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Old 4th June 2014, 13:36   #1
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Default Anniversary holiday in Coorg

Total distance covered: 806 km
Travellers: Me and wifey
Route: Bangalore - Ramanagaram - Channapatna - Maddur - Mandya - Mysore - Hunsur - Kushalnagar - Madikeri
Hotel: Oleander Serviced Apartments

We started on a Saturday morning at 8:45 AM. After driving a couple of miles, wifey realized that she has left her sun glass in the house. All attempts to convince wifey to continue without it failed, so had to go back and get it. By the time we collected the glass and started on the journey, it was already 9 AM. We stopped at some small restaurant in Mysore Road after Kengeri Satellite Town for breakfast, and continued on our journey. We stopped at Maddur Tiffany’s for some Maddur Vada and coffee and proceeded directly to Madikeri. By the time we reached Madikeri it was about 4:45 PM. We were very hungry by this time. We saw “Prestige Hotel” at the entrance of Madikeri Town and so we went here for early evening lunch. The waiter there couldn’t speak Kannada. Being in Karnataka, I felt this a bit strange since majority of the visitors will be Kannada speaking tourists. Food was average, however the service was quick.

We then checked-in to Oleander Serviced Apartments. Google Maps has listed this place in the wrong location, so it took us about 15-20 minutes to locate this place after calling up the apartment caretakers.

Oleander is located in the heart of Madikeri. It is close to city center, but still calm. There was no vehicle noise from nearby roads.

Here are few snaps of Oleander:
Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg001oleanderservicedapartments.jpg

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg003oleanderservicedapartments.jpg

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg004oleanderservicedapartments.jpg

Pros of Oleander:
1) Value for money: Paid around 9800 bucks for 3 night stay. Got a discount of around 1500 from Cleartrip, and used a coupon for 500 bucks.
2) Breakfast included in the price. Breakfast is freshly prepared by the caretakers, and really hygienic.
3) Lunch and dinner can be ordered, however one need to inform at least an hour in advance since they are freshly prepared by the caretakers.
4) Close to Madikeri city center and in close vicinity to some good restaurants nearby
5) Walkable distance to the auto rickshaw stand
6) Excellent room with all the required amentities
7) Bathroom fitting are of Jaguar and Kohler brand
8) 24x7 hot water
9) Tea is delivered within 10 minutes of order. Price per tea is 20 bucks, which I feel is very reasonable. Don't miss the tea if you happen to stay here!

Cons of Oleander:
1) Parking: 3 cars can be parked in the basement, although in a single file. If your car is parked at the end, then you'll have to request others to take out their cars. It didn't bother us much since the other guests came in a big group and they had arranged a mini-van for themselves, which was always parked outside.
2) Bathroom was not washed perfectly. There were yellow stains present. The tap came off when I tried to turn it, however I was able to fix it myself.
3) No elevator. There are 3 floors. We stayed in the first floor, and hence we didn't face much problem. However those staying in second and third floor might need an elevator.


Stop 1: Raja's Seat
Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg012rajaseat.jpg

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg013rajaseat.jpg

Raja's Seat is nowhere as grand as I expected. It was filled with many tourists (maybe since it was a Saturday). We stayed here for half an hour, and then went to "Fort Mercara Boutique Hotel" for dinner.

Last edited by scorpion_blore : 8th June 2015 at 22:29.
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Old 4th June 2014, 17:56   #2
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Default Anniversary in Coorg (Day 2: Sunday)

My initial plan was to visit Mandalpatti on Sunday. However wifey wanted to visit that place on a weekday since the crowd will be lesser on weekdays. As always, I had to oblige to wife's request (more of a demand) and re-plan the itinerary. We decided to go a spiritual tour for Sunday.

The caretaker Kala brought us steaming hot Idly and Upma, which was really mouth watering. I wouldn't use the word "mouth watering" for Upma, but this was really awesome. By the time we started from the hotel after breakfast, it was already over 10 AM.

Stop 1: Bhagmandala
Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg024bhagamandalatemple.jpg

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg027bhagamandalatemple.jpg

We had a quick darshan at Bhagmandala temple, and then later went to 'Sangam' which is just outside the Bhagmandla Temple.

Stop 2: Tala Cauvery and Brahmagiri Hill
From Bhagmandala we headed straight to Tala Cauvery, which is just about 15 minutes away. This is called "Udhbhava Sthana" (Birth Place) of river Cauvery.

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg056brahmagirihills.jpg

Brahmagiri Hill is located at this place. There are about 300-350 steps to the top. Once we reached the top, the sight there is something that I'll never forget. There is greenery everywhere. We could actually fell the clouds passing through. The only thing I disliked about Brahmagiri Hill is the fact that one can't wear slipper/shoe to the top, and the top has so many loose stones. It's painful to walk there after reaching the top. There was a group of guys who looked like college-goers by age, who were behaving rudely with other tourists and passing vulgar comments on female tourists. This spoiled our whole experience.

By the time we decided to leave Brahmagiri Hills it was about 2:30 PM. We climbed down and had some steaming hot Maggi noodles at a local shop at the entrance of Tala Cauvery. Don't miss it if you're here. We had a quick luch and then headed straight to Chelavara Falls.

Stop 3: Cheluvaraya Falls
Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg062cheluvarayafalls.jpg

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg063cheluvarayafalls.jpg

The approach to the falls is decent enough in the main road. But the interior road to reach the falls is too narrow. We had to trek about 200 meter to reach the falls, and the path was slippery. It is a fresh water source, and there we spotted 3-4 varieties of fish in the water.

We spent about half an hour here and then returned toward Madikeri. After lazing around in the hotel room for some time, we headed to "Silver Oaks" for dinner. Do try this place if you enjoy north Indian food.


Note:
  • Bhagmandla Temple closes at 12:30 PM and re-opens at 3 PM. So plan your visit accordingly.
  • Tala Cauvery Temple remains open till 6. Visitors are not allowed after this time.
  • Sleeveless tops and 3/4th bottom wear are not allowed in Bhagmandla Temple and Tala Cauvery.
  • Carry fresh water if you plan on climbing the Brahmagiri Hill

Last edited by scorpion_blore : 8th June 2015 at 22:44.
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Old 8th June 2015, 13:35   #3
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Default Anniversary in Coorg (Day 3: Monday)

We had made arrangements for a Jeep to visit Mandalpatti, thanks to the caretaker at Oleander Apartments. The Jeep arrived at 9 AM sharp as expected.

Stop 1: Mandalpatti
The drive to Mandalpatti took close to 45 minutes. One has to pay an entry fee of 20 bucks per person before entering Mandalpatti. Again there is a forest outpost inside, where one has to pay an amount of 40 bucks per person.

The path here is extremely narrow and filled with loose stones. Trust me on this. Do not dare to go there on your own vehicle. You’ll need a jeep, PERIOD.

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg095mandalpatti.jpg

This is the place where the video shoot for the movie “Mungaaru Male” happened. The lake, tree, and hills captured in the movie are from this location. I heard that the movie was partially shot here, and the remaining part in Sakleshpur. Thinking of Sakleshpur, that is another place I plan on visiting for a relaxing weekend pretty soon.

We spent close to 2 hours in the hills of Mandalpatti. We could really feel the clouds passing through. There was so much mist that I could not spot my wifey standing a few meters way. If you want to explore nature to the fullest, do not even think about missing this place when you visit Coorg.

Tree and lake from the Kannada movie "Mungaru Male" were shot here:
Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg141mandalpatti.jpg

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg146mandalpatti.jpg

My favorite snap from Mandalpatti:
Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg150mandalpatti.jpg


Stop 2: Kotey Abbey Falls
Our original plan as communicated to the Jeep driver was to visit Mandalpatti and Abbey Falls. However the driver recommended Kotey Abbey Falls over Abbey Falls since that place is always deserted and we get to enter the water stream, unlike Abbey Falls. The thought of entering the water stream and playing in the falls was too thrilling to ignore, and so we negotiated with the Jeep driver and settled on the final amount of Rs 1800 for the complete trip.
The drive to Kotey Abbey Falls took another 20 minutes from Mandalpatti.

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg205koteabbeyfalls.jpg

The bottom part of Kotey Abbey Falls has various fish. Do remember to carry some puffed rice when visiting here. Fish just love puffed rice. We then climbed to the top part, and spent close to 2 hours. We just lazed around in the water stream and played a bit. Wifey was too excited and got completely wet. Unfortunately we didn’t bring a fresh pair of clothes as we had no idea of visiting this falls. Oops! Luckily for us, it was hot in the afternoon, and she could dry her clothes quickly. The drive back to our hotel from Kotey Abbey Falls took close to an hour.


By the time we returned back to the hotel, it was close to 4 in the evening. So we decided the spend the evening in the markets nearby. We bought some spices, honey, Imli chocolates and few other items from a souvenir shop nearby. We then headed to Hotel Neel Sagar for dinner. This is a very basic restaurant. Don’t expect anything fancy from this restaurant. It was the most mediocre restaurant I had been to in a while.

Last edited by scorpion_blore : 8th June 2015 at 22:57.
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Old 8th June 2015, 13:42   #4
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Default Anniversary in Coorg (Day 4: Tuesday)

This was the final day of our trip.

Stop 1: Omkareshwara Temple
Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg242sriomkareshwaratemple.jpg

We got up pretty early and headed to Omkareshwara Temple for pooja. The temple is calm and serene. There is a pond at the center and we could spot few ducks in the pond.


Stop 2: Dubare Elephant Camp
It took us close to one hour to reach this place from our hotel. We reached this place by around noon. The Elephant Camp is surrounded by a lake. So one has to go there by boat. Luckily for us, we were in time to catch the last boat for the day. We saw some people use the boulders on the lake to reach the camp. However I would suggest to use the boat, since it is much safer.

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg260dubareelephantcamp.jpg

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg274dubareelephantcamp.jpg

Seriously, I was disappointed by the camp. There was nothing much to do here other than take a ride on the Elephant. We took a ride, and then captured some snaps by standing next to the Elephants. In contrast, the Elephant camp at Sakrebailu near Shimoga is much better compared to this. We left the place by boat after about an hour. While leaving, we could see that few Elephants were being bathed in the lake. Such an awesome sight to see!


Stop 3: Lunch at Shanthi Bites
It was already close to 2 PM, and we headed toward the Namdroling Tibetian Monastery in Bylakuppe of Kushalnagar. We stopped at Shanthi Bites in Kushalnagar for lunch. It’s located exactly in the main road, and the service is excellent. Food was decent enough and the price was extremely reasonable. It is probably the best value-for-money restaurant in Coorg with excellent hygiene and ambience.


Stop 4: Namdroling Tibetian Monastery
Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg277bylakuppe_namdrolingmonastery.jpg

Anniversary holiday in Coorg-coorg280bylakuppe_namdrolingmonastery.jpg

We reached Namdroling Tibetian Monastery by 3 PM. Google Maps took us to the back entrance. If you follow Google Maps, do remember to follow the road of the back entrance. It’ll take you toward the main entrance. There is enough space for parking the four wheeler vehicles. The monastery was not as calm as I expected it to be. There were many tourists, and it was noisy. Since we went there in the afternoon, we were not allowed entry to all the places in the monastery. There is a souvenir shop at the entrance of the monastery. We bought a souvenir there for 250 bucks, and headed back to our hotel.


Stop 5: Anniversary special dinner at Hotel Pai Vista, Mysore
We then checked out by 4 PM and headed toward Bangalore. I had made a reservation in Hotel Pai Vista in Mysore for our anniversary dinner. We went to the Guha themed restaurant, which had the cave theme. The waiters were dressed in khaki shorts to match the theme. The service was exceptional, and so was the hygiene and ambience. I had specifically requested for a candle-light dinner, and they had made all the arrangements for our arrival.

By the time we finished dinner it was close to 9:30 PM. Since it was already late, we decided to take a room, rest and then drive to Bangalore the next morning. I made few calls, and booked a room at Ruchi the Prince. We drove to Bangalore early in the morning. It took us just two and half hours to reach Bangalore, since the traffic was thin.

Last edited by scorpion_blore : 8th June 2015 at 23:10.
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Old 8th June 2015, 19:03   #5
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Default Coorg: Places to see and 4-day itinerary

Places to see:
  • Raja's Seat
  • Omkareshwara Temple
  • Bhagmandala
  • Brahmagiri Hill
  • Chelavara Falls
  • Mandalpatti
  • Iruppu Falls
  • Kotey Abbey Falls
  • Dubare Elephant Camp
  • Namdroling Tibetian Monastery

Possible itinerary for a 4 day trip:
Day 1: Check-in to hotel. Have lunch, releax and visit Raja's Seat and Omkareshwara Temple in the evening.
Day 2: Bhagmandala, Brahmagiri Hill and Chelavara Falls
Day 3: Hire a Jeep and visit Mandalpatti, Iruppu Falls, and Kotey Abbey Falls
Day 4: Check-out early after breakfast. Visit Namdroling Tibetian Monastery and Dubare Elephant Camp on the way to Bangalore.
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Old 8th June 2015, 23:23   #6
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Default re: Anniversary holiday in Coorg

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!

Beautifully captured! Coorg is a perfect place for that long weekend where you just want to be idle and do just nothing. And a special occasion makes it even better!
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Old 8th June 2015, 23:56   #7
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Default re: Anniversary holiday in Coorg

Nice pictures and well written!!Will visit Mandalpatti next time I visit Madikeri!!
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Old 9th June 2015, 11:31   #8
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Default re: Anniversary holiday in Coorg

Quote:
Originally Posted by AjMusto View Post
Nice pictures and well written!!Will visit Mandalpatti next time I visit Madikeri!!
Mandalpatti is a must-visit place in Coorg. Do plan to visit early morning and avoid weekdays, if possible. You can club it with Kotey Abbey Falls and Abbey Falls. All these 3 attractions can be covered by lunch time if you start early.
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Old 9th June 2015, 11:44   #9
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Default re: Anniversary holiday in Coorg

Nice pics and a good travelouge with attention to detail.
Have the rains set in? When would the be the ideal time to visit this? How are the road conditions?
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Old 9th June 2015, 11:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by @Chaand View Post
Nice pics and a good travelouge with attention to detail.
Have the rains set in? When would the be the ideal time to visit this? How are the road conditions?
The travelogue is for last year's trip. The trip was taken exactly 1 year back in June. Monsoon had started that time, and there was intermittent rain. From what I heard, rain has already set in now but the humidity is high.

I'm not sure if it is just me, but Coorg looks extremely splendid and green during monsoons. Not many would like to travel in monsoon, but the greenery and climate is exceptional.
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Old 9th June 2015, 17:59   #11
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Default Re: Anniversary holiday in Coorg

Western Ghats+Rain = Heaven. If at all people wonder how heaven would look like, I would ask them to visit Western Ghats during monsoons.

I visit Madikeri very often, but I like it the most during monsoons. Best to avoid during Summer and (Christmas holidays) as it gets over crowded.
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Old 10th June 2015, 15:21   #12
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Default Re: Anniversary holiday in Coorg

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpion_blore View Post
Total distance covered: 806 km
Travellers: Me and wifey
Route: Bangalore - Ramanagaram - Channapatna - Maddur - Mandya - Mysore - Hunsur - Kushalnagar - Madikeri
Hotel: Oleander Serviced Apartments

We started on a Saturday morning at 8:45 AM. .........
Well written scorpion_blore. Your posts are an excellent reference to future travelers to this region.

Being a Kodava (not Coorgi) fills me with pride when I see pictures of wonderful Kodagu. Tourism is booming in this region and at the same time it has become a little stifling for the free ranging Kodava's. The infrastructure is just not prepared for this kind of influx of tourists. I am sure it will improve going forward.

My only request to travelers is to avoid bring plastics to the region as this is an eco-sensitive zone and we need to protect this place for the future generations. After all Cauvery water for Bangalore comes from here.

Cheers

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Old 11th June 2015, 11:25   #13
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Default Re: Anniversary holiday in Coorg

Quote:
Originally Posted by KPS View Post
Well written scorpion_blore. Your posts are an excellent reference to future travelers to this region.

Being a Kodava (not Coorgi) fills me with pride when I see pictures of wonderful Kodagu. Tourism is booming in this region and at the same time it has become a little stifling for the free ranging Kodava's.
@KPS: Thanks for the positive feedback, and nice to know you are from Coorg.

I'm planning to go there another time. Is there any other place I can cover that I missed during my previous trip? Based on your recommendations I can also update post#5 regarding the places to see in Coorg, so that it'll be helpful for fellow BHPians.
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Old 11th June 2015, 19:48   #14
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Default Re: Anniversary holiday in Coorg

Nalknad Palace and trekking to Tandiyandamolu Peak from there are the other places one can visit.

Cheers

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