Sunday, 14 December 2014

My Experience in Bengaluru Metro Train- Namma Metro

Today when I was reading a news article about Bengaluru Metro train, my flashback unfolded. It took me to the year 2011, November when the first stretch (Reach 1) between MG Road to Baiyyappanahalli was inaugurated. I was very keen to have a look on Bengaluru's new attraction -The metro train and experience a ride in it. From 2007 I was seeing Metro construction works, flyover like long bridges and tracks and imagining a world class metro train on that. So one weekend my hubby took me to MG Road metro station.
We reached MG Road at 10 AM and there was a long queue on the footpath. "It takes two hours to reach the ticket counter"my hubby yelled at me. Like me Bengalurians had a great curiosity and everyone wanted to experience the ride. We stood in the queue, reached the ticket counter around 12 PM. I just turned back...OMG!! Almost a kilometer long queue again!!! Within first three days of metro's operation, 1,70,000 passengers have already commuted it seems!!
MG Road Metro Station
In the ticket counter they issued coin like tokens. These tokens are available only for single journey. A person can buy upto 6 tokens for additional passengers and himself. Metro also issues smart cards  like how BMTC issues daily and monthly passes. One side of the token has namma metro symbol and the other side has Kempegowda tower symbol.

Metro Token

Namma Metro Symbol

After collecting the token, we waited for the train to arrive. There are trains every 15 minutes and finally for my excitement the train arrived. I was thrilled. It looked like a toy train. Train was just about to stop but people already started getting in ignoring the warning from security guards. Thank God there was no stampede.

I just had a view on the inside infrastructure of the train. Train was air conditioned. Though there were side seating arrangements, large proportion of the floor area has been given to standing passengers. Passengers have emergency voice communication with train staff through a speaker system. Train is wifi enabled so that passengers can use their laptops and mobile internet. They are also provided with a call button to communicate to the driver or control center during an emergency. I was very happy to see our train had two lady drivers.

In the train, I was lost in my own world and woke up when train stopped at Baiyyappanahalli station. Oops!! It just took 20 minutes to reach Baiyyappanahalli station from MG Road. I observed that metro stations are equipped with CCTV. 
And at Baiyyappanahalli station we again collected tokens for return journey. I was lucky to have a conversation with a lady driver who was enjoying her break with a cup of coffee. She informed that tracks are equipped with concrete barriers to prevent trains from leaving the track and also trains are equipped with special sensors which detect collisions and controls speed limit. Support pillars are earthquake proof. 
Metro Station @ Baiyyappanahalli

It was really a memorable experience of namma metro ride. Eagerly waiting for Reach 3 and 3A ride between Malleshwaram and Peenya which started its operation in March 2014.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Talakadu - The Land Submerged in Sand

It was a shivering winter Sunday and we planned for a trip to Shivanasamudra and Talakadu (Talakad). Distance between Bengaluru - Talakadu is 130 km. We opted for the route Bengaluru-Ramanagar-Channapatna-Maddur-Malavalli-Talakadu. This route takes three hours to reach Talakadu if you go by your own vehicle.
We reached Talakadu at 4pm after visiting Shivanasamudra. I was really worried about the shortage of time to explore Talakadu as we had to return to Bengaluru on same day.
As soon as you reach Talakad, your vehicle will be surrounded by local tourist guides. If you know the history of Talakad then no need to hire a guide, otherwise guides will be of a great help. We hired a tourist guide.
We were surprised to see sand everywhere.It is very difficult to find out traces of mud here. Talakadu town looks like a dessert. Our tourist guide started explaining the history of the place. He said that Talakadu got its name by two hunters called "Tala" and "Kada" who worshiped Lord Vaidyanatheshwara (Main God of Talakadu) and attained Moksha here. For longer time Talakadu was the capital of Gangas. Later Cholas ruled the place and called it as" Rajarajapura". Later Hoysalas conquered the place and called it as "Talakadagonda". After Hoysalas Talakadu was ruled by Vijayanagara Kings and Wodeyars of Mysore. 
Talakadu has five Shiva temples called as "Panchalinga". Talakadu is also called as "Mini Kaashi". Those five Shiva temples are Pataleshwara, Maraleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanatheshwara and Mallikarjuna. During rainy season all these temples will be fully covered with sand. These temples are visible only during winter and summer. We need at-least two hours to see all these temples. The main attraction of Talakadu is "Panchalinga Darshana" a fair which is held once in every 12 years. 
Pataleshwara Temple

Vaidyanatheshwara Temple Gopuram

I was struggling to keep my feet on sand. All narrow roads which lead to temple are covered with sheet. Otherwise just imagine what happens if sunrays touch the sand? It becomes impossible to walk on sand. 

I was curious to know why entire Talakadu is covered with sand? Our tourist guide narrated an interesting story behind this secret. 
Curse of Talakad :
The story takes us back to 16th century when Thirumala Raja ruled Sriranagapatnam. He was suffering from an incurable disease. He came to Talakadu to offer his sacrifices in the temple of Vaidyanatheshwara leaving his queen Alamelamma in charge of Srirangapatnam. But she hearing the news that her husband was on the point of death, soon after left to Talakadu to see him before he died, handing over Srirangapatnam to Raja Wodeyar of Mysore. Raja wodeyar was desirous of having Sriranagapatnam and jewels of Alamelamma. Waiting for this opportunity he sent his army against queen Alamelamma to grab her jewels forcefully. Queen Alamelamma felt cheated and went to the banks of  river Kaveri. She threw all her jewels in the river and drowned herself opposite Malangi river uttering the curse "Talakadu Marulagi, Malangi Maduvagi, Mysoru Arasarige Makkalgade irali", which means let Talakadu become sand, Malagi become a whirlpool, and let Mysuru Rajas fail to have heirs. 
We wondered about the curse. Dont know whether this curse became true or not but once flourished town Talakadu is now submerged  under sand dunes several meters deep and Mysore Royal wodeyar family haced problems in having a rightful heir to the throne since 17th century. Strange but true!!!
It was already 6 O' clock in the evening and we decided to return but our guide told that we can have some fun in backwaters of Kaveri. We went there but sun was in a hurry to end the day. Otherwise one can swim, hire boat, play water sports here. 

It is really worth visiting Talakadu once. It is an interesting place for everybody. For spiritualists, for geologists and for ecologists too....

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Angel's Trumpet - Beautiful But Poisonous Hanging Flower

On the way to my office daily I used to see beautiful hanging flowers roadside. They were very attractive trumpet shape flowers and their petals were hanging from the stem. When it starts blooming it is white in color and when fully blooms, turns to peach color. One day I just plucked a flower and enjoying its beauty while waiting for the bus. But after some time my hands started itching and red rashes appeared. I could not do any office works that day and wondering suddenly what happened to me.  Afterwards I realized that my skin is allergic to that flower. I got some relief after applying first aid. After coming home I searched the web for some information on that flower and got to know very interesting facts.

This flower is called Angel's trumpet (Trumpet=a musical instrument) and scientific name is Brugmansia. Its a flowering shrub. Flowers are in variety of colors white, peach, yellow and orange. In Kannada it is called Dattura (ದತ್ತೂರ)or Tuttoori Hoovu (ತುತ್ತೂರಿ ಹೂವು). Entire plant and flower is listed in world's poisonous plants. They are native to South America. Toxin in the plant can cause diarrhea, nausea, confusion and dizziness.  An overdose can be fatal, or lead to coma with permanent damage to the eyes, heart and brain. Instances of death were also reported. Thats why I wonder why butterflies, bees and even insects wont come near those flowers. 

Many people love to grow the plant in their garden because of beautiful flowers. But they have to wear gloves while touching the plant. But now I never dare to touch the flower. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Kempambudhi Park - Fun Place For Kids

It was a lazy and boring Sunday afternoon. Hubby dear was sleeping after a heavy lunch. I had finished all my works and thinking how to kill the time. I could not see hubby sleeping, woke him up and forced him to take me out. We planned to go to Kempambudhi Park in Hanumanth Nagar. 
We had no clue where exactly the park is. Took the help of GPS but still missed the route many times. So now with the guidance of localites we reached the park. 
When I entered the park I was really surprised. I had no idea that park will be so big, beautiful and neatly maintained. It took almost two hours to see the entire park. There are many reasons why this park stands out from other parks in namma Bengaluru. There are various attractions to entertain kids. If you are living in south Bengaluru and want to see your kids enjoying in weekend then Kempambudhi park is the right place. 
Kids Train :
Main attraction of the park is kids train which operates continuously after 4 PM. The train takes almost 20 minutes to cover entire park. Train track is almost 20 ft above the ground level. Kids will really have fun sitting inside the train and watching the beauty of the park. One elder person is allowed inside the train with a kid. When I visited the park ticket price was 30Rs/person.  

Statues of Jnanapeetha Awardees:
This is one more attraction of the park. Statues of all eight Jnanapeetha awardees from Karnataka have kept in line. Literature, plays, novels of respective awardees have been displayed on the stone. It feels so proud that Kannada is the second language to get highest Jnanapeetha awards after Hindi. 

 Replica models of Animals:
Replica models of animals like dinosaurs, deer, butterfly, birds, Pharaoh etc can be found in the park. Models of giant dinosaurs attract people. Apart from these kids enjoy other playing stuffs like sea- saw etc.

Near the park you can find a very big lake and it is called Kempambudhi lake. It is one of the
oldest lakes of Bengaluru. But now it is dried up. Except mud and grass you cant see anything. No sign of water anywhere. BBMP is saying it will take measures to bring back lake's glory. Hope one day lake will be full of water.
Kempegowda Tower :
At the starting point of the lake you can find Kempegowda Tower. Bengaluru has four Kempegowda towers and this is one among them.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Oops!! It was a long break!!!!

Yes...It has been more than a year since I posted here. Pregnancy, delivery and young baby kept me away  not only from blogging but also from travelling. From a busy HR executive and weekend traveler, now I am a busy mother to one year old baby. I really wonder how my life changed  after becoming a mother. Now priority is my son, my son and my son. My day starts when he wakes up..6 AM, 5 AM or it could be 4 AM and ends when he falls asleep at night. And in between cooking, house works etc etc time to breath. I know all mothers in this world experience the same.

I had two options - continue my career by hiring a maid/Nany to take care of my son or give a break to career and become a full time mother. I opted for the second one though it was not easy. I think most of the women face this dilemma once they become mother. If we continue career then we feel guilty for not giving enough attention to the child. If we give up the career then we feel guilty for not continuing the bright and fruitful job. I think there is no solution for this.

My son is a year old now and I am enjoying every moments with him. His naughtiness, play, enthusiasm to learn walking and talking etc gives me utmost happiness which my career could not give.

Meanwhile travelling is the one thing which I missed a lot. With a young baby it is impossible to go distances. But I was reading my fellow travelers post and even book marked few interesting places. Dont know when I will visit those.

I always wanted to update my blog and whenever I sit for writing, my son wants my laptop to play. Yet to write about many places if time ....sorry if my son permits :)