A Trip To Yelagiri Hills

It was a chilly morning on the 5th of Feb’ 2017 and everything around had an air of excitement as we headed to a hill station for a quick get away at the weekend. At just one beck & call, children were up and as excited they were about the adventure, got ready with their treasure of games.

With our sweaters and caps, we decked up ourselves and in a Qualis vehicle started our journey at 7am from Bangalore.The driver (hired taxi) was to be blamed for late-coming and we set off to join with a friend’s family.

Breezing past the highways of Bangalore and the hustle and bustle of the crowd, we soon found ourselves engulfed in the serene beauty of nature. The coconut trees, the plantains and the green pastures welcomed us on the route to Tirupattur. Gliding through 11 hairpin curves, we made it to the hilltops of “Yelagiri” and were mesmerized by the beauty and the calm. The fresh air filled our nostrils and we reached our destination by 11.30am. With the excitement at its peak, children longed to go for boating. The ‘Punganoor Lake Park’ offers paddle boating as well as row boating and the scenery around is breath- taking. We opted for Row boating and went the length & breadth of the lake. This was just the beginning as more adventures awaited at the “Wild Adventure Zone”. Here, the children lost themselves completely with numerous games – Archery, car riding, wall climbing, zip-lining etc. Before they could venture more, it was a much-needed lunch break. Having savoured the local specialties paddu, mirchi, vada and several varieties of fruits – litchi, jackfruit, bell fruit, panir, Guava, etc, we headed to a farmhouse. A beautiful place to unwind and the perfect place to rest was a huge room with 2 double beds that was kingly in size.

Children got their Shuttle bats and Frisbee to play, while two of us settled for chess on the cozy bed. Evening came, with a plan to the Murugan temple and Venkataramana temple, after which we had to go to the nature park. After fulfilling prayers to the deities, it was getting dark and we cut short the nature park to the musical fountain. With the colourful water sprinting to the songs of popular music, children had a good time munching candy and chips. After a long day, it was time to call it off with a quick dinner almost half asleep.

The next morning, we woke up re-energized for a much awaited trek to the Swamimalai Hills. With a cup of hot tea/coffee and bournvita, all of us tied our shoelaces with the trek pants and water bottles to climb up to the peak of these famous hills. Starting at 8.30am the way led us deep into the forest, surrounded by huge trees, with steps, rock stones and a muddy path. By 10 am, we successfully reached the peak to have experienced this feat of climbing the hills and feel the beauty around us. The happiness and the pleasure felt can only be experienced. Having spent almost an hour, eating snacks, biscuits, watermelon, papaya, raw mangoes, we took a bow at the temple and started our trek down the lane. Balancing the uneven ground, we reached around 12 p.m to the base.

It was time to check out from the farm house and we readily did so, because the next thing was the waterfall. Dreaming of waters in the hot afternoon, brought smiles on the children and at the same time they were tired of the long trek. The Jalagambarai waterfalls was situated around 40 km from Yelagiri and we fell asleep as soon as we headed our vehicle. The afternoon nap did wonders, as could be seen with children and adults equally excited to jump and soak in the falls. A neat flight of 80 stairs took us to the waterfall and everyone willingly drenched.

We returned from the falls and after a small tea break, we said ‘goodbye’ to Yelagiri and started back to Bangalore.

A wholesome family package with the best of refreshing change. Recommend anybody for a quick getaway (170 kms from Bangalore).

This place being very close to Bangalore, it is less travel and more fun. I would recommend anybody to give it a try and I assure it will be worth every penny spent. Children loved the games and the boating, while adults would appreciate the nature and the varied fruits.

5 Easy, Fun, and Affordable Things To Do Near Houston With Kids

If you’re traveling in the coastal area of Texas, you should make your way to Houston. Not only is it a landmark city in the Lone Star State, there are also a number of things to do near Houston that appeal to everyone, especially if you’re traveling with your kids.

If you’re in the Houston area and you’ve got the kid with you, you need to take advantage of these amazing offerings for families:

1. Houston Symphony – The Houston Symphony is offering the Free Neighborhood Series, a collection of concerts they are offering throughout the summer at numerous locations throughout the city. This even includes a concert for the commemoration of the 4th of July. This means that no matter where you are, you will be able to take in some serious culture with one of the country’s best symphonies. If your kids are interested in getting an up-close look at the musician’s instruments, an “instrument petting zoo” starts about an hour prior to each concert.

2. Summer Story-Time Tours at Rienzi – If your kids are into reading, books, and actively interacting with stories, the Museum of Fine Arts hosts Summer Story-Time Tours at Rienzi (housed as part of the museum) on Wednesdays throughout the majority of summer on Wednesdays… and it’s free. You can also find some great story-time & activities at Houston Public Library locations throughout the city

3. Movies – Since we’re looking toward the summer, you might find it important to keep the kids calm, collected, and cool (in both temperature and temperament). Luckily, there are a number of theaters offering tickets to movies for as low as $1.00!

4. The Kemah Boardwalk – The Kemah Boardwalk is open daily providing fun for everyone. Located just 20 miles from downtown Houston, the Kemah Boardwalk is home to fabulous waterfront restaurants, amusements, charming retail stores, festivals and seaside shows every day. There are a number of ticket options available depending on the day of the week, so you can find a pricing option that works for your family. Moreover, the different rides have restrictions as to who can ride, but you can review their policies on their website prior to traveling.

5. Space Center Houston – Space Center Houston opened in 1992, and since then has welcomed nearly twenty million visitors to its 250,000-square-foot educational complex. Space Center Houston is a leading science and space learning center which your kids will absolutely love. It serves as one of Houston’s top attractions (tops for international visitors), the Official Visitor Center of the NASA Johnson Space Center, and Space Center Houston is the only Smithsonian Affiliate in the greater Houston area. It’s can be a little pricey, so if you’ve taken in the low-cost or free attractions throughout the city, it’s one of the premier places to invest. Just keep in mind that if your kids are STEM-oriented, this is the place to be!

Finding things to do near Houston isn’t hard to do, but definitely do your homework prior to your visit so as to know where things are happening. This bit of forethought will make your next trip to the Houston area one for the ages.