Tuesday, January 27, 2009


on the way back to bangalore from yercaud, there were these eye-catching palms... some in clusters... some in pairs... and some standing alone.

Monday, January 26, 2009


yercaud in tamil nadu, 230+ kms from bangalore, is a popular hill station with the locals. in most places around yercaud, it's pretty hot and dry. hence, the hill station comes as a huge relief. the winding road has signboards counting the number of hairpin bends... like a true-blue hill, it was chill in the evenings and hot in the noontime. a nice lake dominates the city-centre.

apart from the lake, there are a few caves, botanical parks, two waterfalls, the killiyur falls being the prominent one. it's a neat little waterfall, with a very slippery and dangerous descent to reach it. the pagoda point is another place worth visiting. a few kms away from the town, amidst coffee and pepper plantation, gaurs are a regular. and plenty of stories of gaur-attacks doing the rounds.. sadly, none were sighted after hours of driving around the plantations. thats the lovely hill station for you. not much but definitely worth a dekko.


ranganthittu, the bird sanctuary in mandya, can be a big disappointment if you land there in the wrong season... GL's got an innate ability to make the right places at the wrong times .... crocs and the bats are the omnipresent beings here. pond and night herons too, and white and black-headed ibis hung around to make the trip a memorable one for GL.

when the season's right, this place is supposedly over-crowded with the bird-folk. so long.

kokkre bellur

kokkre-belluru is a small village and one of the many gems that dot the bangalore-mysore highway. after Chennapatna of the wooden-toys fame, and before Madduru of the maddur-vada fame, there is a prominent green board pointing you to this place. so instead of getting annoyed at the 13+kms of bad road, prepare yourself for a visual feast... best availed of early mornings.

the paddy fields on the right play host to hundreds of black-headed ibis and cattle-egrets. the fields are dotted with bird-folk for as far as an eye can see. and then, there are brown sparrow-like birds(wish i knew what they're called)
...and red and yellow and blue and black dragon flies... and beautiful kingfishers. and the air is filled with bird-tweet... on the left is an elevated bund
(man-made lake/water reservoir) with weed and lotus and some more birds.

and onwards you go till you arrive at the village square. and don't you ask 'where are the pelicans?'... you will only get the 'look-up-you-dumbhead!' kinda ugly look from all and sundry. for on the tree-tops all around the square, and everywhere else in the village, there are huge pelicans making weird noises and flapping their endless bony wings and sitting in their huge nests. the bellur village takes its first name from these big birds - kokkere in kannada is a 'stork'. painted storks are considered a good omen here and they arrive after the pelicans. The ibis is a particularly good-looking bird, with shimmering feathers, if you manage to get a closer look.

it's worthwhile to go into the village too... for the big birds perch on rooftops and on trees all over the village... on the other end, there's a bridge over a river.. from here, you get to watch sand being mined from the bottom of the river and shipped away in trucks.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

makara sankranti - the fun festival

... of sesame seeds, loads of jaggery, sugarcane, decking-up the cows like it's their birthday, temple-trips, pongal - sweet and otherwise, colourful rangoli spilling out onto the roads..

street music-n-dance..

and the lord's chariot... taking a trip around the town.

Monday, January 05, 2009

the smiley moon

Trip to Ramanagara

Ramanagara, is about 50+ kms from Bangalore and a volunteer activity at the workplace took a bunch of us to this place that's a very popular hangout for rock-climbers. There are a number of tall rock-formations. Ramanagara is immensely popular since the movie 'sholay' was filmed/shot here.

The trip was not to rock-climb. It was to take a bunch of schoolkids up to the temple on a rock and back down. The view from the hillock top on all sides, was quite pleasant.

the butterfly park at bannerghatta Nat.Park