Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chitra Durga Fort, Jogi Matti Forest, Chandravalli/Ankalagi cave Exploration

“Friends! Interested in Visiting Historic place CHITRADURGA!?”

As soon as my eyes captured the word “HISTORIC”, I cast an eye over “DELETE” option and trashed the email. History was always a boring subject. Remembering monarchs, dynasty, dates, and places were always a problematic one. Neither, I did not had a handsome teacher to fall in love with the subject (SIR?@$) to score good marks or to explore about history.

Second main reason for not registering - At the time of registration, I was down with high temperature. So the possibility of making to the ChitraDurga Exploration was not at all an option. Time Fled way and the Registration was closed.

Just 2 day before the event, I got an email stating there were two drops out and interested folks can make it to ChitraDurga Exploration. Instead of sitting sluggish at home, I thought of making to the trip.

It’s always the people who fight and knock down each other like Tom and Jerry fall in love at the end. Similarly, my aversion towards history had changed after Chitradurga excavation. Now, I am addicted to archaeology.

Enough of my Purana.. Coming to our experience..

Friday Night:

We started our journey by bidding bye to Virander, who was there to give send off. We invited him to join the trip, but he stayed back to watch Dhoom 3 (Oooopps…No comments)

The night ride to ChtiraDurga was an excellent; the road was too good. Of course it has to be, since its a Bangalore – Pune Highways and its a part of Golden Quadrilateral Highway Project. Road Biking to Chitraduraga from Bangalore would be a suggested option.

Drive to ChitraDurga:

We reached ChitraDurga district around 2 AM; Chetan and Shruti were guiding us to the hotel perfectly including Small Street. When we reached Yarti Nivas, I was curious to appreciate their street view knowledge but stepped back when I observed mobiles in their hands and was using google maps for navigation. Thanks to Lars Eilstrup without your google map technology, at those odd hours, it would have been very difficult to find our stay. But a moment later, we realized that we were on wrong Yarti Nivas and drove to the right one finally.


The lodging was simply the best. A Beautiful grass lawn on a balcony exactly opposite to the Fort, 3 puppies playing near the lawn and a hot cup of Coffee as soon as we woke up made the lodging and stay so attractive.

Saturday (Day 1)

We got up well before the sunrise, hired a Guide and started to explore the fort. The Fort welcomed us by treating with a bright Sunrise over the hills, strewn with windmills. The guide started reciting in English, Kanada and Hindi. Apart from him, none understood his English and Hindi narration. So, we requested him to stick to Kanada and appointed Shruthi and Ashwin as translator.

Below are the few attractions from Chitra durga Fort:
  1. Snake Inscription: Snake Sculpture at Chitradurga Fort Entrance. - This is a symbolic representation of the fort. Since the way leading to Fort is spiral like a snake.
  2. Yenne Kola: A huge rock which is used to store oil.
  3. GYM I eagerly gawped into the Gym expecting Treadmills, cycling and Rowing Machines if not at least olden Dumbbell and Kettlebell. But the room was completely empty. Even the door of the Gym was very small, literally just a window. The door was left small purposely for the protection of the king. Just in case, enemies plans to attack him during his work out, only one can enter through the door(window)

  4. Akka Thangiyara Honda: (Elder and younger sister ponds) Folklore - Two sisters who were married to the king Madakari Nayaka(last ruler of Chitra Durga) jumped into the ponds after his death.
  5. Rocks: The rocks in the fort were all of different shapes. Rabbit shape, Frog shape, Ship shape, elephant shape and many more. On seeing the Ship shaped stone, I thought of posing the famous titanic still of Jack and Rose. But climbing on the stone was difficult so dropped the plan (Note – Me being Rose, Jack would be either Shruti/Swathi/Shwetha)  
  6. Onake Obavva: Obavva - Wife of a soldier called Kalanayak was guarding a fort tower, substituting for her husband during a lunch break. She was guarding the Chitradurga Fort at a crack opening, a secret opening (where only one person could barely squeeze through). While fetching water, she heard the muted sounds of enemy soldiers attempting to enter the fort through the crevice. With great presence of mind she immediately hid behind the crevice in the fort and hit at each soldier trying to squeeze through the crevice with Onake, the name given in Kannada to a masse or pestle, a wooden rod used for pounding paddy. In this process, she bravely killed several enemy soldiers. By the time her husband appeared on the scene, she had already dragged several bodies of dead soldiers into the fort wall and was standing around the dead bodies with the blood stained Onake in her hand. Kalanayak blew the bugle when other soldiers also joined him and killed all the enemy soldiers. This brave act saved the fort on that day from further attacks by Hyder Ali’s soldiers. And the Legend Onake Obavva. 
  7. Our professional photographers trying to
    capture t he enemies
    squeezing out from Crevice
    • All adventure lovers squeezed through crevice and Shruthi was standing beside the crevice and hit everyone who popped up their head with Camera Bag. It was little challenging, and few took the other route to come out instead of crevice.
  8. Gali Mantapa: There was a huge swing and a lamp post. Those days king worshipped this during festivals. 
  9. Monkey man: We were not able to meet Kothi Raja, who climbs the fort walls without any harnesses. But observed the chalk powder(magnesium carbonate powder) in fort walls that was used for by his palms for grip. Also, Kothi Raja's performance was substituted with the amazing climbing and jumping performance of Santosh. 
    • Jyothi Raj Alice Kothi Raja – Spider man of Chitradurga
    • Santosh Kumar – Monkey man of BTC
  10. Murugarajendra Matt: A place that was completely quiet and peaceful.
  11. Fish Marks on the Wall
  12. Large gun powder Grinder:
Lakshmi tiffin:

We decide to have breakfast (Khali Dosa) at Lakshmi tiffin – The oldest and famous hotel in Chitradurga. But we postponed to Sunday due to time constrain
Jogi Matti Forest:

We took permission from forest officers and started our ride. All the Kilometre Stone that indicates Jogi Matti forest had a bird picture which gave a hint that it would be a heaven for bird watchers. But we could not watch even a single bird. We explored the district, by climbing into the view point. Definitely the place would be a calm and full of birds in the early hours. But getting permission from forest officer would be a tough one.

Adumalleshwar zoo:

This place was full of school kids playing. Ashutosh tried to talk to the kids, but they addressed back saying uncle. Thats it, We did not talk a word again to the kids just to be in safer side of not getting tagged as aunty and uncle There were quite few animals and it’s a worth place to watch. By the time, one of our Wicket Chetan was down. So we decide to hit our room. Our day ended by playing UNO game for hours and hours.

Day 2:


Doddahotrangappa Hill (Lord Ranganathaswamy temple)

I loved this temple. The villagers requested us to remove the shoes and slippers saying respect and worship. But there were few of us, who were not used to climb without shoes. We had a tough time in explaining them. Finally few of us trekked without shoes and few with shoes. This was an excellent one for trekking. Infact, had a good peace after visiting the temple.

Chandravalli/Ankalagi cave - A maze of secrets:

The thrilling Experience and interesting facts found during the cave exploration was one of the reason to fall in love with Archaeology.

The Chandravalli cave is present 80feet under the ground and it’s a interesting/confusing maze with multiple secret exits. The cave is moon shaped and it is hugged between two giant rocks. This is like a mini-Ship. Yes, you have everything inside the cave. Temples, mediation hall, bedrooms, shelves, bathroom with a well-planned rain -harvesting system and finally the SECRET conference halls. The challenge was to find the secret conference room, luckily we found the room by ourselves. Still we took a guide. Its better to take a guide as he explains the signifance of minute things. Must say, our guide English (vinglish) was good. Though we requested him to explain in Kanada, he was stubborn to explain in Vinglish. On reaching the secret hall, We switched off the light and observed a complete darkness and silence. Don’t miss out the paintings in cave. It was painted purely with natural elements (herbs). It has been ruined almost 99% now. There were no ventilation inside the cave and it was full of dust, few people got dust allegory and felt suffocation.

Ganesha statue
Outside view of Ganesha Temple

Holalkera - A place to reconnoiter the Ganesha statue which is more than 500 years old. We started back to Bangalore with a plan to visit Vanivilas Sagar Dam on the way

Vanivilas Sagar Dam:( Mari Kanive)

It’s the oldest dam in the state. We were on the right time and observed the sunset. The Specular reflection of sunlight with sunset was the best part we enjoyed in Marikanive dam. Myself, Swathi, Swetha almost tortured Santhosh to take snaps. One snap with Sun, One in-between sun, One with hill background, one with monkey, One with sunglass, one with hat… and the list goes on.. finally we kept quite when his battery got dried out.

Finally it was 7 PM and we wanted to reach Bangalore by 10, so that we board BMTC buses to our home. We were stunned when the driver stopped the cab and started washing the vehicle. Chaitanya decided to give a hint to him and said we need to be in Bangalore by 9.30 (Almost 150 Kms in 3 hours)

The reply gave him a jerk. “We can reach by 8.30 Sir”.

Immdeitaly he said, “No issues.. Take your time and reach by 9.30”

After his Zig-Zag ride, just like Fort symbolic representation spiral like a snake, we reached Yeswanthpur at 10.00. We took loads of histoieees with and bid bye to them

Highlights of the trip:
  • Cave exploration
  • Sunrise among the Windmills at Chitradurga and Sunset in Marikanave Dam.
  • Endless hours of playing UNO game just to make Saravanan score 6 Points.
Final TouchA weekend with Archeological Exploration + climbing + Zoo + UNO + Photography

Friday, December 13, 2013

5 special Christmas gifts for Sanju

20th December 2013.

"Hey Deepika, I got struck up in a meeting. Can you pick Sanju from school?" My sister made a request over the phone.
"Alright, will do." I wheeled my car to his school.  As I was waiting for my sister’s son a Christmas tree that was lit up beautifully decorated caught my eyes. Christmas is just around the corner! The School will be officially closed till January 1st for exam holidays and it is a common practice that they celebrate the Christmas on the last day of the exam. 

“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Dashing through the snow. In a one-horse open sleigh..." 6 year old Sanju came singing with full enthusiasm.
I continued, “Over the fields we go. Laughing all the way…Ha ha ha ha”
“Chiti, You know these song?”
“Of course. Your Chiti, know everything” I winked and collected the school bag.
“You know, Santa Claus came to our classroom and gifted all my classmates" he showed me a small gifted wrapped packed. He continued, "Will Santa Claus come to our home?"

"He will come only if you do your homework's regularly, being punctual to schools and obedient to parents and chiti" I tried to act smart in front of him, forgetting the fact that kids are always ready with their smart answer. 
"Haiyoo. No homeworks. No school. Its exams holiday" he sighed and turned towards the window. 

We play Santa Claus every year at my office. Since my contribution to his secure future plays a vital role, I thought of playing Santa Claus with him. I quickly sorted a plan. I thought of giving him everyday a gift for the successive 5 days until Christmas. 

Day 1: 21th December 2013. (Saturday).
Cultivating a savings habit from a young age is must. So, I gifted him a undiyal and advised him to save all the Festival money that he receives from his parents, grandparents and relatives. Also I insisted him to add 1 Rupees every day morning as soon as he gets up. 

Day 2: 22th December 2013. (Sunday).
Last month, he won second prize in drawing. He was awarded a trophy and other competitor was given a small car toy as a consolation prize. He kept his face pale and dull and was worried that he has not given that small car toy. Finally, the organizer gave a smile and handed him a car toy. He is that much crazy about cars even though we have a collection of 500 car toys at home. And this is the main reason for selecting the day 2 gift.

I gifted him a car toy and took a promise that once he grows big and earns lot of money, he will buy a real car and will take me a ride in it.

Day 3: 23th December 2013. (Monday).
Securing the future financially alone will not be sufficient. Staying fit and healthy is equally important to enjoy those benefits. The best way I can assure that he will be fit is by doing some sort of physical exercise everyday. I don’t want to force anything at him at this young age. I knew he had had interest for swimming and swimming coaching classes are just 10 minutes away from my home. 
So on 23rd December, I gifted him “Life time membership for swimming” 
I am sure, I have gifted him life time fitness.

Day 4: 24th December 2013. (Tuesday).
If I am a kid, I would definitely hate this day 4 gift. Yes, I gifted him educational books and CDs.
I will also make sure, Every year, I am upgrading him with new CDs according to his age.
Day 5: 254th December 2013. (Wednesday).

I dressed myself as Santra clause and played jingle bell song on my mobile. He could easily recognize me but was curious to know the 5th and last day gift that he is going to receive in few minutes.
The final gift was..

HDFC SL YoungStar Super Premium which will build savings for his education, marriage, among other needs.

This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda.

Touch of Mist Book Review by Khushboo Motihar

Touch of Mist Book Review by Khushboo Motihar 

Source -

I love surprises and if that surprise involves a book then I feel like I am on cloud nine, sipping chocolate milkshake and eating a box full of cookies as I glide on rainbows. What caused me to be this happy? A message from Deepika, a fellow blogger, who asked me to review her book and I obviously, said a big yes! I was caught up with some college assignments and finally finished reading the book yesterday. Here's the review

About the Book:

Reena was distraught. It seemed unbelievable that she too had succumbed to this rat race of life. The consequences had been dire: a marriage that had broken even before the profundity of those three magical words, “I Love You” could sink in.

“Touch of Mist” is a glitzy, modern-day love story of two young, sophisticated, IT professionals, Gautham and Reena, who meet by chance, sparks ignite and they fall head over heels in love with each other.

They tie the knot and start a new life. But no sooner do they do that that fights erupt and egos clash. The first casualty is love, which plummets and marriage turns miserable; break-up beckons and the relationship dies.

Aftermath. Does Reena commit suicide or fall in love with another person? Does she reconcile with her first love Gautham?

This story meanders through different emotions that touch the lives of the protagonists such as love, friendship, marriage, heartbreak, grief, anticipation, humour, disgust, joy, fear and ends with a heart-warming credo that “Life is to Live”.

ISBN: 978-81-8253-440-7
Cover Price: Rs. 250.00
Publisher - Cyberwit
Author: Deepika Muthusamy
Rating: 3.5

My take on the book:

Friendship, love, inter caste marriage, romance, silly fights, ego clashes, two suicide attempts, an earthquake, a healthy dose of common sense and a happy/sad ending (I won’t give the plot away by telling you whether the couple live happily ever after or not) are the words that can summarize this entire book.

The story starts off by introducing the reader to Gautam and Reena, two IT professionals living in Bangalore. They meet on a bus ride to office and sparks start flying, at least for Gautam. The story then moves on at a leisurely pace till both of them declare their love for each other and get married, after thoda sa masaledar we-are-from-different-religions drama.

Marriage treats the couple well, till both their egos inflate and they start fighting. Initially, they kiss and make up (literally) but then things start going out of hand. Gautam decides to leave for a 6 month long assignment to another city and Reena is a mess. What happens next? Well, you have to read the book to find out!Touch of Mist is an engaging book and I finished it in two days; you can finish it faster if you don’t have to attend college like me.

The only sore point is that it turns a little preachy somewhere in the middle and also towards the end. The editing needs to be tighter, too. There are Adam and Eve conversations in between, where they have a mini argument over Gautam and Reena’s conversations. It is interesting initially, but it is overdone in a few places. That said, the plot is original, the characters are interesting and reading it is a breeze. What more would one want out of a book?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Unshaven is unbathed - Entry 2

One Sunday morning, Me and My friend was deep into an argument. My point was "Unshaven is unbathed." But he was arguing for the opposite.

Recent study suggests that, “Beards are out and the clean shaven look is in". I said firmly.
“According to a fresh study, Women finds man more attractive with beard” My friend continued. “And you know what, Facial hair make a person manly”
“Common, long scraggly beard looks messy and unkempt” I stressed again.
“Beards Keep You Young, Healthy & Handsome, Says Science”
I burst out into laughter.
He continued, “Beards block 90 to 95 percent of UV rays. Thus it slows the aging process and reducing the risk of skin cancer.”
“But it don’t give you a decent look. Why did the Hollywood actor Ben Affleck got rid of the big beards and opted for a more refined and polished appearance. Because clean shave looks give a professional and polished look”
"What about Steve Jobs. Beard is his beauty"
We continued to argue and finally decide to research it out. We both immediately created a new page in Facebook.
One with Clean shaven and other page for shabby look.

Within 5 minutes, the page I created, ie for clean shaven we got 56K likes
But whereas for shabby even after 1 year, its zero likes.

The  famous online social networking service Facebook reveals below
Shaven look Fan page with 50 K likes:

Unshaven Fan page with Zero likes

P.S - The above pictures are created by me for P.A.S.S. contest conducted by blogadda. 

I would like to tag NachiDeeptiEktaArvind and Ankit

This post is a part of the Protest Against Smelly Stubble Activity in association with BlogAdda.

To read the first post click here - Women love to kiss a Shaven man

Women love to kiss a shaven man

“Varun, your attitudes towards facial hair shows you are conservative. I don’t want my team member to appear as a slacker in front of client visit. A clean-shaven face is must. I hate your unclean stubble,” my manager screeched 10th time and left the conference room.
 “So, Varun are you going to come in ‘squeaky clean' avatar tomorrow” Deepthi asked curiously.
“Nah.” I replied her.
My manager opened the door and warned again, “if you come with sloppy image tomorrow, I am going to chuck you”
“You know some facts? Women are more likely to kiss a shaven man,” Deepthi added.
“Hah. Actually, girls find unshaven men sexy” I replied.
“Not all. 90% of girls finds shaven look as hot. So, come with a clean look” Deepthi said and left the room.

MY passport, driving license, PAN everywhere my photo identity are with beard look. Why the ****, I should shave? I love this scruffy style. It was my identity for past 4 years. I wonder why these corporate world frowns down on facial hair. But, I don’t have any other option other than coming in shaven look. Because, I need to deliver a presentation in front of clients tomorrow.


Next day @ office, 
The picture used above is just for (???  ). No Violence :P No Offence against simbu

“Wow, welcome my chocolate boy” everybody was stunned and welcomed with a warm smile and shock.
No wonder, my clean shaven look bowled my team mates!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Haunted Gift box

Haunted Gift box 
I woke to the buzz of alarm and rolled over the bed to find my mobile.
"85 Missed calls...
35 Messages..."
My mobile screen revealed.
“Must be Navin,” I opened up the messages and my guess was right.

"Aathmika..Please pick my call"
"Sweetie..Sorry.. Forgive me :( "
"Love you Aathmika.. XOXO"
"I won’t drink moving forward. I swear Aathmika darling" 

I read the message one by one and remembered the silly fight we had last night. All I could remember was we kept arguing on some stupid topic and the heat of conversation hit the peak. I shouted at him with anger, put the phone in silent mode and went to sleep.

I smiled on seeing all the message, instantly my rage on Navin getting reduced to zero. I went to brush my teeth and came out immediately on hearing doorbell.
There was no one there, but I found a box beside the slipper stand.
‘I was surprised to see a parcel with my name on it.’


Rima was experiencing the paranormal activity from past one week…
From the time the cute Barbie doll arrived her home...
Every day when Rima woke up in the morning she would observe the furniture misplaced. ..
Books, magazine and newspaper in the living room was scattered...
Mirror, Coffee cups shattered...
At night, the lights would go off and on at odd time...
She would hear mischievous sound of scampering footsteps..
Sometimes she could even feel, someone standing right next to her...and when she turns to notice.. it would be NONE...
"Rima" she heard a strange female voice calling out the name.......
she turned back and observed Barbie doll on the bed... She realised that it must be the victim.
She snatched the Barbie and threw it out the window and into the street.

Navin woke up and checked his mobile screen. No message or calls from Aathmika.
"What an egoistic girl. From night I am calling her.. No reply to my calls. And message. This is my limit. I am not going to convince her anymore" he thought to himself but ended up typing, "Darling... still angry? Love you.. muuuaah" he sent to Aathmika and went out of his house to get newspaper. On the way, he saw Barbie doll, lying on the floor. It was new and cute. He thought gifting it would make his girlfriend cool. He wrapped it and sent it to Aathmika house.

"Hey Navin Barbie doll is so cute" I was talking to Navin on call after seeing the gift.
"I went to Archies before the shop was open and brought especially for my sweetheart" Navin replied.
“Hey Navin wait.. I am getting a second call...” I said and noticed the number...
 it was from

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Theme for Post:

Entry must contain, ‘I was surprised to see a parcel with my name on it.’

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blackberry Yeppieeeeeeee

This article is specifically written solely for participating in the Catch the flavour - a contest with teams! by with participation from BACARDI and the link is

Breezer comes in  variety of fruit flavors: lemon, peach, pineapple, apple, ruby grapefruit, lime, orange, blackberry, watermelon, cranberry, coconut, raspberry, blueberry, pomegranate, strawberry, and mango. 

Black berry Crush is my favorite because
Clear Skin:

Blackberries have antioxidants which clear acne. Since blackberries are source of ellagic acid, it also protects from UV rays. Vitamin C in it helps to lessen the appearance of wrinkles

Hydrates your Skin:
Proper hydration is important for healthy skin and that is possible through proper intake of water. Blackberries comprise of more than 85% water along with an abundant dose of fiber, all of which contribute to healthy skin. Regular consumption of blackberries detoxifies your body, thus maintaining the elasticity of your skin and keeping it hydrated from within

Healthy Bones: 

Calcium in blackberry helps to strengthen bones.

Healthy Hair:

Blackberry fruit extract is loaded with antioxidant properties that help to combat the harmful and damaging effects of the environment on your hair, thus preventing various hair problems. Topical application of this extract adds volume, shine and bounce to your hair.

Rejuvenates the Skin:

The abundant amounts of Vitamins A, C and K in blackberries have skin rejuvenation properties.


Blackberries have ellagic acid. Scientific research has found that ellagic acid can help in the prevention of certain cancer cells.

Red Blood Cells:

Blackberries contain minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. These help in production of white and red blood cells.