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Old 28th March 2024, 13:13   #1
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Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

Hello Folks,

After numerous years of spending time with TeamBHP's travelogue, here is one of my own, for the first time!

Finally did a much awaited summer trip last week with my family: wife, 2 kids & all-weather partner "Punto". The 5 day journey traversed through Bengaluru->Mysuru->Irpu Falls->Nagarahole->Thirunelli Temple(Wayanad, Kerala)->Kuruva Island(Wayanad, Kerala)->Talakaveri->Madikeri->Kushalnagar(Tibetan Golden Temple)->Mysuru->Bengaluru.

Distance covered: 763 KMs
Average speed: 44 KMPH including ghats, twisties & e-ways
Fuel economy: 14.3 KMPL with AC ON only during the noon

The itinerary went as below:

Day 1 - 22nd March
We were just waiting for our younger kid's last school day to get over at 12:30pm. No sooner he was out of the school with summer vacation following by, we started towards Mysuru after a quick lunch. We reached in 2 hrs with sedate but consistent 90KMPH cruise on the superb Benuguluru-Mysuru Expressway. Visited "Lokaranjan Aqua World Underwater Zoo". Kids and we loved it. Its in the centre of the town with underwater transparent tunnels to showcase variety of aquatic animals. Followed it with a visit to "Mirror Maze" near by that can be reached by couple of minutes of walk situated within the campus of "Snow City". Day ended with a economical stay in Mysuru.

Some pics of the places we visited:

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322184543.jpg
Entrance to the aquarium.

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322184217.jpg
Kids enjoying in the lap of Chimpanzee!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322183147.jpg
Inside the aquarium

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322182154.jpg
One of the underwater tunnel

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322182333.jpg
Another underwater tunnel

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322173418.jpg
Baby fish and a giant fish!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322174326.jpg
Illuminated transparent fish enclosure

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322174531.jpg
Another illuminated enclosure

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322180413.jpg
Fish enclosures

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322181009.jpg
Fish enclosures

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322181232.jpg
Fish enclosures

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322181401.jpg
Pose inside the tunnel

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322190654.jpg
Snow City with Mirror maze at the right adjacent side

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322190658.jpg
Some beautiful structure within the Snow City campus

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322184749.jpg
Iconic Mysore "Taanga"

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322185852.jpg
Inside mirror maze enclosure

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322185551.jpg
Inside mirror maze enclosure

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240322185408.jpg
Inside mirror maze enclosure

Last edited by red_hot_punto : 31st March 2024 at 15:30. Reason: Rule #11
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Old 28th March 2024, 19:46   #2
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Re: Coorg recommendations

Day 2 - 23rd March

As there was a plan to start early to enjoy the scenic route of Mysore->HD Kote->Nagarahole->Kutta->Irpu falls, woke up at 5am, got ready, indulged in brief photoshoot in front of palace & were at the doors of famous "Original Mylari Dosa" situated on the Nazarbad main road at sharp 6:30 am, the time it opens up in the morning.

There are two buildings, both run by the same management and both serving same items. Since it was too early, old one was ready to cater to the customers and the new one was still getting cleaned up. It was just a matter of some time, it got fully occupied along with some more customers waiting outside for their turn to munch up crispy and delicious dosas.

Quickly finished up the breakfast, adorned our Ganesha with GI tagged "Mysuru Mallige" famous for its fragrance and headed towards our next destination, Irpu falls via Nagarahole Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kids & my wife were super excited as we stared the entrance to the sanctuary at 8:45am. For them it was their first visit to the core of the forest. For me it was 4th, earlier I had visited Bandipura twice and BRT once as a bachelor with my friends. I had made them understand that it has to be a complete silence once we enter the forest zone for any wildlife sightings to happen as well as to respect their exclusive territory.

Forest guard at the entrance makes a entry of each vehicle that passes by with a tablet, looks quite modernised. A couple of Kms before and after the check post the road condition is completely patchy with lot of potholes, but thanks to our "Punto", we managed without much strain. After that the road is narrow but with good condition with speed breakers at regular intervals to keep the vehicle movement at low speed.

Deers, peacocks, wild boars and plenty of fresh air soothed our eyes and soul. I have to appreciate that my better half and the kids understood and kept silent with occasional QA on the way.

Drove very sedately and reached other end of the forest around 10:30am. Forest guard informed us that we were late and cautioned not to repeat the same since it would have attracted a hefty fine, but he let us go without paying one! At the exit gate of the sanctuary there is a pickup point for the safari which we enquired for confirmation. We had booked next day's morning open Jeep safari via JLR site and we were told to report at 5:30am. With this clarity headed to Irpu falls.

On the way, after the exit checkpost we suddenly noticed that there was fragrance all over the car and we stopped to check it out. Noticed that both sides of the road was covered with coffee plantations and it was the blooming coffee flowers that emitted this strong fragrance which covered entire area . We were so astonished and felt happy for the people living near by for their luck to live in such a beautiful location.

Reached Irpu falls parking area around 11:00am. My wife was sceptical about the presence of water at the falls but convince her that even without water it would be a short and sweet trek amidst the nature. Its a short and easy trail of 1+ Kms and we were at the waterfalls in no time.

To our surprise, there was plenty of water to get soaked in. Kids were ready to jump in for the bath with a clear instruction, no spitting and no use of soaps! There is a ramp made up of iron which locals told will be kept to reach the base of the falls safely and will be removed upon the onset of monsoon.

Enjoyed for an hour with special natural water massaging with water gushing from the heights of Brahmagiri forest range. Drank the real natural & mineral water from the falls, filled it up in our bottles and headed for lunch towards our stay -> "Coorg Evergreen Homestay" located around 5kms aways from the safari point. It will be our home in the lap of coffee estate for next couple of days & its managed by a gentlemen: Arunkumar.

Its a great and economical stay and very convenient for people opting for safari starting at Nanchi gate, Kutta. We upfront had informed that we are pure veggies and he got us prepared with delicious food adhering to the same with banana flower curry being the highlight. Finished off with the lunch with yummy butter milk and took rest before we could start in the late evening for the Thirunelly temple where lord Vishnu is the main deity.

Thirunelly temple, located in the Brahmagiri range is just at the other side of the Irpu falls but comes under Kerala's Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary, Wayanad region. Arunkumar(AK), our host, mentioned that more than anything else, guard at the checkpost at the Kerala entry checks PUC of the vehicle and on inspecting I found mine was due for renewal!

"No worries, lets not take the risk, we will go in our car!", said AK. Though I hesitated, he said all is well and we visited Thirunelly temple in his car via one more wildlife sanctuary. AK, though had driven via that route innumerable times, was driving very sedately as if it was his first visit, both ways and was trying to show us wildlife on the way! Very generous of him! We mingled with him as if we knew him since long and my younger one broke all barriers of talks as if he was his friend!

Visited the temple, relaxed for some time in the lap of the temple covered with forest on all four sides. It was a full moon, Poornima, giving us light chilling effect at the dusk. All the tiredness disappeared in the presence of the temple premises. I strongly believe and have experienced inner peace wherever I visited such old places of worship. It has to be the effect of positive energy that radiates in everyone coming from the all supreme "Purushottama"!

Headed back to the stay, had sumptuous & healthy meal and called it EOD. It was a long day but memorable and relaxing!

Pics of the day:

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323062347.jpg
Grand East gate of the Mysore palace

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323062558.jpg
Punto posing before the palace

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323063352.jpg
The original Vinayaka Mylari Hotel serving tasty dosas since 1938 - Old hotel

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323065449.jpg
The delicacy for which people come searching

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323063754.jpg
One more from the same Vinayaka Mylari Hotel - New one just next the old one

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323071243.jpg
Ganesha adorned with GI tagged Mysuru Mallige

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323084400.jpg
Entrance to the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve from HD Kote side

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323092043_img_3064-1.jpg
Deer giving warning call for a probable predator near by

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323085942.jpg
Me trying my luck for a better click

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323090744.jpg
Nice tarmac inside the forest

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323101206_img_3096.jpg
Other end of the NTR - Nanchi gate, Kutta

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323125127_img_3177-1.jpg
Narrow hanging bridge on the way to Irpu falls

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323124323_img_3173-1.jpg
Family pic

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323124218_img_3169-1.jpg
View of the falls from a distance

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323123057_img_3164-1.jpg
One more family pic at the base of falls, observe iron platform providing ease of access to it

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323113556_img_3133-1.jpg
Me and kids enjoying natural shower from the heights of Brahmagiri forest range

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323112558_img_3117-1.jpg
One more without us

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323112136_img_3112-1.jpg
Display showcasing biodiversity at BWS

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323164924.jpg
The lush green narrow road infront of our Coorg Evergreen Homestay

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323163101.jpg
View of the homestay from the gate

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323164913.jpg
Another view outside the stay

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323164626.jpg
Punto resting under the shed in the company of Ertiga in the background

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323163139.jpg
Open space in front of the stay to sit, play and relax

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323163124.jpg
Varanda, we had food here enjoying nature around

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240323162831.jpg
One more pic of the stay from a distance

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323180522_img_3181-1.jpg
Sunset on the way to Thirunelly temple via Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary with Brahmagiri forest range in the background

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323183914_img_3186-1.jpg
Steps leading to the temple premises

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323184153_img_3189-1.jpg
Temple stone pillars

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240323193610_img_3193-1.jpg
Cheese & Click

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-thirunellytemple.jpg
Pic of the sanctum sanctorum

Last edited by red_hot_punto : 31st March 2024 at 16:48. Reason: Inserting pictures
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Old 29th March 2024, 17:51   #3
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Re: Coorg recommendations

Day 3 - 24th March

The jeep safari was booked for the 6am slot and as we had to report at least by 5:45am, again woke up early, had high tea which we had informed AK a day before and started short drive towards the safari point - Nanchi gate, Kutta.

To our delight, it had rained heavily in the night around 3:30am though for a brief 15mins. The short drive was foggy and gave that special effect even at the onset of harsh summer. The fog continued even till 7:30am during our safari which had a mesmerizing effect altogether in the thick jungle. Look for the pics at the end of this post!

Reached the spot on time & just when the safari co-ordinator looked at my camera - Canon EOS 1500D with 18-55 mm IS II Lens, he said "Sir, its of no use" I knew it cant capture wildlife from a distance but was sure it can capture memories for us! But the straight talk from him, made us laugh! Yes, he was right.

There are two safari variants: one via bus which is cheaper at approx 700 per head and the jeep safari which costs 2250 per head for adults and for kids aged 5-12 it is approx 1700. Below 5 years, its free.

Safari started on time at 6am sharp, went deep inside the forest which my family had never experienced earlier. Though I had prior experience, but it was first time even for me to witness the glory of the jungle in the early hours and add to it the fog effect, a result of rain that had lashed few hours before.

We sighted abundant deer, peacocks, fighting wild buffalos, boars, elephants, birds and the famous malabar giant squirrels. Even after multiple attempts by the driver taking into different corners of the forest, the king of the jungle was never seen, not even leopard. But never mind, that alone should not be the goal when you visit a forest, there are much more things to feel and witness! Just before the end of the safari, there was a deer call for probable tiger or a leopard nearby but the wait to see one went in vain as nothing appeared in sight.

As a highlight, during our safari when our jeep approached a herd of elephants with a baby, couple of the adult elephants went hyper protective of the younger one. They covered remaining herd as they formed protective layer and on one slight provocation by our driver, one of the elephant briefly rushed towards our jeep at the side where my wife was sitting. She was like completely panicked, not able to even change the selfie mode of the mobile camera to normal mode. I heard she was requesting the driver not to again provoke by saying "Sir, sir, sir, please sir!!" Some minutes passed by and the herd passed silently into the woods with couple of angrily glare towards our jeep! But peace prevailed at the end!

Safari ended with brief photoshoot. There was a family from Chennai who told it was their 10th safari, but without any tiger sightings. And they strongly believed just tiger sighting should not be the only motive. Forest teaches you so many things - high level of alertness and at the same time to enjoy the beauty of the nature, to be calm and not lose the sense, respect for each others territory. Heard that Nagarahole Tiger Reserve is a natural forest where even the fallen trees are left as is and never cleared up and we actually saw it first hand.

Finished with the safari, headed back to our stay, had breakfast and dozed off till noon. After the lunch visited Kuruva Island located some 25Kms odd inside Kerala, again in AK's car. AK had upfront arranged for a 45 mins bamboo raft boating with his contact at the island which was temporarily stopped. Again thumbs up for his proactive action to take good care and ensure the guests take back memorable moments! Spent some time sailing in the bamboo raft. With not much people at the island, it felt as if we are given exclusive time with silence all around with no rush for anything. Enjoyed the evening and headed back to the stay. On the way AK took us to a shop where they prepare authentic Kerala Banana Chips! Purchased loads of them to distribute among friends and family and reached back around 7pm.

Since we were still feeling the tummy was full, had just evening snacks & butter milk in front of bon fire, re-winded the day spent and called it a day. Wow how good the day was!

Memories took back from the day:
Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324054930_img_3194-1.jpg
The safari jeep, ready to take us deep into the jungles. Appreciated it's butter smooth suspension!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324063114_img_3231-1.jpg
The timing to click this pic was perfect with this jeep approaching ours from another route

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324062707_img_3224-1.jpg
Forest blanketed with thick fog. Remember, it's summer!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324063242_img_3235-1.jpg
Deer flock, watching us with caution, the intruders!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324063331_img_3241-1.jpg
Mesmerizing view!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324064852_img_3268-1.jpg
Morning sun joining us for the safari

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324070044_img_3280-1.jpg
One of the lakes

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324061759_img_3202-1.jpg
Another one

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324072049_img_3291-1.jpg
The national bird

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324072407_img_3305-1.jpg
Lush soothing greenery around another lake

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324074518_img_3336-1.jpg
Abundant peacocks everywhere in the jungle

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324075155_img_3356-1.jpg
Dirt track, observe the fallen tree. It will not be moved unless it obstructs vehicle movement to keep the forest as natural as possible

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324075328_img_3361-1.jpg
Forest cover under the influence of fog

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324081023_img_3377-1.jpg
Safari track through grasslands

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324081952_img_3379-1.jpg
Another lake. Zoom in and observe for abundant ducks with Balck feather and brown body all along the lake bank.

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324083547_img_3407-1.jpg
Makani, a name for a variety of male elephant without tusk!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324083734_img_3416-1.jpg
Another pic with a different posture

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324084109_img_3439-1.jpg
Another pic of him after he chased the safari bus away!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324084250_img_3440-1.jpg
The herd that gave panic effect, the one at the forefront is the mother

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324084306_img_3446-1.jpg
The same watchful herd try to cross our track

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324092200_img_3458-1.jpg
We loved NTR!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324170931_img_3517-1.jpg
Bamboo raft ready to ferry us @ Kuruva Island, Kerala

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324160811_img_3475-1.jpg
We too are ready!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324163453_img_3486-1.jpg
Views from the raft

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324163942_img_3488-1.jpg
Views from the raft

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324164105_img_3493-1.jpg
Views from the raft

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324164114_img_3495-1.jpg
Views from the raft

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324170217_img_3513-1.jpg
Views from the raft

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-20240324164048_img_3490-1.jpg
Elevated bamboo house

Last edited by red_hot_punto : 31st March 2024 at 17:37.
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Old 31st March 2024, 23:32   #4
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

Day 4 - 25th March

The plan was to checkout from the stay after breakfast and head to Tala Kaveri, where the lifeline of the south, river Kaveri originates and later travel to Madikeri, visit Omkareshwar temple and end the day attending stargazing event organised by Starscapes.

Whenever I stay in a place on a trip, chosen carefully to be at either outskirts or amid nature, I have a habit of waking up early irrespective of how hectic the previous day would be just to make sure cool morning breeze and chirping of birds devoid of any human induced noise are experienced.

So again woke up early and went out for a walk, alone. The weather outside exceeded our expectations. Truly enjoyed the silence amid musical concert by the native birds. Spent some time appreciating the beauty of nature when left it with itself. Returned back to the stay. Wife and kids had woken up, high tea was on the table. Sipped it and then again went for second round of walk, this time with whole family. The weather was still at its best. We walked for a while, took some snaps and were back to the stay. Some links to the videos uploaded onto Youtube:




Got ready for the next destination, loaded the boot back with the luggages, had wonderful breakfast and started our drive towards Tala Kaveri. Visited the temple of goddess Kaveri, took her blessings and begged for plentiful of water for all beings.

Then visited Bhagamandala triveni sangam enroute to Madikeri and the presiding deity Bhagamandaleshwara. Drove then straight to Paakashala pure veg restaurant, Madikeri around noon to fill up the tummies. Bought some Coorg coffee powder from old well known shop nearby called "Shanthi Coffee Works". It's authentic shop selling quality coffee and just a walkable distance from Paakashala.

Since we still had some time before the stargazing event scheduled at 7pm, visited Omkareshwar temple at the heart of Madikeri around 5pm. It's a vast temple with a pond at the front. Only traditional dresses are allowed inside. Took blessings, spent some time and drove to Starscapes at the outskirts near golf club, around 3kms from city centre. As a reference, we Bangaloreans, can we imagine city outskirts so near?!

Starscapes was supposed to give us a much awaited experience of viewing the night sky. This was the main reason we visited Madikeri. But luck was not on our side. With clouds playing hide and seek, we could see only couple of astronomical objects, one was Cerius, the brightest star in the night sky and one another star inthe process of turning into a black hole. The later one was seen with black dot at the centre of the bright star clearly over the telescope. Stargazing ended with no probable chance of clear sky. We got some insights on celestial bodies and some phenomena in a closed door hall and left back to Paakashala for dinner after a promise from Starscapes that the booking amount would be refunded, it was Rs 700 per head. Free only for the younger one.

After dinner at Paakashala drove to our next stay for the night near to the location of Starscapes Observatory and called it a day.

Pics of the day:
Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325061557.jpg
Our stay "Coorg Evergreen Homestay"

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325061627.jpg
Punto still taking a nap in a cool weather

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325061831.jpg
A walk to remember and cherish!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325061946.jpg
Weather giving a feel of monsoon

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325062307.jpg
Fog and the fog light!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325062342.jpg
Coffee, pepper and arecanut plantations

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325074406.jpg
The gang!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325075544.jpg
Cheese!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325075647_01.jpg
Zebra crossing (Paints are faded out!)

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325075907.jpg
"Will hold each others hand, no matter what!"

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325080043.jpg
Another shot

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325080634.jpg
Quality time spent, together!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325093223.jpg
One hot tea, for the last time before we checkout and head to Tala Kaveri

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325093921.jpg
Group photo, Arunkumar by my side & his son at his side

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325122032.jpg
Entrance for the Kaveri temple

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325122639.jpg
View from temple premises

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325142802.jpg
Bhagamandala triveni sangam, a confluence of Kaveri, Kannike and Sujyoti rivers

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325143403.jpg
Family pic at the sangam

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325144040.jpg
Bhagamandaleshwara temple gopuram

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325144403.jpg
From inside

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325174148.jpg
Omkareshwara temple at the centre of Madikeri, vast and beautiful. At the centre of the pond is small Anjaneya temple and at the back the presiding deity - Omkareshwara!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325174223.jpg
From another angle. Perfect shot ?! Guess so. The sun, central grabhagraha, the small hanuman temple at the front and the gate, all coming in a straight angle!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325184715.jpg
Strascapes Observator at the outskirts of Madikeri

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325184731.jpg
Entrance

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325183431.jpg
The time tested man, awaiting for the next move, till we come back!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325185853.jpg
The observatory housing long range telescopes for stargazing

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325194734.jpg
Another view

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325190515.jpg
Inside view of the observatory, you can spot a pair of telescopes

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240325194838.jpg
One more view

Last edited by red_hot_punto : 1st April 2024 at 21:29.
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Old 1st April 2024, 16:22   #5
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

Day 5 - 26th March

We could not notice much around the "Sunbird Homestay" since it was already dark when we reached the day before. As usual, woke up early with rest of the gang still dreaming on the bed and ventured out. The location of the stay itself wonderful with with golf court at one end and the space observatory at the other end. There was nothing beyond, with just lush greenery and mountains at the far end! Enjoyed the walk, took some snaps and headed back to the stay.

The day before we had requested for a early breakfast by 7:30am at additional cost of Rs 240 with menu containing hot Idlis and Coffee. Plan was to finish of the breakfast ASAP, checkout from the stay and visit "Peppy's Glass Bridge"at the outskirts on the way to Tala Kaveri with slight deviation from the main road.
Went with the plan, reached the glass bridge entrance by 8:30am.

The charges are 200 per head and exception was given for my younger one. They open at 7am and allow you to stay the bridge for only 10 mins. The timing of the visit was just perfect with complete fog around and very less crowd. The view was great! Took some deep breath to fill up our mind and soul with fresh air for one last time before we hit the roads again. Some videos uploaded:





By 9:15am we were on the road with Punto taking us to our next destination - Namdroling Tibetan Monastery. Located at Bylakuppe on the Madikeri-Mysore route, it is the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. There is a good dedicated paid parking space at the other side of the road opposite to monastery. Parked our Punto and entered the huge campus of monastery. It was prayer time when we reached around 10:30 am. Got the information from one of the monk that there are 80 such settlements in and around Bylakuppe.

Witnessed the divine vibrations of the prayer, some photoshoot with monks and around. Did some shopping as souvenir and left towards Mysuru. There is one more route from Bylakuppe that directly connects Srirangapattana bypassing Mysuru, but we wanted to visit "Guru Sweets" @ Mysuru that sells authentic Mysuru Pak among others. They are the original inventors of Mysuru Pak! Bought loads of sweets for friends and family and started back at 3:30pm to our nest via e-way. Reached by 5:30 pm with a short break for snacks enroute @ RR nagar.

Reached back home safely and happily after loading our mind with memories that are going to last for a very long time!

That's it folks, signing off!

Memory lane:
Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326063002.jpg
"Sunbird Homestay"

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326071118.jpg
Abundant flowers

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326071230.jpg
Bonfire sit out

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326064436.jpg
View after a short walk from the stay

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326070312.jpg
Sun marking his attendance

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326064118.jpg
Beyond the golf course

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326064311.jpg
"Path leading to the light!"

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326074458.jpg
Morning breakfast

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326074514.jpg
Another view

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326081131.jpg
Customary group pic

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326084722.jpg
Entrance to the glass bridge, Madikeri

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326090605.jpg
The bridge

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326085201.jpg
Side view from the bridge

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326085211.jpg
Down under

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326090242.jpg
Posers

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326090722.jpg
Shot from side angle

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326091059.jpg
"How was it?"

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326091237.jpg
Me and men in making!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img20240326091311.jpg
The man!

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3537.jpg
Main entrance to the Namdroling Monastery Golden Temple

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3543.jpg
Front view

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3554.jpg
Prayer hall

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3596.jpg
Namdroling Monastery Golden Temple

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3598.jpg
Namdroling Monastery Golden Temple

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3599.jpg
Namdroling Monastery Golden Temple

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3605.jpg
Namdroling Monastery Golden Temple

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3600.jpg
The giant Tibetan bell, prayer hall in the backdrop

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3595.jpg
Buddha Shakyamuni at the center, to his left is Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche and to his right is Buddha Amitayus, the Buddha of Long Life.

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3563.jpg
Buddha Shakyamuni, shot from outside the prayer hall

Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto-img_3581.jpg
With monk!

Last edited by red_hot_punto : 1st April 2024 at 21:28.
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Old 1st April 2024, 21:47   #6
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st April 2024, 22:36   #7
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

Some videos of the safari:



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Old 2nd April 2024, 12:24   #8
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

Nice travelogue. How's the weather nowadays in Coorg? Is it very hot?
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Old 2nd April 2024, 13:26   #9
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by DasAuto1985 View Post
Nice travelogue. How's the weather nowadays in Coorg? Is it very hot?
Thank you 😊.
It was not that hot in the noon and turned cloudy in the evening. Morning was much better with cool breeze and fog at the outskirts, was enjoyable even till 11am, only after that it turned little hot but manageable.
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Old 2nd April 2024, 13:38   #10
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

A well written travelogue with beautiful photos. Looks like it was time and money well spent. Such travels bring the family together giving lots of memories to cherish and also the kids get a good understanding of nature. If you don't mind can you please share the details of the home-stays. All the best. Thanks for sharing. Keep on munching miles.
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Old 2nd April 2024, 14:46   #11
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by Kkumar View Post
A well written travelogue with beautiful photos. Looks like it was time and money well spent. Such travels bring the family together giving lots of memories to cherish and also the kids get a good understanding of nature. If you don't mind can you please share the details of the home-stays. All the best. Thanks for sharing. Keep on munching miles.
Indeed what you said is true. Only when we get out of four walls & comfort zone we do understand the world outside. Staying closer to nature surely enriches our life and soul. Thanks for your motivating words!

Since our chosen safari point was Nanchi gate, Kutta, we stayed some 5 kms away in a "Coorg Evergreen Homestay" for 2 days which costed us 11K including 3 times food and evening snacks with bonfire. It's managed by a gentleman Arunkumar & can be contacted on 87625 49417
GLoc:
https://g.co/kgs/ihjTUK

And in Coorg we halted for a day at "Sunbirds Homestay", precisely it was a overnight stay with early morning checkout by 8am. Costed us 2.3K including morning breakfast. You can contact Sharath 99725 53696 or Dimpu 97420 42940.
GLoc:
https://maps.app.goo.gl/szBvqZBQGcNz9KRJ6
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Old 2nd April 2024, 17:30   #12
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

Thanks for the nice ( my kind of ) travelogue. I think you went through main Nagarhole entrance ( not through Bavali route which I heard still in horrible condition).
By the way did they check PUC at the Kerala border.( It had become an yearly affair for me now as since our family deity is in Wayanad( Valliyoorkavu)).

Last edited by kvsneela : 2nd April 2024 at 17:32.
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Old 2nd April 2024, 19:05   #13
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by kvsneela View Post
Thanks for the nice ( my kind of ) travelogue. I think you went through main Nagarhole entrance ( not through Bavali route which I heard still in horrible condition).
By the way did they check PUC at the Kerala border.( It had become an yearly affair for me now as since our family deity is in Wayanad( Valliyoorkavu)).
Thanks for the appreciation

Yes, you are right. We went through main entrance that can be reached via HD Kote route. As said, just before and after the checkpost only for couple of KMs tarmac is at its worst. Otherwise it's in very good shape though narrow.

Punto's PUC had lapsed a month before which I noticed only before leaving for Thirunelly temple when AK, our stay owner, asked to check. He insisted to cross Kerala border in his own vehicle since first thing that will be checked is PUC by the guards and I did abide by his words. Though when we stopped at the check post before crossing, AK was recognised by them and didn't do any checks. But AK said they do check all unfamiliar vehicles before crossing. So we didn't take the risk. Also there was no emission testing centre near by.
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Old 3rd April 2024, 14:09   #14
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

That was a very sweet travelogue. It felt very good to see your wonderful family enjoying their time. Reminded me of the time when my son was as young as yours. We had gone on to Wayanad and visited Kuruva Island on those bamboo rafts. Thank you for sharing the wonderful pics.
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Old 3rd April 2024, 16:33   #15
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Re: Karnataka and Kerala in a Fiat Punto

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Originally Posted by Deep Blue View Post
That was a very sweet travelogue. It felt very good to see your wonderful family enjoying their time. Reminded me of the time when my son was as young as yours. We had gone on to Wayanad and visited Kuruva Island on those bamboo rafts. Thank you for sharing the wonderful pics.
Thanks for your sweet words and good to know that even you had been to this place earlier How was the crowd when you had visited?
Below are some wonderful moments at the Kuruwa Island, observe how silent the environment was, literally no one else other than us! We were so lucky! And big thanks to AK too!






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