This is my first travelogue of my recent trip to Madikeri and few other places in East Karnataka…….just want to share with you guys…only way I can kill some time this long weekend…:)
Places covered: Madikeri, Mangalore, Dharmastala, Kukke Subramanya, Horanadu, Sringeri, Agumbe, Udipi.
We have planned this trip for quite some time and anyway at last we got some time for break……Since it is one week trip we planned everything well in advance…my family started on Friday from Visakhapatnam and they were here in Bangalore by Saturday afternoon.As they also want to see the city before starting to other places, we took a room at a decent hotel near Railway station for 2 days. We visited few places like Visveswaraiah Museum and ISKON temple and after that some malls.That’s it . By next day itself they were bored, nothing else to see except shopping…..still we need to stay in Bangalore up to Monday afternoon since our bus to Madikeri is scheduled for that day. We started here at 3 PM from Santhinagar stand and reached Madikeri at around night 10 running one hour late…Route is good,though the journey is good, had we have a vehicle it would have been more comfortable. This is the first time I am visiting this place and I expected a lot about this hill station and it is far beyond my expectations , it is so cold that the entire place is covered with full of mist and fog.I am very much excited and really happy after landing there. From bus stand we took an auto to reach our hotel though it’s walk able, we have luggage to carry. Checked-into hotel Chitra , in which we booked for accommodation a while ago online. It’s a 4 bedded room. Though it’s not a tourist season in madikeri now, just to be on safer side based on my friends experience I booked the room in advance. And coming to hotel Chitra it has turned out to be a Decent budget hotel in Madikeri for family stay which is located just a 5 minutes away from madikeri bus stand. Check-in time is 6PM and you can check out at any time. Food is also available with the hotel. Town is dull after 9 night so we couldn’t get any food after landing there.
Next day morning the Hotel manager Vivek, a friendly man , I was in contact with him from the day I booked the room , arranged a vehicle for sight-seeing at a decent price.
Since we are 4, indica is sufficient , but it depends on the vehicle, they charge a minimum of of 1000 -1500 bucks on an average per day. This is justified considering the ghat terrain of the entire area.
Driver Girish is a nice guy. First he informed us the important places that can be covered in 2 days. There are some tourist attractive locations surrounding and in the town. Saying that he will cover those places which are easily negotiable and perhaps economical for him. If you have an own vehicle you can cover a more but again it will take some more time in finding the places. We consented and said ok and started by 8:30 Am after having our breakfast.
And the first place we visited was Abbey Falls and for me it is one of best place of this entire trip. I was on cloud 9 after seeing the falls.Since it is rainy season heavy water is gushing and the water gets sprinkled like rain on the visitors. I thought we were at right time, generally people say winter is the right time visiting such hill stations, but I can’t see why don’t venture during rainy season also. Due to heavy rains everything is so fresh and full of green and the feel is really superb. You will really enjoy this and can spent more time here. Though the cab driver given us half an hour time we were unable to move from there before one hour. Being there for the first time most of my time , disappointingly, wasted in taking photographs itself rather than enjoying the full bloom of the falls. Here are a few pictures of Abbey.
Then we started for the next place, when asked my driver replied it’s Bhagamandala. I just wondered what place would be like. It’s on the way to Mangalore. But need to deviate left at some point in that route. As usual this route is also superb and it is bit narrow going down the hill……it’s around 40 km from Madikeri and at last we reached Bhagamandala, and a strong aroma of coffee invited us.It is coorg coffee for us. The place is famous for Sri Bhagandeshwara (incarnation of lord Shiva) temple and triveni sangam where river cauveri joins other 2 tributaries. Though we missed Triveni sangam we went to the temple. It’s a nice old Shiva temple where you can see some Kerala style architecture and as it is bordered with Kasaragod in Kerala.
After darshan we started again to TalaCauveri which is birth place of the River Cauveri. It is located on Brahmagiri hill( To be clear it’s different from other Brahmagiri Range, the famous trekking spot where most people go for trekking). It’s just around 10 KM from Bhagamandala to the tip of the hill. The route is bit narrow and it is completely covered with dense fog and was drizzling at that time. It’s really awfully lovely climate there at Tala Cauvery. Once we reached the place we all were thrilled to see the place was completely covered with thick clouds feels like you are moving ahead of the clouds.You can see origin of Talacauvery from a small pond in the premises of temple where water flows into it from mountains. The temple is dedicated Lord Agasteeswara. Beside the temple there is small hill with steps taking us to tip of Brahamagiri Hill. initially we thought there are some more points from where the Cauvery is originated, where as no such thing existed there. Once you reach the peak you will find a breathtaking view of surrounding mountains. It’s really incredibly beautiful. Suddenly it started raining and we have to get down as we forgot to carry our umbrellas . We were completely drenched in the rain finally came inside the temple. Once the rain stopped we visited pond where water is flowing into it. We just sprinkled the water on our head and started back. On the way our driver has told us to visit small nursery which is maintained by a retired Govt officer out of his hobby. He patiently explained how the coffee is grown there and showed coffee plantation and how they are going to extract honey from bees. It’s so interesting that at the age of around 65 after his retirement he indulges in horticulture agriculture. He told that he love this. We bought Coorg coffee and some other stuff there .After that we had our lunch in KSTDC which is located on the way down to the hill.
We finished our lunch around 3 pm and got back to Madikeri again. In the town we have been to Raja Seat which is a park actually overlooking a big valley giving a spectacular view. There is a small museum, not so important but one could have a feel on the place’s history. The Raja Seat is sunset point but we missed it because skies are not clear on that day. That’s it that is the last spot for that day. Driver took us back to hotel again by 6PM. hmm successfully finished day 1 and we are tired already. That night we had light food and went to bed early.
Next day we all were ready by 8 Am itself as driver told us we should start early so as to reach the Dubare forest where we can see elephant sanctuary. Therefore, we started early. Dubare forest is an elephant sanctuary about 40 KM from Madikeri on the way to Mysore from Madikeri. This time also the route was filled with mist and fog like the other day but it is very dense thick forest where even you will see some animals and huge tea and coffee plantations. And it is a best experience for all nature lovers. We reached the place at around 9:30-10 am. I wondered the place perhaps would be an isolated one bereft of crowds. But by that time many people were there amongst some foreigners. This is place where elephants will be brought for bathing purpose to the river Cauvery. The forest dept. undertake this task. If you wish you we can also go and scrub the elephants for a price . Of course, many are excited for that also. That day happened to be August 15th our independence day and it is also independence to those big one’s from tourism on that day. There is a small tribal school over there and our national Flag is being hoisted and these elephants were paraded there saluting the national Flag. Felt very much happy to be at place on that day. What a spectacle.
After a long time i have participated in National Anthem prayer session. Felt very much happy for not missing the moment…uhh with the nationalistic feelings from the corner of my heart…after that we took some snaps and returned to other side of the river bed.
Then we started to our next place i.e Nisargadhama. A Lush bamboo garden. There is a shortcut route and there no need to go back mainroad for this. Nisargadhama comes under KushalNagar. So people who come from Mysore can come from the other way. This is a good place to visit and some spend some quality time with family and even as picnic spot.
There are some handicrafts and other shops are there. My parents thought of doing some shopping but we need to go back to madikeri before 3PM as we need to reach to mangalore before 8 pm that night. So we skipped the shopping there and started to Budhist Monastery . It’s also there in Kushalnagar but on the other side around 8 KMs from kushalnagar towards mysore. It took another half and hour from there. At last we reached the Golden Temple dedicated to Budha….This place is fully populated with Budhists Monks suddenly you will feel like you entered some Tibetian territory , yes all these refugees fled away to India during Chinese control over Tibet in 1960 and government of Karnataka provided shelter for them. WIKI says it’s a Bylakuppe settlement for Tibetan refugees. There were around 2,3 Budhist temples in that place where you will find a 3 large statues of Gautama Budha and some of his followers. The area is very calm and peaceful.Even you can shop some traditional Tibetan items over there which are very good.
That’s it….time is 2 PM and we are damn hungry. We asked our driver take us to some good hotel in the town. We immediately went one decent hotel and we had our lunch there. Unfortunately there is some handicraft showroom beside the hotel where we eat and as usual my mother and sister went inside it right after the lunch and did shopping. After a forced start we are back again in Madikeri by 3 PM as thought. After entering inside the hotel I informed at reception that we are going to Check-out the room now. We just packed our things and came to bus stand. We need to go to mangalore now and we have no booking here. This is the only point where i couldnt get booking option in online. But as a wonder I was able to see the availability one day before the journey for the same route which was not there 1 month ago strange ah….When we went inside bus stand there is one Rajahamsa bus ready going to Mangalore. But route madikeri to Mangalore is not good as per my driver words. So I was bit dilemma whether to go in Rajahamsa or to catch a Volvo which was there after 15-30 minutes. Since we need to reach Mangalore bit early we catched Rajahamsa and said good-by to Madikeri finally.Really enjoyed 2 days over there 🙂 ……..Though the route is that good but the surrounding places in which we need to go is really damn super. I felt more excited than in Madikeri. Going through thick forests and full raining at the same time. hmm and suddenly there is a breakdown of the bus which we are travelling…………..but luckily we got a change to see that place which we couldn’t have seen if it is not. After some time the Volvo came which is after our bus. So our conductor asked them take the passengers into it. Luckily entire Volvo is empty and there r enough seats to sit. The distance from madikeri to Mangalore is about 140 KM which we went in 4 hours due to rough patch of the road. we reached the Mangalore. In Mangalore we booked a guest house with the help of my Uncle and he told us to contact one person in Mangalore who will take of our accommodation over there. After getting down I called him. He told us to come to Panambur industrial area. As he said we went there. Once we met him he took us to the guest house which is pretty good than I expected more for us. He is nice person we requested to him arrange some vehicle for the next two days.As we said he arranged the same and he advised some routes to my next places. He left after that we took some food and slept. hmm that is the EOD 2
Thursday-Day 3 ……
Here we were bit confused. I have so many places in my mind to cover but very less time to cover 😦 . Finally we decided to cover Dharmastala and Kukke Subramnaya today. As I told previously the same person booked a Cab in advance for us. We are so lucky to have a known person in a new place. As a general belief people visit’s Kukke before going to Dharmastla. But since we are starting from Mangalore and to save some time and petrol of course 🙂 we decided to go to Dharmastala first. Dharmastala is around 80KM from mangalore, route is good most of it is highway only. So journey went fine with out obstacles. We started @8 Am morning and we reached within 2 hours. You will river Nethravathi on the way to Dharmastala,people will take Dip in it before going to temple. Though we skipped that part. At last we had the Darshan of Manjunadha Swamy another incarnation of Lord shiva. The temple architecture and style and all is bit complete to contrast to one which we find in our places like Andhra but it’s very good to see. We cant predict the rush over there in the temple as per my last time experience which 3 hours to have Darshan, I thought it will be more rush this time . But we are lucky enough this time, rush is not that much as expected since it’s a mid of week and we finished everything within half and hour. Even our driver was shocked to see us back in such a short time. After that we visited a near by place where a large statue of Bahu Bali is located. It’s already 11 AM still we need to visit Kukke Subramanya before 1:30 otherwise temple will be closed in the afternoon. keeping this in mind we went bit fast and reached on time.It took some around 2 hours for us. Most of the route is through the western ghats covered with thick vegetation even sun light never dares to enter. Kukke Subramanya is very famous for Subramanya temple and even for trekking also. Because most of the people starts from here for KP(Kumara Parvata is highest mountain in karnataka) trek. So finally we had darshan of Lord Subramanya. Though it took some more time compared to Dharmastala but luckily we completed before temple closes. After that we had lunch and we started back to Mangalore. We are back to Mangalore by evening 4 itself which is too early for me compared to last time . We took some rest for a while and finally decided to go to Panambur beach which is just a KM from our guest house. We spent that evening at the beach. The beach is lovely and climate is also damn cool. We enjoyed that evening and were to back to room by 9 PM . So again we were in dilemma what next 🙂 either Murudeshwar,Kollur or Horanadu,Sringeri. Since I had already visited Murudeshwar we finally decided to go to Horanadu via Kudremukh.
Next day morning as usual our driver came on time. This time since the locations are bit far even we got ready on time. Once we started, suddenly our driver turned back with a pleasant smile and asked us, sir where we are going ? and i told him that we decided to go to Horanadu and Sringeri and in return Udipi via Agume. He is ok with the locations anf the route. We already expecting a lot from these locations due to its high altitude and weather is also like perfect apt for our journey its reeally awesome with little bit drizzling.
We were really excited by route itself it’s damn cool surrounded by thick forest and vegetation. You will find a so many temporary water falls thru out the route which were formed instantly due to heavy raining on the hills. If you want to cover both Horanadu and Sringeri in single day better go to Horanadu first and later to Sringeri. By this you can save around half and hour time around 50 km petrtol. But even there is con for this. It will nearly 12 for reaching Horanadu itself so after that from Horanadu to sringeri route is in abad shape it will take more than you expected. When we here in Horanadu @12:30 we thought we can reach there by 2. But by that time Sringeri will be closed in the afternoon. But Horanadu will not be closed in the afternoon like other temples in Karnataka. So if you don’t care about time and petol you can go vice-versa. So atlast when we reached Sringeri as I told it was closed. We felt bit bad going that much far being the temple was closed. So what else we can do we take some pictures had lunch and started back to Agumbe!.
Ah last we reached Agume the tropical Rain forest. It’s even called Cherrapunji of the South because of highest rainfall throughout the year. This is even famous for Sunset point where the view is ulimate. I am not sure but even so many people are telling that we can get the view of Sea from this point which is nearly 200 km away from coastal region.
unfortunately it was full cloudy we are unable to see any one of the views. We took some pictures and started back to UDIPI which is around 2 hours from there.
Finally we had darshan of Udipi krishna . The Udipi city is damn good than I expected and the temple is also. This is last place in our trip and after this next day we checked out room left to Tirupathi as a final one. We had darshan of Lord Venkateswara and and my parents went to my home town and I am back to Bangalore..back to same old routine life style…I hope some part of writing may be useful for others who wants to visit these places.
Thanks for a reading such a lng boring one and have a nice day.