Where -- Kuntibetta is just a few kms from PanDavapura - around 120 kms from Bangalore. Drive down on the four-lane Mysore road and take the diversion to Pandavapura immediately after Mandya. If you are driving from Mysore, there is another diversion just after Srirangapatna that takes you to PanDavapura.
What -- Legend has it that the Pandavas spent sometime of their exile here (and so the name Pandavapura) and that Kunti had something to do with this hill (and so KuntibeTTa). There are actually two hills on either side of the temple there - one called BhimanabeTTa and the other called KuntibeTTa.
The blah -- Last minute plans of mine are always posted on BMC!! Just like the last trek I announced for Antargange, this one too was late on Friday night!! And despite four last minute cancellations (on Sunday morning!!) eight of us set off towards KuntibeTTa -- Sirish and Shirley in his superfast racing car (Ahem), Shivshankar, Uday, Lakshmi, Shreyas, Prashanth and myself.
The only uncertainity about reaching that place was Sirish's car ...... but it held up pretty well and reached Pandavapura in one piece! Right from the diversion on Mysore Road till our destination, all we could see along the route were sugarcane fields and small jaggery factories ..... the whiff of molasses all around!
And when we started off, it was as usual - Forget the existing route ...... and make your own road!! :)
And as it is with all small hills like this, the biggest hurdle between us and the top were the shrubs .... and we did pretty well to find a route with minimum hustling through shrubs enroute the top!!
The biggest excitement of the trek was the final climb we had to do. Not something spectacular - It was a slope with minimal holds, but with extensive support available from the rock adjacent to it. But then, to get everyone across, we had to have a human chain comprising Shreyas, Uday and myself pulling the rest of the junta up!!
I guess it took us less than a couple of hours to get to the top of KuntibeTTa. Uday managed this neat snap with all of us on top of Kuntibetta with BhimanabeTTa in the background. The Cauvery irrigation canals sweeping across in serpentine fashion with coconut trees adorning its sides was the best view that the top had to offer. The "Moti Talaab" on the other side wasn't really much to write about....
Shiv, PJ, Shirley, Lakshmi, Sirish, Shreyas and Prashanth
Photo Courtesy -- Udayabhanu
Back on the road, we took another diversion off Mysore road to go to Kokkre BeLLur - famous for the painted storks (kokkre) which make this place a breeding ground every year. But as our luck would have it, we were there in the wrong season!! Apparently, the major time for the birds to be there is January ..... with some early birds coming in as soon as November. We stopped for some more time at the lake nearby before heading back to Bangalore.