MYSORE (MYSURU)


  1. Destination: Mysore (Mysuru), Karnataka, India
  2. Visited on: January 30th 2016 – February 1st 2016
  3. Peak Season: Can be visited anytime
  4. How To Reach:
  • By Train – There are number of trains going to Mysore from Bangalore. From there, one needs to hire an auto rickshaw to reach hotel. Also may book an Uber or Ola cab
  • By Bus – Number of buses are available from Bangalore which goes directly to Mysore.

About: Mysore, officially renamed as Mysuru, located at the base of the Chamundi Hills about 146 km southwest of the state capital Bangalore.

Our Journey Starts:

My parents visited Bangalore where I stay currently for work. I planned to take them to Mysore this time. Mysore is very close to Bangalore and takes around 3 hours. We booked train tickets in advance. There are many trains and buses going to Mysore from Bangalore every day. We reached early in the morning in the Majestic station and boarded a train. On reaching Mysore station after a journey of 3 hours, we had to bargain with an auto driver to take us to the hotel MB International. The bargain settled at Rs. 120 approximately.

On reaching hotel, we freshened up a bit and finished our breakfast. After that, we took a short walk to reach St. Philomena’s Cathedral. This is a beautiful yet a very old church maintained properly. The photo of this church is also inscribed on the walls of Mysore palace. From there, I booked an Uber cab to visit Chamundeshwari temple. The cab came and the driver informed, the cab doesn’t go through the hills to Chamundeshwari temple. He asked me to take a Volvo. However, I paid him extra and requested him to take us there. He agreed and we reached Chamundeshwari temple. One can take an auto or a Volvo AC bus from Mysore to reach Chamundeshwari temple. Taking a Volvo bus would be the best option.

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Chamundeshwari Temple

On reaching the temple, we had to buy tickets for approximately Rs. 10 per head to enter into the temple. It is a beautiful temple. Need to be in a queue to enter inside. After visiting the temple, we decided to visit Mysore Zoo. We boarded Volvo bus from the stand next to the temple and reached Mysore zoo. The zoo is located very close to the Mysore palace. This zoo is one of the most popular attraction in Mysore and one can witness mighty African elephant there.

This zoo is huge and takes a long time to visit every corner. One can witness mighty African elephant, Indian elephant, Tiger, Lion, Zebra, Giraffe, Rhinoceros, Turtle, Snakes, etc. For us, it took around 3 hours to visit the zoo. Then we booked another Uber cab and reached Mysore palace. We entered the palace premises after buying tickets. The palace premises is huge and one need to be in a queue to enter the actual palace. The architectural style of domes of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic and blends Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles. The palace has three entrances: the East Gate (the front gate, opened only during the Dasarah and for VIPs), the South Entrance (for public), and the West Entrance (usually opened only during the Dasarah). The sculpture inside the palace is immaculate. The queue moves slowly inside the palace. While moving, one can witness beautiful paintings and sculpture.img_4798-3

The entire palace lit up with lights at night. Witnessed that and came back to hotel. Next day, we planned to visit Brindavan Gardens. I booked a cab for the next day. We woke up early in the morning and went out for Brindavan gardens. On the way, we stopped at Srirangapatna. There is a summer palace of Tipu Sultan. After that, we have seen Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon and Tippu’s death place. Then the hired cab dropped us at Brindavan Gardens around 2 PM.

The Brindavan Gardens is a garden located in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka, India. It lies adjoining the Krishnarajasagara dam which is built across the river Kaveri. The garden is maintained by the Cauvery Niravari Nigama (Cauvery Irrigation Department), a Government of Karnataka enterprise. It is spread across an area of 60 acres (240,000 m2). Adjoining it is also a fruit orchard spread across 75 acres (300,000 m2) and 2 horticultural farms, Nagavana (30 acres) and Chandravana (5 acres). The garden is laid out in 3 terraces which contain water fountains, Ficus trees, foliage plants such as Duranta plumaria and Euphorbia and flowering plants like Celosia, Marigold and bougainvillea.The garden is open to the public and an entry-fee is charged. We spent around 3 hours there sitting in the lawn and roaming around. There are also accommodation available, if anyone opt to stay inside Brindavan Gardens. But that would be an expensive stay.In Brindavan garden, we took a boat ride also. It’s a speed boat ride for 10 mins

In the evening, “light and sound” show is organized. After watching that show we boarded the hired cab and returned to our hotel. We had an early train next morning. Completed dinner early. In the morning, booked an Ola cab around 5 AM through Ola app. Boarded the train and reached Bangalore around 9AM.

Note:

  • No need to hire cab for sight-seeing in Mysore. Book cab while visiting Brindavan Gardens via Srirangapatna
  • Go inside the Mysore palace during day time and also see the palace when the light is lit in the evening
  • Mysore can be visited any time of the year. But, summer can be hot
  • Bargain while booking cabs
  • Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.

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ALLEPPEY/ALAPPUZHA (KERALA)


  1. Destination: Alleppey, Kerala, India
  2. Visited on: December 24th 2015 – December 28th 2015
  3. Peak Season: November to February
  4. How To Reach:
  • By Car – Reaching Alleppey is easy by car from Thekkady and takes around 3 Hours

About: Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha is famous for canals, like Venice and house-boats. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE INFORMATION ON TRIP TO MUNNAR

CLICK HERE TO SEE INFORMATION ON TRIP TO THEKKADY

Our Journey Starts:

I and Anindita reached Alleppey from Thekkady after a journey of 3 hours. We checked-in at “Keraleeyam Ayurvedic Resort”. The resort is located just next to a wide canal. The room was brilliant with a touch of old India. The door of the room closes in four halves. That was very attractive. We always have time constraint as we do not get enough leaves from office for travelling. As a result, we try to utilize most in a short time. One can stay in a house-boat. We didn’t opt for staying in a house-boat as it moves all day and becomes stationary in the evening until next morning. And one also cannot leave the house-boat in evening. The house-boat has all the facilities inside including AC, TV, etc. But loitering in a small place must be boring. More boring in the evening when it comes to a halt. Nothing to do except watching TV. However, staying in a house-boat is preferred by most tourists and regret their decision next day.

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House-boat

After reaching the resort, we left our backpacks and went for a canoe ride immediately, arranged by the resort manager. The manager gave a call to the canoe person and he came promptly with his canoe. The canoe took us inside small canals. The ride was happening in a slow and steady pace though the canals of Allepey. It was a lovely experience. After a ride, I went for a massage in the resort. From various options, I opted for full body massage this time. In the evening, went to the massage center located inside the resort. The massage was done by an experienced professional and with premium oils with an unique and beautiful fragrance. We also asked our driver to leave as we were so pissed with his behavior, though he had to serve us for another day.

Next morning, we opted for canoe ride again from the same person, on Anindita’s request. This time, he took a different route. He also allowed us to get down at a point and showed us his village. While returning to the hotel sitting in the canoe, I and Anindita both tried rowing the boat one at a time. It was exciting and burned a lot of calories also. After that, we finished our breakfast. I again opted for another massage. This time, it was “Shirodhara”. It is one of the famous massage of Kerala where oil is poured steadily from a vessel over the entire fore-head. It was very relaxing and I went to sleep for a moment .

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Alleppey Beach

After that, we thought of exploring Alleppey further. We kept our bags in the reception as planned to go out after check-out time. We hired an auto and reached Alleppey beach. The beach was nice. From there, we hired another auto and reached “Marari beach”. This is a pristine beach and one of the finest. This beach is mostly visited by foreigners. One can take a local bus also to reach there. There is also a resort adjacent to the beach. We spent quite a relaxing time there. Then returned to hotel taking the same auto. After freshening up in resort’s common wash-room, we reached the Alleppey station. We boarded Bangalore express at 7:30 PM and reached K.R. Puram next day around 8AM. From there, we take took a cab and reached home.

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Marari Beach

Experience in Alleppey was beautiful . Enjoyed the canoe ride and the massage a lot. As a whole, trip to Kerala was beautiful and justifies the name “God’s own country”.

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RANGANATHITTU BIRD SANCTUARY & KRS BACKWATER


  1. Destination: Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary & KRS Backwater, Karnataka, India
  2. Visited on: December 13th 2015
  3. Peak Season: Winter (December – February)
  4. How To Reach:
  • Car/bike – One can reach this sanctuary by own car/bike or by any hired vehicle

About: Ranganathittu bird sanctuary is in Mandya district of Karnataka, India. It is the largest bird sanctuary of Karnataka. It is located 3 Km away from historic town Srirangapatna and 16 Km north of Mysore.

Our Journey Starts:

Visiting Ranganathittu bird sanctuary in winter was in my plan for quite a long time. This time, Bangalore Adventurers organized an event to visit this sanctuary. Without wasting any time, I and Anindita registered for the event. We met with the group in front of Decathlon at Mysore road at 6.30AM. We were a group of 9 people including I, Anindita, Narendra, Kushagra, Sandeep, Vijay, Raju and the organizer Sachin. After a short introduction, we started our journey in Sachin and Narendra’s car.After half an hour, we made a halt for breakfast. The place is renowned for Thatte Idli. Food was amazing there. After a heavy breakfast, we boarded the cabs and started our uninterrupted journey towards the sanctuary.DSC_4307

We crossed historical town Srirangapatna on the way and reached Mandya. After a journey of total 3 hours, we reached sanctuary. The sanctuary is being monitored by the forest department. After paying an entry charge of Rs. 60 per head, we went inside and parked our car. Quickly, we went to a bird watching view-point where we observed birds like Storks, Pelican etc are breeding and enjoying the hot winter climate. We all captured the flying moments of this birds.DSC_4588

Then we decided to go for a boat ride which costs Rs. 60 per head or one can hire the entire boat for Rs. 1000 which accommodates around 15 people. The boat ride was the best part of this trip. We took a closer view of all the birds that migrate all the way and reach here. The water is also infested with crocodiles. Never been so close to live crocodiles. Seen crocodiles taking a sun-bath (lol) from a distance of 2 feet. We were provoking Kushagra to put hand in the water and feel the cold water. It is one of the best places to see all sorts of colorful birds including Kingfisher. We also got a breath-taking view of Storks and Pelicans catching fish from Kaveri Lake in the flight.

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Photo of Crocodile taken from boat ride

After a successful boat ride, we walked around inside the sanctuary. Total activity took around 2 hours. Then we moved out and headed towards Balmuri waterfall. It is situated at a distance of 30 minutes from the sanctuary. It is called a waterfall, but it is actually a stream with a drop of only 2 feet. Vijay, who was very interested in seeing a waterfall actually got syked seeing that. Narendra and Kushagra took a bath there.

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Balmuri Fall

From there, we headed back to the Mysore road and stopped our car in a nice restaurant for lunch. After having good lunch, we started our journey towards KRS backwater. We reached there after a journey of 30 minutes. It is located very close to Brindavan gardens. KRS backwater is being enclosed by the KRS dam. Huge Venugopala swamy temple just next to the backwater added charm to the place. The temple is still undergoing construction. After taking many pictures around the backwater, we went inside the temple. The temple is enormous and sculptured beautifully. One can witness sunset there if staying till evening. Raju, Narendra, Kushagraha and Sachin again took bath there.

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Venugopala Swamy Temple at KRS Backwater

By this time, all were tired of the scorching sun and wanted to head back home. We boarded cabs and came to a halt near the sanctuary again as it was on the way back. We calculated all expenses and shared equally. Later, we gathered around and shared our positive feedback as there was no negative feedback to share after such a wonderful trip.

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Hunting Fish

We boarded the cab again and headed back home. On the way, we stopped for 15 minutes for tea break. I moved from Sachin’s car to Narendra’s car so that he can drop us at Silk board crossing which will be on their way. Similarly, Vijay, who was in Narendra’s car moved to Sachin’s car. After saying ‘Adieu” to all, we headed towards Silk board. Narendra had some great collection of music and played in the car. On the way, we again met Sachin and his co passengers near Banashankari which was quite a coincidence. As we all do not know the way to reach Silk board, we started to follow Google map. Due to some wrong turning or whatsoever, the map is always showing the way through “Niece: road which we didn’t want to follow. After a lot of confusion and with the help of Anindita and Kushagra’s navigation skills, we reached Silk board. Narendra and Kushagra headed towards a Dhaba in search of “Naan”. I and Anindita headed back home from Silk board.DSC_4585

It was a wonderful trip. I personally enjoyed the sanctuary and the backwater a lot. Will definitely look forward for any such events organized by Sachin or Raju or by the Bangalore Adventurers team.

Suggestions:

  • Try “Thatte idli” on the way
  • Carry spare clothes for taking bath in Balmuri falls and KRS backwater
  • Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PICS OF RANGANATHITTU BIRD SANCTUARY