Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A stroll through Shuka Vana, Mysore

If you are looking for a weekend getaway from Bangalore, Mysore is one of the place most of us choose. There are lot of things to do in Mysore which is calm, peaceful and pensioners paradise. Last weekend we visited sister in law place in Mysore. Kids were demanding trip to either the Zoo or Palace. Having seen them many times, we definitely weren't in a mood to go there. While contemplating a new place to visit, we decided to go to to Avadhoota Datta Peetam situated on the foothillls of Chamundi Hills.

The Avadoota Datta Peetam or Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Ashrama , as it is popularly known, is not any typical ashrama. The Ashrama, spread over a few acres, houses a Bonsai garden, lots of beautiful sculptures, a massive bird cage, a temple, prayer hall, vintage cars, a park, large Hanuman Statue and many more. Founded by His Holiness Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, Avadhoota Datta Peetham is a world-renowned institution for the social, moral, cultural and spiritual welfare of mankind.
You need at least a day, if you want to explore the whole of Ashram. Our visit was worth, since it caters to everyone's desires. It has a museum for museum lovers(which we skipped due to priorities  and time), Shuka Vana, a bird aviary  and a Bonsai garden for garden lovers. Apart from these it also has large statue of Lord Hanuman, Nada Peetham and Dattatreya Temple for the spirituals.

The Shukha Vana bird aviary encompasses more than 568 species of birds mainly parrots, macaws, horn bills etc most of them from the tropical countries either rescued or bought.  Entry is free to the Shuka Vana. Apart from beautiful birds, another major attraction of this aviary is feeding the birds at a nominal cost and getting clicked with them. I wouldn't recommend the taking photos with Macaws as it is slightly overpriced and the staff are rude. The use of mobile phones is strictly prohibited inside the aviary. The birds are enclosed in cages which is well maintained and taken care of. At the end of the day, I think a few of them are let free in an enclosure. Some of the cockatoos are very adept at mimicking what you say and it was so fun. My son was busy talking with it, seeing it talking back all of us were talking it with, and finally it got confused whom to mimic.

The jewel in the crown was the Kishkinda Moolika Bonsai garden. The entry to Bonsai Garden costs you rs 20, and its just awesome and very well maintained. Here you can see lots of Bonsai, one for each day of the year. Also these Bonsai's are kept with the name of the raaga. I have never been to Bonsai garden before and I was left stunned and thoroughly impressed by this collection.

Both Shuka Vana and the Bonsai garden are the award winning projects of Swamiji.
If you plan to stay or visit Mysore, Karnataka, don't forget to add this in your Must Visit list.