Archive for the ‘Weekend Getaways’ Category

Hogenakkal Falls

Hogenakkal, A destination to relax in water when you need a break from city life.
Hogenakkal falls is a part of Cauvery River which flows towards Tamilnadu from Karnataka where you can take a look of multiple waterfalls, plain water floating which is ideal for relaxing in water, view a beautiful water float in between the deadly rocks….

Beautiful view of Cauvery River @ Hogenakkal.
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Weekend drive: Nandi Hills

About an hour and a half’s drive (65 kms) north of Bangalore is Nandidurga or Nandi Hills, located at 4851 ft. (1478 meters) above sea level. A long long time ago, it was the summer capital of Tipu Sultan.

It’s a pleasant drive up the hill to the top of Nandi Hills, from where you can enjoy some great views, walk around the small paths and get lost, explore the temples at the base and top of the hill and chill out in the playground area.

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On the way to Nandi Hills, enjoy a while to catch the day breaking

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Bangalore to Mangalore?

How do you get to Mangalore (yes, Mangalooru) these days? Trains stopped running 10 years ago. And the road plain and simple sucks in the ghats post Hassan.

They have been working on railway gauge conversion for a decade now. May be it really was a decade worth of work (was it!?). But they were supposed to start two trains to Mangalore earlier this year itself! Last they talked about it, it was supposed to be Dec 2006.

What is it then? Volvo operators don’t want the tracks to be operational because they’d lose 2000 x 2 seats a day? Assuming these allegations of them lobbying against the railways is true, I can’t understand why these same bus operators can’t lobby hard enough to get the ghat section repaired. The road is so bad at places that they take a longer detour to reach Mangalore!
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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.

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I found them..

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..but they also had some company to keep!

Coffee & Spice on the rocks

Sometimes its really difficult to put into words, an experience. Orange County is one such. This magnificent, albeit high-end resort – set among 300 acres of coffee, pepper & cardamom plantations & bordered by the Cauvery – about 200+ km from Bangalore is manna from heaven for anybody who wants to just get away from it all. You can do two things – One, read all about it this place from here. Perhaps, even google and read all about it – a sample here. Two, just go. Here are some pics that I hope gives you an idea of the place & an experience.

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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.
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A scent of Tibet: Bylakuppe

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The Sera Je Monastery

The ochre and burgundy seem to be the omnipotent hues here. The shimmering gold of the structures are conspicuous from miles away. The drone of the distant drums and pipes relentlessly fill the air. If only a few snow capped mountains would show up in the horizon…
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Melkote: Frozen in time

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The Cheluvanarayana Swamy temple

Although the darkness was momentarily blinding as I stepped into the shaded entrance of the Sri Cheluvanarayana Temple of Melkote, it was a pleasant respite from the scorching April sun. My eyes slowly opened to the dimly lit space and I could see the greasy granite walls of the temple that magically kept the air cooled for the grateful few hundred of Vaishnav devotees who came in late on that sunny morning. This idol of Lord Vishnu, affectionately referred to as ‘Cheluvaiah’ by the locals, takes the center stage at Melkote, one of the four most sacred places of Vaishnavism in South India.
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Rest and relaxation, ayurveda style

Every once in a while when you feel the need to take a few days off, de-stress, rejuvenate – you don’t need to take away to a far off hill station or a beach resort! Respite is near by. A place called Ayurvedagram about 7 kilometres from Brindaban (Sai Baba’s Ashram) and 8 kms from ITPL.

ayur.jpgI was out with Usha the other day and she took me to a place called Radiant Retreat on Bannerghatta Road (she promised to write about it sometime soon!). That’s when I remembered Ayurvedagram and thought that I have to write about it, since I usually recommend it to anyone who’s interested!
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