Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sharavathi backwaters

1st and 2nd May 2010

The road after Bellenne took me by surprise. As no soul was seen on that narrow and curvy concrete road, I realized that I had never traveled on that road in spite of the area being so close to my native place. We may have missed the destination but thanks to Harish who was waiting for us on the roadside and promptly guided us to Sharavathi backwaters.

About Sharavathi backwaters
Sampath Kumar, from Sharavathi adventurers runs the water sports activity near Gubbagodu village on the backwaters of Linganamakki dam.

It had been a long time since I went with my Office friends. Hence, planned for this fun filled activity with Mallikarjun,Chitrai and Raghuveer.

I drove my car for this trip. Having started on Saturday morning, we had our breakfast at Tarikere, tea at my native place, took a look at Jogfalls and finally landed at Gubbagodu exactly at noon.

Upon our arrival at Gubbagodu, we were transferred to an island. After gulping down some snacks, we jumped into the waters with life jackets on. Having just learnt the swimming, it was really a fun to “swim” using life jackets. We tried out various tricks like jumping from dead trees.

We had our lunch at 4PM!! After some rest, we trekked in the forests for few minutes to emerge out to a wide expanse of water. The place was completely silent and we just sat enjoying the nature.

We were rewarded with one of the best sunset after which we headed back to the camp. Here, I saw the road connecting Bellenne to Madenur dam. Last summer, I had tried to follow this road from Bellenne but after couple of km, the road had vanished into the backwater. Now, I found that it emerged out in this island.

Sampath arrived at the camp during night and we had some interesting discussions on wide range of topics.

The night would have been peaceful but for the obstinate gang of people who started playing “Anthyakshari” at middle of the night. They were later silenced.

Day 2
We experimented with Kayaking on morning. After breakfast, we started playing in water. We wanted to feel the depth of the backwater. But with lifejackets, getting deeper was not possible. We did some innovative things here like, pushing one guy into the water and then “standing” on his shoulders and then pushing him down even further!! In this way, we could get into very deep levels!!

We never wanted to come out of water, but we had to return back. After having lunch, we started back our return journey.

Photos of this trip can be seen here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tippagondanahalli reservoir

24th April 2010

Popularly known as TG Halli dam, this reservoir was constructed across Arkavathi River in 1933 by Sir M. Visvesvaraya. This is a major source of drinking water for Bengaluru.

Due to receding water level, the submerged Sangameshwara Temple was visible this year. Always interested in such things, I was at TG Halli dam with my family.

BWSSB maintains this dam and entry to the dam (and even the workers colony), is prohibited for general public. Permission has to be obtained from Kaveri bhavan in Majestic.

It’s very peaceful inside restricted area with less interference from outside. We were the only people in the dam.

Overall, a good place to spend the evening!!

Photos can be seen here.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

11th April 2010

This is a place not to be missed by any bird lover visiting Singapore. I may have reservations keeping the animals (or birds) in cage but this is one place where people can see various species of birds all around the world.

It is the largest bird park in the world in terms of number of birds. The birds here have completely lost fear about human beings and roam freely. I was wondering how come the birds just don’t “fly away” from the park only to see a “net” somewhere high in the sky. Both visitors and birds are in a “bigger cage”!!

At many places, the management has tried to keep the bird’s natural atmosphere. The African wetland area looks like a thick forest with one 30mt waterfall while in tropical zone the thunderstorms are simulated.

I was simply amazed by the amount of birds I saw. The birds were very colorful and in different shapes.

Before visitng the park, I had thought that I would spend couple of hours in Bird Park but ended up in enjoying the birds for almost a day!! My chances of either going to South American or African forests are very less and to see these birds even more remote!!

There is nothing special about my “photographic skills” here. I just clicked them!! The birds come very near and one need not be an expert in taking photos.

Still, I must say that I might have taken only 10% of the birds present in the park.

The bird park hosts a number of shows where birds perform various acts.

This is one place that must not be missed in Singapore!!