Monday, March 21, 2016

Vani Vilasa Sagara Reservoir (Mari kanive), Hiriyur

Today's travel tale is from our visit to Maari Kanive near Hiriyur. Expansive landscape, valley of greenery garnished by vedavathi river & windmills, surely lures people towards Maari Kanive.



We started at 10:30PM from home. Fortunately no traffic snarls (even at Muthyalammanagar railway gate). Comfortable drive till Nagasandra toll gate and later on windy drive 8-). The trail past Tumkur absolutely fantastic. The 6 lane road with perfect design of highways enabled us seamless drive. The guard rails are erected along either side of highway. The metal barriers and the trenches make sure no trespassers enter the main highway. Moreover, the huge bulwarks nearby village limits easily disables jay-walking. That does not mean it is people averse. Frequent sky bridges and under-bridges are constructed for people to cross highway smoothly.

However the Indian mentality has broken the guard walls and metal barriers at few places which people make use to distract speeding highway traffic. They pose highest danger since the buses stop in midst of expressway. Despite the constant patrol of highway authorities and presence of lay-byes, trucks follow their usual psyche of parking in midst of roads and constantly jeopardizing smooth traffic. Nevertheless, despite the mentioned hurdles, one can easily cover a distance of 90 kms from Tumkur to Hiriyur in less than an hour. It was marvellous drive with arms bearly on stick, legs barely on clutch & break peddles (except at toll gates), and hardly any rotation of steering wheel.

After Hiriyur, one has to bank upon either local or GPS to spot deviation towards SH-24. Once spotted, the path once again is smooth drive for about 20kms. Proper signboards are in place which guides visitors towards reservoir spot. Last few kms, we drove along the route depicted by signboards rather than detour shown by GPS.We reached the spot around 1:30PM, which is healthy drive for 3hours with no hassles. A short drive along the muddy+ballast road lead us to the entrance gate of Maari Kanive. The path is under construction and by this time hopefully completed! A short walk towards the entrance gate leads us to magnificent landscape of reservoir nestled in natural beauty horned by windmills.

As expected, I was exhilarated to view the astonishing landscape of the place. The source of the reservoir is Vedavathi river originating from Western Ghats. This place is known as Vani vilas saagara reservoir since it is situated near Vani vilasa pura village. It is prominently called with name of "Mari Kanive" meaning "Mari Valley" (Mari is incarnation of Goddess Durga and generally worshiped in rural Karnataka) due to the presence of Marikamba temple nearby dam. Numerous devotees visit this place and presence of many pooja related stalls are proves the fact. The best part of reservoir is you are allowed to stroll along the top of dam and inhale the fragrance of natural scent. Due to untoward incidents, many of the reservoirs have abolished visitors entering the summit of dam. This dam is one which is still unaffected by such rules. Before such rules are enacted, be sure to visit and dabble with nature for few hours. It is possible to climb down towards the base of dam but please refrain from such nasty acts. It may lead to disaster either due to slippage or crocodiles which will hamper further tourism activities.

There is no parking fee, no entrance fee but free monkey menace :). This time I pulled stray twig to fend off monkeys in case required. Be wary of people masquerading as guides. Do not owe even a penny if you stumble across money seekers. Access to food resource is also feeble. Hiriyur is the best place for savoring the lunch and spotting good ones should not be problem at all. There are numerous highway side hotels & dhabas but I am unaware of their taste & quality. The best would be to carry home cooked food and have feast in midst of placid nature provided you can fend off monkeys. Monkeys are never submissive you know ;). There are quite number of tree platforms to have relaxing lunch.

Two resting places are constructed at either ends of dam for relaxation. It might have been constructed to facilitate emperor's excursion.

Some of excerpts from Wikipedia:

"Measuring 162 ft by 1300 ft this reservoir has two mantapa (pavilion halls) built in the saracenic style and is considered an engineering marvel making it a popular weekend picnic spot.

Vaani Vilasa was name of younger daughter of Mysore Maharaja"

After an exhilarating stay, we started back towards Bangalore at 3PM. A brief not so good lunch, was enough to cater our hunger. A long yearned journey finally earned this Saturday. Probably a beautiful melting Sun at the horizon would have been perfect complimentary. I was contended with whatever I could experience and as always there is always another day to visit!

Ideal time: Monsoon season (preferablu August end or September)

Route: We took the path shown by signboards but GPS shows detour. GPS path is in-fact ideal route which leads directly to crest and roads are perfect.

Toll fees: Will cross Rs.200/- but worth the money.

Finally, do watch video of our visit:



  1. WOnderful narration and lovely pictures. Surprising there is no security at the dam and photography is allowed! Good thing!



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