Drive to Madikeri, Coorg

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The weekend of 24th May 2013 was a long one with official holidays. We planned to go to Kodaikanal which we thought to be cooler. The priority of this trip was to relax. So we changed our plan from Kodaikanal to Coorg to reduce the travel time and fatigue. On friday morning 5 of us left for Madikeri on a Honda Jazz owned by one of my friend. I have been to Medikeri earlier and you can read about that trip on one of my earlier post: Trip to Madikeri.

We took the route: Bangalore – Mandya – Srirangapata bypass – Hunsur – Kushalnagar – Suntikoppa – Madikeri

The Bangalore – Mysore highway these days is very traffic infested and frequent accidents takes place. The government should seriously think about opening an alternate route from Bangalore to Mysore. In our to and fro journey we saw at least 5 accidents. With increase in commuters food business is thriving big time here. Various food outlets have opened on the sides of Bangalore – Mysore highway. Earlier, it was only Cafe Coffee Day at Maddur. Now nearby a host of new entrants like KFC, Go Goola etc has come up. Some other places to have food on the way are Kamat Lokaruchi, Empire, Adiga’s, Fish land, Right O etc. We had lunch at Right O. It is a platform of multiple food stores like Ammi’s Byriyani etc. Tasted Ammi’s Byriyani for the first time at Rs 150. Pretty decent in taste. But other stuffs are pretty costly here. A mint lime juice cost me Rs 60!

Towards evening as we started to climb the foot hills of Madikeri, we experienced cooler air. The road has improved a lot since I visited in 2006. Earlier roads were very narrow and it was not easy to overtake or cross. Now roads has been widened to two lane and it is in considerable good state.

We reached Madikeri around dusk. With no hotel booking we went to KSTDC Valley View. The hotel has been renovated now and looks good. Unfortunately no room was available. However, captured an awesome sight of Moon on the backdrop of a tree. Then one guy found a home stay who was offering a entire house for 2 days for Rs 8000. We went to see the house located near Raja’s seat and Police headquarters. The caretaker also provides good food at reasonable price. That was a good proposition and we decided to go for it. The ground floor of the house is good enough for 6 – 7 people.

After taking rest little bit went out to purchase food. One of my friend suggested to purchase food from Hotel East End. Food really sucks there. Never buy food from there. For veg food, we purchased from Coorg Sahara Restaurant (Hotel Coorg Regency), Opp. RTO, GT road, Medikeri. Ph: 8951287438. I recommend this restaurant as pricing was reasonable and food was tasty.

At night relaxed walking in the front space of the house in peaceful cool breezy oxygen filled air in dark. Next morning woke up around 4.30 am. Went out and found a wonderful sight of the moon setting behind the hills opposite to the house. In a while the cloud and moon started playing hide and seek. It was awesome!

Morning had a nice breakfast of dosa prepared by the caretaker. Following this, drove to Mandalpatti. The drive through the secluded road was very enriching and peaceful. On the way we saw banana and jack fruit in the wild.  After reaching a circle we inquired at the tea shop for Mandalpatti. The man offered to take us there on his 4 wheel drive Mahindra jeep for Rs 1000. We parked our car there and went on jeep. From this point its like off road driving and a four wheel drive vehicle is preferred. The sight of the jeep gave a feeling as if it is ready to go to the scrap house. But to our amazement, it just ran past every hurdle. Mandalpatti is part of the Pushpagiri hill range. This place is not very crowded as many people do not know about it. There is an entry fees of Rs 20 per person. We climbed and reached the windy plateau of the hill. An awesome surrounding enriched my view. We enjoyed strolling around and taking pictures. There is a view point structure built on the other side of the hill.  This to and fro drive to Mandalpatti is one of the best off road drive I ever had. Though it was kinda bone shaking but it was fun.

Visit Travelingbeats Photo Gallery to view more pictures of Coorg

Then back at the circle we had tea and snacks. Then went down hills to a falls inside the jungle. It was just the start of monsoon but the falls had water flowing. Walked into the stream and enjoyed its cool water. The driver told he can arrange for tent stay here. Definitely it will be worth trying a stay here. For sunset, we reached Raja’s seat. As expected it was heavily crowded. Though we did not get to see sunset because of cloud, we did photography of flowers and surroundings. Sensing rain we headed back. In no time, the sky opened up and what a brief spell of heavy rain it was. This resulted in a traffic jam on the road leading to Raja’s seat and it reminded me of Bangalore.

At night, we found hotel Brahmagiri is out of business. Now Fish land operates from there. So purchased dinner from there. Food was pretty decent.

Next morning, we headed back for Bangalore. On the way, we went to Golden temple, Bylakuppe. We had lunch at Potala Kitchen, run by Tibetan. It has clean, decent ambiance and awesome food. We ordered for various items but what stood out was chilly chicken and chicken momo. They also offer pork items.

Address:

Potala Kitchen
1st Camp, Tibetan market,
Bylakuppe
Ph: 08223 – 252888
Cell: 9900555454

Then headed to Ranganathittu bird sanctuary. After strolling little bit by the banks of river Cauvery we went for a boat ride. Was able to click parrots, Asian open bill stork, pelican, bats, Cormorants, crocodile etc. River Cauvery provides a great ecosystem for the birds with its awesome collection of fishes and trees on its banks here. The evening ride on Bangalore – Mysore road was filled with traffic and accidents. We gave a halt at Maddur Cafe Coffee day. By 10.30 pm was in Bangalore completing a very fulfilling drive trip.