Call of the wild

Weekend getaway

Call of the wild

As I immersed myself in A K Ramanujan’s beautiful folktale, ‘A Story and a Song’, one late Friday evening in January, I was surprised to learn that his birthplace is Mysuru.

Hence, a trip was planned, but we decided to do something different this time — a visit to Janapada Loka (for my husband and me) and Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (for our children).

How did we go?

We packed light and set out at 6 am in our XUV 500 on a chilly and clear Saturday morning. With two kids and an armed forces officer, I was busy oscillating between playing messy games with my children and maintaining travel decorum!  

Where did we go?

Our first stop was Kamat Lokaruchi, right next to Janapada Loka. We embarked on a sensory journey with the ‘rava dosa’, ‘mude idli’, ‘ragi dosa’ and the aromatic filter coffee. My children gorged on the hot ‘kesari bath’ to finish off breakfast.

Our next stop was Janapada Loka. This folk arts museum is unique and well-preserved. The life-size puppets in the Loka Mahal hall each tell a story and I was transported back in time imagining how these puppets would have made their way through many a village, coming alive, telling their tales to simple village folk.

Another display hall called the Lokamatha Mandira was of great interest to the children as they came across ancient vessels and steam cookers. We spent a couple of hours there and as we stepped out, we saw a group of geese waddling around, cackling happily as they were fed their lunch.

We then re-emerged in the busy highway traffic and drove to Mysuru. We had a double room booked at The Windflower Resorts in Mysuru. Little did we know then that it would prove to be the highlight of our trip.

By the time we reached the resort, it was late afternoon but the fatigue of the drive vanished when the large white cockatoo at the entrance of the resort cackled and noisily greeted us in. It was an effort to pull away the children from ‘Rosie’ (the cockatoo) to a tasty lunch in the resort’s restaurant Olive Garden.

The rest of the day was spent delightfully in the resort. My 13-year-old daughter found her calling in the swimming pool, while my son was trying his hand at the chess board. And I disappeared into the heavenly spa and indulged in a divine spa treatment. There were many indoor games that the children amused themselves with throughout.

The next morning we woke up early as we prepared ourselves for another adventure. We enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast buffet at Windflower. Sated and excited, we set out to Ranganathittu which is at Srirangapatna (on the road back to Bengaluru).

By mid- morning, we had purchased our boat ride tickets and found ourselves waiting in a queue for the boat. We were given life jackets and my children were thrilled to bits putting them on.

Going on the boat was a magical experience. We caught a glimpse of the different kinds of birds — kingfisher, cattle egret, wild duck, white ibis — and also the still marsh crocodiles. The children went crazy waiting for the crocodiles to move (they intend to go back to see if they have moved at all!).

The dense flora and fauna at Ranganathittu reminded us of a time gone by. The children reluctantly bundled into the car for a quick lunch at Adyar Ananda Bhavan. We reached home tired but happy and content at the end of an adventurous weekend!

(The author can be contacted at aparnaathreya@gmail.com

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