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Anchetti and Around

With the jayamangali trip complete on sunday, I was planning for another long drive on 1st as it was a holiday.  This time around I was intending to go to pennagaram located just after hognekkal.

Instead of taking the highway I decided to drive via anchetti as I wanted to experience the thrill of driving on the winding roads again. With the places and the route mapped out, I asked the regulars prashant and rama to join who gladly agreed.

We began the long drive after picking up rama and prashant at Central and headed off towards denkankottai. Empty roads meant it was a smooth journey till hosur. A short stop for breakfast and after refueling we headed towards denkankottai. After going for a couple of kms we were stopped for a random check at a checkpost. A couple of questions and looking at prashant who was sleeping in the back and the camera gear he deduced that he was the cameraman, when we told him we were goin towards anchetti he asked us to proceed.

The roads were excellent and the cool weather made the drive even more pleasant. The twisty curvy roads presented a good oppurtunity for some photography which we did as we tried experimenting with various angles.

Street Photography

 

The drive continued till anchetti through the winding curves and we reached anchetti after a short while. We spotted couple of statues of local idols near a non descripit village, upon inquiring the person sitting there told these were the village gods and they were built recently. They were yet to be painted and we were offered to take a few photos of it which we did.

Village Idols

The next stop was hognekkal for which we had to take a left at the fork which would lead us to hogenkkal. The sun had oame out in full force and the temperature was hotting up. The roads which were good till then had start to deteriorate and we could see more potholes than the road itself. A couple of kms and we saw the same statue that we had seen earlier. This however was fully painted. A couple of snaps and we headed off. The bad roads lasted for few more kms and we were soon back on smooth tarmac.

We reached hognekkal and looked to stop by the river for a while before heading for pennagaram. However upon seeing the huge crowds at the banks with people getting into the same waters where vehicles were being washed we decided to head to safer ground and look for another spot if it was available. This however wasnt the case as we could see rows after rows of cars coming in. It was getting too hot and we saw a shop selling ice creams and we decided to take a break and refill our stomachs and the car with water and other essentials.

The lines increased as we went ahead. We could see buses and cars coming in one after the other. With no place to park the car we decided to ditch our plan to stop by the river and instead head to pennagram. We were suprisingly caught in a mini traffic jam when heading out of hognekkal. The steady stream of cars continued and we were lucky not to have stopped.

Pennagaram proved to be a disappointment as we couldn’t find the river source that was mentioned in Bangalore Mirror. Another visit is required to search for the place mentioned in Bangalore Mirror. Prashant had mentioned about Mettur dam which is a short distance from pennagaram after checking google maps and also a unkown road which would lead back to anchetti. We decided to visit mettur dam as we still had enough time left. The route to the dam passes via mecheri and the smooth roads was a treat to drive on. Zipping past the ghat sections we continued on our way. The humidity was still high and the drive continued with the AC on in full blast. We soon reached mecheri and asked for directions to the dam. The dam was 20 kms from 20kms from the junction.

Upon goin a short distance we had a discussion whether to continue onwards or return back. Rama said there is no chance of returning back as we have some so close we might as well cover the dam as it was an unexpected detour from our original plan. Another half hour and we reached the dam. Parking the car we went inside. We were initially skeptical about entering the dam as dams as generally off limits to general public however upon speaking with the gaurd we found that we could enter the dam. A couple of shots of the distant mountains and the we were roaming around the dam for a while. Entry is forbidden after a certain point and we had to turn back. It was already 2 by the time we left the dam and our stomachs were rumbling.

Mettur Dam

It was time to head back and a couple of hrs of travelling on the highway we had another stop in A2B to feed to stomachs and it was a non stop ride back home where another detour as us go to decathlon to pick up some sports stuff and then to CH for some ice cream to complete the ride.

Snaps can be found here

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Maidenhalli (Jayamangali) Blackbuck Reserve

It had been a long time since I had gone for a drive as the summer heat made it difficult to venture out. The recent rains cooled the temperature down and this prompted me to think of another long drive to beat the heat and the boredom of being at home.

Maidenhalli blackbuck reserve off madhugiri in tumkur was selected. The route takes us through the popular tourist destinations such as devarayanadurga, siddarabetta, goravanhalli, and madhugiri.

About the place: Jayamangali (formerly Maidenahalli) Blackbuck Conservation Reserve is Tumkur District’s only notified protected area. It neighbours Maidenahalli, a small village in Madhugiri Taluk, at the north-eastern tip of Tumkur district of Karnataka state, India. This area is a part of the plains of Deccan plateau and borders Anantpur District of Andhra Pradesh. It is a 798-acre (3.23 km2) patch of grassland with Eucalyptus and Acacia auriculiformis. It has the largest contiguous population of Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) in Karnataka, apart from Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary.

Distance : 140 Kms

How to Reach: Bangalore->Dabbaspet->Madhugiri. Take the right at the fork and keep goin straight till you find jaymangali blackbuck reserve board. Take left and keep going straight till you reach puruvara. Take another left at the flag post and continue on the same road till you reach the mud road. The reserve is 2.5 kms from the mud road.

Permission to stay

1) Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF)
Tumkur Territorial Division,
Kunigal Road,
Tumkur City- 5721 02

2)Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF)
Madhugiri Territorial Sub-Division,
Forest Office,
Madhugiri Town
Tumkur District

It was a delayed start as we left home around 7.30 in the morning. As it was a sunday there was less traffic and we were cruising along tumkur road and soon reached kamat. A short stop for breakfast and we were zipping past devarayanadurga and siddarabetta. Bad roads near madhugiri meant we had to slow down. Another stop for cuppa at a non descript hotel in madhugiri we then proceeded towards jayamangali blackbuck conservation center following the signboards. Driving for a few kms on some bad roads we asked for directions and proceeded. We soon reached the mud road which leads to the reserve. The reserve is 2.5 kms from the mud road

Entrance to the Blackbuck Reserve

There was a high possiblity of spotting some blackbucks and we were driving slowly. We soon spotted a couple of them grazing and roaming in the grasslands. I stopped the car and took a few snaps of the animals

Blackbucks in the grasslands

We soon reached the reserve and found a parking lot near the guest house. After paying Rs 100 for entry fee we went about roaming the plains in search of blackbucks and brids. The grasslands at jayamangali mimic the shrub jungle in africa where the herds roam around freely

The grasslands

We spent some time roaming the grasslands looking for blackbucks however we were unlucky to spot any in the sanctuary. There were however plenty of birds which kept my camera happy. Some of them were sitting on far away wires and trees which made it difficult to take a clean shot

Birds @ Jayamangali

With no blackbucks present we headed back to the car. The care taker informed us there are possibilities of us spotting the creatures after 3. With the sun beating down we took a break for an hour or so. One can stay at the forest guest house by paying a noninal fee of Rs 600. The care taker informed us that 2 batches who had stayed in the guest house left in the morning.

A break for an hour and we headed out of the reserve to find the blackbucks. Parking the car we walked in the grasslands and after a couple of min we could find blackbucks at a distance. I managed to take a few shots as they used to run away as we approached towards them.

Blackbucks at distance

After spending some time watching the animals run around we headed back to the car. A short stop in madhugiri for lunch and we were headed back home after another stop for cuppa at kamat.

Snaps can be  found here

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