Trip to Manchanabele Dam and Backwaters

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Distance: Around 45 km from Bangalore City, 22 km from Mysore road and 14 km from Dodda Alada Mara or Big Banyan Tree.

Journey Time: 60 – 90 minutes if no traffic

How to reach there: If you are travelling from Bangalore, on Mysore road take the right turn besides Rajarajeshwari Dental College. Drive past Dodda Alada Mara. On the way you will find ISRO’s Moon Misson Control room at Byalu village. You will reach a junction ( Chikkappa Circle), take left and keep riding. After ISRO centre the road is bad for few KMs. Keep driving and then suddenly you will see water surrounded by small hills. Yes, you have reached your destination. Keep driving and then take right trun where it is written “Camp 1.5 km). This road will take you to the ground zero of Manchanabele dam backwaters.

Route: Bangalore – Mysore road – Dodda Alada Mara – Bayalu Village – Manchanabele dam

Where to eat: There used to be one Dhaba, not sure if it is still there.

Where to stay: No place to stay there.

Language Spoken: kannada, however Hindi or English is understood to an extent.

Manchanabele dam
Manchanabele dam

Manchanabele dam is small artificial dam erected by the government of Karnataka on river Arkavati for irrigation and drinking water in the village of Manchanabele. The dam is insignificant in terms of structure or architecture. But the beauty is in the backwaters it has created surrounded by stone structed rugged hills. This is very good for family picnic, friends outing or couples. If you are going there in the day then do take tent or large umbrella to escape the sun. One can go do various activities here – starting from bird watching, hiking, rock climbing, boating, photography or spend time in leisure. The sun set is awesome there.

Let me give a brief idea behind the trip.

Today afternoon around 2.30 pm me and my friend Deepak left for Manchanabele dam as per earlier Schedule. It was a 2 for a tango on a bike! We took the route Corporation – Mysore road flyover and soon we were on Mysore road. As we both were hungry, we decided to have food one of the many dhabas there. We expected delicious food at economic prices. We landed at Sankranthi Family Restaurant as the place looked pretty cool with huts. Here neither the price was economic nor the food was good. So the bottom line, you may avoid this place without any thought. Typically dhabas are good after Bidadi or around Mandya. Following this we rode for our destination. After, we were on the Dodda Alada Mara road, we were stopping often to take pictures. On the way you can find many farm and nurseries. After Big Banyan Tree one can find Devnagari Tapovan which teaches yoga and meditation. We continued riding enjoying the mystic rugged stone hills. Then came the ISRO Moon Mission control room at Bayalu village. We shot the two large radio antenas and a nice building. I have read about that in newspaper but dint thought that I will see it so soon. From here started a few kilometer of bad road and spray of free powder. But after sometime the road was good again but narrow. We kept asking the viillagers to make sure we are on the right track. We reached Manchanabele dam around 4.30 pm. Near the backwaters one country road goes below kissing the backwaters, we took that road and went to the shore of the backwaters. We had a nice photo session. Its a good picnic spot and looks like many people come here. But the bad part is people dumb eatables and wastages on the shore and water. The government may try to develop this place as a tourism spot. We boarded on our bike and rode little towards the hinterland but we were not sure if we had enough petrol. So decided to get back. The comming back was smooth and we reached Dodda Alada Mara in 20 minutes. We gave a brief stop there as Deepak did not see it. Here, a clever monkey snatched our Sprite bottle and was drinking in style. Just see how!

Following this we rode back and hit Mysore road by 6.20 pm. From then it was a battery of traffic. However, on the way we took a picture of a nice lake and park. Traffic took its tool on time on Mysore road and by the time we reached home it was over 8 pm.

7 thoughts on “Trip to Manchanabele Dam and Backwaters

  1. Well written report and description. I esp. like picture 2. I’ve never seen the Sunset at Manchinbele, since the road is treacherous, we usually head back while the light is still good.
    It is indeed sad to see rubbish strewn all over the place there at parts. I fear that any attempt to convert it to a picnic spot will only make matters worse. It may go the skandagiri way.

  2. Its always better not to make such places a tourist location. If done, it may destroy the serenity and the cleanliness of such places. Families should avoid strewing places with plastic covers and eatables.

  3. We had been to Manchina Bele Dam this weekend and We had the most horrid experience there!

    Short answer – We got robbed! Best of all, people who claim to be security guards did that.

    All we were doing is just taking some pictures of the scenic view and just walked nearer to the Dam.

    We felt that scene was nice and took some more snaps. 2 more guys came and taking some random pictures.

    Then suddenly 2 localites with sticks (claimed to be security) came to us and started abusing in very bad language. They snatched our expensive cameras and started to push us around. We were four and they started threatening to beat us and said no one should come to that area.

    We saw, there was no board that said so and we offered to delete photos if we were not supposed to take. They didn’t listen to us and Started abusing badly and they held our hands. We didn’t know what to do and later they asked money. They took 500Rs and quickly went away giving us some gyan saying you should take permission etc etc.

    All said done is, Manchina Bele is not safe and Dam employees themselves are robbers. When you enter Manchina Bele Dam area, there is a board that warns you of robbers. No wonder, Dam security and may be some localites are robbers and they are on the prowl to extort money. We had to pay 500Rs to get our Cameras back. Worst place!

    Adding this comment for others to be careful!

  4. Manchinabele is a awesome place with tons and tons of wild life. We frequent that place and happend to be in the backwater area by 7pm recently. We heard a lepord making a loud noise. after talking to a local there, we understood that the area has many such lepords. The villagers call these animals in local language as the ” Dodda Nai” (big size Dog). From the past few months these animals have taken away more than 20-25 sheep, 2-3 cows. This area is really good in wildlife. People interested in enjoying the real backwater scenes and wild life can do so by continuing the road towards north after averahalli village and climbing uphill on to the right and take a trek on the hill top and keep proceeding north. This terrain is rocky with thorn shrubs and native dry forest trees. towards the east the forest is rich in greenary. Carry enough water and food.
    lucky ones can find lepords, bears, wild boars, pleanty of hares, rare birds, peacocks and couple of snake varieties.
    but please go as a group, maintain silence, talk to locals in local language (far as possible).

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