Thursday, July 21, 2016

Skywatch Friday - An evening in Hebbal Lake

Once again after a brief lull from stagnated trips, it was time for another short visit to nearby places. It has been long time since we traveled far and being monsoon, there is eagerness to fly towards Western Ghats. Not sure if I can plan in subsequent months but there is one. As of now, we are restricting to neighboring places and this time we chose the Hebbal lake for short evening stroll. We started around 5PM and the stay lasted till 6:30PM beyond which the lake visit is closed. Here are some of HDR shots composed during our visit. The sky was clouded and the effulgent sun was masked by band of rushing monsoon clouds. The vibe over troposphere was disappointing for photo shoot as well. Hence not much to hype about the shots :).

There is not much rejoice inside the Hebbal Lake garden. The entire area is covered with vegetation and no scope for photographers to shoot. Some good perception can be drawn, if you can break through the short turf situated along the walk trails. However, there may threat of snakes as well. The area of stroll is also limited with security personnel constantly whistling and administering people movement. The lawn at the entrance provides ample space for children to play. All of these bear entrance fee Rs.20 per person with extra 10 for still camera.

Despite the beauty, the lake lacks best of views for photographers. Authorities should consider constructing a walk path for nature lovers. The view from  summit of Hebbal flyover can provide efficacious pictures if you can manage traffic mayhem. Apart from that, views from fence along the NH-7 towards Airport can also prove worthy if your lens can sneak through the holes :)

Linked to Skywatch Friday

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Devouring Delicacies at Food Street, VV Puram, Bangalore

It was quiet Sunday evening with monsoon clouds hovering over the busy city, bulk trees shrouding the Sajjan Rao circle, the shutters down, sparse traffic, void parking spaces. Even roads breathed sigh of relief momentarily from irksome wagons and their strident honks. There is silence everywhere including the temple. But as the legs tread towards the VB Bakery, you witness storming crowd thronging towards street filled with flavors of ghee, radiating blue flames, burning flat stoves, fizzing dosa batter, boiling bajjis and infinite flips of North Karnataka rottis, teaming up to stimulate the tummies of famished souls. All of sudden the dormant city erupts with storming citizens relishing the street food. Yes, it is Bangalore's eminent Food Street situated near Sajjan Rao circle and welcome to the abode of Indian snacks & eateries. The crowd amplifies as the dusk settles over the region and clock ticks towards 6:30PM. Here are the glimpses of short photowalk as well foodhunt along the food street. Amidst the mad rush and shoving crowd, glad that nobody glared at sneaky camera [apparently though :D].

This is not the end, there is more to go!
So how do we start?! You will be tempted to grab everything at once but wait a minute, you need to choose wisely. Everything bears a limit :). We started strolling along the street and prepared menu of our own! My wife was startled and simultaneously immensely excited to taste each one of them.

We began food journey with Masala Dosa at Idli Mane and it was decilcious :). Wow! such a smooth, tasty and mouth watering coconut chutney. The taste was too good! This restaurant also serves other varieties such as Rottis, rice bath & variety of dosas. Apart from that they also sell holige (obbattu) & Pav bhaji.

Which one you want?

Once satisfied with dosa, its time to reach to "Dev Saagar" to have some snacks. We ended up eating only Jamoon here since both of us showed no interest in chats. The taste was average.

enthusiastic eaters :D

There is a shop named Holige Mane. Unfortunately we spotted everything except Holige.

No holige!
After Jamoon, our next destination was "The Chaat shop" to savor few unique snacks. We chose cutlet sandwich in the Chat shop which was centre of attraction in entire street. Unfortunately, the item did not meet our expectation. Apart from this item, the outlet also sells Paneer Samosa, Samosa, cutlet, corn cutlet and wide variety of chats. They also sell potato twists which is special here. Not sure what it is composed of and neither I had curiosity in it.



potato twist

enthusiastic eaters :D

After disappointing run with Jamoon and cutlet, we wished to refresh ourselves with frigid items. There was tussle between having kulfi & Badam milk and we finally opted for cold Badam milk as per the wish of wife.

The Kulfi shop

Ice Gola

We walked towards "Bombay Badam milk & lassi" shop.  While glancing at the available options, our mind veered towards kesar lassi. It turned out be wise decision and enjoyed the yummy lassi with dry fruits topping. Bombay badam & lassi point is costlier but up-to the quality. They also sell fruit custards, ras malai, basundi and many more variants.

Hot Badam Milk


The yummy kesar lassi
Relishing yummy lassi rejuvenated our quest for further snacks. The next walk was towards the tiny bajji shop located at the end of street. The crowd provided initial feedback on the quality of bajjis and it was evident after tasting it. Once again a fabulous taste of crisp and hot bajjis and the crowd keeps growing. The worker inside keeps pouring the freshly prepared bajjis and the stock drains out swiftly. This ritual goes on & on and crowd never subsides. Despite the ever increasing crowd, the shop workers though never lose temper and deliver with discipline.

Hot & Tasty Bajjis
Short and sweet has more taste. Our bajji shop (tiny and simple shop) has the best crowd cramming to get hold of hot bajjis like potato, banana and masala vada. But the item in high demand was whole capsicum bajji which sells like hot cake. Every bajji is smeared with pudina chatni, a pinch of chilli powder, pinch of lemon juice and finally a lump of vegetable mix. This combination delivers unique and mouth watering taste to simple bajjis!

After spice, it's sweet time again. I desperately wanted to taste Holige and chose Vasavi food centre for the same. It was disappointing again since the quality was not even average :(. This is not the outlet to buy Holige atleast.

Vasavi mane tindi

Hot paddus
Our final destination was arya vaishya refreshments which hosts unique snacks like curd kodubale. Apart from the snacks, it also serves north Karnataka rottis and variety of indigenous sweets. The kodubele taste was average for us (may be because of overcrowded tummy!).

Hot Curd Kodubale under making

There is also A Rajastani Parotha Point for North Indian food. We did not buy food items here and cannot substantiate the taste from our side

Everything Ghee here!
Thats the end of our food hunt lasting for almost 2hrs. Even though the satisfaction level was low at some joints, it was worth visiting to witness the congregation of vivid food items. Also we plan to visit again to experience remnant outlets. If you are in Bangalore, do visit this place and experience the spirit of indigenous food items with open ambiance & simplicity.

The spirit of food street!

Here are brief highlights which I wish to share:

  • First and foremost, the tastes are relative. Whatever feedback provided here is our sole experience and does not represent masses.
  • Predominantly South Indian food with North Indian culinary limiting to the snacks.
  • Beware!! While waiting for orders, do not rest arms on stray surface, it may be a fuming furnace :).
  • The food street as I saw had only Vegetarian items.
  • Resist the impetuous to eat excessively too ;)
  • Most of the shops serve hot (if not fresh). Due to intense competition, everyone strives for better customer service
  • Holige in Vasavi centre is average, try in Idli Mane or Aryavaishya refreshment.
  • There are two idli mane shops. We ate in the shop with expansive area.
  • For chinese food fans, there is a tiny shop as well
  • Old age people may find it difficult to eat here due to lack of seating facilities
  • Group visit would be the right idea which enables tasting pinch of every food item.

On closing note, after witnessing the foodscape, if you feel the street does not match to your opulence, then don't  worry. The Mayyas restaurant is right beside the Sajjan rao circle ;)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Skywatch Friday - Resplendent Sky

Last weekend I had an opportunity to grab few hide & seek activities along the troposphere. Around evening time, the dark monsoon clouds shrouded the sky above us and it pounded the surface for 15 mins. The scene after the rains were simply magnificent. The rains leave beautiful painting after brief storm activity. The clouds & sun were playing hide & seek desperately to have appearance over the earth. The thick nimbus clouds covered the blazing sun while the Sun intermittently sneaking through the dense cloud cover producing ray pattern. It was looking as if the stage was set over the sky with monsoon playing the drama. The staggering skies past the precipitation filled the SD card of my optical friend and it was fun throughout the stage play :D. Here is summary of visual events occured on the blazing day. Hope you enjoy the same!

And finally a short collection of timelapse of the various scenes.

Linked to Skywatch Friday

Friday, July 1, 2016

दुर्गा देवी दुरिता निवारिणि

Goddess Durga & Lord Ganapathy are prominent deities being worshiped in coastal Karnataka. One of the primary worship performed to appease Goddess Durga is the Durganamaskara pooja. Predominantly conducted during night of Full Moon day, this pooja lasts for almost 3 hrs. The worship happens with red kepala flower (Jungle flame) found along the local hillocks which is said to be favorite of Goddess Durga. During the evening hours, colorful sketches are drawn using Rangoli powder glittered by oil/ghee lit lamps. Apart from kepala flower many other variants are also used especially Jasmine. The pooja begins with chanting of Durga Saptashati and concludes with culmination of the same. The primary offering done is Gudanna which is also known as Mudde paramana. Gudanna is intensely soaked in ghee, banana & cashew which makes it yummy to savor :). At the end of pooja, the colored area is completely filled with lumps of vivid flowers which makes it more attractive.

End of day, guests will be served with tasty meal as well.


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