Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ramohalli (Dodda Alada Mara / Big Banyan Tree) and Manchinabele Dam

A trip after loong time that will be remembered for a looong time.. That’s how this trip can be summarized.
We were missing the bike trips for so long and that’s why we had been thinking of going out somewhere.
And we had an occasion to meet on dinner hosted by our great KP. We had thought of some places within 50 kms range from city outskirts and we finally agreed on Ramohalli.



On a bright sunny day (Sunday, 14th Jan), 4 of us - Jose, Sahir, me and Dinu started on 2 bikes. We started from Marathalli around 9.30 am, though as per the plans we had to start at 9. We took outer ring road to Mysore road via silk board and Banasankari temple. Soon we entered the beautiful Mysore Road. We stopped on Mysore road to take some snaps and to get ready for the ride. We had to take right after Kengeri. We reached Kengeri soon. We could not enjoy much ride in the Mysore Road. The ride was very good. At some point we even thought of changing the plans to visit Mysore.



After Kengeri, we found a board 'Big Banyan Tree' / Dodda Alada Mara. Ramohalli is famous for the sprawling Banyan Tree, which is supposed to spread 3 acres (some sites said 4 acres!). We took right to a not-so-good road. Soon the road condition become worse and Sahir who was pillion riding in my bike started complaining about bad shock absorbers. On the route we could see a lot of nurseries and gardens. We had to travel around 7kms to reach Ramohalli from Mysore Road junction. But we could not find any traces of a big banyan tree. We were going after board of a resort which is located around the big banyan tree.



Soon we could find the big banyan tree. It was indeed “Big”. Spread around atleast 2.5 acres. But the sad thing is jose and his friend missed the tree en-route. We had to call them and tell that they have crossed the place. At first sight, I felt sad. The whole area in which tree was located is enclosed in a steel boundary. This seems to restrict further spreading of the tree. We entered thought the main gate. Monkeys were walking around the parking area to try out some experimentation on bikes parked there.






Once we entered into the singletree forest, we tried to spot the main trunk form, which the entire tree is supposed to have grown. But we could not locate such thing. There were many trunks. But one trunk had a board with something written in Kannada. We moved ahead assuming that’s the main trunk. The whole area is cool with lots of branches in almost every direction. We did not spend much time without starting our photo sessions. Each one was given ample time to try out various angles, stills and panoramas. There was a temple situated in the area. The banyan tree enclosed the temple.




Jose said that there is some dam near by. It is called Manchinabele dam. Its around 15kms from that location. But he had found that the road is very bad upon googlling on previous day. We decided to go there, since we were 100% sure that road cannot be worse than the road we have traveled to reach Ramohalli from Mysore Road junction. We started off. The first stretch of around 3 kms seemed to be fine. Soon the road become worse, so bad that it cannot be called a road at all. More over, it was too dusty. Everytime some vehicle passes, we will be going through dust. To make matters worse, BMTC busses were speeding through the road depositing loads of dust on us. The time was around 1 pm by then. The hot sun was also giving us a testing time. But the spirit of journey kept us moving.



We did not gather much info about dam. It was just a quick decision to visit the dam. When we were going through the winding road thorugh an uninhabited terrain, we could see some wonderful sight. There was a big water body ahead covering a vast region. The sight was marvelous. Our joy knew no bounds. The sparking pristine blue water gave coolness to our eyes in the hot midday sun. We took a winding road downwards to reach near to water body. We understood that it is catchment area of dam. There were ups and downs in the road and it was along the side of the reservoir.



Soon we hit a Dhaba (we were indeed tracing it for long time). It was situated in an uninhabited location. We thought we might among the first to visit that dhaba in 2007. But we could find some people inside. We ordered some fish items, chapatti and fired rice. The person said that the fishes are caught from the dam.
After enjoying the late lunch, we started towards the base camp. Along the banks of reservoir were some Stonehenges. An old man was walking around with his herd of sheep. We parked our bikes and enjoyed the natural beauty. Took rest for some time in one of the Stonehenge. Enjoyed some chocolates Denny had brought from Dubai.







We stared back around 4PM from Manchinabele. On the way back we stopped at Ramohalli for a tea. We could find lots of people visiting the big banyan tree in the evening. After tea, we returned back to Marathalli. At the destination, we could see ourselves enclosed in a thick later of dust! The journey was really wonderful.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Friday, January 12, 2007