We started by trying to have early-morning chai/coffee to ward off the chill, at a Darshini.Alas, nothing was ready, and we finally moved to a little tea-shop nearby. I was very tickled to see that a delivery of vessels had been made for the Darshini...
As we were going past Dodballapur, it occured to us that having breakfast there would be a good idea. Chandu called up Karunakar, who gave excellent directions to a very good darshini, the Ayyappa Tiffen Centre:
Here are Anil, Chandu, Prashant and Vittal, full-of-breakfast, heading back to the car after having watched Flowerpeckers and Tailorbids in the nearby tree:
We soon reached Makalidurga, and the scenery was stunningly beautiful:
We also visited a large water body there, but surprisingly, did not see too many water birds:
We then decided to park near the station and bird from there, but a puncture intervened!
while the others got down to the hard work (the car nearly ran off the jack, apparently, and it might have resulted in a car-less Anil and an arm-less Vittal) I walked down to the pretty little station:
See the beauty of the trains chugging across the hillside:
On the (single) platform, this ascetic walked, to catch a train (this was the Bhubanshewar Express, so perhaps he was going to Orissa?)
The water tower at the station said, "Alight here to Happy Valley"...the resort, however, seemed to have closed down:
We had a lovely time, spotting and observing, and my not-bisi belA huLi annA, Prashant's home-made grape juice, and Anil's VV Bakery jam (sweet) and "congress" (peanut) savoury buns all tided us over lunch-time, too. In the bright sunshine, we must have drunk litres of water!
We also drove to Ghati Subramanya temple, and on the way, saw this woman winnowing grain, with a statue of Ganesha in the background:
On my Picasa web album, you can see the scenery, with the gOpurA of Ghati Subramanya in the background.
The uniquness of this temple is that the front of the deity is that of Subramanya, and the back is that of Narasimha. We were not able to visit the temple as it was closed, but the archways too reflected this duality. The back of the arch:
And the front of it:
This is very unusual, as Subramanya is the son of Shiva, and Narasimha is an avatar of Vishnu!
I saw this man pedalling a cycle with the bulkiest load I've seen on a two-wheeler!
And a profession which is not very much in evidence in Bangalore caught my eye, when I saw these knife vendors having lunch, with their array of knives and a pedal knife-sharpener in front of them:
With so much to look at, I wouldn't really mind if there were no birds!
For more photographs,
A wonderful day...Thank you, Chandu, for the great idea!