Mommy bird feeding its babies .. Wow !!

|0 remarks
I was sitting this afternoon doing nothing in particular ... When I noticed that there was a honeycomb kind of structure in my balcony . I zoomed in to take a closer look and it was actually a birds nest. And just as I was checking it out I found that there were 3 baby birds ... And suddenly there was some activity when I took this shot ...
What I realised was that it was the mother bird trying to feed its babies .. So I got my tripod and set myself for that perfect shot with the hi-speed burst mode .. And I got some good shots multiple times ... here you go ... See some of my best shots !!

Enjoy !!

Our 5th Marriage Anniversary - Vacation - Part II

|2 remarks
Chickamagalur: Our stay in Chickamagalur was all about the wonderful and memorable stay at Eagle Eye Resorts. We spent all of our 2.5 days there in the resort. Now you can imagine if we did that, how memorable the stay there would have been. All in all .. we highly recommend the place to anyone looking for a nice break and wonderful service/food and activities during the break.

The resort is actually 48 Kms. from Chikmaglur located within a large plantation land. Its a beautiful theme based resort with different types of rooms available to guests. One can choose from standard rooms, cottages, villas, tree house, and sky walk villas, water fall villas. You can check the above website to see what each looks like. We choose to go for the tree house because we have always wanted to experience the fun of staying in a tree house.

The inside of a tree house
I have to say .. It was an out-of-the-world-experience as we approached the tree house it was a short trek from the resort office. We were provided with torch lights to find our way in the dark. There was no phone range (at least for our service provider - Vodafone) which was also a relief. We made our way up to the tree house, climbing from within it. When we reached there the view was unbelievable. It was open from all sides just curtains to close if required and during rains. And it did rained now and then ... which made the climate even better. It was fully equipped with nice hammock, two double beds one inside and one outside with the typical mosquito nets .. In the night, they provided for kerosene lanterns which added to the night ambiance.
Relaxing on the Hammock

Tree House

A beautiful long exposure dusk shot
There was no sounds of civilization .. only the sounds of nature. Insects and birds and their sounds ... It was unbelievable. We had to go for breakfast, lunch and dinner to a common location. It was a nice walk during the day time from and to the dining hall. It became more exciting during nights when it was pitch dark and we had to use our torches to reach the dining hall ... There was a defined pathway but a definitely eerie (but fun) feeling to walk in the dark through the coffee plantations on both sides.

The food was outstanding and there was variety in the food spread. The service was also wonderful. As a part of the activities (part of the package) there was a morning trek (which we skipped because of our injuries and also - we needed a break no morning activities) but it should have been fun ... There was also a plantation tour where the plantation manager took us around the plantation and showed us the coffee plants. He also showed us the two different types of coffee - Arabica and Robusta. He also showed us many other plants/trees and made us taste us some fruits/spices ... Avocado, Mangoes, Oranges, chillies, pepper, cocoa, etc ... It was very informative and nice to taste fruits in their natural form right from the source.

Coffee Beans

An extraordinarily large flower


Pepper Again!!

Extremely Hot Chillies

Again a very unique flower


Cocoa Fruit


Itch worm

Beautiful Transformation of a centipede during self-defense
The other activities were Fishing and Coracle Ride. Both were fun activities. Again we had to walk into the woods to reach the pond/lake where we were going to do the coracle ride. The problem with these walks (this and the plantation walks) was that there were lots of leaches on the path and it would stick on to the leg and silently start sucking your blood. Probably my blood being sweeter (because of all the sweets that i have) the leaches choose me as their target. I was bitten by multiple leaches, in multiple places in my leg multiple times (so much so that I am now cool about leaches - I am able to pull them out on my own and throw them away). The fishing was also fun ... we were able to have our share of catches for the fun of it and we then released them back onto the pond.
Coracle Ride

Coracle Ride

Janani's Fishing Success

A beautiful panoramic shot

And ... my fishing success

Another beautiful panoramic shot
Overall, it was a really memorable experience to be so close to nature and to take a break like this away from civilization. Now, waiting for my next big break !!

Our 5th Marriage Anniversary - Vacation - Part I

|1 remarks
Again a long pending post ... (Please do click on the photos to get better view)

The month of July brings in the regular Birthday / Anniversary Vacation that we always make time for every year (except last year when i was in Joburg). This year it was more special as we completed 5 years of our marriage. We decided to take a much-deserved, long break.With 5 days leave, we got a 9 day vacation. We decided to visit the beautiful Coorg and Chickamagalur in Karnataka.

We had planned for 2.5 days in Coorg, 2.5 days in Chickamagalur, travel by train caused us 2 days in travel and we needed 2 days in Bangalore to oversee the progress of a flat that we have booked in Bangalore.
Coorg: Was a beautiful place with lots of places to see. We stayed at Prakruth and I must say that though the location of the resort was great, the service and food there left us with some bad taste. So in case anyone is thinking of staying there, I would recommend a big NO. But in spite of this problem, we did visit some very interesting places.

We first visited Nisargadhama which was a nice picnic spot beside the Cavery river. It has a thick green cover which gives you a feel of a walk in the woods. It was very quiet and pretty indeed.

We then visited Dubare elephant camp. To reach this camp, you have to take a quick ride across the cavery river. The place essentially famous for two things river water rafting and elephant interaction. Now since we both were still recovering from a leg injury (which we got in Goa - long story - later), we decided to pass the river water rafting (as much as we always wanted to try that). Also wifey's fear of any animals ruled out elephant interaction as well. So we decided to just sit on the other side of the river an just relax. :) It was indeed relaxing to just soak up on that beautiful view.

We also visited the beautiful Namdroling Tibetan Monastery. It was the first time that I was seeing a Tibetan temple. I found a striking similarity to the Nanhua Temple that I had visited in Johannesburg. But there were differences as well ... But I was definitely amazed by the sheer size and the detailing of the temple ... I also got to see some Tibetan monks performing some ceremonies. What I couldn't understand was the coke and fanta bottles that were kept near the idols !!

A swan I found in the temple premises
The good part was that all these three places were close to our resort so we were able to cover all of them in half a day. We also did some shopping for spices and coffee (which coorg is famous for). On the last day we visited two more locations slightly away from the resort - Abbey Falls and the Thalacavery.

Abbey falls was simply beautiful and I did try some photography techniques and it did come out ok I guess .. :) ...

We also visited the Serene and peaceful temple of Thalacavery which is supposed to be the origination point of the river cavery.  As strange as it seems the starting point of the river starts in a small tank in the temple. The photo below taken from Manoj's flickr stream (Thanks Manoj) shows this well .. I was not allowed to take photos in that area.
It is after this that the water flows into a larger tank where people can take a dip in the holy water. (Source: Wiki)

It was indeed a very satisfying feeling. After this we headed towards Chickamagalur (Route: Bus back to Mysore - rest in the night .. Morning train to Hassan .. and then bus to Chickamagalur) .. I know its a long route ... But in the interest of making all advance bookings and a relaxed travel I chose this.

I will describe the Chickamagalur in the Part II of this post.

Longest Lunar Eclipse of the Century

|0 remarks
A sort of dated post ... but nonetheless posting it .. :)

Recently (Not so recently) there was the longest Lunar Eclipse of the century .. Lasted for about 100 minutes ... given my interest for photography I was determined to catch it even though it was late in the night.So I set the alarm for 1:00 am in the night and headed out to the terrace of my 10- floor apartment with all my photography gear Camera and tripod essentially :) ..

As luck would have it, it was an extremely cloudy day (See above). Leave alone seeing the eclipse - I could not even remotely spot where the moon could have been. Even after waiting for an hour hoping for clouds to clear, I gave up when it started to drizzle. I did take some shots to pass my time for the hour. Here's some of them.
Empty roads with one or two vehicles

Hige Office complex

Also, what reminded me that i had forgotten to post about this event was the beautiful sight of the moon couple of days back (again dated). So here's my capture of the beautiful moon.

Enjoy ...