Category: English


That’s how “Biligiri Rangana Betta” or “B. R. Hill” has been a victim of sound corruption!!

Last month when my friend Chetan called and said “Shall we go to beeyaarils?” (To be honest, I did not believe that there will ever be a trip. And why would I…..?! I mean…. If the question is being asked for the third time in six months… who would?!) I said “Arrange… I’ll come” and kept quiet as usual.

Chetan didn’t keep quiet!!

In the next few days, along with Vinod he made numerous phone calls, enquired in many places about too many things, prepared a rough sketch of the trip and called me to say something I couldn’t believe. “Dude… We are going to Beeyaarils next Saturday and Sunday!!”

I was surprised as if I saw an elephant fly or Mobin swim or Dhoni score runs!!

But on that Saturday morning when we got into the Traveller (the vehicle) struggling to keep our eyes open due to last night’s lack of sleep, I believed completely… “YES!!! We are going to Beeyaarils, B R Hills or someplace… at last!!”

By the time our Traveller with people enough for a cricket team stood before Gaganachukki, everyone was sure of one thing “None of us has had breakfast and everyone is hungry!” (Oh!! Actually those are two things!!)

“First let’s watch this, and then we shall have our breakfast” said Vinod and everyone agreed.

Gaganachukki Waterfalls

After Gaganachukki we visited Mudukutore Temple which was a beautiful place. But unfortunately we did not find prasada(things, mostly edible, which are offered to god first and then distributed to the devotees) at the temple due to which we cursed Vinod till we reached Talakaadu.

By the time we reached Talakaadu, our hunger had reached its peak and visiting the temple without having our breakfast looked like the biggest mistake!

Though we had our breakfast, we had to spend all our energy and interest in tackling FIVE guides even before we reached the first temple! So we agreed to pay the sixth fellow (who claimed to be a guide) a hundred bucks and opened our ears (most of our guys shut their minds though!!) for his stories and photography tips!!

By the time we finished visiting all the temples, we had posed for a few of his innovative (he said it in Kannada, which roughly translates to) “zoom in, long shot” pictures! And then we went for a swim in Kaveri river…


Kaveri River

The time was a few minutes past three when we reached Yalandooru after a tiring session of swimming. This time we did not wait for Vinod’s advice and went to a “naat good, naat bad” eat out suggested by a local pharmacist.

After our lunch we formed groups and went shopping in Yalandooru bars. After our “shopping” we got into our Trasveler only to get down at a place on the way up the hill where the neighbouring hills gave a very beautiful view! We enjoyed the view and thought of photographing. Our thoughts were cut short by the sound of a Jeep followed by one of us saying “Guys! We are not supposed to get down here!!”. We rushed into our vehicle and reached the place where we had booked rooms and rested for a while.

At night ……………………………………………..30……………………………………………………..90……………………………………water…………………………………..pepsi………………………………. we slept after dinner.

We woke up in the morning to see a few guys missing but that did not bother us much as it was our Photographers’ Team lead by DJ. So we freshened ourselves up, checked out of the Tourist’s Bungalow, had breakfast at “Giridarshini”, all got into the vehicle, reached the hill top, witnessed a wedding at the temple, and forgot ourselves looking at the beauty of the landscape behind the temple (but did not forget to pose for the pictures!!!).

On top of Biligiri Rangana Betta

It was afternoon by the time we finished visiting a few other places after the temple. The places like Soligas’ houses, their school, hospital, the stall where a few of us bought honey and pickles. We then went to Giridarshini for Lunch.

After lunch we visited a a calm and quiet Ashrama. The place was so quiet, even someone who has a loud speaker kind of voice like me was whispering!! After we moved out of that place, we got into our traveller and it started descending downhill showing us Elephants, Deers and Vinod’s school.

And then my mind started making a list of things I observed during this trip.

1. One needs to pay Gram Panchayat to go to view Gaganachukki Waterfalls.

2. There are no good restaurants/eat outs at Talakaadu. There are a few bearable bakeries! But there are a little too many aged beggars!!

3. It’s prohibited to stop or get off the vehicle while on the way to or from the hill. (a measure taken to prevent damages to wild animals from humans and vice versa)

4. It’s good to book rooms in advance.

5. It’s wise to buy things before you reach the BR Hill. Once you reach there, you need to shell out 120 bucks for a kg of chicken (the bird not meat!), and another 150 bucks a kg if they prepare something!!

6. B R Hill is a beautiful place. It’s heavenly in the mornings and evenings!!

Along with all these I must say, I liked a few more things in this trip….

Chetan‘s organizing skills, Vinod‘s contacts, Mobin‘s guts to walk in the neck deep water despite unknown to swimming, The ‘cigarette’ friendship between Venky and Bhatta which grew stronger every minute even on the first meet, Manju‘s Video Commentary, Nidhi‘s enthusiasm in spite of ill health, Suhas‘ GPS which was a guiding light even in daylight!, Pruthvi‘s inventory of jokes which never runs out of stock and ever improving camera expertise of DJ

Man… The trip was awesome!!


I was bored.

The test matches (in which Sachin plays) were over,
The political drama was not funny anymore,
Any movie failed to keep me occupied for more than 3 hours,
I had listened to all those songs on my computer, enough of times!!

so, I had every right to be bored…!!

And i had every chance of boring myself to death..!
Only till I found these two masterpieces!!

To be honest, I didn’t know that this fella was so fucken talented..!
I mean… Just imagine…. A person who is so busy with his land denotification job, coming up with a book and a CD.. That’s gotta be something!!

I have listened to this entire CD two hundred and three times already…(first fifty times… non stop!) And I must admit “I love all the tracks!!”

I still wonder how one person can be so shameless awesome…!!

I thought my awe towards this fella has reached it’s peak…!!
I was SO WRONG!!

Awmigawd! Awmigawd! Awmigawd!!
He can write a book too…!!
I spent no time in buying it as soon as the book was released and oh boy!! what a book…!!

It would just be an understatement if I say “I am enlightened!!”

But I have already lost my words!!


The Bekal Fort and the things surrounding

St. Augustine once (no idea when) said, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Okay sir!
So far… I surely have read more than one page!
And on a Sunday in this September, I traveled to Bekal Fort and thought “let me read the Bekal Fort!!” (who on earth would do that?! don’t believe it!!)

One beautiful place that is…!

This is what happened….
After the Sunday mass I did something I could not do previous night – ‘think of a place to visit’
Usually it is a challenge to think of a place for which everyone gives a nod. in the past, me and my friends have spent too many sleepless saturday nights discussing about the next days plans (most of these discussions have been extremely unfruitful and the decisions taken on the following mornings have worked miraculously!!)
Since we successfully accomplished the process of deciding a place, we got into our cars and reached Bekal after 2 hours of not-so-memorable journey from Mangalore.

And alas!! I found the fort to be very good..!! (And alas!! it was built way before any one of us was born!!)
The age of the fort, the lawn, the breeze, the sea, the seashore, the water splash (a result of collision of water which is liquid in state which is pushed towards the shore by air which is in gaseous state with rocks which are in solid state……! A bit of my science knowledge on display there!!), the watch towers… everything looked amazingly good!!

I took some pictures too…!

The points that work in favor of the Bekal Fort are :
1. The fact that not many forts are built on a seashore.
2. The previous point has attracted movie makers like Mani Rathnam (Bombay) and Upendra (A) (these are the only two instances I can remember as of now… But I am sure that ‘gods own superstars’ like Mammooty and Mohan Lal have a song or two in Bekal Fort!).

But if you have chosen to visit this place around noon (like we ended up doing!!) it can be a very gruelling experience…. The sun looks to have taken a vow to suck all your energy and leave you panting. But if you happen to reach the fort after 5 in the evening…. You might find it nice….. I don’t know… (I’d rather not comment on something on which I have no first hand experience!!).

But I liked this short trip….. mainly because of two reasons…
1. I visited a place I always wanted to, ever since i saw Upendra singing that song.
2. I can see the pictures I have taken and say to myself….
“dude! If others are crap at taking pictures, you are crap at it too! but hey…. the place was good enough to cover your inability to take good pictures even with a Nikon D90!!”

The camera in the picture above is Nikon D90… and the pictures below are the ones taken using it.

However, I noticed that if the subject is good…. you need not be a great photographer!

And there’s one more thing I noticed in the fort… there’s a Mukhyaprana temple in the fort on which they have embossed “ಮುಖ್ಯಪ್ರಾಣ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನ, ಬೇಕಲ ಕೋಟೆ” (Mukhyapraana Devasthaana Bekala Kote) in Kannada which made me think “hey! this place should have been a part of Karnataka!!”

(Shame I did not take a picture myself…… and I have taken it from someone else’s blog!!!)

But then on the way back to Mangalore, I saw Kasargod town.

“Except for Bekal Fort and the temple, nothing is exciting in Kasargod!” I said to myself “We don’t need it if we have to fight with god’s own citizen….for just this!!”