City of Madikeri : Coorg Region
An official Visit to Bangalore turned a blessing in disguise for escapists like us. Third weekend of September 2010 gifted us a chance to revive that lost instinct of being oblivion amid veritable nature. After wrapping up pseudo consulting on Friday evening, we boarded a bus to Madikeri which is said to be the capital of Coorg. Both of us were a complete stranger to the surroundings, language, landscape, culture etc. Madikeri is some 250 km away from Bangalore which is easily reachable by road in 5-6 hours. Coorg region is highly buzzed in south India especially among the IT crowd of Bangalore. Since the day I arrived in Bangalore, I had heard a lot (good things) about this region. Bus dropped us to Madikeri at around 2 AM in mid night and continued its journey further west to the northern shore of Kerala. Because of language barrier, I made this trip a bit organized and booked a homestay at Madikeri in advance from Bangalore itself. The homestay guy came to pick us from the bus stand. Surroundings at mid night were completely foggy and visibility was almost null. We got a decent 2 room’s home stay in 1000 RS per night (Which i feel really high-end considering the popularity of Coorg). Just after checking in, we went to sleep to regain some energy for the hectic travel ahead.... Night was colder than what we used to have in Bangalore... Quite like early part of winters in Northern India.
Bhagamandala temple on the bank of river Cauvery
Next morning, Chilly whether made us to extend our sleep. hence sacrificed our breakfast to that extended slumbering. In the morning, finally we got the first glimpse of Madikeri town and all we could see a small hill station completely wrapped up in the heavy mist. On the top of mist, drizzling was also playing its part although it was not monsoon time. Drizzling is usual in this part i believe. It was the best weather for laid-back vacations to relax and sipping tea on the balcony. But we decided to throw ourselves into the real adventure of getting close to the earth. We hired a bike and purchased a map of Coorg region while taking some snacks on the roadside. With map in hand, we were getting educated about the surroundings. The very first place we targeted was talacauvery which is some 40 km from Madikeri. Talacauvery is believed as the birthplace (source) of River Cauvery. After initial mistakes in finding route, we were on right trek. We wore wind cheaters to protect ourselves from heavy downpour. Surroundings were verdant green with popular coffee plantation on both sides of the road. Pristine countryside and forest is rich in biodiversity. Coorg region is blessed with one of the densest and fertile vegetations in the country. We also witnessed a long range of coffee plantation on the way to talacauvery. We stooped at Bhagamandala temple that is situated on the bank of river Cauvery. Bhagamandala temple is also known as the confluence point of three holy rivers Cauveri, Kanika and mythical Sujyoti River. We went inside the temple and unfortunately the sanctum sactorum was closed at that time. Missed the visit to main deity of the temple
Talacauvery is some 8 km further up from Bhagamandala temple on the same way. It was drizzling all the way so capturing surrounding into pictures became a complicated job for me as I had to cover the lenses all the time. Finally traversing through heavy mist, we reached Talacauvery. Talacauvery is holy pond on a hill side and believed as the origin of river Cauvery. There is a temple and pilgrims come there for various religious rituals. It was extremely foggy and visibility was just few meters and there were staircases till the hill top. Despite our initial apprehension, we headed up till the hill top following those stairs. Vision from the hilltop was restricted to few meters but it was simply spectacular which fed us with the feeling of floating with the clouds. This can be one of the unique experiences for the travelers who never traveled Western Ghats of India. After refreshing our soul with misty breeze on the hill top for some time, we rushed back to the Talacauvery and took Kanda Bhaji [Onion snack] and tea. In that foggy afternoon we drove back to Madikeri. It was a tiring drive through the heavy downpour with lush green landscape all around us. We returned back to Madikeri at around 4 P. M. We took some snacks and rested at our home stay for nearly 30 minutes.
Abbi Falls near Madikeri in Coorg
Just after that relaxing siesta, we decided to drive till Abbi falls. Abbi falls is some 8 km away from Madikeri town and generally very crowded with tourist busses and school picnics. As our trip was just after monsoon so we were privileged with the widest view of Abbi falls roaring in full swing. There is a hanging bridge that is generally crowded with groups of tourists getting themselves photographed. It’s a superb site through a dense forest but intruded with too much of plastic because of heavy visitation recent years. The Forest around the fall is simply mesmerizing and peaceful. While returning back from Abbi Fall, We parked the bike on a flat plateau and witnessed an incredible panoramic view of entire Coorg valley laying peacefully on the Western Ghats of India. It was a bit foggy…a bit misty…a bit chill and a bit windy…but all these bits mixed together made it to the perfection… Due to extended stay to that plateau; we got stuck into heavy fog while returning back to Madikeri.
Lush Green Landscape near Abbi Falls
In the evening, we also roamed in Raja seat [Seat of the king] that is situated in the heart of Madikeri town on a hill side from where you can get a spectacular view to the valley down if it’s not foggy. There is a toy train in the same park which attracts good number of tourists seeking honeymoon experience. We walked on those roads with gentle slopes, did window shopping in the market situated on low-rise hills and soon after we found the entire town of Madikeri getting drenched into heavy mist. After taking orthodox south Indian dinner [Dosa and idli], we drove back to our home stay for night to pass... enveloped by thick mist...
To come further on this trip : Click here