We took a little vacation this week in Sakaleshpur, about 200 km from Bangalore. On the way to the homestay, we stopped at Manjarabad fort, a star-shaped fort built by Tipu Sultan in the late eighteenth century. [Click for google image] He built it as a defensive location. And it must have really worked well as a lookout place, because the views from the top are quite spectacular.
We stayed at Mugilu, a lovely little plantation homestay. Clean and comfortable cottages, superb location, wonderful hosts, tasty and home-like food, the most stupendous grasslands next to it, and loads of inviting walking trails.
These are a few pictures of the grasslands. We walked, ran, played frisbee, and just sat on the grass.
We, in places like Bangalore are so unused to places where there is not a single soul in your line of sight. When we were walking on these grasslands, S and Puttachi went ahead, and for a while, they weren't in my line of vision. I looked around then, and nobody, not one person was in sight, though I could see so far into the horizon! What a wonderful feeling it is - the feeling of being totally alone with nature!
There are a number of trails that take you up and down the gently sloping hills, next to bright green paddy fields, towards streams, and little huts and villages, and lots and lots of cows.
We walked a lot, and could have walked a whole lot more. When we wanted a break, we just sat down on the grass, and were silent. We could see the sights like the one below. We could hear the lowing of cows, and the strikingly loud noise of their eating grass. An odd bee or two buzzed around, and the wind whooshed through the trees. We could smell the fragrant grass, and the pleasant smell of fresh cowdung. And we could feel the heat of the sun on our backs. Ah, bliss.
The picture below is that of paddy fields early in the morning - and Shunti, our guide, companion, and Puttachi's obsession for the duration of our stay. She is one of the three dogs that live in Mugilu, with the couple who runs it.
And when we wanted to get back to the room, we put our feet up, book in hand, and watched this sight from our balcony. Early in the morning and during rains, this is a specially beautiful sight due to the clouds coming in.
And there are a number of spots around the place, in case that is what you want to do, this ancient, quaint, Sindhu Brahma temple being one of them. And yes, cows were grazing here too.
You can tell we had a good time, huh?