Friday 10 June 2016

A day of tranquil

Reading a blog on Panchapalli & Bettumugilalam followed by a discussion with my friend, made us want to travel and see both the places. Decided to start on a Saturday morning by 6 a.m. We were fashionably late in starting  and decided to take the Hosur Road - Attilbele.

A huge banyan tree on the road to DenkaniKottai, lured us for a stop by 8.30 a.m. Its time for breakfast and what an audience we had. Domestic and Jungle crows were all around hoping for a bite, and my friend was busy in identifying the birds on the tree and their calls. The one I remember him mentioning here clearly was spotting a Hornbill.

From there the trip to Denkanikottai was uneventful, though we were a bit worried looking at all the dry water bodies on the way. At Denkanikottai, we stopped asked for the directions, as the trust on the directions in our hand was a bit low. We saw a one way board on the road we were supposed to take, instead of asking, we followed our heart and happily went on a 20K trip in a different direction. There was hardly any traffic road and we did not cross 30Km speed. We spotted a whole series of birds on the way, The birds, I remember from this stretch are red whiskered bulbul, red vented bulbul, black shouldered eagle, Blue Jay, white breasted kingfisher, pipit, pond heron apart from the egret family. It took a driving of about 20Km, before realisation dawned that we were on a wrong course. Looking sheepish, we decided to take the same path by which we came and ended up in Denkankottai. Checking with a couple of people made us realise that the road, where we saw the one-way board, is a two way road.

So we start on the road, no further than 200 mts we find the arch mentioned by every one, and take a left. Down 10km on the road, we see a huge tree with small white flowers, and lots of black & Blue shapes on them. When the car came close the blues and blacks turned into an army of butterflies, which started hovering around the tree. Needless to stay, that the car was parked aside, and I got enchanted by the butterflies.  It looked something straight out of a Disney movie. Got to know that what we are seeing are blue tiger and common crow. After watching the butterflies for long, we continued on our way to Panchapalli. Though we were expecting less water, what finally was there was an extremely dried up hardly a couple of pails of water. Considering there was nothing much we could do there, we decided to continue on the road, till we reach the mountains visible in the horizon.

Bettumugilalam is what was the next destination. The drive was lovely through a forest, and a huge man made lake on the Elephant migration path was the only place worth  stopping and watching. A place according to me is one where one can sit with a book and spend a whole day, or just watch the kingfishers. An extremely tranquil place, which is being invaded big way.  The journey to Bettamugilalam is where the comment . the journey is worth the time but not the destination is extremely apt.

Monday 4 February 2013

Chitrasanthe 2013

Chitra Santhe Mascot
An annual event in Bangalore, Chitrasanthe literally means “Art Bazaar”. 10 years since its inception, Chitrasanthe has been going strong. Kumarakrupa road turned into an art street and this year has about 1200 stalls across the country, with the artists selling /talking about their art work. Name the kind of painting it was there, be it abstract, tribal, madhubani, tanjore, rajasthani miniature, embossed, renaissance period, mixed medium, patachitra, batik .. the list is endless. It’s not just the paintings but there were stalls for sculptures, terracotta , fabric painted dress materials and a few photographs. There were so many different ways to represent the same. The artists vision and view on how they look at various aspects and bring them to life is an experience for everyone. The place vibes with enthusiasm and passion. If it needs to be described in a 2 to 3 words they would be “a riot of colour and creativity”.

The state dance forms were showcased and there was an impromptu participation by the volunteers in the event adding to the spirit of the event.

Nirbhaya has inspired a couple of artists. One is a mixed medium painting and a clay model in the making.


Some images from Chitrasanthe

Pictures on display

Camel out of waster material
A friend @ work

Friday 25 January 2013

Lalbagh Flower Festival 2013

Twice a year (26th Jan and 15th August) Lalbagh in bangalore hosts the flower show. An event enjoyed by bangaloreans, gardening enthusiasts and the shutterbugs. A decade back you would have seen only a set of people with their cameras trying to take pictures. With the advent of the mobile cameras, there is a rush to capture the beauty of the flowers and it is interesting to see how different people take phots , or what catches an individuals attention. Every time there is a new theme for the floral art which is a centre of attraction. The floral art / star attractions this time are Eiffel tower and the lady in the back.

Eiffel Tower 

Flower Lady

A few floral macros from the same event



Natural Ikebana



Thursday 24 January 2013

Banbury Cross

Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse,
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
She shall have music where-ever she goes

The nursery rhyme is interesting, as is the lady in the sculpture at the Banbury Cross. Understand the sculpture near the cross is a depiction of the rhyme. The origins of lady are shrouded in mystery, and there are so many versions regarding the same.
Saw the lady while driving through Banbury, a quick stop and few snaps. The moment flew, but not the lady. The rhyme and the lady lingered in my mind. Theoretically speaking it talks about the wealth the lady possessed and her strength in handling a spirited horse. However, if happiness forms the rings on her fingers, and the cock horse is symbolic for the lady's spirit and the tinkling bells become an eternal music, which flows with her?

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Belum Caves

Belum caves are simple yet stunning with the formation of both stalactites and stalagmites. The initial reaction when I heard of the caves has been
Stalactites and stalagmites in Ananthapur? Isn’t that a dry and arid place?
How far is it? Only 270 Km.. hmmm worth a weekend?
One fine morning hit the NH-7 from Bangalore -> Ananthapur -> Tadipatri -> Belum Caves. The only landscape after Tadipatri was huge vehicles with Granite and mining activity on both sides. No trees, no hills and no mountains. The place has literally sprung on the face with a gigantic statue of Buddha. It’s only after reaching the caves realized that these are Pits in the earth.


Well, true to the image Anathapur & Kurnool districts evoked the caves are quite dry except for a little water running at the deepest bit (120 feet below earth), in the place aptly called as Patalaganga.

Banyan tree

These are the 2nd largest caves in India with a length of about 3.2 KM’s of which only 2 Km are open for public. The whole set of caves are divided as different chambers, Simhadwaram, Kotilingalu, Banyan tree hall etc. There are some nooks and corners which require a bit of crawling and squeezing in. But for all such paths there is an alternate, normal path for the less enthusiastic. The regular paths opened for the public are quite dramatically lit adding to the ambience. Overall it was a trip that interesting and the place is truly a hidden GEM.

A Pathway

Roof Pitstop

The recorded mention of these caves appears first in 1884 . However, these recordings were left unnoticed till 1982/83 when a German team headed by Herbert Daniel Gebauer conducted detailed exploration. The govt declared these are protected in 1988 and the tourism development department took these under its wings in 1999. These were opened for public only in this decade from 2002. Phew that’s a lot of numbers, during all this period these caves are known to the locals and some parts of it are used as a place of worship.

The caves date back to 4500 BC and some time in its long journey had been an abode for the Buddist & Jain Monks. The remnants excavated by ASI in the form of vessels are available in the Museum at Ananthapur.

Where to stay:
Except for the dormitory of APTDC there is no place to stay @ Belum. Best is to stay either in Tadipatri / Ananthapur.