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Exploring Karnataka – Channapatna – Part 1

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It had been a while, since I had ventured out on any trip. Work had left me drained out, with weekends too being spent at work. My eyes only saw tasks, to-do lists, status updates and emails spread across different digital devices. I needed to spend some time with myself. Maybe a trip, without having any responsibilities around the trip, where I could gaze and wonder at nature, without a time restriction or pressure to get back home. On a Saturday evening, as I was listening to music, I was thumbing through an archived edition of a 2011 Lonely Planet Magazine. In one of its one day trips, it listed Channapatna as a probable trip to do in a day. 53 kilometres from the city, for a small town flavour with some handicrafts and temples, made it worth exploring.

I decided that its better, I do this trip alone, since I just wanted to leave at the earliest. Coordinating between family and friends and finding the right time to leave, could possibly take the juice out of the trip. I live in the eastern edge of Bangalore, and Channapatna was along the South Western gate to the city. I knew, I’d have to brave 90-120 minutes in just getting out of Bangalore, moving from one end to the other, since i started after breakfast. My companions were Google Maps on my iPhone, the lonely planet magazine and radio on the car, to listen in during the drive. One constraint emerged straightaway, in that I knew that I had probably 4 hours of battery charge left on my iPhone 5, since i was going to be using data on my phone, while driving, so I had to reach Channapatna by a maximum of 1330 hours.
The drive started really, only when I crossed the NICE road junction toll, when hills gave rise to mountains, and the civilisation dimmed. I expected clear roads and less traffic, but I realised that Bangalore extends 30 kilometres beyond its borders, uptil Bidadi, which meant that the roads could never be completely empty, and I had to contend with some traffic. Here are some of the sights, I stopped to admire
Between Bidadi and Ramanagara- The road is dotted with hills, flanking the diminutive railway track. It would have been nice, if the local tourism department could point to where ‘Sholay’ was shot here.
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I would have loved if there were some secret paths to get to the top of a mountain. Best places to enjoy a little summer shower in Bangalore, if it happens. I was not able to find any.

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As I crossed Ramanagara, I stopped to give my family status on where I was. I found a candy seller walking by who was almost dwarfed by the pink candies all over.

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I reached Channapatna, and found a place to eat, near the edge of the northern end of the town. The place I had lunch was called Sidda lunch home, with little to write home about in terms of character, but the food was okay. I used the place to charge my mobile, while I slowly gorged on Tomato Soup, Masala Papad and one heavy bowl of curd rice. Curd Rice tends to incapacitate me with pangs of drowsiness, so I decided to leave my mobile at the restaurant, while it was charging to walk over to the nearby toyshops. Channapatna is known as the land of toys, where simple wood based toys are made, which are apparently safe for children, with little sharp edges or danger for kids.  I picked up a little car and a bigger car for my son.

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I quite loved the dolls that resembled the musicians. It was available as a set of 3, so I did not want to buy that, but the images of these dolls were in some reason the standout image of my trip so far. These toys sell for about 200-300 Rs, and if you buy it from the Toy factories, they are cheaper by some amount. I did not try out the factories, as it was not open on a Sunday. I spent some more time lounging around Channapatna, but all that more in the second edition of this series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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