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Old 3rd July 2010, 11:19   #151
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This thought came to my mind when I saw one of your photos.

Do not feed the elephants.
Me: With rising inflation, we can't afford to!
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Old 3rd July 2010, 19:02   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
This thought came to my mind when I saw one of your photos.

Do not feed the elephants.
Me: With rising inflation, we can't afford to!
Ask tsk1979 - white ones cost less to feed nowadays than the regular ones!!
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Old 3rd July 2010, 22:41   #153
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Default Club mahindra Resort, Coorg - A Review

16th June morning, we checked out of East End Hotel and checked into the Club Mahindra Resort, about 6 km outside Madikeri town. It's work now for two days - I had a conference to attend.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-cmcoorg-0.jpg

With some 500 delegates attending, the entrance and lobby were a scene of utter chaos,
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and the staff manning the reception had no clue as to what to do.
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However, the lobby was a pleasant place to be in, once the chaos of the morning died down.
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The scientific sessions started from 8 AM, but we finally managed to get rooms allotted after 12 noon, though the promise was to get rooms by 11 AM. Fortunately, with the car outside, our luggage stayed secure inside it, and we were not overly worried.

Finally, we got our room key (the electronic card type), and managed to tip and convince one of the staff to take our luggage in a battery-operated cart to our room. SURPRISE! It's already occupied, with a few suitcases strewn about and a couple of lungis decorating a chair and sofa.

Room issue sorted out over the next 30 minutes, with some personal intervention by the Organizing Secretary, a personal friend. So at last, we managed to settle in. Still have to go for the conference!
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-cmcoorg-19.jpg

The rooms are scattered in small blocks around the property, and a round trip to my room from the main building (where the sessions were being held) meant at least 600 metres of walking. We got decent exercise, but could have done without it in the nagging rain.

A look at our accommodation and the surroundings.
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The kitchen is well-equipped with crockery, cutlery, microwave, toaster and electric kettle, and there's a small shop on the premises where one can buy essentials like bread, eggs, Maggi etc. and cook in the room.
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Cooking in the room is understandable, because the quality of food was quite awful - to the extent that, for the first (and only) time on our trip, we had gastrointestinal problems.
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Apart from the food, the place is fun to be in, especially for kids who love adventure. The jungle gym was a big attraction,
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though the two swimming pools were not, because the weather ranged between 23*C max and 20*C min.
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A couple of pics from the resort at night.
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Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-cmcoorg-22.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 3rd July 2010 at 22:44.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 23:27   #154
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Default To Virajpet

A part of the conference, including the inaugural ceremony, was to be held at the Coorg Institute of Dental Sciences (CIDS) at Virajpet, some 45 km away from the Club Mahindra Resort. Wife and daughter feeling under the weather, I decided to ride one of the buses the organizers had provided to transport the delegates.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-cidsvirajpet-0.jpg

It certainly was a boring trip!
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-cidsvirajpet-1.jpg

A look at the college campus...
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The college auditorium and the inaugural ceremony
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Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-cidsvirajpet-13.jpg
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Old 4th July 2010, 13:34   #155
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Default Tibetan Settlement at Bylakuppe

17th June: It was time to move on from Coorg, since we had to reach Calcutta by the 20th. We missed a number of sights here, such as the Talacauvery, Nisargadhama, Mercara Fort etc., but then there will be another time too, and a reason to visit. For now, it was 4 PM, and we were ready to drive overnight to Visakhapatnam from Madikeri.

On the way is Kushalnagar, and a right turn from the main road brought us to the Tibetan Settlement of Bylakuppe.
Quote:
Bylakuppe (BYE-LAH-COO-PEH) is an area set aside by the Indian government for Tibetan refugees 2hrs west of Mysore. Bylakuppe is the largest Tibetan settlement in India, and contains a number of inspiring monasteries and temples of all the major Vajrayana (Indo-Tibetan Buddhist) lineages. The largest monasteries are Namdroling (Nyingma tradition) and Sera (Gelugpa lineage).

While the Tibetans in Bylakuppe have adjusted to the weather and ways of South India, they retain their language, culture, medicine, and commitment to Buddhism. They also retain their characteristic sense of ease, generosity and humor. Just don't expect to see Yaks or Yeti -- it's only 1000 m high here.
(From Bylakuppe, largest Tibetan settlement in India - Kushalnagar, India - VirtualTourist.com)
It was deja vu for us, having travelled to Buddhist lands (Gross Travelling Happiness - Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling) just a few months ago. Some images from Bylakuppe.

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Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-bylakuppe-6.jpg
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Old 4th July 2010, 13:48   #156
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Default To Vizag

We left Bylakuppe at around 6:45 PM, on our way to complete the rest of the 1400-km journey to Visakhapatnam. It was an uneventful trip, and there are not too many photos to document it, except this sight of a flock of ducks somewhere near Mysore! Cows, goats, sheep - seen every other type of domesticated animal being herded - but ducks being herded??? We've never seen such a sight before, I must say.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-vizag.jpg

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We drove into Bangalore around 8:30 PM, and met up with BHPian arindamray. Thank you, Arindam, for going to all that trouble to meet us, find us a good fuel station (the best on the trip), and showing us the way out of Bangalore. It was about 11:15 PM when we parted ways, and Arindam had to miss his dinner because of us!
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Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-vizag-3.jpg

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Old 4th July 2010, 14:13   #157
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Default APTDC Rushikonda Beach Resort, Visakhapatnam

25 hours after we set off from Madikeri, 1408 km later, we were at the APTDC Resort at Rushikonda in Visakhapatnam.
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Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-vizag-5k100.jpg

The view from in front of the hotel was so glorious, it took away the tiredness of the journey in an instant. Here I must express my thanks to BHPian adc, who suggested this stopover. 100% worth it, though we stayed for just one night.
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The hotel itself is built on a cliff looking out to the crescent-shaped beach, and the main building has two varieties of rooms (the ones on the first floor are smaller, have a smaller balcony, and cost Rs.2200 + taxes; the ones on the second floor are larger, better equipped with a small refrigerator and electric kettle, have a larger bed, and a wonderful balcony - these cost Rs.2500 + taxes, and we chose one of these).
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-vizag-11k100.jpg

In fact, we spent more time on the balcony in the evening than we did inside the room!
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Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-vizag-10k100.jpg

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Some pics from the balcony - day/night comparisons.
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Room service is available, but watch out - this is Andhra Pradesh, and liberal use of chillies in whatever is served up can make for a rather hot experience as it did for us!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 4th July 2010 at 14:19.
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Old 4th July 2010, 21:39   #158
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Default Vizag to Calcutta

The ominous colour of the sky at 5:30 AM does not make for a happy sight when planning to drive 900 km.
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We were on our way by 7 AM, as the sky opened up and torrential rain came pouring down. But we wanted to drive along the Beach Road from the Rushikonda Resort, and rejoin the NH-5 20 km further north. And what a sight it was!
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Back on the NH-5, speed restricted due to the rain and low visibility, we cruised up to the end of the expressway, and diverted left into Ichchhapuram. If these pics from arindam_xeta's thread (Road Trip Kolkata - Puri - Vizag - Puri- Kolkata) make that road appear bad, it was about ten times worse after the rain. Trucks clogged the way, and the only hope of getting past was to get into slush on the side, and boy, was I glad to have 4WD! No other car/truck followed us, and we made it through the mess in pin-drop silence, the ICE switched off, the engine providing its own music, without the camera being taken out once. Sorry folks, no pics of the Ichchhapuram section - but here's a look at the single-lane roads in Orissa!
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A glimpse of the Chilka Lake...
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And then we were across the NLM (northern limit of the monsoon! ), and the rains of the last 10 days dried up. It was a hot and dusty road, humid too, and dark eyewear had to be deployed after so many days!

A much-enjoyed break for green coconuts.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-vizag-6.jpg

And then we stopped here...
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-vizag-13.jpg
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Old 4th July 2010, 23:53   #159
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Apologies for my lack of sense of humor , but i did not get the joke behind the last pic..Is it the restaurants name.
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Old 5th July 2010, 09:07   #160
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Doc, Do also share your experience/advice of monsoon driving too. As you have covered quite a lot during your current trip, it will helpful for all of us.

View from the hotel room at Vizag is awesome.
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Old 5th July 2010, 10:47   #161
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Excellent, excellent dada.

Must be a difficult task to take out kids from that jungle gym, they may like to spend entire trip there! And plz share the contact details & tariff of that Vizeg APTDC facility, views from there are so great, got to be there some day! Monsoon drive along the sea!! Dada, you got it all on this trip, pics are speaking volumes about it.
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Old 5th July 2010, 13:00   #162
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post

We drove into Bangalore around 8:30 PM, and met up with BHPian arindamray. Thank you, Arindam, for going to all that trouble to meet us, find us a good fuel station (the best on the trip), and showing us the way out of Bangalore. It was about 11:15 PM when we parted ways, and Arindam had to miss his dinner because of us!
Hei, it was pleasure meeting you. And I didn't miss the dinner

The Abbey falls looked really great. However, I think if not for rising water level Dubare experience would have been even better. You may check my Coorg travelogue for some of the snaps.

Vizag hotel is also awesome - should plan for it some time.
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Old 5th July 2010, 13:36   #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v&v View Post
Doc, Do also share your experience/advice of monsoon driving too.
I don't think monsoon driving is any different from regular driving! Just that your wipers should do an adequate job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by harishnayak View Post
Apologies for my lack of sense of humor , but i did not get the joke behind the last pic..Is it the restaurants name.
It was so hot, even the restaurant is...
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Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
Must be a difficult task to take out kids from that jungle gym, they may like to spend entire trip there!
Not when it's raining!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongDrive lover View Post
And plz share the contact details & tariff of that Vizeg APTDC facility...
Here it is - from their website: APTDC - ANDHRA PRADESH TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Destinations, Hyderabad, Tirupati, Visakhapatnam, Puttaparthi, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Warangal, Themes, Heritage, Nature, Wildlife, Religion, Beaches, Adventure, Fairs & Festi

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Hei, it was pleasure meeting you. And I didn't miss the dinner

The Abbey falls looked really great. However, I think if not for rising water level Dubare experience would have been even better. You may check my Coorg travelogue for some of the snaps.
We actually didn't go to Talacauvery partly because the locals said the water level has risen and was flowing over the road, therefore one couldn't go.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 5th July 2010 at 13:41.
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Old 5th July 2010, 15:03   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
And then we stopped here...
Attachment 380649
Here's where we stopped...
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-vizakha.jpg

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The dry riverbed of the Mahanadi at Cuttack
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The rest of the drive to Kolkata was rain-free, and the OR police at the border were not interested in us. However there were two points where we were held up. The first was at the Kolaghat Bridge, where the traffic system allows LMVs to run both ways but HTVs go through an alternating one-way system. However, the HTVs waiting for their turn to go across had jammed access to the bridge for LMVs, and we spent an hour twiddling our thumbs.

The next hold-up was about 10 km west of Uluberia. A container truck spilled its container, and three cranes were deployed to clear the road - not in too effective a manner though. There were cops in attendance there too, but the carriageway was not blocked off at the nearest cut - about 3 km behind us - and we had a complete traffic jam behind us, while vehicles who came later took the opposite carriageway and whizzed by. 4WD to the rescue - jumped the divider and saved at least an hour or more of further delay.

Back home in Kolkata, the Hawk-on-fours gets its parking slot for the next few days.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01008k100.jpg

It certainly was hot and humid in Kolkata! Enjoy the bath...
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01009k100.jpg




A spot of religion at the Tripureshwari Temple, further south from Garia - never heard of the place before, in all my years of being in Calcutta. Peaceful, and most importantly, not crowded.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01011k100.jpg

Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01012k100.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 5th July 2010 at 15:08.
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Old 5th July 2010, 16:26   #165
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Calcutta is about the Victoria Memorial and trams, about cricket and football on the Maidan, about tall buildings coexisting with herds of goats, and about waterlogging.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01028k100.jpg

Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01030k100.jpg

Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01024k100.jpg

Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-maidan-panok100.jpg

Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01020k100.jpg

Calcutta is about reflecting on my past, my childhood and youth, my life 20 years ago.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-reflectionk100.jpg

The humidity doesn't help though. Three days of getting thoroughly steamed in Kolkata, and finally the monsoons caught up with us there.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01015k100.jpg

Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01017k100.jpg

Parking in Calcutta is even more painful when driving a Scorpio around, and the best place to park was on the Maidan. After close to 6000 km across the country, the Hawk-on-fours deserved a few photos of its own.
Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01018.jpg

Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01019k100.jpg

Hawk-on-fours on a pan-India tour: Delhi-Mumbai-Goa-Manipal-Coorg-Kolkata-Delhi-dsc01023k100.jpg
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