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Old 25th December 2012, 15:26   #1
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Default Scotland of India - Mystical Coorg!

It was almost 2 years we had a vacation. The baby, moving from Pune to Bangalore, setting up a new house, settling down in a new job, it was quiet hectic really. Christmas had no significance to me so far as in my previous job I was largely working for Indian clients. But with job change came US clients, and vacations around Christmas. So with 3 days in hand, started searching for options. Obvious first option was Ooty, but then settled down for Coorg.

By the time I got down to hotel booking it was already 18th. Did some searching on Google, and got a homestay site. Started calling all of them one by one, but everything was booked! Tried a few hotels like Hilltop etc. but again everything booked. Guess who helped me? Team BHP who else! Got details of Madikere Mane homestay, called them, and fortunately they did have a room available. Transferred half the amount. One big job done. Other than that nothing much was to be done, i10 had been serviced 2 months back so nothing to be done with the car. Rest of the packing was done quickly.

Now about my 3-Day Plan -

Read a lot of threads about Coorg to finalize my plan. Settled for - Hebbal - Channapatna - Mysore - Bylakuppe - Madikeri - Tala Kaveri - Madikeri - Dubere Elephant Camp - Nisargadhama - Kushal Nagar - Mysore - Hebbal

Day 1:

Started from home exactly at 6.00 am with me, wify and the little one. Was hoping for empty roads, well was too optimistic, but was not disappointed either. Traffic was ok. This time I avoided Outer Ring Road because of the rail crossing, chose CV Raman road instead. Within half an hour I was on the elevated Toll Road. But the joy was short-lived! I somehow missed the left turn to join the NICE road, had to go for almost 5 kms to take a U-Turn and join the NICE road. 15 minutes lost.

NICE road is well, really nice! Truck traffic was quiet heavy, but still in no time touched Mysore road. I had plans to have breakfast at Ramnagaram but the little one was sleeping hence pushed on. Finally stopped at Mandya at a okeish udupi joint. The taste was good though.

Next stop was Bylakuppe, reached there at 11.15 am. The road is good except for the bypass at Mysore. However, I am stunned by the number of speed breakers on the highway! I mean speed breakers at almost every intersection, isn't it too much?

Now some bits about this place - This is a Tibetan settlement, its really beautiful! Neatly laid out buildings, very clean and nice place. The Tibetan monks were everywhere in their trademark maroon clothes. There are multiple place of worship. The main attraction is Namdroling Monastery. It is home to thousands of lamas, monks and nuns, making it the largest Nyingmapa teaching center in the world! The three golden buddha's and the paintings on the walls are magnificent!

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It was already lunch time, there is a shopping cum lodging building in the same vicinity, just next to the parking. It has a restaurant too, we decided to try that and it was good. We had nice and hot momos and some Punjabi stuff. Also did some shopping at the shops, they are ok.

It was almost 2.30 pm when we left Bylakuppe towards Madikere. The heat was unbearable, which surprised me! We reached Madikere and went straight to out homestay.

The homestay was really good, on a hill slope, nice and green all around. Here are the details - http://www.explorecoorg.com/

All of us were tired, so a afternoon siesta was inevitable. In the evening we went to Raja's seat, it was just 1.5 kms from the homestay. There were a lot of people there, I mean too many, including a LOT of school kids! The view from Raja's seat is good but the sunset is kind of over hyped IMO. It was not even a sun set, sun disappearance may be! Few snaps from Raja's seat -

Scotland of India - Mystical Coorg!-_dsc0165.jpg

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We were told to see the musical fountain as well, but there was no power and it was already 7 pm, so we decided to do it the next day and head back to our homestay. Had food with our hosts. It was my first time to taste Coorg food but I was little disappointed with the very bland taste of Coorg food. I tried food at various places in Madikere but still it just didn't work for me! After dinner it was bed time, and what a good night sleep it was! Awesome!

Day 2

Day 2 started with nice and hot Coorg coffee in a nice and cold morning! Coffee here is awesome, just superb. Had breakfast, by 9.00 am we were on our way to Tala Cauvery. Tala Cauvery is the place that is generally considered to be the source of the river Kaveri. It is located by Brahmagiri hill. You have take the Mangalore highway from Madikere and after around 7-8 kms there is a left turn to Tala Cauvery. The highway is really good and the drive is scenic! The dense forest and the view is breathtaking.

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However the road to Tala Cauvery after you take left from the highway, is not so good. At some places it is good, but at many many places it is quiet bad. Car had to take a lot beating on the broken road. The road passes through jungle, paddy fields and is very scenic.

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Reached Bhagmangala in slightly more than an hour. Bhagmandala is like 8 kms before Tala Cauvery, and situated at confluence of Cauvery, the Kannike and the mythical Sujyoti river. The temple structure is very different, the height is not much, lot of wood is used and it has got a slopping roof. The temple premise was very clean.

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The wood carvings on the ceiling are exquisite!

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There is a water body where you can take holy deep to cleanse your sins!
There After brief break for photos etc. we continued for Tala Cauvery.

The road from bhagmandala to Tala Cauvery was in top condition. Reached there at 11.15 am, parked the car on the side of the road. There are a few temples at the top. The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Kaveriamma. Other deities worshipped here are Lord Agasthiswara, which denotes the link between Kaveri and Sage Agasthya [2] and Maha Ganapathi.

The view from the top is superb. There are around 300 steps which take you to the top of the hill. We did not venture out there because of the baby. After spending some time enjoying the nice cool breeze and drinking heavenly sweet coconut water, we started back. Reached Madikere by 1 pm. went to Hotel Rajdarshan bang opposite Raja's seat for lunch. Food is good there. Went back to homestay for afternoon siesta! I must say afternoons were exceptionally hot there hence going out was just not possible.

In the evening went shopping in the main market. There are a lot of shops around KSRTC bus stand. Bought spices, coffee beans, coffee power, chocolates and wine. The Coorgy homemade wine is really good and a must buy when you visit Coorg. It is available in Rice, Garlic, Grapes etc. flavors, tastes really good. We were recommended to go to hotel East End for dinner, it is on Mysore road, just 2 km from the KSRTC bust stand. Ordered Coorg Chicken Curry and fish. Fish was good but the gravy was so so, no real spice in it, very bland. After dinner, moved back to homestay and hit the bed by 9 pm. Another wonderful day spent, its time to head back home tomorrow!

Day 3

Got up at 7 am, it was a beautiful morning! Fog and mist all around! Spent some quiet time, just with self, thinking about life! Went for a nice morning walk on hill, it was good.

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Today was the last day in Coorg, with heavy heart said good bye to our hosts from homestay.

Next stop was Dubare elephant camp. Now there are two routes to reach Dubare forest camp, one is the usual via Kushalnagar. The other route is via Siddapur road. Take right at the a circle on Mysore road, this circle is the first one when you enter the Madikere town. The road is amazing, really scenic, goes through coffee plantations, couple of towns on the way, small waterfalls. It is simply awesome.


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Look out for the left turn for Dubare forest, there are numerous signs showing the way. Roads till the left turn is good, but the last 4 kms is bad.

The Dubare elephant camp IMHO is completely overrated. There is nothing, a stream of water which you can cross in 5mins on a motor boat or pretend to raft in a knee deep water! The road to Dubare elephant camp after turning left from the main road was PATHETIC. It was disaster for the cars. A few snaps from the camp -

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Due to Christmas vacation the crowd was overflowing. A lot of chaos in the parking lot, had to wair 45 mins on both sides to board the motorboat, huge line for the elephant ride which we skipped. All in all it was a complete disaster.

Look at the crowd

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After getting disappointed with the camp, we started back. The traffic towards the camp was too much and there was a huge traffic jam on the approach road. It took 1 hour to cross this 2km distance, it was just frustrating. One incident which I must mention here - on the way back we saw a dark grey swift parked blocking an already narrow road. Having lived in Pune for 12 years and witnessing numerous such geniuses who park car blocking the roads, I mentioned to wify this car must be MH 12. And, guess what it was, MH 12! Hats off to that genius.

Dubare forest camp was such a disappointment that we decided to skip Nisargadhama, the crowd and the heat was another reason. Went back to Kushalnagar at around 1 pm, had lunch and started our journey back to Mysore. Just before Mysore, was stopped by cops with speed gun. I was doing 60km/hr so was surprised why I was stopped. When asked, the cop told me that the village speed limit is 30 kmph, hence I was over speeding. Paid 300 rs. fine. Rest of the drive was uneventful, stopped at Channapatana to buy some toys for the kiddo. Reached home by 6pm.

It was a great little vacation, I loved Coorg. We purposely skipped quiet a few attractions like Abby falls, Irupu falls, Omakareshwara temple, Nisargadhama etc. only to return again and enjoy this really beautiful hill station!
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Last edited by ulhas.ahirrao : 31st December 2012 at 23:06.
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Old 1st January 2013, 12:47   #2
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Default re: Scotland of India - Mystical Coorg!

Here is one parting shot -

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Old 1st January 2013, 21:58   #3
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Default re: Scotland of India - Mystical Coorg!

Reminds me of my trip to Coorg. When i visited in 2010 even the Mangalore highway was full of craters, however all the pain vanished when we near Talacauvery temple. When we arrived, the place was completely covered in fog, we were like where is the Temple. As we started to walk from the car park and came near the arch, the fog started to give away and we could see the temple clearly. It was a magical moment which will be cherished for ever. As you mentioned the Bhagamangala temple was spic and span and infact we were the only visitors at that point of time and had a peaceful Dharshan. We had a great time at Dubare camp, there were only less than 50 tourists and the water was flowing and it was a treat to watch the elephants and give them a bath as well. This is one reason as to why i choose to travel during weekdays or off seasons. I know it doesn't work for all, but I make only two trips in a year and hence would like to make the most of it.

Last edited by Chillout : 1st January 2013 at 22:08.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 09:49   #4
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Default Re: Scotland of India! Mystical Coorg!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillout View Post
Reminds me of my trip to Coorg. When i visited in 2010 even the Mangalore highway was full of craters, however all the pain vanished when we near Talacauvery temple. When we arrived, the place was completely covered in fog, we were like where is the Temple. As we started to walk from the car park and came near the arch, the fog started to give away and we could see the temple clearly. It was a magical moment which will be cherished for ever. As you mentioned the Bhagamangala temple was spic and span and infact we were the only visitors at that point of time and had a peaceful Dharshan. We had a great time at Dubare camp, there were only less than 50 tourists and the water was flowing and it was a treat to watch the elephants and give them a bath as well. This is one reason as to why i choose to travel during weekdays or off seasons. I know it doesn't work for all, but I make only two trips in a year and hence would like to make the most of it.
Absolutely, I am convinced that off-season is definitely a better option especially after this trip! BTW in which month did you visit?
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Old 2nd January 2013, 16:00   #5
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Default Re: Scotland of India - Mystical Coorg!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulhas.ahirrao View Post

The Dubare elephant camp IMHO is completely overrated. There is nothing, a stream of water which you can cross in 5mins on a motor boat or pretend to raft in a knee deep water! The road to Dubare elephant camp after turning left from the main road was PATHETIC. It was disaster for the cars. A few snaps from the camp -

Nice travelogue!
I have visited Dubare on several occasions (weekdays & national holidays) and can imagine what you've been through. This place is best visited during weekdays, but if you have to visit this during a holiday, it must be planned such that you are there very early (by 7:30AM). "White water rafting" during optimum water levels will be fun. Do consider and plan for this the next time.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 16:29   #6
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Default Re: Scotland of India - Mystical Coorg!

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Originally Posted by Swifdeep View Post
Nice travelogue!
I have visited Dubare on several occasions (weekdays & national holidays) and can imagine what you've been through. This place is best visited during weekdays, but if you have to visit this during a holiday, it must be planned such that you are there very early (by 7:30AM). "White water rafting" during optimum water levels will be fun. Do consider and plan for this the next time.
Thanks! Yeah if water levels are good, rafting will be fun. Will try it next time!
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Old 2nd January 2013, 16:42   #7
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Nice travelogue and pics! Reminds of my trip to Coorg in May 2012. I had done Hyderabad -> Coorg (including Bhagamandala & Talakaveri) -> Mysore (stayed a couple of days for sight seeing) -> Bangalore (pass through) -> Hyderabad. Covered a total of 1960 kms in my PPL Viceroy.

Some pics of my trip here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post2796653 (Premier 118NE 'VICEROY' - A RARE variant of 118NE.)

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
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Old 2nd January 2013, 17:17   #8
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Default Re: Scotland of India - Mystical Coorg!

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Originally Posted by Scarlet_Rider View Post
Nice travelogue and pics! Reminds of my trip to Coorg in May 2012. I had done Hyderabad -> Coorg (including Bhagamandala & Talakaveri) -> Mysore (stayed a couple of days for sight seeing) -> Bangalore (pass through) -> Hyderabad. Covered a total of 1960 kms in my PPL Viceroy.

Some pics of my trip here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post2796653 (Premier 118NE 'VICEROY' - A RARE variant of 118NE.)

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
Thanks Rahul! Nice pictures of the Viceroy, loved the complete thred. Thanks for sharing!
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