After five months at home with society garden being the only respite, finally, we could step out for a day trip, more like a picnic. Whatever you may call it, but driving out of the city limits, breathing fresh air, and being close to nature was refreshing. I am excited to share this rejuvenating experience of a day picnic at Manchanabele Dam. Also sharing some useful tips, especially when travelling with family and kids.
Manchanabele Dam: 40 km away from Bangalore, Manchanabele dam is built on Arkavathi river for irrigation and providing water to Magadi town.
Picturesque hamlets, fields and many hillocks surround the reservoir. The whole area is nature lovers and adventure seekers delight. There are some adventure camps in and around this area, that lets you indulge in activities like zipline, kayaking etc. (I am not sure,if they are open currently) however you can always enjoy hiking and trekking activities here.
Places to visit around Manchanabele Dam: Here are some attractions near the reservoir.
1. Big Banyan Tree: The famous Big Banyan Tree or Dodda Alada Mara is situated 9.5 km away from Manchanabele. The 400-year-old tree covers an area of almost 3 acres and thats what makes this tree unique.
2. Savandurga Mountain: Situated around 13 km away from Manchanabele reservoir, Savandurga is a popular trekking spot. Represented by the two granite cliffs, Savandurga trek takes 2-2.5 hours to reach the peak and around the same time to come down.
3. Savandi Veerabhadreshwara Swami and Narasimha Swami temple: Pilgrims frequently visit Savandi Veerabhadreshwara swami and Narasimha Swami temple throughout the year.
And now, you must be wanting to know more about our day trip experience. So here it is, all the details, right from planning till the end of the trip.
Planning, Planning & Planning
Even the thought of travelling with young kids can be daunting in times like this. At the same time, we keep wishing and dreaming of travel. We were looking for safe staycations, but not sure of long-distance travel. A day trip was the most feasible option. After contemplating on a couple of places, we zeroed on Manchanabelle dam.
Then onwards it was just planning and planning. To make this picnic as safe as possible, we decided to carry everything from our home. A result of essential requirements as well as the excitement of going out after five months, our checklist kept getting bigger and bigger.
It was raining the whole of last week; we kept our fingers crossed and hoped for pleasant weather on the day of our trip.
All set for the drive
It was a Sunday, with a mixed feeling of excitement and slight apprehension we headed for our destination. Compared to last week, the weather was pleasant. The street was also empty. It took us an hour or so to reach Manchanabele.
And the crowd
We reached the location, hoping it to be deserted or less crowded. To our surprise, we saw many cars on both sides of the road. During other times, I would have considered that many people as very few, but the sight of other humans now is neither comforting nor very encouraging.
For a moment, the thought of going backcrossed our minds. Since the gate of the reservoir was closed, we drove further to explore the area.
Finding a hidden treasure
While searching for a suitable place to set the tent, we drove past a village landing in an area almost devoid of humans.
We walked past hillocks, bushes with wildflowers in the complete wilderness, which was liberating. At last, a place where the mask was not required.
Our kids enjoyed walking on an uneven path, picking little flowers and observing birds. A little further was a magnificent view of the reservoir. Calm water surrounded by greenery was breathtaking.
Breakfast with a view
A little hike to the reservoir made everyone hungry. We parked near the pond to enjoy our breakfast along with freshly made tea (yes, we carried stove and ingredients). Having our meal in the tranquility with the chirping sound of birds and tiny raindrops were the best way to connect with nature. The best part was there was no network to distract us.
Later we drove past forest, Savandurga hills and few hamlets to explore a better place to have our meal. After some time, we returned to the hidden spot and set our tent on a hillock overlooking the reservoir. The way wildflowers covered this place was beautiful.
We set the tent, played the music and enjoyed our drinks in the complete tranquility with only the sound of the wind around. Soaking in the peaceful surrounding, we spent most of the afternoon at this beautiful place.
Soon it was evening, we packed our stuff and returned home. Although a short trip but one of the most treasured ones.
Checklist for Day Picnic/ Day outing
If you are planning for a day picnic, here is a quick checklist which can be helpful:
1. Carry your meals (We carried, Sandwiches for breakfast, Noodles and Fried rice for Lunch)
2. Water (carry enough water)
3. Dry Snacks (Biscuits, wafers, fruits)
4. Drinks (Juices)
5. Icebox if you want chilled drinks
6. Stove (if you are planning to cook, else warm water in Thermus)
7. Picnic mat
8. Tent (Our children enjoyed playing and getting a feel of camping)
9. Tissue Papers/ Hand towels
10. Plates/ Glasses /spoons
11. Garbage bag
12. Umbrella/ Raincoat
13. Spare clothes for change over (in case it rains)
14. Blue tooth speaker (if you like listening to music)
This trip has encouraged us to plan many more safe trips like this where we can connect with nature and enjoy our day in the open. What do you think? Have you planned any outings yet?
Do you any useful suggestions to add.
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