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.
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).
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.
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.