Monday, December 23, 2013


I go to my native mostly via NH-206. Though I had been to Amruthapura, 6 km deviation from highway, in the past, my wife hadn't seen it.

We were coming back after last year's Diwali, 15th Nov. 2012. We crossed Shimoga and coming past Tarikere when we saw signboard towards Amruthapura, thought why can't we pay a visit.

I like stone temples. Amruteswara temple is one of those, built in 1196 by Hoysalas. More information on that can be found here.

My kiddie was very happy and all along she was just touching and feeling those cold big pillars!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Word on Swift, Ritz and Fabia

Regular readers of my blog know I am fond of driving. I haven't driven high-end cars for long distances. I have read both professional reviews and user reviews of almost all the cars sold in India. Until Hassan Trip, I never thought of writing a blog post on a car, let alone Maruti Suzuki Swift.

My friend Jagga has a Swift Vxi, 2009 model (1.3L, not the new car which is 1.2L). 5 of us went to Hassan to attend a marriage and also visit some of the places nearby. Having driven for over 600 km in 2 days, I fell in love with this car and thought of writing a few words about the car.

Car has good power and I managed to keep consistently with 135-140 kmph with 5 people and their luggage on board. While coming from Chitradurga, I even raced to 160 kmph for a couple of minutes before slowing down as the car, I thought was not designed for such speed because since it was becoming unstable. This time, we were only two people and so, the weight was less.

A month back I drove my friend's recently bought Skoda Fabia diesel. I always thought diesel cars have better power though a little less acceleration. When I drove the Fabia diesel, I was very disappointed with it's acceleration. If someone, regularly drives a petrol, test drives it, he won't buy it. However, I didn't drive long distance, so I can't tell how it's power is distributed among different speeds (gears).

My cousin bought Ritz diesel and I happened to drive it from Chitradurga till Bangalore a couple of weeks ago. I was a little skeptical about it's power because on spec, it is 75 ps and 190 Nm torque, which matches that of Fabia's. However there was a surprise for me - the acceleration. Ritz diesel's acceleration is much better and almost comparable to petrol similar sized engines. Both are common rail direct injection technology diesel engines but stark difference in acceleration, which makes me believe Fabia's engine was not refined (or rather fine tuned) for initial acceleration, which people like it very much in India to race when the signal becomes green!

Now, I need to drive more cars on different road conditions to compare them better.

PS: Views expressed here are based only on my personal experiences and the particular cars I drove.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Kanva Dam

While coming back from Kokkare Bellur, we took a left turn around 10km before Ramanagara to reach Kanva dam as planned. One wouldn't miss since there clear sign boards on the road showing the way.

It is a small irrigation project built in 1946 across river Kanva, a tributary of river Cauvery. It is named after sage Kanva who is said to have lived in caves on river banks during Ramayana. Now, it's a popular tourist place, with tourists being mostly from Bengaluru.

It's a nice place to spend an hour or two in the evening. If you are expecting anything more than this you might be disappointed! If you are particular about birding, then it's one of the places to visit in early mornings.

There is a compound on a hillock (more like a hillock rather). Somehow it was reminding Great Wall of China (structure resembling if you imagine so).

Dr. Raj is a veteran Kannada actor, he was lead actor in a movie called Sipayi Ramu, released in 1971. While passing just saw a plantation with the same name and captured it.

We spent an hour at Kanva before heading back.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kokkare Bellur

This is a post long overdue. I always wanted to visit Kokkare Bellur and thought why not go on a day last year.. Though I was not sure that we would sight birds since it was March 5th, 2011 and the season was almost over. Nevertheless, set out, thought atleast it would be a nice drive with wifey and a friend if there were not birds.

Reaching Kokkare Bellur was easy. Drive towards Mysore on SH 17 and cross Channapatna. After about 10 kms take left at a village named Rudrakshipura. Until reaching this place, I didn't know such a village exists. It is not that it should not exist, but the name Rudrakshipura is used extensively in a Kannada TV serial Mukta Mukta and in the serial, it is the capital of Rudranchala state. Now, every time I see the serial and they refer international airport I remember this village and smile unknowingly.

Coming back to travelogue from TV serial, Kokkare Bellur is around 12 km from Rudrakshipura. We were just approaching it, and a couple of boys aged 8-10 came running towards the car and volunteered to guide us. I had read about this in Aravind's blog, and thought of getting some books but forgot to carry. I gave some stationary items which I would keep in car. If somebody goes there, you may give them stationary items, if you feel you could give them something, which would be better utilized, instead of money or shooing them away.

The first sight of birds was a little confusing. I thought somebody dumped dustbins (like typical Bangalore inner roads) and the tree looked like a garbage yard before realizing they were actually painted storks sitting on the tree! We could spot a good number of birds but not of different species. This was when I seriously thought of buying a better camera as the point and shoot I have was not supporting in any way to capture birds.

After rolling over farms and backyards of some houses, we started back, only to return in Jan end or Feb first next time.

While returning, we had a detour to see Kanva reservoir, which I will write in next post.