Plane B

Akkayamma Betta, behind the Kempegowda International Airport, is becoming popular as a pandemic-approved destination for plane spotting, with wide open spaces and beautiful sunsets

This is probably a sign of the times. A time when we’re forced to seek out simple pleasures while staying mindful of social distancing and avoiding crowded indoor spaces. A small hillock in north Bengaluru is turning into a popular destination for plane spotting. Akkayamma Betta, behind the Kempegowda International Airport, is attracting crowds who have rediscovered the simple pleasure of watching big birds take off and land. The spot is a vantage point because it is elevated, easily accessible and close to the airport. For ages, flight spotting has been a great passion for Bengalureans. It is common to see people trying ways and means to watch the big birds during the biennial Aero India show, finding their secret hideouts, without entering the official venue. People also gather on the flyover near the airport or in Devanahalli’s interior roads for that perfect shot of a plane reaching for the skies.

Akkayamma Betta finding favour with crowds to spot planes has been a new development. The hillock is well known among the locals for its temples. It has an asphalted road till half-way up the hillock, and then one can walk up the rest of the way. Recently, visitors have been heading towards the northern side of the hillock where you can sit down and watch the panoramic view, wide-open spaces and planes landing and taking off from KIA.

Nanda Kumar, a techie said, “Post lockdown, many people like me have been scouting places which are less crowded and less popular. I happened to come across this place and was amazed to see the planes so clearly. I have been coming here on the weekends with my family, to sit on the hillock and watch the planes land and take off. My kids love coming here.”


Chandan Gopinath, another techie said, “I have always loved spotting planes. I also use several apps that help me understand which flight is in the air. This has become a favourite hangout for my friends and me.”


Ramya Gowda is another regular at this spot. “It is a great place for families. Not many people know about this spot and the place is quite clean.

During this time of the year when the visibility is comparatively better, the view is great. Many people prefer to stay here in the evenings when the weather is cool. Besides the sight of the planes, you also get to watch beautiful sunsets, as the sun sinks behind the Devanahalli highway.”

Rangappa Gowda, a local, finds it amusing that a spot he grew up playing in is suddenly attracting the city folk. “I have been coming here since I was a child. We didn’t have a road then and we used to take a mud road from the southern side to the top. However, as the temples became famous, the roads were developed.

After the pandemic, we are seeing a surge in visitors and people come here to watch flights as well. I feel that this is one of the best spots to watch planes. People say they can never tire of watching planes land and take off. The table-top hillock makes a great perch for plane spotting.”

The hillock is also made up of large boulders, of different shapes and sizes, which have become selfie backdrops.

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Sagar Biswas

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