October 2019 - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Savandurga: Rustic Sunday Motorcycling Day Trip from Bangalore

Riding towards Savanadurga, Karnataka

It is considered to be one of the largest monolith hills in Asia. It is one of the more serious slab climbing routes in the world. It is a hot favourite with rock climbers, cave explorers, trekkers and temple lovers. The fort on the top of this hill is referred to as the ‘fort of death’. I am talking about Savanadurga hill that stands at 1226 m above MSL and that is just 60 kms from Bangalore city.

Savanadurga is a hot day trip destination from Bangalore as it offers easy access from the city, a rustic route for a short drive or ride, a beautiful tract of forest, a couple of temples (one a village temple and the other a hill temple) and a short trek. And then there is rock climbing for the more adventurous.

Old Temple structure at Savanadurga

Formed by two hills, Karigudda (black hill) and Biligudda (white hill), Savanadurga was once the secondary capital of the Magadi kingdom and it is believed that the fort on top of the hill was built by them and may be fortified by the Mysore kingdom, Tipu Sultan and the Britishers thereafter. It’s steep slippery rock surface was its safety hallmark and which gave it strategic importance to the then kings. Today, the fort is mostly in ruins, but in its place lies a Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple and stunning views of the Magadi-Ramanagara-Mandya-Bangalore landscape. And then there is the main Veerabhadra swamy temple at the foot of the hill that holds religious significance for the people living in this region.

Bikers and their beasts take a break in lovely rural setting

More than just the Savanadurga hill, I like the entire day trip package of going past pretty little villages with beautiful farm land, the gorgeous Dodda Alada Mara tree just off Mysore road, the Manchinebele dam on the Arkavathy river, the small, yet pretty green highways through the Savanadurga state forest, the Veerabhadra swamy temple, the megalithic burial sites and of course the climb to the top of the hill. Add to it a rustic atmosphere, clean air and quiet environment, you have a great way to unwind on a Sunday. I think it is the perfect rustic day trip getaway from Bangalore. Doesn’t matter whether you are on a bicycle, motorcycle or in a car, you are bound to have a good day out!

A lush green pit stop overlooking the famous rocks of Ramanagaram district of Karnataka

How to reach here:

The best and the most scenic route to Savanadurga is Bangalore –> Nice road Mysore road exit –> Dodda Alada Mara –> Manchanebele Dam –> Savanadurga State Forest –> Savanadurga.

The total distance would be close to 50 kms and it should take you about 2 hours if you drive non stop and a bit more if you stop at the many beautiful pit stops enroute. This route takes you through beautiful villages, a stunning lake and a gorgeous tract of green in Savanadurga state forest.
To reach the top of the rock, add at least 2 hours of trekking (more for slightly slower individuals) from the Veerabhadra temple at the base of the Savanadurga hill.

Veerabhadra Temple at the base of Savanadurga hill

Things to keep in mind:

1) Savanadurga rock gets hot during the day. Either you should plan your trek early in the morning or prepare yourself for the heat by carrying sun protection and water, etc in case you are planning to hike a bit later in the day.

2) Opt for a reliable rock climbing operator in case you wish to do some rock climbing.

3) During the rains, the trail gets very slippery. Do plan accordingly.

4) It is best to wear a good pair of walking shoes or boots to climb this rock.

Riding through rural roads of Karnataka to reach Savanadurga

Where to find food to eat:

The villages in the vicinity may offer you something to eat, but if you want something of a menu with decent washrooms, I would recommend hitting any of the decent joints on Mysore road. It is carry some water and quick bites from home in case of any emergencies.

A motorcycle ride towards the hills of Savanadurga, Karnataka

Nearby tourist attractions:

1) Manchanabele Dam, a scenic, green and rustic location near Bangalore

2) Adventure Sports at Dabbaguli, Manchanbele Dam – a great weekend getaway from Bangalore

3) Dodda Alada Mara – Bangalore’s 400 year old banyan wonder

4) Rock climbing at Ramanagara, amongst the rocks where the iconic movie ‘Sholay’ was shot

5) The world of toys at Channapatna, one of India’s traditional handicrafts

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Saturday, October 05, 2019

5 travel dangers and how to avoid them

5 Travel Dangers and how to avoid them

No one heads off on their travels expecting to have their adventures cut short. You can plan everything from your travel route to your daily activities to the very last detail but sadly, you can’t always plan for the things that go wrong. The last thing you need is an injury or a catastrophic event preventing you from achieving your travelling dreams. Not only is it bad news in the immediate aftermath, but it could have consequences that could go on for months – if you’re looking for legal representation in a personal injury case, check out lilawyer.com for more information – so, what’s the answer?

Well, there is a wide range of problems or issues you could come across on the road, but we’ve gathered 5 of the most common here, and the steps you can take to avoid them.

Gastroenteritis/illness

A travellers worst nightmare. Getting a severe case of a stomach upset will result in vomiting, diarrhoea and potentially, dehydration, severe abdominal pain and in some extreme cases, hospitalisation. To avoid this, wash your hands regularly, avoid local tap water (even if the locals drink it; their stomachs are probably used to it), avoid buffets, salads and ice, as well as food that has been exposed or left out for an unidentified length of time, take a bottle of hand sanitiser with you if hand washing facilities aren’t up to scratch. Do ensure that you carry pre and probiotics in your travel first aid kit to address these stomach issues immediately.

Road accidents

The roads abroad can be utterly terrifying! Often with no sense of order, or laws in place it can feel like every man for himself. To avoid road accidents – don’t travel at night. Before you enter a taxi for example, make sure it has seat belts and that the brake lights work. Is the driver sober? If you hire a scooter or moped, ensure you receive a helmet as standard and that it’s in good working order. Do research on local driving customs and get to know the road signs before you set off! And do ensure that you have a good travel insurance plan to take care of any emergency.

Being mugged/pickpocketed

Not only is this a terrible inconvenience, but it can also be quite psychologically damaging. Try to dress like a local, and keep your wealth e.g. jewellery, flashy tech well-hidden or back at your hotel. Keep an eye on your bag at all times or have your money concealed inside your clothing. Don’t follow anyone down a side street – even with the promise of a cheap tour guide or if someone is asking for help.

Getting hurt

No one wants to get hurt whilst travelling. So, you need to have your wits about you. Be vigilant for things like wet floors, unsafe balconies, uneven walkways and slippery pool sides. And more so if you happen to be renting a bicycle, motorcycle or car. Just because you’re travelling, doesn’t mean you’re immune to injury.

Terrorism/ violence

It sounds extreme, but it’s becoming more and more recognised as a potential issue whilst travelling. If there is political unrest, war or recent terrorist activity at your chosen destination then ask yourself if it’s really worth it. Consider changing your plans or heading to a different destination first.

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