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Old 18th January 2009, 15:06   #1
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Default Coorg - A river runs through it !!

Coorg Trip Dec 25-28, 2008
Christmas was a long weekend, and we decided to take a trip to Coorg –this time just enjoying the River Cauvery that runs through it. Most people go gaga over the mountains of Coorg, but the serene splendor of the Cauvery is not given much notice.
25th Dec Bangalore-Bylakuppe-Dubare

We set off at 10 Am and took the NICE road and hit Srirangapatnam and stopped for Lunch at Precisely 1 Pm—surprisingly the Heritage Shelters restaurant was empty. The staff was still gearing up for lunch, and after a bit my son Dhruv marched into the kitchen to demand they expedite proceedings. He was impressed by the Tandoor and the way the rotis got baked in it.
Post lunch the drive from Yelwal to Kushalnagar was fast with a great road surface, but not much to see around. We also managed to solve the “I am bored” problem for Dhruv this time. I had loaded up a bunch of Aesop’s Fables and the complete Audiobook of Alice In Wonderland on my iPod, and just hooked it up to the car stereo system with a cheap battery driven FM transmitter I had picked up on my last US trip. Surprisingly both Priya and I enjoyed listening to the Alice story, after getting back to Bangalore, I picked up my Lewis Carroll compendium and reread it after 10 long years. I guess this is the Pico Iyer genre turned on its head—instead of reading a travel book and getting the wanderlust, your wandering drives you to read a book.
Bylakuppe 3:45 PM : Took a small break to see the Golden Temple . It was nice, but another small monastery on the other side of the road was much more serene. It had a lot of bee hives and a sole lady worshipper and a cow she was tending to in between her chanting while walking around the monastery.
We reached the Dubare Inn at 5 pm and immediately changed and went to the Kaveri river. It was fun splashing around on the shallow part with plenty of rocks to sit down and just enjoy the river flowing gently past. This was the daily ritual we followed both morning and evening all the days on this trip.
26th Dec Dubare-Madikeri-Kushalnagar-Dubare.
Woke up early and took the boat across to see the elephants, bathe them and feed them. Dhruv was a bit scared initially, but after seeing the gentle giants, he just loved even helping scrub down one elephant, and then later giving him a banana to eat. Getting sprayed by the elephant after their bath was the part all the kids enjoyed the most. After that we came back, had a sumptuous breakfast, and headed back to splash in the river.

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In the afternoon, we decided to take the Scenic drive to Madikeri on the Siddhapur-Madikeri road. The drive is lovely with scenic views, hardly any traffic and excellent road surface. One key attraction for us was the toy train at Rajas seat, but it had broken down and was awaiting repair—Dhruv had fun pretending to drive it though.

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Then we decided to check out the Nisargdham in Kushalnagar. The Kushalnagar-Madikeri drive is pathetic—poor road surface, and maniac drivers who will even overtake at blind turns.
Kushalnagar: Nisargdham had a quick trip to Nisargdham, but found it too touristy for our liking, then only part we really enjoyed was climbing into the tree house.
27th Dubare- Arekad (House On The Rock)
We did a repeat of the elephant / river dip activity on 27th morning too. By this time Dhruv’s activities had taken a toll on the room, and the cleaning guy took one look, dropped his broom and disappeared. He came back after 10 minutes with a surprise - a vacuum cleaner to restore the room to some state of normalcy. Of course Dhruv wanted to help with the vacuuming too and he has requested that his next toy be a ‘Real Vacuum cleaner’.

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Then we took the leisurely drive up to the House On The Rock. It is a spectacular homestay on the banks of the Kaveri, with a 70 acre coffee plantation which also grows pepper, papaya, oranges and bananas. The house is shaped like a ship, and there is a watch tower that gives a wonderful view of the estate and the Kaveri flowing below. There is even a small swimming pool, but it was empty, and after 3 days of dipping in the Kaveri, we did not mind that. We simply lazed around on the estate, and hogged the simple but delicious homemade food after 3 days of eating in restaurants.

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28th – Arecad-Siddhapura-Maldare-Piriyapatna-Bangalore
Got up at the crack of dawn, and took a long hike across the estate. It was foggy and dripping wet when I started walking , and midway through I saw the sun come up through the fog. By the time I got back it was sunny and bright and promised to be another nice winter day.

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Had breakfast and then drove back via the Maldare forest. It is a small single lane road, but very scenic and peaceful. The road surface is a bit bad in patches, but I would take that drive any day compared to the Piriyapatna-Kushalnagar route.
Trip Stats:
Total Distance:600 Km
Fuel Consumption rate: Avg of 17 Kmpl
Route Details/ Road Surface/Pit Stops
Blr-120-Srirangapatna-20-Yelwal-30-Hunsur-20-Priyapatna-20-Kushalnagar-18 Dubare

Blr- 120-Srirangapatnam-2kms after, Right Turn towards Ranganthittu (BEML Board ,adjacent temple,Railway Xing immediately after ).G0 20 kms Right turn at Elivala to meet up with SH88 to Hunsur.>Hunsur- take bye pass road 20 -Piriyapatna-16-Bylakuppe->Kushalnagar- 4-Gudde Hosur, then a Left turn towards Siddapura 14>Dubare.

Excellent road throughout except some bad patches between Srirangapatna- Yelwal and Gudde Hosur –Dubare. Kushalnagar- Madikeri road is pretty badly potholed, though I did see some road work in progress.
Decent places to eat with clean restrooms:
Srirangapatnam : Heritage Shelters
Kushalnagar – Caravan (on main road) / Kannika International - ate at both places and found the food to be good, and lot of locals eating there, which is always a good sign.

Last edited by Technocrat : 19th January 2009 at 15:19.
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Old 18th January 2009, 22:55   #2
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Hi Paragpatankar,

Nicely composed travelogue. How crowded was Coorg around the time you visited?

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Old 18th January 2009, 23:03   #3
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Nice travelogue.Iam glad you found accommodation at dubare since you wanted to spend time there.

@Jammy70: Coorg was packed during the Christmas weekend.

Last edited by princezahed : 18th January 2009 at 23:14.
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Old 19th January 2009, 07:35   #4
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So, Dhruv had enough fun I guess. Btw, what vehicle you were in?

And link to that house you stayed if possible please.
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Old 19th January 2009, 07:43   #5
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Nice travelogue, mate!

Nice place and nice house that you stayed. Added to list of my 'must visit' places.

And guess your little one had a whale of a time!

Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
So, Dhruv had enough fun I guess. Btw, what vehicle you were in? ....
I spy a little Alto with my eye.
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Old 19th January 2009, 08:13   #6
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Nicely written - very cute kid you got there!
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Old 19th January 2009, 12:01   #7
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Thanks for the comments folks. Specific replies:
@Jammy70 - Crowds- Madikeri was packed to the gills. Dubare was bad in the mid day-evening, but that was the time we were driving around. This is the reason I close to stay next to the river/camp, so early morning we could enjoy the elephantactivities.

@mjothi- Car is Alto VX. Maruti doesnt make the model anymore with the 1.1 L engine--but I have been a happy owner for over 6 years now . The extra power is very handy in climbs(have done a bit in Himachal/Uttaranchal/Ooty) and on hot days with AC on full blast.
Here is the place where we stayed House on the Rock
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