How many of you still hang around with your childhood /school/college friends? I must be one of those lucky guys to have all them around me.. I must say am a keeper 😊.

No matter what , I know I have them around for me and they have me. So we often meet over the weekend, talk about everything under the Sun. The comfort zone you have with the ones you grew up with is just marvellous. One of the fine weekends over some whiskey and beer πŸ₯ƒ we decided to head somewhere for a good gateway.. It had been quite long we all had been somewhere together besides meeting almost every weekend, therefore we decided to drive to Shakleshpur.

Sakleshpur is a hill station part of Hassan district in the Indian state of Karnataka and is part of the Western Ghats of India. It is also called as the poor man’s Ooty :), it is close to 220 kilometers from Bangalore.

Eight friends hiring a cab , enjoying every bit was the plan but how many times does the planning come true? Like usual this plan was also slightly twisted. We had eight in the beginning for the trip now we have only three of us. A major turn down however We weren’t going to give up.. So , three of us but this time it was Bobby , Me and Param not Ajay this time and it was still Shakleshpur.

Previous night due to tight schedule at work I got home late, to my surprise Bobby this time was very punctual, he was my alarm n woke me up. I rushed to get ready and I was picked and then we had to pick up Param on the way. It was 6:00 am when we picked him, cold mornings I guess the temperature was around 13 degrees , we hit the Hassan highway. Always an advantage to drive early morning one gets hassle free road and an awesome view. Few miles away and the hunger craved in and we started looking for restaurants on the highway. We stopped by this restaurant called Sambrama, anyone traveling on this highway should stop by this restaurant. They have good delicacies to break your hunger like Tatte idli & Vada and so on.

Hotel Sambrama

Breakfast & Coffee

Bobby, Me & Param

We had our share of breakfast and we started again without wasting any time as we we had only one and a half day to explore the place . I mostly love driving this Highway as I can see good number of cyclists & motorcyclist which gives me immense joy as I being one of them.

While on the way, we decided we stop by some archeological destinations and decided that we go to Majrabad fort & Belur which is on the way to our resort. We decided to first head to Belur & then Majrabad fort with the help of the GPS.

Route and Distance to Belur from Bangalore

We reached Belur, Belur is part of the Hassan District and very famous for its Chennakeshava Temple, anyone would be adored by the workmanship of the Hoysalas, needless to say Belur was so beautiful and to top it up it greeted us with the channajeshava temple gopuram.

Chennakeshava Temple, Belur

Bobby & Param posing at the Entrance as Usual πŸ™‚

ChennaKeshava Temple Complex Entrance Carving

Chennakeshava Temple Complex Carvings

Chennakeshava Temple inner Sanctum

Chennakeshava Temple

Chennakeshava Temple

Chennakeshava Temple inside

Chennakeshava Temple Pillars

Some more pillars – Finer Carvings.

Elephant by the Kalyani

Kalyani – Water Tank

Kalyani Tank

The Garuda

Finally – a Selfie

Temple Pillars and Carving work

Param with the Famous Hoysala Lion

Lord Narasimha on the Temple wall

Temple Pillars and Carving works

Finally a Group Pic – Param, Bobby & Me

According to Parman, this is one of his family God, hence we gave a visit πŸ™‚

It was indeed a treat to the eye… We took all the adavantage to explore every bit it had to offer us and then we headed to manjarabad fort which happened to be just closer to the Resort where we were staying an added advantage dont you think?

Route Map to Manjarabad Fort fro Belur

Manjarabad fort is also know as the Star Fort built by Tippu Sultan – a ruler of Mysore (1782 – 1799). The fort is situated 10 kilometers away from the Shakleshpur Town, due to its elevation it gives a clear view of the surroundings, people say that on a clear day – one can have a view of the Arabian Sea. Manjarabad fort is situtated on the hill top which allows us to workout a bit walking up the hill ( added advantage part 2 😜).

Bobby leading the way to Manjarabad Fort

Me relaxing during the Climb – thanks to Bobby and his poor jokes

Finally Reached the Top – Manjarabad Entrance

Reaching the top


On the Top of the Fort

Bobby Trying a Long Jump

Some More Pics

Manjarabad top view

Me On the Star Formation πŸ™‚

One More Group Pic

Me & Param, within one of the Star Setup

One Final Shot before Leaving the Manjarabad Fort

By the time we explored the fort we were exhausted and Hungry, hence we headed towards the resort where an awesome lunch was ready to be served however we were confused between the Resort and the homestay and we took the way to the homestay instead of the resort. Later we called and got it clarified. It was a bit annoying as we were too hungry and tired but the food was too good it compensated everything.

Route to Jenukallu Resort from Manjarabad

Dining area – We rushed to this spot cause we were very hungry

Dining Area

View from the Resort Dining area

After the lunch , Freshened up a bit and took a power nap which was indeed super helpful.
Our plan was to watch the Sunset, and for that we again had to walk walk up a hill , however we were bit late for that , it was already 5:30 and it made no sense to climb up. We decided to sit in the resort area, grab some drink and have some good conversation which we apparently are never tired of.

Relaxing and watching the sun go down

Bobby Immersed with Nature, full in thoughts πŸ™‚

In no time we realised it was already dark and we had the bonfire πŸ”₯ ready for us. Chill wind , starry sky, drinks , music and fire by our side to keep us warm there wasn’t anything missing. We soon started talking about our childhood, our dreams, aspirations and so on.

Bobby and Param enjoying the Drink

It was soon time for us to have dinner. After that we headed straight to bed as we a long day and a trek to begin our day with.

We woke up by buzz of an alarm and yes the chirping of the birds. I just love to begin my day like this surrounded by the nature as I don’t get to do this everyday. We got geared up for the trek, grabbed a cup of coffe to keep us awake πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ as the previous nights hangover was still on πŸ€ͺ. We were accompanied by the resort workers , our trek wasn’t that exhausting as they had lot of stories to tell us about the place and the view kept us moving.

Trekking Path

Me & Bobby all set for the Trek

View while on the Trek

View of the Landscape from Top of the Hill

Trek Route

Trek in full swing

We reached the peak on time, sat under the Sun, took some good pictures and yes made much memories as always and yes we missed the another main character of my Blog Ajay…

View from Top

Me – Finally on the Summit – Happiness

Happiness of being on Top

Need one Group Pic of us while on top – Param, Me & Bobby

We headed back to the resort, we had our breakfast and we thought we’ll have a look around the resort. It was about 10:30 am we finally bid goodbye to the place n started driving back to Bangalore. We were already upset for our gateway was coming to an end.

JenuKallu Valley Retreat – Abode of Nature

JenuKallu Valley Retreat – Abode of Nature

JenuKallu Valley Retreat – Abode of Nature

While driving and over some conversation we realised there’s one more historical place we can have a look as we might not get another chance to do so. We all agreed and after lunch in one of the roadside Dhaba we headed towards Halebidu. Another much exciting historical place, which makes me thrilled as am an enthusiast to the such places that takes me back in time. Halebidu was the capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century and is situation in the Hassan District. It is home to some of the best examples of Hoysala architecture. The city got the name “Halebidu” because it was damaged and deserted into “old capital” after being ransacked by the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th-century. We explored the place , captured some good pictures and here are some of them.

Selfie at the Entrance – Bobby, Param & Me

Halebidu complex

Halebidu Entrance

Param and Me with Ruins Reminding us nothing is Permanent

Me spending time with the school kids who are on a Education tour πŸ™‚

Ruins Everywhere

Finally had to say bye

Finally had to say bye

Finally we headed back to Bangalore , on the way we were already deciding on another small gateway like this. No matter if the destination is far or near, bunch of people of just a very few all we need is some good break over our monotonous life , which for sure we have had….
So when are you breaking that Monotony?

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