Trip to Mysore

Last weekend, I visited Mysore (Mysuru) as a tourist. The trip was very much unplanned for me. Actually one of my friends was going and they had a place in the cab. He asked me if I would be interested to join and I jumped in.

We stared early morning to reach Shivasamudram waterfall and then visited Sriranagapattana (which was once the capital of Tipu Sultan) where we saw Darya Daula Bagh (Tipu’s Summer Palace), Gumbaz (Mausoleum built by Tipu for his parents), Sri Ranganathaswamy temple built in 894 AD, the place where Tipu died and one of the prisons of his time.

In Mysore, besides satying a night in a very luxirous hotel and doing a little shoping (a silk saree for my Mom. See I am good boy 🙂 ) we visited St. Philomena’s Church, Chamundi Hill, Bull temple, Mysore Palace, Mysore Zoo, and Brindavan Garden.

But the best part of trip was yet to come. On our way back we decided to check out the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. It’s an amazing place. We were a bit apprehensive while we were going there, and were not expecting to see many birds. But to our surprise we saw many birds including the kinds I have not seen before. Inside the sanctuary there are a few islands on Kaveri River, which are very thickly covered with trees. Most of these rare birds live on these trees as they get natural protection from monkeys and snakes. The guide told use that there are many crocodiles in the river (we happen to see atleast 6), which don’t let monkeys, snakes and other predators cross the river to the islands where these birds live. We took a boat ride around these islands and it was a wonderful experience seeing so many different verities of birds living in there natural habitat (and not in the zoo cages).

My recamondation to anyone going for a Mysore trip.

  1. Don’t goto Brindavan Garden. It was very, very and very crowded. I believe there were more people there at that time then you would find in Eden Garden during an  India-Pak Cricket match. And more importantly it’s damn boring. If you are interested in Musical fountains then visit the one in Bangalore, that’s much better.
  2. Do visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary and don’t miss the boat ride there. It’s worth more then the money (Rs.25) they charge for it.

Pearl Valley trip

On 1st October we went to Muthyala Maduvu (a.k.a Pearl Valley). The place is around 40 KMs from Bangalore. It has a waterfall (although, we didn’t found much water in it, but it seems it should be in all its splendor in the rainy season). Anyway, here’s the whole story.

We started lazily at around 11 in the morning. We took a bus to Attibele from the Silk Board junction, in Bangalore. The bus was the typical private bus with a DVD player in it. During our journey on NH7, that lasted an hour, they were showing some Kannada movie on it, which kept on getting struck every now and then. We got down at Attibele, and there was a clear sign there saying Anekal 11 KM on right. We were lucky to get another bus to Anekal, from here almost in no time. (We were told that the frequency of buses to Anekal is very less). We were expecting bad roads on this stretch from Attibele to Anekal, but were surprised to see that the road was in very good condition.

Anekal is a small town, but looking at the houses and shops, it was clear that the standard of living there was pretty good. Pearl valley was just 6 KMS from here. It was almost lunchtime, so we decided to first have a lunch before moving on further. We found couple of small restaurants around, but the hygiene level wasn’t too good in most of them. After roaming around for some time, we settled for a small restaurant for the lunch.

Now, getting to Pearl valley, from here was a bit difficult. The only option was to take an auto, but the auto-drivers here too (like in Bangalore) were very rude. They were demanding Rs.120 for that 6 KMs of journey. Finally, after rejecting couple of offers, we settled on a offer in which, we were to pay Rs.180 for a to-and-fro journey, including a waiting time of 2 hours at the pearl valley. The road at this last stretch was terrible.

The pearl valley is small valley, between two mountains. We descended the hill, where the auto dropped us, expecting to see some nice waterfall. But, we found a small waterfall with very little water in it. Still, some people had enthu to get into the knee-deep water. None of us were interested in getting into that water. So, we left the people and the monkeys (yes, there were lot of them on the trees around, looking for food dropped by the visitors) back and did a bit of tracking on the mountain on the other side. The path, it seems, was less traveled and was a bit slippery. The view from this side was very good, with all the greenery, and several mountains at the backdrop. I was now very much missing my camera.

The return trip was quite the same. Just that this time we got a direct bus from Anekal to Bangalore.

Looking for more info about this place, I stumbled upon how this place got it’s name. The water from the waterfalls bounces when they hit the rocks, and the small droplets in the sunlight shines like a pearl. This gets this place the name Muthyala Madu. And a feeble English translation of which is pearl valley. Muthu, is pearls in Kannada, and Madu is small lake.

Wikimapia link to Pearl Valley.

Another nice experience…

As some of you would have noticed, I was not Blogging for quite some time. The reason is that I have been too busy. I am working 13-14 hours every day, including weekends. After working continuously for three weeks I was in a desperate need for a break and just then it came, in the form of a volunteering activity. Months ago I registered as a volunteer for a tree plantation work, and they scheduled it last Saturday.

Our journey started (after a bit of delay) at around 9 in the morning. The bus was an old KSRTC bus, which gave a bit of trouble in the journey as its radiator was a bit upset. We were going to a village in Dodaballapur taluk. The place is around 50 KM from Bangalore. We had just crossed Yehalanka when we came to know that the direct route to this village has been blocked, by some rasta-roko andolan, so we had to take a diversion and go by a route that nearly touches the Nandi Hills (a popular tourist spot for Banglorians). This route, although a bit longer, was very beautiful. The mountains, the houses, the fields, everything seems to be just like a perfect picture postcard. The people from the villages, through which we passed, looked surprised to see our bus going in the direction, not very frequently traveled by this big vehicle.

We reached our pre-destined village in a happy mood. Most of us were too excited, as this was our first experience to see a south Indian village from so near. After a quick briefing, about the importance of check-dam, water harvesting and the methods of the same, we were at work in the fields. Planting trees is not such a tough work, if most of the groundwork is already done. The few villagers, who were around were very friendly. I had the freshest tomatoes and groundnuts of my life, straight from the fields. And there was this poor little snake, who it seems, got the maximum camera attention in that one day, than probably it would ever get in it’s whole life. The work was not too much and there were over 30 of us volunteers. We quickly finished all the work. The group, which organized the whole event, had brought the lunch. After all the hard work (truly speaking it wasn’t that hard), the lunch on a small hilltop, tasted wonderful.

After a brief round of group photos, we went to this famous temple in the nearby village. The temple was an ancient one and was quite popular among the locals. There were quite a lot of monkeys around. The monkeys at such places are quite smart. They are always after any colorful plastic bag, as they think there would be some eatables in it. Here too, I saw them pulling plastic bags from the hands of people.

A few of us did a bit of shopping in this temple village. Some brought the chains and lockets from the temple shop; some others brought fruits (Pomegranate, it seems was very cheap there). On our way back we came by the direct route as the strike on this route was called off by then.

The whole experience was wonderful. It came as nice little break, at the time when it was very much needed. I made some new friends….and yes, I got a volunteer T-shirt too, but the one thing that I gained most, is the wonderful experience.

Sair kar duniya ki Galib…

Read this sher by Mira Galib, somewhere

Sair kar duniya ki galib, yeh zindagani phir kahan
zingagani gar rahi tou , naujawani phir kaha…..

…and I feel like going out somewhere, may be for just a weekend, may not be too far, but I just want to go out somewhere. It’s been quite sometime since I am in Bangalore now, and I haven’t been to Mysore yet, forget about the other nice places around like Nandi Hill and Bandipur. Gosh…why do I find myself so tied up…

So much to do and so less the time is,
so much to See and so less the time is…

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