Aandi Gundi Night trek near Ramanagar

There is a small town named Ramanagar, in the Bangalore Mysore highway and is around 60 kms from Bangalore. Aandi Gundi is about 6 kms before Ramnagar to the left. To reach this village you need to cross railway track and go one km further. We stopped our car near pupil tree where there is a temple. This is the starting point to climb all the way up. We reached this place late at night and the entire village had gone to sleep. To reach the base of the peak, we had to cross the village and there were just too many street dogs enough for the villagers to wake up. We just continued walking  and there is another temple after which the hard unknown trail starts. There is no trail as such and we lost our way. Lucky it was full moon and we had our GPS and torch ready. After trying here and there we made our own way through the nearby smaller hill. The total trek is for about an hour or 90 minutes. There is enough space on top for trekkers to sleep there is no source of water. The night view and early morning view from peak is worth climbing. At night it's the Ramanagar city view or the street light view and in the morning it's the mist - fog covered nearby peaks. Don't forget to take mosquito repellent else you might keep yourself awake whole night even if you are in a sleeping bag. Check out the video below which will explain more. This is a nice weekend hangout place to kill time.

Trekking at Ettina Bhuja

Ettina Bhuja located deep inside Western Ghats, known for it's thick rain forest and wild animals, located at Shishila about 15km from Dharmasthala, Karnataka, India. This place got it's name from the look that it has when seen from far. It looks precisely like the shoulder of an ox (Ettu - Ox, Bhuja - Sholder). Yes Ettina Bhuja means shoulder of an ox. Ettina Bhuja is surrounded by many other peaks - Amedikallu peak. 

We started our trek from Anu Gowda's house. You can reach this place by bus and their house is the last stop. There is a well laid tar road to reach their house. We reached this place early in the morning. After having breakfast we started our trekking through their farm land and after crossing a river. You can easily cross this river without getting your shoes wet, as the water level is not too high. This may not be the case during monsoon. There is a temple soon after crossing the river where you can pray for a safe trek. We went on for another 30 mins where you will find a stream to the right and this is the last place to find water. Be careful in this region as this place is known for wild elephants. We could easily see that because of the fresh destruction of trees and it's dung. Villagers/Guide told us that there were 12 elephants along with a calf, which can be dangerous for us if there is an attack.

We went on and the entire trekking trail is about 8 miles from Anu Gowda's house till the peak. It takes almost four hours to reach the peak. Two third of the trekking is through thick forest and you can walk in the shade, but is steep in some of the places. Just before reaching the peak is a steep climb. Climbing the peak at the end is almost vertical and is a bit dangerous. You will have to get down and walk a bit if you want to take rest under tree shade. There is a small stream with ice cold water even during summer, just before the peak and you can check with the villagers. Check out the video below.

On one side of the peak is Dakshina Kannada and on the other side is Shimoga district. There is another way to get to the peak and on the way is an old temple which is visible when you climb on top. Many take this as an exit route. It will be a shorter trek hardly 4 kms and there is a jeep route.

Trekking during summer to this place can be a bit challenging for first timers because of high temperature and humidity. Be careful and do not stay in the forest for long time. 

Camera: Nikon D600 + Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Time lapse of Lightening and Rain in Bangalore City

It was a cloudy day and was about to rain. Usually, it doesn't rain during this time of the year (in April first week) unless there is some cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal. The temperature in Bangalore had reached almost 38 degree Celsius during day time and this first rain (in 2014) was more like nature's way of switching on air conditioner. The temperature had dropped more than ten degrees on the next day.

I was at home and just opened the window. It was nice to see lightening and heavy rain outside. So, I pulled out my camera and also, my tripod. Placed it right next to the window and focused it to infinity. I switched to manual focus and adjusted my camera settings to f4 and ISO 1600. Even though my lens had the capacity to go up to f 1.4 (which I had tried earlier), I opted for f 4 as it was too bright at f 1.4 even though it was dark outside. The street and industrial lights (light pollution) was enough to brighten up the sky.

While capturing lightening photos it's good to keep the shutter open for long time, but was not possible as I opted for time lapse feature within the camera and the lowest that I could opt for was 1 sec. Below is my first lightening and rain time lapse that I had captured.

Location: Malleshwaram, Bangalore,  India
Camera: Nikon D600 + Nikon 50 mm + Tripod

Small waterfall but great weekend fun

This is about a small, not so fa waterfall which is not so famous but a nice place to hangout on a weekend located near Dabbe Falls. This waterfall above the Dabbe waterfalls in Shimoga and is about one kilometer before reaching Dabbe Falls. Check out my previous post on Dabbe Falls here [Link].

There is a mud road/ jeep track to reach this location, but trekking all the way to this place will be even more fun. This small waterfall is hardly a few meters in height and is less dangerous. But you need to be careful as it's slippery and also water current maybe high during monsoon. Ideal time would be to go after the monsoon season so that there is less water and you can get into the water to have fun.

The reason why you need to visit this place and why I consider this place to be better than other falls is - Falls like Jog or Dabbe are few hundreds of feet in height and will be dangerous. These falls are the best to see from far, but if you want to get into risk free water and have maximum fun, then this is the place you need to spend time.

Location: Near Dabbe Falls, Shimoga, Wester Ghats, Karnataka, India
Camera: Nikon D600 + 50mm 1.4d + 14-24mm lens + Tripod

Dabbe Falls in Shimoga

Dabbe Falls is one of the famous falls in western Ghats, but not so known to people maybe because it's hard to reach the falls as it's deep in the jungle. The waterfall is about 600 feet high. You can reach the bottom of this falls during summer and is not very deep (almost 4 to 5 feet), but advised not to try this during monsoon.

As of this writing there is a jeep route which will take you all the way to Dabbe Falls near 'Gowdra Mane' (house), our vehicle (TT) could almost reached this place but did not go further because of the muddy track. It can be very challenging to go by your vehicle during monsoon as the jeep route is not made of concert or tar. From this house, it's a dangerous steep (80-85 degree slope) walk for about 30 minutes. Can be challenging for first time trekkers, need a rope if you want to go to the bottom of the falls. There is no way you can see the falls without getting down as it's in the middle of the jungle. The trekking trail is dangerous and slippery and you need to hold branches and roots to get down and climb up.

You need to get forest entry ticket before entering the forest at Shimoga or the local forest department and will cost Rs. 250 for entry and Rs. 50 more for trekking. One copy of your original photo ID card is a must and localities in this region will inform local police or forest dept that you are in that place. Also, you can stay over night at 'Gowdra Maney' in your sleeping bag. You need to make an entry of your name before entering the falls in the above mentioned house.

It was great fun for us and we stayed in our sleeping bag overnight with some night time photography and cooking on our own. Not much of wild animals in this region even though it's in the middle of jungle. Nice place to visit during summer. Check out the video below and don't forget to share.

The Lost World - Kanoor Kote

Kanoor Kote is located in the midst of Sharavathi reserved forest. Reaching this place for stranger would be tough as many locals on the way predict the kilometers but don't know the exact distance to Kanoor Kote. Kanoor Kote was built by Rani Keladi Chenamma who ruled Keladi province after her husband's death. Keladi chenamma's name is considered as one of the brave women of Karnataka and of its history. 

Kanoor Kote says every word of history which was lived there even today and to reach here is one major task for any tourist and it will make you still wonder how did they traveled in such route when there was no transport at all. The fort is located in the deep jungle which is Reserved forest for wild animals. One can hear a lot of animal making noise while trekking towards the fort. It is adviced to trek to the fort in group rather than alone or few.

We were charged Rs 150 by forest dept and a trekking fee of Rs 50 more. There are few forest department sign boards and few cement chairs to sit just before Kanoor Kote. There is zero amount being spent in preserving this old historic fort. This place is not an ideal place to camp overnight and instead would recommend to stay in some villager's house located few kms away. We had walked almost 30 kms to reach this place from Dabbe Falls. There is a jeep route which will take you almost all the way till this fort. You need to walk for about 2 kms at the end to reach this fort. Check out this video.

Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24mm lens
Location: Kanoor Fort, Shimoga, Karnataka, India

Early Morning at Sonamarg

This image below was captured during my Kashmir Great Lakes trekking (day 1) at Sonamarg. The landscape here is very beautiful and is ideal for landscape photographers. The green mountain slopes, snow covered mountain peaks, glaciers near the peak makes this place a must visit in your lifetime. Sonamarg is on the way from Kashmir to Leh.

Download this photo [here] or contact me directly to download.

Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24 mm lens
Location: Sonamarg, Kashmir, India.

Trekking at Kashmir Great Lakes - Day 1

It was my first Himalayan week+ long trekking, was very exited and also my first trip to north India. I had planned this trekking event during summer (in Kashmir) Aug 2013. I took an early morning flight from Bangalore to Srinagar (reached Srinagar 2 days in advance and stayed in a boat house). There were cabs ready for us arranged by our trekking team. We took this cab and was a long drive (half day drive) to Sonamarg.

We stopped thrice. One was near Dal lake for few more trekkers to join (and this is where I joined). Second was on the way outside city in a village. We just informed local driver to stop near a medical store to get few medicines that we had to take while going for trekking. And the third stop was somewhere close to (1 hour to) Sonamarg. This is where we got some Kashmiri Apples and had Tea from a local Tea stall. The Tea here tastes very different. The taste way more like, mixture of salt and butter to the normal tea. Something different, which you need to try. A totally different experience. On the way you will find beautiful landscapes, Pine forests, streams, rivers, bridges, snow patches etc. 

Finally, just before reaching Sonamarg city we took a left turn just before the bridge and had to walk from there for about 10 mins to reach out base camp. From this place you will find three glaciers, Sonamarg city and many more. I had some time and did not want to waste much time inside my tent.. and spent most of the time outside photographing. Luckily, I had taken four extra camera batteries and also my camera. Just what I wanted. We reached early in the evening and had enough time to go around there. Saw some shepherd's hut and spent my time photographing the landscape. Your memory card and battery will never be enough. By this time all had come and it was time for dinner. Came to know about all the trekkers who were in our group and spent some time photographing in low light. The last shot in the video below was captured at around 2 AM in the morning. Check out the below video and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel as I will be uploading more videos and also, my rest of the days that I had spent during trekking.

Location: Srinagar to Sonamarg - Day 1 of Trekking at Kashmir Great Lakes.
Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24 mm lens.

Download these pic from [link]

Sheep grazing in front of the Himalayan Mountain range

Captured this during my trip to Sonamarg. This was early in the morning about half an hour after sunrise. In the background is the Himalayan mountain range during summer. This place was our starting point of Kashmir Great Lakes trekking and was on first day. Very scenic place, stayed overnight here in this place in a tent and captured some amazing shots. This place is on the way from Srinagar to Leh. Nearest city is the Sonamarg city which is about 30 mins walk from this place. The only residents here in this region are the shepherds and you will find many huts here. They stay in this region only during summer for few months after which this place is inhabitable because of thick snow.

Location: Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24mm lens

Tea plantation near Kuduremuka

Captured this image while traveling on the way from Hornadu Temple to Kuduremukha at Western Ghats in India. Image shows the Tea plantation.

Download the high quality image here [Link] or contact me directly.

Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24mm lens
Camera Settings: 14mm, 1/125, f/5.6, ISO 200

Evening in a village near Kuduremukha

Captured this near Kuduremukha, Western Ghats in  India. Image shows the terrace cultivation in the foreground. In middle is the western Ghats - hilly region which is known for the thick rain forest and is older than Himalayas and in the background is the fading sky. in the evening sky. Love the different colors, late This was captured just after sunset.

Download high quality image here [link] or contact me directly.

Camera: Nikon D600 with 14-24mm lens
Camera Settings: 24mm, 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 200

Trees - All the way up

Captured this image near Kuduremukha, Western Ghats. Below is the tea plantation and there trees are cut so that there is enough sunlight that reach the tea plants below and also to check soil erosion. Common to find these trees at most of the tea plantations here in Karnataka and Kerala.

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Camera: Nikon D600 with 14-24mm lens
Location: Kuduremukha, Western Ghats, Karnataka, India

Surathkal NITK Beach just after Sunset

This is a long exposure photo that was captured at Surathkal Beach, Mangalore in India. The sea that you see in front is the Arabian Sea. Long exposure has created a silky effect of the waves. Had to wait late in the evening after sunset to that the sky is dark as I have been trying long exposure shots. I did not have any filters while capturing this image. You can capture this kind of images even during day light provided you have filters with higher f-stops.

Download this image [here] or contact me directly.

Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24 mm lens.
Camera Settings: 14mm, 6 secs, f/20, ISO 100
Location: Surathkal, NITK beach, Mangalore, Karnataka

Valentine's Day special

Here is the image that I had captured in a remote hill top place which was painted on a rock by some unknown lovers.There were lot many hearts out there :) It's is common in India to find these at almost all historical places, not sure why. Crazy people, instead of saving ancient carvings and paintings at historical places, they just add another one of their own ;) Just a random shot which I thought of publishing during valentine's week. 

Gift this image to your dear one by downloading this image here [link] or contact me directly.

Location: Siddherbetta, near Tumkur, Karnataka in India.
Camera: Nikon D600 with 50mm 1.4D prime.

Railway in the Rainforest

Captured this bright yellow grass which was right next to the railway track. It's always green in this region as it is close to the western ghats and also because it was just after monsoon. You will find this place while traveling from Bangalore to Mangalore. This track was laid in the 1970s and was meter gauge. The railway service in the route was stopped as railways decided to upgrade it to broad gauge. This route is now busy with goods trains. Also, a bit further from this place, you will find more than 55 tunnels when you go to Bangalore. There are famous trekking spots on the way near Western Ghats. 

Location: Mithur, Puttur, Karnataka, India
Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 50mm prime
Camera Settings: 1/200, f/7.1, ISO 200
Download this photo from iStock[Link] or contact me directly.

Kukke Subramanya Temple in Karnataka

This place is around 2 hours from Mangalore and had to leave early in the morning. Reached there on time and captured this early in the morning. Image shows the entrance of Kukke Subramanya Hindu temple, one of the very famous and richest temple in southern India. To the left of the entrance is the chariot. Right behind the temple is the very famous trekking spot - Kumara Parvata. It takes a bit less than a day to climb all the way up. This place is know for poisonous snakes as is common to find once you enter the forest behind. This place is in the rain forest region of Dakshina Kannada and is known for heavy rain. Not an ideal time to visit this place during rainy season. 

Camera: Canon Powershot SX 100 IS
Location: Kukke Temple, Subramanya, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka, India

Reflection of arecanut plantation

Captured this image of a not so big pond but deep enough for some one to drown. Used basically for irrigation purpose to the nearby areca nut plantation. Water looks a big green in color. Captured the reflection of areca plantation. Here in this place, people grow this and is the main source of income.

Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 50mm lens
Location: Puttur, Karnataka, India

Different view of Gokarna Beach

This is the most beautiful scenic view from Nirvana and Barka Beach. In the foreground is the Barka beach which has a hilly terrain. It was a bit hard to reach this place as there was no known terrain. We lost our way and we just made our own way to reach the peak. In the middle is the river Aghanashini Estuary and you can see a ferry on the way from Arabian sea to Tadadi Port. In the background is the all the famous tourist attractions - Half Moon beach, Paradise Beach, Om Beach and the Gokarna Beach. Also, you can see the light house in between. This region is taken care by forest department and is one of the most beautiful places, a must visit place to all. Lot of foreigners visit this place during vacation.

Camera: Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24mm lens
Location: Nirvana & Barka Beach near Gokarna, Karnataka, India
High Quality Image and to buy this photo click here: http://500px.com/RavindraJoisa

Sringeri - The 8th Century Monastery

Captured this photo when I had been to Sringeri. One of the oldest 8th century monastery. The old building that you see is the Sringeri Sharadha Peetha or Sringeri Matta. It's a must visit place if you have plans to travel to south India. Right next to this ancient Matta is the river Tunga and on the other side is the Sharada temple. This place is around 100+ kms from Mangalore and is around 300+ kms from Bangalore.

Camera: Nikon D600, Nikon 14-24mm lens
Camera Settings: 19mm, 1/250, f/8, ISO 100
Location: Sringeri, Karnataka, India

Note: Photography inside the temple isn't allowed.

Beautiful night sky colors

Captured this image late in the evening from Hosabettu Beach located in the west coast of Karnataka, India. It was a perfect evening during just before Christmas, with clear sky. I captured few time lapse videos of the sunset and have been experimenting with low light photography. 

In the background of this image on top is the dark sky just after sunset with starts and planets that are visible. What I love here is the different colors from orange to blue and then the gradual darkness as you see high above. If you look into the source of light then you will find two of them - one is the natural sunset and the other is from the port nearby which is to the left.

In the middle is the Arabian sea to the right and seashore to the left. Those bright light in the sea are from small fishing boats and the ship that are waiting in queue to enter the New Mangalore Port. To the left is the famous Panambur Beach, search lights from coast guard  and also the street light . You can also see the sea waves (seen as just a layer of water because of long exposure). 

In the foreground is the reflection of night sky and also the star/planet. Captured this image almost 30 to 45 mins after sunset. With no one in the beach after sunset, it was the perfect time to capture a photo of this kind. Used my tripod to capture this image in low light and long exposure photo, to avoid any blurring of image.

Camera: Nikon D600 Lens: Nikon 14-24mm FX lens (wide angle)
Settings: Tripod, 14 mm, 30 sec, f/20, ISO 2000

Tulu Nadu Festival at Mangalore

I had been to my hometown Mangalore located in the west coast of Karnataka, India. Unfortunately I did not have my camera at that time and pulled out my mobile phone - Samsung Galaxy Note. Used my phone camera to capture this with the auto settings. Did not have much time to capture as the crowd around were moving fast. Wasn't sure if I could enter in between while the procession was going on and also there were fire crackers being burst around. Love the bright color of the traditional dress made of araca nut / palm plant. Love to see people keeping the coastal Karnataka tradition alive.

Camera: Samsung Galaxy Note
Location: Hampankatta, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

On the way to Sringeri

Captured this picture on the way from Mangalore to Sringeri just after the rain forest and western ghats. I was standing on a hanging bridge with crystal clear water in the foreground and reflection of sunlight. In the middle left is the state highway and middle left and to the right is the fresh bright green rain forest. In the background is the western ghats with bright blue clean sky. It was just too perfect, really peaceful place. Local people use this hanging bridge to walk and cross the small river below. The depth of the river isn't too much and it was crystal clear. You could easily see the colorful rocks and fish below. 

Camera: Nikon D600 Lens: 14-24 mm FX Nikon
Camera Settings: 14mm, 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 110
Buy this photo at: http://500px.com/photo/56962982
Location: Mangalore - Srigeri Highway, 60km before Sringeri after Western Ghats.