I had heard a lot about the Manchinbelle dam (across the river Arkavathy) from fellow photographer friends and it appeared at the top of my interest list for the weekend.
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Trip To: Manchinbelle Dam
Free Add-On: Big Banyan tree, Naga Temple
Distance: 40 Kms.
From Bangalore city, drive down Mysore Road and turn right at Rajeshwari Dental College. The road will take you directly to the Big Banyan tree and then continue to Manchinbelle Dam. The road is a great all through but the last few kms to the road promise to be bumpy..
As the drive from the Rajeshwari dental college started, the vegetation around the road changed and the lovely winter morning was charming. The air smelt fresh and clean. The good roads and just a few people made for excellent conditions for a metropolitan resident like me. After a good drive of 8 Kms from the Rajeshwari Dental college, we reached the Big Banyan tree at Ramohalli, which is 400 years old. The span of this tree is huge and has the whole park built around it but the trunk has already collapsed into different parts.
After spending sometime and gulping some warm tea in the cold morning, we continued towards the main target. It’s an even more beautiful drive from here on, extremely lush and green. We took left from the next major crossing which promised us to lead into the dam. The road got bad but the smell of fresh air and music of birds chirping all the way, kept us going, even when the ride got bumpy.
After driving for some more time, we got the first magical glimpse of the Manchinbelle Dam. I just pulled over to enjoy the scene and noticed the Savandurga peak, which acts as a backdrop to the waterbed.
The road got even friskier as we went down towards the river bed. We had started from Bangalore at 6 AM and by now it was 7.15, with birds already moving around the place and enjoying the morning sun. I sighted a ‘greater coucal’ on the rocks and I could just get couple of shots, when it flew off. There were a couple of lizards too, basking in morning sun with excellent camouflage.
A little further were a gang of laughing doves, magpie robins and lots of red vented bulbuls. These birds move quite fast with the place offering them a lot of options to hide from any disturbance. An artistic tree greeted us along the road with a green ‘OM’ painted on it, proving, God is everywhere. I also spotted a gray owl on this tree and quickly took some shots.
Also some more birds sighted around the place were Small Green Bee-eater, Tickell’s Flowerpecker, Magpie Robin, Hoopoe, Small Blue Kingfisher, Great Egret, Pond Herons, Grey Herons, Brahmin Kites and lot of varieties of sparrows.
The sun rose higher and we planned to return. Before heading to Bangalore, we drove near the dam and spent a little time at the near by village. The life is so serene at such a place, but we had little choice than to move on. On the way back, we stopped at the huge construction site with massive Dish setup, the Space research institute, which is one the finest investment government is making in this area, and it seems the road is also being worked on, for the same. There is also a Naga Temple on the way, which appeared to be quite famous among the localities.
A great day out at this beautiful place which offers solace from the traffic and daily routine of Bangalore city- it is hard to imagine such a beautiful place near Bnagalore and calls for a trip once.
- Pack some eatables for we did not see any hotels during the trip. Snacks can be picked up on the roadside shops and a small market near Big Banyan Tree.
- Fueling up is a must if you would like to explore the place, since there are no petrol pumps after you crossover from Mysore road.
- Extremely lonely place during early morning and at the day times too. There is a board near the water bed that says BEWARE OF ROBBERS, PLEASE DO NOT GO INTO LONE AREAS. We soon realised the same, so please be conscious.
- Be prepared for few kilometers of a bumpy joy ride