Monday, May 28, 2012

Visit to Dodda Aalada Mara (Big Banyan Tree)

This weekend it was already planned to visit Dodda Aalada mara near Kengeri. I finished daily routine and started at around 10:00AM on a Sunday morning. This time I took bike to visit the place as bus journey was quite time taking. Also you may need to take 3 buses to reach there. Along the travel I stopped at many places to take snaps. This is advantage if you make your own arrangements. Of-course I went alone.

Since it was Sunday, traffic was smooth even at peak time. It was around 11:30 AM when I reached the place. Late since I stopped at many places en-route. There is not much to see here except the big banyan tree which covers around 3-4 acres of land. People visit here just for change from city environment. Some pictures en-route. Most of the pictures in auto-mode did not produce the lane markings due to haze. I had to under-expose (2/3) and adjust shutter speed to get clear picture.



Some of the details as mentioned in placard:

1) Maintained by Horticulture department of Karnataka Government
2) Situated at Kethohalli village, Tavarekere Hobli, Bangalore South Taluk
3) It has history of about 400 years.
4) Spread around 3-4 acres of land
5) Around 400 to 500 dangles are growing in the tree.

There are benches for resting and you can have view around the tree for some time. For visitors there is parking space outside the area. There are many eating outlets outside with reasonable price. Muneshwara temple is situated inside the premises. Watch out for the monkeys when you sit for eating. However they did not seem to be aggressive. This is place is to enjoy for few hours not entire day. I presume some good places can be found near by too. Just check internet for details

How to reach:

The place is situated 23 kms from main city (may be from Majestic). However it took around 30kms for me from HSR BDA. One has to travel along Mysore highway and cross Kengeri. 2-3 kms from Kengeri town, you reach a small junction near Rajarajeshwari Dental College towards right. Take the right turn and travel along the beautiful road for about 7kms to reach Dodda Aalada Mara. The place is along the main road and there is no need to take any deviations. You may feel to be lost due to inadequate sign boards but do not worry; local people do guide you well. Watch out for nasty humps. There are many en-route. They are unscientific and neither have sign boards nor markings on it as indication. The humps are present especially in village area and curves.

There are buses from K.R.Market and Majestic. Better to reach Kengeri so that you can get ample buses. I assume that bus service is infrequent (most of the buses were over crowded). Watch out for the interceptors en-route along Mysore SH-17. Do not cross speed limits [60kmph for 4 wheelers and 40kmph for 2 wheelers]. Also traffic personnel will be checking your documents even so do not break rules [wear helmet].

Here are some pictures nearby:





Sunday, May 27, 2012

Time Lapse Video - 1 [Dose Making]

This is my first time lapse video. It is not something like fastening up the video but taking images at intervals and rendering them as video. The images have to be very much steady to have better time-lapse video. It is good to use a tripod, make adjustments and start taking pictures.

So how did I do it? I own Canon SX 210IS. Using CHDK available for canon cameras, I used intervalometer script which captures the images at pre-defined rate without user intervention.  I am not writing on CHDK. Please refer links below for details.  The images were taken at the rate of 1-image per 2sec. So I captured around 69 images and put them up in KDENLIVE to create a video. Since I did not have tripod, the video came out bit shaky. Kindly bare with it :-). Next time I will take better one.

A simple slideshow creation in KDENLIVE will do the rest. I created slideshow with 3 frame drops   with 29.97fps and 720 progressive scan rate. I am not sure about the exact calculation of frame drops. If you are interested please refer wikipedia entry on SMPTE timecode (see references below).

Enjoy the short time-lapse video of Dose making. Of course I heated the Dose for long time to have
better detail [put the gas in sim :-)]. I am optimist of posting such videos often [That is why the title numbered 1 :-)].

Watch my other videos:


1) How to Install CHDK:
2) SMPTE code:
3) Creating Time-Lapse video in KDENLIVE:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Visit to Bannerghatta National Park

Finally the day had arrived to visit Bannerghatta National Park (Further will abbreviate as BNP).  It was on Sunday 13-May-2012, we planned to visit BNP along with my elder sister and my nephew.  We started pretty much late (around 9:00AM) from Koramangala and reached Majestic at 10:00AM. There we had to wait for some time for the bus.  15 minutes past we got a VOLVO bus to BNP. We reached BNP arounf 11:30AM. BMTC has a fine terminus in BNP that looks really posh as of now.

Since it was sunday, BNP was jam packed. We could get tickets easily however had to wait long time for safari ride. There was huge  crowd waiting for safari ride. The resting place is really good. When our turn came, it was around 12:30PM. The buses are  arranged by KSTDC and had protection cover also. The helper told us that safari ride is around 15kms. There was deer safari, bear safari, lion safari,  tiger safari and peacock safari. Huge trench surrounds each safari so that animals do not cross. The animals are manually fed.  The white tiger is isolated from usual tiger since they fight. The travel through safari is really scenic and  has three or four water bodies along the way. Fortunately I got the front seat beside driver.

BNP Entrance
We could see all  the animals along the way. We had close look of deers, tiger, lion, bear and peacock. Peacock was visible earlier closely however  as we neared him, it ran away. I managed to get some good shots and also the driver took very good shots for me. Most of thw animals  were resting on the right side of the road and I was sitting on the left side of bus. However, driver helped me to get good shots. Between every entrance of Safari, huge gates are erected to prevent animals mixing up. The driver and helper were too good. Whenever animals  were spotted, the driver stopped vehicle for considerable amount of time to have view and take snaps.

Safari Bus
Collage of animals in Safari
After 30-45 minutes of safari ride, we came back to national park, had lunch and visited zoo. The zoo is well maintained and has small  park for children to play. It is not as extensive as Mysore Zoo but wonderful to watch. The only problem is, there is no proper  instruction or walk path boards to guide you as in Mysore-Zoo. Nevertheless, it seemed intuitive. You can also have elephant  ride with some cost.


Some bird
King Cobra
It was around 3:30PM the sky opened up and started pouring heavily. We reached bus stop before it started  to rain heavily. Due to this we could not visit butterfly park. The buses towards bangalore were ample, however there was also ample crowd.  Every bus was jam packed and we finally found a private bus towards K.R.Market. We got down at Jayadeva to reach home.

How to reach:

From Majestic, you can catch VOLVO or ordinary BMTC buses which will take directly to BNP. The cost of volvo is Rs.50/head.  We thought we would not get seat, if we start from Jayadeva. It is not true since there are buses originating from places  like Shivajinagar (AC-4), brigade road (G-4) which go via Jayadeva. You can catch from Jayadeva too. If you are travelling via  KR-Market area, you have private buses which directly go to BNP. You can also travel till Bannerghatta and take an auto.  Even though distance is only around 3-4kms auto people may charge more. If you own four wheeler, it is best option. You will  also need to pay parking charges. however there is ample parking space.


There are hotels and ample snack outlets nearby. However they charge more. Everything is costly here. Better to carry  own food and drinks rather than buying. Even inside zoo you can find snack and ice-cream outlets.


PARK + ZOO: 9:30AM to 5PM
SAFARI: 10AM to 4:30PM (Depending on tickets available, timings may vary)

Expenses (In rupees):

Still Camera: 25 (Not sure whether same is applicable for Butterfly park)
Video Camera (Handycam): 200 (Not sure whether same is applicable for Butterfly park)


Adult: 210
Children: 100
Senior Citizen: 140
[The same ticket can be used for ZOO entrance also]


If you want only to visit ZOO, here are the charges.

Adult: 60
Children: 30
Senior Citizen: 40

Butterfly park:
This requires separate ticket. Not sure about price since we could not visit.

When to go:

Start early. Atleast reach by 10AM so that you need not have to wait for SAFARI. At around 11-12 (AM-PM), animals will be resting  near-by road. You can have good look at them.  BNP is completely plastic free zone.

Some Negatives:

1) People were seen throwing plastic waste on to the floor despite having ample  dustbins around. The dustbins were really good and well maintained.

2) The patrol people had to really struggle to maintain discipline. Some people were seen sneaking into the queue despite good  patrolling. It is really annoying that educated people do such things.

Just a request for people who visit not to spoil these places.

The Video!!

At the end the SAFARI video. The video is composition of Safari ride as well as still images of animals. There are no videos of animals. The video was created using KDENLIVE. I initially chose HD-720p with 29.97fps. Since the video was distorted 25fps was chosen with same progressive scan rate. H.264 encoding was used with 12k bitrate and AAC 384kbps. The video is bit shaky but still watchable. Enjoy the video!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Boat ride along Ulsoor Lake

It has been years since I came down to bangalore. I have been looking at Ulsoor lake for quite some time. Even though I made up my mind to visit the place many times, I could not due to various reasons [most of them invalid of-course :-)]. Finally I stepped into the lake side on a fine summer clear saturday 05 May 2012. The lake view is good but lake is not quite clean. Leave that apart. I took some snaps and a boat ride. The boat ride was quite nice and costs Rs.25 per head. There is no fee for either camera or entrance. Lots of people took the ride on the day since it was weekend. The boat was pretty much old but in good condition. Here is the video I took during boat ride. No music this time. The video is focused on lake and lake view rather than at passengers on board and boat itself. Hope you will enjoy the video.

As always the video was composed using KDENLIVE. The video is also available in HD quality. The encoder is H.264 with 12k bitrate and 384kbps audio bitrate (AAC).

The boat ride is available from 10AM to 6PM.

Watch my other videos:


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