Hi all, As I promised you all in my previous posts through Instagram & Facebook few days back. I will be starting to write about my outdoor expeditions & trips in future. I am writing my first blog here, please do forgive me for any typo or grammatical error & do share your feedback at the end of it & I am sure you will like it. I am keeping it very precise & not much detailed as this is my first travel tale & I want you all to really read it to the end. This is all about one of my first hiking trip to sakleshpur with Trouper Traveller. I had been to sakleshpur earlier as well before to this an year back where I stayed in one of the best & most popular home stay for a night & did various activities which were inside the resort, had a wonderful evening over a bon fire with some amazing weather & came back next day. During my first visit, I never knew that sakleshpur has lot of other activities which can be experienced during your trip to this place, if you plan it rightly. In this blog I will talking much crisply about sakleshpur as a place, things to do & my experience over this place. About Sakleshpur : The place is located around 220 Kms from Bangalore & traditionally known as a part of Malnad Region & basically lands in Hassan district with an average elevation of 3110 Ft & famous for the Sakleshpur town surrounded by hills loaded with coffee, cardamom, pepper & Areca plantations. How to reach: You can take an overnight bus to sakleshpur town or a train to sakleshpur station from Bangalore, but if you are looking for a much easier option, you can always look at hiring a vehicle or booking a complete end to end package as well for you which avoids the hassle of public transport. It is always preferred to hire a car or do a self drive for sakleshpur as you have lot of places to see in & around which cannot be covered while using public transport so efficiently. My Tale: It was 10:00 PM on a Friday evening when I was waiting in Yeshwantpur for the trouper traveller with other fellow unknown passengers to come & pick me up, as mine was the last pickup point & after that we hit the highway towards Hassan. Initially I was not having a very good feel inside about travelling with unknown bunch of travellers as it was first time in my life when I was about to do something like this. I had different thoughts running in my mind as I am the person who likes to socialize but not very easily with unknown people & observe closely before talking to them. The coach arrived at the promised time & I started struggling to settle my bag pack because I was the last one to board & boot of the coach was almost full. But trouper helped me instantly to stack it up rightly & get it going. As soon as I stepped in to the coach the trouper introduced me to the fellow travellers & they all looked very accommodating & the easiest way to break a conversation with all of them was “Travel Tales”. Everyone had a past travel story to share and their good & bad experience with it. This is when I decided that I will start writing & sharing my travel tales with everyone & that thing motivated me to write this blog what you are reading today. So back to the tale, our first stop was at 11:30 PM at a small food joint just outside the city limits as there were few people who skipped their dinner & wanted to grab a bite. That was the first time most of us interacted & checked with each other that how they got know about this trek & surprisingly everyone got connected with each other very quickly due to some or the other mutual connection in the group. I was also very happy to know about two chaps travelling with us from my hometown Gwalior in the trip. As I told you that it takes maximum 6 hours to reach sakleshpur from Bangalore in a tempo traveller, we were going quite in leisure & took one more break at 02:00 PM as our target to reach sakleshpur was not before 05:00 in the morning. As soon as we reached sakleshpur we were welcomed with a drizzling rainfall & cold climate. We reached our camp stays by around 04:45 AM. It was still dark & drizzling when we reached our homestay/ basecamp, our stay was arranged in well-maintained tents next to the riverside. One cannot expect any luxury in this place but yes if you are looking out for some adventurous stay in protected & secure environment, this is definitely the place where you should visit once in lifetime. There were 5 tents next to each other with accommodating capacity of around 4 people in one tent. All the tents were shaded above with a proper tin shade & all the tents were equipped with well-appointed mattresses, pillows & quilts. About the Trek day: We had our breakfast arranged at base camp by 08:00 AM & our target time to leave the homestay was 09:00 AM for the 7 kms long hiking to Murgan Gudda & Agni Gudda. “Gudda” means the hill in Kannada language. As planned, everyone was ready on time & we started the trek with some team building & ice breaking activities just to mingle with everyone together. This was an overall very easy hiking & one can do without any hassle, just make sure you wear a good rubber sole shoes for better grip as the terrain is very slippery during monsoons, full track pants, & ensure to carry salt to tackle leeches on the way up while hiking. The suitable time to visit sakleshpur for this hiking is in monsoon (July, August & September) where in you will literally feel the clouds touching you & crossing your paths while you hiking up with a super cold & fresh wind around to mesmerize you more. If you take the same trail for hiking as we took, you will encounter a small water fall & almost two to three waterbodies which will make you forget about all the difficulties you had in the trek (however there are none). Post which there is one more hill for which you need to climb up by an another kilometre. When you reach on the top of the last hill make sure you hold your valuables tight because it is too windy & you might not be able to hold it up. We came down by around 03:00 PM after a good 7 kms trek & by the time lunch was all set for us which was a sumptuous Malnad traditional buffet. After having lunch we all had our own leisure time to indulge in various activities in resort. There were few people who were enjoying the beauty of nature over a cup of tea, few were busy in munching over some high tea snacks & few like me were planning about the next activity. So we decided to go for mud volleyball which was again one of the unique experience out there while you playing in 1 feet deep mud pit & cannot see the other side of the net due to heavy fog & then some zipline which lands in the river followed by some rain dance and other activities by river side. As it was dusk to dawn now but still drizzling and keeping the place all damp, chilled & foggy. We decided to dry up ourselves & plan for evening bonfire & interaction session planned by trouper traveller over some cocktails to keep us all good after a chilling day. We had an exclusive place arranged for us with bon fire in between with some nice chilled music. Trouper was around to take care of everyone & look out for their preferences over the food & drinks. Not much to write about the night here. But yes, we had a beautiful night tripping over some nice songs of different taste, talking about life, sharing experience & yes off course dancing & cheering all night, It was one of the best night while chilling over some drinks with a bunch of coolest people all around who loves “Travel” <3. Way back to Bangalore After a late-night session & previous days tiredness due to hiking, it was expected that everyone wanted to sleep for little late before we start back for our homes @ Bangalore while going through some amazing in between tourist spots like Manjarabad Fort & Chennakeshava Temple. I will not write about the above two mentioned places in much details as there is so much to explain which unfortunately I won’t be able to cover in this one story but I will strongly recommend you to visit this two places specially Chennakeshava Temple as it carries a very rich history of a temple built in 1117 CE & took 103 years to finish completely & you will truly love going through this place make sure you take a Govt. approved guide to understand the details in depth here. After finishing both the places we reached Namma Bengaluru @ 09:00 PM on Sunday evening & bid adieus to fellow travellers. At the end of this trip I had 17 new friends & few out of them are now very close & we share a lot of things about our travel & keep inspiring each other to do it more. At the end a special thanks to that each & every traveller who had inspired me for this & helped me in giving a meaning to my travel tales & off course to www.troupertraveller.com who made this happen… Please do share this with everyone & keep following #shanslifetraveltales for lot of upcoming travel tales & trust me… There’s a Lot….. Kindly do not forget to DM me for your valuable suggestions….