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A quiet weekend picnic spot

Take a day off and cool your heels by a reservoir



CALM SPOT Getting away from it all

Markandeya, the name of a sage, is the name of a well-known waterfall in North Karnataka. But a hill, a temple, a reservoir and a fish farm by the same name are in Kolar district too and they make for an interesting visit.

Two streams, one from Vokkaleri Hills (Kolar taluk) and the other from Tekal Hills (Malur Taluk) join near Budikote to form the Markandeya river. Its course is interesting. It flows southwards into the descending ghats forming a waterfall near Thamatamakanapalli, joins the Vrishabhavati and leaves Karnataka to enter Hosur Taluk of Tamil Nadu. Ultimately it joins the Pennar (Ponnaiyar).

Once upon a time, Markandeya was flowing over a distance of around 50 km. There were also 274 tanks of which the Markandeya Tank was the biggest. And the Markandeya Halla was one of the important streams of the Palar-Pennar basin.

Though the board giving details of the dam here is not clear, the name of Sir Mirza Ismail and the year 1940 on a plaque are visible. It is a masonry dam, constructed between 1939 and 1944. It is 61 ft high from the foundation and 1050 ft long. On a clear day, a view of the two streams with the hills in the backdrop and the water surface of the reservoir in front can mesmerise you.

The fish farm was established in 1942-43. Exotic and backwater fish varieties are bred here.

If you want to pursue the Markandeya story further, you may visit the typically Dravidian Markandeya Temple on the Markandeya Betta, two miles South East of Vokkaleri. The Markandeya jalashaya can be quiet a weekend picnic spot.

Fact file

Markandeya is 17 km from Bangarpet beyond Budikote. It has a good motorable road. There are two villages on the river bank, Toralakki and Gollahalli.

H.S. MANJUNATHA

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