Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Trip to Coorg

This weekend I visited Coorg, which was in my list from a long time. Coorg also known as Kodagu is well known hill station of Karnataka and famed for its luscious greenery, coffee farms and Kaveri water streams flowing through the valley. I have been in Coorg before but mostly stayed in the resort only on last trip except a trekking. It was Orange county resort which is one of the luxurious resorts in this country and we enjoyed every bit of it on being there. This time plan was to visit Madikeri. We were five people on this trip and it was a journey by car. We started early at five in morning on Saturday. Starting early means you can save minimum one hour from Bangalore traffic. Reaching Kengeri road from Marathalli took one hour only. Early morning drive is always a pleasure. In next one hour we stopped at a Kamath restaurant and had good breakfast of traditional south Indian foods including dosa and idlis. After getting recharged, we started again and reached to Srirangapatna in next one hour. There we took diversion from Mysore road and drove on KRS dam road to skip the Mysore city traffic. We used the GPS on phone to make sure that we are not heading in a wrong direction. Road was not very good and had bad patches. After next 18 KMs of village side road, we hit the Madikeri road again. Road after that was picturesque and with a great view full of green landscape. We stopped in between and had some good photo shots. By eleven we reached to Madikeri after a 260KM drive. Just before the town, we saw a Shiva temple on the hill and visited it, which is named as Bhadrakaleswari temple. After that we moved to our resort, Hotel Mayura Valley View. This is a KSTDC maintained hotel. I was apprehensive about this choice as this is a government run hotel and some reviews on Internet were also not very good. I booked it due to proximity to major attractions of the town and good price but this hotel was a pleasant surprise. This is situated next to Raja's seat. Rooms were big and well maintained. You can get the same valley view what you get from Raja's seat, from almost all of the rooms. This hotel was a real value for money. We checked-in, got ready quickly for lunch and it was delicious. After taking a small rest we left for Abbey falls first.

Abbey falls is about 8KMs from the resort and the road is narrow and with lot of turns. Driving was tough and view outside was of lush green deep jungle. Sooner we reached there and parked our car near entrance. From there it was a short walk downwards to reach the falls. There was a massive flow from falls as it was monsoon time. It was a soothing experience. There was a hanging bridge also to get the good view of falls. After spending some good time there, we moved back to Madikeri town. Next we went to see the Madikeri fort which is now converted to District colectrate. It was a small fort which is being used as office now. Fort was surrounded by decent walls and we could see some old small palaces and chapels. A museum is inside the premises to showcase the Madikeri history but we skipped that part. It was evening now and so we moved to Raja's sit to watch sunset. Raja's seat is well maintained garden with a sunset point and gives the breath taking valley view. There is a toy train for hardly one KM long track inside the garden. We enjoyed this shortest ever train journey a lot. Then we moved to the valley view point. We could see the great Coorg valley from there. We sat there for some time to enjoy the quiteness. Weather was getting cold and valley was full of roaming clouds and misty fogs. As sun can be hardly seen in that weather, so we skipped the sunset and left for the market. Madikeri is a small but decent market. We purchased a raincoat, a jacket and other stuffs. Then we moved back to resort. After spending some time in chit-chat, we went to the restaurant for dinner. They took a lot of time to take order but food was served very quickly and it was very tasteful. 

Next morning we left the resort little late than our earlier plan. Morning was very pleasant and misty. We drove to Kushalnagar to visit Tibettian Golden temple. We reached there at nine o'clock. The temple which is one of the biggest settlement of Tibettian in this country is beautiful. When we reached, it was their pray time so we got a glimpse of Tibettian pray rituals. We had the breakfast nearby and after a short shopping we moved to Nisargadhama which is at bank of Kaveri river. We crossed the Kaveri river by a hanging bridge. This place was a kind of small jungle with a zoo and some tree top sitting place to enjoy the surroundings. We had a short walk in the jungle before we came out. Now we started back for Bangalore. In this trip we skipped two major attraction of coorg,  Talakaveri and Dubbare elephant camp but were happy to have two great days. In next three hours we reached to Channapatna. In between we had a decent lunch and faced traffic in Mandya and Srirangapatna. In Channapatna we stopped near a toy shop. Channapatna is very famous for its wooden toy factories. We could not visit a factory there but everyone of us was quite amazed with the toys they make. I could never imagine that the wooden toys can meet the functionality and attractiveness of Chinese plastic toys. We bought few toys and then started again for Bangalore. Once we entered the city it was full of traffic chaos due to metro work. It took around two hour drive in city to reach back to home in Marathalli. Overall this trip was one of the best. Thanks to my brother-in-laws for a long and smooth driving. We enjoyed the misty Coorg trip a lot.