All posts by Casey

Am a movie buff and a typical lazy piscean. Lowe travelling, reading, dreaming, blogging in that order. Want to be fit but wish I could sit in a comfortable chair and become fit :D Like to lead an uncomplicated life (who doesn't?) but manage to complicate my life with irrelevant worries and unnecessary stress. Life is good, isn't it?

Vythri — A visit to remember

After repeated visits to Yercaud, Ooty, Mysore, I was simply too fed up. This trip to Vythri, Wayanad was something I wanted. This was a repeat visit too but it has been so many years since we visited that I thought it was a good option. The Arien obsessed over starting early and for once I decided not to mess that up. So, surprisingly, we were up and away by 7.30 am which was a super achievement 🙂 The libran toddler who wakes up at 6:15 every single day – woke up at 7 that day but we were still able to get away by 7:30.


It was a nice, long drive. The libran toddler fell asleep for some part of it. Cannot blame him – it was  a long boring drive for him. I had a bad cough and I was struggling to keep my eyes open. The Arien was also not feeling all that well. But, we made good time. The route we followed was: Bangalore – Breakfast at Up South – Nanjangud – Gundlupet – Sultan Bathhery – Kalpetta – Resort.

Sitting Area

Where we would stay was discussed, fought over, agreed to two months earlier. I wanted to stay someplace else but the Arien felt it was too expensive and so on and so forth till we both agreed on the Windflower Spa and Resort. We reached the resort around 2 pm.


As always, we had tonnes and tonnes of luggage – hotel staff invariably wonder if we are staying for a month. We settled the luggage in and then went for lunch. Lunch was ok – not great.

Comfy Chair with foot stool

The room was nice. It was actually a suite with a sitting area and an attached balcony (nice n wide), and a bed room. The bathroom was simply huge. We totally loved it. The resort had a number of monkeys and so we were asked to keep the balcony door closed all the time and to not keep anything valuable in the


The libran did not want to spend any time inside the room and was busy pulling at his Dad’s trousers and pointing out. The libran is happiest outside and so after a nice long walk, we expect him to smile and be happy but he will cry and throw tantrums because he wants to be out longer.

Both of us are usually at wits end and will try all sorts of diversion tactics. He will calm down just as suddenly and play with his cars as if that crying, yelling, screaming episode did not happen. That happens every day at home but we were surprised it happened on that day as well.

We were quite tired from the drive and would have loved to snooze in the afternoon but that was not to be. We just hoped we could sleep early so we could do some sight-seeing the next day.


Mysore Zoo

1-MZ-owlA visit to Mysore is never complete without a visit to the Zoo. In the years following this trip, the zoo trip will become all the more important since we’ll have a toddler accompanying us everywhere. Anyway, this was before the toddler arrived and from when we were the happy-go-lucky couple who enjoyed traveling and doing all things touristy.

Anyway, I loved the zoo because I could see the Giraffes and it 1-MZ-wtwas one helluva walk. This time was no different. I wanted the Arien to take some pictures of the animals and birds in the zoo. The first picture was of the glass-eyed stern-looking owl. The second was of the white tiger that was fast asleep. It obviously could not and would not move while people goaded him to wake up and do something, anything. That seemed so cruel that we moved on.

cheetahThe arien took exactly 2 snaps and refused to take any more.His actual words were more to the effect that it was not challenging to take pictures of caged or captive animals and birds blah blah and so I had to be happy with what I got.

Of course, this was before he saw the Usain Bolt of the animal kingdom. The cheetah was the latest addition and a great attraction in the zoo. All the people stood around the cage while the cheetah refused to look at us. Finally, he turned his face, and licked his skin very much like a cat and we got a nice shot of him. 1-MZ-bb

The last shot was of the black buck. We visited Maidenhalli to see the black buck and so this was kinda like an easy shot. We usually struggle a lot to get a nice shot of the black buck and this seemed too easy that we really jes had to.

We were driving back tomorrow and so that was the end of the Mysore trip. We had a nice but hectic time. It was fun.

Krishnaraja Sagar Dam and the Brindavan Gardens — Beautiful in the morning as well

Fountain-1So after breakfast, we drove down to KRS. A favorite filming location or shooting location in the 60s and 70s – before producers opted to shoot out of India. It is beautiful to look at, at night. People used to come from all over to watch the fountains and tell others that they have been to Brindavan Gardens. Nowadays, it is not so popular and during the day, it was almost empty.

This was good for us. The Arien could1-Fountain-2 happily shoot pictures and I could walk along without worrying if we have lost sight of each other. We were there ~10 am and had ample time to walk around and watch the water display which the folks were kind enough to turn on, probably for testing. The Arien spent a lot of time perfecting his shot. It can be a bit boring but this time I had no complaints. I was wearing comfortable shoes and we basically had no one for company and so I walked ahead.

1-DancingwaterWe pointed to some of the locations that were used almost always in most of the songs of a bygone era and laughed. All the funny dance moves against the backdrop of the amazing Brindavan gardens was a bit too much to re-imagine. On the left is a pic of the steps that any Sivaji Ganesan and/or Muthuraman has danced. The heroine usually runs down the steps to match the music or stops mid-way and makes funny faces. It is quite comical. I mean no offense to fans of those movies/ that music/ those dance moves.

On the right is a pic that I absolutely fell for – all the lamps in a row and the lampsflash of red – simply beautiful it was. The Arien is now a serious photographer and talks about filters, lenses and what nots while I nod like I get it. Its all OHT right now. Anyway, the Arien was thrilled at the amazing shots he was getting and there was no one around which made the shots even better.

royalorchidWe walked all the way to the end and we saw the Royal Orchid closeuphotel. I told the Arien that we must really make it a point to stay there sometime so we can jes walk down and take snaps when no one will be there. It is kinda pricey though.

Anyway, I asked the Arien to take two shots just in case we never stay there. The Arien felt I was overdoing it but did not argue and took the snaps. Well, we actually stayed at Royal Orchid in 2014 (2 years after this visit) and hopefully I will blog about that this year 😉

1-flora-1The Arien’s dragonfly mania took over yet again and soon he was shooting flowers and insects and insects on flowers etc. and sometimes shooting the same flower from different angles using different lenses etc. flora-2

I was the caddy who gave him the lenses and carried the rest of the equipment and I was getting bored. We still had to visit the zoo later today and I was not sure if we could manage that today. The flowers were pretty, the spiders were not, nor was the dragonfly and so I’ll include the pictures of two flowers which really looked nice rather than the other stuff.

Mysore Palace — Beautiful Lighting

MysorePalaceThe same evening we decided to visit the Mysore Palace. The Dussera crowd was scary and I would have liked to say ‘we held hands’ but I think I was too frightened to let go of the Arien’s hands 🙂 Crowds in general have that effect on me – thanks to old hindi films (mela mein kho gaya specifically) which I watched mesmerized as a kid.  We walked in late evening after a nap (we are on holiday, nap tho banta hai!) and while I worried we were too late, we were in fact just in time. PowerGen I cannot resist masala puffed rice and they were selling them inside the palace premises. We spent a few minutes haggling over the price and when we looked up, the palace was all lit up and looked heavenly.

To keep the entire place so beautifully lit up must cost a lot of money which may or may not be equivalent to the money received as a result of tourist inflow. When these thoughts assailed our mind, we noticed that they had a cycle stall and everyone who cycles at that stall was actually contributing to some of the power required for the palace to be so beautifully lit up. Loved the idea. Did not actually cycle but there were so many folks who were eager to. We moved closer to the palace.

1-MP-entranceAs we moved away from the entrance, the Arien wanted to take a1-MP-entrance-1 picture of the doorway from which we entered. It looked so beautiful now. I thought we should also take a picture of the other entrance for balance. On the left is the entrance from which we entered and on the right is the other entrance. We did not walk all the way though. There was ample security provided. Lots of policeman near the entrances and generally walking around. Both the entrances looked very well lit and was totally worth the trip.

Mysore PalaceDuring Dussera, programs are also organized in front of the palace. A nice dais is created for artistes to sing carnatic music with accompaniments. There are ample seating arrangements for the audience. But, it is unfortunately not at all a match for the number of people who land up. The ample arrangements fell short of the actual crowd that landed up at the palace around at that time.

There was a temporary structure – more like a scaffolding – on which logs were kept and we actually stood on that to watch the program. Lot of people were standing there and waiting for smne seated to leave so they could occupy that seat. It was that crowded. Mysorepalace-1

There was an amazing energy to the place – the lighting, the singing, the crowd, the folks at the scaffolding, everything made one feel charged. The last time I felt like that was when I attended a Bryan Adam’s concert – yes, that long ago 😦

After a totally charged up visit, we headed out to our hotel after having dinner. It was a nice end to a hectic toursity day.

Ranganathittu and Sangam — Good day for snaps

1-boat It is a very rare occurrence if we visit Mysore without spending some time in Ranganthittu. So, it was not a surprise at all that this was part of the plan. We started early but after breakfast and reached Ranganathittu around 9 am to find out that we were the only ones there! We had to either wait for a group or hire a boat just for ourselves. We decided on the latter and we were not sorry.


The Arien got a couple of nice shots, sharing a few here. We spotted two crocodiles. Both looked scary and totally menacing in their statue poses. For a few seconds I mistakenly even thought that maybe it was only a statue of a crocodile and the boatman was only trying to provide us some value for money. And then the statue moved. It looked massive. I started praying for the boat ride to be over soon. Ya, I get very panicky at times. The other one was quite far off and appeared not to care too much about us.

birdinflightThe boatman paddled, pointed out crocs, birds, and told us to come at a time when we can really see a lot of birds (i.e not now) etc. The Arien was glad for the info, I was trying to collect info for the blog post, and the boatman wanted to chat. Win-Win!

The Arien got a pic of the spoonbill in flight. It looked amazing and glorious in flight. We saw mostly spoonbills and so both of us were not so thrilled. Anyway, our next plan was to get to Sangam.

1-sangam-2Sangam looked exactly the same compared to when we visited last time with my mom-in-law. It seemed like a place untouched by progress. Its a holy place because of the meeting of three rivers. As a result, it is usually visited by folks to pay their last respects to their ancestors. Pujas are done here and so you may be in for a shock if you expect something else.

When we visited with my MIL, a puja was going on the outside of the temple shown on the right. It can be a bit of a shock to see folks wearing traditional outfits and praying or performing homa or chanting after the priest when you have come on a holiday. You may be viewed as a person showing a lack of respect and so you kinda cannot enjoy it much. Be warned!

View from where we satIt is quite unsophisticated, natural, and definitely not clean. When we visited this time, there were no pujas going on. We spent some time sitting on the banks and resting our feet in the water. It was so silent and calm, it can seem a bit scary but otherwise there is nothing much to see or do. The picture on the left is actually view from where we sat with our feet in water. The water was amazingly cold and the whole place had a very calming effect on us.

The Arien chose that moment to go crazy over a dragonfly and1-Dragonfly was trying to shoot it in various angles. I have no idea what he was trying to do. I think the dragonfly was wondering the same. Every snap of the dragonfly looked the same to me 🙂 In fact, I liked the second shot better than all his other pics. But, he drove me nuts running after the dragonfly and shooting pic after pic after pic while I followed him like a goof ball. Attaching the second pic of the dragonfly for my satisfaction 🙂

Coming up is the visit to the Mysore Palace.