This is all about the non-birding and wildlifing part of the trip to Devarayanadurga, which I have already posted about. I want to put on record the places that we went to. Here's the first place on this Karnataka signboard:
The arch proclaimed it to be a "Aushadhi Sasyagalu Samrakshnana Pradesha matthu Namada Chilume Nisarga Dhama"....that is, "Medicinal Plants Protection Area, and Namada Chilume (phonetically, nAmada chilumEy) Nature Sanctuary"
The details were given as "Karnataka Forest Dept, Tumukuru":
Here's the foundation stone, laid on 2nd of June 1987, and the ticket collector (entrance is free early in the morning, but later visitors have to pay...imagine!...three rupees each...
Once we went in, we found this sign on the flower-covered, and well-and-truly-locked up Forest Inspection Bungalow:
And there was a beautiful statue of Nandi right opposite the building:
We looked at the chilume (spring) (you can see KKI,Seshadri,Ani, Arun, and Mamta):
The spring was, alas, enclosed in quite an ugly grille;
he spring gently flowed into the next circular hole in the rock, which you can see just to the right of the grille. Here it is, you can see the water gently flowing in in little ripples:
And nearby was another spring, too, the rounded shape looked so beautiful:
The granite tablet nearby gave the mythology, that Sri Rama, when he had come here, wanted to apply the "nAmam" on his forehead, and caused the spring to gush forth so that he could make a wet paste and apply the mark to his forehead!
Having looked around, we took a long walk on the forest trail here, and returned to have some breakfast, and then went on towards the crest of the hill.
On the second part of the trip, we climbed steadily and saw the sign for these two temples:
Having a "Yoga" and "Bhoga" aspect of a god seems to be a common practice in the hill temples. The "Bhoga" aspect is generally at ground level ("bhoga" is, roughly, enjoyment of worldly pleasures; "yoga" stands for union with spirituality and hence, renunciation of worldly pleasures..that's a rough sketch)...and fittingly, the "yoga" god is higher up, and one must undertake a climb, easy or arduous, depending on one's physical and spiritual fitness, to reach. In Nandi Hills, too, one has the bhOga nandeeshwara and the yOga nandeeshwara, which I have posted about earlier.
Here's a view, from the microwave tower area, of the temple, looking like a doll's house, nestled amongst the rocks, so beautiful....
We went further up the hill to this "pravAsi mandirA" (another building that was tightly locked up, and I love these milestones that announce so graphically that you have reached your destination, with a big "0" on them!
This huge rock was just amazing. Right next to it was lots of vegetation where we saw a lot of Yellow-Throated Bulbuls:
Everywhere in the area, one could see these rugged, starkly beautiful rock formations:
KKI (Kiran Kumar Immidi) and Arun decided that they would go and take darshan at the temple; the rest of us were not keen on removing our footwear, so we stopped a little short, at the place where one has to take them off. But on the way, this little shrine cut into the rock looked very beautiful.
And this lady made a colourful picture, sitting against the rocks and plants:
While we were waiting for KKI and Arun to come back (which they did after AGES because they had spotted a Shaheen Falcon and a White-Eyed Buzzard and had gone off on their trail...we thought they might have attained nirvana at the sanctum!), a group of people who work for the Kannada TV channel, Kasturi (here's one of them) came up to me and asked me if I wanted to request a hit Kannada film song to be played!
I was quite OK with this, though the others (anirudhc, mamtanaidu and Seshadri were very reluctant; but then we were caught on camera, and I said in my fractured Kannada that I loved "Mungaru Male" because of the scenic beauty of Jog Falls that was shown in it; and I requested a song from the movie! :)
Mamta then spoke in English, said that she wanted to learn Kannada, but no one spoke to her in that language! Seshadri talked a little about wildlife, birding and photography, and Ani remained the strong, silent man throughout! :)
This was a very nice way to pass the time till KKI and Arun came back, and most probably, the footage will end up on the editing room floor; but it was quite interesting! I had given my MLC to Arun, and so asked Seshadri to take pics on his S5, and am hoping that he will send them to me, and I can include them here.
We then went to the View Point,from which there is a view of the Vidya Shankara temple. Here's the sign,
And here's the lovely view:
So those are the places, and you already know the birding and the spotting that we did while we roamed over the place....
Update: the clip by Kasturi Channel is also apparently airing regularly....after Avinash called me to say it had been broadcast, I also had a call from someone else, thanking me for choosing the Mungaru Malhe song!