Coorg Trip

We recently went for a Trip to Coorg on the Jan 26 weekend. It was an interesting trip because it happened in a very unplanned manner. We have been thinking for sometime to go out, go on a long drive, go somewhere sorts. So we thought, we will go for a day long trip on Jan 26 weekend, starting on Saturday morning and coming back on the same day. And we finalized on Hogenekkal for this day long trip.

Saturday morning came and we started for Hogenekkal, we heard that there was no good place to eat around Hogenekkal so we packed lots of food as well. When we reached the Silk Board Flyover (Bangalore), a discussion started and this idea to drive to Coorg instead was thrown in and everyone agreed. We had no stuff to change to for the overnight halt, no hotel bookings and no places decided, I had just browsed thru a traveler's guide the last night, noted a few places (in mind) in Coorg and then I forgot picking that book up in the morning haste.

By the time we decided to go to Coorg instead, we had crossed Bomannahalli, so I decided I will take the NICE road near Electronic City which will take me to Mysore Road. The NICE road is really cool and there was one "Great ELCIA Run" organized that day. 26th Jan is an ideal day to organize such events.

The NICE road is a great road to drive but the apathy of authorities has made it unusable at several stretches. The Run was organized to raise a voice against that apathy it seems. We had a first hand experience of the problem, when we tried to get back on the NICE road from the Bannerughatta Road. Politics can stop things from happening, but it cannot stop people from progressing. Somehow, there is continuous flow of trucks and cars on this extremely bad patch despite a pathetic severely potholed mud path connecting the two. Because people know that after this bad patch there is a world class road all the way till Mysore Road (at least, since I have not used the road beyond that!).

One complain to the NICE people though, there is ridiculously steep slope after the flyover over Kanakpura Road. I am not sure how difficult it was to carry forward that flyover till the other cliff, but right now you feel like climbing down a wall. But we reached the Mysore Road pretty soon and continued our journey towards Coorg, the tentative destination being Madikeri because I could recall that the book mentioned - if at all we need a hotel at run time in Coorg, Madikeri is the place. Continuing on Mysore Road, we reached Kamat Lokaruchi but it was so awfully crowded that we decided against having the breakfast there. So we continued and finally stopped at a restaurant which is behind the Cafe Coffee Day. And here we had to be content with Paper Dosa only because the restaurant guys ran out of their raw material, they did not anticipate such a rush on a weekend it seems. Interestingly, whatever we were asking that day, he was going in and then coming back saying "wover". And finally, whatever he could get, he just dumped that on us.

Anyway, we reached Srirangapatnam. The book mentioned that after Srirangapatnam, take right turn to Ranganthitthu bird sanctuary to get on a short cut to Hunsur Road. I got confused and decided against that and finally we took a right turn just outside Mysore on its outer ring road. After that due to lack of appropriate signage at various unassuming forks, we wandered around but finally managed to get on the Madikeri road. I was expecting not a very good road but this was indeed a good one, not as good as Bangalore-Mysore road but still driving was a pleasure. Again, we kept looking for signboards to Madikeri at each and every forks. The good road finally ended and we came across an extremely bad town road in Piriyapatna. It was ok again till Kushalnagar. That's where we started looking for accommodation. Kushalnagar seemed to be full and that helpful Hotel person tried to call Madikeri hotels as well and they were all full as well. We finished our home made food in Kushalnagar. Kushalnagar looked like a good locality with lots of shops etc. We proceeded to Madikeri from here on the hilly road. The road is quite wide but full of potholes.

On the way to Madikeri, we noticed a left turn to Dubare Elephant Camp where they give bath to the elephants every morning. I noted that it was something I needed to take my son to, the next morning. Another fork indicated that the Abby falls will be on the right side of the road. We finally reached Madikeri in late afternoon and decided that the first thing we need to do is to get accommodation. By the time, we had discussed a lot about home stays and the consensus was to get that somehow. Going thru the Madikeri town, we came across a tourist information center and we approached them immediately. They connected us to a family which gives out a portion of their house for home stay. We finalized that, it was in some colony on way to Club Mahindra Resorts. Looked good, they charged us Rs. 1250/- per night per room. After that it was too late to go to Abby falls because they close that by 6pm and we would miss the sunset at Raja seat had we gone there. So we went to Raja Seat immediately and I was amazed to see how it opened the Coorg Valley in front of us.

It was difficult to imagine about such a valley when we were going thru it while on way to Madikeri.

We spent some good time there, watching sunset and taking photographs. That's the only time my Camera worked and was used during the trip.

After the sunset, we went to the town market for some shopping. Then a restaurant, then good night sleep. We decided that we would wake up early next day and go to Abby falls first and then proceed to Dubare where the elephant bathing starts from 8:30am. And to our surprise, we were all up early by 5:30am next day. We checked out, but by the time we started it was close to 7:30am. When we reached the Abby falls there was no crowd and it was all open for our eyes only.

Nice place, but I liked the snake like hilly road more thru which we drove to the falls and back. Then we took the same bad road towards Kushalnagar and took a right turn to Dubare from where it was a very nice road all the way to the Elephant Camp. The queue made us wait for a while on one end of the River Kaveri while we watched Elephants given bath at the other end of the river. And by the time we reached the other end, the bath was over. Little disappointed, we went ahead to watch the Elephant feeding session. They prepare some big balls of ragi and jaggery and put it inside the Elephant's mouth. It was fun to see the kid elephants hurrying to pull some stuff out of their mother's mouth. Sunny enjoyed it a lot and I guess he enjoyed more when we let him get into the river and have some fun with water and pebbles.

From Dubare, we came back to Kushalnagar road and went to the Kaveri Nisargadhama park. Their the fun thing was the Elephant ride and a stroll in a good park with lots of animals around. That was our last outing sorts in Coorg trip. After that we had lunch in Kushalnagar and then back to Bangalore via Mysore. On return, we did stop at Kamat Lokaruchi which has lesser crowd and then I didn't take the NICE road to reach back home.

It was a fun trip, and it ended with a longing to visit that place again and enjoy it more.


Vijay said…
Nice Explanation
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