Cycling to Thattekere: Birds, Lake and Nature
Overview: Thattekere is a little village near Harohalli in Kanakapura Taluk. Known for the different varieties of birds and widely popular among the photography communities, its an ideal place for solitude not very far from the city. Approachable from both Bannerghatta and Kanakapura road, we decided to hit Thattekere on cycles to test our fitness levels as well. I rented a Rockrider 5.2 which looked like a pretty decent choice.
I started from my house at Banashankari 3rd stage at around 6am and joined my friend Abhay near IIMB, Bannerghatta road. It took some time for us to get out of the traffic, deafening honks and dust trail left by the buses and trucks. We reached Bannerghatta at around 7:15am and had breakfast near the bus stop. This was the place where we had to take a call on whether to proceed or head back. The breakfast gave us some energy to proceed further. After a couple of kilometres we came across a village road leading towards Shivanahalli.
The landscape suddenly changed once we entered the Shivanahalli road. There was no noise, no dust and no human being in sight for miles. An perfect place for cycling like the tailor-made cycling trails in the USA. After a few kms we saw a check post/watch tower indicating the beginning of forest area. The road snakes through fields and rugged terrains. One can spot occasional trucks passing and if lucky can spot some wild elephants as well. But the thing which attracts the photographers is the variety of birds which are seen here in the early hours and in the evenings. By the time we were there, it was bright and sunny and the birds might have gone into a hiding. But we did see some birds but the cycling experience was very cherishing..
There is a Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama near Shivanahalli. Near Shivanahalli we have a small hamlet called Ragihalli which is another birders' delight. Its a small village and we could see some people still in bed at 9:30 am. The main occupation in these areas looks like Ragi plantation and rearing of silkworm.
We proceeded further and the upward slopes now looked a bit scary having pedalled for more than 30kms at a stretch. Our next point was Thattekere which was still a good 8 kms from there. We proceeded further to find a rough rocky path leading to Anekal-Harohalli road.
Finally we joined the Harohalli main road and pedalled for a few more kilometers to reach Thattekere. Thattekere, as the name suggests is known for a huge lake which is a paradise for bird watchers. Also near the lake is a temple dedicated to Mahadeshwara.
In deep silence and amidst the chirping of birds and gentle breeze blowing, we relaxed near the lake for a long time. After realising that we were in no position to pedal all the way back to Bangalore, we were thinking of alternatives, then somehow we cycled to the Thattekere village for some food. To our surprise, a plate of 2 bondas, 5 idlis, chutney and curd, and a tea cost only Rs. 12.5..Maybe the rates have not been updated since independence :)
We saw a KSRTC bus heading towards Harohalli. We boarded the bus along with our cycles and went to Harohalli. From Harohalli to Bangalore also we boarded a bus along with the bikes. We reached back Bangalore by 3pm and surely would want to do this circuit entirely on a bicycle after building some stamina..
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