Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kere Thodanur - a lake near Pandavapura

5th July 2009 A short visit to Kere Thodanur.... A lazy weekend and just called up Raja for planning for the weekend, planned to visit Mysuru for the weekend birding activity. The plan was to reach Mysuru by Saturday evening and go birding early morning on Sunday. As we set out, reports were flowing in of the communal clashes in Mysuru continuing and thinking it would not be safte going there now, we enroute stopped for the halt at Mandya itself... (Hotel Amravathi - 08232-224412 / 13) just before Mandya town). The plan going haywire, we were scouting for some place to visit the next day, and as suddenly I remembered reading of this place "Kere Thodanur" or "Kere Tonnur / Tonnur Lake" or "Kere Thonnur" on some blog somewhere near to Mandya / Pandavapura; instantly called up Naga who was working on that day to find out the directions to this place. Asking the locals didnt help much as they could not guide us and Naga helped us with some directions and spent the night at the hotel in comfortable AC rooms at nominal rates. Woke up lazily on Sunday by 10am, our plans of early leaving out of the window; got ready had the mandatory breakfast and left searching for the place. The route (as seen on a blog) that is more or less correct is as below:

Driving directions from Bangalore: (roughly 3.5 hours)

1. From Bangalore, after Mandya, just 2 kms before Srirangapatna, need to turn right (a direction board is very clear) going towards Bellary / Shravanbelagola / Beluru / Halebeedu / Melukote / Pandavapura.

2. Pandavapura road is good and need to drive straight to reach Pandavapura railway station.

3. In front of the station, take the road going right (road on left leads to Halebeedu/Beluru).

4. Thats the SH 19 and after 4 kms, you will reach Pandavapura bus station, drive past and take a right and followed by a left.

5. Drive straight and after 3-4kms, you can see a white board that says "Venugopalaswamy temple" and few others(Check with the locals, they will definitely show the way).

6. Take the left here and keep driving straight.

7. After 8kms you will arrive at the Kerethodanur village.

8. Drive straight past a few temples and a small lake to your left and you would see a huge hillock also to the left.

9. Continue driving and drive up the hillock (manageable mud roads, i managed comfortably in my alto) and you would be parking next to the reservoir bund.

Even after getting down, you wont notice anything except a petty shop there....walk up the ridge and you will be amazed by what you see....A huge body of water spread as far as you can see amidst the hillocks!

Your first impression would be "WOW" - I promise!

All that we could see was water water water till your eyes could stretch... and the breeze was heavy being the Aashada maasa - heavy gusty winds blowing hard. Its not a sight seeing place or for activities, just a calm, serene place to chill out and relax. You can climb up the rocky hill on the left of the reservoir bund or get down and walk around the boundary of the reservoir with some adventure walk. On the right edge of the lake, there is a beach like place with lots of sand where you can relax and have food under the shade. You can reach this place either by walk or driving your vehicle around the hillocks (be careful of the rocky stretch). The water at this end was full of algae and slush and fit to get into. We walked along the rocks and reached the opposite of the reservoir bund that is at a considerably low level just above the water. Overall with packed food and water, you can just laze around the place, do some adventure walking / climbing, visit the temples nearby or just relax!

Being a sunday, we saw quite a few hordes of people (mainly locals) turning up with "bottles" and "bottles", but weekdays would be preferred with absolutely no disturbances. Till now, this place has evaded visitors from Bangalore and confined to locals and people from Mysore only, place remains unexploited by the huge crowds that throng every other weekend place around Bangalore! Wish this remains the same!

Care for the nature and the nature cares for you!

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