Archive for the ‘Weekend Drives’ Category

Pictorial travelogue of lesser known Karnataka

You could either travel to oft visited places and photograph the same structures, places, beaches etc and feel good about it. Else, you could trod the unbeaten path and see for yourself. And then, show to the world what you found.

Nishant Ratnakar is one such person, just like us, who chose the latter. He travelled to a list of lesser known places including Baindoor, Kundapur, Basroor backwaters, Shankaranarayana near Agumbe Ghat and some places around Varahi River. He then travelled to his native village of Pangala. Throughout the journey, he has clicked pictures that are not found on travel journals or even on internet. These places do not find their names mentioned even in the list of also-watch, let alone must-do. Lovely pictures… check them here.

I have not put any pictures on this post, just to maintain the element of surprise. Dear Reader, please do check the pictures directly on Flickr. I cannot get better than that.

With the rare flowers..

I was at Chikmagalur last weekend, where among other things, I went to have a look at the kurinjis.


I found them..


..but they also had some company to keep!

Wonderla – A good time for all.


I am not a big fan of amusement parks. So I found myself thinking twice about going to Wonderla, even when it was an all-expenses-paid trip. But I did go after all. And I don’t regret it one bit.

Wonderla is quite a remarkable place, a different experience altogether. Supposedly the biggest amusement park in India, it has a huge variety of interesting and thrilling rides. If you are the daring kind, there are high-thrill rides which can really shake you up. If you prefer the milder versions, you have those too. For kids, there is an entire series of fun rides. Apart from exotic, never-seen-before rides, you have the old familiars too – bumping cars, etc.



Here is another weekend break from Bangalore that one could explore. The 16th century temple of Lepakshi is around 125 km from Bangalore and is surely worth a visit. The temple is built on the Vijayanagar style of architecture and is known for the unique paintings on the ceilings of the temple.

Take the road to Bagepalli through Chikballapur and continue along the highway till you reach Kodikanalli, where you must take a left. Although the route through Dodballapur and Hindupur is a little shorter, the roads are horrible. Riding to Lepakshi on a bike would definitely be enjoyable.

Lepakshi is a tiny village and apart from a few ‘tiffin’ shacks there are no good options for an eatery. You could try the basic ‘meals’ available at these shacks or carry your own food. It is best done as a day trip.

Visit Kudremukh National Park

I have been meaning to write a piece about this place for close to 3 weeks now and finally found the time to do it now. The impetus was someone discussing things to do over the next weekend, it being a long weekend – Saturday, Sunday and Monday holidays. You either go to Mysore and enjoy the Dussera revelry with the crowds. Or you could escape into the lap of nature. If you were me, you would choose the latter option.

A long weekend affords the time and space to travel longer and enjoy more of what nature has to offer. Bangalore has lots of such options that are within the 300-400 kms radius. Prominent among those are the wildlife parks and sanctuaries lining the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu-Kerala border. One place that is not advertised a lot is “Kudremukh”. Literally meaning “Horse Face”, the name of the park takes from the horse face shaped peak (1892m) in the mountain ranges that cover the expanse of the park.

The Horse Face Shaped peak in Kudremukh National Park.

2 nice spots tucked away on NH207

On September 1, I wanted to go a temple that I had not visited earlier. I started checking out on the internet for the temples that I could choose. Sometimes the distances were prohibitive for a 3-4 hour drive. After some research, I selected 2 temples on NH207 – Venkata Ramana Swamy Temple @ Chikka Tirupathi and Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple @ Kalkunte Agrahara. What a surprise it turned out to be!

Chikka Tirupathi - View of the main gopuram Kalkunte Agrahara - Another view of the gopuram
The Venkataramana Swamy Temple and the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Where Gods are born


Narayanapura is a little village on the outskirts of Bangalore that nobody in the city knows of. Nor do many folks in the neighbouring villages, whom I interrogated. It looks that it is only meant to be just there, as a pretty cluster of tiled houses whizzing past the window of your car. But then, it wouldn’t be everyday that you would travel along this road.

The Wealth Of The Sea

One of the prime attractions in the town of Srirangapatnam, the Dariya Daulat Bagh houses the summer palace of Tipu Sultan. The Garden House, as it is called, is a decorated structure made entirely of wood and has beautiful frescoes on various themes. This protected monument provides great insight into the life and times of Tipu Sultan and the prevailing culture.

The Dariya Daulat Bagh @ Srirangapatnam

Weekend Getaway: Angsana Resort

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Slightly less than two hours away from Bangalore, on the Doddaballapur Main Road, is a beautiful, vast, enchanting, soothing, quiet, meticulously maintained, manicured and landscaped expanse of trees, plants, and clean, unpolluted air known as Angsana Resort and Spa. One of four locations worldwide, the Bangalore Angsana resort is a great place to get away for the weekend. Not only is it within easy driving distance (in case you just want to go and return the same day), it is also a wonderful place to stay over for a night or two.

Srirangapatna: Going back to the days of Tipu Sultan

The weather’s been wonderful lately and what’s better than to head out on a nice long drive.

Grab a few enthusiastic folks, get hold of a vehicle and hit the road. We did exactly that a couple of weekends ago. The Mysore Bangalore highway is a pleasure to drive on now that it’s all spruced up and shiny.

We head out in the general direction of Mysore. After a most hearty breakfast at Kamat’s, we are were back on the road. At Channapatna, we try to find a factory that makes those wooden toys, but being a Sunday, it was all closed. We continue to Srirangapatna.

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