During my stay at Bangalore from 8th to 22nd June, 2008, I had 3 weekend holidays to spare. As I had already done some local sightseeing, e.g., a visit to the famous Lal Baug and had also undertaken a trip to Mysore during my last visit, I could leave out these most common options. I had wanted to see Hampi. But that is too far from Bangalore and also requires time and so discarded. Some of my colleagues went to Mysore & Ooty and another group to Coorg. But both these involved hectic traveling over 48 hours. I was not willing to travel like that., at least not my concept enjoying a trip.
After a bit of Googling, I wanted to go to the Hogennekal falls. Then my old friend, Mr. Murli, whom I had met during the trip to Lakshadweep, suggested me that I should think of going to Sivansamudram falls rather than the Hogennekal falls. He told me that Hogennekal is facing water shortage and is worth visiting only if it raining which means more water is released into it. It is about 170-180 km from Bangalore. I had checked with the KSTDC site and found that they have a bus tour to Sivanasamudram which can be taken on weekend.
Somehow even this trip did not materialise. Therefore my brother decided to take us to one of the happening place near Bangalore -- the Wonder La amusement park.
Wonder La experience:
The park is advertised as the largest amusement park in India. It is also said to have the highest number of imported rides. Located some 28 km on the Bangalore -Mysore highway and then 2km off it. I thought that one needs a vehicle to visit the park. But I found there that one can take the BMTC city bus no. 226 from the Majestic (or the Kempe Gowda Bus Terminal) bus stand near City Railway Station. This bus ply between the majestic and the Wonder La. The park also runs a shuttle service from the highway to the park.
The 600 bucks entry fee (with taxes) for adults and 450 for child (above 90cm) on weekends is certainly not cheap by any means. But there was a good crowd which indicates that the park is a happening place and is doing good business. For your information, they accept cards at the ticket counters.
On entering the park, I found that it is well maintained. Signboard and displays were good and were put up in a thoughtful manner. Take the example of the Cloak room facility. It offers boxes in two size - small for 20 and big for 30 bucks. To help one understand the size of the boxes they have displayed samples at the counter. May be a very small thing, but thoughtful and very useful.
We started as per the map handed out at the entrance. The rides are categorized as normal, moderate or high thrill rides. We had enjoyed almost all the normal rides. After trying few moderate thrill ride, we decided to ride the high thrill ride called Drop Zone. Few seconds into the ride, I thought what bug had bitten me to do this. Thankful that the torture lasted barely 1 min. Drop zone is probably the least torturous of the high thrill rides. We wondered as to how people get into some of the high thrill rides like Twisters, Mixers, Hurricanes, etc. One will get dizzy by just looking at them. Just imagine getting twisted, turned up and down like being in a mixer! Other rides about which I still remember are the Dungeon of Horror- a visit to ghost castle, and Cine Magic - a virtual roller coaster train ride into a mine. There also was a laser cum musical fountain show. We enjoyed the dry rides till lunch so that we do not have to change cloths. Wet cloths are not allowed in some of the rides. Food is very reasonably priced. After the lunch, we changed clothes and headed for the wet rides. My little daughter really enjoyed being in the pool. We had finished the wet rides with the penultimate wave dance of the day. Changing into dry attire, we headed for the Skywheel, a giant rotating wheel stationed atop a 13 storied tower. It was dark by then. Summing it up, we had thoroughly enjoyed a full day.
It was almost 7 when we had started for home. Traveling via the NICE road, we had good measure of what Govt apathy towards development can mean. I was told that the NICE road, a proposed toll road, could not be made operational even after many years because of the might of Devegowda clan who had ruled Karnataka for last five years, apparently for they have not got their share of bribe. The road is complete except for that kilometer or so stretch near Bannerghatta road for which land has not been made available. Maneuvering the one kilometer non existent road in the darkness was a nightmare. Despite our care, we could not avoid hitting a protruded boulder. Fortunately no damage was done to the bottom of the vehicle and we reach home safely on time for dinner.