Was waiting eagerly to update you what is happening at my end. We visited Coorg last weekend. We had taken aPTO on Friday and gone for that long awaited vacation to Coorg(Kodagu/Madikeri/Mercara).
We had done our reservations in Club Mahindra's Kodagu Valley resort six months back when we were in Pune. We didnt have a slightest idea that we would be going the serene place from Bangalore. We hired a car - I didnt want Manish to get tired while driving and not enjoy the place. Eva and Mummy were also excited.
Coorg is around 250 kms from Bangalore. So assuming that it would take 5 hours to reach, we decided to leave early so that Eva sleeps most of the time in car and we reach Madikeri without any hassles (and we avoid the traffic as well). We had instructed the driver to pick us from our place at around 6.30am.
We started at 7.15am from our place. Had home-made poha and bread-butter in the morning :). The traffic still could not avoided. When we reached the outskirts on Mysore road, we realised that the car was wobbling above 80kmph speed. We askedd the driver what was the problem. Initially he didnt speak up, but by that time, Manish had already figured out the problem (the fact that he is a such an expert at driving and knows all the minutest details of cars and alike). So he called up the travel agency's owner and asked him to get it repaired. The owner agreed to repair it in the next district on the way - Mandya.
We reached Mandya in around an hour. Got the problem fixed. Meanwhile we had a small break - had tea and Eva had a stroll. Then the journey continued - passed the city of Toys - ChennaPatana. The city boasts of toy shops - toys made of wood. We decided to buy toys for Eva while coming back. So we didnt stop on at this place. Then passed the sugar city - Maddur (not sure). Maddur is famous for its Maddur wadas. There is a famous Maddur Tiffanys restaurant - a MUST stop both ways. You get nice Maddur Special Wada with chutney here with good coffee. Well in south -india, you get good coffee everywhere.
Then passed Srirangapatana. Then finally we arrived at Kushalnagar from where Madikeri is just 35kms. There are three places at Kushalnagar which are a MUST visit.
1. Byllekuppe - it has the Buddhist Monastery. Its a beautiful temple. Its actually a training university for monks. Lot of animals in the parks(fenced). Got to see teeter, ducks, swans there. The temple is huge, with huge bells and tall idols of Buddha and his followers. When we reached this place, there was enchanting going on by around 200-odd monks. So it was very peaceful moment. Beautiful paintings in the temple and a great feeling sinking in- a very peaceful one. Felt like spending lot of time there.
Then there is a market outside the monastery. The shops have objects of interest - Feng Shui objects, and bells and tibetan dresses, toys to children. Dont miss to see the Om Bell there. If possible, buy one. Its a MUST buy.
2. Dubare Elephant Camp: This is near the monastery. You get to see lot of elephants here if you match their time. Timings are 8.30am to 10.30am. You have to cross the Kauvery river by boat and go the place.You can do all activities like bathing the elephant, ride ... Then, there is white water rafting also. This point is the pick up point- the point from where you start rafting. Plan your visit to the place accordingly - rafting will take almost half of your day.
3. Nisargdhama - Its a natural park - full of natural flora and fauna - lot of bamboo trees, monkeys, rabbit park and deer park. There is boating available here after December. It is at the banks of river Cauvery.
If you are running out of time, you can skip it.
Then we travelled to Madiker - the CM's resort. On the way we saw coffee plantations on both sides of the road. It was raining and foggy weather. The clouds were moving on the road. A beautiful scene!
Then we did the check-in formalities. It was 5pm by this time. We decided to call it off a day and moved into the apartment. It was a nice studio apartment with a small kitchenette and a balcony. Eva was all relaxed.
She didnt eat anything on the journey. So now, I cooked maggi for her and then a cup of milk. And then she dozed off to sleep. Mummy also decided to take rest. Me and Manish walked down to see the resort. Its a huge property with lot of greeenery and lot of activities to do. You can visit http://www.clubmahindra.com/ to find out more about them.
The next day we were a little late. We reached Dubare around 11am. We got to see only one elephant.From there we went to Nisargdhama. Then we came back to Madikeri and had our lunch. Then we went to see the local places -
1. Abbi Falls - A MUST visit again. Since it was rainy season, the falls was full of water. We were thrilled to see it and feel from near.
2. Omkareshwar temple - oldest temple there - around 800 yrs old.
3. Raja's seat - it has a toy train and a park with a valley view. When we visited this place, it was very foggy. So we could not see the valley. But its a nice maintained garden.
Next day, on our way back, we visited Mysore. Saw the Mysore Palace and bought Mysore Pak (delicious sweet) Then we bought toys for Eva, and stopped at Maddur for having wadas.
It was nice journey - a very memorable one - due to mystic beauty of Madikeri. Very untouched. Very uncommercialised. It a good experience overall.
Good bye for now and have a good day!