Saturday, March 19, 2016

A weekend at Galibore fishing (adventure) camp

Our marriage anniversary on this year was on the weekend. Instead of usual way of having dinner at a restaurant, we decided to go out of Bengaluru. Galibore fishing camp from Jungle lodges seemed to be a nice choice. It was nearer to Bengaluru but away from the crowds.

Giant Squirrel

Galibore fishing camp is about 10 km from Sangama, a famous spot for many Bengaluru people. This stretch of the road mostly goes along the river passing through a small village and couple of modern looking ashrams. The check post at Sangama restricts the people from taking this roads unless they are heading to one of the villages inside.

Brahminy Kite
At the camp, we spent most of our time lazing out. The tents were in front of Kaveri River with lots of space to play around. The big trees in front of the tents provided enough shade to rest and play. I also managed to take some photographs of the giant squirrel that was running on the trees.

Tanu enjoying her time
We were taken on a coracle ride in the evening. It was quite eventful as we saw a huge crocodile at a very short distance. The variety of birds was also a treat to our eyes. On top of that, the area was serene and peaceful.

Later we had a round of campfire next to the river that was relaxing.

Small Pratincole next to the river
We had an option of climbing a hill or walking along a river on second day morning. Since Tanu wanted to get into the river, we chose the later. Again it was a nice experience walking along the river when the early rays of sun fell on our body.

Golden Fronted leaf bird
It was a short stay at the camp but it was well spent.

Galibore is about 100 km from Bengaluru. The route is Bengaluru->Kanakapura->Sangama->Galibore. You can also visit Sangama and Mekedatu nearby though they are very crowded during weekends. Note that google map shows a road between Galibore and Muthatti/Bheemeshwari but it is closed for visitors. The camp is run Jungle lodges. There is another camp at Bheemeshwari which has easier access.

Last words

I think the place had seen its golden days when it was filled with foreigners who came for angling Masheer fishes. Angling is now banned and foreigners do not visit this place. Many people in the camp were recollecting “those days”. Now it is called as an adventure camp though I do not see any adventure!!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

My birding trips to Hesaraghatta lake

I had visited Hesaraghatta lake with family a few years ago. After walking on the tank bund, we went to the lake bed. It was a pathetic sight as the place was littered with glass bottles and plastic covers. The sight of unruly drunkards was too dangerous to ignore with family around. We just decided to move away from that filthy place and people.

Brahminy Kite
Never thought that I would visit that place again.

Ashy Crowned Sparrow Lark

When I and Sankara were looking for birding places near Bengaluru, Hesaraghatta lake was on one of the places in the list. I was skeptical based on my previous experience but I ended up visiting twice last month.

The place had not improved from my previous visit. The litter had increased. Since it was early morning, drunkards were not present. Well, it is not just the drunkards who have destroyed this place. Bird photographers, villagers nearby and driving enthusiasts have also contributed for the damage though the mess left by drunkards is most visible.

Oriental Skylark

Paddy field pipit
Nevertheless, the place is great for bird watching, especially in winters. Though renowned for raptors, the place has some good population of aquatic birds. 

Little Ringed Plower
Common greenshank
During our first visit, we just confined ourselves to the lake bed. We lost our way while trying to reach the other side of the lake but ended up in a smaller but more pristine lake. It was a beautiful spot indeed.

Yellow Wagtail
Later we felt that we missed the “grasslands” and hence went back to the place after 15 days. The entry to grasslands was restricted mainly because of the menace caused by four wheelers. The guard did allow us inside after getting convinced that we were the “good people”. While it was a good walk inside grasslands, it did not yield much results in terms of avian sightings. We headed back to the lake bed which promised good sightings.

Lone tree at Hesaraghatta grasslands

While the place is good for birding, I do not feel safe to bring my family with me. Avoid the evenings as the drunkards play havoc in the area. If not for them, this could have been a great place to spend evening.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

The Hague, the place of International Court of Justice

It was not a good day to visit any place in Netherlands. The weather was bad. But it was boring it sit alone in the hotel room and hence took the train to the city of Hague. 

Hague is an important city in Netherlands. It houses the Dutch Parliament and International court of Justice. Naturally these were the places of my visit. 

After alighting from the railway station, I headed towards the Parliament. Thanks to the bad weather the streets were almost deserted. The wind was blowing hard and the temperature was in negative. At the Parliament building there were hardly any people. It was too cold to stand at one place for the long time. Hence I kept on moving and took the photographs quickly!!

Dutch Parliament complex

The weather changed soon after with snow showers. I ran to a bus stop for shelter and waited for sometime for the rains to subside after which I headed towards the Peace Palace (International Court of Justice).

Snow showers
I believe most of us are aware of International Court of Justice, at least from our social studies books. It is the place where legal disputes between the countries in United Nations are settled. 

Visitors were not allowed on that day to enter into the building. So, I had to view the building from outside and visit the small museum at the entrance. 

International Court of Justice
After spending some time at the place, I decided to head back. I was in no mood to walk back to railway station. Hence took a tram that arrived in front of the Peace Palace.

Thus ended my short visit to Hague. I had heard that it had some good beaches but it was not appealing to visit during peak winter!!