Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mysore Road Trip

Six IT Guys, geared up at six in the morning is a rare sight to see. Well, for us we got to experience Bangalore City at 6am for the first time. We kick-started our weekend trip with a dutiful chaaya at the local tea shop and assembled at Mathikere Petrol Bunk. After filling our tanks, we started through Outer Ring Road and cut into Mysore Road. These roads, in the early morning, are completely different from what one sees later on. No Pollution, no traffic and dew-laden landscapes mesmerize you and your eyes lay transfixed in the amazing scenery that the city has to offer. We set up our first checkpoint at Bidadi where we had a breakfast of Bidadi Special Idli-Vada. (The only choice of Food in Bidadi is Idli-Vada)

We made a move soon and we were revving our bikes through the towns of Ramnagara, Channapatna and Maddur. We didn't stop for long in the towns as we had been to some of the places already. The Ramnagara area offered trekking and mountain climbing opportunities to amateurs. Channapatna, also known as the Land of Toys, is famous for the bamboo and wooden toys that are sold there. We can see foreigners from all over the world in this town. Maddur is famous for the Maddur Vada which is a flatter and crisper version of the original Vada (A south Indian delicacy). There is a Buddhist Monastery (Bylakuppe) en-route where we can experience the way of life of the Buddhist monks inhabiting the monastery. We stopped for short breaks every 40-50 km; the road was wide and sceneric making the journey pleasurable.

After an hour or so, we reached Srirangapatna. Srirangapatna is very well-known for its historical monuments. Two must-visit places here are the Daria Daulat (summer palace of Tipu) and Sangam. The Daria Daulat is nice for experiencing the essence of the historical town while Sangam is breath-taking just to watch River Cauvery conjoin with its tributaries. The Sangam offers boat rides in Round Bamboo Shoot boats where on-request the boatman will rotate the boat very fast as to make us dizzy. It’s a good place to visit but for the huge crowd that flocks in this holy spot. The Nishamba temple is located on the Sangam and would be good to visit if you are travelling with your family. We took an off-road from Sangam which led us to a Lord Vishnu Temple atop a hill. The locals called this place Karikatta. This place was amazing as it had a comprehensive view of the surrounding areas and there were huge rocks and boulders on the hillside which we started climbing immediately revitalizing the adventure spirit within us. The surrounding area is very lush and this is a great place to take out your camera and start clicking photos of yourself and your buddies with the hill in the backdrop. After spending an hour here, we started off to Rangantittu Wildlife Park.

Rangantittu Wildlife Park welcomes us with an Arc giving us a Jurassic Park kind-of Feeling. We have to travel further for one and a half kilometers to reach the parking. There is a decent vegetarian restaurant where we had our lunch and proceeded to the wildlife park. It is one of the few bird sanctuaries in the country where man has not spoilt the natural environment. The birds can be viewed in their natural habitat; there is a ferry which takes you to the small islands where we can see different kinds of birds and animals. There are crocodiles in the water, thus requires restraint in our part from dipping our hands into the water. The large crocodiles can be seen lazing on the rocks and swimming innocently past you in the water. After a couple of photo sessions, we got ready to set forth to our next destination - Brindavan Gardens and KRS Dam.

The Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam is one of the largest dams in Karnataka. On one side of the KRS Dam, we can see the mighty Cauvery River with its serenity and expanse. On the other side, we can see the world-famous Brindavan Gardens. The Gardens are Mughal-Styled and allow the visitors of the park to inhale the essence of the life of the Mughal Lords. The highlight of this park is the Musical Fountain - The Fountain has water rhythmically moving in tandem with the music that is being played. The park is best at night (Before 8pm).

We reached Mysore at around 8:30pm and we checked into the hotel we had booked. After resting for awhile, we strolled a bit, had dinner and returned in time for the Soccer World Cup Match.

The next day, we started from our hotel at 7am and went to Chamundi Hills. Chamundi hills, apart from being one of the most sacred spots in the country, are also one of the most beautiful spots. The countryside and the scenery from atop the hills are unmatched in beauty and splendor. We did face problems in Mobile connectivity in these areas but that was a price everybody was ready to sacrifice. We started back to Mysore a while later and went to the Mysore Zoo and spent a few hours with the animals. We skipped the Mysore Palace as we had plans to enjoy the day in Balmudi Falls - A small dam where people come to play and swim in the water for relaxation. We started from Mysore and reached Balmudi Falls in an hour and swam in the neck-deep waters for three hours. After that, we were exhausted and arrowed to the Kamut hotel in the Mysore-Bangalore Highway. We started back to Bangalore from there. We made short breaks in Maddur and Kingeri while returning for Maddur Vada and Coffee respectively.

There will be a good deal of traffic once you near Bangalore. Try to take care while driving in this highway as driving can be rash. Also, don't forget to get your biking gear as the weather is inconsistent. Enjoy your biking trip and waiting to hear your experiences too…