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Old 14th June 2016, 23:41   #1
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Default Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore


This was my second highway trip in my new VW polo (1.2 MPI), the first one being Wayanad trip.
My co-passengers for this trip were my Wifey, my Mom and Dad.

As a BHPian one has the association of so many knowledgeable folks around you,who give honest opinions and help you when in need. I am also no exception to this. Before the trip I had asked my fellow BHPians who have already done this route so that I get good advice on my plan that I had put forward in the following post.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post3978034 (Coorg recommendations)

Wanted to take my parents on a long drive in my new car on their visit to Bangalore, a proud moment without an iota of doubt for all those young married couples who have purchased their first new car.

So the much awaited day for the trip arrived. Had taken 26th & 27th May off from office. Tanked up my Redcruiser the previous day.
So here is the day wise split of my trip.

DAY-1,26Th May 2016(Bangalore-Belur/Halebeedu-Madikeri)
As per my plan started from Whitefield,Bangalore in the wee hours so as to avoid early morning traffic from company pick up vans & cabs which I am sure starts around 6 for most of the companies in Bangalore.
To be precise my start time from home was 5:33a.m. The drive started listening to the aarti "Jai Lakshmi Maata" on the radio, a perfect start to the "Sanskaari Day" that it was going to be.
Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore-img_20160526_053420.jpg

I had planned to have my first sojourn for breakfast at A2B that is situated around 30 Kms before Hassan right on the highway.
Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore-screenshot_20160526051509.png

With the destination in my mind and google maps navigation responsibility given to my wife I was on my way for a memorable trip.

Due to the sparse traffic in ORR I had reached my first toll at Nelamangla at 5:53a.m. Within 30mins of my journey, I reached Nelamangla which is quite astounding according to Bangi standards.

Just when I took left towards Bangalore-Mangalore highway at Neelamangala junction I had to brake suddenly behind a Honda City who in turn had braked hard because of an irresponsible guy driving an Alto, who had stopped suddenly to buy some jasmine.
I honked hard when i went past him to let him know of his mistake but he cared the least rather was busy haggling for the Jasmine.

I feel obliged to mention regarding superb surface i.e NH-75,the road to Mangalore. It was butter smooth.Simply awesome. I would rate this road at the top of all roads including Bangalore-Hyderabad highway that I have travelled so far. I was able to keep up with other cars that were screaming past me. I was able to keep a constant speed of 120KPH. Noticing other cars overtaking me including an Alto (the same jasmine guy) and such a good road even I was tempted to press the throttle but my dad tried to caution me from going over 120KPH. And my Redcruiser was munching miles with that speed without any vibrations of any sorts. Thats why people say the handling and stability at high speeds is the best for VW. Thats when I realised why the stiff suspension and the low stance mattered so much in an highway.
Posting couple of pics of the 'makkhan'

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Stopped at one of the petrol pumps which also had a kiosk for tea to break for cup of tea. As we were having tea,my Mom looked at the cars zooming past us at high speeds. We discussed how we become oblivious of the speed when seated inside the car.
Here is the pic of my RedCruiser parked while we were having tea.Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore-img_20160526_072904.jpg

Reached our first destination at A2B for breakfast at 8:15 AM.
I thought there would not be too much crowd at such an early time but I was proved wrong. Below pic would show how the restaurant was packed to capacity.
Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore-picture.jpg

The bill for 4 people was around 270 bucks. The restrooms were very well maintained as you find in the multiplexes at Bangalore..

Started from A2B at 8:50 AM. I was on my way to our next destination which was to reach Hagare so as to take the diversion for Halebeedu.

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My Redcruiser had to bid adieu to the excellent NH-75 at Hassan to take on the Belur road.
Total toll collection on NH-75 was 255 INR.

We reached Hagare at 9:45 then took a right to head for Halebeedu.
The road was in good condition without much traffic. One can easily maintain a speed of 50Kmph.
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Reached Kedareshwer temple at 10:00. To my surprise there was not a single human present in the temple.

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Parked my steed in the nice shade of a banyan tree.
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Some pics taken at Kedareshwer temple.
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After a short photo session proceeded to Jain temple for another short visit.Even at this place there were no souls present except the temple caretaker. May be it was a Thursday which could have attributed to the sparse crowd..errr...No crowd.
I enjoy visiting places where there is no crowd so that you get enough time and space to take pics.
Posting the pics that I had taken in Jain temple, an absolute paradise for those wide lens photographers.

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Here are Mom and Dad posing for a snap.
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After Jain temple we visited the main attraction of Halebedu, the Hoysaleshwara temple.Unlike the earlier two places there was some crowd.
Paid parking fees of 30 bucks.
Let some of the pics do the talking for the exemplary artistery of the Hoysala dynasty.

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After Halebeedu we took the same route i.e via Hagare on our way to Belur. Reached Chennakesava temple in Belur. It was already 11:30 AM. The Sun was scorching down on us. It was difficult walking bare foot in the temple.
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Last edited by redcruiser : 11th July 2016 at 01:04.
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Old 3rd July 2016, 11:10   #2
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Default Bangalore to Coorg via Belur, A perfect family trip.

We were very hungry. At 1:20 PM reached Mayura Velapuri restaurant for lunch. The restaurant is present close to the temple. Had ordered thali for 4.Butter Milk that I ordered was the worst that I ever had in my life. Not much to talk about this place.

After the lunch we left for Coorg at 1:50 PM.
Took the SH-112 Belur-Somwarpet road for our next destination.
The roads were quite narrow, only a single heavy vehicle could pass without the wheels going out of the tarmac. Nevertheless it had sparse traffic.
Some pics of the road.
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There were too many blind curves in the route.Occasionally some state transport buses plied in this route.The drive was scenic due to the canopy of trees through out the route.

After some drive down in this route I decided to take rest. As a result my Dad was behind the wheels.He drives the more powerful 1.5 TDI Polo in my hometown.

After few kilometres this is what happened.

There was a bike ahead that was going around 50kmph So my dad decided to overtake him without even honking. All of a sudden out of the blind curve a mammoth KSRTC bus emerged and was right infront of us with some speed. I was like God save us!!! My heart stopped beating for a second. In the next moment I heard a thud that emanated from my left side. The bike had brushed the rear left door of the car when my dad swerved left out of his reflexes on seeing the bus.I was seated at the rear left side with my Mom seated in the right rear seat. Immediately turned back to check what happened.The bike guy actually controlled his bike well to come out of the tarmac onto the gravel footpath. The impact was hard but it was uniformly spread onto the biker right side which did not cause him to lose control or cause a pit.
We immediately stopped the vehicle to inspect any damages. Apologised the biker as we knew it was not at all his fault.
Probably my dad couldn't judge the low end power of the petrol engine as compared to the TDI engine.

The mishap was though a minor one could have been worse and could have easily made the trip sour for all of us.
In the process my Redcruser got its first dent within just 3 months of ownership.

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Off topic here. Well as you know we BHPians don't see our cars in such conditions.So immediately repaired at Trend automobiles after 2 weeks.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/bangal...ml#post4003780 (Body Repair & Painting, Glass Repair, Detailing etc. - Trend Automobiles (Bangalore))

After this incident I took the wheels for our onward journey and let my dad to get rest and calm his nerves. I drove with my usual self but now honking more often at every curves and to alert any vehicle ahead of us. The rest of the journey was good but there were some bad potholes in few patches.

We reached our hotel in Coorg at 5:00 PM located in the heart of Madikeri.I had initially planned to stay in Kushalnagar for two nights. Considering the places that I had planned to visit I thought staying in Kushalnagar may not be a good idea as I would be doing a lot of to and fro journey. So I changed my mind to stay 1 night in Madikeri and the next in Kushalnagar.

Hotel booked at Madikeri- Highton Hotel.
Cost for two rooms for 1 night- 1600
Room type- Non-AC deluxe room.
Booking type- Online,MakeMyTrip app. Also applied an coupon for which i got a discount of 1200 bucks.
My review- Very good location.Auto stand and bus stops are at stone's throw distance.No restaurants in the hotel but too many restaurants present nearby.Parking could be an issue if you go in peak season, at max the hotel compound can accommodate 8 Cars.It is around 1 KM away from raja seat. Rooms were ok but hated the two single beds that were joined to make it a double.

After some refreshment we went to Raja seat. Took an auto which was hardly some 1.5 Kms. The view from Raja seat was breathtaking. The panoramic view of the mountains and clouds added to the delight of eyes. It was indeed worth the visit.Most of us in Bangalore are fed up seeing concrete buildings and packed roads so you guys can imagine the joy of seeing such a wonderful panorama of natural beauty.

Here are some pics from my phone,1+2.

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Tourists enjoying the view from the viewing deck in Raja seat.
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Musical fountain.
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Finally the Raja's seat. Here the King of Kodagu would watch the Sun go down along with his Queens.
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After spending around 2 hours in Raja's seat. We decided to walk towards our Hotel and do some shopping on the way.

Mom wanted to shop for some spices so we haggled with some of the shops that quoted some exorbitant prices. Finally we landed at a very good place,The coorg store where we did all the shopping starting from spices, cashews ,figs ending in tea leaves. This store is present in Kodava Samaja building. It is just opposite to the Madikeri fort and adjacent to the police station.
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There is also a Cauvery emporium and two fantastic restaurants in the same building.
Hotel Neel Sagar- It is a pure Veg reataurant. People who want to have some authentic Kodavu style curries,North Indian as well as South Indian dishes will love this place. The ambience though resembles a typical bus stand hotel,however it was light on pocket. We had our dinner and the next day breakfast in this hotel.

The Fort Mercara- Non-vegeterians will like this place.As it was one of the few hotels that served Non-Veg food in the vicinity. The ambiance is good, quite plush I would say. Food is good and prices were similar to what we have typically in Bangalore.

Pic taken inside the building that houses everything that we wanted.We only focused our visits to this place.It had become a one stop destination at Madikeri.
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DAY-2 (Madikeri-Kushalnagar)
We checked out from our Hotel at 8:00 AM in the morning.
Here is the pic of the trip meter before the start of this day.
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Proceeded for our breakfast in the same place where we had our dinner the previous day,non other than "Hotel Neel Sagar".

We started our journey to the centre of the earth.oops no. Actually it was the journey to the birth place of river Cauvery which has been an apple of discord between two states and which is the lifeline of Bangalore urban. I know you would have guessed it correct, its Talakavery. It was around 43 Kms from Madikeri bus stand. Had i stayed in Kushalnagar I would have to travel extra 30 Kms. So now you would have understood why I chose to stay in Medikeri for 1 night instead of Kushalnagar. The road towards Talakavery was quite scenic with full of twist and turns. I enjoyed the ride and at the same time tested the handling of Polo in the corners. There was slight body roll but the handling was super. The steering response was over assisted and was too accurate. It was really fun to drive and got the feel of German Engineering.

Reached at Talakaveri at 10 AM. Weather was cloudy and in times the sun would show up as if students show up in lectures only for attendance.

Photography was restricted where the Puja was being done.
Nevertheless one can take pictures of the hills surrounding the place.Posting some of the photos taken at Talakaveri.

Well you can see coins thrown by devotees.
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The breathtaking view of the Brahmagiri hills from Talakaveri.
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We started from Talakaveri back to Madikeri for lunch. On the way we stopped at Thriveni Sangam at Bhagamandala. Here the Cauvery is joined by its two tributaries,the Kannike and the mythical Sujyoti river. I saw people taking bath at this place with utmost devotion.
Solo Pic of the 'Sacred Sangam'.
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Near to this place there is a temple called as 'Sri Bhagandeshwara temple'.
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I did not know much about the sacredness of this place until I came across this.
Do read it to appreciate the history behind this place and Kaveri.

We headed back for Madikeri yet again to the same place for lunch,'Kodava Samaja building'. Reached there at 2 PM. The gourmet in was going restless.
Wanted to have some Non-Veg food ,thus went to 'The Fort Mercara' restaurant. The Food was good. The bill for 4 people as taken in this pic.
Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore-picture.jpg

After satisfying our hungry tummies we then proceeded to check out the Fort that was just opposite to this building.

Here is the funny part, after entering the fort.ummm..should I say compound of walls of the fort. As per the sign boards we followed to enter the fort but could not figure out where the fort was. It seemed that we had entered a government premise. On asking one of the locals I got to know that the fort was converted to a government establishment. So that was it, after roaming around the campus for around 30 minutes we find out that the fort was a thing of past. My advice in 5 words to all the readers , "simply not worth the time".

This place atleast demands couple of pics ,so here you go.
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Started from the fort to visit Abbi falls which was about 7 Kms. After negotiating the uphill and downhills we reached Abbi falls at 4 PM. I was lucky to get a parking,this place was quite a tourist destination.Too many Tempo travellers as well as Innovas were ferrying the tourists in and out of this place.There was a lot of hustle and bustle as soon as you get there. The waterfall is around 1 Km from the parking ,so one had to go by walk.

View of the waterfall here. Tried to capture with a bit of long exposure to get this milky effect. However this is the max that one can get without a tripod.
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The path towards the waterfall from the parking has been made through the jungle. A pic given below-

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It was already 4:40 PM by the time we started from Abbi falls. Initially I had plans of visiting Mandalpatty but due to lack of time had to cancel it. Moreover it required us to hire a 4WD to reach to the top of the hills to really enjoy the view of Mandalpatty.

Well after seeing so many things we wanted to relax in the hotel. I had booked a hotel for a night in Kushalnagar. This did help us for our sightseeing in the following day,the Nisargadhama and Bylekuppe were all within a radius of 5 Kms.


Hotel booked at KushalNagar- JS Planters INN.
Cost for two rooms for 1 night- 2879 after 2000 bucks discount.
Room type- AC premium. (OYO premium)
Booking type- Would elaborate a bit on the booking process to my readers here. Was looking for a hotel in Kushalnagar when I stumbled upon this hotel in OYO room website. It was listed as a OYO Premium category. Had checked the prices through the mobile app and was getting around 30% off. Luckily I happened to call OYO customer care regarding some clarification then I got to know that if I book over phone then I would get a discount of 40%. I went ahead with the booking and availed the discount. The OYO room website doesn't show the hotel name while booking so there was no chance to check for hotel reviews. So I took the gamble with OYO as it was my first experience with them. Finally it turned out to be a correct choice.
My review- Hotel rooms i.e the OYO Premium rooms of the hotel were really good with a LCD TV, Free Wifi and Complementary breakfast. They have a good open restaurant cum bar on the terrace. Plenty of parking available which may not seem to be apparent as you visit the hotel so please ask the security for parking spot. Location of the hotel is also very good it is right next to the main road and very close to tourist spots like Nisargadhama and Bylekuppe.

Hotel room.
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Restaurant at the terrace.
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Last edited by redcruiser : 11th July 2016 at 00:33.
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Old 9th July 2016, 10:05   #3
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Default re: Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore

DAY-3 (KushalNagar-Mysore)

As always the ODO reading before the start of 3rd day.
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We checked out from the hotel at 10:30 AM. We had a good Aloo paratha and sandwich for breakfast.
Reached our next destination of Nisargadhama at 10:45 AM,flat 15minutes. Well now you can appreciate the location advantage of staying in Kushalnagar.
Entry ticket for Nisargadhama was 10 Rs per head.
Posting some pics taken at Nisargadhama.
Nisargadhama is actually an island formed by the river Kaveri. And the bridge that joins the island to the mainland is shown here.
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The place was kind of super mini zoo with animals like Rabbit,Deer,Elephant and couple of birds.
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Well now you get to see me..
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Just look at the queue for an Elephant ride.I wondered why people would waste time to take ride on an elephant for just 5 mins.I agree kids would enjoy it though.
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The entire island was full of grasses, well you know bamboo is a grass well.
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Some adventurous group walking in the river Kaveri.
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There were benches made of bamboos located sporadically over the whole place.
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There were some good art painted on most of the tree trunks.Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore-img_20160528_124641.jpg
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We left Nisargadhama at 1 PM towards our next destination,Bylekuppe. Found a good restaurant on our way towards Bylekuppe where we had lunch. It is on the right hand side of the road few meters after Hotel Empire.You can find it in the same building where you have hotel Castle international,so look out for Castle International hoarding which is quite apparent. The restaurant was Shanthi bytes.
Well all the checkboxes that one looks for in a restaurant can be ticked in this restaurant. Good food,cleanliness,decent price and the last but the most important criteria 'parking' .There was ample parking space in the basement of the building. Wifey and Mom liked 'Dal Kichidi' , it was yummy.

After satisfying our hunger we headed to Bylekuppe Buddhist Monastery,reached there at 2:30PM.
The Monastery is one of the major settlements of Tibetans in India. The place was serene and pleasing to the eyes.It was quite colourful and was bustling with weekend tourists.
Few pics taken in the Monastery.
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After spending some time and seeing this majestic Monastery ,we left for Mysore at 4:30 PM and reached in Mysore at 6:30. In the way we fell prey to one of these.
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Trust me guys the Mangoes that I got were not at all sweet. I felt these people would be selling good mangoes from the orchard without adding Carbide so got some 4 Kgs of Mangoes. Even the prices were not very cheap as compared to Blr. It was heights when kids would directly come onto the road for you to stop and purchase from these places. I saw a car coming at some speed and all of a sudden a kid,half way down the road waves at the car to stop.Oh boy! he was certainly playing with danger.
So beware of such road side fruit stalls on the highways.

We reached our next destination,Mysore at 6:30 PM. Checked into the hotel I had booked, which was right in the centre of the city.
Hotel booked at Mysore- Bombay Tiffanys Hotel.
Cost for two rooms for 1 night- 1793 with some discount coupon.
Room type- Non/Ac deluxe room.
Booking type-Booked from Cleartrip. Had got 200 bucks as first time booking.
My Review- The rooms were claustrophobic. Not even suitable for bachelors. Not much parking space.Even the location was in a very narrow lane making it difficult to access.

My wife being an ex Infoscion had a good idea about the restaurants in Mysore. So headed out to her favourite place. "The Jungle restaurant @ Hotel Pai Vista". I must say the place was awesome.It had a great ambience which was based on jungle theme. It is better than most of the themed restaurants in Bangalore. You will actually love this place. The food was good and the service was quite prompt.

DAY-4 (Mysore-Bangalore)

As usual my customary pic-
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We checked out from the hotel at 9 in the morning. Had breakfast at Hotel Dasprakash in Gandhi Square and then headed for the famous Mysore Zoo.

The weather was really nice and hence got to see the animals enjoying it to the fullest. It was indeed a delight to the eyes to see the peacock dancing, the monkeys playing around and the royal Bengal tigers in their full glory. Here are the pics from my DSLR.
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Last edited by redcruiser : 11th July 2016 at 00:46.
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Old 10th July 2016, 12:31   #4
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Default re: Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore

Few more pics at the Zoo.

Well had to bump up the brightness to get this pic in the most desirable way.
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The crowd of Homo Sapiens in the Zoo.
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Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore-teambhpday424.jpg

The Zoo was very big with varieties of species. It would easily take one full day to cover everything. It is far better than the Bannerghatta zoo.It is well organised, clean without any kind of pungent smell that you normally encounter in zoos.The zoo was so involving that we didn't realise that we had already spent 5 hours there. Had our lunch at 4:00 PM. The ladies did some shopping at devraj urs road for about 2 hours. Thereafter we planned to drive back to Bangalore. I was in two minds which route to take. Finally I made up my mind to take the Kanakapura route to Bangalore to avoid the rush that we usually have on Sunday evenings in the regular two-laned NH 275.

There was no traffic at all in NH-948 that I took. The road till Mallavali,SH-33 was not in good shape though. Some road construction work was in progress in SH-33 which slowed me down. As soon I hit NH I was greeted with a smooth tarmac. After some sedate driving I finally reached BEML layout Bangalore and at my home somewhere around 10 PM.

Last edited by redcruiser : 11th July 2016 at 00:54.
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Old 11th July 2016, 07:23   #5
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Default re: Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th July 2016, 09:47   #6
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Default re: Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore

Seems like you had a good time visiting quite a few places.
Nice travelogue with very good pictures, thanks for sharing

You could have also planned a visit to the Elephant camp at Dubare, not too far from Kushalnagar, but that can be a reason for another visit that side for another trip and probably visit the Virajpet side of Coorg district
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Old 12th July 2016, 12:29   #7
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Default Re: Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore

Looks like a Good Trip with Family and thank good that it was only a minor mishap.

If you are looking for Non Veg food in Madikeri try East End, RainTree or Mayura Valley view next time. If you are looking for places which locals prefer than West End, Red Fern or Church side is also good. Church Side is run by a Coorgi and you get few local dishes.

I don't share the same view on Neel Sagar though, its only good as a stop gap for veg food and not better than any bus stand restaurant. But overall there are no good veg restaurant in Madikeri.

By the way in the photo with Cauvery Emporium and Fort Mercara, you can catch a glimpse of a Boutique on the right hand side next to Cauvery Emporium. It belongs to my Brother in Law.

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Old 12th July 2016, 20:18   #8
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Default Re: Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore

Nice review.

Can you please post a rough or Google map of the location of JS Planters INN? It is not available on Google Maps.
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Old 12th July 2016, 20:30   #9
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Originally Posted by skdking View Post
Nice review.

Can you please post a rough or Google map of the location of JS Planters INN? It is not available on Google Maps.
Here is the pin point location that I could retrive from my photos taken at JS Planters INN.

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Old 12th July 2016, 21:56   #10
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Originally Posted by redcruiser View Post
Here is the pin point location that I could retrive from my photos taken at JS Planters INN.

Thanks. They have a website?
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Old 12th July 2016, 23:04   #11
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Originally Posted by skdking View Post
Thanks. They have a website?
This is the one.
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Old 13th July 2016, 10:35   #12
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Default Re: Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore

Superb pics ! Bringing back some of my old memories of visiting Madekiri and Mysore almost 8 years back….Last year Dec I had visited Halebidu, Belur , Sharvanbelogala and was so impressed that I continued the archeological journey heading to Hampi, visiting Chitradurga fort on the way.

If you like archeological monuments Hampi is the place you must visit if you haven’t been there yet.
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Old 18th July 2016, 23:57   #13
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Default Re: Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore

Very well photo-documented. What's your photography gear? Till now I have never had the inclination for wide-lens photography as I am much into outdoor portrait photography. Infact my gear is also built for that. But sometimes I feel the handicap in landscape photography and my lenses does not do any Justice too. I am particularly intrigued by the photo of Lord Mahavir(that vertical portrait where I think I can see your shadow in lower right portion). The lighting in that photo is simply outstanding. Did you tweaked the photo in PS or was it naturally lit up this way. You also got the photo angle perfectly. Too close and you would have had barrel effect and just a little back and the photo wouldn't look as majestic. I personally would have bent just a little more to avoid that shadow of mine. But nevertheless it's good one.
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Old 24th July 2016, 01:26   #14
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Default Re: Family Trip: Belur, Coorg & Mysore

Originally Posted by dinesh6481 View Post
Did you tweaked the photo in PS or was it naturally lit up this way. You also got the photo angle perfectly.
Thanks. I did bump up the brightness in Lightroom though. Yes I took this in a portrait orientation to get the full statue.
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