Friday, 9 November 2012

Road Trip: Bangalore to Kasargod

Most of our road trips happen on the spur of the moment. This trip – from Bangalore to Kappil Beach (Kasargod) – was one such. At the break of dawn, we drove out of Bangalore towards Coorg. We expected rain during our journey. The cyclone, Nilam, had had its effect on the weather, and Bangalore had received rains during the previous week.

The route that we took was:
Bangalore – Srirangapatana – Hunsur – Kushalnagara – Madkeri – Bhagamandala – Panathur – Kanhangad – Bekal – Kappil Beach

When we reached Madkeri, rain and mist greeted us. We couldn’t see the hills due to the mist cover. We stopped our car, watched the mist slowly clear, and savored the moment. Hey, but, there was more mist that glided in front of us. The paddy fields were lush; wish I could borrow that Green and paint the world with it. Well, we couldn’t stand there forever and admire Nature; could we? We continued driving towards our destination.

At Bhagamandala, we visited the Sri Bhagandeshwara temple. We were lucky to have reached the temple just before the doors closed for the afternoon.The temple is gorgeous and absolutely neat, and has shrines for Lord Shiva, Lord Ganapati, Lord Subbramanya, and Lord Mahavishnu. The confluence of rivers - Kaveri, Kannike, and Sujyoti – happens here. The rivers flow majestically, and had tempted a few people to take a dip (even in the rain). The aura of the place can only be silently experienced.

Before starting our drive through the Talacauvery forest reserve onward to Panathur, we prayed for a safe journey. This journey, though lonely, was thrilling and breath-taking. We were the only travelers on that road at that hour. Felt as though the road was laid specially for us. Every twist and turn seemed to have waterfalls. The greenery of the forest and the melodies of several birds were soothing. At certain places, we observed that landslides had happened and trees had fallen, and had been cleared. The landscape gradually showed signs of habitation.

Later on, it was a drive through the towns of Kasargod to reach our destination. Oh my God, the road leading to Vivanta by Taj (Bekal)was beautiful (especially after driving on the bad roads)!

Vivanta by Taj resort is impressive, and, oh yes, we fell in love with it. The rooms are neat, spacious, and luxurious. Most rooms face the backwater. Walking alongside of the water is refreshing. The resort also opens to the Kappil beach; heavenly! The resort is a home to several species of birds. The lobby displays the details of birds. The idols kept almost everywhere in the resort and the tropic plants at the garden add glamour to the place. The water body inside the resort, between the lobby and the Latitude (restaurant), is serene. The unique fountains are like little girls laughing away to glory. I’ll let the photos talk more about the resort. We rate a big 5 for the resort – location, service, cuisine, hospitality, maintenance, and ambience.

The tourist spots that we visited during our stay are the Ananthapuram Lake temple, Chandragiri Fort, Bekal Fort, and Madhur Siddhi Vinayaka temple. The Ananthapuram Lake temple is dedicated to Lord Ananthapadmanaba. The temple staff converse in both Kannada and Malayalam. At 12:30 pm (IST), the mahamangalarathi is performed, and then lunch served to all devotees. We enjoyed the puja and the lunch. The Madhur Siddivinayaka temple also follows similar routine. The Madhuvahini stream follows adjoining the temple. There is something about such divine temples that only the soul can savor.

The Bekal Fort opens by 8:00 am (IST). The vehicle parking costs Rs 5, and the entry ticket per person costs Rs 5; for camera, additional Rs 25. The fort had a handful of visitors, giving us an opportunity to explore the place at peace. The security guards patrol and CCTV cameras are installed; ensure that you stay safe, and don’t venture into lonely and unkempt parts of the fort. Yay, a mongoose crossed our path! Again, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

After relaxing and rejuvenating at the resort, we had to trace our way back home (unwillingly!). We decided to try a different route.
Bekal – Udma – Cherkala – Puttur – Uppinangadi – Sakleshpur – Hassan – Chanarayapatana – Kunigal – Nelamangala – Bangalore

The Shiradi Ghat road is pathetic; but because we are familiar with this road, we drove through without any troubles. We made a quick stop at Kamat for a coffee, and then continued our drive. When we reached Bangalore, the horrible traffic brought us back to reality with a thud. Sigh.

I hope that you will try this road trip. If you do, let us know your experience.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Dubare, Karnataka

On the spur of the moment, I called the Jungle Lodge Resort and asked if they could accommodate us during the weekend. Well, in such a short notice, I did not expect the resort to have just one river-view cottage available. Some magic must have happened, or we were plain lucky!

On Saturday morning, we hopped on to our little car, and drove off. The weather was awesome; cloudy, and at times, drizzle. The landscape kept changing from urban to semi-urban to semi-rural to rural, as though it was a movie. Everything seemed to mesmerize us.

The route we took was: Bangalore - Kengeri - Bidadi - Ramanagaram - Channapatana - Maddur - Mandya - Srirangapatana - Hunsur - Periyapatana - Khusalnagar - Dubare. The journey was splendid. For breakfast, we stopped at one of the Cafe Coffee Day outlets at Maddur. Well, we broke our breakfast rule of having Thatte Idlis at Bidadi. There's always a next time to taste those soft and delicious idlis.

On our journey, we saw that the farmers were either setting the fields to sow paddy or were paddy-planting. The ibises, herons, and several other birds were enjoying the worms and insects that sprung out due to ploughing. A few fields grew sugarcane. Other fields cultivated tobacco. We stopped to stretch our legs and also to admire the serene scenery. For more details about tobacco cultivation, see Tobacco Plants and Flowers.

We hadn't seen Nisargadhama, and therefore, we stopped there. River Cauvery is the main reason for several places to flourish. Was fun to walk on the hanging bridge. Usually, people on one-day trips visit this place. But one can also stay at the cottages available. Some visitors were making a lot of noise, and seemed to be destroying the swings that hung from the trees. We had to ignore them, and move away. We saw the deer park; but elephant rides suspended. By the time we returned from the deer park, the security guards had shooed away the bunch of trouble-causing men. Peace graced the place again.

We reached the reached Dubare by noon. We parked our car at the parking lot allocated to the Jungle Lodge resort, and then hopped on to a boat that took us to the resort. We love this resort because of the excellent service. The friendly staff greeted us, and gave us a superb river-view cottage. We unpacked, freshened up, and attacked the lunch buffet. We sat facing the river, and relished our lunch. The food was homely and tasty. Oh, God, the dessert - Vermicelli Payasam - was delicious!

By 4:00 pm, tea was served, and we were ready for a jeep safari. Three jeeps got ready for us and other guests. The kids were hyper excited. Rules given to us was that we had to maintain silence during the safari. The rain had just stopped, and we hoped that rain wouldn't spoil our safari. Of course, the road would be a mess.

As we drove into the jungle, the guide explained that the jungle was man-made as well as natural. The jungle is covered with bamboo plants and teak trees. It's cute to see a variety of orchid plants clinging to the trees. We spotted a stag; it stood on the middle of the road. Saw us, and sprinted away. Later, we saw deer that ran across the road. We saw peasants and other birds.

We were one with nature, and suddenly, we were shaken by the trumpeting of an elephant. The guides stopped the jeeps, and... Silence. All of us listened carefully, and voila, again the elephant trumpeted. We saw the back of the elephant, and hoped that we could see the whole elephant. But the elephant moved deeper in to the jungle. After a few minutes, we heard the loudest noise every - the trumpeting of an adult elephant. That's when we realized that the elephant was with her baby!

When we returned, hot beverages and biscuits were awaiting us. We sipped tea, and then retired to our cottage. By 8:30 pm, the dinner buffet was ready. The aroma of food pulled us towards the dining area. The phulkas were soft and yummy. We could hear the river gurgle; seemed like it was narrating a story to us. I wonder how many stories she has, and how many people she has seen! After warming ourselves at the bonfire, we hit our sacks.

The next morning, we were up and ready by 6:00 am. Rain had showered during the night, and was drizzling in the morning. Letting the raindrops kiss us, sipping hot coffee, and watching the river were all marvelous experiences. The raindrops fall on the huge cobwebs, which were woven on the trees, and made webs visible to us. The delicate bamboo leaves tried hard to hold on to the raindrops, which were bubbly and wanted to jump off to explore their own world. The birds were shaking off the raindrops from their feathers. Oh, God, that was life!

We marched towards the elephant bathing area, and stood waiting for the elephants to majestically walk towards the river. This is supposed to be t-h-e main attraction of the resort. One by one the elephants came, carefully walked down the slopes, and went in to the water. The mammoths instructed the elephants to lay on one side so that they could scrub it. That's were all of us joined to help the mammoths. Of course, the elephants enjoyed the bath! It was fun to watch their trunks blowing out water or trying to catch the scent of human.

After the bath, the elephants moved to the feeding area. We can buy cucumbers, coconut, and other fruits and give it to the elephants. The elephants are fed dried grass, coconuts, bananas, and huge balls of ragi and horsegram. Because of rains, the elephant ride and coracle ride were cancelled.

Ah, time had come for us to depart, and return home. We bid goodbye to the staff and the place, and drove back to Bangalore. We reached Bangalore by 5:00 pm, and were we rejuvenated!


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Stockholm, Sweden – Spring 2012

Our destiny flew us to Sweden and Norway, during the Indian summer of 2012. The Nordic countries were getting ready to welcome the spring. Our journey began from Bangalore, transit at Frankfurt, and ended at the Arlanda airport. We did not opt for package tours, but took help of the Internet to plan our own itinerary. It’s fun to explore a place at our own pace. At Arlanda, the cold freezing weather welcomed us with open arms!

From the airport, we hopped on to the Arlanda Express train and went to the Stockholm Central. From there, we took a taxi to our hotel at Sollentuna. We observed that we were driving towards the airport. Ah, the taxi driver told us that we should have hired a taxi from airport directly to Sollentuna instead of deviating to Central. The distance between Arlanda and Sollentuna is 17.7 kilometers.

We reached our hotel, the Scandic Star Sollentuna, and were pleased with the room allocated to us. This hotel is well connected to the Central and other places by the metro trains. Adjoining to the hotel is the Sollentuna Centrum shopping mall. The hotel itself is pretty with comfortable rooms. However, the rooms do not have an electric kettle, tea or coffee, or an iron board. The breakfast buffet is interesting. Vegetarians, such as I, can feast to a nice spread of breads, cheese, yogurt, milk, fruits, and salad. The dinner is à la carte with very little or no option for vegetarians, unless the chef likes you and prepares a vegetarian dish for you.

See DAY 1, DAY 2, DAY 3, and DAY 4 at Stockholm.

DAY 1: After we freshened, we took a train back to Stockholm, and went looking for the Tourist Information center (located at Vasagatan 14).  We had purchased the Stockholm Cards online prior to our travel, and had to collect the cards from the information desk. The information center has maps and brochures along with helpful personnel who can guide you. I strongly recommend the Stockholm cards, though expensive. We bought the 72 hours card, and made best use of it. The card gives you free entry to almost all museums and free travel by public transport - buses, trams, trains, metros, and boat cruise (free with 72 hours card).

We exclaimed, “YAY YAY!”, and jumped on to the street to explore the beautiful city. We walked aimlessly to warm up before the adventures lined for us during the next few days. First impression of Stockholm was that the city was gorgeous and extremely neat. People were friendly and helpful. They also seemed to be fitness freaks; saw a lot of people walking, jogging, and cycling. Cafes and restaurants, and florists were plenty. Fast cars and bikes graced the streets. Bridges looked spectacular. Roads were perfect. Drivers actually obeyed traffic rules, and stopped for pedestrians to cross. No policemen! We also observed that the place was filled with parents taking their babies for a stroll in their prams; perhaps, to greet the spring.

We walked to the Stadshuset (Stockholm's City Hall) and Stadshusparken, and strolled in the park facing the waterfront. We walked along the waterfront of Norrmälarstrand and saw houseboats. We also ventured into the Saint Johannes Church and the surrounding areas! The City Hall is gorgeous, and from there, watching the evening sky is a memorable experience. If you visit the Hall before 17:00 hours, you can climb the tower and get a fantastic view of the city. We missed that opportunity because we were late. Our legs ached, stomachs growled, and eyes tired. We headed back to the hotel, ate dinner, and slept peacefully. What an adventurous day 1!

DAY 2: The plan for the day was to visit Djurgården (The Royal Game Park). This island has Nordic museum, Skansen museum, Biological Museum, Vasa museum, and the Gröna Lund amusement park. Keep one whole day to explore this island.
We wanted to hop on to Tram 7, which is a heritage tramway, but couldn't locate its starting point. We took a bus from Central. When we walked on Djurgårdsbron (the bridge), the weather became more pleasant. The bridge has statues of Nordic gods - Thor, Freya, Heimdallr, and queen of Asgard and wife of Odin. As soon as we stepped on this island, towards the right side, we saw a bicycle and boat hire place. We hired two bicycles, took a map, and rode off. Ram was the official bicycle-tour guide. We cycled for more than two hours. Was romantic and definitely memorable! And I strongly recommend that all of you visiting Stockholm do it.

From Djurgården, we walked towards the Oscar Church, and then to the National Historiska Museum (also known as Swedish Museum of National Antiquities). This is when it rained; lucky, we had an umbrella, but was fun to get wet. The museum has thousands of artifacts dating to the Viking era. The Gold room is a must-see; however, photography is prohibited. However, tempted you are to steal a piece of gold, don't do it! Instead have a beautiful golden-crust pastry at the museum's cafe, and gulp that down with a bottle of cider or beer. :-)

At last we got a chance to ride on Tram 7, which stopped at Norrmalmstorg. From there we walked to Stockholm Central, and took the north-bound train to Sollentuna. We had vegetarian pizza for dinner at the food court at the Sollentuna mall. What a delicious way to end a lovely day!

Click the photo to view the Picasa album.


DAY 3: This day we exclaimed, "Hey, Gamla Stan, here we come!" As usual, we took the train to Central, and from there, we walked to Gamla Stan. We were lucky to view the royal couple as they drove past us at the Kungliga slottet (Royal Palace), and we got to watch the changing of royal guards. Because the Royal Palace opens at noon for visitors, we decided to visit the Kungliga Myntkabinettet (or National Museum of Economy or the Royal Mint). Was fun to see the collection of hundreds of coins under one roof. Next visit was the Royal Apartments, which is a set of state rooms - The State Apartments, the Bernadotte Apartments, the Guest Apartments, the Hall of State, and the Apartments of the Orders of Chivalry. The Royal Armoury is supposed to be the oldest museum (established at 1628). It's amazing how these museums can transport your imagination to a bygone era!

All the walking had made us hungry, we walked the narrow lanes of Gamla Stan to find a decent place to eat. Though hungry, we spent a lot of happy time walking in those lanes and seeing all the wonderful stores and cafes. Then we stopped at Café Cronan, and had Pasta Vegetarisk and Kyckling spett, and a pear cider. After lunch, we continued to explore Gamla Stan; ended up eating delicious ice cream. Next, we visited the Nobel Museum. We also went to the Stockholm Cathedral. This cathedral is gorgeous, especially the stain-glass work.

Were we tired? Nah. We walked to the waterfront to begin our Under the Bridges Boat cruise. While we waited patiently for our boat to arrive, we treated ourselves to a big cup of black coffee. That was refreshing! Another must-do things at Stockholm is the boat cruise. Try to opt for the last boat trip for the day; it's lovely on a clear day. If you thought we stopped our sightseeing for the day, you are mistaken. I guess that the coffee gave us enough energy to walk to the National Museum, only to find it closed. Well, we just walked on the Skeppsholmsbron and clicked a few photos with the crown on the bridge. We stood for a long time, and watched the sky flaunt the evening hues. We had to call it a day; hopped on to a bus to Central, and took a train back to the hotel.

Click the photo to view the Picasa album.

Gamla Stan

DAY 4: The best things are always reserved to the last day, isn't it? Was an early day for us, though cold. We commuted by trains, and headed straight to the Stockholm or Ericsson Globe. This is a glass gondola that takes people on the surface of the Globe to the top of it. From there, the view is spectacular. The Globe Arenas host games and concerts. Next time around, we plan to attend one of the concerts here. Keeping fingers crossed!

Our next stop was the Stockholm City Museum. While we waited for the museum to open, I walked around to the florists, and had a chit-chat and also clicked photos of gorgeous flowers. The museum exhibits the culture of Stockholm and its people. The museum flaunts several paintings, explains water-processing, and other interesting aspects of Stockholm. We then hopped on to a bus taking us to the Opera House.

At the Kungliga Operan (Opera House), we got tickets for the guided tour, which began at 13:00 hours. When Ram was getting our tickets, I saw a few tourists on segways. That reminded me of our segway rides at Singapore. For information about segway tours, see Segway Tour of Stockholm - Heights and Shoreline. We had sufficient time to loiter around, and so, we visited the Dansmuseet  (Dance Museum) that was close by. Costumes from all over the world are on display; was nice. We walked to the Gustav Adolfs torg (Gustav Adolf's Square), and admired the statue of Gustavus Adolphus.

We had seen the square one day, from the bus. Oh, I wanted to go there, and be amidst the pretty Cherry Blossoms! No, I ain't talking about Japan, but about Stockholm. The Kungsträdgården (King's Garden) has trees lined up with the Cherry Blossom flowers. Centuries ago, the King's Garden was a royal vegetable garden. Today, the garden is open for public, and has the two beautiful statues of  King Charles XIII and XII, and also the fountain of Molin. They say that King Charles XII is pointing towards Russia - to capture them. You can also see the Sankt Jacobs Kyrka and the Opera House.

During winter, the area around the statue of King Charles XIII is converted to skating rink. During spring and summer, the garden is filled with people enjoying the Sun. People were out to welcome the spring. They were clicking photos of the flowers. Children were playing. Adults flocked the cafes. There was a lot of life and activity at the square.

Tick tick; was time for our guided tour at the Opera House. We almost ran to the House. Oh, what an awesome guide we had! He was full of stories, and his subtle humor cracked us. The Opera House is the most wonderful place I have ever seen. The architecture, the golden stucco, the paintings, and every little element were all amazing. I was awe-stuck at the variety of crystal chandeliers. I strongly recommend that you visit this House when at Stockholm.

We shopped for gifts and had lunch at a Thai restaurant. Stockholm offered us more than we expected or rather we didn't expect. Of course, everything in this city is expensive. Purchasing the Stockholm Cards saved us money, and eased our commute across different places. Transport system is wonderful, and one cannot get lost. The monuments, bridges, gardens, and lake fronts were all very romantic. The Cherry Blossom flowers resembled little angels made of cotton candy, resting on the branches, every inch.

Well, we had to head back to the hotel. We had to pack our bags, thank the city and its people for a wonderful experience, and then get a good night's sleep before flying to our next destination - Oslo, Norway (one of the most expensive cities).

Click the photo to view the Picasa album.

I loved documenting our visit to Stockholm. I hope that you enjoying reading it and looking at the photos.

Also see blogs related to Nordic gardens and stores at:


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Chikmagalur - Eagle Eye Resort - A drive in the past

We have driven to Chikmagalur so many times that I have lost count. With every season, the place looks different (, mostly awesome). The roads may be the same each time we drive, but the experience is totally different. In this blog, I write about my visit to Chikmagalur a few years ago (with office friends). We drove from Bangalore to Chikmagalur; rain showers accompanied us on our journey. The weather was beautiful. The landscape was Green. The raindrops added a sense of romance. And the company was good. What more can one ask for?

Lake on the way to Chikmagalur
Mist-covered road
A village near Chikmagalur

We stayed at Eagle Eye resort, which is about 48 kilometers from Chikamagalur and about 2100 ft. above the sea level. The resort is situated at the Hoscodu Estate (130 acres). One has to drive deep into the estate to spot this resort. Tucked away in the silent valley, this resort is worth a visit. Of course, we were delighted to see the resort and the breath-taking view of the valley. I understand that the resort has undergone a few renovations and additions recently.

Estate road

We were to stay at a tree house, which is about 750 sq. ft, and has a portico, bedroom, and bathroom attached. The hammocks at the portico make one utterly lazy. Sounds exciting, isn't it? During day, the tree houses look absolutely inviting; however, during night, it's a different experience. Let me come back to that. The resort, as you already know, offers tree houses, cottages, rooms, and villas for travelers to stay. The forest wood is put to good use in cottages and furniture.

Now comes my favorite part - food! The resort serves delicious, healthy, and nutritious food. Some dishes are typical to Chikmagalur region, such as the Akki Roti, Akki Shavige, Kadabu, and dishes made from Jackfruit. Yes, non-vegetarian dishes are served too. Although the resort has an option of à la carte, they mostly serve buffet. The dining hall stands on the edge of a cliff; the view is serene. Ensure that you go for a walk to admire the orchids and other flora.

Dining hall


Orchid flowers

There is a lake in the property. Someone from the resort will accompany you to the lake. Coracles are available; a must try. The resort also arranges for treks, safari, and other activities. Ensure that you inform them earlier so that they can get permissions from forest department and make necessary arrangements. The resort has a badminton court, and guests can use it free of charge. It's located at one edge of a cliff; so don't go looking for the shuttlecock, in case it decides to glide down the cliff. At evenings, the resort arranges for drinks and snack here, and also starts a bonfire. You can dance to the music too!

Resort lake 
At dawn

Now came the time when we had to go to our tree houses. Oops... The night had covered everything with a thick Black blanket. No lights to guide. The resort assistants carried a torch, and guided us to our houses. A cute dog followed. As night grew heavy, we heard beating of drums - continuous beating till morning. There were other sounds; some recognizable, some not. With each sound, we woke up to greet the darkness. Why the beating of drums you ask? Oh, that's to keep the devils away. Nah... I'm kidding. That's to keep the elephants at bay. :-)

We didn't trek or use the safari service; you can imagine how lazy the group was. But what we did was to drive to Kemmanagundi. That drive was splendid. The bald hills covered with grass, the narrow roads, and the view - a divine combination. Due to rains, the road to Hebbe falls was in bad shape; we did not trek to the falls. The whole trip was to unwind and relax, rather than hop from place to place or from one activity to another. Memorable one.

For information about places to visit, see

Kemmangundi hills
Hope you enjoy your trip to Chikmagalur and your stay at Eagle Eye resort.


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Singapore - Sungei Buloh

Previous blogs:

Thanks to our friends for introducing us to Sungei Buloh. This is a wetland reserve - a home to several birds, animals, and insects, and exotic plants. We took a taxi to this place. When we visited it, the water had subsided, and the day was humid; weather being very different from that of Bangalore. The reserve is open from 7:30 A.M to 7:00 P.M. Only during the weekend and public holidays, the reserve has an admission fee. There are three routes that you can take inside the mangrove; each route is a different experience. Though the reserve has a cafe, please carry snacks and water.

The reserve attracts a lot of photographers (, probably, professionals), with equipment that is worth crazy amount. Because of the low tide, the roots were visible, and amazed us with their shapes. The cicadas and mud-skippers can freak you out. The turtle and fish are adorable. You can see crabs on tree trunks. If you are lucky, you can stop Smooth Otters.The monitor lizards are every where. Yes, and why not, it's their home! At the shelter, the tiles are painted with murals by students from the Commonwealth Secondary School. The paintings are lovely.

Ensure that you add this place to your list of places to visit at Singapore. With this blog, I complete the Singapore series, though there is so much more to write and share. Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Singapore - Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Previous blogs:
Though I am not a Buddhist, I am strangely attracted to Lord Buddha. I enjoy visiting monasteries and Buddhist temples. Buddha's idols can mesmerize anyone. The peace and tranquility on His face... amazing! If I can, I would go a Buddha Trail tour with Ram. Would be awesome.

First time, we visited the Buddha Tooth Relic temple at Singapore in the evening. The temple was about to close; however, we managed to get a glimpse of the wonderful Buddha idols inside the temple. We made a second visit to this temple, and spent more than four hours admiring it. We managed to capture a few photos of the temple, and as always, stopped clicking and soaked ourselves in the beauty. What an experience!

A few instructions for people entering the temple:
  • If you are wearing sleeveless or low back tops, mini-skirts or *shorts, please kindly use the sarongs and shawls provided by the Temple before entering. * Knee length shorts are permitted
  • No pets are allowed.
  • No wearing of hats.
  • No food and drinks are allowed.
  • No smoking and drinking.
  • No dangerous goods and highly flammable material.
  • Please enter with footwear.
  • Please speak softly.
  • Do not leave your belongings unattended.
Main attractions are:

The Temple is situated on the South Bridge Road, Chinatown. The architecture has influences of the Tang dynasty. Different colored paints are used for different parts of the temple - the red lacquer paint for the timber, green for the timber windows, and gold for the edges. The Mountain Gate is the main entrance to the temple. The Dvarapalakas guard both side of the gate. The Nagapuspa trees add a lovely Green tinge to the landscape. A few free books are available for the visitors to take home.

As I write, I'm wondering about the photos I need to share here (among the several ones). Photos may not capture the actual beauty of this place. I strongly recommend that you visit this place when you are at Singapore. We found a lot of peace at this temple. :-)


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Singapore - Jurong Bird Park and Zoo

Previous blogs:

What else was there to see at Singapore? Hmm... Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo. Well, we could have taken a taxi to these places but we were in a mood for some adventure. We took the Metro, and then a bus to the bird park. See the Metro Map for our route - City Hall -> Dhoby Ghaut -> Outram Park -> Jurong East -> Boon Lay. From Boon Lay, the bus dropped us off at the bird park. Was fun!

Jurong Bird Park is stunning. Be ready to walk, walk, and walk. And don't forget your camera! Ensure that you are at the park by 10:00 A.M to watch the Kings of the Skies Show at Hawk Walk, and at 11:00 A.M to watch the Birds and Buddies show at the Pool Amphi-theatre. We saw both these shows, and were they amazing!

If I have to write about all those birds and our long walks, I may take months together. Let me spare you the details, and share a few photos. For information about the park, you can visit their official website. Carry water and snacks. Take rest at regular intervals.

The Zoo is another fun place to visit. Again, be ready to walk. Plan your day such that you get to enjoy the Night Safari and dine at Indian Tandoor. At one point in time, we stopped clicking photos; began to just soak in the beautiful experience. From the Night Safari, there are buses that ply to the city; see We took the 10:30 P.M bus, got down at Orchard Road, and then took the Metro to Swissotel.

What a day that was! We were exhausted; but was fun. :-)

Next blog: Buddha Tooth Relic Temple