Thursday, June 18, 2015

Roaring wheels in Rain- Roar 2

"Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” 
                                                                                       – Gustave Flaubert
(Confession: The Part 1 in this series halted for a tea break but i know that it has been  the longest tea break ever in history. Procrastination is a disorder i suffer from. But now, I am back to continue the story.)

............. Confused? click here to hear the previous roar.......

The rain was not very harsh that day. It wasn't a cosy drizzle either. We reached the 'Nimishamba devi' temple at Mysore as per our plan. We have a special devotion to this Goddess and we had decided to visit this temple once a year and we have been following the practice religiously.After the prayers and some munching on the raw mangoes and bhelpuri from the near by stalls, we were back on wheels.

After driving around 150 and odd kilometers, we reached Madikeri around 6 PM in the evening.

Madikeri lies on the Karnataka State Highway 88 that runs from Mysuru to Mangaluru. It is 120 km from Mysore and 136 km from Mangaluru. From Bengaluru, the state capital of Karnataka, one can take the State Highway 17 (Bangalore - Mysore Highway) and take a deviation just after the town of Srirangapatna to join State Highway 88 towards Madikeri. It can be approached fromMangaluru via PutturSullia passing through sampaje ghat .From Bangalore, Madikeri is at a distance of 252 km. Nearby towns are Hassan (115 km), Sullia at a distance of 52 km in Karnataka state and KannurThalasseryKanhangad and Uppala in Kerala state (each around 114 km away).

 Gani stood under an umbrella, his eyes looking worried as he awaited his best buddies to safely arrive.Drenched in rain, dripping water from  top to bottom, we looked soaked in madness more than in rain.But we loved the thrill you see *wink*. 
He looked at us like aliens, who were suffering from a disorder called 'craziness'. In a day's time we were used to those looks at the tea stall, at the biryani stall and where ever we halted to take a short break when rain was a little wild on us.Our overly packed bodies to blame :-P.

"You guys never change eh? Did you not find any other day to travel" his intimate words showed his care for us.

Winking at him I said " That was so much fun, you must try this as well!" quickly avoiding eye contact as I knew what was about to come from him. Lol.

After all, it wasn't risky when you know the speed limit, when and were to stop.And we had taken care of each aspect.

He had arranged a guest house already for our stay. We spent few hours drying up our clothes and finding some thing hot to drink. A hot madikeri coffee was not only a life saviour from the cold but also a mood-booster.

The evening rain got milder and manageable with an umbrella .We decided to visit Gani's house which was close by and  also to explore the night view of the gorgeous town. We began taking strides in a place full of mist and fog, so thick and dense that we could hardly recognise the person coming in front of us in about few meters.Madikeri is  like that in winter.But the experience was as calm and lovely as the fog.No regrets.

Gani had a surprise for us. A priceless one. He had planned a small get together at his place for which he invited two other friends. David and Shashi. My lovely college buddies. 
They worked in Mysore so coming to Coorg was about 3 hours for them.Nothing could have made our day better than meeting them  after so many years. I offered to cook for them the delicious recipes out of lamb.And they loved it.

We reminisced our college days, canteen times, those internals fun and laughed our lungs out till mid night. We were back to our college days in our memory lane already. Loads of fun . How much i had missed these guys and my college days:(

Hugging each other and promising to keep in touch, we took a local rick back to the guest house and got some much required sleep.

**Day 2**

We got up early in the morning and captured the beautiful view of the city from our balcony. We also visited a Kali temple that was close by.Learning various cultures and practices always spikes my curiosity.

  • Madikeri was formerly known as Muddu raja keri. Muddurajakeri which means Mudduraja's town, was named after the prominent Haleri king, Mudduraja who ruled Kodagu from 1633 to 1687.
  • Madikeri town  is generally chilly place, situated at an elevation of over 5000 ft above sea level. 
  • Madikeri has an average literacy rate of 81%, higher than the national average of 57.2: male literacy was 83%, and female literacy 79%
  • In Madikeri the main festivals celebrated are Kailpodhu, Kaveri Sankramana, Puttari and Dasara. The Karaga festival also starts during the time of Navaratri.
  •  Mysore and Mangalore at 140 km away are good alternatives to reach Madikeri from within Karnataka.
List of places we visited in Coorg:

1) Abbey Falls
  • Abbey Falls/ Abbi Falls/Abbe Falls  in Kodagu, in the Western Ghats in Karnataka. It is located 8 km from the Madikeri and 268 km from Bangalore.
  • The river is part of the early reaches of the river Kaveri.
  • The waterfall is located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines. 
  • A hanging bridge constructed just opposite the falls. There is a Kali Mata temple on one side of the bridge.
We heard the roar of the falls from the road. Since it was a state holiday, a lot of tourists had flocked the place. We managed to click some pictures and spend some time  relaxing. Getting into water was not allowed and we did not prefer it either as we had a list of places to visit that day and could not waste time drying and changing our clothes.Not again:-P.

2) Dubare Elephant camp

This camp has plenty of elephants which are trained under naturalists. A trained Naturalist is at hand to explain the various aspects of Elephant.The visitors can not only observe and learn but also participate in various activities involving elephants like taking a picture with them, feeding them and also taking a ride on them. 

Tip:Be careful, these guys ask for extra money for everything. Just pay for the tickets and if you find them helpful don't hesitate to tip them. I do not hate tipping until i am not forced to do.

Elephant Grooming: We watched the elephants as they were given a scrub-bath in the river and also watched how oil is applied on their forehead, tusks and other aspects of elephant grooming. It was very interesting to watch this and get into some action as well.Initially, I was scared to touch them and stand close but i was comforted by my husband. After all, he is by my side always (in any crime :-P)

The High-Five

          This 2 year old little one and my husband share the same name. Extra love to him!

3) Rafting in Kaveri river

We were first timers for rafting. It was so much excitement and fun. We made local friends and joined their group for the activity. Since it was monsoon, the water level was relatively high.The equipments such as head gears and life jackets were provided by the camps to the tourists for the purpose of safety.

The enchanting landscape presented with a backdrop of the forest making the region just the perfect catalyst to get into an upbeat mood of rafting and rushing through the waters. Our rafting initiated from Dubare and stretched up to 11 kms, covering the regions of  Madapattana.

For those who want to stay there for a night or so, there are really awesome resorts and cottages maintained by Forest department. 

Food- Do not to worry. There is a very good restaurant inside the forest which serves both north and south Indian meals.They are above average in taste I can say.It is open early in the morning to late in the evening.

Tip: Do not rely on swiping your cards. ATM's are very far from the center of the forest region.Hence have some cash handy.It makes life easier while travelling. We did that mistake of not refilling our wallets with cash  and wasted some time finding the ATM .A travel lesson learnt.

4) The Tibetan Colony

The Bylakuppe Tibetan settlement is around 35 km from the resort and lies in Mysore district. It was started in 1960 and is the second largest settlement (after Dharamshala) of the exiled Tibetan diaspora on Indian soil. The Bylakuppe settlement is spread over some 20 odd sq km and is home to a native population of 30,000 Tibetan people.

Ohooo!...Visiting Tibet!

The happiness of driving in the vast and pleasant roads, watching the tall grass sway in the mild breeze knew no bounds. The fluttering Tibetan flag in air marked the entry of the colony. Along the way, we passed monks, young and old, in their maroon and gold vestments.With every little aspect looking Tibetan, we felt transported to a different world.The hotels were large in number. They served Indian too. Our lunch was simple and nice with less options on the table.

We parked our bike, and followed the path which led to the grand entry of "The Golden temple".

The Buddhist trinity of Gautama Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava and Budha Amitayu. The inside of the temple is cavernous and the statues are monolithic, dwarfing devotees and visitors in their magnificent presence. The three seated statues – 20- 30ft high – are burnished with copper and gold haloing them with an effulgent aura of unspoken wisdom and unspeakable peace. The surrounding walls are adorned with frescoes and murals depicting key scenes from the life of the Buddha. The Namdroling monastery and temples are dedicated to the Palyul lineage of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism

We breathe in  tranquility.Sat in silence for a medication. Soon, there was so much peace inside. The ambience to be thanked.

       Finding the silence in the sound of life is the grand ideal of the Buddhist masters!. 

After the worship, we left to the Tibetan shopping complex for some shopping (I was so much aware of the shopping options here:Credit to my friend who had recently visited this place and shared her shopping gyaan with me). I bought some gifts for my friends,family and goes -with-out-saying i shopped for myself too. A lot, actually :) 

We left there by evening and drove back home carrying beautiful bunch of memories,etched for lifetime and an extra bag that held the gifts and takeaways from coorg.

                                                   Coorg call us again............!!!

P.S: Wiki has helped me give accurate details .Though i have referred to it, I have  modified some parts in my own words, kept it short and crisp, minding the length of the blog. The content in italics is used to highlight information more about the place than my personal experience.Hope it helps:)

Take-away- Tips:
  •  You will not regret buying flavoured tea leaves and coffee powder for your family and friends.They are the best in the state and available in a lot of variety.
  • Coorg is famous for pulpy oranges. You can indulge in them thoroughly and carry some, if your luggage permits.
  • Local chocolates and homemade wines are also a speciality here.
  • Spices and eucalyptus oil  are the best to bought here.Lesser in cost, best in quality.
  • Rest of the shopping  is up to one's personal choice.
Additional places to cover

These places are awesome too. Due to time constraints, we could not visit them.If one finds time, you should not be missing these.
  • Raja's Seat - for a seasonal garden of flowers and artificial fountain.
  • Omkareshwara Temple - famous shrine of Lord Shiva.
  • Madikeri Fort -  one of the popular tourist attraction.
  • Bagamandala spend some time wading in the water before proceeding to                                                             Talacauvery.
  • Talacauvery- origin of the kaveri river.Popular for temple serenity and river pujas.
  • Madikeri Mandalpatti  - nature beauty at it's best.
*The town is a place for lot of temples hindu temples. 

Where to eat?: Coorg food tastes like home and is best in the local restaurants according to me. Food is spicy and yummy. Treat for non vegetarians like me.Veg options are elaborate too.Kushalnagar has the finest restaurants which serves multiple cuisines.

Where to stay?: Options are many. Home stays are best and under budget.Resorts are  good and affordable too.Scenic views amazes where ever you choose to stay.That's the beauty of Coorg.

Beware:People here are very warm and welcoming.They are so much concerned, helpful 
 and  protective for the visitors.Be prepared to face them:)

My Experience: Safe place for an amazing and unwinding vacation with varied options to
  explore for all age groups. Especially for nature lovers like me and my husband, Coorg is the best in the list.


  1. Finished reading both parts. Sure was a fun ride!!

  2. Thanks for reading:) It was tons of fun:)

  3. Madikeri is so beautiful. I also love the gently rolling farms of Bylakuppe.


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