeshwara temple images
One day Bike trip from Bangalore to Nandi Hills images
One day Bike trip from Bangalore to Nandi Hills images
Bogha Nandeeshwara Temple Nandi Hills Karnataka

One day trip or a short trip, Nandi Hills Temple is one of the best nearby places in Bangalore on weekends.

My Travel disappointment story in Dubare Elephant Camp Coorg (Elephant Bathing timings?)

This is our story of travel disappointment in Dubare Elephant camp Coorg, 4 days of bike trip planned by my husband Rajesh to impress his Elephant loving wifey.

Have you ever traveled to a destination planned wholly based on the information mentioned in one of the travel websites, later realize that the information was not precise only after reaching that destination? Not only your travel plan is screwed, but the effort you need to put to cover the disappointment because your entire trip was weaved around that destination.

Well, read further to know how you can avoid the same mistake as we did. Also, find at the bottom of the article for other sightseeing places around Dubare.

Dubare Elephant bathing and feeding
Dubare Elephant bathing and feeding (Credit – travel blog)

About Dubare Elephant Camp Coorg

For those who do not know anything about Dubare Elephant Camp Coorg, it is explained as follows.

It is a nature camp situated by Kaveri river bed about 100kms from Mysuru, run by Karnataka Forest department with the aim of providing tourists/visitors memorable wildlife experience. As Dubare forest is home to many wildlife animals and birds, you would not only connect with nature, but also a thrilling adventure to feed, touch, play and bath the elephants.

Cool isn’t it?

Elephants are the main attraction here, as they are trained under naturalists (some are trained for Mysore Dussehra festival, now retired and used for the elephant safari in this camp), Jungle Lodges and Resorts have various activities involving elephants.

Basically, Dubare Elephant camp is for Elephant safari, Elepaht bathing and feeding, and Bird watching.

You could stay in the resorts in the dubare elephant camp or you could stay in Kushal Nagar or Madikeri or Coorg whichever suits your travel plan, budget and comfort.

Bike Ride to Dubare Elephant Camp

Since it was a 4 days trip, we chose to stay in Madikeri, so before reaching we decided to spend half daytime in Dubare, experience the unimaginable wildlife experience with the elephants.

I cannot even explain the happiness and expectation I had for this bike trip.

I, animal lover, Love watching Animal Planet and Sony BBC Earth over any other TV channels, especially watch Elephants at any given time. So, my beloved hubby planned 4 days bike trip from Bangalore to Coorg. On the way he had planned to take me to Elephant safari and Elephant bathing in Dubare Elephant camp. Because he knew I would travel any extent to at least touch the Elephants.

Here we are, around noon, started from Mysore, explored Nisargadhama temple before we reached the Dubare camp.

There were only very few vehicles in the parking area and to our happiness, we saw the passenger boat returning from the other side. Also we saw few adults and kids playing in the Kaveri river.

All signs are positive. So far.

We wondered where we would safe keep our bike saddle bags and a tank bag which has Laptop, SLR camera and other important stuffs. Looking around, saw a few commercial shops but doesn’t seem to be a safe place to keep our valuables. Clearly, we had not thought in advance about securing our baggage.

Meanwhile, leaving me with my thoughts about safekeeping the luggage, my hubby went to inquire the boat ride timings and fee to the Dubare Elephant camp situated across the river.

Here Comes The Unexpected Disappointment

Rajesh was told that the ride to the camp is closed at 11 am itself, and we were asked to come by 4.30pm.

Waiting till 4.30pm was not a good idea as we knew from our past experience (to Yercaud) that it gets dark soon in the hill stations. Hiding the disappointment I hoped on the pillion to ride to Coorg. It took me some time to get back travel mood forgetting the dreams I developed from the minute I heard about my hubby’s plans.

Had we checked and cross-checked in multiple websites and confirmed the entry timings to Dubare Elephant camp, we would have avoided the disappointment.

Well, some other time. We are bike riders, we could always plan next time.

Bye Bye Dubare Elephant camp.

We then had lunch, headed straight to Madikeri.

Apart from our disappointment, we absolutely enjoyed our smooth ride among the forests and hills. Thanks to google maps, we reached safely to Hotel Coorg International around evening.

Suggestions: Read this before you plan your trip to Dubare Elephant Camp

Well, here are some suggestions to the readers from my failed travel experience to Dubare Elephant camp Madikeri.

#1. Bangalore to Mysuru Bike trip

Day 1 (Bangalore to Mysore)

If you are going to travel from Mysore, then skip this section. For those who plan to travel to Dubare from Bangalore, continue reading.

Bangalore to Dubare camp distance is approx 260 km. As a beginners in long bike trip, we decided to split the kms to give enough time to rest. So we have decided to spend the night in Mysore (day-1) so that the next day we could reach before noon to Dubare (day-2).

And Remember, this was all Rajesh’s planning. All I was told was that we would be going straight to Coorg on Day-2.

Also, there was no point reaching tired and exhausted to the elephant camp, So we spent night in Ginger hotel, had dinner and roamed around Mysore.

It was a clean city with regulated traffic, with so many places to see in Mysuru. We decided to visit them in near future.

Read – The Best cafe in Mysore – Malgudi Coffee House

#2. Dubare Elephant Camp Coorg timings

Day 2 (Mysuru to KaushalNagar )

Distance from Mysore to Dubare elephant camp Coorg is just 100kms, so on day-2, we first reached Namdroling Monastery at 10 am after having breakfast on the highway.

In Kaushalnagar where the temple is located, you could see the monks everywhere in red/maroon attire in the temple, in the local shops and some are even running the local businesses.

You also have good toilet facilities in the temple parking area.

kaushal nagar - On the way to Dubare Elephant camp
Namdroling Monastery Images – TravelDuo Pics
Day 2 (KaushalNagar to Dubare Elephant Camp Coorg)

Kushalnagar to Dubare elephant camp Coorg distance is the just 15kms ride. Once you reach the entrance to Kaveri River, find a place to park vehicles and cross the river by boat.

As per other travelers reviews, it is not advised to walk across the river as the rocks are very slippery, so we planned to cross the river by boat.

We reached Dubare around noon, to our disappointment the boat ride was closed by 11 am itself, so we just stood there in disbelief.

We then decided to come back the next day from Madikeri to dubare elephant camp with the distance of 36kms via kedakal.

Dubare Elephant Bath Timings

Dubare elephant camp Coorg timings are 9 to 11 in the morning and 4.30 to 6 pm in the evening. Even though camp is open for visitors from 4.30 pm to 6.30pm, elephant bathing is available only in the morning timings.

If you are travelling with a partner or with family, especially on weekends, plan such as way so you could reach Dubare before 9 am, so you can effortlessly secure a place for parking and less queue for a boat ride to the elephant camp and elephant bathing as well.

Although Dubare elephant camp day visit timing is 9 to 11 am, you can spend extra time with family or have lunch in the restaurants.

According to dubare elephant camp reviews, food is available for visitors inside jungle lodges restaurant.

#3. Dubare Elephant Camp Entry Fee

Once you reach the entrance, park your vehicle at Kaveri river bed, cross the river by shared boat taxi or walk across to reach the camp (caution: water level and slippery rocks).

For the family of 4, with 2 adults and 2 kids, you will be charged 300/- INR for boat ride alone. Once after you reach the camp, you will be allowed to feed the elephants (10/- INR per food bag) and bath the elephants (100/- INR per person) and ride the elephant safari (100/- INR per person).

It is to be noted that during weekends, there is always a long queue for elephant feeding and bathing.

Below is the Dubare elephant camp timing and entry fee for both locals and foreigners- but it contradicts the information I mentioned above.

We collected the information straight from the parking ticket collector – believing that to be true – it is safe to reach the spot by 8 am itself.

If you are bored waiting for boat, you could play in the kaveri river – it is open for visitors all the times.

Dubare elephant entrance timing and fee
Dubare elephant entrance timing and fee

#4. Dubare Elephant Camp Jungle Lodges (where to stay and eat)

Dubare Elephant Camp is The Property of Jungle Lodges and Resorts Ltd, Govt. of Karnataka.

You could check their website here for more information on 2 days jungle resort stay and elephant fun activities.

As per online reviews, there is no more Jeep Jungle safari which you can confirm contacting them directly.

Otherwise, if you choose to stay outside of Dubare, you have plenty of options in Kushal Nagar and Coorg.

We chose to stay in Madikeri, in Hotel Coorg International, where we spent day-3 and had good time sightseeing Madikeri especially Raja’s seat and trek to Abbey falls.

If we had to travel from Madikeri, and Coorg to dubare elephant camp distance is 37 km. But we made our mind to explore Coorg to make the 2nd half of journey worthful.

When in Kushalnagar, we had lunch in Fish curry rice restaurant, which I recommend to non-vegetarians.

Overall, 4 days bike ride was a memorable experience.

As soon as I visit Dubare Elephant camp again, I will come back and share the experience here again with pics.

And don’t forget to leave a comment about your experience in Dubare Elephant camp.

Sightseeing in Coorg – List of Places

To Know how we spent our rest of the 4 days sightseeing in Coorg, Read here.

Other Places to see In and Around Dubare elephant Camp

  • Nisargadama Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery) -Kaushal Nagar
  • Mysore – Famous Tourist destination – Mysore Zoo, Palace, Sri Chamundeswari hills, Brindavan garden, Tippu Sultan Fort etc.,
  • Visit Nagarhole National Park – Wildlife safari at 6am to 8am, so you need to be there earliest by 5.45 am for safari resgistration.
  • Srirangapatna – Sri ranganathar Temple.
  • Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
  • Talakadu – Origin of Talakaveri, Play in the river, Visit famous ancient temples being buried under sand
  • Somanathapura – Chennakesave temple  – Ancient Hoysala Architecture under Archaeology department

Sum Up

If you are staying in Dubare Forest resort or Planing for one day trip to Dubare Elephant Camp – You need to make sure to be there before 8.30 am. Park Your vehicle, collect parking ticket (10/ – rupees for 2-wheelers), head to Kaveri river.

Pay 300/ -(For a family of 4) for Boat ride to cross the river, to reach the camp.

Once after you reach the camp, you will be allowed to feed the elephants (10/- INR per food bag) and bath the elephants (100/- INR per person) and ride the elephant safari (100/- INR per person).

Little extra money for the foreign individuals.

Note:

During Weekends it is best advised to be there at the entrance by 8.00am itself as there will be long queue for boat ride. Also you are not allowed to swim across the river, only bathing is allowed at this point.

Dubare Elephant Camp Timing

9am to 11 am – For Elephant safari, elephant bathing, elephant feeding and wildlife photography

4.30 pm to 6.30 pm – Only Elephant safari, wildlife photography

Please note all the details about Dubare elephant camp Coorg -entry fee, entry timing and activities, so you could plan your trip to Dubare accordingly.

4 Days Road Trip To Coorg From Bangalore (Bangalore to Coorg Bike Trip)

We went on a 4 days road trip to Coorg from Bangalore, by Bike.

Since 2016, travelling to Coorg from Bangalore has been in our travel bucket list. We were hesitant to ride that long bike for being new rides. But, by 2017, we were super confident after numerous bike trips, therefore decided to ride to Coorg, but with enough rest stops.

That’s the reason it was a well planned 4 days long bike trip to Coorg from Bangalore.

From our experience you will get info on the following.

  • Bangalore to Coorg road trip travel guide
  • Popular routes with best alternatives
  • Best pitstops
  • Sightseeing guidance to Tibetian temple
  • Dubare elephant camp timings and procedure
  • Places to see in Coorg.

Road Trip To Coorg From Bangalore – 4 days Travel Itinerary

On 1st November 2018, hardly 2 full weeks before our 12 days long bike trip, we went on road trip to Coorg From Bangalore.

Throughout the journey we traveled by our bike, with the help of google maps we enjoyed going to all the places discussed below.

This is how we spent our 4 days of a bike ride to Madikeri, Coorg.

Day 1: Bangalore to Musuru (150 kms)

Stay – Oyo rooms

Day 2: From Mysuru to Madikeri, Coorg (157 Kms)

Sightseeing places: Dubare elephant camp, Tibetian temple (Nisargadama).

Stay at Coorg International Hotel.

Day 3Sightseeing and Explore Coorg

Day 4: Finally Return Coorg to Bangalore (270 kms)

We enjoyed eating in a small – family run restaurant, during our stay in Madikeri.

Coorg road trip pics
Tibetian temple (Nisargadama)
Coorg road trip pics
Tibetian temple (Nisargadama) – Prayer hall

Best Places To See in Coorg

Here is the list of best Places to see in Coorg Abbey Falls, Madikeri.

  • Iruppu Waterfalls, Bramagiri
  • White River Rafting, Barapole river
  • Tadiandamole Peak
  • Iruppu Falls
  • Omkareswara Temple
  • Madikere Fort
  • Honey Valley – Nilakandi Falls
  • Bird Watching
  • Spice and Coffee plantations

My 2 days Sightseeing in Coorg And Why Didn’t We Go Trekking

Of our 4 days road trip to Coorg from Bangalore via Mysore, we have spent 2 days in Coorg.

Here is the reason why we did not plan to go trekking in coorg even though I have done all the research.

Some people travel for adventure, some travel to experience the place and culture, some travel for passion and make living, some travel to relax and get away from regular life, some travel for creating memories and experiences. 

We traveled so we could ride the motorbike to the destinations and cherish the whole experience.

So our prime aim is to ride a bike and enjoy the experience on different roads riding to different places.

Also, a disadvantage with riding a bike for such long hours is that we cannot do any sports activities or any physical activities which demand more energy (unless we choose to stay in one place for a very long time). 

All we do is relax at the end of a bike ride, and explore the city where we stay. 

That’s the reason even though I read all the articles and collated all the info, we did not plan to go trekking in Coorg.

Related

7 Articles on Trekking in Coorg I found Useful for Travelers 

Where we went Local sightseeing in Coorg Madikeri

Mostly we go sightseeing the famous places in our destinations and chill in restaurants, eat the local cuisine and enjoy the vacation.

While we were there in Madikeri, we chose 2 destinations apart from hanging out in cafes and restaurants.

On day 3 of our road trip to Coorg from Bangalore, we went to Raja’s seat and Abbey falls (mini trekking experience).

Raja’s seat

One of the well maintained tourist places to see in Coorg Madikeri is Raja’s seat.

It is a family vacation spot in Madikeri, with minimum entrance fee for adults.

After a hearty complimentary breakfast at Coorg International Hotel, we went to Raja’s seat, about 5 mins ride from our hotel.

We spent great time hanging around the park, clicking pics on the cliff of Raja’s seat.

The view was awesome and we clicked many pics before we left the place to hang out in a nearby small cafe.

coorg bike trip pics
Raja’s Seat view – Madikeri

Abbey Falls Madikeri

Even Though we didn’t go on a trek in Coorg during our stay, the trip to Abbey falls gave us a mini trekking experience.

After about a 15 mins bike ride from the hotel to Abbey falls checkpost, we walked down the stairs for about 20 mins to reach the falls.

But it was worth the sweat, spent time clicking pics, amazed at the falling river standing behind the barricade.

The crowd was moderate and a security guard was there to stop any trespassers from playing in the river.

Coorg Sightseeing pics

Places To see Near Coorg

  • Dubare Elephant Camp – Elephant Safari and Elephant bathing, wildlife photography, River rafting
  • Nisargadhama Golden Temple (Namdroling Monastery)
  • Nagarhole National Park (Wildlife safari at 6am to 8am, so you need to be there by 5.45 am atleast)
  • Wayanad Hill station
  • Kabini River (River view and plenty of resorts for stay)
  • Talakadu (Origin of Talakaveri, Play in the river, Visit famous ancient temples being buried under sand)
  • Somanathapura – Chennakesava temple (Ancient Hoysala Architecture under Archaeology department)
  • Mysore (Famous Tourist destination – Mysore Zoo, Palace, Sri Chamundeswari hills, Brindavan garden, Tippu Sultan Fort etc.,)
  • Srirangapatna – Sri Ranganathar Temple.
  • Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

In our 4 days road trip to Coorg from Bangalore, we visited Mysore, Dubare and Nisargadama golden temple, before reaching coorg.

Related

My Disappointment story in Dubare Elephant camp

We have been to Mysore more than a dozen times in the past years, and explored all the places. And we have been to Talakadu, Srirangapatna and Somanathapura on our various one day bike trips from Bangalore.

We went to Wildlife safari to Nagarhole national park and visited Kabini river when we were on a 3 days car trip to Wayanad from Bangalore.

Is it Safe to Travel From Bangalore to Coorg Bike trip?

Now the most important question everyone asks -How safe it is to go on road trip to Coorg from Bangalore?.

Going to a hill station like Coorg arises this common question, especially with the wildlife starting from Nagerhole.

Here are few things to know about road safety in your Bangalore to Coorg Bike trip or car trip:

  • From Bangalore to Mysore, you would be enjoying 4 ways road with divided roads on Mysore Highways.
  • If you are taking you Kanakapura road to reach Mysore, then you will have undiveded road but with far less traffic. A peaceful and greenary road compared to Mysore highways.
  • Now both the routes have many pit-stop options.
  • This is the most popular route: Bangalore – Mysore – Hunsur – Kaushal Nagar – Madikeri
  • From Mysore to Madikeri, it is one straight route with undiveded roads.
  • Traffic from Mysore to Hunsur and Kaushal Nagar is no less than traffic from Bangalore to Mysore via Mysore Highways. So careful with the unbelievable traffic even in the early morning drive.
  • Traffic is less from Kaushal Nagar to Madikeri, you can absolutely enjoy the peaceful ride.
  • Nagerhole Wildlife roads are mostly closed, for both safari and drive-through after 8am, better to reach Madikeri Via Kaushal Nagar. For the interested, you need to be there at gate by 5.45 am to buy tickets for safari.
  • Throughout the journey you will experience seamless drive on well paved roads until Madikeri. (Even beyond till Wayanad as well).
  • In our bike trip journey, we did not encounter any wildlife on both ways.
  • Only in our car trip to Wayanad, we saw raindeers and monkeys couple of times. Anyhow, it is always safe not to stop the vehicles until you reach the destination.

Now you can also plan for a 4 days road trip to Coorg From Bangalore. You could also add many sightseeing places near Coorg from the list above. Also plan for trekking in Coorg.

Or you could spend just a day or two only in Coorg, because there are many local sightseeing places in Coorg Madikeri.

If you are planning road trip from Mysore, you could cover more places beyond Coorg – like Wayanad, Kabini River, Nagarhole National Park etc.,

Bangalore to Coorg Bike trip – Overall Experience

This was a successful 4 days road trip experience to Coorg.

Overall we had a good time –

– visiting Namdroling Monastery Golden Temple (also Cauvery Nisargadama)

– riding around the places near Madikeri (mainly Raja’s seat and Abbey falls),

-enjoying local food and coffee, clicking lots of pics and making memories.

We didn’t buy any Coorg spices nor Coorg coffee because we were limited by luggage space. But would love to buy some on our next road trip to Coorg from Bangalore.

So overall it was very memorable and pleasant road trip from Coorg to Bangalore.

Talakona Waterfalls and Forest Trekking: Two Days Bike Trip

The Talakona waterfalls, which is the highest forest waterfalls in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the main tourist attractions and trekking spot in AP tourism.

The water falls from a height of 280 feet from the top of the mountain, thus making it the highest waterfalls in Andhra state.

I and my hubby Rajesh travelled to Talakona waterfalls on 4th March 2018 by bike, reached the forest before 9 am. We have spent about two and a half hrs including our trekking time and recreation.

Unexpectedly, there was good water flow from hilltop even at the beginning of summer. It is a beautiful location for trekking, in all seasons.

Here are the things to know before you plan a trip to Talakona

1. Entry fee and timing to Talakona forest waterfalls

Forest waterfalls view in Talakona
Talakona waterfalls in Summer

(a) Checkpoint 1 – Forest Check-post (Pay entry fee for Vehicles)

We started from our hotel room in the morning after breakfast to Talakona forest. We enjoyed our motorbike ride watching mango farm and flowers plantations in the village.

Once we entered the forest area (from here distance to Talakona waterfalls is 8.5 kms), we were asked to enter the name, vehicle name details in the check-post.

The entry fee for two-wheeler is 15/- INR, four-wheeler is 100/- INR. Also, we noticed that the security guard was screening vehicles for alcohols as it was strictly not allowed. If you are carrying any camera then 100/- INR to be paid, otherwise no fee for carrying any mobile phones.

After 5 km drive, we reached Siddeshwara Swamy temple, a forest temple for Lord Shiva and also a guardian of Talakona.

At this point, you could find lots of local food stalls (very dirty) offering to prepare veg and non-veg food fresh for tourists. I would not suggest taking any kind of service from these locals.

It is better to carry own snacks and food as there are no decent eat-outs from our experience.

And be polite with these locals when you are rejecting their service to make the whole experience pleasant.

(b) Checkpoint 2 – Sri Siddeshwara Swamy Temple (Pay Visitors entry fee to enter waterfalls)

Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, Forest Shiva temple in Talakona Forest
Siddeshwara Swamy Temple, Forest Shiva temple in Talakona Forest

An ancient temple for Lord Shiva in the middle of the forest is one of the main reasons Talakona is crowded all the time.

Since it was the weekend, there was already a big group of people found to be actively preparing food to offer God. Soon they would take a dip in waterfalls before they start the rituals.

So it is better to avoid visiting Talakona on full moon day (pournami) and no moon day (amavasya), which are auspicious days for Lord Shiva.

Near to the temple, there is a dress change room facility available for the public. From this point, one can choose to go by walk or by own vehicle. There is no second entry fee for vehicles but for individual persons. They charge 10/- per head for adults and 5/- per head for kids.

We chose to go by bike and the road here to waterfalls parking was quite an adventurous one.

One can expect these roads to be very slippery and muddy in monsoon. So it is better to go by walk in the rainy season.

Entry for vehicles at this checkpoint opens only at 9.15 am and closes by 4 pm. In fact, whole forest entry closes by 4 pm.

(c) Parking area – near pond (Park vehicles here for trekking)

Talakona falls
Talakona falls

After a rough ride for about 2 km among the gigantic trees and teasing monkeys, we halted at forest waterfalls parking area. There is a beautiful man-made pond at this point for those who are not able to trek to the mountains.

I and Rajesh clicked some pics before we set to go for a trek for about 2 km to reach the top of the mountain. Trekking is not new to us, we have done 2 hrs trekking to various mountain tops in south India.

Since we were early on Sunday, there were only a few people trekking along with us. We parked our bike here and headed towards the pond to climb the mountain.

2. Monkeys atrocities in the hilltop of Talakona waterfalls

Even Though there were monkeys all along the trekking path, they seem to be minding their businesses.

Except for a group of rowdies near the hilltop, taking advantage of the visitors to waterfalls and their luggage bags.

We were attacked too.

We didn’t have any pole or stick in hand, we used our water bottle to shush them away but in vain.

On the way back from waterfalls, we brought wooden sticks for our safety. So keep your backpacks tightly closed and hold it close to your body.

And for safety, at least one member in your team should be carrying a stick to keep them at bay.

On the way back from the hilltop, same monkey rowdies attacked a female, sat on the top of the backpack and started pulling out some items.

There was a lot of screaming before we rushed to help them with the stick. Until we reached the parking area, we kept warning the visitors to be careful of these monkeys. Ah, what a trip!!

3. Slippery rocks on the highest point of the waterfalls

Talakona waterfalls in summer season
Talakona photos :Talakona waterfalls in summer season

Except for the monkeys’ atrocities, it was a very pleasant trek in the forest to the mountain top.

As you climb up, the view gets much better with a fresh breeze. We stopped now and then to click some pics. Unlike other mountain waterfalls, here you have proper trails to support. But, in some places trails were broken and fallen off, could be due to rain and wind.

Everyone should experience this forest trekking to take the cold shower of untouched pure water with medicinal properties.

Yes, we did climb up to the mountain top.

Waterfalls with the enormous force and the rocks at this point are very slippery and dangerous.

The view is always better from the top.

4. Poor mobile network and worst food service in the Forest

There was no network available in the forest area and near the falls.

If you are planning to stay in the forest resort, it would not be a wise decision.

Also, we heard that there is also no electricity in the guesthouses.

Though we didn’t stay in the resort, we met a fellow companion staying in the guest house. He complained about the poor guest house service, no electricity, no power back up and no food service also.

There is just one maintenance person who brings food from the local stalls near the temple.

And looking at the stalls, definitely, it is not a good idea to order food from them. So it is better to plan as a short one day trip either from Tirupati or Chennai or Madanapalle.

Moreover, there is nothing much to see around here except for the temple and dense forest waterfalls. Until we reached the checkpoint 1, we had trouble with the poor network connectivity.

Note: If you are planning to stay in the Talakona forest resort, it is best to carry this small water kettle to make tea, coffee and even cook noodles. This kettle comes handy when you have kids in the trip, and when you don’t have access to nearby local stalls. From what I have heard, it is not advisable to eat in the local stalls.

5. Trek to Talakona is suitable for older adults (but not in monsoon)

Talakona waterfalls photos
Talakona photos: Steps to Talakona waterfall

Since it was summer, we had no issue climbing up the unpaved stone stairs. But in monsoon, it would get slippery and hard to climb with the poor rails for support.

In some places, the rails were broken and fallen off from the track. Otherwise, it is safe to climb the man-made stairs with the rails support.

Talakona is the perfect romantic and adventurous getaway for youngsters. And the best place to hang out with family.

Talakona is a must visit tourist place if you are planning a trip to Tirupati.

To my fellow travellers:

  • Be early, enjoy the beauty of forest waterfalls in silence. And cherish the moment.
  • Be brave, take a cold shower in the hilltop, and be proud because not everyone can make to the top.
  • Be sensitive, don’t pollute the forest and the environment.

Trekking essentials – Things necessary for Talakona Trekking

#1. Small Backpack – To fit in all the travel essentials.

  • Size – Sufficient to fit 1 pair clothes, snacks, flip flops (chappals) and water bottle
  • Polythene bag /waterproof bag – to keep the wet clothes. Keep extra bag if needed to keep shoes or sandals water free just before you go to play in the falls
  • Soaps and hand sanitizer
  • Snacks
  • Extras – Walking stick (especially for elders and to ward away monkeys)

Where to buy the cheap and best backpack?

I bought this small backpack from Decathlon sports and fitness shop in Bangalore. You could buy the same in the store or on their website. It is very handy, comfortable and lightweight backpack which fits in all the above-said essentials. Best suited for a single person. If you are travelling with a partner or with kids, its best to buy each bag for individuals to avoid tired and pain.

Avoid carrying family size bags up the hills – makes it difficult to trek the hills.

#2. Water Bottle

Summer or winter, trekking uphill always make you go thirsty for water. It is one of the most essential things in any kind of travel and definitely, you cannot travel without them for trekking to Talakona. So grab a bottle or two, make sure you are well hydrated throughout the trip.

As I mentioned before, it is not safe to buy bottles in the forest area stalls – as you would have never heard of those aqua brands before – so pack your own bottle or buy good brands before you hit the talakona border. Buy these reusable water bottles of high quality to protect the nature from plastics dumping.

#3. Travel towel

Essential for trekking and most important when you have the plan to play in the waterfalls. No One can resist this Talakona waterfalls falling 280 feet from the top of the mountain, which is said to carry medicinal properties – so it is not a bad idea at all, is not? So travel towel is an essential item in your backpack along with your change clothes. (there are no change rooms immediately near the falls, so need to climb down near to the Shiva temple to access the change rooms)

#4. Camera Bag

Needless to say, you need to protect them from water as you cannot leave them in open while you are bathing.

#5. Snacks

Healthy and space-saving snacks like chocolate bars, peanuts burfi, mixed nuts etc., These snacks not only occupy less space, they keep you full for a longer time from going hungry.

#6. Flip Flops

To relax your feet after a long walk. I saw locals climbing the hill with just flipflops, you could try too if you think will be comfortable and to save some space in the bag. We usually prefer shoes, comfortable for the bike ride. So we carry a pair of slippers for relaxing wherever we travel.

#7. Multi-Purpose scarf

This is our mandatory gear for our bike ride, it will be useful for you too if you are riding anywhere long distance by bike. You can use it as a scarf on your head to wear the helmet or on your face to protect from the sun and pollution.

#8. Basic skin care essentials

Soap, hand sanitizer, moisturizer, pocket comb etc.,

We are regular bike riders, so we have an exclusive travel kit to keep all the skin care essentials and medicines. Since it is a one day trip, you can toss in those cosmetics inside the bag, instead of carrying a pouch.

FAQ about Talakona Forest Waterfalls:

1. Where is the Talakona waterfalls located?

The Talakona waterfall is the highest waterfall in the Andhra Pradesh state with a 270 feet (82 m)-fall. It is located in Nerabailu village of Chittoor district in Andhra. It is situated 250 km from Bangalore, 220 km from Chennai, 58 km from Tirupati, 105 km from Chittoor and 102 km from Madanapalle.

How to reach Talakona waterfalls?

After reaching the forest entry (from Forest check-post security gate) it is about approx. 5 km distance to reach Shiva temple and 7 km ride to reach the waterfalls parking area.

Public transport buses from Tirupati, Madanapalle, Chennai would stop at this check-post. Otherwise, all types of private vehicles are permitted up-to waterfalls parking area, which is the closest parking area to waterfalls.

But some would prefer to halt at Shiva temple, whichever is convenient for you. So, if you have taken public transport, it is exactly 8.5 km walk to the waterfalls.

Details about the nearest railway station, Bus station and cab facility to Talakona Forest and waterfalls?

There is no direct railway connectivity to Talakona falls, one has to stop and change buses from Chittoor or Tirupati railway station.

Bus facilities are available from both the bus stations but are very infrequent.

Early morning direct bus available from Tirupati, but it is quite a long journey. Also, local taxi services in Tirupati would cost 2500/ -INR to 4000/- INR, varies for the season. So it is better to arrange own transport.

Are there any options for Room bookings, Hotels and Resorts near Talakona Forest?

Like public transport, hotel room availability is also not very supportive for the tourists. From what I gathered, the forest guest house facility is very poor and maintenance is not up to the expectation.

Needless to say, the struggle for good food, as the area is dominated by local food stalls which are dirty and untidy.

So it is better to look for accommodation in Tirupati or Madanapalle.

Also keeping the unavailability of restaurants in mind, it is advised to pack food and snacks from home or the nearest city.

What are the Activities to do / things to do in and around Talakona waterfalls?

Usually, people visit Talakona after Temple darshan at Tirumala Tirupathi. Or like us, people would directly come to talakona for trekking. In our next visit to Madanapalle, we are planning to visit the Horsley Hills. So the activities you could do when you are in Talakona –

  • Visit Lord Siddeshwara temple and seek his blessings
  • Trekking to hilltop – wear comfortable clothes and shoes, keep your luggage zip locked,  keep a stick to ward off monkeys
  • Cook food, recreation with family and friends (alcohol prohibited)
  • Connect to mother nature, experience the forest away from city life
  • Poor network connectivity, disconnect with social media, connect with family and friends
  • Play in the pond -There is a beautiful pond at the waterfalls parking area for those who are not able to trek to the hilltop
Locker room facilities, Dress change rooms and washroom facilities in Talakona Waterfalls?

There are no locker room facilities, it is better to pack very light luggage. And there are dress change and washroom available but not clean, as there is no maintenance person.

Entry Fee, Timing, alcohol consumption and Photography in Talakona falls?

As I mentioned above, there are two checkpoints for vehicles.

One is forest checkpost where they check vehicles, note down the registration number, entry time and the number of visitors. There they collect 15/- for two-wheelers, 100/- INR for four wheelers and 100/- for cameras. Here entry time is open from early morning, but it is not preferable to reach the forest before 8 am as there won’t be any visitors until 9 am.

In the second entry point, which is near Shiva temple, the entry fee to waterfalls is collected. Here they collect 10/- per person for adults, 5/- per person for kids. The gate opens only by 9.15 am, until then you can spend time around the temple.

When is the best season to visit Talakona falls?

Usually, the best time to visit Talakona forest is between November to January. As you see in pics, there was a good amount of water flow even in March. It is suggested to avoid trekking during rainy season as it gets more dangerous in slippery rocks.

No alcohols or any impolite behaviour are entertained in the forest and waterfalls area.

By 4 pm, forest entry closes for visitors.

How much time one can spend in Talakona Falls?

From 9.15 am to 4 pm, you could spend time at the mountain top, playing and bathing. You could spend little more extra time in the area near the Lord Shiva temple, where you could find local food stalls and tea shops (hardly 1 or 2 shops)

Hope you got all the information you are seeking. For more details, you could ask your questions in the comment box below.

From Bangalore to Hassan Road Trip: Very thrilling Night Bike Trip of 500kms

This is our thrilling story of riding motorbike at night among the avenue trees in our 500 kms bike trip, from Bangalore to Hassan road trip.

Two new riders on a bike.

In the pitch dark.

With just a backpack meant for a day trip.

No rooms booked.

Only tall never ending trees and extremely irritating bugs by our side.

This is our story of thrilling road trip to Hassan in pitch dark, covering 500 KMs under 36 hrs.

From Bangalore to Hassan Road trip – 500 KM thrilling bike ride 

Who would have thought we would be riding among the never ending tall trees in pitch dark in our Bangalore to Hassan road trip.

Believe or not it was totally an unplanned journey and we were totally new to that long bike ride too.

In 2016, we were just starting to go out to the nearby places in Bangalore and testing the water.

We were not actually ready to go on long bike rides. We wanted to take it slow after our day bike trip experience from Bangalore to Lepakshi temple. It was quite a successful bike trip – properly planned and executed.

Now we had screwed it.

We didn’t plan well.

So, we didn’t have an itinerary laid for this unexpected delay.

Nor any rooms booked.

Above all, no mobile network to book any rooms.

What should have been a one day trip from Bangalore to Adichuchanagiri hills has turned into a 2 days of thriller ride.  

A thrilling bike ride at night to Hassan, because we had no other option.

After a long leisure darshan at Kalabhairava temple, sitting on the top of Adichuchanagiri hills late in the evening – we had only two options in front of us.

Go back home riding 135 kms to Bangalore or ride 90 kms to Hassan which is relatively less distance so we can be safe soon?.

As a new bee just started travelling by bike to places, 135 kms seemed like a himalayan distance to cross. 

(Hardly 3 months later we had covered 335 kms just in one day’s bike trip to Melkote. Read here).

Adichuchanagiri hills – The intial destination of our Night trip from Bangalore to hassan road trip

Initially days I had a hard time coping with the cool attitude of Rajesh. He was super cool in everything he did and that includes not bothering about sticking to the time schedule. 

In many ways I appreciated his coolness but at times he tested my patience and gave me really hard time. Especially on the days when we had to run a marathon to reach the airport and railway stations. Couple of times we had a history of missing them too.

Soon when we really started loving our bike rides, he couldn’t wait to wake up and get ready before me. 

Now, sitting on top of the Adichuchanagiri hills, blaming our “coolness” for not planning the trip well. Meanwhile, we were nervously trying to connect to the network to get a hang of the google map.

inside view of bairava temple in Adichuchanagiri hills
Inside view of bairava temple in Adichuchanagiri hills

By calculating the distances to home and to Hassan from adichunchanagiri hills, and with zero energy to drive , we decided upon the best shortest distance to hit the bed ASAP.

That best decision was to ride to Hassan in the pitch dark.

So we made a hotel reservation at La Flora Pavanputra Resort before we descended down the hill.

We both experienced a chill in our spine when the parking area was completely deserted. The very place was buzzing with lots of two wheeler and four wheeler is now empty.

The small shops selling toys near the temple entrance are now completely covered and locked under blue sheets.

We both exchanged a look, that said “we are totally screwed”.

Though we did not show any concern or fear on the face, we were totally terrified of the situation.

La Flora Pavanputra Resort Hassan – Thrilling Road trip comes to an end

For more than 3hrs, it was a never ending journey among the avenue trees, literally holding the jumping heart in our hands.

We did it.

Successfully made it to the resort, all in one piece and we couldn’t be more proud.

We appreciated each other and acknowledged that we played good team sports. 

Had it been someone else in Rajesh’s place, I very much doubt their behavior in such adverse conditions.

I am pretty sure they never would have exhibited the same level of bravery and leadership. All kudos to Rajesh.

Of various trips and risks we undertook in our bike travel, this Bangalore to Hassan road trip stays close to our heart till date. 

Also, this trip brought us recognition as “bike riders” among our friends on facebook.

And Rajesh has got many appreciation for his new milestone of driving 500 kms under 36 hrs. 

Soon people started expecting bike travel posts from us during the weekends.

Following this thrilling unplanned trip, we went on a well planned night bike ride of 200Kms, read here.

3 Places We Visited From Hassan To Bangalore Road trip

Next day morning, woke up in our room with a grumbling stomach since we had not eaten anything since the time we left the Adichunchanagiri hills. We were just grateful to be alive and having found a hotel room, the thought of feeding our stomach did not occur at all. 

Soon we checked out our room right after the complimentary breakfast, for sure we will never return to this anytime in the future.

Doddagaddavalli Lakshmi Devi Temple

We rode our bike towards Belur instead of towards Bangalore, to visit this very beautiful -never seen before kind of Hoysala architecture. Not just the architecture is unique, the idols inside the small sanctum are unique too. Along with Lakshmi devi and Kali devi, there were also statues of both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shivalinga guarded by 2 guardians standing tall from floor to the roof. 

We reached the temple around 9.40am, and spent till 10.30am. We allowed ourselves inside the sanctum since there was no priest to be seen and the temple gate was not locked. 

After darshan, we spent time in the pillar hall, eating the peanut we bought along the way.

Here is some information on the uniqueness of this Hoysala architecture I gathered on the internet.

“There are 92 Hoysala temples in Karnataka. These temples are known to be Ekakuta, Dwikuta, Thrikuta, Chatushkuta and Panchkuta, depending on the number of shrines and towers. This Mahalaxmi temple is the only Chathushkuta temple (four shrines and towers) built in Hoysala Architecture style.

The temple is said to be built in the year 1114 A.D, by Kallahana Rahutha(from Kolhapur, Maharashtra), a wealthy merchant in Hoysala court. The place was called Abhinava Kolhapura, connecting it with Kolhapur”.

overview of Lakshmi temple - Hoysala architecture
Overview of Lakshmi temple – Hoysala architecture
Hoysala architecture in karnataka
Close View of Doddagadduvalli Lakshmi devi temple

Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Nuggehalli

Luckily Lakshmi Narasimha temple was open for darshan around 1.10 pm when we reached there. We have travelled about 75kms from where we left, to reach this temple via Hassan – Bangalore highway.  We had spent time till 1.50 pm, the priest left the temple open, closing only the sanctum doors. Main deity of this temple is Lord Lakshmi Narasimha with Lord Krishna in the nearby sanctum.

bangalore to hassan road trip
Lakshmi Narasimha temple

Yediyur Siddhalingeshwara temple, Kunigal district

Around 4.15 after lunch at Bellur cross, we stopped at a very crowded Yediyur Siddhalingeshwara temple on the way to our home. Though it was a small temple with Lord Shiva as the main deity, we spent around 45 mins for darshan since it was too crowded. 

We didn’t want to do anymore visiting places or temples anymore since it was already evening and a lesson from the previous day was to start the bike before it’s too dark and too late.

Places to visit in Bangalore to hassan road trip
Yediyur siddalingeswara temple images

Finally a suggestion to the readers. If you are looking to extend your trip from Hassan, you could go to the following nearby places. Take help of google maps, to find these places.

  • Belur, 38kms
  • Chikamagalur, 63 kms
  • Mysore, 111kms
  • Coorg, 103kms
  • Shivamogga, 155kms
  • Kodagu, 115 kms

Unforgettable Road trip in Our Travel History

This was our first experience driving a bike late into the night.

And it was totally an unplanned journey from Bangalore to Hassan road trip.

We totally enjoyed our return journey easing all the tension from the previous night and enjoyed the ride.

It was a total of 256 kms of bike ride from our hotel room in Hassan to our home in Bangalore. And it was a grand total of 500kms bike riding from Bangalore to Hassan road trip.

Till date this trip makes one of the interesting dinner conversations with our friends. 

Looking back it was all worth it.

Lepakshi Temple From Bangalore: Two States, One Day, 300 Kms Bike Trip

We went on One day Bike trip to Lepakshi Temple from Bangalore. Our friends called us crazy to cover a total of 300 Kms by bike in just one day.

Lepakshi Temple From Bangalore – Distance and Route

On 5th November 2016, We went on One day bike trip to the very famous Lepakshi Temple in Anantapur District in Andra Pradesh district. After visiting Boga Nandeeshwara temple in Nandi Hills along the way.

Lepakshi temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to God Veerabhadra, widely popular by the name “Lepakshi” – a village located in Karnataka, 15 kms from Hindupur and 122 kms from Bangalore. The distance may vary a little based on the location you start from Bangalore. Lepakshi temple gained popularity for its historic importance and archaeological significance (especially for its floating pillars). 

We have travelled 165 kms from our home to Anantapur district in Andra Pradesh state, a long ride on just one way. 

This is how we went to Lepakshi Veerabhadra Temple from Bangalore, one of the most memorable one day bike trip in our life.

Lepakshi Temple from Bangalore: Two States By Bike in One day

On our one day trip to Lepakshi temple from Bangalore, we first visited Nandi hills temple at Doddaballapur. Since we were frequent visitors this Nandhi hills – Boganandeeswara temple, and it is located on the way to Lepakshi, we stopped for a quick darshan here.

Soon after lunch we then rode for about 80 kms to reach Lepakshi village, parked our bike, across the small shopping street.

Well, at 3 pm, after a long bike ride in the sun, travelled across a state, to witness the beauty of the Vijayanagar empire’s architecture.

We spent about 2 hrs hours around the temple, clicking pics and hanging out, cherishing every moment possible. 

The main sanctum, was a small cave with many hindu idols, along with the Veerabhadra idol, there was a notable MahaKali statue, each idol speaking a history of its own. 

After a calm and quiet darshan, we headed back to Bangalore, reached home by 8 PM.

Overall it was a smooth ride in Bangalore – Hyderabad Highways. 

Read – Kolar is another best place for one day road trip from Bangalore.

One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple Entrance – Kodikambam
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Climb the stairs after Kodikambam to enter the 70 Pillars Vasantha Mandap (to see Hanging pillar)
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple Ornamental Pillars – Bharathanatiyam change of legs
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple photos
Lepakshi temple photos
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Destroyed Kalyana mandap _ Lepakshi temple images
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Inside_ Lepakshi temple images
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple Ornamental Pillars
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi Temple Ornamental Pillars
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi temple photos
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Lepakshi temple images
One day trip From Bangalore _ Lepakshi temple images
Remnants of Kalyana mandap – Lepakshi Temple images
one day trip to Lepakshi temple - legendary temple
A Shivalinga Built By Cholas – Lepakshi Temple images

Lepakshi Veerabhadra temple – History, Facts and Temple Timings

These are the historic and archaeological importance of this Lepakshi temple – 

  • It is a majestic temple built on a vast area (called tortoise hill) with astonishing sculptures and paintings on the pillars and roofs. Famous for the mural paintings of Vijayanagara Kings. Of the 70 pillars in the Vasantha mandapa/ Natya mandapa, one of the pillars does not rest completely on the ground a.k.a hanging pillar or floating pillar.
  • a breathtaking single rock sculpture consisting of a seven hood naga wrapped around Sivalinga and a huge Ganesha idol.
  • the ruins of a “Kalyana Mandapa” with unfinished pillars. (There is also a story that it is not actually a Kalyana mandap, it was a Vishnu temple which was destroyed by human conflicts, the Vishnu statue then kept inside the main sanctum.)
  • Several forms of Lord Shiva idols can be seen – a majestic Kankala Murthi, Dakshinamurthi, Tripuranthaka or Tripurasurasamhara and Ardhanareeshwara
  • Lord Hanuman’s small mandap and Goddess Sita’s footprint and a waterhole nearby
  • A huge Nandhi statue, a guardian at 1km before the lepakshi temple

And Finally, about another speciality of this temple which is not mentioned anywhere in the internet and I have no supporting documents to support the following points mentioned by one of the local guides in Lepakshi is this – (correct if am wrong) 

  • This temple was said to be built around a Sivalinga statue built by Cholas, much older than this temple. (See in images)

About the Lepakshi Temple timing – 

  • Unlike other Hindu temples, this temple is closed by 6PM. It is open on all hours from 6 AM to 6 PM for tourists and devotees.
  • During our ride to Lepakshi temple from Bangalore, we did not find any proper restaurant in the highways except for the one we had lunch near nandhi hills. So there are hardly any good choices nearby Lepakshi temple vicinity. 

Although there are many blog articles written on visiting and their experience on travelling to Lepakshi temple from Bangalore, we didn’t read any of this. If we did, we would not have missed the famous “the hanging pillar” of this temple. 

To Know more about the history of this temple, you can visit this website for more information.

How We travel by Bike?

Like most people ask, we don’t hurt our shoulders by carrying any backpacks while riding motorbike. All I carry on me is a small sling bag to keep money and mobile phones.

So how do we travel free?

If it is just one day ride, we carry a tank bag. This is a convertible backpack, with magnet to bind to the bike, sits comfortably on the bike tank without falling off, so we ride carefree. On long bike trips, we use both tank bag and a saddle bag for more luggage requirements.

When we went to Talakona in AndraPradesh, we carried saddle bags since it was just a 2 days trip. Even tough it was just a 2 days trip, we wanted to carry saddle bags to accommodate as much as water bottles as we were travelling to a rural area. While we were there, we have been trekking to the famous Talakona forest and waterfalls.

When we went on 11-days long bike trip in 2017, we carried both tank bags and saddle bags. Saddle bag only for clothes and travel essentials, while the tank bag to accomodate electronics like laptop, DSLR camera, chargers and stuff.

For this trip – Lepakshi temple from Bangalore, we carried just a tank bag, to keep couple of water bottles.