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Old 15th October 2014, 15:10   #1
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Default Mumbai to Mysore, Coorg & Bangalore

@ Mods - this Travelogue may be a bit late as it took me some time to muster the courage to write one for the benefit of my fellow BHPians who are my source of inspiration for my road trips. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Discovering India by road is fascinating & for me its the way forward . Also please feel free to moderate/merge/etc

Ever since our last driving holiday to Rajasthan in Dec 2013, I had been wanting to go down south for our next driving holiday. Two options that immediately came to mind were Puducheri & Coorg. Since we had been to Puducheri we decided to travel to Coorg & Bangalore.

Planning the trip took a couple of days. Many thanks to BHPians for helping me to decide the route as well as places to stay on the way. The plan was to drive on NH4 till Hiriyur and then SH19 to Mysore and then SH88 to Coorg. We had planned on driving from Mumbai to Pune, spend the weekend there and then driving to Coorg on 26th May, breaking our journey at Chitradurga. We had confirmed bookings at 4 places in Coorg from 27th May till 3rd June.

We left Mumbai on 23rd May and reached Pune by lunchtime. On 24th May, my wife and I were having a chat in the evening & I impulsively asked her if she was keen to see Mysore. I explained to her that if we left Pune early the next day (which was a Sunday) we could try and reach Mysore by late evening. This would give us one full day in Mysore and we could drive comfortably to Coorg which is only 120 kms from Mysore. My wife agreed and planned on leaving Pune at 0530 hrs on 25th May. We left our house at 0600 hrs and stopped for breakfast at Sarola.

On the way, the roads until Satara had some diversions & the condition of the road in parts was pathetic. The traffic till Satara was crazy with 2-wheelers all over the highway; after Satara the traffic started thinning out till we reached Kolhapur where there was some city traffic spilling onto the highway. On entering Karnataka, the traffic was sparse & we could manage to cover good ground. At no time did we exceed 110 km/hr & I was able to use Cruise Control for most of the journey. We had lunch at a small restaurant on the Hubli-Dharwar bypass.

We crossed Chitradurga at about 1600 hrs, fuelled up the car and reached Hiriyur at around 1730 hrs. We took a tea break and got off NH4 and went through the underpass to the main road in city to get onto SH19. The road was generally in good condition, but were only 2 lanes and passed through small towns & villages. Occasionally, we encountered cattle & goats and had to slow down. On one occasion a calf decided to turn back after the nose of my car had passed her; luckily for me, I managed to swerve and avoided her by a whisker !

We passed Huliyar – Neligere – Nagamandala – Srirangapatna on our way to Mysore. We checked in at Young Island Resort, just after crossing Srirangapatna (close to the Mysore – Coorg bypass) at 2100 hrs. The location of the resort was great, initially they gave us a room on the ground floor but we did not like the room so they gave is a room on the first floor which was comfortable. Had dinner and slept. We had covered a distance of 877 kms in 15 hours total & driving time of 13 hrs 04 mins, at an average speed of 67 km/h.

The next day was an action packed day; after breakfast we headed for the city where we saw the Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hill & St. Philomena’s Church. We had a South Indian Thali at a small eatery after coming down from Chamundi Hill. The food was simple and delicious. We then headed to Srirangapatna to the Tipu Sultan’s Tomb and then to Brindavan Gardens. We came back to the hotel around 1930 hrs and ordered dinner.

to be continued
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Last edited by rpunwani : 15th October 2014 at 15:36.
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Old 15th October 2014, 15:34   #2
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Default re: Mumbai to Mysore, Coorg & Bangalore

Part 2: Bylakuppe, Kushalnagar & Madikeri

The next day, 27th May we left for Kushalnagar at 0900 hrs after a big breakfast as the plan was to visit Bylakuppe – the largest Tibetan settlement in India. Instead of taking the bypass road, we decided to take the ring road, which was in a better condition than the bypass road. We reached Bylakuppe at 1100 hrs via Hunsur & Periyapatna and spent approx. 2 hrs at the Namdroling Monastery (aka Golden Temple). We had made a booking for one night at a homestay called The Last Resort about 12 kms away from Kushalnagar and is only 2 km from Dubare Elephant Camp.

Had lunch and rested for a while before heading to Madikeri. We went to Raja's Seat and after some coffee & spice shopping, we came back to the home stay.

We went to Dubare Elephant Camp the next day, 28th May but found it too crowded and headed to Polibetta to the Cottabetta Bungalow in the Tata Coffee plantations.

to be continued
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Old 15th October 2014, 15:48   #3
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Sorry if I have missed any part, but could not figure out which car are you driving.
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Old 15th October 2014, 16:19   #4
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Default re: Mumbai to Mysore, Coorg & Bangalore

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Originally Posted by Dieselritzer View Post
Sorry if I have missed any part, but could not figure out which car are you driving.
I am driving a VW Passat 2.0 TDi Highline
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Old 15th October 2014, 16:27   #5
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Default re: Mumbai to Mysore, Coorg & Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by rpunwani View Post
I am driving a VW Passat 2.0 TDi Highline
Perfect one for the highway! The SH you branch to after exiting the 4-lane is a nice one with greenery all around. It provides many places to stop over too. One the whole a nice detour before you went to Coorg. Mysore is a place best savoured at leisure. I hope you got a chance to taste the famous "Mysore Masala Dosa"!

If not there is always a reason to drive again.
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Old 15th October 2014, 16:35   #6
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Default re: Mumbai to Mysore, Coorg & Bangalore

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Perfect one for the highway! The SH you branch to after exiting the 4-lane is a nice one with greenery all around. It provides many places to stop over too. One the whole a nice detour before you went to Coorg. Mysore is a place best savoured at leisure. I hope you got a chance to taste the famous "Mysore Masala Dosa"!

If not there is always a reason to drive again.
Thanks Ampere,

I agree that the entire route from Mumbai to Mysore, Coorg, Bangalore and back was great to drive on - very scenic even though we did the trip end of May. We got onto the SH at around 1730 hrs and did not stop anywhere as we wanted to get to Mysore as soon as possible, having started from Pune.

We did not get a chance to eat the famous Mysore Masala Dosa in Mysore - but they are available everywhere now.

To modify your quote - You don't need a reason to drive, just do it
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Old 16th October 2014, 08:17   #7
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Default Re: Mumbai to Mysore, Coorg & Bangalore

It must have been a good drive. Hope you got to taste the local Kodava food.

Also how did you manage to get the TATA guest house at polibeta? OK, just realized that you went to Plantation Trails run by TATA.

Regards

Last edited by chandrda : 16th October 2014 at 08:23. Reason: corrected
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Old 16th October 2014, 09:56   #8
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Default Re: Mumbai to Mysore, Coorg & Bangalore

Part 3: Cottabetta Bungalow, Polibetta

The bungalow consists of 5 rooms and is very beautiful – has colonial charm. The dining & sitting area are common to the guests. On arrival we were warned that there are wild elephants in the area and that we are not to venture on foot beyond the signpost. We were taken for a tour of the coffe plantation the next day; later during the day I drove to the Tata Tea Plantation which is about 35 kms away. We spent two nights at the Cottabetta Bungalow before heading to another homestay called Casa Coorg on 30th May. On the day we were leaving we were told that a wild elephant had actually come within 10 feet of the bungalow and had damaged a signpost on the way down.

to be continued
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Old 16th October 2014, 10:05   #9
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Part 4: Casa Coorg & Tamara

The drive to Casa Coorg is very scenic and the roads are good. Casa Coorg is run by Bharat and Pearl, both ex-Army officers. The place is nestled in an organic coffee plantation with a golf course in the vicinity. The hospitality, food & rooms were great. Our daughters joined us from Mumbai on the second day. On 1st June we drove to The Tamara.

The Tamara was two days of pure bliss & pampering. I will let the photos speak for the super time we had. During our stay,, we went for a yoga session in the plantation and a grueling trek of 6.5 kms up the hill.

On 3rd we said goodbye to the wonderful staff at The Tamara and headed for Bangalore to be with our family for 3 days before heading back to Pune/Mumbai.

On 6th we left Bangalore at 0615 hrs and reached our house in Pune at 2015 hrs. We covered a distance of 842 kms in approx. 14 hrs, driving time of 12.3 hrs at an average speed of 68.5 km/hr with a breakfast halt, a relaxed lunch halt in Belgaum and tea.

We stayed in Pune for one night and drove back to Mumbai the following afternoon.

Our trip lasted for 16 days and we covered a total of 2897 kms.
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Old 16th October 2014, 12:13   #10
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Default Re: Mumbai to Mysore, Coorg & Bangalore

Good one rpunwani, lovely place this Tamara in Coorg. So the ride was a Passat? Could not quite get to know from the only picture of the car
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Old 16th October 2014, 13:19   #11
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Good one rpunwani, lovely place this Tamara in Coorg. So the ride was a Passat? Could not quite get to know from the only picture of the car
Motomaverick,

The Tamara is one of the best resorts I have visited anywhere in the world. They do not allow children under 12 years old in the resort. The staff is excellent and pampered us to high heaven. You can check out more on their website www.thetamara.com.

The ride was indeed a Passat Highline 2.0 TDi DSG. Great car for highway driving - did not feel tired even after driving 800+ km in a day on 2 occasions.
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Old 16th October 2014, 17:11   #12
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The Tamara is one of the best resorts I have visited anywhere in the world. They do not allow children under 12 years old in the resort.
Yes even I had heard of that constraint. And yes, it IS one of best places in Coorg. I think its also a recent one. The other good one is Vivanta (Taj), which is also a fantastic property.
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Old 16th October 2014, 17:21   #13
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Beautiful travelogue rpunwani. Thanks for sharing. Refreshed my Coorg vacation memories
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Old 16th October 2014, 20:56   #14
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Yes even I had heard of that constraint. And yes, it IS one of best places in Coorg. I think its also a recent one. The other good one is Vivanta (Taj), which is also a fantastic property.
IMHO this place has to be seen to believe that it really exists. The rooms are not exactly cheap but they provide you with all meals as a part of the package (nothing else in the vicinity). They have taken great pains to ensure that the environmental impact is minimal; their wooden chalets are all imported from Scandinavia; luxury redefined

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Beautiful travelogue rpunwani. Thanks for sharing. Refreshed my Coorg vacation memories
Thank you very much Ashesh. My inspiration is my fellow BHPians.
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Old 17th October 2014, 09:58   #15
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Motomaverick,

The Tamara is one of the best resorts I have visited anywhere in the world. They do not allow children under 12 years old in the resort. The staff is excellent and pampered us to high heaven. You can check out more on their website www.thetamara.com.

The ride was indeed a Passat Highline 2.0 TDi DSG. Great car for highway driving - did not feel tired even after driving 800+ km in a day on 2 occasions.
Oh I didnt know that they do not allow children below 12, but strange rule is it to protect the children or the property. I guess I will have to wait for another 10 years to visit this resort
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