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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mahimapura

6th Februray 2011

Mahimapura is a small village near Bengaluru. Situated in the village is Ranganatha Swamy Temple on a hillock. From Bengaluru, travel towards Tumkur. After about 10 km from Nelamagala toll gate, you see an arch on the left side. Enter into the road and the village is 1.5km from the highway.


The huge number of shops at the base of the hillock gave an impression of big crowds. But barring shop keepers, no other human beings were seen. We had to climb about 350 steps to reach the Temple. It’s an easy climb with my daughter happily climbing on herself.


Barring a stray dog, there was not even a single soul at the Temple. The area itself is calm and peaceful. The scenery from top is nothing special. Shivaganga, which is one of the highest hills in the area, can be seen from the top. We spent about 45 minutes and there was no one to disturb us. It was all for us!!


 
Back in the base, we found ourselves eating hot “bendu Battas”. I do not know what they call in English but it was a long time that I tasted them. It brought back my memories of jatre (fair) in Sagar where I use to eat it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chorala waterfall

20th February 2011

This was one of the easiest treks I did to reach a waterfall. Accompanied by a British couple who had the stamina to walk long distances, the walk was simple. The day was hot but canopy of trees provided the much needed shade. Our guide was a lady and she seemed to have good knowledge about the area and its forests.


The trek of about 45 minutes was eventful. A huge bison skull was lying on the ground confirming the presence of carnivores in the area. The guide also showed us a funnel web spider which was new to me. A flock of Malabar pied hornbills flew from a tree near us. I was simply amazed at looking at them and it did not occur to me to take a photograph.


The last 10 minutes of trek was on the stream. We had to climb up the huge boulders to move ahead. I was expecting a small falls but this one was huge. The quantity of water was less but that was expected in dry season. A nice pool with crystal clear water was inviting us to take a dip. The place looked like a huge fortress. It was surprising and refreshing to see that the place is completely void of plastic, the beer bottles and gukta covers which have become the bane for all the nice areas visited by Homo sapiens.


The falls must be about 80-100ft in height and is entirely in Karnataka. The guide also mentioned that it was a difficult task to reach waterfall from the villages situated on the upper side. The easiest way is to use the path that we came but one has to cross a private property in between and permissions are not given to “time pass” people. I feel that these two reasons have made this falls retain its natural glory.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Bangalore Palace

29th January 2011

It usually happens that in our zeal to explore new areas, we often ignore the nearer ones. One such place was “Bangalore Palace”. Although, it is one of the prime places in Bangalore for movie shootings, it never came into my mind to visit this place!! We had Henk visiting our Office from Netherlands and hence I got a chance to see Bangalore Palace!!!! Along with Henk, Nataraj and Hareesha, I visited this place.
The Palace at the center of the city is now owned by Srikantha Datta Narasimharaja Wodeyar from Mysore royal family. It has no similarities with Mysore Palace but looks like a minor version of a castle. The place is also rented to super rich people for holding private parties.

Audio guide is available at the Palace which gives very clear information about the lifestyle of Mysore kings. It is available in English, Kannada, Hindi and other few European languages. Lots of paintings and photographs on Mysore rulers adorn the walls. It is better to take an audio guide to understand about the place and the paintings. You need to carry an original copy of ID or pay Rs 2000/- as deposit to get the audio guides.

What I was surprised was about entry fees to the Palace. An entry costs Rs 100/- while an audio guide costs Rs 175/- (This includes entry). And then comes the catch of all; Rs 500/- for a still camera!! Needless to say, foreigners have to shell more.