, or Town of Storks when translated from Kannada,
is a small village off the Bangalore-Mysore state highway that is home to threatened Spot Billed Pelicans and Painted Storks. It’s about 70kms from Bangalore and can be reached easily by the state-run buses. A perfect one-day outing.
The village is a little tough to get to since the road leading up to it was really bad; by that I mean there was almost no road. A car or the state bus would have been ideal but as has been the case recently with me, this had to be done on bikes! So it took a little longer to reach than expected, but when we reached there, we were in for a happy shock. We went here thinking there would be some sort of state owned sanctuary or picnic spot like that at Ranganathittu but were surprised to find that the birds live freely in the Tamarind trees!
Entering the village, you will begin to see these big magnificent birds flying around, wings stretched out. Any body from a city will instantly be taken aback at the size of these birds! The villagers are well used to tourists and photographers. One of the families behind the nesting place gave us directions, advice and even offered to keep an eye on our bikes. Now if you’re lucky, as you enter the nesting area you’ll see a few Spot Billed Pelicans among the hundred Painted Storks. We were greeted by a nice little treat. There was a Kite on the ground feasting on its catch — a fish almost its size!
The Kite with its meal
Unfortunately, during our exploration of the nest, we came across a rather angry (and big) buffalo. Even though it was tied to a post, the menacing stare it gave us coupled with the angry snorts were enough to scare the daylights out of us!
Still gives me the nightmares!
On our way back, we came across a lake by which there were people offering boat rides. The water though, was really dirty and it made us change our minds on taking a boat ride. For those of you who don’t mind, you can rent paddle boats and canoes and take them out into the water.
Now, we hadn’t taken any food when we left Bangalore, so we had stopped by McDonald’s for a quick snack. Instead we had taken a couple of burgers to-go. Famished that we were, we sat in a Ragi (finger millet) field and had our lunch, much to the amusement of the villagers who passed by. Upon reaching the state highway, we headed out to Maddur Tiffany’s, a famous hotel known for its delicious ‘maddur vada’. Do not miss out on this!
After a long period of inactivity on my blog, I am now back and have decided that I will regularly update here (or at least, try to). Before I begin, this *is* a personal blog, and I like to write about traveling, my college that I’m very proud of, and the occasional extensive tech reviews that I love to do.
One of the main reasons for me not updating my blog has been a hectic college life. An 8 to 6 time table isn’t exactly something that gives you time to do anything much apart from studies. Any how, there’s been a lot happening in my life right now. Let me update you.
I’ve been traveling a lot these days. The East Coast was where I started off. Chennai and Pondicherry to be precise. I’ve blogged about the recent trips to Gokarna and Mysore. Gokarna especially was an amazing experience for me for various reasons. I’ll be going to Chennai again for Cruisemaniac’s wedding this weekend and I’m eagerly looking forward to it. It’s also going to be a break for me from regular college life. Did I mention I have 8 hours of classes this Sunday?
Speaking of college life, I’ve started to realize that being away from home, Bangalore, and my friends, is something that is a herculean task. I remember a year from now, telling my mother that I wanted to be far away from home for studies, and that I would do just fine. Now, I end up taking the first bus home on every weekend. There’s something about Bangalore that makes me feel like home. That sense of insecurity I have in college vanishes just as I knock on the doors of home. I feel welcomed and cared for as soon as I meet my childhood friends. These guys have been the reason I’m able to endure college.
College hasn’t been as bad as I just pictured it to you however. I’ve joined the IEEE, an organization dedicated to empowering students and encouraging them to participate in co-curricular activities, something that becomes a rarity during Engineering. SIT’s IEEE student branch has been great so far. We’ve had a lot of fun building robots (and blowing them up), hunting for treasure, and spending a night dancing to DJs. I’ve also been given an opportunity to design the IEEE SIT website, something that’s a work in progress right now. Of course, I’m building it around WordPress, the opensource platform all us adore so much.
I also have a new laptop now. A very gorgeous mistress I’ve named as BlackBeauty. She’s a Dell Inspiron 14, and yes, she’s dressed in Obsidian Black. And, I’ve developed a deep liking for Windows 7 and Visual Studio lately. Cannot wait to try out the full release version of VS 2010. I’m lucky to be getting it licensed as an IEEE member and as a Microsoft DreamSpark candidate. It’s probably something Microsoft have done right, recently at least. Now for some Apple news; I’ve upgraded from an 8GB 2nd gen iPod Touch to a 32GB 3rd gen iPod Touch, aptly named SanPod. I still use both.
And I’m somewhat ashamed to mention this, but I’ve become sort of a Facebook addict!
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!
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