After a long time, I managed to plan a day-vacation along with my parents. The destination was Somanathapura. I had visited this place back in 2009 and even written about it in this post.
The plan was to start early in the morning, since we had planned this on a sunday, and we wanted to avoid the weekend crowd as much as possible by going early. We managed to start by 7:30 in the morning (quite late, if you ask me!). We decided to take the NH-209 (Kanakapura road) route instead of the Mysore road route that I had taken last time around. I prefer the NH-209 to Mysore road because of the lesser traffic and more scenic drive. Even though its a 2 lane highway (compared to the 4 lane Mysore road), the road is not too bad either. We had packed breakfast and made a stop after Malavalli at 9 am. We continued towards Somanathapura after breakfast and reached by 10 am. The road till Malavalli was very good. From there its 28kms to Somanathapura. This road is not that good and we needed close to an hour to get to the destination.
I was quite convinced that we were late and the place would be humming with scores of visitors, but was pleasantly surprised that there were hardly any people around! We got entry tickets from the ASI office and headed inside. It was quite hot. After making one round around the temple, we sat down in the cool shade under the stone structure. Even though it was hot, every now and then a gentle breeze would come around to refresh us.
My main intent of the trip was to click some photos. So, I headed out for a few more rounds. I had decided that I'll shoot at fixed focal lengths all this trip. I carried the UWA (11-16mm), 35mm and 100mm primes. I restricted myself to 11mm, 35mm and 100mm focal lengths. After shooting for close to 2 hours, I got back and sat for a while with my family and chatted about a bit. We started back by noon.
Since we wanted to have lunch before getting back home, we had to get to Mysore road (decent hotels absent on NH-209!). The drive from Malavalli to Maddur was hopeless, to say the least. Bumpy, patchy roads. Patches of asphalt seemed like bandages put on the road in a desperate attempt to heal the damaged surface! We reached the hotel on Mysore road almost half hour later than my earlier forecasted time. Added to this delay, we had to wait sometime at the hotel itself before we could get a table. After lunch, we headed back and got home by 4 pm.
A long time since a trip, this was a welcome day-vacation. Parents enjoyed the temple and the carvings. Me and my wife enjoyed the drive and photography. And this was a nice way to end a good, packed weekend after a long time :)