There are really so many places around Bengaluru, one just needs the eyes to see! Our latest discovery was Mahimapura, off Tumkur road, before Dobbspet, on 2nd Dec, 2006 (actually it was a bit of googl’ing that pointed us to a very nice article about this place, by Srinidhi Raghavendra, who writes for DH; kudos to you man!).

We left home post breakfast, on Tumkur road. There was some traffic until Nelamangala, after which it was quite clear. About 45km from Bangalore, there is a huge sign pointing towards Mahimapura. We took a left there and after about a mile, we reached the tiny hamlet of Mahimapura. Instead of taking the flight of steps from the west, we parked our car on the southern side of the hillock, and started to trek. Its a small hillock, though a little steep on some sides, and took us not much time to reach the summit. One memorable thing about this place is the rocks, which display Mother Nature’s creativity at her best! No wonder, I hear that most of the kannada movie song sequences are shot here. Some samples … (of creativity – both nature’s and mine!) …

jewel in the crown! stairway ...

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This trip was long pending, as we had planned to visit the Kaveri valley from a really long time. What started as a search of Igglur Dam (which I plan to discover some other time), led us finally to Muttatti. I must say, this *is* the closest dense forest one can find near Bangalore. At a distance little above 100 km (via Kanakapura), this makes for an excellent day trip, with all the required ingredients – forest, water, a good drive, and unlimited scenery!

The Kaveri valley is a very beautiful cradle, where mother nature sings a lullaby for eternity, her voice flowing with the waters, making all we children cuddle up in her lap.

Kaveri taking a turn

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This was a very casual, unplanned trip to 3 totally unrelated places around Bangalore. We left home in a fully loaded Indica (5 ppl + lunch and water in the boot) 😉 by around 8:30 am. Zoomed on NH7 past Devanahalli and reached Chikkaballapur, which is about 60km from Bangalore. Asked for directions at the town center, and proceeded to meet Lord Ranganatha, peacefully asleep at his abode in ‘Rangasthala’.

Temple at Rangasthala

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TNS the great visits us!

17th October, 2006

Seetharam Gouribidanur (popularly known as TN Seetharam or TNS) has been the first and foremost of directors, who has attracted the urbanite kannadiga to the small screen, who, till then used to avoid watching kannada television. I am perhaps being critical about this, but, it is true.

His serials (Mayamruga, Manvantara, & Mukta) have dealt with issues which have very much been affecting the life of the common man a.k.a the ‘Great Indian Middle Class’. These serials have been able to appeal to the urban populace to look at different situations in life with a positive perspective. Personally, I feel TNS’s greatest success has been in portraying some of the most controversial issues of our times. By controverial, I do not point to any of the multi-million-rupee scams and scandals that have plagued our country, but it is about those smaller issues and mishappenings that go unnoticed due to lobbies, and media-coverups. It is actually these issues that affect our day-today lives more!

Beyond his enormous talent in direction, TNS is also an excellent actor, who has been the favourite star in his serials (by public opinion), portraying the role of a brilliant lawyer. Apart from his diligent way of dealing with hostile witnesses in the courtroom, I am a great fan of the style in which way he scolds his clients!

It was a pleasure to know that this great visionary of Karnataka’s small screen is a very close friend of one of our neighbours, Mr Chandrashekhar. We got the opportunity to meet TNS, that too at our place! We had a very lively conversation with this very down-to-earth person, including getting a clarification, that he does not scold his family members in real life in the same way as he does to the characters on small screen! 😉

Some photos …

A very humble attempt to honour such a great person!

Senior citizen fans - GSI and GSR

(L to R) tata, TNS, myself, pati, and amma

(L to R) tata, myself (sitting), TNS, ayya, amma, Srinath H, and pati

in conversation ...

his authoritative style!

Manchanabele Dam

This trip was a picnic, that we had dreamt of having from a long time. We had welcome additions to our group – akka, and my sweet little nephew, Giri! The plan was to visit Dodda Aalada Mara first and then proceed to Manchanabele dam.

As usual, we left late, by 10am. Went to Malleshwaram, picked up akka and Giri and started on Magadi road. Magadi road?? you must be surprised, as the big banyan tree is located off Mysore road. Yes, of course, it was my idea … I, Columbus the great, wanted to explore the connecting road from Magadi road to Mysore road, via the big banyan tree. This venture costed us about 10+ kms, and about half an hour’s precious time. We reached dodda aalada mara by about 11:30. It is really nice to see a 400 year old banyan tree of that size. Giri was fascinated and it was nice to look at his curious and inquisitive eyes, as if he was seriously studying the branches of the banyan tree!

The big banyan tree

The only hope of food at this spot, the Mayura Yatri Nivas, alas, is no more. Apart from having bun-tea-aur-bubbly at the local shacks, you have no other choice! 😉

We had plans of having lunch at Manchanabele, so we headed towards the reservoir, about 10+ km from the big banyan tree. Manchanabele is a very small dam, built at the confluence of the Arkavati and the Kumudvati rivers. Continue Reading »


Somewhere on the net, I had read about the existence of ‘Nava Durgas’ (9 forts) around Bangalore. My quest for them has been on ever since. Chennarayanadurga is one of them. This fort located near Madhugiri in Tumkur district, was built by a local cheiftain in the 17th Century, and has been lesser known to even a veteran Bangalorean!


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Hemagiri Betta, Kunigal Tq.

This was our first trek-to-be in 3 years since we came to Bangalore. It was during those hey days in Mysore, that we used to have extensive trekking programmes in the western ghats in Karnataka. Now, Bangalore had put us onto a life-on-fast-track, and we badly wanted to come out of that, hence this venture! Our first target, with the current setup, is to cover places of interest around Bangalore, which are lesser known to the junta. Read on to know more of one such place!


Our regular habit of googling led us to know of a place called Huliyurdurga in Kunigal taluk. Actually, we set off there. As usual, we left by around 08:45, and hit Tumkur road. Since it was not a Sunday, there was some heavy traffic near Peenya. After Nelamangala, we took left onto NH48, to reach Kunigal. NH48 is a 2-lane scenic highway that connects Bangalore-Hassan-Mangalore.

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