Finally after a long time Dileep had planned for a trip to Bandipur:) Hip Hip Hurrayyy..But it was left to me to research more on the places and come up with a plan suitable for us.So i spend nearly half day to research on the places and yeah i made a customized plan for us:)
We were planning to go in our Innova - our new posession.
Our route : First to Bandipur and then to Mysore and back to Bangalore (3 days)
Checked out for Forest department cottages as it was cost effective and also it's near to jungle..But seems those cottages gets booked pretty fast.So we booked a room at Bandipur Safari Lodge for one day - (Friday 12.00 pm check-in and Saturday 11.00 am check-out.Head towards Mysore and check-in at KSTDC Mayuri Hoysala Saturday 12.00 pm check-in and Sunday 12.00 pm check-out)
Bandipur Safari Lodge: (You can do reservation online)
KSTDC Mayuri Hoysala : (Reservation online)
Then started our journey in our Innova.
1)Welcome to Silk City -Ramanagara
Kamat loka ruchi,Janapada Loka, Archakrahalli, Bangalore Mysore Road, Ramanagara.
Please find few reviews of hotel below
We had piping hot and soft Ramanagara idlies (kotte kadabu - cylinder shaped idlies wrapped in coconut leaf) with coconut chutney.It is very soft and yummy so one idly won't make much effect so ordered more.Manikutty also loved the idlies so much that she took two idlies in a stretch :).
Some one has mentioned to try the jola roti meals they serve variety of items , sweets , jola roti , baingan curry and masala buttermilk as it seems they are very yummy there.I will try next time.
Details:Receipe of Kotte Kadabu (idlies)
Didn't get to see Janapata Loka as i didn't know much about this place.But do try to see.Janapada Loka or "Folk-Culture World" is a world of simplicity and art. Janapada Loka, a subsidiary of the Karnataka Janapada Parishath, is dedicated to preserve and promote folk art and culture. The complex has an art gallery, an open-air theatre, a studio and a museum. Situated 53 kms. on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, this 15-acre complex is a treasure-trove of Karnataka’s folk heritage.
Please find one review here
2)Welcome to Toy City - Chanapatna
I am detailing about this on my way back.
3)Welcome to Sugar City - Mandya
I couldn't see much in Mandya.But it seems ,it has the biggest sugar factory in India.
4)Welcome to Historic Town - Srirangapatna
So much to see but no time :(
5)Welcome to Heritage City - Mysore
We passed Mysore and entered Nanjangud and we are on our way to Bandipur Safari Lodge.We didn't face much difficulties in locating the place though we had to stop in-between just to verify whether we are taking the proper route.
It's a nice place full of greenary and all the cottages were looking very pretty.We parked our car and went to the reception and filled up few forms.We got our cottage key and he briefed us about the activities .
Our cottage was very near to reception and it looked like a newly build one.(They normally name each cottage with animal or bird names - Elephant,Leopard,Peacock etc..Also they will draw the magnified picture of the animal/bird in theme in the room.So if you are getting Elephant cottage ,Elephants picture will be drawn near to the bed rest.) As ours was new one ,there was no picture:( but the cottage was clean and had a balcony which opens to the greenary.Bathroom is also as huge as the room.If you are coming in groups ,you can take double cottages where you will get more space and cots.
1.30 pm - lunch will be served at the lunch hut after which we can go and take rest (Lunch was just horrible ,no taste and all curries were like water)..4.00 pm ,we will get tea,coffee from same place..then we will be taken for Safari which is the main activity...After coming back ,we will get snacks at the hotel (Jungle Lodges and Resorts own a Pugmark Restaurant which is also inside the same campus)..Campfire around 8.00 pm and food will be served at the same time .
Then we got ready for Safari.You are requested not to wear any dark coloured clothes. So we were wearing light shades ,took our caps and camera. There were different types of vehicles -one bus ,few jeeps..Most of the people went in Bus and we saw that jeep was empty so took our seats in the backside of jeep which was open..
The front seats in the jeep (covered) was occupied by a mallu family.One couple also sat along with us..The guy had a very good camera and the girl was having a telescope..They looked as if they were very much interested to learn wild life and they are totally into this..and we are going for such a trip first time in our life :) so we got perfect companions:)
I already read reviews mentioning that spotting a tiger is very difficult and a few lucky ones get a chance..so just thought of enjoying the trip though we may not spot anything..
Our Jeep driver was a very nice guy and he was stopping our vehicle for few seconds whenever we spot any animal so that we can take enough pictures..
First 10 to 15 minutes ,we didn't spot anything ...Then we saw a Wild Boar drinking water from a small lake..aha..atleast we could spot Wild Boar..we were really happy..After a while ,we spotted few Sambha deers and deers,Wild cocks,monkeys but no tiger...
Our Jeep driver was a very nice..Inbetween the rides ,few jeeps will be overtaking you ..some from same resort ,some others from Country club,MCC etc..Whenever some driver overtakes ,our driver also will stop and they both will discuss what they have seen ..this helps all the drivers as they won't miss any animal..Even they get calls on their mobile too.
While going ,he got a call and suddenly he stopped the vehicle.He stopped the engine too..Both sides are covered with long ,tall grass .Now in-between the silence ,we could hear some sounds as if someone is coming from inbetween the grass...Just few minutes,before we could even realize ,we saw a big elephant coming out of the bush and moving to the other end..It didn't see us ,after few seconds ..one small one followed..we thought it's over..But still driver was not starting the vehicle..Few more seconds passed ,one more big elephant crossed..The elephant just stopped inbetween the bushes and it was looking at us..
The lady next to us was really scared and was shouting at our driver to start the jeep..
Elephant waited for sometime and came out suddenly..We were so scared.Manikutty almost shouted..i just held my hand on her mouth so that she won't shout again..I forgot to take snaps..For a moment ,we were all lost..Elephant is just few cms ahead..if it moves little front ,then it can touch us..few seconds ,i was back and then i was about to take picture..then i remembered that flash light will scare the animals and then they will disturb us..so thought of not to take..within seconds ,we heard a big roar ,,,elephant was trying to scare us...it was such a nice pose ,if i would have taken a video at that time ,surely i would have won some award for the same.
But at that moment my mind was blank..After this ,the elephant left suddenly...Our driver also started our vehicle and we are on our way back..my god...we still feel that we didn't utilize the oppurtunity we got..But we all were so scared that we forgot everything...We need to train ourself so that next time ,we won't miss it:)
Hotel guy already mentioned that wake up call at 5.30 am after which we will be taken for trekking to a nearby temple.So we got a wake up call exactly at 5.30 am ,got ready and went near teh reception.We are the only ones who came for trekking ,all other have opted for Safari...So we were happy ,we also went for safari..this time also similar seats but in a different jeep..One foriegner and a Tamilian father and daughter shared seats with us..It was so boring to sit without talking..so i decided to talk about Elephant incident..Then we checked whether anyone has seen tiger..no..noone ..everyone missed...But atleast we had this elephant incident.
On the way ,we spotted Wild Boar,peacocks ,peahens,parrots,kingfisher ,many wild flowers and many elephants..over all it was worth it...No tiger :(
On reaching Mysore ,we went directly to our hotel
Mayura Hoysala is government approved hotel which is very near to the Mysore Railway Station and Mysore Bus Stand. The hotel is owned by the Mayura Group of Hotels.Just next building in the same compound is Mayura Yatri Nivas which is a low end hotel.Also you can find a Mysore Silk showroom ,KSTDC tour booking center all inside the same compound.Inside the hotel ,you will et brochures on Mysore tourism which was also good for locating th places of interest.
As our aim was to see places around ,we didn't pay much attention to these details.So kept the luggage inside and went for lunch at the restaurant which is also inside the hotel.Lunch was okay...We took meals and chilly fish..Meals was fine..chilly fish was nothing but fried fish with capsicum...After the meals ,we went to see Mysore zoo.After having real life adventures in Bandipur , we were not ready to come in terms with animals or birds inside cages.So we took it as an initiative for a good walk and started walking ,in-between peeping into some cages.It was really long walk 2.5 Kms to reach the main gate.
Please note camera is not allowed inside the palace.So you have a camera storing place near to the gate on your right hand side.They keep your camera safe for 5 Rs.So keep the camera there and get ready to enjoy the palace.Also you have to keep chappals outside.There are many places which takes 50 ps for chappals and keep it safe until you return.So keep change ready.
As i already did few searches in google about palace , i knew about the audio guide system they introduced in palace.But didn't see much reviews on the same.So surely i will write my experiences :)
We should have opted to stand in the same place until the audio is over.But as there was only one audio system ,though i gave enough explanations ,Dileep and Manikutty was getting bored and were moving fast.Same with me as well ,when i shared the system with Manikutty or Dileep :) .So one lesson learned is to have separate audio system for each one of us which will make sure that none of us misses the details of the palace.
On the way out ,i saw few govt stalls selling photos ,books and CDS about Mysore Palace.As i was already excited ,i bought the book (The Mysore Palace - A Visitor's Guide -15 Rs ) and a documentary CD (The Mysore - Pride Of Nation -100 Rs)..Both were worth as it explains most of the details.
About the palace:
One main information i got is that the palace was completely destroyed when a fire broke off during a marriage ceremony conducted in the palace.Palace at that time was build of wood.But the temple - "Atmavilasa Ganesha" was not affected and remained intact.So they had to reconstruct the palace with fire resistant materials.The palace we see today is not with wood.
You should really see the glasswork and the tiles.We will really wonder ,at that time how could they do everything so perfect.Mysore government is also doing their job pretty well by maintaining it.There is also a good garden on both sides of the palace.
Also during dussehera celebrations , it seems we can see all the processions going on similar to how it was during the good old days..So surely don't miss out the Dussehera celebrations.We will also plan for one trip during that time.
Outside the palace:
Bathrooms are really pathethic..better not to mention..If it is really urgent ,then use the bathrooms.
We were planning to go to Brindavan Gardens..There were may small shops on the right handside of palace which sells caps,wooden articles etc..just saw few but didnt buy..went out and checked with an auto guy..Garden is pretty far away..As we already heard that there is nothing much to see there other than musical fountain (due to the poor management) ,we chose not to see it ..
Went back to the hotel.There was no current..my god..we payed for AC room and we don't have even fan?? but still it was not so hot inside.We complained and the lady in the reception mentioned that they will put on generator after waiting for 1/2 an hour.So we took bath and meanwhile they switched on the generator.We planned to go out for a walk.Hotel's front lawn had changed its look..There were many people having drinks and a panwala making yummy pans..So had mitta pans and went out.
We took few roads nearby and reached a shopping area (similar to one in Brigade Road in Bangalore .But roads are little wider).There was a huge crowd infront of Tiffany's to get the chats.So thought to have dahi puri and Kashmiri chat.Both were good.There were many sweets also on display -mysore pak,one sweet made of cucumber.But didnt buy anything as at that moment we became calorie conscious :) There was a small juice shop nearby.So had juice and returned back to hotel.That was enough for dinner..
There was a nice person sitting at reception.So we asked him about Sandalwood factory and silk factory..It seems both are closed on public holidays.We would have gone in the afternoon itself :( It's okay..we will try next time.But he told us to go to KAVERI ARTS & CRAFTS EMPORIUM which will open on Sundays and it's nearby too..He also gave us a Mysore Tourist Map which had a map on one side and explanation of the tourist spots in Mysore on the other side.(I will try to scan and attach for your reference)
Had a nice sleep and got up and packed our luggage.As breakfast is complimentary ,we thought of having break fast from the restaurant inside the hotel..It was Masala Dosa/Dosa for the hotel inmates..But if you are paying from your pocket ,you will get other items as well.One masala dosa was not enough so we ordered for one more dosa.We finished ,they didnt give any extra bill..so we thought govt is so nice ,they dont charge extra..haha:) (Once we reached back to hotel after our purchase at Kaveri,the security was waiting for us with this extra bill :))
There was an old guy selling cut pineapples and cucumber with sprinkled salt and chilli powder -each plate costing you 10 Rs..We had 2 plates of pineapple and 1 plate of cucumber..it was yummy and enough for lunch..As it was hot ,we were thirsty more than getting hungry..So these mini snacks kept our stomache full.
Now back to Bangalore..
We were still in holiday mood..so when we saw the board Ranganathittu Bird Santuary ,we just turned our car into that road:)..On the spot decision making skills :) We heard about this place from friends but didn't do much homework as we thought we will visit this place next time on our visit to Mysore.
So now back to Bangalore -Mysore highway
Saw the board -Welcome to Toy City - Chanapatna and decided to visit.
We were planning to go to the village and see how the toys are made.But we couldn't as while going ,we didn't get time and while coming back from Mysore ,it was on Sunday where all the workshops will be closed.All we did was to purchase few toys from the "Kaveri Emporium".
a)Chicken toy which contains 5 chickens around a circle shaped wood and a small ball hanging from down.All the chickens will bend their head to eat and come up depending on the movement of the ball.
b) Worm toy ..Very cute one with a very good work..once you move the toy ,it really looks like the worm is jumping and coming..too good.. Also the wheels on the both ends are painted with circular lines which itself looks pretty when it moves...Toy was 350 Rs..little high price..the shop owner told me that it was made by a blind person which is why the price is high.
I got a yummy looking Madhur Vada receipe here
But the trip was so nice that we wanted to go for trip again..but what to do ..Back to routine job --office..home..