Over the weekend a couple of us from college and a good friend from school decided that we should head out somewhere for the long weekend. After some initial thought and some troubles, we decided a one day trip was better. Initially, we decided to go to Siddara Betta, which is a small hill about 25kms from Bangalore. It’s situated off the Magadi Road. At the last minute, we didn’t take the turn towards the hill, but instead took Mysore Road and thus began what was going to be a 330km, wild ride through some remote parts of Karnataka and some well known parts as well. En route to Mysore, we repeatedly saw signboards to Talakadu, which sort of got on my nerves because Talakadu was quite far off. Nevertheless, it excited my two pals, Virinchi and Somonnoy, who would scream in unison every time we passed a Talakadu signboard. It was in a similar fashion that we ended up going to Kanva reservoir.Kanva reservoir is a small reservoir that is about 8kms off the Bangalore-Mysore SH17. What we didn’t know was that the 8km stretch was beyond traversable by car. And yet, we decided to go ahead anyway. After an hour of torturous driving that included some wheel spin and almost getting stranded, we reached what was supposedly the reservoir. Kanva reservoir turned out to be nothing more than just a 30 feet wall built across a large lake. It was ridiculous. And to make matters worse, the water level was very low thanks to the bad summer we’ve had so far. Nevertheless, we decided that we had to do some justice to the 8km drive, and sort of had a little fun by the water. Coming back from Kanva was much better. We took a detour that took us through several small villages and then to Channapatna. The one lane road was well tarred and maintained which helped us make up some time. If you are really interested in going to Kanva, I suggest that you ignore the signboard on SH17 and head towards the town of Channapatna where you come across a road diversion. Take the right and left at the dead end and head straight from then on. It’s best to ask for directions every few minutes as it could get a little tricky. Back on the SH17, we threw fuel economy out of the equation and sped on towards Mysore. Several minutes later, we stopped by McDonald’s. The air-conditioned McD is a nice place to stop by for some burgers and a cool drink as well. Back on the highway after an hour, we raced towards Mysore. About 25kms before Mysore is the deviation to Krishna Raja Sagara Dam (KRS). The road isn’t all that great, but manageable. It’s best to reach KRS before 4pm or you’ll end up being in the midst of a large crowd. People are no longer allowed on the dam for security reasons (somebody threatened to blow it up). So you’re stuck at Brindavan Gardens. It’s not such a damper. The place is quite an eye sight, and especially a place for love birds. It’ll take you at the least a couple of hours to go around Brindavan Gardens (leeway for photographs and tea breaks taken into consideration), so make it fast. There’s a colourful display of fountains at 7.30pm or so, but we couldn’t wait for that long. We left as soon as the sun went down. From then on it was nonstop to Bangalore where we reached home somewhere around a little past 10pm. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable trip. We only wish we had left Bangalore earlier so we could go around Mysore as well. Maybe next time!
Engineering has been quite monotonous so far. At least 6 hours of classes everyday and sometimes up to 8 hours. Thankfully, you only have to be stuck with each subject for less than 5 months. After the semester exams, a bunch of us close friends headed off to Gokarna, a small town in the Karwar district which has some really beautiful beaches that attract a lot of foreigners. We initially wanted to go by train, but the train timings were such that we would reach Shimoga in the middle of the night, and from there, we would need to take a bus to Gokarna. Instead we took a sleeper coach bus right from Bangalore itself. The bus was an hour late! En route, our dear friend Somo made the bus wait for a good 10 whole minutes as he came running from home. We reached Gokarna at 7 in the morning. What was surprising was that there was almost no humidity despite being a coastal town. The weather was excellent! Once at Gokarna, we had to hire autorickshaws to Om Beach. The beach is pretty far from the bus stand and 100 bucks for the rick is worth it. En route the tiny ghat section, you will see Gokarna’s other beaches which are equally as beautiful as Om Beach. Once at Om Beach, we had to walk till the end of the beach to find a place to stay as every other shack was either booked or available only to foreigners. Apparently, charging foreigners a large amount for a lousy shack is how these people manage to keep the price cheap for us. The entire stay for 2 days was just brilliant. Day 1 went away with exploring the geography of the place, lazying by the beach, and a visit to the temple. On day 2, we trekked quite a lot in the somewhat hot sun and found a stunning spot where we could see a panoramic view of the sea. Sadly we hadn’t taken our cameras on the trek. The rest of the day was spent floating in the sea, playing catch in the water, and losing precious stuff. Budget wise, I had expected us to spend close to Rs.2,500 like the last trip to Mangalore. Surprisingly though, the whole thing worked out at exactly Rs.1,600 per head! Here’s the run down for those planning to go to Gokarna:
- Travel – by bus (to and fro), sleeper coach (Seabird) — Rs.800
- Accommodation – Sunset Cafe — Rs.300 per room (2 people in a room with maximum 3 allowed)
- Food – this was the costliest because we did not skimp on our non-veg craving, and yes, ’cause we’re hogs, lol – Rs.450
- Autorickshaw – the only way to travel from the beach to the town — Rs.200
To begin with, a very happy new year to all of you. I’m late, but it’s better late than never. Coming to the topic, I have never rooted for the under dog in Formula One before, that is, until Adrian Sutil came along. The Force India driver is one of the few drivers I like in the politics rocked sport. A professional racing driver who wants to be a stuntman sometime in the future, Adrian Sutil is a big fan of Metallica and Indian food. Quote, “I love Indian food especially chicken tikka and chicken jalfrezi. I absolutely love gulab jamuns and yes, naan is yummy”. And even though he hasn’t actually won a race yet, the mere fact that he took the VJM02, a much inferior car compared to the McLaren and Brawn cars that dominated 2009, and raced it to 4th position in the Italian Grand Prix; or the second place in the German Grand Prix (that was eventually lost to Raikonnen thanks to a crash the Finn caused), definitely proves that he has potential. The simple, yet outspoken guy that he is, I haven’t ever read an interview of Sutil like this one that the Times of India published yesterday. I thought it required a mention on my blog, given that Sutil has spoken so candidly about his life and his thoughts about almost everything. Give it a read. If you’re short of time, you might want to skip to the second page. Come 2010, I’m sure things will turn around better for the German. An exciting season ahead with all the new teams, regulations, and of course, the return of the F1 Legend – Michael Schumacher. I can’t wait for it to start.
A week has passed since I moved into my new room at SIT, Tumkur. In the 7 days there, I’ve made a bunch of awesome friends, besides knowing everybody staying in the hostel. It’s just great. North Indians and South Indians are bonding together pretty well for now. Now about SIT. Hats off to the Principal and to the Director. Two amazing men who have gotten together to organize Personality Developmen Programmes to everybody at the hostel. It sounded lame at first, listening to a guy speak about how great he is and all that. But a few hours past, all of us were glued. The speaker, Arjun Devaiah, an international athlete, was absolutely BRILLIANT. It was evident when I spoke to Prashanth HN that I had already changed in just a couple of days. More on this some other time. For now, I’m enjoying classes and the PDP classes as well. SIT is probably the best thing to happen in my life (yet). P.S. I wrote this in a hurry on my iPod. Leaving back to Tumkur in a couple of hours. So do excuse the lack of information, photos and what not.
From the past 6 weeks, I can confidently say that I’ve been having the best days of my life, (yet). I’ve gone out with friends instead of being stuck up at home in front of the computer all day. I’ve taken part in some really nice experiences like Paintball (yes, I’ll talk about it a hundred times and still won’t get tired of it. So what?) and Tweetups of different kinds. I even made it a point to meet up all of my old friends at least once. In June, I was always at home, either watching movies or doing something not at all worthwhile. I was repeatedly told to leave the house and go out a little. In July though, the complaint was that I was constantly away from home. I would leave at noon, having gotten up only at 10am, and then come back home only past 10pm. There were quite a few times that I had to stay over at a friend’s place because it was too late. I watched six movies at the theatres in the span of a fortnight, almost each with a different group of friends. Finished watching at least a dozen different TV shows. A couple of hundred movies still left. Gotten high a dozen times. Lost my mind at least a couple of times. Killed my iPod Touch once. Resurrected my iPod Touch once. Almost killed myself once. Waatevaaah! As with all things, this damn 6-week long run comes to an end. On Saturday, I bid goodbye to Bangalore, at least for another 4 years, as I move to Tumkur, a town that’s around 70kms away from Bangalore. And although close, I still won’t be able to come down to Bangalore as much as I would like to. I’ve never left the Garden City for more than a couple of weeks. And I’ve never really lived by myself either. This is going to be… weird. I’m not leaving depressed or even a bit sad. I’m actually looking forward to this part of my life. A whole new friends circle is something that has gotten me excited as well. That doesn’t mean that I forget or leave my present friends circle. Nope. It just means we get closer. The fact that each and everybody close to me has said that they would ‘miss me’ (surprisingly, even the guys!), an emotional phrase that none of them had ever come even slightly close to uttering before, just brought us all closer than ever. Well that’s that, it’s time to bid goodbye to Bangalore… Image source: karenebiggs.