Trip to Innovative Film City

We visited Innovative Film City couple of weeks back. This Film City, IFC in short, is located 43 Kms from our house in Bangalore and spread over 50 acres of land.

We need to drive towards Mysore, go past Wonder la on Mysore road and take left diversion towards Bidadi industrial area.

We started around 8:30 am and took about 2 hours of drive. The road was okay except the patch on Mysore road where every vehicle has to slow down to halt due to congestion and bad road. After that it was smooth driving.

IFC houses 27 different facilities ranging from, Amphitheatre, Retail High Street, Food Courts, Theme Restaurants, Entertainment District with India’s first Dinosaur Park, Haunted Mansion, Cartoon City with India’s biggest Roller Coaster, Aqua Kingdom, Miniature city, Ripley’s Enchanted Mirror Maze, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, Funplex within 4D- Theatre, Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Go-Karting, Mini Golf, Innovative Wannado City, Adventure Sports, Roller Skates, Fossil Museum, Fossil Hunt, Double Decker Carrousel, etc.

The standard package costs Rs. 599/- per head and though cheaper than Wonder la but we didn’t find the Film City very well maintained and interesting or attractive. It comes nowhere close to Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad though created more or less on the same line. In fact, we felt as if the crowd halted at Wonder la just 5 Kms before reaching IFC.

However, it was okay to spend a day there at the park with some of the entertainments and we were back in home by the evening.

Innovative Film City Entrance Kaberi and Adi at the entrance. They can never stand at the center! Height problem…
Let me sit and free my legs after 2 hrs. of sitting in the car Hi! At the other side of the entrance. Standing at the center? No way! Southey hero!
Arjuna from Bishop Cotton… see the position of the first arrow.. Sculpture at the entrance Mirror Maze! Oh Man! What a confusion… did we come out of the entrance itself?
Mirror Maze building Poor Dino at Dino park My pet Dino
Who is scared of the T-Rex behind? Water fall at Dino park… read shower for the Dinos Yahoo! – by T-Rex
Dine skeleton inside the museum Who’s scared? Not me! Cassowary birds from Australia
Jhoola jhoomenge! Aqua Kingdom entrance No one went for Carousel
Go Karting – learning to drive Go Karting – taking the turn Go Karting – taking turns not easy
Go Karting – well, I feel ok at the wheel now Roller Coaster… we survived… twice Dalai Lama – inside wax museum
Frankenstein – inside wax museum Einstein – inside wax museum Beatles – inside wax museum
Mummy returns – inside wax museum M. J, Madonna, Elvis Presley and others – inside wax museum Kaberi with Marilyn Monroe – inside wax museum
Charlie Chaplin with Time Machine – inside wax museum Walt Disney with Mickey, Donald and Goofy – inside wax museum Seven dwarfs – inside wax museum
I with Hitler and Clinton – inside wax museum Haunted House entrance Inside haunted house – anyone hungry?
Star Wars… I guess (: Mammoth skeleton Magical tap – where does the water come from?
My body guard! With world’s tallest man! First flying car
First candy machine Jaw deck Coral ship
Ripley’s Believe it or not Louis Tussaud’s wax museum Ms. Golf
Master Golfer Clock tower Sculpture at the entrance
Handicrafts display at the entrance Roller Coaster… we survived… twice Yahoo! – I can drive!
Aqua Kingdom – panorama view

See Also
Our Trip to Wonder la!
Bishop Cotton Boys’ School Picnic at Wonder la
Sammy’s Dreamland

Doctors’ Strike

Hampi Travelogue

We went to Hampi last week during the mid-term break of Adi’s school. Hampi, the erstwhile capital of Vijayanagara empire, today covers an area of of 26 square Kilometers on the Southern bank of the river Tungabhadra in Karnataka. The splendid ruins spread across this area include some of the finest specimens of medieval Indian architecture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hampi is charismatic even in its ruined state. It attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. Vast stretches of boulder-strewn hills make the backdrop of Hampi unique. Dotted around the hills and valleys are 500 plus beautiful monuments, temples, basements of palaces, remains of aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings.., the list is practically endless.

Hampi is 350 Kms. away from Bangalore. We went by Hampi Express that connects Bangalore is a popular option to reach Hampi from Bangalore. The train passes via Hospet, the nearest railway station for Hampi. Both the up and down journeys the train covers in the night, and that is one of the reasons for its popularity.

We stayed at Karnataka Mayura Bhuvaneshwari Hotels, Hampi, run by KSTDC, is the only hotel located within the World Heritage Site area. The other hotels are located at Hospet about 14 Kms. away. We should budget about two full days to cover Hampi.

Some of the prominent spots in Hampi are Royal enclosure, Queen’s Bath, Hazara Rama Temple, Stepped Tank, Water channel leading to Pushkarini, Mahanavami Dibba (platform), Mint enclosure, Lotus mahal, Elephant stables, Guards’ quarters, Pansupari bazaar, Underground Siva temple, Sister rocks, image Lakshmi Narasimha, Siva temple, Krishna temple, temples on Hemakuta hill, Virupaksha temple, King’s balance and the gorgeous Vitthala temple.

These spots are spread across the city of Hampi and you an hire a car or an auto rickshaw to cover these places. We saw many foreign tourists have hired two wheelers to cover these spots. There are decent food joints at Hospet and there’s a very popular restaurant named Mango Tree where you can have food sitting right under the mango tree along the bank of Tungabhadra, but, the restaurant has been shifted out of its original place due to restriction Hampi being a heritage site. We had our lunch there; I didn’t find the place great food-wise, but the joint is very popular and frequented by many foreign tourists.

Thank you for stopping and reading this blog; here are the photos from the trip.

Patrol Leaders Camp at Bharat Scouts and Guides, Annie Besant Park, Bangalore

Aditeya attended district level Boy Scout Patrol leaders training program last week conducted by Bharat Scouts and Guides (BSG), Karnataka branch.

Held at Annie Besant Park in Doddaballapur in Bangalore rural – about 48 Kms. away from home. He stayed there 3 nights and 4 days to go through the training program along with few other students from Bishop Cotton as well as students representing other schools. With this he completed the Basic level, i.e. Pravesh and Brotherhood and level 1, i.e. Pratham Sopan, training programs.

Still Thinking of a Cool Blog Title…

Meanwhile, one more year passed by…

Our Trip to Wonder la!

We went to Wonder la couple of days back…

This signature amusement park is 40 Kms. away from Bangalore, on the way to Mysore road. This is one of the most exiting amusement parks in the country. As the Summer vacation is going on, Adi was super exited about the trip although he has been going there from Bishop Cotton Boys’ school every year (True!) and to make the whole trip more exhilarating, our family friend Aditya Mishra and family joined. So Adi got his best pal Shuvam and none of us could realize how we spent the whole day there!

We had been here several years back and I found the park very clean, well maintained and most importantly all the rides were very safe. The security guards were there almost everywhere. There was a huge crowd due to school holidays. The ticket price was steep, but, nevertheless, it was worth.

Here are the photos and texts… Enjoy! and Thank you for stopping by…

Wonder la! Somehow reached! The Sky Wheel and the Watch Tower
Wonder la Bumba! Termite den The Dungeon ride – no one is scared!
Termite train – its nothing The Equinox – going up The Equinox – going up further
The Equinox – Wonder la’s signature ride Drop Zone – going up Drop Zone – going further up
Drop Zone – time to drop Maverick Maverick – turned upside down
Maverick – tilted and turned upside down Termite den – view from Watch Tower Techno Jump view from Watch Tower
Techno Jump view from Watch Tower Banded Kraits Banded Kraits – view from Watch Tower
Wave Pool Insanity Wonder Splash
Techno Jump – view from Watch Tower Drop Zone – view from Watch Tower Wonder Splash – view from Watch Tower
Get ready to jump Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww…. Thank God! Its slowing down
Getting ready to drop Smile – as you go up Net Walk
Crazy Wagon – what’s gonna happen Crazy Wagon – let me think… Crazy Wagon – I know what will happen

Adi’s Journey to Teen

Adi, turned 13 last month. “I’m a teen now!”, he proclaimed! Well, it was an exhilarating journey, I thought and pat came the idea of creating a photo gallery capturing these thirteen years…

I made a quick calculation… 3 to 4 photos per year… so about 50 photos to upload, attach captions, write some texts around it and it should be be finished in flat two hours…

One hour through the work, what I had thought of easy and cake-walk, soon turned into nightmare! Hundreds of photos, what to select and what not, based on what criteria, how to arrange… and above all a big chunk of these photos were shot on film. So the matter just doesn’t end with shortlisting. I need to scan the prints… and that’s going to be hell of a job… what to do?

I decided to take a break to clear my thought process!

After a week of toying with several ideas, I finally realized that getting the whole stuff done in one shot is a bad idea and rather giving it a shot in installments is what makes sense. So, let’s divide the post into several age brackets like 0-7 months, 7 months to 1 year, 1 to 2 year, etc., and keep updating the same post in coming several weeks.

So, here is the `serial post` and there will be several more updates to the same post in coming weeks with new photos and texts etc.

Thank you for stopping by…

Click here to view photos of Adi aged between 0 to 6 months.
Click here to view photos of Adi aged between 7 to 12 months.

Adi – Aged between 0 to 6 Months

The very first photo of Adi. Doing Gangnam style in 2000 long before PSY The most important new addition to the family The very first father-son moment
With the whole family With Dadu, Diya and Mamu With Mamu
How do I look when I smile With Deviamma just before taking bath Taking bath is fun
Bath over, how do I look Let’s play But what to play
Swimming on the bed is the best game And trying to chew those stuff is lot more fun Eating time
Time to go for afternoon roaming I like different dresses I’m tired, let’s take little rest
On the day of ‘Annaprashan’ – the rice taking ceremony How do I look with mummy Just before leaving house for the temple
At temple with parents Another father-son moment At temple with Raju, Shantha aunty and Deviamma
With Raju With Teddy and Winnie the Pooh At Uttarpara with Mita-di and family


Adi – Aged between 7 to 12 Months

Bath is fun except the water going into eyes My chair See this
Getting ready With mummy in matching dress Let me play my music
Father son moment I still sit this way Going out in pram for evening stroll
Sitting pretty In my walker Playing with Raju uncle
I’m taller than uncle With Dr. Nanda Shetty Let me show you my walking skill
This is my walker Let’s walk This is how to go sideways
I can go back also Enjoying the walk Let’s drop everything
What’s on the floor Confused More confused
Confusion gone, now happy My pram With my best friends
My hammer My chair and hammer Hard day hammering at work
With family members of father’s paternal side With family members of father’s maternal side With Diya and great grand mother
With Sucharita aunty In front of Bangalore high court Father son moment
My first birthday With Shantha aunty Cake cutting on my first birthday

Shivasamudram, Somnathpur Temple Photo Gallery

Photos from our trip to Shivsamudram falls and Somnathpur temple.

I thought of posting some old photos from our travel album. These picture were taken sometime back… in September, 2005, during in-law’s visit to Bangalore and we decided to drive down to visit Shivsamudram falls (Shivanasamudra Falls) and nearby Somnathpur (Somanathapura) temple.

The falls is located about 140 Kms away from Bangalore in Mandya district. And Somnathpur temple is about 35 Kms away from Mysore city. Both enroute to Mysore city and our route was to visit the falls first followed by the temple. The temple and the falls looked different from the pictures that I have of them taken in 1996-97 and they’ll be looking altogether different now. However, they both are gorgeous and beautiful.

Quoting Wikipedia…

A common misconception about these waterfalls are that the left segment is called Gaganachukki and the right segment is called Bharachukki. In reality the Bharachukki falls are a few kilometers to the south-west of the Gaganachukki falls. This is due to the Kaveri river itself splitting a few kilometers to the south into western and eastern branches. The western branch results in the twin waterfalls of Gaganachukki, whereas the eastern branch results in the Bharachukki falls.

And…

There is another approach to the Gaganachukki falls from the Darga Hazrath Mardane Gaib (Imam Ali). Despite warnings being posted, people climb down the rocks and attempt to view the waterfalls from behind/top, resulting in many fatal accidents.

Adi posing on roadside enroute Shivasamudram falls in full glory, Gaganachukki and Bharachukki.
Shivasamudram falls in full glory, Gaganachukki on the left
Why did you do that, Adi Mummy’s son Father-son moment

Quoting Wikipedia…

The Chennakesava Temple (Kannada: ಶ್ರೀ ಚೆನ್ನಕೇಶವ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನ) located at Somanathapura is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. The temple was built by Soma, a Dandanayaka (lit, “commander”) in 1268 C.E. under Hoysala king Narasimha III, when the Hoysala Empire was the major power in South India.

Somnathpur temple Adi with elephant at Somnathpur temple Outer wall at Somnathpur temple
Hoysala architecture at Somnathpur temple Magnificient Chennakesava temple at Somnathpur Somnathpur temple – well preserved by ASI

Sammy’s Dreamland

Talking of amusement parks around Bangalore… does anybody remember Sammy’s Dreamland? This park had come up even before Wonder La or Innovative Film City came into being. Situated beyond the Yelahanka Air Force Station, about 8 kilometers before the present international airport in Devanahalli, the place was quite far away from the city.

The park was divided into multiple zones. The World Tour zone contained relatively smaller replicas of the Wonders of the World, like the Eiffel Tower and Leaning Tower of Pisa. It had interesting information related to each of these. For the little ones, there was more in the form of Toon City and Children’s Village zones. The former was focused on cartoon characters while the latter had rides specifically meant for children. There was a Lagoon Area, which housed a replica of the Statue of Liberty and also a musical fountain program in the evening.

The place hosted a lot of activities that attracts people of all ages. Toon parade throughout the park, musician show at town hall, live-band by pool side in afternoon, live-band below Eiffel tower in evening, musical fountain in evening & fire show by night were some of the highlights of the day.

We had been there once just a few days before a mishap occurred at the park and eventually the park operation was suspended temporarily due to security concern. In most such cases, the business entity running the park reverts back in business in a couple of months. But Sammy’s Dreamland never did and Bangalore lost one good amusement park.

Few old photos from our visit at the park… Adi was just 4 years old..

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