Road Trips for the Spontaneous

29 January  |  Adventure & Travel

One of the advantages of living in Bangalore is the multitude of options for a road trip. From day trips to extended weekend getaways, there are many options for those who have wanderlust firmly fixed in their hearts.

Here are some great road trip options the next time you want to hit the road.

1. Mysore

An obvious choice for a good reason, Mysore is the cultural and historical bedrock of the state. With a great highway connecting the erstwhile capital to Bangalore, you cannot go wrong with this road trip. There are multiple places to visit within Mysore, from the Palace to the zoo to Chamundi hills. The highway also has many pit stops which ease any planning difficulties. While it is possible to visit Mysore in a single day, we recommend that you stay for the weekend and soak up some of the laidback atmosphere. The best part about Mysore is the drive filled with interesting side-attractions like the puppets of Channapatna or the delicious Maddur Vada at Maddur town.

Distance: 150 km

Best time to visit: Mysore is pleasant all your round though it does tend to get hot in the summer months. Dussehra is a big celebration for the city, with a large procession of elephants that is a sight to behold.

Time Taken: 3 hours.

2. Coorg

A great summer destination, Coorg is known for its expansive coffee estates and wondrous topography. Coorg is the ideal choice for an extended weekend with many options for the adventurous and languid alike. With multiple stay options from luxurious resorts to cozy homestays, there is an option for every budget. While there, do not forget to sample the local delicacies, especially the mouth-watering pandi curry.

Distance: 245 km

Best time to visit: Being in the hills of the Western Ghats, Coorg is a popular summer destination. However, each season has something to offer. The hills are vibrant during the monsoon while a bonfire in the winter is the perfect romantic getaway.

Time Taken: 5 hours 30 minutes.

3. Mekedaatu

Mekedaatu is a beautiful rock formation caused by hundreds of years of erosion by the river Kaveri. This picturesque ravine is well connected to Bangalore and can be reached within a few hours. You can park your car at Sangam, which is a few kilometres away. Here, you can take a coracle ride to cross the river and then either take a bus or walk to the rock formations. Do remember to take your camera since the rocks are a visual masterpiece.

Distance: 100 km

Best time to visit: It is best to visit just after the monsoon months as the river will be full during that time.

Time taken: 2 hours 30 minutes.

4. Lepakshi

Few places in India are archaeologically, religiously and culturally as relevant as Lepakshi. Located in the district of Ananthpur in the state of Andhra Pradesh, this village is perfect for Indian history buffs interested in understanding the significant relationship between religion and the Vijayanagar kingdom. In Lepakshi, travellers will find numerous shrines dedicated to the lords Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra all built during the period of the Vijayanagar Empire. Travellers in the region are also greeted by the historically relevant statue of the Nandi Bull made of granite, this is located only 200m from the Veerdabhadra temple. Not only is this city the center of a major Indian civilization, but it is also considered a bedrock in South Indian Hindu culture, the area also consists of smaller temples dedicated to gods like Papanatheshwara, Srirama, Raghunatha, and Durga. Another interesting part of Lepakshi that makes it the perfect spontaneous road trip is the wonderful puppet shows based on Indian mythology. Lepakshi can also be the perfect destination due to its proximity and its accessibility from Bangalore. The route between the two destinations is a national highway which is very well maintained and the closeness to the city makes it perfect for a getaway be it for a day or an entire weekend.

Distance: 123 km

Best time to visit: Lepakshi is located in an extremely climate sensitive state – Andra Pradesh. The best time to visit here is after the summer ends, so between the months of July – February is ideal.

Time taken: 2.5 hours

5. Ooty

Known as the destination for couples nationwide, Ooty brings together a perfect blend of nature, hospitality, and climate to make it one of the best spontaneous destinations from Bangalore. This mini paradise not only has a multitude of homestays and hotels that can be booked at the last minute for affordable prices, but it also has botanic biodiversity that is remarkable. This city is growing in popularity for being a hill station which means the climate is cool and pleasant year-round. The best road trips to Ooty from Bangalore are filled with mesmerising naturally green landscapes that will take your breath away. One of the most exciting parts of Ooty is the lake. This lake is an artificial manmade wonder that allows pleasure boating as an activity, this is perfect to do alone or with a loved one or family.

Distance: 279km

Best time to visit: Ooty is a popular getaway destination because of the cool climate year-round, it is a hill station that is filled with tourists in the spring due to the flowers on display or in the summer where people try to escape the heat for a weekend. This destination is great to travel around throughout the year.

Time Taken: 6.5 hours

6. Kabini

Kabini is one of the most nature-friendly destinations close to Bangalore, apart from the river and dam, the region is also famous for endangered wildlife. This is a destination that requires little planning with plenty of options like the jungle lodges, AirBnBs and the many resorts in Kabini. It is a perfect destination for a romantic getaway or just for those who want to get back in-tune with nature.

Distance: 210km

Best time to visit: It is best to visit just after the monsoon months as the river will be full during that time. The opportunity to see some of the wildlife is always better.

Time taken: 4 hours 30 minutes.

It is a common urge to escape the city of Bangalore for a weekend to recharge and get some distance from the intensity and hustle of daily life. The great part about it as a city is that it is located central to numerous magnificent destinations, be it beach cities like Puducherry or hills in the wilderness like MM Hills, everything is accessible from this region. For those interested in taking a break on a staycation, we recommend checking out some of the magnificent resorts in Bangalore or near the outskirts of Bangalore.

Beautiful Bird-Watching Locations near Kabini

16 January  |  Adventure & Travel

On your next visit to the great outdoors, indulge in a relaxing hobby -the study and observation of birds! A popular pastime, bird-watching can have a soothing effect on your mind and may just be the break you are looking for. So grab your binoculars and get started right away to these bird-watching sanctuaries, Located in Kabini. It is a quick getaway from the city of Bangalore.

  • Kabini River Lodge

Kabini is 200 odd km from Bangalore and can be reached in 3-4 hours. It is a small hamlet which is in the Kodagu district, and one of the top places to see in Kabini is bird-watching spots on the river. It is situated alongside the banks of the river Kabini which is a tributary of the river Cauvery. There are many wonderful spots to witness beautiful species of both migratory and local birds.

  • Nagarahole National Park

One of the most famous national parks in Karnataka. Nagarahole National Park is located to the north west of Karnataka, is the best bird watching in Kabini. The two parks are separated by the river Kabini and is located in the Kodagu district of Karnataka renowned for coffee plantations and beautiful weather. Nagarhole National Park is a great place to visit with fellow bird watchers to witness over 250 variety of birds both migratory and domestic in nature. On any given occasion some of the most commonly sighted birds in Nagarhole are blue-bearded bee-eater, Malabar whistling thrush, Indian reed, Malabar trogon, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Malabar pied-hornbill, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Indian Roller, Woodpeckers to name a few.

  • Bandipur National Park

Located off NH-67 highway, Bandipur National Park is one of the biggest parks in Karnataka which offer a wide variety of flora and fauna. The park is around 70 km from Kabini and can be reached in an hour or so by road. There are many resorts in Kabini which visitors can stay in and set out to explore Bandipur during the day on safari. For bird watchers, this park is a paradise as it includes the elusive Osprey and Changeable hawk-eagle. The thick green forest foliage offers the perfect spots for many birds to nest and breed.

  • Kudremukh National Park

This mountainous range is in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka and can be reached by road from Kabini in 3-4 hours. Lush green mountains and fantastic weather bless the region making it a great home for many migratory and local birds. Bird watchers head to this National park to watch rare birds such as the Imperial Pigeon, Great Pied Hornbill, and Malabar Trogon. There are as many as 200 species of birds here.

  • Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary

A protected wildlife region in Mandya district of Karnataka, the Cauvery river passes through this wildlife sanctuary. It is located around 5 hours from the Kabini river and is home to tigers, elephants, leopards and wild boars. Apart from this, there are many species of birds which call this sanctuary their home including greater spotted eagle, white-rumped vulture, yellow-throated bulbul. This sanctuary is a wonderful day trip for those who love to get away from the hustle and bustle of a city.

  • Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Bird Sanctuary

Step off the usual trails and find the hard to see Rufous-bellied Hawk-eagle in this beautiful location near Kabini. One of the best things about bird-watching is that it is an activity that can be carried out in solitude or in a group. It is a passion to watch these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, especially the Rufous-bellied Hawk-eagle. The Biligiri hills are located south-east of Karnataka and is a day’s journey from Bangalore. These majestic hills are virgin hills and have dark, dense forests home to many animals and birds.

  • Gudavi Bird Sanctuary

The Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is in the Sagara district of Karnataka and is a day’s journey from Kabini. If you have stayed in one of the quiet resorts in Kabini, you can make a trip to Gudavi Bird Sanctuary to see the resident waterfowl. These birds are also migratory in nature and watching them fish, make a nest is simply beautiful. The little sanctuary is well preserved and surrounded by agricultural fields and dense forests.

  • Attiveri Bird Sanctuary

A small sanctuary located in Uttar Karnataka and is a day’s journey from Kabini. The small river sanctuary is well maintained and for those looking for a quieter spot to watch birds must visit this sanctuary. It is home to Indian and little Cormorants, barn swallow, black-headed ibis, Eurasian spoonbill and many other species of birds.

  • Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

The largest bird sanctuary in the State of Karnataka, bird lovers cannot give this one a miss. It is famously known as ‘Pakshi Kashi’ or ‘Bird Paradise’, and it well deserves that title as it is home to 170 species of birds. It comprises of 6 islets on the banks of the river Cauvery and is in the Mandya District. The painted stork is one of the most commonly frequented visitors to this bird paradise, and more than 3 lakh visitors come every year to see these birds in action. Apart from this, there are also Pelicans, kingfishers, open-billed storks in huge numbers that come to the sanctuary every year.

  • Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary

The river Kabini provides the right amount of nutrition for many freshwater birds to thrive in leading to a dense bird population alongside the river. Another popular location for bird lovers which a day journey from Kabini is home to Grey Hornbill, Black-headed Oriole, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Great Indian Hornbill, Racket-tailed Drongo, Black-naped Monarch and others. This little sanctuary is located in the Udupi district and is one of those offbeat spots for bird-watching. Witness majestic birds in action undisturbed in Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

5 Places To Cycle To Around Bangalore

08 January  |  Adventure & Travel

Bangalore, the IT capital of India, has something for everyone out there. With a report of 2012 stating that Bangalore is one of the most liveable cities in India along with a boom in the start-up world, Bangalore has been thriving with people from different walks of life.

The city is alive till late night, and there are innumerable malls, great eateries, some picturesque weekend destinations and yes great pubs for all the party people. But there are also some cool destinations for all the cycling enthusiasts out there. If you are new to the city, then it would be great if you could get in touch with one of these cycling communities. They organize frequent short tours in and around the city. With the Bangalore weather being pleasant all year these cycling trips are always rejuvenating.

Cycling Within the City Limits:

Cubbon Park which is officially known as the Raja Chamarajendra Park is located at the heart of the city. The park is accessible from MG Road, Kasturba Road, Ambedkar Veedhi Road, and Hudson Circle. The park is open at all times, and the motorable road within the park is closed between 5 to 8 pm for traffic, allowing morning walkers and cyclists a traffic-free happy space. Though early mornings during weekdays is good to enjoy few cycling rounds. The entire park is shut to traffic thus allowing cyclists a good time. In other words, Cubbon Park allows one of the best cycling routes that are available within the city!

Another good 3.3-kilometer stretch which is totally loved by cycling enthusiasts is the Ulsoor or the Halasuru lake route. Located on the east of Bangalore it’s a well-maintained stretch. You can either cycle inside the lake premises or around it, either way, it’s one of the best cycling routes inside Bangalore.

Now moving to places on the outskirts of Bangalore:

Hesarghatta lake area located 27 km from Bangalore is one of the most sought-after areas for cyclists. To reach this area, you would need to take the Hesarghatta main road and yes do start early if you want to give a miss to the traffic. This area is good to go for high-speed cycling or a leisurely one where you can soak in the beauty of it. However, don’t expect paved roads and cycling wouldn’t be entirely easy. This area is thus best for intermediate or professional cyclists. Also, because this has vast areas of open fields its best to carry food and water with you. To reach Hessarghatta, head out of the city on NH4 in the junction where NH4 meets ORR, and you will come to the main road. From there ride towards Nrityagram, ask for direction if you get confused or just used google maps. Once you reach Nrityagram, you would find lots of open areas to cycle to your heart’s content. Because of the terrain and the mud roads, this would be best for adventure cycling.

Another not to be missed place is the Turahalli forest area. This is just about 20 kilometers from Bangalore, off Kanakpura road and is loved by cyclists and nature lovers alike. One more reason to explore Turahalli is that it’s one of the few preserved forest areas near Bangalore. Vehicles are banned inside, and hence it’s a hotspot for cyclists. The terrain is quite rocky hence you need to be an expert cyclist to make the most of Turahalli. Apart from this you can even hike up the small hills in and around Turahalli and enjoy the breath-taking view of Bangalore city that it offers.

Nandi Hills

Nandi Hills one of the most well-known destinations for cyclists, bikers and even car lovers. Nandi Hills is known to offer beautiful sunrise and sunset views along with a long drive/ride experience. People throng Nandi hills to enjoy the scenic beauty that it offers, some picturesque locations for good photography sessions and small food joints offering mouth-watering delicacies. Apart from these Nandi Hills has even become a much-loved spot for serious cyclists. To reach Nandi Hills, you would need to maneuver around 40 curves and a very steep 8 km terrain! Also, don’t forget to wear protective gear like helmets during this cycling trip. But once there you can enjoy the light breeze as it’s around 4500 ft above sea level and go for a leisurely trip. Just in case all that are riding tires you out don’t hesitate to opt for a room in one of the resorts in Nandi Hills. Lastly, do carry a bottle of sunscreen as if you end up being up there till noon it’s going to get really hot.

The Big Big-Banyan


The Big Big-Banyan- Tree Loop is another adventurous cycling route that a cycling lover must not give up. This area offers a good 50km cycling stretch and would tire you out quite a bit. But then again if you love cycling, you would love this zone. Once you manage to get out of the traffic on Mysore road, you would need to take a slight deviation towards the right just after the Big Banyan Tree and ride towards Tavarekere. Once there you would be transported to a serene, tranquil world which is thus rightly named as the ‘Pensioner’s Paradise.’ This area, however, offers few short steep climbs and therefore it’s advisable to wear helmets while cycling.


Cycling is a no doubt a thrilling experience and if you get the hang of it then nothing like some great cycling trips in and around Bangalore. They not only rejuvenate you and provides you with the must needed break, but you can even make new friends, meet different people and increase your social circle. So what are you waiting for go on grab your cycles and enjoy the adrenaline rush that Bangalore’s terrain offers!

 

5 Lesser Known Trek Spots near Bangalore

07 January  |  Adventure & Travel

The city of Bangalore has a lot to offer when it comes to adventure activities. Close to many wonderful trekking options, it offers treks that range from easy to the ones suited for the experienced trekker. You can choose single day trek or opt for a trek that is spread over an extended weekend. You can stay at a hotel and do small trek or backpack to lesser known places around the city. Book resorts in Nandi hills and get up–close and personal with nature. If you want to avoid the crowd or looking for some new experience, here are 5 lesser-known nature friendly places near Bangalore.

1. Kudremukh

Source: Treks and Trails

Kudremukh in Chikmagalur is ideal for those who are looking for a memorable adventure. Kudremukh is considered to be one of the most beautiful regions in Karnataka. The trails of the Malenadu region lead up to the origin of the Bhadra, Nethravati and Tunga Rivers. The trekking trails in forests to the background of gurgling water offer differing degrees of difficulty, making it ideal for everyone.

Truly a wondrous place, the land is filled with the wild orchids, and crisp mountain air is sure to rejuvenate you. This trek is best enjoyed over a long weekend. Be sure to pack a sturdy tent and comfortable hiking shoes.

You can take a bus or drive down to Chikmagalur. From there you can find local guides who will help you in your trek.

Distance from Bangalore to Kudremukh: 332km

Best time to visit Kudremukh: October to February

Time Duration: 7 hours

Difficulty: Medium

2. Handi Gundi Betta

Source: The Travel Reminiscences

Located in the town of Ramnagar, this destination is perfect for those who aren’t used to hiking. This hill is not only an easy hike for adults and kids alike, but it is also famous for the location where iconic movie scenes were shot – Sholay. To start this trek, head to the village of Basavanapura, once you cross the railway station, your trek has officially begun. This is a great destination to take your kids, the hike is so easy and comfortable that it has earned the nickname, “Lazy Man’s trail.” This area is so well connected from two major metropolitan cities-Bangalore and Mysore, making this a safe and easy to reach region, as well.

Distance from Bangalore to Handi Gundi: 60 km

Best Time to Visit Handi Gundi: Between September & December.

Time Duration: 2.5 – 4 hours

Difficulty: Easy

3. Kumara Parvatha

Source: The Campus Connect

Possibly one of the most challenging treks in Karnataka, the Kumara Parvatha trail is located in Coorg. This is not a trail meant for beginners, which also means those who seek this trail are quite a few. This is a strenuous trail, so going unprepared is not recommended. The trail extends till 16km, and most of the trekkers commonly carry tents with them so they can set up camp under the canopy of beautiful stars surrounded by the Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary within which the trail is located. This is the third highest peak in Karnataka, and what makes this even more challenging is the fact that there is only one pit stop throughout the trail known as the Bhattaramane. To begin this trek, start at Kukke Subramanya.

Distance from Bangalore to Kumara Parvatha: 220 km

Distance of Kumara Parvatha trail: 15-17 km

Best Time to Travel to Kumara Parvatha: Between the months of September to February

Time Duration: Up to 2 days

Difficulty: Difficult, for experienced trekkers only

4. Savandurga Hill

Source: Vardhman Vacations

This is one of the largest monolith hills in the world, and one of the best hiking trails for beginners and experts alike, the trails for this trek are on two different hills – The Billigudda Hill and Karrigudda Hill. These two hills are monolith, which mean the route to the top can be done at a leisurely pace. An interesting part of this trail is that towards the end of the trek, you can find an ancient fort that was constructed during the time of Kempe Gowda II. The view from this fort can give hikers a mesmerizing view of the outskirts and skyline of Bangalore. The trail is very easy to access and getting lost here shouldn’t be a worry as most trail exits lead to either the city of Bangalore or one of the villages close to it. Getting to this area is also easy as numerous buses travel on this route to nearby regions. This trail starts just off Magadi Road.

Distance from Bangalore to Savandurga Hill: 60km

Time Duration: 2-4 hours

Best Time to Visit Savandurga Hill: This hill is easy to access year-round, but it is particularly beautiful during the spring months of February to April.

Difficulty: Easy

5. Madhugiri Hill

Source: Youtube

Another large monolith hill in the state and the second largest one is Madhugiri. It is a great trail for beginners, that is family friendly and a great destination to get your kids started on hiking and trekking. The hilltop is rich in historical value with the famous Madhugiri Fort. The hilltop offers a view that honours rural India in all its grace and elegance. This Hill is also great for a recreational trek if you aren’t a hard-core trekker, as it does have well-designed trail full of signage.

Distance from Bangalore to Madhugiri Hill: 100 km

Time Duration: 2-3 hours

Best Time to Travel to Madhugiri Hill: This destination is great year-round and can be trekked on at any time during the year. We recommend the cooler months of October-December.

Difficulty: Easy, Beginners.

6. Nandi Hills

Source: India Hikes

Possibly the closest trek spot to the city, Nandi Hills is the perfect destination for both beginners and hiking enthusiasts. You can enjoy a leisurely trek with your kids or partner on this trail. Take-in the natural landscape and visit the numerous monuments like the old British cemetery, the Tipu summer home or the Yoga Nandeeshwara Temple – home to the famous Nandi statue the hill was named after.

Distance from Bangalore to Nandi Hills: 62 km

Time Duration: 1.5 hours

Best Time to Travel to Nandi Hills: This Weekend

Difficulty: Easy, Beginners.

These destinations may offer varying difficulties and beautiful landscapes that are unique to each location, but they, as with most hikes, need adequate preparation.

Tip: Remember to pack supplies that you may need like water, energy drinks, sandwiches, and granola bars. If you decide to go on a hike, always let an emergency contact know the location and route you are taking.

Trekking for the mind and the body!

29 October  |  Adventure & Travel
Image Source: PxHere

Physical activity is a must for every individual. It not only keeps you physically fit, but also rejuvenates and re-energizes your mind to help you take on your daily tasks with refreshed enthusiasm.

While there are various activities that can be done on a daily basis to keep yourself fit, trekking is one physical activity that is sure to reset your body clock and bring you in sync with your natural surroundings.

What is trekking?

Simply put, trekking is a journey undertaken on foot to explore wilderness and nature. Trekking is an activity that can last for a few hours or extend up to a few days. Usually undertaken with a group of people, trekking provides a great opportunity to build new relationships and get to know more people, all of this in addition to working towards great physical fitness.


Five benefits of trekking

While it offers countless boons, here are the five key benefits of trekking:

  1. Peace of mind: Nothing soothes your mind better than being away from the hustle and bustle of the city and tensions of the routine life. Being away from pollution, restricting yourself from staring into electronics, eating limited, simple food and sharing a good laugh with your fellow trekkers, all of this is bound to make your mind thank you for giving it this break.
  2. Increases focus and productivity: Trekking impacts your overall productivity and concentration. While trekking, you need to cross difficult terrains, take unchartered routes and be aware of your surroundings as a team at all times. This ensures that you are focused on your task. Physically, trekking makes you agile and ready. All of this put together leads to increase in productivity and overall focus.
  3. Strengthens your bones: Trekking requires stretching, climbing, jumping and moving. Additionally, trekkers also carry their own supplies such as food, water, clothing, camping equipment’s etc. with them on the trek. These activities will help to add on to the bone density, strengthen shoulders and spine and ensure the overall bone fitness.
  4. Increases your metabolism: Exercising increases your metabolism by toning your muscles, burning fat and releasing hormones that aid in enhancing the metabolic activities in the body. Trekking involves a lot of body movement and exercise, eventually leading to an increased metabolism.
  5. Heals chronic back pain: If done rightly, trekking will strengthen you spinal cord, thanks to the weight that you carry on your back and the movements during the trek. However, you need to be careful to not carry too much weight on your back and make controlled maneuvers so as to protect your spine from injuries.
    Trekking at DV Resorts, why should you go for it?

    If you want to have an everlasting memory of your trek adventure, then Discovery Village is the place to be at. Discovery village has adventure resorts in Bangalore and around it which offer the perfect setting for trekking. If you are looking to merge trekking with your office offsite, then DV has one of the best resorts in Nandi hills, where you can participate in group trekking activities under the guidance of trained trekkers amidst beautiful landscapes. DV offers a perfect treat to those who want to enjoy trekking and soothe your mind and body.

     

A journey to experience nature

04 October  |  Adventure & Travel

Who does not love nature? The very thought of relaxing beside sparkling beach waters, bathing in cold waterfalls, lazing away amidst lush green forests or breathing the fresh air of the mountains makes you want to leave the chaos of cities and head on a journey to experience nature.

South India offers some of the most pristine and untouched landscapes that are blessed with nature’s bounty and are perfect to undertake a journey to nature’s offerings.

Here are some of the must visit places if you want to experience the nature at its best:

  1. Nandi Hills: Located at a distance of 60 KM’s from the city of Bangalore, Nandi Hills is the right place to be if you do not want to drive too far away from the city and yet experience nature’s bliss. The spectacular view from the top coupled with the fact that this hill is the source of origination for two rivers makes it a masterpiece for nature lovers. You can also plan a night trip and spend your time in the resorts near Nandi Hills. Some of the resorts also offer adventure activities and is perfect for those who want to have a nature with adventure theme to their outing.

    image source: Flickr
  2. Kabini: If bird watching and wildlife spotting is your thing, then Kabini is the place to be. The Kabini river flows through some of the densest and untouched forests of Karnataka and Kerala providing great sighting opportunities to the nature enthusiasts. Wildlife resorts in Kabini that provide outstanding nature views are the ideal place to set up your camp when holidaying here. This is as close as you can get to Mother Nature.

    image source: Wikimedia
  3. Mangalore: Nature here presents herself in the form of beautiful beaches alongside the Arabian Sea. Nestled between the majestic Western Ghats and the sea, Mangalore is ideal for those who want to experience nature but also want to have a bit of city life and not to forget delicious seafood.

    image source: Flickr
  4. Wayanad: If Kerala God’s own country, Wayanad has to be its most treasured masterpiece. Forests, wildlife, waterfalls, rivers, you name it you have it. What you also get as a bonus are long, winding roads cutting across mist filled hills and acres of tea estates and the sweet smell of coffee beans from coffee plantations. If you are a nature lover, visiting Wayanad will be a treat to your senses.

    image source: Wikipedia
  5. viewpoints that offer splendid panoramic views of the Ghats. You can stay in one of the numerous homestays or check-in to one of the hill resorts and experience nature at your doorstep.
    image source: Wikipedia

    The more you are amidst nature, the more you discover yourself. The best way to soak in the beauty offered at all these places is to travel by road. The biggest advantage of using the road is that you can travel as and when you like. Detours, unplanned pit-stops and unexplored routes, the fun of discovering yourself by getting lost in the wilderness is something that will stay forever with you.  

How to click/create perfect travel photographs:

04 October  |  Adventure & Travel

 

Image source: pixnio

Clicking pictures is a great way to freeze your memorable moments so that you can re-visit and cherish the good times later. Thanks to the advancement in technology, the camera’s today can produce stunning, real-life pictures that capture the tiniest of details with perfection.

While the camera is doing its job well, the creativity part has to be taken care of by the photographer. Clicking theme bases pictures that give a message, exploring new angles, understanding how light works are some of the nuances that every photographer must understand especially while doing travel photography.

Here are tips and tricks that will help you click perfect travel photographs:

  1. Knowing what you want to show: When you are travelling, you will come across many landscapes, sceneries and people that can be clicked. However, in order to make your picture speak, you need to be clear about what you want to convey through your photo. Understand what will be the central theme of your picture and focus your camera to bring that object/person to prominence. Use the depth of field concept to focus on the key elements of the picture.

    Image source: pixnio
  2. Playing with angles: The key to clicking perfect photos is by exploring new angles with your camera. Giving the viewer a new perspective of the same old thing will attract appreciation from the audience. Don’t be afraid to explore and click the same object from different angles. Most monuments or popular places are clicked numerous times by travellers in the same way. In order to stand out and click a creative travel photo, angles are going to be your best companions.

    Image source: pixnio
  3.  At the right place, at the right time: Natural light plays a very important role in photography and it becomes even more critical when you are a travel photographer as the scope for artificial lighting is limited. Knowing the weather forecast in advance will be of help. Also, you can use the weather in your stride. For example, when capturing a barren landscape, patchy sky with intermittent cloud cover will add gradient to the whole set-up and make the picture look livelier. When your photo includes people, it is best to find a shaded place from where the picture can be taken. The ideal position to click a picture is to have the sun behind you unless you are capturing a sunrise or sunset shot of-course.

    Image source: pixnio
  4.  Go to a scenic location: Well, a scenic location is the easiest way to capture stunning photos without much effort. Snow-capped mountains, dense jungles, lush green fields and unique urban landscapes are some of the places that will offer great photo opportunities.

    Image source: pixnio
  5. Break the monotony: Do not restrict yourself to one category of pictures. While travelling, you come across contrasting geographies, diverse cultures and vibrant landscapes where you can find serenity, action, calm chaos and other such situations alike. Let your camera click all the unique experiences that come your way. South India offers some great photography opportunities. You can stay in one of the jungle resorts in Kabini, or find a hotel on the east coast beaches that offer amazing sceneries and scenarios and let the shutterbug in you take over.

    Image source: pixnio

5 Treks around Bangalore you can’t afford to miss this Monsoon

05 August  |  Adventure & Travel

Monsoon is perhaps the most important season in India. The rains not only provide relief from the heat, the good weather also becomes an excuse for travel enthusiasts to pack their bags and hit the road. For those who love trekking, the monsoon season is the perfect time to put on their trekking shoes and kick-start the adventure.

There are some fantastic weekend getaway treks efrom Bangalor that provide a great opportunity to the trekking enthusiasts to satiate their thirst for adventure. If you are looking for the best places to hike & trek during this rainy season, listed below are some great spots for trekking around Bangalore.

    1. Dudhsagar trek: A trek to one of India’s tallest waterfalls is bound to be extraordinary. Situated on the Mandovi River, the Dudhsagar fall is located on the Karnataka-Goa border. Its unparalleled scenic beauty, extraordinary terrain and the rich flora and fauna make it a perfect location for trekking. The normal trek route should take you between 6 to 8 hours to complete.

      Photo Credit: Adventure365
    2. Tadiandamol trek: The third highest peak in Karnataka is a preferred trek circuit for many trekking enthusiasts. The trek route is well defined and the difficulty level is moderate, allowing even beginners to take a shot at trekking. The route is flanked by the dense Shola forests and the hill is covered with mist, especially during the rainy season, making the entire journey enchanting and unreal.

      Photo Credit: EventHigh
    3. Nishani Motte trek: If you are looking to spend some quality and peaceful time enjoying the bounties of nature, then the Nishani Motte, located near Coorg in Karnataka is the perfect location to go trekking. Being a protected forest area, any trekking activities here need a permit from the forest department. The cloud covered peaks and the lush green fields are sure to take you into a state of bliss.

      Photo Credit: Advensure
    4. Nandi hills trek: If you want to go on a trek near Bangalore, then Nandi hills is the best place to go to. Only 61 KM’s away from Bangalore, Nandi hills offer some spectacular views from its various viewpoints on the top, especially during the monsoons. It is also a sought-after place for many corporates day outings. The Discovery Village resort, located in the vicinity of Nandi Hills is an ideal place to carry out team building activities and have a fun filled get together.

      Photot Credit: Bangalore Mountaineering Club
    5. Kodachadri trek: For those who like creating their own pathway as they walk, the Kodachadri trek is just about perfect. A national heritage site, the trek to Kodachadri mountain peak does not have any pre-defined trekking routes. What makes the trek even more exciting is the presence of pristine waterfalls, rich flora, and fauna, viewpoints that offer spectacular sunset views. This trek is sure to leave you mesmerized and spellbound. The total trek distance is about 18 KM’s and takes about 5-7 hours to complete.

      Photo Credit: The Pen

      Trekking during the monsoons is a wonderful experience. It is the best time to experience nature in all its aura. A well-planned trekking trip is sure to leave you with some enriching experience and long-lasting memories.

Express your love for the birds – celebrate Go Birding Day!

23 April  |  Adventure & Travel


Photo credit: Michigan Audubon

Birds are an integral part of our ecosystem and are critical for maintaining the balance of our food chain cycle. Rampant air and water pollution, diminishing forest lands, unplanned urbanization, and an increased usage of pesticides have severely affected the population of many birds, so much so that birds like sparrows and vultures are almost on the verge of extinction.
Having a National birding day increases awareness about the situation and motivates us to celebrate our love for these beautiful creatures. National Go birding Day is celebrated on the last Saturday of April, every year and this year, it is to be celebrated on April 28th.

Why is Go Birding Day celebrated?


Photo credit: Free Wallpapers

Bird watching is a hobby for many people. Chasing the feathery wonders from tree to tree and watching them perform their daily activities has its own appeal. Taking time out of our busy daily schedule to go Bird watching however becomes a challenge. A dedicated Bird watching day will not only encourage us to go out Bird watching, but it is also a great opportunity to connect with other bird lovers and share your love and enthusiasm for birds with each other.

How can this day be celebrated?


Photo credit: Petcha

Bird watching is a skill as spotting rare and unique birds requires a lot of patience. To start with, you can select any of the popular Bird watching places nearby you. If you want to spot a particular category of birds, then you will need to search the places where those birds are usually found.
A good way of spending this day productively is by becoming a part of a bird watchers community and go for a nature walk to spot birds. This will help you to socialize and gain better knowledge and insights about the birds that are spotted.
You need not travel to faraway places for this activity. The nearest park, your own terrace or even a national park nearby will provide ample opportunities to watch the marvelous birds. You could even mark the day by picking one-day resorts near Bangalore which are near national parks like Masinagudi, Bandipur or Bannerghatta.
The best way to celebrate this day is by doing your bit to create a conducive environment for the birds. You can do so by hanging up bird feeders and feeding them regularly, putting earthen pots containing water especially during the summer time and by keeping your surroundings clean and green so that the bird population can thrive.

Best places to go bird watching in India:


Photo Credit: Discovery Village

India is a country with rich fauna diversity. There is no dearth of wetlands, forests, and grasslands where you can spot the most exotic and rare species of birds as well. For all the ardent twitchers out there, some of the best locations in India to watch birds include Jim Corbett National park, Bharatpur bird sanctuary, Chilka lake bird sanctuary, Thattekad bird sanctuary and Kabini National park. Some resorts like Discovery Village Kabini offer best bird spotting opportunities to the enthusiasts. Kabini River resorts are well-appointed and offer proximity to nature with the comfort of modern amenities.
Celebrate this Go Birding Day by doing your bit to help make the world a better place for our aerial friends and create a friendly environment for them to thrive.

A complete guide to BhogaNandeeshwara Temple in Nandi Hills:

13 April  |  Adventure & Travel

There is no dearth of historical temples with stunning architectures in Southern India. Each temple is unique with a story and relevance of its own. One such temple is located in the Nandi hills of Karnataka.

The BhogaNandeeshwara Temple is a renowned complex, situated just outside the city of Bangalore. It is known for its splendid architecture and its importance amongst married couples, making it a must-visit when on a tour to Nandi Hills.

A journey dating back to the 9th century

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Considered to be one of the oldest temples in Karnataka, the BhogaNandeeshwara temple was constructed to worship Lord Shiva by the rulers of the Bana dynasty. Further additions were made to the temple over a period by the Kings of Ganga, Pallavas, Chola, Hoysala and Vijayanagar dynasty. Due to the contribution from so many kingdoms, the temple is a hotspot for history lovers and admirers of the Dravidian style of architecture.

The significance of the temple for newly married couples:

Photo Credit: CuspConcept

The temple houses the ‘Uma-Maheshwara’ shrine with sculptures depicting the divine bond of marriage between Lord Shiva and Parvati. Newly-wed couples come to the temple together to seek blessings from the divinity for a happily married life.

The shrine also includes a KalyanaMantapaora marriage altar with intricately carved ornate pillars in black stone, signifying reliefs of various Hindu Gods such as Shiva, Parvati, Saraswati, Brahma, Vishnu, and Laxmi. The BhogaNandeeshwara wedding set up is perfect for those who are planning to have a destination wedding in Nandi Hills. Several resorts in Nandi hills also cater to wedding parties. The temple provides a perfect mix of mind-boggling architecture, mesmerizing surroundings and most importantly, a spiritually pleasant set-up which is perfect for a couple to complete their vows and enter this new phase of life.

When it comes to hosting the guests, the various hill and valley resorts present around Nandi Hills are apt for this purpose as they are experienced in hosting marriage parties with warmth and good hospitality.

How to reach the temple

Photo Credit: Travel Themes

Nestled amidst the beautiful Nandi hills, the temple is famous amongst the locals as well as the tourists coming from far off. Located on the Bellary road, 55 KM’s from the city of Bangalore, the BhogaNandeeshwara temple route is a simple one and can be reached within 1 hour from the capital city of Karnataka.

You can use your own vehicle or book a cab to get there. Government buses frequently ply from Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka to the temple and are a cheap and effective mode of transportation.

BhogaNandeeshwara temple visiting hours: The temple complex is open for devotees and tourists between 6 A.M. to 7 P.M. on all weekdays, weekends and public holidays. Accommodation in Nandi hills is easy to come by, and hotels focus on showcasing the best facets of the region.

BhogaNandeeshwara temple combines the beauty of its surroundings with the divinity of its interiors, making it an ideal spot for getting married. The positive vibes and the blissful presence of the Gods is the perfect recipe for you to start the journey into this new phase of life.

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