Christmas weekend and nothing to do and no prior enquiries nor bookings led us nowhere... Guru and gaitonde were unavailable as they were preoccupied and after multiple enquiries and follow ups by Raja, we were assured of a place for the weekend at Makkithitta homestay near hanubala, Sakleshpura.After Sakleshpura, need to turn right to reach hanubala that is around 17kms away. From hanubala circle, right turn to be taken (mudigere road) and from there you will find the direction boards that will lead towards the homestay. Makkithitta is located in the donahalli village and is owned by Mr. Tejpal who is very friendly and courteous and be rest assured you will be staying at an home far away from your home.
We left early on christmas day and after a comfortable ride, reached there at 1pm. The route is as below:
Bangalore » Nelamangala (take Bangalore - Mangalore Road) » Kunigal » Bellur Cross
» Channarayapatna » Hassan » Sakleshpur » Hanbal » Donahalli (MakkiThitta Home Stay)
Our main intention was to get out of Bangalore and relax for a day and the itinerary just suited us fine, we were welcomed with a glass of majjige and then treated to a sumptuous delicious home made malnad food that left us immobile (due to the heavy stomachs ;)). Post lunch and some rest, we went around the house for some light birding activity and back home hot cup of estate coffee awaited us. Mr Tejpal kept us occupied without boredom interfering and along with him we went up to the hillock opposite to the home, from where the beautiful sunset view against the backdrop of the house could be seen.
Back home after sunset another family were expected from Bangalore and after their arrival, it was time for another round of hot coffee and then snacks around the campfire. We and Ramprasad's family were treated to some witty card tricks by Tejpal that kept us entertained for the evening. Again after a heavy dinner comprising Malnad delicacies, its time to hit the sacks and rest for the day. The speciality out of Bangalore anywhere is that, after 8pm its dinner and bedtime and we love it ;)
Early to bed, early to rise, me and raja were up early than the others to be treated to a foggy sight outside with hardly any visibility around. The weather stayed the same for almost till 8am and the sun peeking through the fog made it all the more enjoyable to watch. Me and raja went around the place into the neighbouring estate for some birding acitivity and we were able to sight quite a handful of the winged beauties busy with their morning chores.
After freshening up and heavy breakfast, we and the others drove up to the Bettada Byraveshwara temple and then climbed up the hillock opposite to the temple for some amazing views of the valley all around. Its a sight not to be missed that you enjoy in the core and raw format without any interferences around. After a couple of hours here, we went to the Magajalli falls that is hidden just beside the main road, but a treat to the sore eyes.
Back at the homestay, our hungry stomachs were waiting to gobble up the bisi bisi malnad food served served with utmost care and hospitality that makes you to gobble more than you can handle and raja loved this fact to the core ;)
After lunch and some light rest, time to leave, Ramprasad and family left early and we stayed on a little more time and left at dusk to reach home by midnight full of memorable malnad tastes howling in our stomachs...
Chestnut headed bee eater
Heart spotted Woodpecker
Golden flameback Woodpecker
Black lored Yellow Tit
Blue tailed Parakeet
Racquet tailed Drongo
Rose ringed Parakeet
were the main highlights...