Sunday, October 16, 2005

Mangalore,Bekal,Surathkal and Dharmasthala trip Photographs

Here are few of the clicks during the trip to Mangalore,Bekal,surathkal and Dharmasthala.. It was a drive to remember for a long time.. Had everything from Rains in the hills to the Sun in the beach.. Morning tea at Bekal,evening snacks at Surathkal beach. .A bend gear shift shaft enroute Dharmasthala.. finding a maruti service station in a place called nowhere.. 100s of vintage cars in the car museum and thousands of devotees at the shrine.. Can things get better then this?? Oh can I ever forget the drive on the Sakleshpur ghat section with the rain lashing on the windshield.. rain makes the place mesmerizing,it was green all over,feels like God had only the shades of green while he created this place(and yeah we mortals had put the grey road in between but the contrast was so nice) and to have a cup of hot tea while it rains.. Romantic, isn't it ?? ;-)

And yeah,thouht I should mention,'yours truly' was born on this date..

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Deverayana Durga - Where silence is broken by the Birds..

DEvarayana Durga, is a quite hill station(or say hillock) just around 65 km from
Bangalore .. This is the place we've decided to give a visit this weekend .. As
Siva,Nathan n Jk ware busy it left me and Srikant to make the trip .. I woke up to a call from Srikant in my mobile at 5.30..It seems I switched off my alarm and slept till the call came.. I was supposed to start before 5.30 am and I was still sleeping.. So ultimately I was able to start by 6.15am.. Had some tea and bun near Srikants home.. So here we come D.Durga .. We have to take NH4 to reach D.Durga.. at the 20 km Milepost before Tumkur we have to a u turn and a small muddy road(just 15 mts) connects to D'Durga road..NH4 is part of the PM highway scheme and one dream road to drive.. I was constantly driving above 100 and the road was smooth like silk.. Probably these roads were the best gift by the previous government and I hope the good will be continued by the new govt..Anyway,after taking the state road from NH4 we are back to real roads from the dream road ;-).. Road was not so good and most of the places was full of potholes.. it's around 15 km from the diversion of NH4 and it took us more time to cross this part then it took from Blr to the diversion.. ;-) But so what, I enjoyed the countryside and it was really really beautiful..
After sometime we reached the DD forest range and we stopped in many places as we were spotting lotsa avians on the way .. Really the place was full of lotsa birds.. Though my birding knowledge was limited I was able to id some of them.. Me and srikant tried to capture them in film but what I found that my equipment is really not suitable for any short of birding.. After some misadventures we decided to move on towards DD hill.. On the top of the hill there is a temple but first we decided to roam around other places and look for some birds/bugs/butts or whatever we thought can be clicked .. And our patience did paid up .. We were able to shoot some Lizzards( I'm still not able to id those two species) .. And there were lotsa butterflies around .. I could catch some of them after an hour of effort and quite satisfied with the outcome later..
Then we decided to give a visit to the temple. It's actually inside the fort we had to climb some stairs to get there.. Believe me the view was awesome from the top and I wish I was there early morning or late afternoon to catch the magic light(Sigh!!! I wish!!!
how I wish,how I wish you were here - Pink Floyd!!! ;-);-) )
So after spending some time in the temple we decided to call it a day and march back to where we belong(namma bengaluru) .. The return journey was uneventful and only thing I remember that we had tender coconut water on way back and wow it probably tasted like nectar..

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Where to go??? and raindrops...

After the weather-spoiled Kolar road trip I was roaring to go for another one .. now this one come from Srikant's mail for a trip to Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary or to be specific Bheemeswari.. But again after lotsa discusions/brainstorming and fights CWS was cancelled.. So I had nothing to do on the Sunday and was thinking of spending the day sleeping .. ;-) Yesterday night had a nice candle-light Diner at Rajeeb's new house(Seems the elctric trasnformer tripped after the storm in the evening)..
Around 11 am got a msg from Srikant about some place called Devarayana Durga..It's a small hillock near Tumkur and seems to a nice place tofind birds and reptiles..But as there was not much time(I had to wait for Siva as he was to join me and then we planned to move towards Srikant's home) to make a long trip we decided to give a visit to Tipu's Brithplace,i.e. Devanahalli .. After waiting for Siva for a long time he arrived at around 2.40 pm.. Anway we started asap and picked up Srikant on the way .. the Road to devanahalli is in progress and in some places both way traffic had to share the same stretch of road.. Except that the road was good.. I hope the work will be finished soon.
Nowadays it seems like every developement work in bangalore has stopped.. Everything is moving in a snail pace,thanks to the new stupid Government and their policies..
We reached the place on around 4pm and parked the car inside the fort.. actually there is a settlement of people inside the fort walls.. The fort is not that big and it seems walls have been collapsed in some places.. Everything seems to be in pathetic condition. There was no maintanance or stuffs like that.. And it seems some places are used by the localites as their toilets..Well probably Srikant will like to say somehting about something dry,ahem..;-);-)
After shooting some pics of the fort walls and inside the temple(VEnugopalaswamy Temple)we decided to return back to Bangalore as it was getting dark and Sun was setting on the Horizon.. On the way back we thought of having some tea and Srikant has taken us to a very nice lil' Bengali Sweet shop in Jalahalli.. The Singra(or Samocha) was really good and I was feeling like having it on my hometown.. We also had something called ChanaPayas and that was yummy..
Arrived home by 8 pm and waiting for the rain to come .. I really miss my native home when it rains.. I love to hear the raindrops falling on the Tin-roof at my home but not so in the RCC roofs in Bangalore.. ~sigh~

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Early Morning,Kolar Road(NH4) and a bad weather

Sunday morning 4.30 am .. While most of the earthlings,well atleast the Indian specimens, are happily sleeping I ventured out on the Kolar road in search of some photo ops .. There are lotsa hillocks on the way I thought of getting some clicks.. Well I was not alone,Nathan was also with me.. I travelled on that road thrice b4 and neither time I had my camera with me.. So this time determined to get something out of it .. We were welcome by a nice cool morning and thought it would be a great day to shoot but we failed to see the overhanging clouds .. While I woke up I could feel the gentle breeze and that moment I had a feeling that it might rain today.. Well it didn't rain but the overcast condition left us high and dry .. Well maybe next time ..

Monday, May 02, 2005

Writing after a long time..

Last month was a busy month . .no , not with work even not with photography .. Was busy with family.. My sister,aunt and cousins have came to Bangalore and I was busy moving them around .. It is really nice to have someone from home at Bangalore .. Had a real nice time .. Was feeling sad when they left for home last Wednessday ..
Yesterday Rajeeb invited us to his new house that he have bought recently .. A very nice cute house .. I really liked it and the dinner was very nice ..Normally I don't like fish that much but yesterday it was delicious..
Nothing much to do at office today so thought of writing something into the blog ..

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Morning morning

Wake up early in the morning and raise my weary hair .. Ohh God it's 5.45 and I have some friends to catch .. It seems people from the BPC are planning a meet and I have to be a part of that .. JK also would join me on the way .. So by 6.30 am we reached Lalbagh ..
First met Shivakumar there on the parking lot itself.. He was very eager to show his
slides .. He got some nice pictures and some nice compostions(specially the Sunrise/set ones) .. But I was horrified to see the scratches on the slides and it seems he has given the slides at GK Vale for processing .. I was thinking of testing GK once for slides but I should be better off at Prabhu .. No GK Vale for slides(and any other photogrpahic shots in negs also) except probably only for prints from snapshots if any ..
Next we went inside and Shivakumar got busy with shooting some people .. Then nathan joined in .. Shiva was trying my cable release in his camera with great fun for some peeping tom kinda shots ;-);-) .. After sometime Srikant,Ajay,Kumar joined and we proceed to talk about the future course of the club.. Ulitimately it was decided to have some polls(yeah, it's India, buddy) to know about peoples idea about having photo tours and competitions.. Let's hope to see some good response .. After lotsa discussions we decided to finish the meet by 10.30 around ..
I';ve to get my car washed today .. Probably I've forgotten what the original color was.. ;-)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sunrise sunrise, Looks like morning in your eyes..(Pondichery trip part 2)

I woke up at around 5 am in the morning to catch the sunrise in the Bay of Bengal ..Wow ,what a feeling it was to see the big sun comming up from the far Horizon and
glowing up places with the warm morning rays of light .. After setting the tripod and
waiting for the sun to come up I've taken some pics of the new Pier..Then captured the Sun and the Sea on the chrome.. Then I decided to move on.. after walking a bit I found the Churches/Duplex statue/War Memorial glowing brightly in the morning Sunlight .. BTW,again horror struck and I've found that the door lock of my Canon body had gave in and door was open .. Luckily Canon uses Pre-wind mechanism(once u load ur film all the film loads into the spool and once u click the pics the exposed part goes inside the canister.. So there is no chance that it will spoil ur exposed pics if u open the back cover accidently).. I let go some frames and started shooting again . Have to do something about the lock after I get back to Blr..Well by 8 I was feeling hungry and then I realized that I left my purse in hotel.. So I had to get back there by 8.30 around.. We checked out of the hotel by 10.00 and voted to go to Chunnambar beach resort .. Some people have misguided us yesterday that the resort was closed due to the recent Tsunami..Luckily Rajeeb has asked our hotel manager in the morning and seems the Resort is up and running smoothly.. So our next destination is Chunnambar.. Ohhh no ,isn't it the most unappropiate time to get my glasses broken..S**t,my specs r gone and for the first time in a trip I forgot to bring my spare ones.. I'm going to have hell of a time today .. The worst thing is that I won't be able to use my camera today and my camera doesn't have diopter control .. Luckily the Digital comes to rescue..
We reached the place by 10.45 around and the place was bustling with activity already .. We went for a ride on boat .. It was almost like the boat ride in the backwaters of Kerala .. Nice view and a good weather(lucky we).. Pankaj n Indrani went for a speed boat ride also .. We had a nice time at that place and I would like to recommend ppl to visit this place also if they r travelling to P'cherry..
We decided to start our journy back home without re-entering P'cherry..Indrani was
fighting with Pankaj for not taking her for shopping in P'cherry.. ;-);-) .. The road was very good and wasn't able to enjoy the scenary previous night but today we were able to see the rows and rows of Tamarind treed on both side of the roads .. The drive was good and we have reached Gingee(pronounced as Senjee,don't ask me why). There is a massive fort on the hill.. It was too hot to try a climb up and the people were not willing to even have a look at it(it was 3/3.30 in the noon) ..I've taken some snaps .. Will be back here again.. Have to climb up and I want to see it closely ..
Our next stop was Thiruvannamalai Shiva Temple.. We reached there probably by 4.30
around .. It was grand ..I was amazed to see such a big temple . It's one of the biggest (probably the Biggest) Shiva temple in South India..There was an elephant inside the temple who was bestowing devotees by hitting on the head mildly.. but u have to give him either some money or some food.. It was funny I thought .. Anyway we left the temple by 5.30 and head back home.. After an uneventful journey we reached Bangalore by 9 pm.. Thus ends another trip and tomorrow have to give the slides for processing .. Hope something will come good ..
PS-Some snaps taken on the Digital are here .. not much thoughts have gone behind this one so don't expect some great pics ..

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Pondicherry Trip ..

It all started with Pankaj getting his new car and Ajay's party at the Ebony .. Pankaj was raring to go to some places in his car and ultimately the discussion ends up in deciding to go for a trip somewhere .. I had the idea of Pondicherry and Coorg at my mind.. But Rajeeb thought we should go to some sea-side place and not some places higher up as we normally do ;-) .. Initially Deep and Kongkon also thought of joining but they had to drop due to work pressure (;-);-) ) ..And as usual after saying no Honsha also joined with lot of enthu.. So that left with me,Honsha,Pankaj,Rajeeb,Indrani and Anamika.. Six people won't fit inside a Palio so we decided to go for a Qualis instead of taking 2 cars .. So we were all set to hit the road on 4th night .. Journey begins and we started from Blr to Pondicherry .. The onward journey was mostly uneventful except once our driver was feeling sleepy and the car was swerving towards the right .. Ohhh God,it was a terrible feeling and luckily nothing happened and the driver regained his composure..It happened
something around 3 am in the night and everybody else was sleeping happily except me .. And thanks to that event everyone woke up and I had chance to take a nap at the back seat . ;-);-)
We reached pondicherry at 5 am in the morning ..Now it's time to search for a hotel for our stay .. I got some print-outs from the net and to utter disappointment when I tried any of those numbers I was not able to get through any of them.. Seems the numbers got changed .. And at this point the Outlook Traveler guide comes to our rescue as it had all the updated numbers .. after much searching/roaming and endless phone calls we decided to check-in into Hotel De Pondicherry .. This hotel is on the French quarter of Pondicherry and we were readily falls into love of the place.. It was on rue dumas street just next to the Promenade , just a minutes walk from the hotel to the sea.. We love the ambiance of the hotel ,it was actually a French house renovated to convert into a hotel.. anyway, I was feeling very sleepy as I have slept probably an hour or two on the whole journey .. But fighting the sleep I walked up to the sea to see the morning light hitting the sea.. It was about 7 in the morning and it's already bit hot up there .. But the feeling of seeing the morning sea swept away all the other thoughts..After sometime I decided to return to hotel..
Woke up by 10am and after a refreshing shower we are ready to roll..First we went to Aurbindo Ashram near the Promenade but it was closed at that time so we've visited the temple nearby .. Then we have decided to go to Auroville.. Auroville is everything it is called - "The International Township of Harmony", and more. Based on the concept of the Mother, it is an entirely independent multi-racial community, which works and lives in self-fashioned, wildly original homes. It consists of 50 settlements spread across 20-sq-kms. The whole place carries a sense of peace(though there were lot other people there was not much noise or chaos .. It was so hot in Pondicherry and the cool climate(thanks to the trees n greeneries all around) in Auroville. We've stayed there for almost 3-4 hours just relaxing .. Then by 4.30 we decided to hit the beach near Aurovile .. The beach was not that good or clean as it happens to being other places but still we enjoyed a lot with sand and water ..May be the beach was lil' bit dirty after the Tsunami striked few days back,just my thought.. We returned back to Pondichery after it was getting dark..We had a lil' bit of problem as the promenade and the Roads nearby was closed for the convenience of the people who were walking on the sea-side .. We also came to the promenade to have a stroll along the sea-side with the cool breeze hitting our face.. The walk along the sea-side was probably one of the best things to do in Pondicherry.. BTW, I bought an YO-yo which lights up when u spin it .. Anamika broken the first one while trying her hand on that .. Luckily the seller was a kind one and gave us another one without any extra cost .. Pankaj also bought one more yo yo .. Sometimes kids inside u comes out,isn't it ..
By 10pm we were back to our hotel and had dinner there . I had lotsa expectations
regarding sea-food and French cuisine there was utterly disappointed.. I think Koshy's and Ebony in Bangalore serves far better food ..

Road Condition: The entire stretch was nice .. The road upto Krishnagiri from Bangalore is part of the PM highway and a cool road to drive.. The diversion towards P'cherry was also a nice road with Tamarinds trees lined up by the side of the road..

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

zzzzzzzzz ....

Planning for a trip to Pondicherry .. our long due trip .. We started planning for pondi in 2003 itself but end up somewhere else everytime .. We even thought about the last Chrismas but luckily call it off due some problem .. (otherwise probably won't have been writing this blog..)
Till now there r 6 who has confirmed (Me ,Pankaj,Indrani,Honsha Rajeeb and Kongkon) ..Deepjyoti has opted out as always .. He seems to have some personal works in the weekend.. Let's hope nobody else drop out..

Monday, February 21, 2005

Morning at Hebbal n Evening at Ebony..

Weekend means waking up early for me now .. Well I woke up at 5.30 am( I know lotta people who know me for a long time won't believe it) .. yes 5.30 am .. Some of us in BPC has deceided to go to Hebbal lake to capture some bird activity there.. I've started around 6 am and has to pick up Hari on the way.. The sun has just risen sometime around 6.30 and by that time we were at Hebbal Kere(Kere means Lake in Kannada) .. Senthil was already there .. I've been there before and I knew I would have tough time capturing birds through the lens I have ..Anyway thought of giving it a try .. And to horror one of my nightmares came real.. My cameras back is closing after I loaded the film .. It seems the spring in the door lock has loosen up and it's not locking the door .. I was totally in a mood of sadness.. But luckily after some time I was able to lock it and started shooting .. In this place the birds are lil' bit further from the point of view .. I wish I had a digital and a 500mm lens(going to buy one 170-500mm soon).. Anyway tried a bit hard and was able to capture some of the action .. I thought of giving a try on smaller birds which r on the ground .. One thing I learnt that patience is the key and I waited near a small tree for a long time and have seen Robins and Bulbuls chirping and dancing from a close quarter ..

Hebbal lake is host to lotsa birds and I could see Robins,Bulbuls,Pond herons,
Egrets,Coots,Kites,Moorhens,Parakeets etc etc.. Some of the birds I couldn't recognise as I'm not yet very much knowledgable on avians.. One was a greenish yellowish small bird that I couldn't recognise.. anyway had a nice time shooting there and I was shooting negatives as I didn't have any slides left and I had BnW's only .. Anyway had anice time there enjoying the morning with chriping of birds and doing I love to do most,shooting with my SLR.. We came back form there by 9 pm..
Found a place near house to get my car washed .. The job was good but they charged me 150 for the car wash ..anyway,that's the problem of having a car instead of a bike(bike would cost only 40 bucks..sighhhhh) ..

Evening : Had to buy a gift for Ajay.. He got married and we(me,Honsha,Deep,Pankaj n Saurav) decided to get a nice gift .. So went to PAi and got the gift..On the way we've decided to try the new coffee-day at Jeevan-Beema Nagar.. We instantaniously loved the ambience.. IT was spacious then the other Coffee day in Indira Nagar which gives us a cramed feeling..Deep anounced that he'll give us a treat for his new Computer .. ;-);-) .. Had a nice Coffee with not so good Black-Forest(I'm still to find a place to get a good black forest in Bangalore)
Have a party at 7.30 pm at tried and tasted (bored according to Deep ;-) ) Ebony .. I like the place not only because of the food but for the view it offers of Bangalore.. We reached there by 8.00 pm,thanks to the traffic and indian puncuality.. I had to get my slides from Prabhu(Sighhh, I don't have other option to get it done elsewhere .. So thought of giving them one more chance) .. These were the slides of 2nd trip to Kokkrebellur and Medahali lake .. I was kept my fingures crossed and hoped that this time there won't be any scratches on the pics .. Pics have come out good .. I could see at least 20-25 good pics from the 3 rolls that I've shoot.. Will get then mounted tomorrow.. Anyway the party at the Ebony was a great one with around 15 of us .. Taken some lots using my digicam ..Given some tips to Deep.. Have to post process them somtime in the coming week .. After having some good Poisson a la Bedfort we were back to home by 12.30.. Will be sleeping whole day tomorrow..

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Kokkrebelur trip 2

Back to Kokkrebellur..(12/02/05)

Well ,it started off from a mail from Shivakumar in the group .. It seems he and some other bpc guys were planing for a trip to kb .. I thought of pitch in as the previous trip was not a huge success ;-) due to the bad lighting that day ... So after lots of discussion/addition/deletion the team remained was me,Shivakumar ,JK and Nathan..So we've decided to start by 5 in the morning .. Wheeeewwwww that's early in the morning for a late riser like me ..
Anyway, next day we've started on time .. Nathan came to my place by 4.45am and then we've started .. On the way we've picked up JK and Shivakumar .. There were no hick-up as such at the start and we hit the Kanakapura Road,i.e. NH 209(or is NH207?) soon ..We've decided to take this road as the Mysore road was not in good shape due to the ongoing construction of 4 lane highway .. Last trip we've taken that road and luckily we've avoided some mishaps .. The Kanakapura road itself was not in a bad codition barring some small patches and we could sail smoothly .. By 6.30 the sun has decided to come up and we hasd really beautiful sunrise to enjoy and of-course click .. Hope the pics will speak for the truely marvellous sunrise ...
We had our breakfast somewhere near the turn to Sathanur ..I'm not very sure about the name of the place ...After some biscuits n snacks we've started our trip again .. To reach Kokrebelur we had to take a right turn after Halagur..After the diversion it was mainly a village area with lots of morning activities .. Though our mind were mostly occupied by birds I was able to take 1 shot or two of the village life .. On the way itself we could spot lots of birds(mostly egrets,pond herons and kites) ..
After spending some time on the road capturing all these birds(by others specially shivakumar was very much excited ;-) ) and some morning(I too have taken some) we reached Kokkrebelur by around 8.30 am .. All the other members were owe-stricken to see so many birds that too in such close quarters .. All of them were speechless(I was not as I've already seen this phenomenon on my previous trip).. Nathan disappeared to catch soe birds and we were not able to locate for almost an hour or so .. Shivakumar was jumping with joy and JK has only one
word "Awesome" ..The place was full of Pelicans n painted storks .. On every tree of the village u could see flocks of birds ..It's a treat to the eyes and a site to remember for life.. The light was very good on that day and there was not a single cloud we could see the sky .. Anyway we had a nice shooting session of the birds
for around 1.5 or 2 hours and then we've decided to move back .. We've started our return journey by 12.30 pm .. We had our lunch at Kiran Dhava on Kanakapura .. We reached Bangalore by around 4.00 pm.. Dropped shivakumar at his place and then directly moved to home .. I was tired like hell after all this driving and shooting ..So directly went to bed once I reach home .. It was a nice trip with like-minded people and had a really nice time .. Three cheers to Kokkrebellur ..
Have yet to give the slides for developement.. thinking of trying some other place then Prabhu as my last slides I could see so many scratches and I was really p**ed off to see scratches .. Probably will try Mallik this time ...
Road Condition : The Kanakapura Road or the NH 209 was good to drive with two or three occasional potholes.. The diversion to Kokkrebelur is somewhat like a village road and there were 1 or 2 bad patches but not that bad and we didn't have much problem driving there..

Monday, January 31, 2005

Kokkrebelur trip

Srikant called me at 9.30 pm on saturday.. He had a nice offer.. He asked me whether I want to join him and Manas for a trip to Kokkrebellur to shoot some birds (well with cameras not with a gun).. I was interested and I said yes without giving it a second thought .. Adam also confirmed that he'll be coming also.. I tried to call JK also but he had changed his mobile number and I was not able to reach him .. Anyway, it was Srikant,Manas ,Adam and Me were the travellers to go for this trip .. We fixed a Cab as none of us knew the place..
We started off lil bit late then planned due to some unavoidable cirumstances.. We decided to take the Mysore road as the Map indicated that u have to take a right turn just before Maddur.. The road was in a horrible condition with only half of the road is in drivable condition as the 4 laning of the highway is going on .. We had some close saves on the road and was shaken to the bone once.. What happened is that we've decided to have our lunch at Kamat's Lokaruchi which is on the right side of
the road and as we were trying to to cross the road(our driver was guilty of not looking into the other side traffic) one Maruti 800 almost had hit us .. We survived an mishap by an inch ..Anyway,at Kamath's we had nice and filling south Indian lunch and we told the driver to be more careful next time ..There we thought of asking for the directions to Kokkrebellur and to our shock and disbelief we found that the map given in Outlook Traveller was wrong and we have to take a left not right turn after 10 km or so from Kamath's..
Anyway, we started again and after 10km or so we decided to ask someone on the road for the diversion .. Voila.. to our delightful we found that the diversion is
on exactly same place where we decided to stop for directions ..After that diversion road become small and we could see lots of green paddy fields and nice vistas... It was around around 11 km from the main road to Kokkrebellur .. We reached the spot after a bit of searching.. I was expecting some lake or some water bodies where we can find the birds .. But upon reaching the place we all were to be surprized .. there were birds all over the place, on every tree of every house .. There were literally more birds then the tree leaves in a tree .. I may be exagerating but we were awed to see so many birds in a small village .. but as ill-luck would have it the light was very bad that day .. full of clouds and could not see a bit of sun rays .. Still we thought of carry on the shoot..
After around 2 hours of running ,walking and ofcourse shooting we were tired and also the light was falling off very quickly .. So we decided to pack up and start for Bangalore at around 6.15pm .. This time we thought of taking the Kanakapura road instead of the Mysore road .. So we have taken the other turn and asked some people about the directions..They told us that we need to go to Halagur where we can find the main road and that will take us to Bangalore .. So after around 13-15 kms we could see the main road and relieved to see our way back to Bangalore .. We stopped at Kanakapura for snacks and then reached Bangalore by 9.30/10 pm ..
Though the light was not on our side I still enjoyed the trip and it's a pleasure to see all those birds flying freely in the nature ..