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Weekend getaways: Kabini

Last November My company took us out for a 2day trip to Cicada-Kabini. It is some 210kms south of Bangalore by the backwaters of River Kabini. The drive will take close to 5-51/2 hours on Road and will take you through Maddur and Mysore. We started pretty early-close to 6 am and reached the Cicada Resort by 12.30pm, including a 45mins to 1 hour stop at Lokruchi Kamat for a heavy hearty breakfast.

Once we were at Kabini, we quickly refreshed ourselves and set out for a boat safari. You see the Kabini River runs between Bandipur and Nagarahole, two National Parks at the foothills of the Western Ghats. Advice given to us included not wearing bright colored clothes and making noise (its a different story the engine of the boat was making enough noise to raise the dead).

The boat ride was great, with the wind running through the hair, the sun on the horizon. And the national parks had everything from giant tuskars to barking deer, chital to herds of sambar deer. There are also the painted storks, herons and majestic eagles and vultures. We were also told if we were lucky we may able to spot tigers. But mainly Kabini is pachyderm palace-throw and a stone and it would hit an elephant.

Kabini truly is pachyderm palace

What was surprising was the great number of tree stumps on the banks and protruding out of the water. Apparently this was the area that got submerged while building the dam.

The vultures make their home on submerged tree stumps

By the time we had finished our round and were on the way back it started to drizzle. It was amazing to feel the wind rush on your face and spray from the river and the clouds, the boat going against a current which had suddenly changed direction.

That night we had a campfire where we discussed what we did beyond office.

Next day morning the enthusiastic souls went for cycling while yours truly(who happens to not know how to cycle) lolled around in a hammock listening to music. Soon it was time for jeep safari through Nagarhole National Park. We spotted large herds of deer which hung around by the side of the road dashing whatever little hopes we had a seeing any tigers or leopards. We had split into two groups for this safari and the other group was lucky enough to spot one..two..damn three tigers. Our guide wold receive some tip off on his walkie talkie and race to the spot only to find the tiger had bid good bye long ago. Considering Nagarhole claims to have the highest density of tigers this was very disappointing. Not to be outdone our guide told us the following words of wisdom “Even if you havent seen the tigers, I am sure they must have seen you”.(!!)

By 9 am we were back a the resort where we hung around using the facilities for another couple of hours. Then began the journey back.

Since I am not much of a photographer and possess a lowly Cybershot here are some world class pics from Kabini.

Also my desire to see tigers would only be fulfilled in January on a weekend trip to Bannerghatta wildlife park. They are majestic-the tigers. There is no other word for these awe inspiring creatures. And there are now just 1411 tigers left in India-I wonder if I ll ever see them again.

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Posted by on January 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Weekend getaway-Coorg

I am the type of person who will read travel adventures and go “ohh I must go there or do that” and then slip back into my work-home routine.Holidays are spent lying prostrate on the bed with the thumb twiddling the TV remote. So for a change this weekend I hauled my behind to go to Coorg or Madikeri.

No. of days=3

Kms covered=approx. 800Kms

Places covered=Bangalore-Srirangapatnam-Bylakuppe-Madikeri-Talacauvery-Dubare-Nisargadhama

Cost=Indica A/c car at Rs5.50/km so that you can stop en route and the driver would generally know what is where. Stay at Coorg can be cheap or expensive with rates from Rs300 per night lodges to Rs.7.5K per night Mahindra Holidays/Orange County.

Highlights:

Day 1

1. Historical city of Srirangapatnam having

  • 1000 year old Sri Ranganatha Temple (could do with some maintenance)
  • Tipu’ s death spot
  • Tipu’s mosque (we missed this)
  • Tipu’s summer palace called Dariya Daulat built in 1784.

2.Bylakuppe

  • This is a Tibetan settlement
  • Nyingmapa Tibetan Monastry with jawdropping paint work and golden statues of Buddha.
  • Tibetan market and momos.
Golden statue of Buddha at Tibetan monastry

Golden statue of Buddha at Tibetan monastry

intricate paintings on monastry walls

intricate paintings on monastry walls

3. Madekeri/Coorg

  • We reached around 10pm and struggled to find a decent accomodation hence recommend pre-booking on long weekends or holidays.
  • Hotels, resorts and homestay are available hence you can stay as per your budget.

Day 2

  • Rajaseat-time to visit is morning as in the evening it can give Andheri station a run for its money in terms of crowd.
  • Abbey Falls-maybe it was the wrong time of the year but there wasnt much water falling here, although travel guides have pics like these,what we saw was this.
Abbi Falls

Abbi Falls

  • Talacauvery-the place of origin of Cauvery. This is primarily a religious place.I expected a stream or a geyser but it turned out to be a pond with a temple attached. When we reached here the clouds had descended on the place and we literally had a walk in the clouds!There is also a 215 step climb to a viewpoint which we huffed and puffed to have our heads in the clouds literally!
Talacauvery-head in the clouds

Talacauvery-head in the clouds

Day 3

4. Dubare

  • It is an elephant sanctuary by the Cauvery river. This is a forest department owned camp where wild elephants are captured, tamed and bred.Arrive at 8.30am and you can watch elephnat feeding and bathing and you can enjoy elephant rides till 12 pm. We arrived at 12.30pm,sigh!and could only see the magnificent beasts behind wooden cages.
  • There is also river rafting and motor boat crossing available for the river although in this weather crossing it on foot jumping from stone to stone was more fun. This was personally my best point in the trip-to cross cauvery on foot.
Dubare-Cauvery crossing

Dubare-Cauvery crossing

5.Nisargadhama

  • This is a picnic spot having rabbits, deers, elephants. 2 things to watch out
    • a hanging bridge
    • elephant ride
Feeding the deer

Feeding the deer

Places we couldnt see, mostly because of our time mismanagement-Nagarhole National Park and Mysore. Nagarhole would take upto a day to cover and have planned to return to Mysore during Dussera when it becomes the place to be!

Hope this travelogue will be first of many.

All pics by WSW on her cybershot,bina credit diye photo chepne wale tera muuh kala.

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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BLT Diaries: THE rural stint update and other stories

Anybody out there?No?Ohh I see you.Delurk.Delurk now.

Didnt have net access last two weeks. You know how bad that was?Like Tulsi Virani without her mangalsutra.So went and bought a plug and play connection and now I am going to have a very bad case of typing diarrhea. First bullet points update.

  • We finished the factory stint. It was as exciting as a walk in Thar desert at mid noon. We learnt valuable lesson that even “happening” places like Goa can be dampner if you go there a) during monsoons b) with 0 company.
  • Then we came to the famous, much bandied about rural stint. This has resulted in life changing experience for certain BLTs, for others it means watching Splitsvilla on MTV at the chummery (which can be life changing in its own way). of course I am no way hinting I am doing the latter.
  • I am involved with the Shakti program. For the entire day I work with women who earn anywhere between 500-1500 for a month of hardwork. They are further saddled with alcoholic, non working husbands or maybe are widows with 2-3 daughters approaching marriageable age. I come home and watch Carrie and her gang on SATC in their world of Jimmy Choos and casual sex. Difficult to believe often its the same specie I am watching.
  • My project involves raising micro-finance for these enterprenuers. However bank managers are far more interested in my education qualifications and how much I earn. Very very dicey playground that.
  • I get a car to travel so no more hanging onto dear life on trekkers, buses or cattle. Colored glasses in the car gives you its own moments in our gaons. When balding uncle at red light decides to look into the glass and felao haath on remaining chaman, give shape to his teeka, and settle hair on moustache. After this impromptu grooming session is over, you quietly roll down the window and look ahead with perfectly straight face. Uncle will tie up the lungi double fast and walk while the face-color will resemble that of beetroot. or small children with broken tooth, running noses who will press onto the glass or run after the car. Or women who will push themselves in through the window and ask which gram you are from.
  • The village panchayat secretary who said he will do my work only if I come the next day but since I have a car with me, I may as well drop him home.
  • We are slowly accepting that we have for all practical purposes we have attained gol-matol behenji status. This is what happens when you pump nothing but junk into your system on weekends. Indijoes-cornerhouse-carmelpopcorn at Inox and you develop natural cushions which can make any seat a Gold class comfort.
  • We went into a Guess showroom populated with skinny-pianted-on-jeans and oversized-tee type of girls. The innards burnt with envy I tell you. So when no one was looking we quickly slipped with a slink fit into the dressing room. The effect of that trial was as good as this.
  • I havent gone home for 5 months now. Discounting a week long stay make that 7. Spent Onam eating masal dosa at a non descript highway hotel. Sob!
  • One Cafe Coffe Day every 10 kms on Bangalore-Mysore highway. And Baskin Robbins and McD. at Mandya? Why?
  • Villages visited so far : Chickbelapur, gauribidanaur, chickmaralli, hanakere, hathahalli, bannur,thornalli, jodipura, shivarpatna, barnalli, malyagodan koplu. Tomorrow Tumkur.
  • Saw couple of good movies. Rock on rocked. Despite the filmi masala. Despite Farhan Akhtar’s voice. It reminds of when life was about living your dreams and not student loan, car loan and house loan. The songs where nonsensically catchy-like rock songs are. I couldnt really decide whether to salivate more for Farhan, Arjun Rampal or Farhan’s home. Wasnt the home gorgeous?
  • And Farhan played i-banker in it. Just before Merril got lynched and Lehman got broken. Hmmm. All B-schools are worried about the placement scenario. Summers-Lehmann-PPO-New York-fat paycheck route seems temporarily closed. But one B-School must be getting sound nights sleep. Finally we alums can see and appreciate the foresight in being bombarded with FMCG companies and other “safe” sectors on Day 0 at alma mater.
  • Reading “IIM to Ganjdundwara” by Rohithari Rajan. Another one set on the BLT program. Liked “Earning the laundry stripes” by Manpreet Sodhi just a tad more. Maybe because it was the adventure of the first woman in big FMCG Co’s all boys sales club.
  • I av bought close to 14 books this year- 4 of which are currently lying bedside waiting to be read. including “The namesake”, “Everyone worth knowing”, The Zoya factor” and “Watch me Disappear”. All originals. I gave up buying pirated copies. The authors deserve it dont they? I am still open to downloading illegal music though. Madonna has enough money. hmph!

Have run out of steam. Breather. Then next post!

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2008 in BLT, Uncategorized

 

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