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Old 3rd May 2012, 20:55   #1
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Default Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

Fellow Bhpians, here is anothe travelouge from my end on the recent trip we undertook during the long weekend of May 1st.

Apr28th - May 1st

Prelouge:

It is Summer and the heat is killing everyone here in Chennai. The worst of the summer is the poor electricity situation and the low voltage problems that the AC or Fan hardly runs and it results in so many sleepless nights and as a result the long weekend vacation trip was on the cards. It has been almost a year since the family outing happened and we were planning for one again. Luckily May 1st kind of created an opportunity for a long weekend ( All of us had an option to take a day off on Monday ).

Initally, there was lot of discussion at home regarding the kind of place to choose. Soon , we started discussing with all the family members and charted down the list of places.We were planning on Chikmagalur, Ooty, Kodai however nothing seemed to work out due to the heavy crowd that would come into this places as it is vacation time.

Soon, the list of travelers started increasing and we were 3 families.
Myself, Wifey, Mom , Sis, bro in law
Uncle ,Aunt and 2 sons
Second Family on Uncle, Aunt and son.

We were initially thinking of hiring a tempo traveler and cover the distance. Soon, the long drive bug hit me and my bro in law big time and we started convincing every one about the exitment of a drive.

Was finally able to convince mom for a drive and we went back to discussing about the places. Finally., a week before the drive we decided on the places and the stay options.

Here is our iteneirary that was finalized
Apr 28th - Leave Chennai at 4 AM
Apr28th - Ranganthittu - Msyore (Stay at Mysore)
Apr 29th - Mysore - Masinagudi ( Stay at De Rock Masinagudi)
Apr 30th - Masinagudi - Shivanasamudra - Bangalore
May 1st - Bangalore - Chennai

It was decided that we would drive in 3 cars ( 2 Santro's and a Fabia). Soon each one of us gave the car for some quick service and get it prepared for the long drive).

For me, i was looking forward to this opportunity to click some pictures of Birds and Wildlife.

Well, here is the teaser. I was unlucky to miss Mr.Stripes by 30 seconds however few of my family members were lucky to see him cross the roads.

Stay :

We stayed at my mother's office guest house in Mysore . It was a double bedroom house and all 12 of us were easily accomodated. The weather in mysore was excellent and it was a great respite from the scorching heat. It was drizzling and cool.

Masinagudi - We stayed at De Rock Resorts Bokkapuram Masinagudi. It was an amazing place to stay and we were given a platinum bungalow which had a massive hall, 2 bedrooms and kitchen. The highlight ofcourse was the huge balcony. The food was excellent and Mr Sudeesh George was very helpful to our demands.


Apr 27th:

Friday and excitment has started to kick in and i skipped my badminton schedule to catch some good sleep as i know that night would be sleepless. Opted to work from home and dropped wifey at work. It was a day where i had loads of work and the work from home option was a failure. It was assumed that work load would be less and i would be able to pack my baggage.
Around 8 PM, went to fill petrol to the brim and check the Nitrogen levels. Returned home at 9 and after dinner and quick packing was all set to leave at 4 AM. As usual, sleep was hard to come by as everyone was talking about how to next few days is going to be exciting. We set the Alarm for 3 AM and went off to sleep

Apr 28th:

The Alarm rang at sharp 3 AM and i woke up first and got ready in the next 20 mins. Soon, everyone at home started getting ready and we were ready by 4:15 AM. There was a 15 min delay which was fine as we had time on our hand. We soon waived bye to granny at home and started the drive. We did the regular rituals of offering prayer to Lord Ganesha for a safe drive and started.

We took Chennai - Porur - Vellore - Krishnagiri - Bangalore - Nice Road - Ranganthittu route.

There is nothing much to write about the route as enough has been discussed in other logs and route queries. Ofcourse the diversions were many . Luckily for us the traffic was sparse and we soon reached vellore around 6:30 AM and continued to drive towards Krishnagiri.
The Ride
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-santro.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-fab.jpg
Sunrise near vellore
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-sun-rising_28th-april.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-mirror-view.jpg
The roads
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-roads.jpg
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Country Side
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-country-side.jpg
Medians
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-medians.jpg

We had to wait at Krishnagiri for my second uncle family to join us. They were driving from Neyveli and they took Neyveli - Thiruvanamalai - Uthangarai - Krishnagiri route. Heard from them that the stretch from uthangarai to krishnagiri has lot of pot holes and is in bad shape.

We reached Krishnagiri around 8:15 AM and had to wait for close to an hour for them to join us. Once they arrived, we moved on to stop at A2B Shoolagiri for breakfast. The place was extremely crowded and we wasted close to an hour here. Ofcourse the food was good however the crowd was unmanagable. We finished our breakfast by 10:30 and soon joined the highway.

We entered the Karnataka border around 11:30 and soon i was caught by the cops not once but twice. First, it was for signal viloation. This was indeed a tough call. There was a girl who ran into the road and in order to avoid her i did not notice the signal turning red and skipped it. Had to pay a fine of Rs 100 . As soon as i started from this point i was caught by another set of cops this time for the seat belts. I was wearing the seat belts until the first cop caught me and it was hardly a minute the second cop booked me for this. Had no mood to argue and hence paid another 100 Rs and joined the Nice Road. Drive from Nice road to Msyore was as ususal with traffic.

We took a right from the Mysore highway to reach Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary. We hired one boat exclusively and spent good couple of hours at the park. Was able to click loads of pictures of the Storks , Terns , Crocodiles and few other varities.

Boat Ride
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-boating.jpg
Jungle Babbler
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-jungle-bableer.jpg
Black Cormorant
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-black-cormorant.jpg
Croc basking in the Sun
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-croc-basking-sun.jpg
Painted Storks
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-flying-stork-flight.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-flying-storks.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-painted-stork-face.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-painted-stork-water.jpg
Open Bill Stork
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-open-billed-stork.jpg
Grey heron
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-name-unknown.jpg
Pelican
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-grey-pelicans.jpg
Egrets
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-large-egret.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-little-cattle-egret.jpg
Stone bird
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-stone-bird.jpg
River Terns
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-river-tern_004.jpg
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Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-river-tern_003.jpg

Soon after the boating ride, we took a short snack break at the cafe shop attached with the park and the Bhajji's were good. It was visible that every one was tired and skipping lunch was not a good option as everyone started to feel extra hungry. Soon, we started from the park and reached the guesthouse. We went for a quick eat to Nalapak restaurant and the food indeed was great. We returned back to the guest house and had some fun playing rummy. Soon my brother gave us a suggestion of visiting the Karanji lake early morning for some sunrise and birding shoots and we were thrilled. We all retired around 10 PM with the alarm set for 5:15 AM start.



Apr 29th : Mysore - Karanji Lake - Masinagudi

The Alarm rang at sharp 5:15 AM and one by one each one of us started to get ready for the visit to the lake. The idea of visit for me was to click some pictures and where as for the elders in the family was to go for a brisk morning walk in such a climate. With each one of us having a different objective we set out for the lake. It took us 10 minutes to reach the lake and soon were greeted with sights of birds all around.

Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-eagle.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-kuyil.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-little-bird.jpg

We spent good couple of hours at the lake and returned back to the room to get ready for the drive to Masinagudi. We had our booking at De Rock resorts in Masinagudi. We got ready by 9 AM and headed out for breakfast. We had butter masala dosa's, idli for breakfast and moved on to Masinagudi. We also had to do a short visit to one of my relatives house and so we did that and started from mysore at 10:30 AM

Last edited by aravind84 : 4th May 2012 at 19:17. Reason: Continuning with the post
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Old 4th May 2012, 19:38   #2
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore , Masinagudi , Shivanasamudra

We took the Outer Ring Road - Nanjangad - Gundulpet - Bandipur - Mudumalai - Theppakadu - Masinagudi - Bookapuram route.

The single lane roads in good condition did not make us waste any time and we were soon in the outskirts of Bandipur forest by 12 PM.

Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-bandipur-forests-1.jpg
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It was amazing sight of forest and the smell of the forest. It was green everywhere and here i was expecting dryness in the forest due to forest fire over the last month or so. Soon, it was great pleasure to the eyes and peace existed all over. The drive was uneventful with no animals to sight. The strech once you enter Tamil nadu border is full of plastics . People stop everywhere and get down on the roads. It is becoming a serious menace for everyone who loves forest to see these morons acting indifferently.

We reached the parking spot of the resort and called up the manager about our arrival. He sent us the jeep to carry us from the parking lot to the resort. The roads leading to the resort is full of slush and hard stone and it is impossible for all hatch's to do this stretch. They have a parking spot from where they pick us up in their Jeep's.

The resort was amazing, the rooms were perfect and the views were excellent. We got one platinum bungalow which has a big hall, 2 bedrooms and 1 kitchen and attached balcony. The balcony space was big enough and we can sit the whole day looking at the huge hills that surrounds the place.
Soon, we set out for lunch and the spread was decent. I started to speak with the manager about the place and the animal presence. Was quite surprised when he said that every night there is a presence of wild animals especially the elephants inside the resort space and hence it is not advisable to venture out after 9 PM. Also, i heard the stories of leopards entering the premises and taking away some of the domestic cattle that the resort owned.

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Past lunch, family members went on to play badminton and other sports and i took the plunge with my camera and walked around the resort. I was able to spot some of the birds inside the resort premises itself and it was an excellent adventure.
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-mr-pug.jpg
Red Vented Bulbul
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-red-vented-bulbul.jpg

We had booked the safari for 5 PM. Note here on the safari's. These safari;s are unlike the one's at bandipur or Mudumalai. These are not organized by the government but by the resort owners in tie up with the private jeep operators. The jeep driver's take us on the main roads inside the reserve forest and near by places and they do not have permission to enter into the forest roads interiors.

We hired 2 jeep's and started at 5 PM towards the reserve area. We were lucky to spot peacock's, Deer , Indian Gaur's until it was dark. It turned dark around 6:45 PM when we decided to call it a day and started to return back. We crossed the stretch after theppakadu and soon started uphill. However, the jeep in which my mom and little cousins were coming had a shock of their life. The driver had quickly spotted a tiger crossing the road. As said earlier, we cannot park teh vehicles on the roads here and the forest guard vehicles were patrolling the area. The driver had a great presence of mind and soon he slanted the vehicle and hit on the high beam. This allowed the family members to see the King for good couple of minutes . It was crossing the road and venturing to the other side of the forest. Unfortunately they do not have the camera and hence could not capture the moment. As soon as they started they were in for another surprise. They spotted a Sloth bear on the road sides scratching a tree.

Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-elephant-herd.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-i-learn-climb.jpg
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Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-single-one.jpg

I was really unfortunate to miss this and was cursing all my stars for this costly miss. Irony is that,I have always been the one who is crazy about wildlife and tiger's and safari's. I was not blessed with the sighting however my mom who does not like this completely ( She is afraid of the tuskers giving the chase and nightmare's) got the blessings of King to see him for good couple of mins.

Once we reached the resort, the next hour or so was all about discussing the sightings and they were teasing me with the costly miss. In fact i was supposed to get into that Jeep however at the last sec moved to the other one. Not sure if this is what is called FATE.

As soon it started to get dark, we sat to discuss on the plans for the next day. We still have not finalised the plans and again there was confusion all around . I was getting suggestions of going to ooty , Kothagiri and there were other choices like back to mysore and roam around or do belur and Halabedu. Finally, we decided we would go to Shivanasamudra falls and get back to bangalore before 10PM the next day. With the next day plans charted out we played rummy for couple of hours and had dinner. During Dinner again i started to speak to the manager for a bird watching and as always he was some welcoming and adjusting that he arranged for a bird walking inside the revenue forests at 6 AM in the morning. Most of the elders and ladies opted out of this plan and it was left with just 6 of us going for the walk in the morning. We soon retired for the night with wonderful sounds of the forest. Around 10 PM we heard sounds of elephants inside the compound and the barks being brought down. It was exciting to be so close to the wild and with this thoughts we hit the bed.

Apr 30th : Bird Watching walk - Shivanasamudra - Bangalore

We woke up at 5:30 AM and all 6 of us were ready for the morning experience. The guide's arrived at sharp 6 along with the lucky cab driver. They drove us off from the resort till the forest entry zone. We were dropped at one spot with the guide's and the jeep driver waived all the best to us and moved on . We entered teh forest grasslands and soon were able to see lot of birds around. I will let the pictures do the talking of the birds we saw.


Also, interesting was the amount of big cat activity we saw here. There were visible signs of big cat movements. The Leopard was active in this area and we could see fresh pug marks and kills around. There was one spot where a leopard had killed a domestic cow and dragged it inside the forest and over a tree.It has eaten the entire animal. The head skull and the legs alone were left behind and we were able to see it hanging down from the tree.

There were fresh sings of elephants and bear around the place. Soon , we started getting calls from the deer and peacock and we were getting excited to see if there is any big cat around. However, the calls were short and there was not much of signs of their presence.

We spotted Green Bee eaters, Magpie Robins, Woodpeckers , Eagle , owls, Malabar squireel during the walk. We went near the lake area inside the forest and there was abundance of evidence for the animal presence. We were unlucky to not spot any big animal , however there was loads of birds everywhere.
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-mystic-mornings.jpg
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Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-leopard-kill.jpg
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Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-magpie-robin.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-malabar-giant-squireel.jpg
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Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-pug-marks.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-woodpecker-1.jpg

We returned back to the resort at 9 AM after a long satisfying walk inside the forests and headed straight for breakfast. Initally we had targetted for 9AM start however, with this long walk we had no mood to leave from this place. We slowly started packing things and set out after our thanks and good bye to Sudeesh around 11:30 AM.
Attached Thumbnails
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-spotted-duck.jpg  


Last edited by aravind84 : 4th May 2012 at 21:30.
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Old 4th May 2012, 21:34   #3
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore , Masinagudi , Shivanasamudra

We took Masinagudi - Bandipur - Gundulpet - Chamraj Nagar - Kollegal - Shivanasamudra route.

The roads were good all the way from Gundulpet to Chamraj nagar expect for few spots which was bad. It was a single lane highway with no vehicle movements at all that time of the day. We were cruising at average 80-90 KMPH . Soon we reach chamraj nagar and took the route towards Kollegal. We took a wrong turn in one of the junctions before kollegal and were lost. The GPS continued to show the route however there was no road at all and it was passing through all villages. It took us 4 hours to reach Shivanasamudra after lot of doubts about the route. We finally ended up at Barachukki Falls around 4 PM .

The Elder's again decided to stay at the top and let us young one's to go down into the falls. we spent an hour playing in the water and enjoying the stream.

Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-barachukki-falls.jpg
Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra-barachukki-falls-001.jpg
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Around 5 PM we winded up and reached back to the top. Soon elders wanted to walk in the small ramp lane that was near the Gaganchukki falls and we went there. They entered the river stream and walked on small ramp that was out there .

Around 5:45 PM we set off from Shivanasamudra to Bangalore. We took the Kanakapura route to reach bangalore around 9 PM. I had initally thought of stopping for dinner enroute however could not find any decent restaurant enroute. I decided to end up at Nandini at frazer town for dinner( Frazer town because that is where my cousin stays and that is where we were supposed to put up for the night). Unfortunately Nandini did not have South indian tiffin items and we ended up at Shiv Sagar next door. It is better left here than sharing the experience of the food at this place. Must Avoid at all costs. Horrible experience.

We reached our cousin house by 10 :30 PM and hit the bed directly.All of us were visibly tired .

May 1st : Bangalore - Chennai

We woke up around 9 AM and decided for a late start since this was a very familiar route. We had lunch at cousins place and started around 12 PM. We reached Hosur road in no time (thanks to it being a holiday) and soon took the elevated highway. We stopped at BPCL shoolagiri for petrol fill ( we had planned in such a way that we would not put petrol in Bangalore or Mysore since the costs of petrol is high compared to Hosur). We had enough fill to take us back to Hosur. We filled the tanks again here and had an uneventful drive back to Chennai. We reached chennai around 7 PM (with 30 mins break in between at A2B shoolagiri for juices and 30 min break at vellore for a snack and coffee).

Thus ended an eventful 4 days of vacation. 1200 KMS of driving . Special note here to my uncle who has never done this long hours of drive. He was enjoying it as well. we formed a convoy of 3 vehciles with me leading in the front ( Familiar with broken Kannada , routes) and uncle in the middle( largely due to inexperience of single lane highways) and Bro in law the last ( he has an equal amount of experience in driving on the highway). We restricted ourselves to the speeds of 100-110.
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Old 7th May 2012, 10:47   #4
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 7th May 2012, 11:57   #5
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

Fantastic travelogue! Love the photos of the birds. Thanks for sharing.

By the way what is the pug doing there?

Agreed that the forest is being spoilt by us the humans who are really inhumans towards wildlife. Its sad to see the forest reserves deteriorate.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:01   #6
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Fantastic travelogue! Love the photos of the birds. Thanks for sharing.

By the way what is the pug doing there?

Agreed that the forest is being spoilt by us the humans who are really inhumans towards wildlife. Its sad to see the forest reserves deteriorate.
The pug belongs to the resort owner. i really liked that setting of the pug with the turf and hence captured a picture of that.

Thanks for liking the log.
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Old 7th May 2012, 15:52   #7
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

Nice Travelogue. I am visiting De-rock this weekend. Can you please let me know the charges for the Morning treck to the forests?
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Old 7th May 2012, 16:04   #8
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

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Originally Posted by m8002? View Post
Nice Travelogue. I am visiting De-rock this weekend. Can you please let me know the charges for the Morning treck to the forests?
It is a wonderful place to be. I can assure you that. For the morning bird watching trek we were charged Rs 600 per person. It is indeed a wonderful experience and hence i did not mind this cost.
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Old 7th May 2012, 16:12   #9
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore , Masinagudi , Shivanasamudra

Nice pics, esp the eagle.

Last edited by Thamizha : 7th May 2012 at 16:14.
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Old 8th May 2012, 12:03   #10
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

Excellent pictures. Nice and crisp, it's as if we are seeing the wildlife live !! Mind sharing what photography gear was used?
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Old 8th May 2012, 12:40   #11
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

Nicely written travelogue Aravind and good pictures!
Shivanasamudram has not been in full glory over the past few years though. Otherwise it would have been a real sight to see those gushing waters and you wouldn't have said "Enjoyed the stream!"

Did you visit the shimsha hydel power plant by any chance?
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Old 8th May 2012, 12:48   #12
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

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Originally Posted by Rajesh K R View Post
Excellent pictures. Nice and crisp, it's as if we are seeing the wildlife live !! Mind sharing what photography gear was used?
Thanks for liking it Rajesh. The gear used was Nikon D3100 with 18-55 Kit lens for the landscape shots and 55-300 for the birding and wildlife.
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Old 8th May 2012, 12:50   #13
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

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Originally Posted by Driving_Nomad View Post
Nicely written travelogue Aravind and good pictures!
Shivanasamudram has not been in full glory over the past few years though. Otherwise it would have been a real sight to see those gushing waters and you wouldn't have said "Enjoyed the stream!"

Did you visit the shimsha hydel power plant by any chance?
Thats true, i have been there 2-3 years back and at that time the flow was better.

I did not visit the power plant and infact was not aware of it as well.
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Old 11th May 2012, 19:10   #14
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore , Masinagudi , Shivanasamudra

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Nicely done.Good photographs too.Which camera were you using?
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Old 13th May 2012, 18:53   #15
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Default Re: Weekend Trip to Ranganthittu, Mysore, Masinagudi & Shivanasamudra

Nicely put travelogue. Excellent bird photography. Liked the way you framed the pics with the name of the birds.
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