Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Reason I Started to BLOG

I have been sitting idle at my office since past one week and thought why not write an article on why and when I started to blog. Writing such an article will make me look busy in office and also increase the number of posts in my blog.

I started to blog recently but have been traveling for quite some time now. I have spent my childhood traveling and staying in different places courtesy to my father being transferred since he was a state government employee. I was born and bought in Ganeshgudi (Located in Uttara Kannada district) and later moved to Ambikanagar (Approx 50 kms from Ganeshgudi). Then moved to Shaktinagar (Raichur district) where I completed my SSLC and then to Madikeri for my PUC. I did my engineering in Davanagere and finally came to Bangalore for work.

Photo courtesy: Suma Tambe photography
HIGH ON TRAVEL-With my roommates (2005 to 2006)
While working in Bangalore I was staying with some of my school friends employed in different companies. Life for us back then was full of irresponsibility. My roommates were hardcore drinkers and smokers. Back then travel plans would happen at mid night. While everyone is asleep some idiot would wake us all up and plan to ride somewhere at dead of the night or more so when we were drunk.
It was my birthday(Apr 2005) and my friends surprised me with a cake and had a celebration around mid night (With so much of alcohol around I hardly saw anybody eating that cake) Deepak then still in college had joined me at my place. Around 1 o clock somebody comes up with a plan to ride to Karighatta (It's a hill situated off the Bangalore-Mysore Highway just before Srirangapatna). Everyone was quite high on alcohol and we took off on our bikes whizzing on the outer ring road to join the Mysore road. Barely we had traveled a kilometer one of our bikes had a flat Tyre. We stopped at a petrol bunk to en-quire if we could find a puncture shop around.(It was 2 or 3 o clock in the morning). The guy at the bunk (Must be around 15 or 16) told us the nearest puncture shop would open around 9 in the morning. Looking at our condition he advised us to go back to our homes. I felt ashamed that a 16 year old boy was advising us to act responsibly, but that thought lasted for just 30 seconds until my alcohol again took over me and made me to say "what the fuck do you know about my life". Deepak said he could get a bike from a friend of his near to his home.
So we parked the bike (One with the flat Tyre) at the petrol bunk and rode to Deepak's house. We stopped about a kilometer away from Deepak's place and he called up his friend asking for his bike. In 15 minutes we see a guy coming on a Pulsar wearing a skull cap in the dead of the night. Deepak spoke few words with him before he left. I was wondering that these guys must be one hell of friends. He doesn't even question why Deepak needed the bike at that time of the night. (He was Pramod and now is one of our group member).
So now equipped with 2 Yamaha's and one Pulsar, we all were Valentino Rossi's on the Mysore highway. It was almost 6 in the morning when we reached the peak. By that time our alcohol levels had come down and we were dead tired. So tired that we didn't care to look around the place and all of us slept there for an hour. We didn't have any cameras then. Riding back home was pathetic as it was month of April and the sun was at its peak.
Downloaded from Kamath photography
Same way we rode to Nandi hills once and reached there around 7 in the evening. By the time we reached there it was dark and the park was closed. All we did was smoke in front of the park and ride back.
Enjoying a tea break en route to Nandi hills

Around Nov 2006 I happened to go on a trip to Kodaikanal in Tamilnadu with 3 of my roommates. We took a camera (Kodak camera with a film roll) with us to capture my memories with my marijuana smoking roommates. I was skeptical about the camera since it never made any sound while clicking a photo neither showed any symptoms of capturing a photo. But my doper friend was very sure about it.
During our stay my roommates were only after the magic mushrooms (Which gives a high) while I would chat with the taxi driver asking him what I could have seen in Kodaikanal had I come alone.Once they were done with their mushrooms then I would plead them to visit a park or a tourist place around Kodaikanal. After returning from the trip when I went to get the pictures developed, the studio guy told me that the complete film roll was as good as new and they didn't find any photos in it. Damn camera fooled us while we gave poses. All that was left was one photo taken from my mobile inside a car in Kodaikanal. So much for memories....
The lone photo from KODAIKANAL
By the end of 2006 Deepak, Shivu, Ravi were out of college and we started to take traveling seriously. By serious I don't mean we started going to Himalayas, but at least we didn't make our plans during mid-night.
Budget was always a issue and hence Madikeri was our favourite place. Stay would be at my place in Madikeri and we would rent a vehicle from Bangalore. Deepak bought a new digital camera and it became as indispensable part of our trips. Photography was all about us and only us. If there were 100 photos of a trip, we would be there in all the 100 pics. No matter what the background was, we had to be there in the frame, right at the center. The desire to get photographed was so strong in everyone, that none was willing to click the camera. We had to find a rock or a support always for the camera.
We had been to Mekedaatu during the same year.
 Trekking bug bit us when Pramod's brother Vinod (A avid trekker himself) told us about a place called Skandagiri/Kalvaarbetta located on the outskirts of Bangalore, where one could see the clouds below standing on the peak. oh boy!!! Everyone was so excited. We looked at so many pictures on the internet and our excitement grew. Everything was detailed including what t-shirts, trousers and shoes we would wear. And also how many cans of beer each one of us would consume. We left Bangalore around 4 in the morning and reached the place around 6 AM. While parking our bikes we saw a Tata safari stop by us and a couple probably in their 40's got down from the vehicle. They both were dressed in track suits and looked very fit and healthy. By the time we were done parking they had already started climbing the peak.
So we group of eight to ten guys started our first official trek with lot of excitement. Within 10 minutes of trek, surprisingly everyone was very thirsty since we had beer in our backpacks. We had reached mid way of the peak when we saw the Tata safari couple getting down the peak. All 10 of us looked at them and then at each other. Now here we are who planned for almost 2 weeks to come here and scale this peak, and there is a couple who use this peak as a jogging track getting up and down may be in an hour or so.
We began the year of 2008 with a bang making a trip to Chikmagalur and trekking the Mulleyangiri peak.
Midyear work took me all over India from Silvassa (Dadra and nagar haveli UT) to Mumbai, then to Chiplun (Ratnagiri district, Maharastra) and then to Goa.

Apart from visiting the famous beaches in Goa, I had a wonderful trek to a falls called Tambadisurla (Located 65 kms from Panaji). We did the trek in monsoon when it was raining heavily, the forest was infested by leeches and we had to make our own path because there was none to follow.

From Goa I also traveled to Baddi (Himachal Pradesh) but sadly I could not visit any place in HP as the duration of stay was less and work schedule was very tight.
From HP I moved to Cuttack in Orissa where I had a chance to visit Jagganath temple and also sun temple at Konark. Sadly I don't have any photos to show you.
By the time I came to Bangalore my friends were hungry for a trip and we immediately set off to Wayanad in Kerala where we trekked Edakkal hills and also visited Soochipara falls.

Traveling continued as we visited Gokarna, Murdeshwara and Lushington falls (Unchalli falls-Sirsi). 

All these trips we used to go in groups in 10 or 11 as it would reduce the budget when calculated on a per head basis. Our group was of 6 to 7 guys whereas Deepak would request some 3 to 4 guys to join us for the trip(These guys were from our college whom we hardly talked to when in college). Deepak would call them and paint a picture to them about how much fun these trips would be and those poor guys would immediately agree to join us. On the trip whether one drinks or not, eats non-veg or not, the cost is shared equally among everyone.(All these killer ideas were Deepak's brainstorming and surprisingly none questioned it)
Whenever there was shortage of money, Madikeri was always there.
We trekked Tadiandamol, visited Maandalpatti and also trekked Nishani motte.

Nishani motte was one of the best treks I had as we passed through beautiful fields, leech infested paths, jungles, coffee estates, countless streams, water clogged fields etc. Mid way we lost our way and the hero below helped us to find our way in return for a pack of biscuits.


Deepak went to Delhi for work during the start of 2010 and I went to China and Hong Kong courtesy to my work. I returned in the end of 2010 whereas Deepak came back only in 2011. Personally I got to see lot of places but one complete year was gone without our group traveling anywhere.

Bored of traveling within Karnataka, we decided to go for a big budget trip and that's how Andaman trip came up.
You can check my blog on Andaman below.

While at Andaman, we stayed in a beach resort which had more number of foreigners as customers. All the time these foreigners would sit in front of their cottage or in the beach or in a restaurant deeply engrossed in a novel.  Whenever I saw them, I felt it was really cool. Since I didn't have any novel, I took a pen and paper and decided to keep drawing something wherever i go. Even before i drew a line I got bored. Then I decided to write something. Now what to write???? I thought why not write about the stuff we keep doing during the day, the funny things we keep saying at each other etc. By the time I came back to Bangalore I had about 4 to 5 A4 size sheets full of our experiences and I decided put it on the internet hoping that people would flock to read it. I just typed travel blog on Google and there was a tsunami of blogs related to travel. Where were you Ponnappa??? Stone age???
Wow.. So many blogs.. Solo travelers.. Group travelers, Solo woman travelers.. All sort of blogs with all kinds of info. And slowly I squeezed my blog among them.
Post 2011 I have been writing about my travels and experiences adding a little bit of humour here and there.
Hope you guys enjoyed reading this article. I better stop here as I am looking too busy at office and my colleagues are getting suspicious about me.


  1. Too good bro, soooo much for memories..:-) You have captured all 8 years of our best times so beautifully. You have indeed traveled to many places. Enjoyed reading it, keep writing..
    Hope you make up your mind to visit HIMALAYAS some day...:-)

    1. Deepak... I have made up my mind long back.. Bank balance is not allowing me..:(

  2. it was nice to read the A B C of ur trekking path, travelling and trekking helps ONE to know WHAT ONE IS, this is what i feel Hope u too find URSELF while trekking/travelling. all the best for ur treks and travels

    1. Thanks Shri... Hope I find myself if my wife allows me to...:)

  3. You have explained briefly about all your stories...
    Nice one...

  4. very well written.. your writing occupies me in an agreeable, entertaining and pleasant fashion... i feel good to be part of few outings with you.. Thanks for writing.. keep rocking... :)

  5. I almost felt that I am in the place.The pictures are brilliant

  6. Very well collated. Superb pics and nice article. Keep writing...

  7. Memoirs of manu ponnappa :) It was fun reading this one. that ambikanagar picture is amazing..feel like flying and reaching there.

    1. Thank you Jiggyasa.. Ambikanagar is truly a beautiful place..

  8. Writing gives a sense of liberation. :)

  9. phenomenal snaps and a interesting write up !

  10. Loved reading the post and the pictures just took my breath away. They are super shots! I loved the Om beach sunset pic. Actually, I loved them all! Here's wishing you more travels and trekking. And more posts from you!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments...:)

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  12. Wonderful tour. beautiful glimpse of the hill stations. indeed, destinations attracting to visit and have a amazing location of the natural beauty.
    Interesting informative post with Nice pictures.

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  15. I enjoy reading your blogs.The description of the journeys is very lucid and your sense of humour is great.Also, the photographs are simply outstanding.Great going.Hope to see more from you.

  16. Excellent Post! Rejoice life during holidays through Dandeli Resorts; located in Uttara Kannada, Karnataka state.