Thursday, May 31, 2012


26 May 2012

It was only recently that I came to know about Mandalpatti. The movie “Gaalipata” was shot there increasing the popularity of the place. Breathtaking views, vast grasslands and dense forests make this area spectacular. And Government has made it easily accessible.

I and Sankara with our families had come to a home stay near Mandalpatti. I had heard that the roads were in bad condition. But recently it has been given a facelift. Hence we dropped the plan of hiring a Jeep but instead took our vehicle. The complete stretch is not tarred and at some places crushed stones were just put on the road. At one place our Innova had no space to go ahead. We had to get down and make these stone mountains flatter to allow the vehicle!! We sincerely hoped that there would be no rains as the entire road would turn slushy making the drive impossible.

After few km of dust filled uphill road, we hit a tar road. A wide opening is seen on the right side with some great views. Two Jeep loads of people who arrived before were all running from one place to other!! Looked like they were excited. Kids were equally thrilled and started climbing a hill nearby with cool breeze accelerating their spirits.

Moments later the jeep people were all gone. Apparently Mandalpatti was still few km ahead. With their exit the place fell into silence.

After sometime we decide to move ahead. Kids are reluctant with come back after we promise better places ahead. Indeed the road further was a treat for our eyes. It meandered though grasslands something similar that I had seen in Bababudangiri – Kemmangundi road.

Last stretch was bit difficult where we had to drive on a rocky path. After that stretch we reached end of the road. Ahead was forest department Office. The area falls under Pushpagiri wildlife reserve hence require permission from forest department to proceed further. Forest department has built a view point on top of the hill.

Again kids were first to climb the hill to reach the view point. Needless to say that the place was beautiful. One needs to experience it.

Last words:
If you want to visit this place, go as soon as possible. The good roads constructed will open the floodgate of people. With people comes the litter. The place is already turning into a garbage dump. In no time, drunkards will get the news and come to destroy the sanity of this place. Looking at places like Kodachadri and Jogfalls the hope of “responsible tourism” does not fit into this land.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Markonahalli dam

28th April 2012

Markonahalli dam is a reservoir built across Shimsha River.  It is near Yadiyur on Bengaluru Hassan highway. Built during 1930s by Sir M. Visveswaraiah, it acts as a source of water to nearby areas. I visited this place with my family during our recent trip to lesser known Hoysala temples.

After Bellur cross, I was constantly looking for the board to Markonahalli dam. Two km before Yadiyur was a small board indicating direction to the Markonahalli village. We took the left turn and proceeded six km further. The dam could be seen from the road itself. Next to it was a small unmaintained garden. A “restricted area” board greeted us. So we went further on the road that led directly to the reservoir bed area.

It was a nice sight to see a huge expanse of water in this harsh summer season. My daughter started collecting small stones and started throwing them to water. It gave her a feel of joy!! A family had come with a purpose of fishing. Birds were plenty due to the proximity of water.

A siphon system was installed in the dam (Looks somewhat similar to Madenur dam) which allows excess water to be automatically released.

Overall a nice place for a short visit if you are driving along Bengaluru-Hassan highway. 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Channakeshava Temple, Anekere

28th April 2012

This year’s Hoysala trail started from the village of Anekere. As the names suggests, the village is situated next to a big lake. It may be a lake for bathing the elephants during old times but now it is an ordinary lake. A Temple from Hoysala times adorns the village and that was the reason why we went to Anekere.

As I stopped the car on the narrow street that leads to the Temple, we found it locked. One can jump the wall with little difficulty but the beauty of this Temple lies inside. So we had to find the key of the Temple. As luck would have it the priest’s family lived just next to the Temple. Within few minutes the priest’s son Venkatesh comes and opens the Temple.

It is a small Temple and looks very ordinary from outside. But it is the Temple interiors that contain the great architecture. It was dark inside and Venkatesh helped us with his torch. Venkatesh provided a brief history of the Temple. The Hoysala King Veera Ballala II on returning from a successful battle against Chalukyas stayed in Anekere. In memory of it, he constructed the Temple. It was during 12th century.

Opening on the ceiling

The main idol of Channakeshava is intact and is worshipped daily. The carvings at the ceiling are intricate and if differentiates it from other Temples. Also see the red color is used in the stones. There is also a small opening that was used as a secret place for hiding.

Another highlight of the Temple is the stone Khalasa at the top. It is said to be biggest in the state. It would have looked nice if the tube light was not installed.

This Temple was recently renovated with the help of Dharmasthala trust. Even though it is not under ASI, the Temple is maintained well by the trust and villagers.

How to reach Anekere:
Anekere is 8 km from the town of Channaraya Patna. One need to take left turn (if coming from Bengaluru) that is opposite to Vijaya Bank. The road is small and is hard to find the deviation.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Trek along Kaveri River

21 April 2012

The hot weather had put a stop on our trip plans. The list of destinations on our mind was long but dry conditions did not encourage us to proceed further. “Why not we try out places where we can find water?” was the usual question. The only place near Bengaluru with some water is Kaveri River. The stretch of Kaveri River between Shivana Samudra and Hogenakkal flows though the forest area with occasional human habitation. According to me it is a good place for trekking.

Our plan was simple. We had a day to spare and decide to walk along the river. The starting point would be Bheemeshwari that is 100 km from Bengaluru. Subbu Krishna, Subbu Subramanya, Srikanth and Girish join for this mini adventure!!

I always had problem in finding a good restaurant in Kanakapura. My friends suggested “Vaasu hotel” which turned out to be a nice place providing tasty food!! After eating heavily and packing lunch, we set out towards our destination. Before Kaveri River, we passed through the forest which was dry thanks to hot weather. Muthatti was the first village along the River.  A place abused by human being to no end. No civilized and hygienic minded person would every get down at Muthatti. Words are hard to explain the filth of that place. We quickly escaped from Muthatti to reach relatively peaceful Bheemeshwari.

After parking the car on road side we headed towards the River. We were expecting dry river bed but there was good amount of water. That was encouraging from trek point of view. And so we started walking upstream along the river. Fortunately the cloud cover provided some relief from the blazing sun. We had short walks followed by long stops with lengthy discussions!!  The area was peaceful with only sounds coming from birds and flowing river (And obviously our talks!).

After walking for few km, I checked the map and found that we were nearing the confluence of Shimsha and Kaveri River. We decided to return back. But now the clouds had cleared exposing us to the direct sun. The journey was tiring and our energy was refueled only after jumping into the river.

A word of caution:
We see in news papers about people drowning in Kaveri River at Muthatti and other nearby places. Most cases can be attributed to drunken people but carelessness is also one of the main reasons for deaths. Swirls in the river are dangerous. Crocodiles do not pose much problem but one need to be aware of their presence.