Sunday, November 15, 2009

Trip to Bannerghatta National Park

It was 15-Nov-2009 Sunday 5:00 AM, I started my bike from home to head toward Bannerghatta National Park. By the time I reached Silkboard Junction, it was sun rise time and hardly anybody was on road except few heavy vehicles. I reached Bannerghatta National Park at 8:00 AM and hardly could find anybody around except few localities. I parked my bike and wanted to enquier about the park's timing and other stuff. There was a security guard who gave all my answers. I was feeling hungry and wanted to get a breakfast but alas no shops opened yet. At 9:30, I took an entrance ticket and got another ticket for Safari Ride ticket which starts at 10:00.

I was in the queue for Safari Bus. There were 2 buses, each has a capacity of 25 (I think so). Basically it is that Swaraj Mazda bus. I got in one of the bus and garbed a window seat. The ride started and it is approximately 30 min that they will take you inside the forest and will drop you in the main entrance. The door will be closed and windows of the bus is protected with iron net. There will be a guide inside the bus who will point to animals if found in far distance. People were all ready with camera and kids are really excited to see animals in open ground and we are inside a cage.
What I think it is that forest is protected with boundary walls with huge area and one set of animal cannot enter another set of animal's territory or to protect the animals from poaching or may be preventing animals from escaping.
Whatever it is, before bus enters a territory, there will be few security guard who will open huge gate and bus will enter the area. The security guard will then close the gate.
There is no proper street, so bus will go in its own way in very slow speed. Everybody inside the bus are all busy to spot animals. Anyway its very easy to get to see most of the animals and all are very excited. There are also forest department people roaming around in jeep and will notify the bus driver where to go to see animal.

After the ride, we were dropped in main entrance and buses were ready for next set of safari ride. I went inside the park and there is a zoo, where we can see lots of birds, snakes and other creatures. People were enjoying the place and having picnic. There is a butterfly garden, were plenty of variety of butterfly can be seen along with different variety of flowers and a small artificial water body with plenty of colorful fishes.
Around 1:00 PM, I came out the park and few meters away there was shop. The shop don't have anything fancy. They have usual iddli, dhosa, fried rice, etc. I went in and had fried rice. Sat there for sometime. The place was beautiful and then started my bike and back to home at 4:00 PM.

Total distance covered was approximately 150 KM and I don't remember the park entrance fee neither remember the safari ride ticket fee.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Trip to Nandi Hills

On 11-Sep-2009 (Friday), I was planning to go somewhere, more because I have my new bike. Then I decided to go to Nandi Hills which is arround 60 km from my place. I don't know the way except that I have to go to Hebbal Flyover and then staright to BIAL and startght forward. That night I filled tank, checked tyre pressure and selpt early.

Next morning 12-Sep-2009 (Saturday), I got up early at 4:00 AM and started at 5:00 AM from my home. It was still night and it was a different experience for me.

By the time I reached BIAL crossing around 6:00 AM, it started raining and I stood in nearby shade which I think sells tender coconut in day time. Anyway after rain stopped, I started again and it was a nice road, I think it is NH7. The scene was beautiful and great for photographer for early sun rise. After traveling for 30 KM, I asked a passer by to give me direction for Nandi Hills. I went staright and after another 5 km, i saw a sign board which points to Nandi Hills toward my left.

I took that road, crossing all grapes garden and beautiful landscape and following sign board, I reached foothill of Nandi Hills. I saw many trekking groups on thier way to Nandi Hills. On the way I stopped in nearby shop to get some chips packet and biscuite for morning breakfast. I have never rode in hills and it was my first time experience. I had to cross many hair pin bends and steep road to finally reached Nandi Hills around 7:30 AM. The best part was that the moment I reached the gate my bike engine stopped all by itself. May be it was a indication that I have reached. When I reached there, I parked my bike and saw nobody around. I was wondering whether anybody visit this place or not. Anyway I got a enterance ticket for Rs. 5 and went in. In most places I was alone except few localites.

Places to visit are
Tippus Drop the place from where Tippu made his prisoners fall .
Tippus Summer Residence a beautiful palace on top of this hill. This palace is not open to public.
Temples There are temples dedicated to Sri Bhoga Narasimha, Sri Ugra Narasimha and Sri Yoga Narasimha .
Rivers The rivers Pennar, Palar and Arkavati originate from these hills.Most of the sources have dried up . Brahmashram It is said that Sage Ramakrishna Paramhamsa meditated here.Its a cool cave .
Nandi At the foot of Nandi Hills is this place with "Bhoganandishwaraswamy Temple", it is a Wonderful Place. (A Must visit)
Muddenahalli The home town of Sri M.Visveswaraya, the architect of modern Karnataka. Muddenahalli is just a few Kilometers from Nandi Hills. The house of this genius is now a museum.(A Must visit)
Paapagni The Panchanandikshtra. Visit it is Only 3 km from Chikballapur. (A Must visit)

Except for first 4 places, I did not visit other places because back then I was not aware of these places. We have to explore the place by walking. There is a lake in the middle of the place.

You can really enjoy the beautiful landscape and it looks lovely when flower bloosom in the morning and with the mist, it is awesome. There is a KSRTC hotel and resturant and few individual food stalls.

After I explorered the place, I started climbing down and started to return back to Bangalore around 11:00 AM. I saw that the bike parking lot is full and people are all around. Thats when I understood that people don't come here before 10:00 AM. Again climbing down the hill was first time experience for me in bike and reached home at 1:00 PM.

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