Wednesday 13 February 2013

A small dam and a little water

How about a half day picnic from Bangalore which includes a drive along one of the most busiest highways in Karnataka, eating out at a folk theme hotel, seeing one of the best folk museums in south India and then heading for a small dam with a little water.
This is the perfect picnic spot for a family with young children. The water is not too deep and there is not much traffic. There is quite and calm and the place is as isolated as they come. This is the Kanva Reservoir just a little away from the hustle and bustle of Mysore Bangalore Highway.
Located near Ramanagar, the reservoir is a very small structure which was initially built in 1946 as an irrigation project. It dams the Kanva river, which is a small  tributary of Cauvery.  It has five automatic sluice gates, each with a displacement of 14,000 cusecs of water. It irrigates 776 hectares.
It has a small expanse of water but let me assure you that it is a bird watchers paradise. The Kanva river and the dam are named after the Kanva Maharshi  who lived in one of the many caves in the area.
There is a fisheries training institute on the other side of the reservoir and you can make out a yellow building which houses the institute. It was started to help local villagers in gaining employment as fishermen.
There is neither any hotel nor any eatery for miles around. So stop at Kamath Abiruchi on the highway which is one of the best known restaurants. The folk decor gives the hotel a distinct look and the food is good and tasty. Have your fill and go a little farther before heading for the reservoir. Once on the road to Kanva, the maddening traffic which you witnessed on the highway gives way to little or no traffic.
The road, patchy at places, meanders towards the reservoir. Carry food and water as you will not get anything except fresh air, serene surroundings and some birds. And, ah, a fairly medium sized spread of water to frolic and play.
Till the onset of monsoons, the water levels is barely above knee depth. Once the roans starts and the Kanva fills up, the sluice gates are opened and it is a treat to watch water gushing out with force.
Kanva reservoir is 69 kms from Bangalore and just 10 kms from Ramanagar.
The best route from Bangalore is to take the Mysore road, head to Ramanagar. Travel along and a little after Janapada Loka, take a right turn and you will come to a narrow road. Travel for seven kms and you will reach the reservoir.
On the way back, hop into the Janapada Loka, which is the best folk museum in south India. Have lunch again at Kamat Abiruchi before heading back to Bangalore and its maddening traffic. If you are still game for another outing, head to the many hills surrounding Ramanagar.  

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