My World

Just a place for my thoughts and views…..

Posts Tagged ‘travel

Dandeli – Paradise for Bird Watchers!!!!

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It was a good year in terms of travelling for me.  The year had started with a trip to Coorg, two trips to Waynad , visit to Orissa and now to Dandeli. This trip was planned just 2 days before.

Giant Wood Spider

Giant Wood Spider

3-days long weekend was ahead and so few of us got tempted to go on a short trip. Finally 4 of us decided to go to Dandeli – Vaibhav, Sushil, Sushmita and Myself.  The train ticket was booked in Tatkal from Bangalore till Alnawar by Rani Chennamma Express.  From Alanwar you need to take a jeep till Haliyal and then board a bus to Dandeli.

Reaching our hotel in the morning we found nice greenery around and the chirping of birds. When you have a camera and you are interested in photography, this view is a paradise for you. Leaving our luggage, we all took out our weapons(read Camera) to shoot the birds and the greenery around.

Malabar Grey Hornbill

Malabar Grey Hornbill

Dandeli is a nice place for wildlife photography, bird photography, bird watching and nature walk. Apart from all this we did mountain rappelling from not a very great height(just 67ft) and few rope activities. If you are lucky enough you can do Rafting which in our case couldn’t happen because of  less water flow.  But not very much disappointed as we had the option of roaming around in the jungle and spotting different types of birds,  spiders, animals.

We could spot and capture few birds – Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Green Bea Eater, Crocodile’s dentist, Adjustable Neck White Stork, Kingfisher, Woodpecker and many more of which I don’t know the names. On the jungle Safari we could find lots of spiders – mainly Giant Wood Spider. This Spider is a female Spider which eats the male spiders after mating. It weaves its web in between the two trees.

We could also spot the Giant Malabar Squirrel – a beautiful animal which jumps from trees to trees. You have to run behind them for capturing them into your camera. Also on the banks of Kali river, there is a crocodile track where you would find lots of crocodiles resting lazily in the river or on the banks.


Giant Malabar Squirrel in Action

Giant Malabar Squirrel in Action

For capturing the birds and animals in Dandeli, you don’t have to go to a jungle.  Just go for a walk or sit around where there are more trees and that you will find anywhere in Dandeli. Dandeli seems to be a house for different varieties of birds.

This trip was more of photographs, birds and wildlife. It was real fun to run and find a better place to capture the birds sitting somewhere behind the leaves and changing their position. Overall a nice trip !!!!


Written by Priyanka Varma

November 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Camping @Coorg

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Me rappelling at a height of 120 feet

Standing on the edge of the mountain at a height of 120 feet with the support of a rope tied to the tree,  scared to see down, convincing myself that rappelling is easier than walking down 120 feet through the paths. Giving me an adrenaline rush it seemed quite daunting to take the first step towards walking down the vertical slopes. But somehow I took a couple of steps and Voila it seemed as if I was natural at rappelling.  Enjoyed the further journey of climbing down swaying left to right, taking breaks in between to give my hurting hands a rest.

That was a part of the mini-micro meet of ma Alma mater alumni at Coorg organized by Thrillophilia.  Loved the two-days doing bakar, camping , playing mafia – ‘the GAME which dominated the minds of the people till the next day’, having nice food, adventuring out with rope walking and trampoline – and ALL in the silence away from the city with no power, no internet.  After a long time saw the beautiful sky full of stars which is a very rare scene in the city these days.  The camping site was a good one with all sports facilities though people glued to their all time favorite cricket. Twas in the jungle with a nice scenic view of mountains covered with trees.

Thanks Thrillophilia for arranging the trip and ALL for making it a nice and enjoyable one.

Written by Priyanka Varma

April 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Posted in Bangalore, Coorg, life, travel

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A Trip to Hunkal Woods

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After a lot of planning and last minute drop outs the Pankhudi Bangalore Team was finally on its way to a 2-day trip to Hunkal Woods and Belur. 9 of us, brimming with excitement reached the assembling point on Friday night. Let me first introduce to all my trip mates/team mates/friends.

Srikanth – Our travel coordinator 🙂 . A hard-core trekker, kick-boxer and an awesome photographer. The amazing thing is that the most simple-looking things also captured by him looks so much beautiful in his photographs that you are bound to appreciate the beauty of those. Very much leech-friendly. Has got a great endurance power.

Vaibhav – Our Pankhudi Bangalore leader. He is a gadget-freak(lots of gadgets but all of them gifted to him), techie person and internet-freak. Such a Java-geek that while watching animated movies he tries to judge by going into the coding level, dedicated blogs on java stuffs. Loves photography. Very much optimistic person.

Ajay –   A very much cool dude 🙂 . Always searching for the motivation of his life.  A very caring  and a fun-loving person. Enjoys teasing people a lot. But very much supportive.

Vivek – Lovingly called as “Vivek Anna“. Good at entertaining people. Always cheerful and a very fit person.

Ram – The “patent” guy. Little serious. Everyone always pulling his legs but he never minds. Very much cool-headed.

Lipika – A leader in every way. Was way ahead of us leading our way during the trek. Very good at playing antakshari. Remembers lyrics of songs which we never would have heard of.

Minu –  A silent and a soft-spoken person but quite a determined person. Doing a research on cancer. Kills rats 🙂

Nitin – The youngest of all. Loves getting his pics clicked.

The Team

From L to R: Nitin, Srikanth, Ram, Minu, Ajay, Vivek anna, me, Lipika, Vaibhav

After a spicy dinner, we started towards our destination by a 13-seater TempoTraveller. We had brought some DVDs so that we could watch during the night but unfortunately it could play only the CDs and we didn’t have any option but to watch a Kannada movie. Watched it for 15mins and we couldn’t tolerate it and so most of us decided to spend the night sleeping except Vaibhav, Ajay and Vivek anna who were busy talking, laughing on their own PJs and sometimes discussing on Pankhudi-related stuffs. In between had to wake up Srikanth from his sound sleep for directions.

Early morning at 5:30am we reached Chikamagalur and started towards the final destination to Hunkal Woods, a coffee estate. The road from Chikamagalur to the Hunkal Woods was awesome with green mountains covered with the clouds. We stopped on the way to watch it closely and capture the beauty in few of the photographers’ cameras. And then continued on our way. Finally, we saw a board indicating to take a left for Hunkal Woods. This road was around 3.2km long and was quite a narrow one. If it would have rained, it would have turned into a muddy road and would have been little difficult to drive.

Finally we landed in front of the estate bungalow, few of us ran towards the hammock to enjoy a nap after a night journey. It was 8:00 am and we spent some time wearing off our tiredness, sipping coffee, chatting with the caretaker, playing Table tennis and then a heavy breakfast.

We started for a long trek at 10am. I was worried about only one thing – LEECHES. Our guide Nizam(who was called as Nizamuddin by our Vivek anna) was very much sure that we will be getting lots of leeches on the way. Anyways with fear of Leeches, I joined the others for the trek. Initially my eyes were always looking on the ground searching for the leeches but after few minutes of walking, the spectacular scenery of the green mountains around with streams of water flowing caught my eyes and I was out of the terror of leeches for sometime. It was quite a steep way but we walked and walked enjoying the beauty of the nature, cool winds and the sound of the leaves and the gushing water and also the jokes by Vivek anna. When we thought that we had reached the final trek point, we realized the toughest and the best part of the trek was still left. We were going towards the source of a waterfall crossing numerous creeks. The way we took was steep, full of slippery rocks and leeches, all types of insects, wild plants and thorns. This was little scary one as I had a good fall from a slippery rock hurting my back and another one when my head bumped into the hard rock. But when we reached the waterfalls, we forgot all the injuries. It was truly worth all the pains on the way.

The Hunkal WaterFall

The Hunkal Waterfall

Rightly said “No gains without pain” .  We enjoyed the fall of the chilled water for sometime and started towards our return trek. I thought the return would be less eventful. But this was also fun as descent of the steep way was not so easy. Luckily I did not become the victim of the leeches. But at the end I was little disappointed also for not having experienced the leech attacks. Srikanth seems to be a good friend of the leeches, fully bitten but without worrying he was busy with his camera.  Others too were bitten but were enjoying the return walk. Finally we were back to the bungalow by 4pm all very much hungry. Rushed towards the sumptuous lunch after getting freshened up.

With filled stomach and a round of hot coffee, we decide to play some outdoor games. Me, Minu, Ram and Vivek anna decided to play badminton – All of us awesome badminton players 😛 . Ajay, Srikanth, Vaibhav and Nitin started with badminton and then cricket but not for too long. Lipika was too tired and sleepy. Ajay went off to take a good nap and Srikanth in the good company of his camera taking pics around the place. We enjoyed the rain showers with hot pakodas. Then it was time for bonfire. We sat around for a less time and then our guide Nizam realizing that few of us were afraid of the ghosts, started scaring people with the ghost stories. We sat sometime on the tree house called as “machan” in the dark for sometime till the dinner was served. We had a good dinner and then again started for a night walk towards the jungle. But we did not continue the trek for too long as it was too dark and little dangerous. So, we were back to our rooms by 12, spent some time chatting, taking pics and then off to the bed.

Next morning, we had to check out at 8. But all were so tired that we could wake up by 8:15am. Seemed no one wanted to leave the place and everyone was too reluctant to leave the place. Everyone had coffee – seems people never got tired of drinking coffee on this trip! We got ready to go back, had a heavy breakfast and then bid adieu to the awesome nature-friendly place.

We headed towards Belur, located in the Hassan district. The main attraction of Belur is  the Chennakesava(handsome Vishnu) temple. We took a guide who explained us the about the beautiful architecture of the temple. It had took almost 100 years to complete this temple. The intricate sculpture includes elephants, lions, horses, episodes from the Indian mythological epics, and dancers. After roaming around the temples for sometime and enjoying the nice rain, we headed towards for South Indian meal to Hassan. Reaching Hassan, we could see more of liquor shops than the eating places. We had a nice meal and then headed back to Bangalore sleeping, playing Antakshari and chatting.

In  all was a fun-filled adventurous, absolutely fantastic trip in the company of wonderful people.

Image Courtesy:  Our own Pankhudian Photographers:  Srikanth’s Gallery, Vaibhav’s Gallery

Written by Priyanka Varma

August 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm