Planning started for this trip unexpectedly as one of my friends called me up and asked me if I was interested. And when it comes to travelling, the answer from me is always ‘yes’. An e-mail chain, a few inclusions, a few drop outs and a few phone calls later, the trip was finally confirmed and okay-ed two days before the travel date.
Somnath, Madhusudan, Sandhiya and me from Chennai took a train to Bangalore on Friday night and reached Bangalore station where Subhadra was waiting for us. We got into the Innova and started off to Coorg directly from there. After stopping briefly for breakfast, we reached Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangapatna. (Only after reaching the parking lot did I realize that I had already come to this temple when I was in Mysore with my GA team fellas in October 2010).
The next stop was Namrodoling monastery (also called Golden Temple) in the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe. The place was almost identical to some of the monasteries that I saw in Ladakh, with similar paintings, dragon statues, monks etc. After roaming around the shops nearby, we went to a forest (this one somewhat similar to Kuruva Islands in Wayanad), the name of which I don’t know because it was written only in Kannada. (Damn you!). (Update – The name of the place is Nisargadhama, which is an island similar to Kuruva formed by the river Kaveri). The entrance to the place had a rope bridge hanging over a river. We also went on an Elephant ride at the place. (This is not the Dubare Elephant Camp!). We spent some time there taking pics at the river and then among the bamboo culms with the sunrays emerging from between them.
Still water rafting was lined up next. At the entrance to the Dubare Forest, we got a chance to do some rafting. We got into an inflatable boat and the instructor gave a paddle to each one of us. He gave a couple of instructions regarding coordination and something which no one bothered to listen to anyway. We spent half an hour in the river rowing. It surely was tiring. (Now I understand why the Winklevoss brothers are hulks). We didn’t go to the Elephant Camp at Dubare and started off to our resort near Sunticoppa.
The great part about our trip to Coorg was the resort – Riverside Cottages. Set 8kms away from the nearest town, Sunticoppa, this place provided some awesome panoramic views. One old retired army officer owns the place. The dude came and gave us some gyaan about Coorg and its history since some 17th or 18th century.
As specified in the resort’s website, at night, the true glory of nature comes out in the open. One could see millions of stars just waiting for you to reach out and touch them. An amazing view. Really.
The next day we went to the river bank at the bottom of the hill near the resort. Then after a few pics with the owners of the cottages, we checked out. Our next stop in the journey was at the Sri Omkareshwara Temple followed by another temple the name of which I think is the Sri Bhagandeshwara Temple. Then we went to the birth place of Kaveri river, Talakaveri. A temple tank has been erected at the place, where most pilgrims wash their feet and some take bath. A few hundred feet above the tank level, lies the hilltop which provides an astonishing 360 degree panoramic view. After some pics at that spot, we proceeded to another view point on the way down where again we kept taking more photos.
After a very late lunch at Madikeri town and some coffee shopping, we went to Raja’s Seat where we watched the setting sun and got mesmerized in its magic. While waiting for the sunset, we also went on a tiny toy train. That was the end of the trip. From that place it was a long drive all the way to Bangalore.
For the road trip, thankfully, we bought an aux cable on the way to Coorg and we connected our phones and music players to the car stereo to listen to a huge collection of amazing songs whenever we were inside the Innova. I don’t think we listened to any song more than once, except for a couple of songs which we couldn’t resist listening twice.