A re-write of my photowalk in Aizawl from 2007

Armed with my Aunt’s little Lumix camera, I walked the streets of Aizawl for a photograph things I found interesting. It was uncomfortable to aim at random things with a camera because this was before everyone has a smartphone and before every monkey carries a DSRL. Some people even asked where the photo would be published. Perhaps they thought I was from the newspaper.

To BR Hills, Kotagiri and Manjoor

After a trip to Goa before last Christmas,  I haven’t been on the road. A trip, any trip to somewhere was really due.

This was a dream on the map. The plan: Take the Bangalore-Kanakpura-Malavalli-Kollegal-Sathyamangalam  route to Kotagiri and swing by BR Hills on the way. On the second day, drive to Ooty, Manjoor and back to Ooty. The return trip from Manjoor will show us Avanlanche Lake from a distance. From Ooty, drive straight back to Bangalore.

This trip took us through roads like this…

bull-crossing-road

.. and showed us views like this.

ooty-manjoor-avalanche-11

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No trip to Yelagiri

This post is about the much awaited trip to  Yelagiri that did not happen. The route was carefully planned. Hotel booked. Lunch will be at Ambur at the famous Star Briyani. The onward journey will run parallel to Old Madras Road. Return journey will involve a ride through Javadhu hills, swing by the Observatory if possible,  turn left into Vellore and connect Old Madras Road after Chittoor. Playlist carefully selected.

But it did not happen.

Stay

I booked Kannas Guest House, Athanavoor Main Road through Stayzilla. At 1600 for 2 occupants, with a resort like campus, backed by a comment at TripAdvisor, it seemed like a good deal.

Route – Onward    https://goo.gl/maps/nR7NURjTMtq

bangalore-yelagiri-route

Route – Return   https://goo.gl/maps/GWRWZW2dWeS2

yelagiri-bangalore-route

I am sharing the route I planned to take should someone find it useful. The idea of this route is not meant to be the  shortest route  but to be  exploratory and fun.

Trek to Reiek

Reiek Tlang is a popular  day trek from Aizawl. It’s a 30km, 2 hour drive to the west of Aizawl. This time, like most people I ignored it for  long because I can go there anytime. Why the hurry? But that time never came.

In May 2014, I was in between jobs and had a month break at Aizawl. I decided  it was time to strike Reiek off my list.

I have seen pictures of the cliff and the narrow path on the edge leading to the peak. I though was that was it.  What I didn’t know was that the short 3km trek to the peak through the thick and well preserved forest would be so amazing, if it were nearby  Bangalore, it will attract loads of trekkers!

It’s the best 3km trek I have done. Let me take you there.

Half way to  Reiek, you will reach Tlawng river. There is a small tea stall where you can have tea and snacks.The tea stall with its wide windows make it a nice place to sit and sip tea as you admire the river below.

reiek-mizoram-01

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Bangalore by bus

Most people don’t explore their own town. I am not most people. I chose to continue that by exploring Bangalore on a bus. With a day pass  that cost a mere 70 rupees, I rode BMTC buses one  whole day. The benefit and ease with day pass is not having to worry about change (conductor hardly returns change at once)  and not having to know the stop (to tell the conductor for fare). Just get on and get off wherever you want.

The routes I traveled by  bus

  1. Kannamangala to  Kadugodi. Rs. 14 for bus fare, after this I used day pass. (Blue Bus)
  2. Kadugoi to MG Road (SBS-1K)
  3. Brigade road to Wipro Gate, Electronic City (G3)
  4. Wipro Gate to Silk Board (356 CW, Silk Board via Flyover)
  5. Silb Board to Banashankari (200 series Volvo)
  6. Banashankari to Hebbala via Silk Board, Marathalli  Ring Road (500 Series Volvo)
  7.  Hebbala to Majestic (Blue Bus)
  8. Majestic to Brigade Road (335 E Volvo)
  9. Bayapanahalli Metro Station to KR Puram (304, White and Blue)
  10. KR Puram to Hope Farm (304, White and Blue)
  11. Hope Farm to Kannamangala (Blue Bus)

What did I learn?

Multiplexes  have not put Rex out of business. There’s a sky walk near Forum Mall, Koramangala and at other places on Ring Road. I was totally unaware there’s a railway track under Hebbal fly over. There’s too many Volvos plying 335 E route, Majestic to ITPL. Freedom park is not just a part, it was Bangalore Central Jail. There is not just one but several marriage halls in Palace Ground.Totally enjoyed Shivaji Nagar in the evening.

I tried to get a day pass at Kadugodi Bus Station but the staff in the office told me I could get it from the conductor. Since the only IDs with me were photocopy, I went back to the office to get a BMTC ID.  I had no desire to run into trouble with a picky conductor.

explore-bangalore-by-bus-1

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Zawlnuam (2014)

I got very few photos  as we were just passing through. Zawlnuam and it’s adjoining Borai are one of the bigger villages in Hachhek hill range in Mizoram West. They had diesel engine powered electricity long before the power grib reached. It lies in the river valley right next to Langkaih and Borai lui. The other side of Langkaih to the west is Tripura. As it is in flat land, fish ponds and paddy fields are a common sight. The weather is extreme in both winter and summer seasons.

Mumbai (2009)

My first and  only trip to Mumbai in 2009. The trip was not for pleasure but to aid my Uncle, he was wife was undergoing surgery at Tata Cancer Hospital. For two weeks life revolved around Mizoram house and the hospital.  I served as a dutiful tiffin career for my Uncle and other Mizo patients for two weeks.

On weekends though, I got a little break to  hangout with Kima and his pals. One Friday night, they took me to Colaba to their fav Gokuls bar. They took me to the heritage wing of Taj hotel and Leopold Cafe, both were attacked by terrorists in India’s 26/11.  With my first camera, Canon A4950, using Kima’s soldier as a tripod, I took some long shutter nights shots – Taj, Leopold and Gateway of India. I thought they were very good at that time. Given the basic camera with improvised tripod.

I did miss the famous Mumbai vada pav but rode the Mumbai local train a few times. I was totally amazed at how a couple dozen could jump in and out in sync. It was also very pleasant not having to negotiate with cabbies.

Given a chance, I would like love to visit Mumbai again.