We three friends met at the rendezevous with my Pulsar and two Yamaha FZs.Sipped a cup of coffee though I do not used to drink normally but drinking coffee or tea really keeps your senses awake which really helps maintaining your concentration level .Fixed the bungee issues which my friend had and started the journey to Bangalore via the scenic Nilambur ,Vazhikadavu,Gudalaur, Bandipur and Mysore.We have to cover around 430KMS that day to my room at Bangalore my second home which gives the bread and fuel to me and my bike respectively.Easily covered the distance as we are familar with the route .With few short and long breaks we reached Bangalore by night.
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Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
By eleven o’clock we were gathered near the entrance of the resort, waiting for the jeep. We were at the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. So far we have not seen any tigers or leopards or bears. The jeep came roaring at us and screeched to a halt. It swiftly reversed and shuddered to a standstill.The ladies decided to skip the trip and stay back. We kids and fathers clambered into the Mahindra Jeep. I got in last behind, hoping for the best view. The jeep rushed down the small hill and onto the forest road.The driver was a veteran of close encounters with the wild. He began regaling us with stories of so many sightings that we grew hopeful of catching a glimpse of a tiger. Tigers are very territorial and require a lot of individual space to hunt in. They marked their boundaries by urinating on their hunting grounds. Only 37 tigers were left in Parambikulam and the best time to go looking for them was at night.The forest was silent, except for the chirping of crickets. The night was cold. I rested my hand on the spare tyre and looked out at the road behind us, melting into darkness.Suddenly we stopped. The driver whipped out a torch and trained its powerful beam into the swallowing darkness beyond the line of trees. The light caught a pair of massive horns. It was a bison. The beast stared at us alerted. Its calf muscles were bursting from its shiny coat of brown skin.Eventually the beast disappeared from view and we continued on our journey. The driver was highly skilled in spotting animals. We would be thundering down the road when suddenly he will slam to a stop and sent a beam into a random section of the darkness. And inevitably, an animal would be crouching there, gazing surprised at our jeep. We saw an owl, deer, rabbit and a herd of bison. It was so dark beyond the darting beam of torchlight that I could not capture a single photograph properly.Just when things were getting routine, the driver slowed the jeep and in the headlights we saw a bison standing by the side of the road. The jeep slowed to a crawl and stopped near enough for us to reach out and pet it. It was standing on the passenger side and my Dad’s friend, who was in the front seat, was staring intently at the mountain of motionless muscle.Without warning the driver opened his door and closed it shut with a bang. All eyes turned swiftly from the door to the beast. The animal cocked its head, the pointy tips of its giant horns lining up with the head of Dad’s friend. It then proceeded to disappear into the forest. The driver nonchalantly started the vehicle and we were on our way again.After a while, the driver reversed the jeep and the return journey began. I was beginning to feel sleepy when the vehicle stopped again. The driver whispered one word: ‘bear’. Before anyone of us could comprehend, he hopped out and tiptoed to the side of the road. He flashed his torch into the bushes and motioned to us to join him.I swung a leg over the spare tire and hesitated. I was about to commit the cardinal sin of leaving the safety of the vehicle during a jungle safari. But the others behind me were egging me on. So I dropped down quickly and joined the driver.He whispered and gestured at me to follow the direction of his pointed finger. All I saw was an oddly shaped black object behind the branches of shrubs. But the threat of the bear was real. Scenes from the Revenant came to my mind and I quickly shushed the others who were excitedly joining me.We stared until the black shape melted into the shadows. I did not know whether I should be relieved at losing sight of the bear or fearful at wondering where he is right now. I knew bears had an incredible sense of smell.Just as I finished the previous sentence in my head, I heard the sound of trickling water to my right. It was my Dad’s friend, marking his territory with urine. He was going to literally ‘piss off’ a bear that was right in front of him!Luckily there was no sign of the bear anymore and we got back into the jeep and drove back to the resort. On the way back, the driver spoke of the many times he had gone on night safaris without catching a glimpse of the tiger. Then he told us about the times when he was returning from work and had seen the beast in full view in the jeep’s headlights. You never see it when you most expect it.
We have taken a overnight bus from Bangalore and reached Coimbatore early morning. We have taken a public bus (Number 14D) from Gandhipuram, Coimbatore to Isha Foundation (1 hour / 38 kms). The bus stops exactly in front of Isha foundation main entrance. A huge snake like structure covers the main entrance.After entering inside we came across various stalls and Information center in one side and Tree plantation at the opposite side.We enquired regarding the various programme's conducted in the ashram. We kept our bags in the luggage counter. We were lucky to get Darshan of Sadhguru. He had finished Darshan of thirtha kudh and was returning by on his self drive jeep.Ashram volunteer displayed a short video about the ashram and rules to be followed inside ashram.There are two theerthakunds at the Isha Yoga Center – the Chandrakund for women and Suryakund for men. We entered the Suryakund with dhoti.The water is energized by the submerged 3 Rasalingas,The water is so pure and it is believed that a dip in this vibrant water significantly increases spiritual receptivity and also rejuvenates the body.After bath, We came across a beautiful pond which had lot of lotus plants, fishes and birds.Their is a bridge to cross that gives a good view of the pond and the ashram surroundings.We then had Darshan of Linga bhairavi devi.The eight feet tall Devi was consecrated by Sadhguru as a powerful energy form with a solidified mercury core. The consecration of Linga Bhairavi was conducted through prana pratishtha, a rare mystical process that uses life energies to transform mere stone into a deity. Their are various poojas performed here. We have seen a huge nandi infront of Dhyanalinga temple. The speciality of the temple is The linga is consecrated using prana a prathistha and is dedicated for meditation. Silence is maintained inside the temple. Dhyana in the Sanskrit language, means meditation and linga means form. We mediated here for 30 minutes and we felt relaxed by its positive vibes.We finished our breakfast in the eatery inside and relaxed for some time. We taken parcel of some snacks for our next destination Velliangiri hills.Poodi/ Vellingiri foot is just 3 km by walk before Isha Foundation. We have taken a auto and reached the base of our trek. The base of the trek has a temple. People take blessings of the deity before starting their journey.The temple has locker facility where we can keep our bags. We kept 2 bags at the locker and carried 2 other bags with us.A forest checkpost persons scanned our bags and asked us to not to carry any plastic.We can trek with bare foot or with shoes/chappal on.We choose to trek with shoes.The speciality of this trek is their is Lord Shiva’s natural cave temple known as ,Velliangiri Andavar. To reach their we have to cross 7 hills at an altitude of  2240 meters / 7349 feet above sea level and climbing height of 1200 meters / 3937 feet, only by trekking we can reach this place and have no shortcuts. You can buy a bamboo stick which is very useful for support.1st and 2nd hill:Steps laid using rocks - Their are close to 4k+ steps, that tested our patience. We were ascending and resting multiple times.We came across water bottle and soda selling shops in 1st hill ending. 3rd hill:Need to Climb a slippery rock - Steps carved for better grip. Their is a small stream of water at one place which was salty but good.We filtered with hand curchief and drank it.4,5th hill:A Rough path. Their are No proper steps and way full of rocks. Covered by Trees on both the sides. Ending of 5th feel changes the temperature completely. It feels cool from here.6th hill:A Rough path - No proper steps and way full of rocks. Open landscape without any trees and awesome views. We have seen sunset at this place and it was amazing. We had carried camping tent and sleeping bag. We found a safe place to put our tent which was behind a huge rock and little away from forest. Whole night people were trekking and we could here their chantings and bhajjans. It was Full moon day (Pournami) and their was no requirement of torch as moon light was enough.
Palakkad Junction Railway Station
Missing the train incident at Palakkad Station!!As most young thrill seeking people would do, we decided to play a game. This was about boarding the train at the last few seconds of it leaving the station. At Palakkad junction during the final call of the train leaving somehow I got lost and ended up almost missing the train.Somehow I managed to run and get into another coupe of the train! Gosh!! My cousins started looking for me all over but could not find me and started panicking all over. Finally I reached my compartment and got scolded for my thrill seeking lifestyle :P