Monday, December 10, 2012

Almatti - Bagalkot Heritage Drive - Day 1


Bagalkot Heritage Drive:

November, just when the cold breeze starts cooling up the environment which is the ideal time for going on long drives especially to hot regions like Bagalkot. This was yet another trip but not until experiencing the 1500years old chalukyan world, it was just like passing by the Ancient Indian world. I must say that, this was not another boring heritage drive, but most exiting trip of prehistoric India.

Though this was a pretty long drive but never felt boring, covering 1,150km in 3 days 4 nights. The experience was so long that it can’t be written in a single post so I’ll be writing in several sections.

Bagalkot Heritage Drive - Day 1 – Almatti

Day1: Bangalore - Tumkur - Chitradurga - Hospet - Kushtagi - Ilkal - Hungund - Almatti back waters - Rock Garden - Fountain Garden – Kudala Sangama
Distance covered: 521km
Places visited: Almatti back waters, Rock Garden (Silver Lake, Reptile Park, & Sunrays Park), Musical Fountain Garden

Entrance Plaza

Travelogue: It was Friday (TGIF) & we started from Bangalore early morning before the sunrise & zipped in through the NH4, awesome road should be the best one at least in Karnataka, can easily drive through 150km/h till half the way. On the way enjoyed the sunrise on NH4 & had breakfast on the way which we packed from home. Reached Chitradurga at around 10am & then the road condition started changing a bit & it was some NH13 which leads till our destination Almatti, but still no problem with the roads throughout the journey, passed by Hospet & again it was still a 4-lane NH. After passing by Kudala Sangama you pass by the Mallaprabha river bridge & just after that you have to take a left turn away from the NH13, into the Almatti road, Almatti is around 7km from the NH13.

Roads of Almatti
We passed by the Krishna river through the Almatti dam gates and then a huge Almatti gate & then entered one of the best well planned roads with Beautiful 4-lane roads with 3-line trees & footpath on both the sides & garden at both the ends, Bangalore should learn from these model roads.
Almatti Map
The road ended at a huge circle where we parked our vehicle & started to do some walk to the back waters of Almatti Dam. The view from here was not that good as it was covered with huge fence & no proper view point, so just spent 10mins over here, & already sun getting ready to go beyond the water’s.
Circle at Almatti end
Almatti Dam Backwaters
Almatti Dam Backwaters
Entrance for the Dam bridge, not open for public.
We then left the place & reached Rock Garden, the gate of Rock garden itself was so beautiful on both the sides there are huge faces of different cultures lifting the hands on the front are gents & on the other side are the ladies. It was very creative the way it was built.
Rock Garden Entrance
Rock Garden Entrance
As you enter you find the serene silver lake, there is also pedal boating available here.
Inside the Rock Garden

Silver Lake, Rock garden
As we passed by the lake we entered the reptile world & there are huge dinosaurs built with well paved walkways throughout the garden. There are many other parks like snake world, Animal world, bird world, butterfly world, & Adivaasi/Tribal World which we couldn’t cover since it was already getting dark, so we directly went to the sunrays park.
Silver lake view from the opposite side
View of Silver lake from the other side - HDR
Structures Inside Rock Garden
Reptile Park
There is actually a view point constructed to view the sunrays park. Sunrays Park was totally worth after walking around half km from the rock garden entrance, by this you can imagine the vastness of the whole rock garden, it must be around 50acres, so one needs to spend at least half day to cover the whole Rock garden. Having covered the 3 important spots in the rock garden we went to the Krishna garden which is exactly opposite to the rock garden entrance, but unfortunately it was closed as it was already around 6pm.
People of different cultures holding hand around the Indian map/flag, Sunrays park
Sunrays park view from viewpoint
On the way to Sunrays park
walkways inside the park near the reptile park
well paved walkways inside the park

Reptile Park
Pavements made for sitting and relaxing in the center of the park
Park Square
So we directly headed towards the Musical Fountain garden. There is a huge entrance plaza constructed at the entrance of the park which gives a palace look with semicircular corridor with RCC columns & arches. The corridor is 6 m (20ft) wide. The actual musical fountain is again around 500m from the parking but you won’t get bored as there are neatly designed parks & fountains (still under construction) all through the way.
Main Entrance Plaza
Main Entrance Plaza
Infront view of the Musical Fountain entrance 
Finally we reached the ticket counter & had to wait for 30mins before the musical dancing fountain started which was at 7.30pm. There is a huge circular stadium built for it with the fountain at the center. The seating was pretty well planned to give a perfect view of the event. It was quite a good pass time in the evening relaxing in front of the open air musical fountains. It ended at 8pm.
Musical Fountain
View of the Hydro power station
Musical Fountain Stadium
Almatti Dam (all gates closed)
Some facts about the musical fountain: Musical Dancing Fountain is designed on five grids circular grid having 20 m diameter at center & four elliptical grids measuring 20 m & 7.20 m as major & minor axis respectively. The seating galleries are placed around the fountain with a grade, so that uninterrupted vision is achieved by every spectator. There are four such galleries orthogonal to each other.
Just for information there is a 77acre park next to the musical fountain, getting constructed with Mughal garden, Italian & French gardens.
Entrance tickets were Rs10 for both rock garden & musical fountain & for camera it was Rs25.
By 8.15pm we started towards the hotel which we booked at Jain Yatri nivas hotel, Kudalasangama, which was around 30km. By the time we checked into hotel it was 9.30pm & had packed our dinner from home which we had at the hotel, north Karnataka hard roti’s, which ended our day 1. As we carried GPS devices with us it was not a big deal to find out the routes even at night.

Day 2 – Aihole Pattadakal Badami to be continued…. 

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