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Old 7th January 2016, 11:57   #1
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Default Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru

Sorry this is being posted some 10 days after geting back from the above places. Acknowledgements to all the office and house work that were and still are holding me up.

My driving destinations are decided SOLELY by the quality of roads leading to and from them.

With 5 days in hand for my son's Christmas holidays and some fast browsing of TBHP forums, I zeroed on Wayanad and Kodagu at locations (homestays) without any connectivity of the 3G kind.

So, we (I, my wife and son) set out by 0700 hrs on 24-Dec-2015 morning from our home in Rajajinagar, Bengaluru. Was wondering for a while if that hour was still early enough to beat the traffic to Mysuru. Fortunately it did, as I pulled into Shri Guru Residency (JLB Road) by 1045 hrs. Too early for lunch at that hour but we made good of veg grilled sandwich, noodles and Rava Dosa, washed down with coffee. Tanked up (XTraMile Petrol) at my usual Indianoil bunk near Guru Residency and we were soon on the NH-212 to Gundlupet before branching off to Wayanad.

As many TBHPians have reported, I did find road widening work on the NH-212 going on till Nanjangud but the finished stretches were good and fast. Indeed, past Nanjangud, it was a breeze all the way to Gundlupet. I continued on the NH-212 Kozhikode highway, going thru Bandipur forest and past Sultan Bathery. Spotted a couple of elephants browsing just off the road and a few deer in the forest, but having clicked these denizens enough, did not feel motivated to add some more pics and drove on.

Had planned to stop somewhere in Sultan Bathery for lunch but then arbitrarily decided to go on and have it at the homestay- a stupid decision as I later realized.

Once we crossed Sultan Bathery town, I called up the homestay and the landlady said she was also on the NH-212, shopping. Some errors and corrections followed before we identified the road to the homestay. Finally, we caught up and followed her 2-Wheeler thru a not- so- good mud road for 3 km. We were settled in our room by 1530 hrs.

Route to Pillowrocks homestay, Wayanad is here:
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-pillowrockshomestay.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-wayanadhs.png
And now, what about that lunch? Going by the hour, she assumed we had finished with that long ago. Seeing my tired look though, she obliged and some 1 hr later, managed to get some simple grub. Spent the rest of the evening lazing around the homestay plantation and farm. Dinner was custom- made for us pure vegetarians.

My wife decided we were going to Kuruva island, Tholpetty WLS and Thirunelly the next day. She decided on a local A/C Indica (INR 2000/-) rather than have me drive and fatigue myself.

Next morning, before we started, took some random clicks around the homestay. There were lots of birds but many were well hidden and showed up momentarily. Managed to click the Magpie- Robin seen here from some 25m.
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-birdwayanad.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-wayanadhssurroundings.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-carwayanad.png
We stopped at a temple of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha at a place called Panamaram on the route (Kalpetta- Mananthavady road). This temple is well maintained.

We got to Kuruva island entrance around 1000. There were lots of tourists like us of course, who were already there in buses and cars. Could see quite a few cars from Karnataka.

Kuruva island reminds me of Ranganathittu except that the former is not exclusively a bird sanctuary. The river Kabini runs around Kuruva island. One gets across the river by a large raft carrying some 30 people that is manually moved across by just 1 person! See the pic.
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-raftingkuruva.png
Once you get off the raft, you could walk 2 km inside the forest to a spot where the river is shallow enough for fun. The more adventurous have trekking options further into the island, where even elephants could be encountered. The forest department promotes eco- tourism.
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-kuruva1.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-kuruva2.png
Being rather late in the day, we couldn't spot any birds. A small snake (known as Bronzeback tree snake) on a branch caught my attention as I was heading back to the raft point. This is mildly venomous.
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-snakekuruva.png
After lunch at a local restaurant, we headed for Tholpetty WLS to see if we could get tickets for the afternoon (1500 hrs). Once we got there, I saw a long queue had already formed for 20 jeeps in all. The system seems to be awful and any one individual is free to book any number of jeeps! No surprise, we never got tickets.

After that fiasco, we headed off to Tirunelly. The ghat drive is enjoyable with good road and forest surroundings. Reached Tirunelly by 1800 hrs. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and according to legend, was consecrated by Lord Brahma. Adjoining the temple is a stream called Papanashini (destroyer of sins), reached by a brief climb. Here are a few pics from the place.
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-papanasini2.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-sunsetthirunelly.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-squirrel.png
Next day, we had to get to Westland homestay, near a place called Ammathi in Kodagu, some 15 km from Gonikoppa. This drive was great, especially thru the coffee estate- lined roads of Kutta, Srimangala and Gonikoppa. As usual, last mile assistance was a bit messy as the landlady misled me on landmarks for a while. Anyway, managed to get to the place by 1400 hrs. The route is here.
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A great lunch with veggie- rich Raitha revived my senses. We toured their plantation that evening and settled to take their jeep (run by the landlady's husband) to cover Dubare, Nisargadhama and Mandalpatti the next day for INR 2000/-.
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-carcoorg.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-estatecoorg.png
Dubare was very crowded, being a Sunday and part of that long weekend. We couldn't cross the river on foot as dozens of people had lined up along the shallow stretch and there was a mile- long queue for the ferry. Decided to settle for a 30 min raft ride @INR 100/- per head. That wasn't a bad idea as we could get close to bathing elephants.
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-raftingdubare.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-elephantdubare1.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-elephantdubare2.png
Next stop was Nisargadhama where a short span suspension bridge hangs over the river. Crowds again, but still enjoyable.
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Moved on next to Madikeri for lunch and cash (ATM). Post lunch (actually it was around 1500 hrs), we headed off to Mandalpatti, that also is the start of the not- so- well- known Pushpagiri WLS. The drive is nice, over winding roads and forest. One can go all the way upto the last 7 km by a sedan or hatchback but beyond that, it is off- roading over boulders and ruts in mud- fit for high clearance Jeeps or SUV's only. See the pics below.
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-roadmandal1.png
Mandalpatti has many scenic viewpoints, meaning peaks for great pics of the surrounding hills. The forest is of 'Shola'type, in the gorge like feature between hill peaks. Wildlife is certainly around as the local forest checkpost guy told me, but one may have to trek well into the forest to see anything. Some pics:
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-mandal7.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-mandal8.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-mandal3.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-mandal6.png
Next day, it was time to wind up. Decided to return thru Nagarahole in the hope of sighting. Well, I knew it was going to be around noon, but that was the best I could do. Followed the Pollibetta- Gonikoppa- Kutta route and entered Nagarahole in the middle of the day. Exited the forest with pics of deer!
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-deernag1.png
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-deernag3.png
Pit stop at Mysuru as usual and we were back home around 1800. Good change from Bengaluru life, certainly.
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Old 7th January 2016, 12:07   #2
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Default re: Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru

Thats beautiful, mate
Usually pictures do not do enough justice but I can really see what an experience it would have been for you.
Awesome pictures of the nature and wildlife.

Cheers.
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Old 7th January 2016, 12:51   #3
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Default re: Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru

Eye catching snaps,DrVjy. And well narrated travelogue. I wish you could post some snaps of LakshmiNarasimha temple,if you have shot.
Thanks
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Old 7th January 2016, 13:37   #4
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Default re: Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru

Quote:
Originally Posted by virgopal View Post
Eye catching snaps,DrVjy. And well narrated travelogue. I wish you could post some snaps of LakshmiNarasimha temple,if you have shot.
Thanks
Here you go:

Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-wp_20151225_001.jpg
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-wp_20151225_002.jpg
Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru-wp_20151225_003.jpg

These snaps were from my Nokia, 5 MP. No photography inside the temple, of course.
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Old 7th January 2016, 14:30   #5
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Default re: Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru

Nice travelogue and lovely pictures to go with it DrVjy, thanks for sharing !
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Old 7th January 2016, 16:00   #6
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Default re: Thirunelli, Dubare & Mandalpatti - 4 day getaway from Bengaluru

Thanks a lot DrVjy for sharing these excellent snaps of Garuda sthambha & Temple front.
Nokia results are quite good.
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