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Old 24th October 2012, 16:09   #1
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Default Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra

The idea
Once my son got his holidays, plan was to take a break from Udupi. Original idea included some of accessible hill stations nearby (only those within driveable distance as I wanted to take my new Skoda Laura too for a long drive). But having visited most of them, and as the tour group included my young kids, elderly parents and wife with occasional motion sickness episodes, we decided on Mysore as this had a zoo and kids would enjoy it I thought.

Travel

We left at 5.15am from Udupi on 18/10/12 and reached Mangalore by 6 am. Mangalore to Puttur included some of 4 lane Mangalore –Bangalore highway drive till BC road and then a narrow state highway to Puttur till where road is decent. But Puttur to Sullia (37Kms, took around an hour) has absolutely pathetic roads (or assume no roads rather) and I had to drive in 2nd/3rd gear most of the time. Had breakfast in Sullia. Sullia to Sampaje (which happens to be the entry to Coorg district) – shame to call it a state highway, no roads. But once you see an arcade announcing your entry into Coorg district, its altogether a different road and is a joy to drive on. A proper 2 lane, well marked smooth highway in mint condition. Previously the mountain roads which were a nightmare to drive are now unbelievably good. So around 23kms to Madikeri passes by like a dream. Didn’t stop at Madikeri.
We proceeded to Bylakuppe Tibetan settlement and visited the monastery which is known by the name of ‘Golden temple’. Calm and quietness everywhere. Advisable to take a fast lens along as interior of the monastery has inadequate lighting to take well exposed photos.

Reached Mysore at around 1.50pm and my Garmin gave remarkably accurate directions. We reached hotel Pai Vista which happens to be a decent hotel right opposite KSRTC bus stand. We had two Comfort Deluxe rooms and stay was comfortable. As we wanted to have a leisurely sightseeing, didn’t visit any places that day – just the reliance mart adjacent to bus stand.
19/10/12 started with a visit to the zoo. But be advised to have a solid breakfast in morning as the complete tour of the zoo on your legs is not for fainthearted. Zoo area happens to be quite big and in the end we were counting signboards showing the remaining walking distance to the exit. We had plans to visit more places in afternoon but the fatigue after visiting the zoo made us cancel those and we went to Chamundi hills in late evening. Chilling weather made us shiver there. Lot of crowd there too. But my son insisted that he wanted a toy tractor and auto rickshaw and made us go all around and later settled for auto and a JCB excavator.
On 20th we visited Mysore Palace in morning and Jaganmohan palace and art gallery later. I sincerely don’t get the idea of not allowing the cameras inside but allowing mobile phones most of which have decent cameras nowadays. Also there are not enough inspired security personnel inside who would prevent people from photographing on their mobile phones.
Jaganmohan art gallery is just fantastic. Those pictures from Raja Ravivarma and Haldenkar are stunningly beautiful.
Rested in afternoon and visited Krishnaraja sagar dam and Brindavan Gardens late evening. I was determined to get good night photos of the fountains and went with a tripod in my backpack. But to my bad luck, there was huge crowd and it felt more like Thirupathi temple on a peak day rather than a garden with so many people pushing each other around. I felt for most, it was the last on their visit list and were eager to finish it and be done with it. I could just set up my tripod and get one shot when it started drizzling. So we had to return.
Stay at Pai Vista was comfortable. Food at the Jungle restaurant was good. Gufa restaurant feels scary for kids and you feel claustrophobic.
We started back from Mysore on 21/10/12 at 5.15am. Being a Sunday, the traffic was sparse and by 7am we were in Madikeri searching for a restaurant for breakfast which we found after searching around a bit. Cloud and fog engulfed us and it was very chilling at Madikeri for some time. I just drove leisurely then and reached Udupi by 12noon.
Laura returned an economy figure of 16.8 Kms / L. No tire issues. Suspension is bit stiff when you drive alone. But with 2 adults and a kid at backseat and boot filled with luggage, suspension feels better. Power was quite sufficient even with 110bhp and I could reach speeds of 160 twice. Braking was good. Headlights did a good job. No scraping even with such bad roads between Sullia and Puttur / any road humps. But the road between Kushalnagar to Mysore though is nice throughout, has multiple speed breakers / humps and some of them are not painted and give you a nasty surprise. Some of them are located next to fuel pumps with no crossing / school / village anywhere nearby. There was a big difference between this and Hasan to Bangalore highway in this aspect, latter having no speed humps.

Photos in order:
No. 1&2 are of huge Buddha statues at Bylakuppe temple.
3 - Interior of the Golden temple with all the drawings on the wall
4- Giraffe at Mysore Zoo
5 - Chamudeshwari temple with illumination.
6 - Fountains at Brindavan Gardens in night
7- A rose at Bylakuppe temple garden.
Attached Thumbnails
Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra-buddha-statue-bylakuppe-golden-temple.jpg  

Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra-lord-buddha-statue-golden-temple-bylakuppe.jpg  

Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra-golden-temple-bylakuppe-interior.jpg  

Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra-giraffe-mysore-zoo.jpg  

Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra-chamundeshwari-temple-mysore.jpg  

Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra-brindavan-gardens-mysore-night.jpg  

Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra-rose-golden-temple-bylakuppe.jpg  

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Old 24th October 2012, 16:40   #2
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Default re: Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra

You should have planned to visit Karanji Lake which is right next to the Zoo. The aviary is a must visit! You walk into a cage full of birds who fly inches away from you, roam around you and there is no restriction on cameras!

The battery powered tram option inside the Zoo is actually a very good option. Saves you the trouble of walking long distances and time as well.
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Old 24th October 2012, 17:41   #3
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Default Re: Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyBoi View Post
You should have planned to visit Karanji Lake ...

The battery powered tram option inside the Zoo is actually a very good option. .
Karanji lake was on the list after the Zoo. But the light drizzle and fatigue (especially my parents) prevented us.
I thought of the option of the battery operated vehicle. But was not sure whether they would give us enough time. Also I saw many vehicles just skipping many cages. And you know, fresh in the morning, we thought we had enough energy to last till the end, though we realized the problem once we saw the board "Exit 2.8 kms away" !!. We just over estimated ourselves
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Old 24th October 2012, 21:36   #4
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Default Re: Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra

Wow, beautiful snaps! Wish you had posted more of the same.

Lets us know your equipment details too.

How was the scenery enroute?

Cheers

Vinod
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Old 24th October 2012, 22:04   #5
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Default Re: Udupi to Mysore and back during Dussehra

Quote:
Originally Posted by VindyWheels View Post
Wow, beautiful snaps! Wish you had posted more of the same.

Lets us know your equipment details too.

How was the scenery enroute?

Cheers

Vinod
Thanks Vinod!
I have more snaps. But I thought I would process and convert few first to JPEG (from RAW / NEF).
I use a Nikon D7000. Lenses are 18-105 f4.5-5.6 (kit lens), 35mm f 1.8 prime, a Tokina 11-16 f2.8 for wide angle and a Manfrotto tripod for night shots if I feel serious. Right now saving for a 70-300 lens. I use Nikon Capture NX2 for image editing. By the way I also have Canon 1000D and a 50mm prime and 50-250 zoom and a 18-55 kit lens (all Canon) with which I developed a taste for the DSLR photography. But hardly use it nowadays.

Scenery enroute? From Sullia to Madikeri and then onwards to Kushalnagar - lots of greenery - dense forests, fog, mountains and clouds - gorgeous if I want to sum it in few words. Udupi to BC road and Kushalnagar onwards there is nothing much to see.
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