Bengaluru city, like most metropolises around the world, comes with its regular fare of tourist trappings. Not many, however, know that the IT hub is surrounded by some untapped natural gems ideal with many hidden surprises, such as Hesaraghatta. Plan a weekend getaway and explore the landscape while staying at Our Native Village.
Albert Einstein said: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Sometimes, being surrounded by a natural environment is the best way to find some much-needed ‘stillness’ in the chaos of daily living and also reconnect with your true inner self. A trip to Our Native Village located in the bountiful village of Hesaraghatta is bound to uplift your spirits in more ways than one.
A treat to sore eyes
This small town has more visual spectacles and thrills to satisfy an outdoor enthusiast. The Hesaraghatta Lake, for example, is a manmade reservoir that spans a massive 1,110 acres (approx). This fresh-water lake was created in the year 1894 across the Akravathy River by Mysore’s Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar under the supervision of then Mysore Dewan Sir K Sheshadri Iyer—to meet the drinking water needs of the city.
Monsoons last just a few months but that is when the lake springs to life. It resembles a sublime landscape painting—with cloudless skies, soothing still water and vast swathes of green. It is during the rains that Hesaraghatta transforms into a biodiversity hotspot, attracting a host of migratory birds. It is a must-do destination for birdwatchers and photographers who love birding and photographing migratory birds from Europe and Central Asia. When the lake thrives during monsoon, it attracts water-dependent birds like the northern shoveler, northern pintail and garganey, common redshank, common greenshank, wood sandpiper, common sandpiper, black-winged stilt and little-ringed plover.
According to a report in The Times of India, migratory ducks that breed near the Arctic Circle make a 12,000 km-long-journey to the Hesaraghatta Lake in search of habitat. Birdwatching enthusiasts and photographers will have ample opportunities to photograph rare birds, such as a wide variety of eagles (short-toed snake eagle, white-eyed buzzard, lesser spotted eagle, greater spotted eagle, and tawny eagle) and Falcons (lesser kestrel, common kestrel and red-headed falcon, known to frequent the area). Also found are Indian peafowl, cuckoos, wren-warblers, pipits, larks, drongos and bush chats.[NM1]
Take prior permission to stop by at the Byalkare Peacock Sanctuary adjoining the lake. It is perhaps the only reserve in the world that lies in a close vicinity to a big city.
Live like a local
A resort managed by Niraamaya Retreats, Our Native Village celebrates the simple joys of living and lets its guests experience life in a rural setting without compromising on contemporary luxuries and amenities. The resort is highly recommended for the modern traveler seeking experiences of a lifetime. Keeping up with the village theme, the buildings’ structure is reminiscent of traditional architecture with its thatched roofs and stone seating areas at the entrance. Even the pool has been tiled with sandstone, evocative of natural ponds.
A stay here is bound to bring families closer, as you can spend hours satisfying the inner-child in you with village games like gilli danda, lagori, bullock cart rides, kite flying, horse-riding (seasonal), and milking the cow, catapult firing, and cycle tyre racing. Or playing cricket, badminton, and kabaddi or exploring the resort grounds on a bicycle.
You could have an evening picnic or a night camp with a bonfire. Recent additions like trampolines, a basketball court and ATVs puts a modern spin to this otherwise earthy setting. A trip to the organic farm and vegetable garden is a must too.
Book your getaway with either family or friends to leave the claustrophobic city-life behind. The beautiful rural town of Hesaraghatta and the unique Our Native Village will satiate the inner child in you, help you reconnect with family, friends, and nature and revitalise your senses.