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Cambodia Day 4: Beng Mealea

Today would be our last day in cambodia as we would be heading back to phonm penh for the flight to thailand the next day. We decided to cover Beng Mealea today as it is located on the way to phonm penh and we can head back there after covering it. The temple is located 40 kms from siem reap and is thought to have been built at the same time Angkor Wat was built.

The temple is completely in ruins and only few walls are left standing. The temple has the carvings of the churning of the milky ocean. The walls also have very few carvings in them.

The ruins of Beng Mealea

IMG_5818_resizeIMG_5821_resizeWith moss growing everywhere the place has a mystical feel. One can get to feel and experience a Tomb Raider effect when you go to Beng Mealea. 

Moss covered Ruins

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IMG_5863_resizeWe spent some time walking around the ruins and exploring the small tunnels in the temple, before heading back to the Car to continue on the long drive to Phonm Penh thus ending a fantastic visit to the ancient empire.

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Dabbagauli

Nestled in the fringes of karnataka-tamil nadu border is a relatively unspoilt place called dabbagauli. Bangalore Mirror had posted an article on the same a year back and going through it made me plan for a drive there. The drive was still in planning phases for close to a year and finally after getting some free time I decided to head to this place.

There are two routes to dabbagauli. One needs to go to kanakapura and take a deviation

Route 1 : Bangalore->Kanakapura->Kodihalli->Hunsanhalli ->Take Left and Hunsanhalli ->Oorgaum->Right at Oorgaum to reach Dabbagali

Route 2: Bangalore->Kanakapura->Kodihalli->Hunsanhalli -> Right at Hunsanhalli -> Belapatti-> Dabbagali

I decided to take the second route as it would allow me to do some off roading. It was an early morning start and i reached kankapura in a hour or so. A short stop for breakfast and I was cruising along to Kodi Halli.  A couple of photos of the river and I was zooming along the well tarred road to hunsanhalli.

River on the way to Kodi halli

IMG_4894_resizeThere was intermittent construction work goin on and parts of the road was getting relaid. One has to be careful when driving on these jelly stones. Negotiating couple of stretches of these and I reached hunsanhalli where I asked for directions to Belapatti.

The road passes through some amazing scenary and I took my time taking photos of the landscape before moving ahead

Scenary near Dabbagauli

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The tar road continued for some more time and I soon found a mud road with the directions given to dabbagauli. The luxury of tar road ends here and one needs to do some off roading to reach belappati.

Directions and Road to Dabbagauli

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The road goes uphill and becomes more dangerous as we go ahead. One needs to be careful when driving here. Luckily retarring work is going on and parts of the road have been relaid till belapatti.

Negotiating the steep curves I reached belapatti and again asked for directions. Driving some distance I found the sign board and took right and continued. From here on its entirely downhill and the loose gravel makes the ride tricky. The descents are fairly steep and driving very carefully i reached the banks of river cauvery. I was expecting to be alone there however I found some people who had come there ahead of me.

The Hosur Wildlife forest division has a put up a list of Do’s and Dont’s and one needs to abide by them to ensure we keep the place clean.

As the rainy season has just began, there was not enough water in the river, however the river was flowing with all its might. Its dangeroys to get in the river as the water might be full of currents.

Cauvery

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There are couple of temples there which one can visit. Since elephants and other wild animals roam in these parts care should be taken when visiting these areas. Spending some time there and clicking snaps I headed back to home heading via the same way.

A stop in hunsanhalli for refreshments and a chat with the shop keeper revealed that one can camp in the temples at dabbagauli. Locals at hunsanhalli and nearby villages visit the temples and people from bangalore also visit this place. I was also told there is a dam off hunsanhalli where elephants come to drink water in the evenings and one can have a good chance of spotting an elephant if one goes there in the evening.

Thanking the shop keeper for the info i headed back home, thinking of another visit to this place to cover the dam. Anchetti which is a short distance from hunsanhalli can also be covered via this route.

Snaps can be found here

Merlion Park and Marina Bay Hotel – Singapore

The mascot of singapore – The Merlion is a mythical beast with the head of a tiger and the body of a fish. The statue opposite to Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is one of the most visited locations. The statue overlooks the Marina Bay Sands and is usually covered with a lot of visitors.

I had a chance to visit this during my visit to Singapore. The statue is present amdist huge skyscrapers and looks amazing.

Marina Bay Sands

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Merlion

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The next place on the iternary was the Marina Bay Sands hotel. The 5 star hotel contains plenty of shops. There was lot of abstract art from china and Japan displayed. Roaming around there took a few snaps of those. One can go to the top of the hotel also known as the skypark to have a birds eye view of Singapore. The cost is 20 SGD and one can stay there for as long as one likes there. However in event of rain or thunderstorms there will be a temporary of the skypark.

Inside Marina Bay Sands

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On our way back to the hotel we took a couple of photos of the Singapore Flyer before heading back.

Singapore Flyer

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