An urge to travel, connect with new people, learn and enhance my photography skills led me to an awesome group that organizes short photography tours in and around the city.
I barely knew anybody in the group except for exchanging pleasantries with a few of them at a recent photography exhibition in Bangalore. With a wee bit of apprehension and loads of excitement, I joined them on a day's trip to the Nandi Hills & Lepakshi and to my surprise it seemed like I have known all of them from time immemorial. That's the beauty of sharing a common interest/passion and the need to just let your hair down and have some fun.
NANDI HILLS - BANGALORE
Nandi Hills has always been one of the favorite weekend getaways for Bangaloreans; especially for the photographers - for being more than a perfect surreal nature's abode.
|Early morning walk|
Located within 70 kms from Bangalore, one can easily get there by bikes & cars exiting from the North of Bangalore. There are also public transport buses plying from Bangalore's central bus station - Kempegowda Bus station in the mornings & evenings for a charge of Rs. 50. Beware there are no buses back to Bangalore after 5PM.
The gates of the Nandi Hills are open to public only between 6.00 PM to 6.00PM and they charge you Rs.10 as the entry ticket.
There is only one Hotel Mayura Pine Top Restaurant located at the top of the hill to eat and lodge (first come basis lodging with only three rooms). Of course, you can choose to get down the hill and find places to eat/stay away from the hills.
Crossing about 40 curves (some of them very steep) as we got to the top of the hills at around 6.30 am, we were amazed to be greeted by thick blanket of clouds veiling the hill and the fort. What followed were myriad of images captured by the enthusiastic group ranging from Landscapes to Macros, HDR's to Pano's, Portraits to Groupies, Flora & Fauna, Birds, Monkeys, Insects and virtually everything. Nandi Hills offers plenty of photographic opportunities I did not even imagine. At about 1400+ mtrs above sea level, strolling around the lush green hilly area, breathing the chill healthy air was such a welcome break from the madness of the city life.
|The splendid view of the hill and the valley|
LEPAKSHI - ANDHRA PRADESH
How to get there: We started for Lepakshi at 12.30 pm IST from Nandi Hills to arrive at the destination in 90 minutes (70kms) driving past the Bangalore-Hyderabad NH7 highway.
Exhausted and hungry, we gorged on the yummy food two super cute girls D & P in the group had packed for all of us. The rotis, the variety of yummy sabzis and cool-drinks along with the cookies were so yum and much-needed, we cannot thank them both enough.
Lepakshi is a small village in the state of Andhra Pradesh dedicated to temples. The day was as hot as mercury and we had a tough time walking bare-foot inside the gigantic Veerabhadra Temple that dates back to the Vijayanagara empire in the 16th century in the history of South India.
|The striking pillars|
|The Hanging Pillar Photo Courtesy: Adit Lal|
|Mural Paintings on the Ceiling|
|Sculpture of a deity|
The last and one of the main attractions was the multi-hooded Nagalinga standing tall with stories that the seven headed snake was carved out of a single piece of stone within moments even before the lunch was made ready that day.
|The gorgeous Sky clicked with my mobile phone|
For more photos from the trip - please visit my Flickr Photostream: