Talakad - Deep into the temple town

From Talakad - Dee...
It was another of eventful trips! We were planning to go via Maddur, based on the Udaya TV(reported agitations in Mandya) and some old news paper article( had an news item which had Chief Minister Kumarswamy proclaiming though roads to Talakad are not complete by the Panchalinga darshan, will be completed soon) we decided to take the Kanakapura road. Thinking that its going to a short trip (110 km) we are taking ample breaks. Slowly road conditions started to deteriorate. Till Sathanur it was ok ok road compared to the Bangalore-Mysore state highway. After Sathanur it was roads in the well rather than pot holes in the road! Instead of whole road being eroded, there were deep pot holes like somebody had dug up purposefully(were they trying rain water harvesting ?)
It was going slow and steady till we were 1 km from Mallavali and then we saw the stranded vehicles due to agitations. There was smoke on the horizon a little bit ahead. Then we saw a taxi guy was taking a detour and he told us to follow him and he will take us past the agitations. Initially we thought luckily we got this fellow, only to realize later that that was our bad luck! We followed this guy on the narrow mud road through the sugar cane fields and brick kilns and every now and then stopping on the edge of the road to allow bullock carts to pass by. Bullock cart fellows also returned the favor by moving to the side in some places. Suddenly our navigator had vanished. We managed to reach the intended destination which is supposed to get us past the agitations by asking school kids and the farmers. That was also blocked and we saw our navigator taking U turn and yet again he promised us to take through a inner road which will take us to Shivanasamudra. Within seconds he vanished again. ( May be he is stuck in a wrong job should have been a magician or politician but do they recruit through monster?)
From Talakad - Dee...

And we were stuck in a "bul bulayya" with no sign boards or mile stones and with hardly any difference between main road and non-main roads. We started asking for directions with people working in the fields and grazing cattle. It was kind of treasure hunt with us getting to know one village after another on the way and with each person giving us varying distances between the places. Finally after more than hours drive we reached the so called national highway 209. Though the last person giving us direction had asked to us take right we took left and found Talkad road. After couple of kilometers we reached actual right meant by that person. If we had taken the left we would have reached the place we wanted to avoid!
With bad roads all along we reached the temple town at 2:00 PM instead of the original guesstimate of 11:00 AM. We took a guide at the entry point. First visit was to the Vaidyanatheshwara temple which had closed before we reached there we had to be satisfied by going around the temple and some explanation by our guide. After that we visited 4 temples and one temple under reconstruction. It took us about 2 hours to go around the temples and then we had lunch at "Udupi Mess" and strolled for a while along the banks of Cauvery.
Now we were very worried which route to take back. After lots of discussion with the guide, we decided to take the Mallvalli, Maddur, Chennapatna route. Canceled all the other plans like visiting somanathpur, mudukothore temple etc. Started the journey back to Bangalore at 5:00 PM. When we passed through Malvalli around 6:30 PM we let out a sigh of relief for crossing first trouble point. Close to Maddur, We had to go through few anxious moments at a traffic jam till we came to know that it was due to the road construction activity. Sugar cane wielding youngsters running here and there with loud instructions to the truck drivers had made us think otherwise. After having dinner at Lokruchi we reached bangalore at 10:00 PM and I reached home after 11:00 PM.

For the visitors

For information on how to go there and what to see check out "Talakadu on wknd.in"

What to eat: Before travelling I had read in the most blogs that nothing much available out here and its best to carry some food. But I guess after the recently held Panchaling Darshana many small eateries or so called messes have come up where one can have simple meal. There are lots of shaks on the river banks too. We got back whatever we took along with us.

Bannerghatta Buttterfly Park - An afternoon with winged jewels

Inspired by the last trip to Hogenkkal I along with Som and Prem were eager to go out on a short trip during the weekend. Due to the Cauvery issue we had limited options. As usual lot of there were lot of discussion around the possibilities of visiting a place which can be covered in a day and is not on the mysore road or Hassan road. (May be we love to discuss, discuss and discuss )Options boiled down to Anthara Gange, Devarayana Durga and Butterfly park. As Som had personal work, I and Prem decided to visit the Butterfly Park.

As we had started off pretty late in the day(11:45 AM) we were expecting very less traffic on the Bannerghatta Road. To our surprise Bannerghatta road was another airport traffic junction(before the flyover thing happened) in the making. Or rather surprises make the trip better ? Listening to the traffic signal music concerts (pom pom, honk honk) we moved slowly till the Meenakshi temple (?) After that we had less crowded and better roads. Talking about jungle surrounded by concrete jungles and the animals visiting the villages we reached BNP at around 12:30 PM.

Butterfly park is an initiative of National Bioresources Development Board and Department of Biotechnology (GOI) and was inaugurated in November 2006. The number of visitors is far less though we reached the park at 12:30 we were the only people inside for quite a some time. At any given point of time you will not find more than 10 people. Most of the people have a quick walk and take snaps standing on the small bridge over the artificial stream of water. On its way to becoming Patel's Point of BNP ? Hardly one or two will be taking snaps with patience! Or may be we went at the wrong time ? Jakub Jasinski in his article Get the most from your butterfly hunt says that early morning is the best time to visit. This is when you will find butterflies sitting. Otherwise it is hard to find a butterfly which is not moving unless it is mating. We managed to find 3 such pairs and capture photographs. But I had come to know the butterflies were mating only after another person clicking the photographs pointed at one pair. I was suspicious that they might be planted ones like the flowers they have planted for butterflies to sit and pose for the photographs. Suspicion arose as 99% of the butterflies were moving and hardly one or two were sitting ! After sometime I visited the same spot again to make sure that they were alive and left the place.

The Butterfly Park has a display area with facts about butterfly, specimen and kiosks with puzzle. A 20 minute documentary about butterflies is also shown. I felt that it would have been better if we had watched video before chasing the butterflies. Its very informative, more than the variety of butterflies that can be seen, one should visit for information on butterflies.

We ended visit with a grand safari in the sanctuary. When we are about to leave couple of people were asking us as can they take the car inside and watch the butterflies from car ? Were they looking for carnivorous giant butterflies ? No wonder number of people visiting the park is less. Certainly butterfly park can not be taken on the lines of tiger and lion safari ...

Visitor Information

Where : Just before entrance for the safari on the tar road along the car parking area at Bannerghatta National Park. BNP is 20km from bannerghatta road flyover in BTM/Jayanagar.

When : 10 :00 AM to 5:00 PM except for Tuesdays. As the sun hots up, butterflies will be very active. Its better go when its not so hot.


Lalbagh holds flower festival twice in a year. Earlier it used be called autumn and winter flowers shows.Now they are held on the occasion of Republic day and Independence day. I have never been to Lalbagh and this time I got a chance.. thanks Prashanth Pai. Though I went on the last day of the show, still I could glimpse very good flower arrangements. Here is the album and if you would like to see some very good phots there is in Anita who has captured some real good photos as always !! at Fun with Flowers
When will I learn to take photographs like that ?