The Bangalore BlogTravel

Where to head for a weekend break from Bangalore?

Here’s what you absolutely must do this weekend. Start at 07:00 IST on a Saturday morning for a one-day trip to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Balmuri Falls, and Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) dam. That’s exactly what Avinash, Shruthi, and I did this Saturday. And what a fun trip it turned out to be. None of us knew we would be doing this trip till late Friday night. All our trips are this way – absolutely no clue till the very last minute and then loads of fun experiencing the unexpected.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is about 130 kms from Bangalore. Hit the Bangalore-Mysore highway (it’s in awesome condition now) till you reach the bridge at Srirangapattanam. You’ll soon find directions to the bird sanctuary. On the way you can stop for delicious breakfast at Kamat’s Lokaruchi (lookout on the right when you are about 55 kms from Bangalore) or at Shivally MTR (again lookout on the right when you are about 70 kms from Bangalore). The first thing that strikes you about Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (RBS from here on) is the cleanliness. It’s spic and span everywhere. Quickly catch a boat ride to see the innumerable number of bird species. You have two options for the boat ride. Pay 20 bucks a head and cram yourself in a boat with a dozen people. Or, pay 200 bucks and rent a whole boat exclusively for your group. I suggest the 200 bucks route. It’s worth the extra money. Try and get into the boat navigated by one Narayanappa. This guy’s passionate about his job and he’ll make your trip a memorable one. We got to see a few crocodiles up close, real close. It’s best if you reach early and beat the heat.

The following pictures were shot by Avinash and Shruthi. The A95 was hijacked from my hands.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

From RBS, head back to the Bangalore-Mysore highway and drive towards Mysore till you see a sign for the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) dam (you need to take a right turn here). Continue on this road till you spot a sign-board for Balmuri Falls. You need to take a right turn here and drive for 3 – 4 kms to reach the falls. If you were expecting a huge drop of water then you are going to be disappointed (see the picture below). Balmuri Falls should be visited just for the sake of doing so (and possibly to experience that “I’ve been there” kind of feeling).

Balmuri Falls Balmuri Falls

Drive back till you reach the original road that leads to the KRS dam. A further 8kms down the road you’ll reach the toll gate for KRS. The Krishna Raja Sagar dam is mesmerizing. It’s an engineering marvel that’s withstood the tests of time. I had been here as a very young child and so my memories were close to nonexistent. Today was a great refresher. The view from the top of the dam is simply overwhelming. There was absolutely no one around and we had the whole dam virtually to ourselves. You can’t help but feel insignificant in front of this majestic structure. I heard that it’s very crowded in the evenings. So you might want to beat the crowd by visiting KRS dam in the noon.

Krishna Raja Sagar Krishna Raja Sagar
Krishna Raja Sagar Krishna Raja Sagar
Krishna Raja Sagar Krishna Raja Sagar

From KRS, there’s a road that connects back to the Bangalore-Mysore highway near the Srirangapattanam bridge. You need to ask the locals to show you this road. Let me know if you take this weekend break from Bangalore. I would love to share your experiences on this blog.

Clicking on any of these photographs gives you a 1024 x 768 version. Let me know if you want the original photographs (much higher resolution). Just mention which ones you need in your e-mail / comment.

17 thoughts on “Where to head for a weekend break from Bangalore?

  1. hey! if u wanna a better place to enjoy, go interior abt 2 kms from balamuri falls. Its a very small and muddy road which will take you to Yadamuri falls……no one will be there sually, safer than balamuri.

  2. Hi Vinaya,
    You have made a nice trip…
    I had visited ranganatittu many years back…
    But when cauvery overflows this sancturay gets affected.
    KRS is always a marvel, with the automatic gates designed by
    Sir M visweswariah.
    Anytime, any day when the water level increases, the gates open automatically and the extra water starts going out…
    Have a great day.

  3. hi vinaya
    the last time I had been to KRS dam, the adjacent garden was in awful condition, is it the same now ?…wud definitely love to be back there if it is in better shape

    wishing you more such weekends

  4. Hi,
    looks like u had fun…last time when I was in India….Dec2005,
    we went to shivanasamudra and gaganachukki and barachukki….it was just awesome. Its a good place to visit too.


  5. Praveen, thanks for the tip. Maybe next time.

    Girish, like I said I was mesmerized by the structure of the dam. It’s amazing how much engineering talent we had in Sir. M. Visvesvaraiah. Unfortunately not many people even know about him today.

    Anthony, the gardens around the KRS dam are very neatly maintained. I was surprised at seeing the cleanliness. How long ago did you visit KRS?

    Nagashree, our trip was indeed loads of fun. I have been to Shivanasamudram. It’s awesome during the monsoons.

  6. Hi,

    Definately there are lot of more places to be seen like bramhagiri near Abbi falls, Tadiyandamole in Madkeri, Pushpagiri near Virajpet and lots more. Good photographs. Keep it up.


  7. You have disappointed me by saying ‘you msu visit balmuri just for the name sake and there is nothing’ as i was having lots of expectations going there and having fun. infact when i visited bulmuri in 1992, it was avesome!.

  8. Hi Vinaya,

    A great piece of travellouge you have written. We are planning a trip to this place this weekend. Please let us know if any hotel/restraunt is availabe in the sanctury for lunch.


  9. Pranab,

    There’s some junk food available at the entrance to the Sanctuary. Request you to leave the place cleaner than you find it.

    Your best bets for a good lunch are Maddur or Mandya on your way back to Bangalore.

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