, 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!
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!