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Old 8th March 2009, 12:49   #1
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Default A lonely drive to Coorg

I have been meaning to write about my travel experience to Coorg in January 2009. Never got the time to sit down and put together an travelogue until today. It was the republic day long weekend, and the situation was such that I found myself driving down alone to Coorg. The rest of my holiday party was already in Coorg, well settled in the Club Mahindra resort in Madikere. I was unable to join earlier because of work.
I hit the road at around 6:30AM to avoid the traffic on Bangalore-Mysore road. I was a little unplanned for the trip, as I realized that my tank was almost empty when I left home! Thankfully there is a Shell a few kms away, and I stopped there to tank up. Unfortunately, I had to wait for 15 mins, as their staff was not yet ready for business. Anyways, the traffic was actually quite light; I was thinking that most road-trippers must’ve left Bangalore on Friday. I was comfortably cruising down SH-17 in no time at all.
My plan was to stop at the Café Coffee day/Pizza Corner plaza near after Maddur for breakfast. I should mention here, as a warning for fellow road-trippers, that CCD served me a stale sandwich here. How did I figure out? It was supposed to be a grilled/toasted sandwich, and it was indeed grilled/toaster, but was stone cold. That could only mean that it was last night’s leftover! I complained, and they replaced it, but I strongly suspect that they just microwave’d the same sandwich. :-(
So guys, give this CCD outlet a skip on your trips.
The route to Coorg is such that you need not enter Mysore, and can take the right turn on SH-17 after Srirangapatam. This is the road that leads to the Ranganathittu bird sanctuary. Soon after the turn, there is a railway crossing, where I had to wait, since the barrier was down. I took this opportunity to step out and stretch. This was the first time I was driving alone on a highway, and was frankly a little concerned that the lack of company might lull me into a sleep!
The train crossed, and the barrier was lifted. Soon after the railway crossing, there is a huge speed breaker, which needs to be negotiated carefully. I say some commotion ahead. It seemed like a Zen had lightly bumped the Omni van ahead of it. Omni was already at Zen’s door, grabbing collar, and screaming. As usual in our Indian roads, the next few Indicas, Innovas & Hero Hondas were slowing down to observe the fight. A good blast of the horn, and some quick maneuvering saw me leaving this scene far behind.
In a few minutes, I was joining SH-88 which runs to Kushalnager & Madikere. A word of caution, this bypass road joins the SH-88 from the right hand side, so you need to be a little careful joining the highway. SH-88 is a driver’s highway; well maintained, and very less traffic, and clear visibility for miles & miles ahead of you. Near Kushalnager, the road becomes a little less smooth, but still nice to drive.

A lonely drive to Coorg-24012009292.jpg

Around this point, I started using the GPS & navigation on my phone, since I was not very sure of the route. Googe Maps is what I used, and it seemed to be pretty useful. Their coverage of even the small towns is quite remarkable. I had to ask for directions just once, and that was inside Madikere town, and the directions were to Club Mahindra.
I reached Club Mahindra at around 12:30~1:00PM. It could have been earlier, but the last few kms to the resort were a little confusing. At this point I’d like to mention something about Coorg in general. Seeing the websites ads for Coorg tourism had made me think that it is a hill station, but in reality it is not. There are hills, but not very high. Madikere is just like any other town, but is blessed with abundant greenery. So people expecting an Ooty-Cunoor like hill station would be disappointed. However, the greenery is quite pleasing to watch, and on many stretches you can see pepper and coffee plantations –things which Coorg is famous for.

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I did not get to see too many tourist sights in Coorg, because the rest of my party had already seen the Tibetan monastry, waterfalls, elephant camp etc. I got to see Tala-Cauvery though. Here, I was expecting a gorge-kind of formation from where Cauvery emerges, but it was just a temple, with a pool in the middle which is supposed to be the underground birthplace of the river.
The food at Club Mahindra must’ve not been too appetizing, since no one in my group wanted to eat there for any of the days that we were there. Instead we had to opt for a small Dhaba just opposite the gates of the resort. They provided quite nice food, but simple fare. Apart from the food, other things in Club Mahindra are really good. The resort is fine-tuned for families, with a lot of fun activities for both kids and grown ups. The cottages are also quite spacious and roomy. Staff is very friendly. Overall, it is a good place for a family vactation, and is reachable in just 5~5.5 hours from Bangalore (I messed up the last few kms, so took longer).

A lonely drive to Coorg-25012009297.jpg
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Old 8th March 2009, 22:24   #2
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Good first travelogue. You could have researched some for some time in tbhp for knowing more details about the roads and conditions. Do post more pics. BTW which car you travelled?
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Old 8th March 2009, 22:50   #3
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There's nothing like a solo-drive if you enjoy driving! Just you, the car, and rolling scenery around and unconditional driving. I'd done a similar one here (A vacation drive: 30/12/08 - 02/01/09)as well !
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Old 9th March 2009, 13:01   #4
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@snaronikar: I dirve a Ford Ikon Flair.
@theMAG: Yes, I seem to have realized that too. When there is only you traveling, you get to appreciate the road, scenery, and the car more.
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Old 9th March 2009, 13:35   #5
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Nice begining. Are there any more pictures forthcoming? Btw, some of the pictures haven't loaded properly.
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Old 9th March 2009, 14:49   #6
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Do post more pictures and continue with your travelogue, is that you were going to meet up your friends for a party at the Club Mahindra or was it you were alone for the total trip without any friends
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