Trips and Itineraries for Kodagu
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Trek from Bhagati the route envelops a challenge that includes swamps, waterfalls, rugged trails, endangered species and dense forests, not to mention a stunning environment. The view from the ridge especially is the sharpest.
Trek from Bhagati the route envelops a challenge that includes swamps, waterfalls, rugged trails, endangered species and dense forests, not to mention a stunning environment. The view from the ridge especially is the sharpest.
Kumara Parvata is famous among trekkers in Karnataka. Known as one of the harder treks, it will surely test your endurance but what it offers in terms of beauty is worth the pain. We, a group of 8 boys and 3 girls, hiked up from Somwarpet and descended towards Kukke. The more famous route is to climb from Kukke and descend towards Kukke. That makes it 14+14 kms. We chose 10+14 kms mainly because we did not want to repeat the route.
The thoughts of Kumaraparvatha trek came during our Shivagange visit and Manohar was quick enough to create a Whatsapp group for exchanging information. We decided to trek during 31 Jan- 1st Feb 2015 weekend. We were sure that we will climb from Kukke Subramanya and stay on Pushpagiri top on Saturday night. Though I have done the trek twice before, I could not just resist the temptation. Anyway it was going to be different this time.
Trekking as a hobby just happens to you, u never try hard to pursue it. We had covered all the major treks near Bangalore in our 2 year stay here. But the Kumar Parvatha Trip was long due. We planned the trips couple of times in a month and I'd already given up on the plan. One fine weekend we(My roommate and another friend) decided to finally give it a shot and just do it. But it did not start the way we'd planned it to. First, I got free from my office pretty late on a Friday(which is unusual) due to a Production issue(IT people will relate to me). We rented the sleeping bags and tents(Last minute arrangements). Finally boarded the last minute bus to Kukke subramanya(the starting point to Kumarparvatha) from Majestic bus station. So we were finally doing it! Kumar Parvatha: Here we come!Journey to Kukke Subramanya from Bengaluru was relaxing, nothing unexpected. We were amazed to to see the greenery and what the mother nature had for us en route to Kukke. For a random weekend getaway, the greenery was a pleasant change. A much needed break from the concrete jungles we stay in.We reached Kukke subramanya around 9:30 A.M. After getting fresh and power breakfast, Started for the trek around 10 A.M.
First half of the trek to Battermane is challenging. The entire stretch of 7 Kms uphill through the forests will surely take a toll on your feet and lungs. mBeware of the leeches which are everywhere(If u are visiting the place during monsoons). cover your body appropriately. We were lucky enough to witness a snake too! once your cover the forest region and reach the top, u'll wonder how far u've climbed and it'll give u a sense of satisfaction and energy to keep moving. It took us 3 hours to reach Battermane, the only place where u'll find food and water, before reaching Kumarparvatha. There is only one home there which serves food and provies water and shelter to the trekkers. There was a trekking group already having lunch there, so we joined them and kept our luggage there.After a short break, we started for our final climb to the mighty kumar parvatha. You'll have to pay a fee to the forest department people for the trek. They warned us that the time was not right for trek as it was monsoons and instructed that we return by 7 P.M. We started climbing around 2 P.M and the view was amazing. Found a dog sitting on the bench near battermane and managed to click few pics with him :p . So we finally started to climb toward Kumar parvatha, met few people who were returning and asked them whether they were able to reach the top. Most of the people couldn't make it as it was getting darker and the fog was making it difficult to explore the hills. Still, we continued to climb and reched the Mantap. It was a small structure(pretty old!) surrounded with lush green grass. Halted there for a while, clicked few pics :p . It was a proper place to meditate i must say. Took some time to appreciate the beauty of the nature. The strong winds and house music gave us the required pump to climb! . Started climbing again and finally we reached Sesha parvatha around 5 P.M. It was getting dark and were were trekking without t a guide. It was a difficult decision but we decided to return back to Battermane. I know that after travelling so long, so much of planning since a month, and walking non stop since the morning, it was a difficult decision to return; but a wise one. We reached Battermane around 6: 30 P.M and started to camp. All our other stuff was still at the only house that was there in battermane(i'll refer it as the base).After setting up the tent we decided to have dinner at base and bring back all our other stuff to the tents. It was pretty dark and due to the fog, the visibility was as low as 5 metres. Even our torches were of no use. We somehow managed to reach the base(with extreme difficulty) follwing the trail(hardly visible due to fog). We had our dinner there, Jackfruit samba and rice, decent enough( cant complain at that altitude and time). We packed our bags and started to move towards our tents. I had a felling that we wont be able to make it to the tents as looking at how we reached the base from tents. Still, we continued to move, and as i was expecting, we lost the trail and were stranded at the middle of nowhere at around 9 P.M. It was damn cold out in the open, and were were carrying all our stuff including the sleeping bags(luckily). After struggling for 2 hours to find the trail we finally gave up at 11 P.M. Found a big stone and decided to sleep there in our sleeping bags. Initially it sounded like a foolish idea, to sleep out in the open with all the vulnerabilities, but as they say - Beggars can't be choosers. We had no other choice but to sleep out in the open. Luckily we were carrying Rum(old monk) with us, so i've realized this thing in life - whatever be the situation if u have the company of the Monk, U'll feel like u have everything! Drank whatever we had decided to sleep.In that situation, taking the decision whether to sleep or not was a big one! there were all the possibilities of getting bitten by the wild insects, snakes or getting hunted by the animals(we were too afraid basically) . But finally the Monk helped us to make the right decision and we slept. Everything was going well till it started raining(as if we were not suffering enough already). So as it turned out, our sleeping bags were not water proof and in few minutes we were drenched. We knew that this was the last possible obstacle and we'll be witnessing the sunrise in a while. We survived the rainfall and it was the brightness of the morning that woke us up! I don't remember when was the last time i was this happy. I shouted with excitement saying it's morning fellas! lets go find our tents. As it turned out, our tents were hardly 300 metres away from where we spent our night. We saw people staying in adjacent tents with camp fire and preparing tea. we went there simply to pack our tents and leave for Kukke subramanya again. Anyhow, we learnt how to camp and fix tents(this was the first time i was carrying tents in a trek). We descended in couple of hours. Did leech checks every 15 minutes when we were passing through the jungle stretch. So we boarded the bus back from Kukke with a heavy heart, we were not able to reach the peak, Kumar Parvatha. But this experience gave us all the more reasons to come back and conquer the Peak! I'll see u soon, Kumara Parvatha ! Hasta la vista!
Kumara ParvathaKumara Parvatha or KP as it's widely known by trekkers all around India has a lot to offer. Even before we started the trek, we were already soaked in divinity as trek starts near the entrance of the temple Kukke Subramaniya. Situated at height of 1712 metres in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, KP is much more than being just “The most challenging trek in South India”. An epic amalgamation of history, mythology and trekker’s haven.
Kumara parvatha is trekkers paradise, but it wont spare you if go unprepared. Located amidst the lush green western ghats it is also one of the lofty peaks from Karnataka. For me this trek was much awaited in my list waited for a long time; finally the nuptials were set! We started from Bengaluru to Dharmastala wanted to visit the gods as well; also stay and food can be easily managed here. We instantly finished our visit to the temple and of course food who would miss it? immediately started towards Kukke Subramanya temple the same day. We reached here by evening, finished temple visit and food again yum yum. We sincerely thank all the philanthropists here and glad to say we did our part as well. Next day we started trekking with a lot of local help.We were on the way with no much luggage, not even bag packs, at 8 am were at the start point. With steady pace and lots of photo shoots. We made new friends along he way, we reached Bhatrumane at 12 pm which is approx 40% of the trek. Whoever said miracles do happen they were right, we met our other trek group with bag packs and camps. It was then we realised what trek planning means. They gave all that was required, and one of my friend was ready to trek again with us we took little food and we were on the go. From here on the difficulty increases, on the way we get forest office where we have to pay fees and Kallu Mantapa, Its usually the last stop to refill water. From here its very challenging and steep also, till Sheshaparavtha it goes on with steep trek.From Sheshaparvatha its moderately difficult to trek, its another 2 hours or less trek time. On the way we get a perennial small stream, the water is drinkable. A little rocky terrain ahead and we reach the peak, there are lot of places to camp at the peak. We camped with little camp fire, and leftover from Bhatrumane kept us alive. The early morning sunrise view was till date the best sunrise we could ever see. Return was little tiring but the entire trip was worth waiting.*For how about this place, lot of blogs are available, Google them!PS:- Please keep the place you visit clean and tidy, collect any garbage and dispose properly.I dont have anything new to tell, we all know this place!!No words to describe, we start trekking from this place.
One of our friends decided to stay back and that helped us hiking to the top without any heavy luggage. We started at 7.20AM with a target to reach KP peak in 3hrs. After steep ascend of another 1hour we reached Sesha Parvatha which was truly a victorious moment. You can see the whole Pushpagiri valley underneath your feet when you sit on the rocks. Its like standing on the edge of the world while you never ending deep gorges. People afraid of heights should really not venture towards the edge! Post countless pictures, we began for what lay ahead of us - KP, the reason why we were there in the first place. There was a nice descend through a cold patch of forest with scanty sunlight and moist earth. Suddenly the trail finished and we saw a huge wall of black rock standing infront of us. That's sure to break one's spirit, but I suggest you all to never quit when you've come so far!Having climbed the high wall of rock, we now battled for our way towards the top through what seemed like a huge dried waterfall. The stones were loose and some of the slippery. Every step had to be watched cautiously. Look behind and you see 180 degree drop! By 9.15AM, five of us were on the KP Peak! The best part was finishing the climb before sun came out properly. Rest of the group joined us after 45mins.What remained next was returning back to our tents, folding them and getting the hell out :)Part2 : Kallu Mantapa - Bhattar Mane - Kukke Temple
Throughout my graduation had the desire to go to Kumara Parvatha, supposedly the most toughest trek in South India, but for some reason or the other got procrastinated. Finally one fine day in office came across this trek to be conducted by Bangalore Mountaineering Club and decided to go for it. I am not a believer of planning and planned trips because LIFE doesn't come in a planned manner, so better leave the planning in the Work Place, to the projects and the Project Managers. I called up the BMC folks and made the bookings and 4 of us (Ankit, Ashish, Sahil and Myself) were ready to roll. Friday night 10 P.M we boarded the bus from Domlur and met our wonderful guide and friend Sam. Before we could think of who other folks for the trek would be the Tempo Traveller was filled with a bunch of people, each and everyone great in their own way. Vineet, Robin 1(Indian :D), Prateek, Robin 2(French :D), Clo, Kusum and Rajalakshmi Mam. Had some crazy conversations about our lives, serials watched and random stuff before everyone dozed off to wake up for an enlightning couple of days.Reached Kukke Subramanya around 5:30 in the morning, got a few rooms to freshen up and after having a not so satisfying breakfast at the highly-recommended Neo Mysore Café, we shouldered our bags and walked in the direction of the forest trail around 7 A.M. Our first pit-stop was the renowned Bhattare Mane (House of the Bhats, you know we are famous ;)). The almost 7km trek from Kukke to Bhattare Mane is mostly through a forest which is majorly known for its elephants, though we didn't come across any. During this stretch of trek most of us had already started huffing and puffing but the frequent stops, talks and the constant motivation to scale Kumara Parvata kept us going. By the time (11:00 A.M) we reached Bhattara Mane, we were completely exhausted. With barely any energy left, we immediately had our lunch (which included rice, curry, & buttermilk). Food never tasted so great. It was not the greatest of the food but you know the worth of something when you have it the least.
Exactly a year after our first nocturnal trek at Nandi Hills, we embarked on this journey to Kumara Parvata.Well, for those of you who haven’t heard of Kumar Parvata, at 5,617 ft. it is one of the highest peaks in Karnataka on the western Ghats & and hosts the route of the longest and the most strenuous trek in the state. Trekking can be done from 2 sides; the Eastern entrance that can be reached from Somwarapet & the Western entrance from Kukke Subramanya which we took.As always, Charlie (aka Prasad) is the brain child behind this trek & because of the long hours of planning preceding to the event, the “Weekend Getaway” group had around 16 confirmations before some people dropped out & the final tally was 10 viz.. Charlie, Babu, Diwakar, Ravikumar(RK), Ravikumar(RKN), Raghu, Krishnaprasad(KP), Vimal, Manju & I.Day 1: 4.30 a.m to 5.45 a.m, Kumaradhara( Kukke Subramanya)After picking up Babu from his residence at 11.45 p.m we started our journey in a TT & reached Kumaradhara at 4.30 in the morning. Our driver Nagaraju covered the 280 kms distance in 4.5 hours flat. Got fresh & repacked our bags with the food items, water bottles that got distributed amongst the team & we were ready.6.00 to 9.30 a.m: Take the right turn before the Kukke temple & the entry point to the trek is 1.2kms behind the temple which is a walk by road. The plan was to reach half way to a place named “Bhatru mane” before the sun gets hotter. Just a few minutes into the forest trail & we encountered the biggest challenge which we had anticipated-the leeches. Salt, Tobacco(Hoge Soppu), Mosquito repellent & pain relief spray were duly packed & applied onto the shoes & socks but none seemed to help. We had to move carefully to purge from this freaky bloodsucker. Though we were heedful, few of these parasites trekked on to our legs & inside our shoes and were able to guzzle up some blood. Though everybody panicked, Charlie was the most disturbed & troubled. He thought Kitta( our mate) was wise in pulling out of this trek although he had other valid reasons. One of these suckers pierced thru the aerial pores of my shoes & had sucked out some blood which I realized only after reaching Bhatru mane. It was one hell of a climb for about 2 hours in the forest trail. Manju, a wildlife photographer & an otherwise fit guy had severe cramps on his legs which hampered his climb. Ravi N & Raghu eased him of his luggage & with some Volini he continued further. Though the mutually agreed thumb rule was to “stay together” throughout, we did not adhere to it owing to the fear of Leeches. Even a mild break would mean few leeches climbing onto you & hence it was a literally a race to the top. 2 hours of trekking takes you above the forest canopy and it is now that one can get a good view of all the surrounding mountain ranges. We thought we had seen the Summit, but we were wrong. You can't see Kumar Parvata till the very end of your Trek. The mountain you can see from here is Sesha Parvata. On the way we met couple of interesting people: 1) Jayaraj- the forest officer who was a valuable help with his inputs & motivation 2) The domestic helps of Narayana Bhattaru. Must share this amazing with you all. These domestic helps climb up & down to the Subramanya town to carry essential provision viz. Rice, Oil, Daal, Salt & they do this Every day. Hats Off !!Babu, Diwa, Vimal, RK, Raghu & I had reached the Bhatru mane by 9 followed by Ravi N, Charlie, Manju, & KP. By now Ravi N was fuming for not following the thumb rule which augured well for the rest of the trek because together we can face the challenge & not by splitting up. We were the first set of people to reach Bhatru Mane that day & based on our request he served us some broken wheat Uppittu with Uppinakayi. They charge Rs. 100/plate of food but considering the kind of efforts that goes into it, it is not expensive. Apart from providing food, toilets & water you can charge your mobile, (Yes he has electricity), use his mats to rest & of course a satellite connection for television. But the most beautiful thing is, you can leave your extra luggage here and carry exactly what you need further which is what we did. Except for Babu all of us had carried heavy bags. After relaxing for an hour there, we embarked on our 2nd part of the trek.12 noon to 5.00 pm (Bhatru mane to Kumara Parvata)The 2nd part of the trek is from Bhatru Mane to Kallu Mantapa which is 3.5 kms. We’ll need to register our names with the Forest officer & pay an entry fee of Rs. 200/head. Camping on the peak is prohibited now & hence we were advised to return back well before dark. Though we had kept your excess luggage in Bhatru mane, you can't ignore the fact that, you have covered already 6-7 Kms in high slope. Along with that, it is a race against time. We started from Bhatru Mane around 12PM. Target was to reach the peak by 4 and then start descending back to Bhatru Mane. This is long stretch, mostly can be segmented into 3 parts. From Bhatru Mane to Kallu Mantapa Kallu Mantapa to Sesha Parvata Sesha Parvata to Kumara Parvata peak Leg 1: (12 noon to 2.15 p.m)The forest cover was no more and we were directly exposed to the merciless sun. The next point was Kallu Mantapa, a partially ruined structure. You pass thru two View Points which is useful for some clicks. This is mostly a walk thru the grasslands & hence relatively easy. Vimal had a narrow escape when he slipped at a curve. Though he recovered quickly, things could have gone wrong, sigh ! There is a stream flowing nearby which is a pretty sight and forms the camping place for most of the trekkers. We refilled our water bottles & quenched our thirst. Reached Kallu Manatapa @ 2.30 p.m & spent some time taking rest there.Leg 2: (2.15 to 3.15 p.m)Kallu Mantapa is the foot hill of Sesha Parvata. After resting for a while, there was a debate if we should continue further or return to Bhatru Mane coz by then we were all almost drained out. Not many of them try to do the Peak & return on the same day. The next 4.5 kms was very steep & hence we were apprehensive about being able to come back before dark. Babu, Diwa, Vimal & Ravi N were clear in their minds about going ahead & it needed some pep talks from them & few Redbulls to inspire the others. From here it is a steep climb to Sesha Parvata which we covered in an hour & reached the spot by 3.15 p.m.Leg 3: (3.15 to 5.00 p.m)Still there was no sight of the Kumara Parvata. Some of us were still wondering if it was a wise decision to continue further. Our bodies were almost giving up & only the mind was pulling it. Sun was settling down which was a good thing but confusion was arising among us. We were still together, but there was no sign of concurrence on continuing further. People coming from other side were giving conflicting opinion. Though the question was simple,“how much left?". Answer was varying from 45min- to 2 hours journey. I could see, we all were tried and confused. Somehow Babu, Diwa, Ravi N & Vimal took charge of it.From Sesha Parvathe you have to climb down a little bit and then climb up again. We’ll have to pass thru a dense forest & there was the Leech threat again. Somehow we crossed it without much trouble& then there is this monolithic rock which was slippery due to the preceding days’ rains. Vimal again had a slip though nothing to worry. At the end of that rock, the path splits into two. We could now see the way to Pushpagiri peak & continuing the climb little further…reached the peak of KUMARA PARVATA, Voila! Finally we were there, after almost 10 hours of climbing and countless plan & debate.THE DESCENTAfter spending some time in the peak we started the climb down. We were running behind schedule & hence did not spend much time clicking pics. I always thought that climbing down was easy but mark my words it isn’t .From a distance, things look easy. But as you climb down, every step is challenging. It is slippery sand, odd shaped pebbles and tightly packed odd shaped stones. Every step has to be careful or else you can fall or twist your ankle. Heavy on your knees and this is where you need lots of fluid consumption to keep up your energy and focus. But we had run out of water & food. We helped ourselves with some Peanut Butter & Nutella which was all that was left out. It was getting dark & trust me when I say this, not many people risk climbing down after dark but we had no other choice since we had run out of food & water. We had to come back to Bhatru mane. We kept on nudging one another to be safe & not to rush. A small mistake can be scary. Slowly but steadily we climbed down & reached the Forest office at around 8.30 p.m.To me the best part of the trek started thereafter. Since we were late most of the safe places were already occupied by other trekkers to set up camps. So, we were left with only a choice of camping near the 1st View point. Though we thought it was a great spot, what we experienced thereafter was damn interesting. We pitched in our tents for the night & headed to Bhatru Mane for Dinner. The menu was hot rice, Sambar, Majjige( Butter Milk) & Uppinakayi. There’s nothing like a Good Meal after all the hard work J. Bigg Boss Kannada is quite popular now & Bhatru Mane was “HouseFull” with audience for this show. Cheers Huccha Venkat . Bhatru Mane was we bid adieu to Mr. Narayana Bhatru.We had set up the camping tents at a place which was at the edge of a cliff, surrounded by lush-green mountain ranges, clouds and mist. The gushy winds almost blew away our tents & the mist water was dripping inside the tents which meant it would be a Loong night. Most of us could catch some sleep only for a few hours .The next morning served us with the most serene views we could ever hope to lay our eyes on. It is something that I’ve yearned for all my life, Truly Blissful!7 a.m (Day-2): We packed our tents & left for Kukke Subramanya. Luckily we did not encounter much of Leech problem during the climb down & reached Subramanya by 9.30 a.m. Once we reached Kukke Subramanya town, the most important thing to do was to take bath, and there is no better place than Kumara Dhara River. To our surprise, there was hardly any water in the river. The deepest point was only upto the waist . But nevertheless, a wonderful place to cool down the body and wash all the sweat and salt from the skin. River bath is a must before visiting Kukke Subramanya Temple. Let’s do things the proper way! Charlie’s words which we adhered to. After seeking the lord’s blessings & breakfast at Neo Mysore Café, we started from Kukke Subramanya & reached Bangalore at 8 p.m. This blog was first published on My Cuppa Coffe.
Well then I was a wannabe trekker....and was so sure that only my will power will help me trek for 14 kms one way in a day. Clueless of how we are traveling, and relying on Arvid, I had decided to come. After dodging between options of travel, at about 12 midnight, we started in Abdul's Tata Safari to the temple town named Subramanya. The roads were fine until we were 30 kilometers from the town. The road after that were horrible and took our naptime away. As soon as we reached the town at 6 am, we checked into a hotel/lodge. It was Rs. 200 per head, just to freshen up. However since the boys has taken turns to barter sleep with driving, we decided to catch up with sleep for at-least an hour. At about 9 am, we had breakfast, picked up some bread and jam, a vessel to boil water and commenced.The trek started right behind the temple. Ahead of us, we spotted some more trekkers with rug sacks, and we were sure that this is the right route. We were heading for 5 kms of a trekking in a forest area. We had been warned to look before we stepped, as these forests were known for king cobras, and other wild reptiles. You basically step on ascending natural steps made of tree roots and stones, and the humidity is painful. Its better advised to wear a T shirt and full length pants, to avoid scratches or bites from various creatures that you are likely to encounter. This was a never ending stretch of the forest. We could hear birds, insects, the whistling of mild breeze between the branches. It was green. I was super alert and looking at every step that I was taking, because the last thing I want is getting a snake bite. It was about 3-4 hours by the time we could see the grass land start. Soon we were way past the 5 kms stretch of the humid forest.Our planning in terms of water and food was pathetic. It was almost lunch time, and we were almost dehydrated. Scorching sun was sucking up all our energy and now, after all the curses we gave the forest region, we had no tree for shade. This was the toughest part, where we had no water, no food and no shade. We had to play our mind over body and search for the famous "Bhattara Mane"- house of the hindu priest.Interestingly, this tough trek had one solid hope of food and shelter and that was this house of the Hindu Priest. He prepared a basic lunch of rice, sambar and butter milk with some pickle. It was located right at the mid point of the trek, after about 7-8 kilometers from the start. We had started hallucinating, started spotting the Bhattara Mane everywhere, but none of us gave up hope. Finally we saw a wooden fence and some trees, and sighted tiles,.... yes it was the house of the priest! After washing our face with cold water from the pipe in his courtyard and throwing our bags on earth, we rushed in to the house, where the priest smiled and greeted us to sit down. The floor was polished by cow dung that attracted houseflies all over the large vessels of FOOOOOOOD!!!! We ate, rather we binged.... we ate the " Buffet" like gluttons.... That was one point in my life where I realized the importance of food!! After chilling for some time in the shade of the trees, filling our bottles of water and paying the priest Rs. 60/- per plate, we took some photographs and proceeded upwards. Our destination was " The Mantapa", a small stone shelter, which had a tiny stream of water flowing and flat land to pitch our tent.However we failed to reach there, and decided to call it a day way before that. After collecting firewood, pitching the tent and taking pictures, we realized that 1 tent was way smaller for 6 of us. Winds at an open mountain top mob you with no mercy. The speed of the wind was so high, we were not sure if the tent would stay. There was very little food supply against the alcohol supply we had, which I confess saved us from the cold and the sounds of wind. By midnight, we passed out. Losing no hope, we decided to start the trek to reach the peak at about 6am in the morning. I walked up till the Mantapa, only to realize that my stamina was over, and I could not take another step ahead. I looked at the green range of mountains I had trekked up, from the "Mantapa". I had achieved a lot compared to what I had thought of. I thought to myself this was it of the " Kumara Parvatha". As I saw two of my friends walk up, I had mixed feelings, of jealousy, defeat and breathlessness. Every drop of my sweat was making me heavier, and ever cell in my brains were shouting motivation!
What makes a trek difficult? Is it the terrain? Is it any glitch in preparation? Or is it an imbalanced team? These were the questions that swarmed my mind when I decided to go on a weekend trek to Kumara Parvata. I have always heard that this is the toughest trek in Karnataka and was a little apprehensive. But like my all other treks, Kumara Parvata was attracting me irresistibly. So I decided to find out the answer by myself.
Mountains have always attracted me right from child hood. Living in the foothills of the Velliangiri mountains for the past 6 years has made me fall in love with them even more. Palani, Marudhamalai , Vaishno Devi, Char dham Yatra(Involves trek to Kedarnath, Kantisarovar, Badrinath, Gangotri and Gomukh), Velliangiri Trek, Chatruagiri Hills, Kailash & Manasarovar, Sunderbans, Sandakphu (Darjeeling), and now Kumara Parvat. The thirst for these mountains is only increasing as days go by. So here is how the trip was… LOL!! We had no clear plan in the beginning but it was pretty clear that we wanted to go up this Kumara parvat after listening to talks on the sacredness of these mountains. Ten of us from Coimbatore and Ten of our friends from Bangalore decided to join hands together for this trek. We finally ended up with 6 from Coimbatore and 6 from Bangalore. There are two ways to reach the parvat. One is Via Somwarpet (the easy way in and out) and the other one is via Kukku Subramanya (you know the opposite). Somwarpet route was blocked due to heavy rains and without a choice we met at the Kukke Subramanya temple at around 8 a.m. on the 19th of July 2014. One of our friends messaged about the pouring rains and why he is cancelling his tickets. Hmmm…Told him this is all the more reason we wanted to go. After a long discussion it was clear that we cannot make the trip in a day. So we decided to start around 11 a.m. from the foothills of the temple on the 19th July. We moved up slowly and the only fear factor for all of us in common was “LEECHES”. (I am still able to visualize how Nagappa shouted every moment he got a leech on his shoes). We reached “Battar Mane” at around 3 in the noon. Sambar, Rice, Butter milk and a porriyal was the menu. What more to ask? The Food was heavenly and the Battar seemed to be a good man after all. (Charges Rs. 350 for 3 meals and a tea). Two solutions for Leeches: One: Mix oil with snuff powder and apply. Two: Dettol J (Will this company pay me for this ad..?) Some key factors about the trek: Location: Dakshina Kannada (District) , Karnataka, India. Trek starting point: Kukke Subramanya Route Trek difficulty Level: Difficult Kumara Parvatha trek distance 13 KMS (Oneside) Kumara Parvatha peak height 1712 Mts Time to trek 8-10 Hours (one side) Best time to trek: Oct to Feb (Again who cares...! if you can enjoy anything) Permission Required, should be taken forest office Trekking fees: Trekking Fee-Rs 200; Camera fee - Rs100 ; Contact Number: Battaramane - 9448647947 (For food and Accommodation) We halted in Battar mane for that night and started playing cards. The only thing that we are famous for in all our treks is for CARDS. (Santu saying “YES” when he gets all wrong cards in Bluff game!). We slept early and started by 6 a.m. the next day. Battar Mane… (He is in the middle) The next day morning we got up at 5.30 A.M. We divided ourselves into two groups. Five of us started early and the remaining of them came 20 minutes later. We were supposed to wait near the Kallu mandapa, a 2.5 kms trek. We crossed the lake and started walking straight without resting (thereby missing that kallu mandapa which was close). We realised that we have missed the meeting point only 2 kms before Sesha Parvat our next stop. Hmmm…Let’s be honest. Initially after seeing the trek we were thinking to change plans, eat, sleep and rest in Battar mane. Then came the “Messiah”. A sign board showing only 2 kms to Kumara Parvat. Hurrah…Despite heavy rains, 3 of them bare feet, torn and shattered windcheaters, uneven rocks and stones, we had a strong determination to reach the peak somehow. Walk via this waterfall…Visualize guys… What followed after the Sesha parvat was just unbelievable. Heavy rain, thick forests, leeches, wet clothes and torn jackets…. What more…? Due to heavy rains the stream was in full flow and the water falls was just awesome. We walked up the hill through these waterfalls and finally reached the slippery rocks. Walked with all four legs and reached the summit of the Kumara Parvat. Yep! We did it! We could not stay there for long due to thick mist and heavy rain. We decided to meditate for some 15 minutes, doing our Guru Pooja and started trekking down immediately. Ten minutes later we were joined by our second group. Photo sessions followed and then coming down happened pretty quickly. We reached Battar mane around 3 p.m, had lunch and started towards the foothills. At the peak!! Every inch of the body started aching while we were down to the foothills. It started pouring down even more heavily. My overall experience about this trek: It is just unbelievable. It sounds mad to go for a trek in this monsoon. But Dilwale Dulhaniya Le.. No no no… I mean if you have the will and determination you can make it. Please make this trip with proper planning and take enough supplements. I am waiting to do a trek in summer to see how this place looks like without the mist. Participants : Nagappa, Balbhim, Dhananjaya, Santosh, Naveen, Sambath square (they were two), Thilak, Raj kumar, Shiva and myself Arun. J Vote of thanks: Whom to Thank and whom not to? Santosh for planning trip from Bangalore and his lovely friends, Tilak for making sure everyone reaches the summit and come back, Raj kumar for his encouraging words to go further up, Nagaraj for his reactions while playing the card game and Sachin for guiding us through all way. So.. Ready for another trek? Come and join us? For further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumara_Parvatha http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukke_Subramanya P. S: Kumara parvat…The name comes from Kumara (Lord Muruga) and Parvat (Meaning Mountain). He is said to be an accomplished yogi who shed his body standing up these hills. (Yogis usually master one of the seven chakras and leave their body either by sitting or lying down). So He was something different. This place has six faced stones around and are also called the Shanmuga. Kukke Subramanya - The temple is one of the pristine pilgrimage locations in India. Here Lord Subrahmanya is worshipped as the lord of all serpents. The epics relate that the divine serpent Vasuki and other serpents found refuge under Lord Subrahmanya when threatened by Garuda. Leeches - Leeches are segmented worms with suction cups at each end. Their bodies are flattened, much wider than they are thick. Battar Mane – The only place of refuge in the complete trek. Food is awesome. He has tarpaulins for us to sleep. If we get more volunteers, I would like to clean it and paint this house for him. (Anyone for volunteering?) Thank you for taking your time to read this article. J
Kumara Parvata is famous among trekkers in Karnataka. Known as one of the harder treks, it will surely test your endurance but what it offers in terms of beauty is worth the pain. We, a group of 8 boys and 3 girls, hiked up from Somwarpet and descended towards Kukke. The more famous route is to climb from Kukke and descend towards Kukke. That makes it 14+14 kms. We chose 10+14 kms mainly because we did not want to repeat the route.The climb in itself was exciting. Most of it is through forests with patches of rocks to climb and some grassland walk. I don’t remember thinking the climb was too difficult. Within the first hour of our climb, we found a stream to cross which offered us the purest Forest Water to drink. Raj said water found in forests are the best because they have the goodness of so many roots in them. Around the last 30 minutes of our climb, we spotted a few more hikers on another mountain at a distance. You remember how we would wave at strangers as kids? We did the same!
Well, those of you who haven’t heard of Kumar Parvata, it is one of the highest peaks in Karnataka and hosts the route of the longest and the most difficult trek in the state. I shall not indulge further into KP details, since that is freely available on google. I shall use this space to divulge my experience with the trekking group Abhiyana. The group was introduced to me by a friend giving reference as cost-effective and super-fun. I had gone on treks earlier with several other trekking groups, and was keen to try a new one for a change! The journey started on Friday evening and as always happens, I was apprehensive about the crowd in the group since I travel alone and get introduced to new people on-board every time. Luckily for me, it was one of the most super-fun, helpful and enthusiast group of people I have had the pleasure of traveling with so far! The trek began at this very base. Everyone started on an extremely high note – being extremely innocent about the fact that we are going to carry bagpack plus sleeping bag plus sleeping mat plus tent for the next 7 kms. Well, as they say, slow-death is the worst death – I got to experience the trailer this time. Staircases made of tree branches and trunks, each step 1 feet apart, we climbed and climbed and when I stopped to ask Sagar – our lead if we had almost completed 2 kms, the look on his face and the evil grin made me cringe and die a little inside.. his exact words being – “If it makes you happy, 2 kms it is”, “Stairway to Heaven” seemed really real here. My back was pulling me back and every step I took made me realize how extremely stupid decision it was to think that I would be able to make it to the peak very easily. Well, my confidence came from conquering peaks like Mullyanagiri, Tadiyandamol, Chembra, Skandagiri and many more hikes which I was able to do without a break! God finally decided to test my patience and stamina here. All the prayers I knew and all the energy I had was slowly being sucked out of my soul when I couldn’t see the end to that stupid forest trail ever! Taking a look at my very desperate and sad face, Venkatesh and Kumar decided to off-load my luggage and would not let me stop at all. Kumar went on to offer electrol as well, I really felt like an ICU patient then. On we continued, to the grace of God landing at an extremely scenic location where Pavan’s idea of selfies materialized like anything! Posing for good clicks is something which would pump loads of energy in me – people tried to bribe me with pics later to make me move. Aren’t we all super-happy to see the fifty shades of green above and the lovely scenery behind. The idea of clicking also seemed destitute at this point. I just wanted to reach the stop and lie and die and whatever. Someone shorten this freaking damn journey for me! Never have I ever experienced a pain this kind, that I actually had to lie down and sleep for 15 mins on the way before we could reach the stop. For me, the most exciting part of the trek started after that when we pitched in our tents for the night. The place was at the edge of a cliff, surrounded by lush-green mountain ranges, clouds and mist. On top of that, the incredibly stupid and funny antakshari hosted by Krishna kept the night alive. The next morning served us with the most serene views we could ever hope to lay our eyes on. Well, 23 kms of hike, trek, and climb later, I couldn’t wait to get a shower and be done with the muck, soil, sweat and dirt. But hail the enthusiasm of my fellow riders, who would now go for play in the river. Well, lucky for me; not going to the river was a blessing in disguise to get the darshana at Subramanya temple in 10 minutes without standing in queue, which has another interesting story to itself.
3. Kumara ParvataKnown as the ‘trekker’s paradise’, Kumara Parvata is one of the most popular and highest peaks of Karnataka ideal for trekking, and it is the treacherous route that which makes it all the more alluring, adding to the challenge; and nonetheless the efforts are paid off given the end result, to reach a place wrapped in beauty and enveloped in calmness! The Kumara Parvata peak is located at a height of about 1712 meters.The journey to Kumara Parvata starts at the small town called Subramanya, famous for the Kukke Subramanya temple of the snake deity which is a sacred pilgrimage spot for the Hindus. The pathway is flat, surrounded by the lush green forest of the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and is the perfect to go, get lost in nature!
4. Pushpagiri Hills The Pushpagiri Hills located in the Western Ghats is also a wildlife sanctuary with rich flora and fauna. It is also known as the Subramanya Hills, which with an altitude of 5626 ft is the second highest peak in Coorg, Karnataka. Beautiful forests, valleys and hills make it one of the most ideal places for trekking expeditions. There is the Kukke Subramanya Temple in the vicinity. The Trekking starts from the forest checkpoint at the base of the Pushpagiri Hills. 3-4 hours route across dense forest, wet grasslands, over rocky terrain. There is a small temple located at the peak dedicated to Kumara Swamy. Mostly trekkers exit through the nearby Kumara Parvatha, and camp at Girigadde.
Around 5:30 PM, we reached the peak of Pushpagiri and the view this mountain offered us through the evening, night and the next morning was breath-taking. Without lazing around too much, each one started off with a task – 1. Set up the tents. 2 – Collect firewood. 3 – Get drinking water from a source nearby. Raj, DK and Anvesh have done enough treks to know how things should be done. They are experts when it comes to surviving the mountains. I am in awe of the simple tricks they have picked up over the years and proud to have such amazing trekking buddies.As the sun went down, we were ready to have a beautiful evening. All the sweatshirts and skullcaps came out to ensure the weather did not wear us down. By now it was pitch dark and we switched off all the lights we had –tent light, torch lights and light emitting from our phones. This was my favourite moment of the trip. The sky was full of stars, glittering at a distance in lacs or more than that. I have never seen so many stars in the sky, ever. For about 30 seconds there was silence. At the risk of being infamous I asked everyone to keep quiet for some time and it worked for 30 seconds. But I loved those 30 seconds as I felt one with nature. This was my 'hug the mountain' moment, as I lay there on the peak, staring at the sky with no human noises.It was 2-3 days post full moon and I was very sure we would have enough moon light but the moon took really long to show up but when he did, oh what a sight it was. It was like a moonrise, if you know what I mean. He came up through the clouds in all its glory to add more beauty to the already spectacular sky.It was getting colder and hence time for some camp fire. The stronger logs formed the cone exterior for the camp fire to work while the weaker ones were used to make fire happen. DK made building a camp fire look like a child’s play and he did this repeatedly through the night. We even tried to cook but our burning place did not hold up the vessel. Raj opened his surprise box full of dinner for the entire group. God bless his mom :)It was a peaceful evening. Pleasant breeze, great spot and after some talking, we all got into our tents and called it a day but around 1AM we started experiencing strong winds. Our tents would have flown if our collective weight was not holding them down. But when we woke up the next morning, we realised what was happening through the night - The clouds were flowing from down under the valley at great speed and going over us. What a sight it was.We walked up to a spot which Raj knew offered a great view and spent our morning there. The beauty of this place is here for you to see.Our breakfast was bread and jam and peanut butter with a promise of Maggi sometime later. We left the peak the way we found it. Not a single piece of trash. I am so proud of this group. First pit stop was the point where we would fill our bottles with Forest Water (I love saying that :)). The next stop was in the middle of the forest, where we built fire and cooked Maggi. Maggi is back in our lives and how :)After this started the grueling descend. The thing is, when you look at these mountains from a distance, it looks like a range that’s covered with a smooth green carpet and you think, it’s so beautiful I can just roll all over it but ITS NOT. The walk down is treacherous with a path full of rocks. The amount of stress you put not just on your knees but you heels, toes, other parts of your feet, rest of your body is tremendous. And that bag on your back full of those warm clothes and whatever else you carried doesn't make it any easier. We stopped at Bhattru Mane for lunch before we continued our descend. Around 5:30 PM, we stopped at another stream to give some relief to our legs. The only thing I was thinking after this was, I want to reach the base before its dark as I cannot handle another layer of difficulty. So I walked as fast as I could matching Raj’s speed, trying my best to avoid torch-light for as long as I could and pressurizing my eyes to do better.The first sign that we were close to the base was some light coming from a house, then it was music being played at a distance. When we did make it to the base, and saw a road, we just dropped our bags and sat ON the road and chose not to walk anymore. We called our TT guy to drive to us and pick us up. We sat there under a street light and rested with a feeling of accomplishment in our hearts.“Because in the end you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack KerouacTrek DetailsPlace: Kumara Parvata, SakleshpurDate: Nov 28,29 2015Organizers: Us :)Cost: Rs. 2000/head
Kumara Parvata otherwise known as Pushpagiri is one of the peaks in western ghats range situated at around 250 Kms from Bangalore. With an altitude of more than 1700 meters it is known for its spectacular sunrise and breathtaking landscapes. It has a well laid trekking trail of around 12-13 Kms from Kukke subramanya which serves as the base for the trek. It is a perfect gateway for adventure lovers.
One could find KSRTC buses and some private buses to Kukke Subramanya. This place is famous for the kukke subramanya temple which attracts pilgrims all around the year. Boarded the bus from Majestic , Bangalore at around 11 Pm and reached Kukke at around 7 Am. Booked one hotel for 2 hours to freshen up and had breakfast. Make sure to buy all the essentials needed for the trek because beyond this point you will be out in woods and mountains. One can reach the trek starting point from the road opposite to the temple. This trek has been well documented in many of the blogs. It has certain stages which can be noticed in any of the blogs related to KP. From here on i would be using KP for Kumara Pravata.Stage 1: Kukke Subramanya to Bhatt's House/ Forest Dept OfficeStage 2: Bhatt's House to Kullu MantapaStage 3: Kullu Mantapa to Shesha ParvataSatge 4: Shesha Parvata to KPKukke Subramanya to Bhatt's House/ Forest Dept officeThis is a 5.5 km stretch and one have to trek through dense forest for most part of this stage. Its recommended to trek this part during day light. We started at around 9 am in the morning. Depending on the speed it can be covered in around 2.5 - 3.5 hours. One should be careful about leeches during monsoon. There are also some other kind of blood suckers which i encountered. Thanks to some local boys who figured out what that was and were kind enough to give me a band aid.One of them put some tobacco on the wound which stopped the bleeding within seconds.
Western Ghats, a trekker’s heaven, has held my interest with its rich biodiversity and quite a few jewels that it has to offer to the avid trekkers. Kumara Parvata is undoubtedly one such gem. Standing tall at a height of 1,712 meters (5,617 ft), this highest peak in Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, has tested trekkers on a rough note time and again. However, the mesmerizing view it promises to offer once one reaches the peak, was another reason that made me pack my backpack on a fine Friday morning in mid-February.But even before I buckled up for this weekend trek to Kumara Parvata, I did a bit of research on my own to have an idea of the terrain, the challenges one may face and the route. Here is a rough sketch of what I found -Since Kumara Parvata trek can be done over any weekend, it’s easier to divide it into Day 1 and Day 2 itinerary, which again can be broken down in to roughly 6 stages.Stage1: From Kukke temple (trek starting point) to BattaramaneStage 2: Battaramane to Kallu MantapaStage 3: Kallu Mantapa to the Shesha ParvataStage 4: Shesha Parvata to Kumara ParvataStage 5: Back to Battaramane or take a different route to SomwarpetStage 6: Battaramane to the trek start point or from the Peak to SomwarpetI also added the following points to my note:Location: Dakshina KannadaDistance from Bangalore: Approximately 280 KmsTrek starting point: Kukke Subramanya RouteComplete trek distance: 13 Kms on one wayThe peak height: 1712 MtsTime to complete the trek: 8-10 hours on one sideCamping: Allowed (Needs permission from the Forest Dept.)Best time for this trek: Oct to FebForest office permission: Mandatory (Rs 300 each)Trekking Fee-Rs 75 Camera fee - Rs100 (Approximately)Battaramane contact details: +91 9448647947 (For food and accommodation you need to inform beforehand)And I made a list of ‘must-have’ items for this trek in the Western Ghats.My sturdy backpackTrekking clothesWind-Cheater/JacketSun cap/hatOdomos creamSalt for protection against leechesTrekking shoeHiking poleCamping TentSleeping Bag/MatNecessary toiletriesWhistle and compassWater pouchDry food itemsElectral and energizersAnd with these basic preparations I set out for this dream trek of mine.Day 1Kukke temple to BattaramaneI chose to go with Hyderabad Trekking Club as they have made this trek many times and I found them reasonably priced.We reached around 10 am on a Saturday morning. But we were late as there was a Ayappa festival procession on the way to Kukkesubramanya temple. Our team was given instructions to finish up brunch and get ready for the trek as soon as possible. There are some private lodges with basic arrangements available near Kukkesubramanya temple. We freshened-up there are headed to the food stalls and restaurants nearby that serves hot South Indian meals and breakfast. We were ready by 12 pm and geared up to start our adventure.Our trek lead gathered the team and briefed about the course, which sounded easy, until we tried out. The stage 1 is about 6 kms and is relatively easy. Most of the part during this stretch one has to go through the forest canopy and hence, not much sun. However, you will be some altitude gain in this course. Once the forest ends there will be an open stretch till you reach Battaramane. That would be the first major rest point for any trekking group towards Kumara Parvata. We were all set and started the trek.I entered my first Shola forest canopy was thrilled to the core with the soothing greeney all around! However, it didn’t last long as the forest receded and an afternoon sun started beating us up. Reaching Battaramane was a huge relief and the relief increased with the home-made rice-sambar-pickle lunch. You’d be asked to clean your own plates in the flowing stream adjacent to this humble abode. We started filling up our bottles, as we were informed there wouldn’t be any more water source after this point. We resumed our journey immediately after lunch and headed towards the Forest Department.Battaramane to Kallu MantapaKallu Mantapa was our next resting point, though it was no Battaramane! All you’ll see here is a large black stone mantapa (reason behind the name) and flat ground with some benches where you can rest a while. On the way to Kallu Mantapa, we paid the trekking and camping fees in the Forest office. We covered this stretch in almost 2 hours while the first one took us almost 4 hours.Now, here was a major setback for us. We started the trek very late. While all trek groups would like to start around 9 am, we were already 3 hours behind the normal time.So, it was decide that we’ll continue trekking towards the peak next day and pitch our camps after crossing Kallu Mantapa. We found a spot good for pitching tents after another one hour of trek, which was not very flat but good enough without strong wind.We settled down, pitched our tents and started cooking a humble dinner – Maggie and oats. When legs are sore with continuous uphill climb and all you want is just to snuggle up in your sleeping bag, no matter what you get to eat, it tastes heavenly! And so after a quick dinner over lively chat, team-bonding and so many yawns, we finished our dinner and call it a day.Day 2 was scheduled to begin early morning around 4 am. That was the instruction given by our trek-lead. Before retiring in my sleeping bag, I asked myself if I have got my answer, and the answer was ‘no’, which was about to be changed next day.Day 2Kallu Mantapa to Kumara Parvata crossing the Shesha ParvataNow here comes the part for which this weekend trek has been apparently named one of the toughest treks in Karnataka and I almost got my answers. The challenge is the constant altitude gain during the next 3 kms stretch towards Shesha Parvata. At times we even had to brave the elevation that ranges between 45-60 degrees. There were rock-patches (my all time enemy) and flat trails, as well.We woke up early and got ready as per the plan and started trekking by 5:30 am. Initial clumsy steps soon became cautious steps with the steep climb. At times the climb felt a never ending stretch. But we were able to see Sesha Parvata and that was a huge relief.Bonus point was that the second part of this stretch towards the main destination, Kumara Parvata peak, was relative easy. You’ll first descend from Shesha Parvata and enter a forest patch. Once at the end of this forest, the trail will again gain elevation but not intimidating and before you know, you’ll reach the peak.However, even after starting early in the morning, we missed the sun rise as we couldn’t reach the peak on time. That is a regret that I intend to erase with another journey to this magnificent peak in the Western Ghats, soon enough.Now, getting back to the course, one major thing that may easily frustrate quite a few of us is the mistake of thinking Sesha Parvata as Kumara Parvata. This mistake is natural as the effort you put to reach the former is quite taxing. Constant altitude gain can be challenging with all the loads that you are carrying on your back.But once you get down from Sesha and enter the balming forest patch, you’ll immediately feel that all your efforts are paid off. We found out (the first timers in the group) that the forest has quite a few amazing camping spots! And the most shocking part was proximity of our main destination! We reached Kumara Parvata in no time! But a look back to the trail to Sesha Parvata is enough to make you understand why you should not try to climb that stretch at night.So, there we were. On 15th February around 9 am we reached Kumara Parvata peak. We spent almost 2 hours relaxing there, taking the amazing view in, capturing the thrill through our camera lenses and exploring the peak. There is a small Shiva temple on the peak, as well. We enjoyed our breakfast with bread-jam and fruits.After gathering back enough energy, it was time to get down. We took a different route while coming down. Our journey back was towards Somwarpet, which is another trek starting point, too. You’ll have to cross another Shola forest patch on this route. This forest canopies a major part of this route giving you time to relax even when you are walking. However, one needs to be careful while descending as there is chance of slipping on the mossy rocks.The last leg of the journeyWe reached the temple town of Somwarpet in the afternoon around 2 pm and hurried back in our pre-booked tempo-traveller to get our sore feet out of the trekking shoes and some shed from the harsh sun. As maximum members in our team had to catch a train back to Hyderabad the same evening, we didn’t have time enough to take a look around this town. The journey back to Bangalore City station lasted about 7 hours, and each of us headed back with unforgettable memories of Kumara Parvata.And when I asked myself again, what made the trek difficult, the answer was ‘nothing’. If you have a positive attitude towards the trek, neither the terrain nor the team will matter in the end. It’s all you and the mighty peak – Kumara Parvata, in the end.
Next day we went to Mallalli Falls and Bisle ghat. Bisle ghat is protected reserved forest, is listed as one of the 18 most diverse spots in the world in terms of flora and fauna. The view point offers amazing view of the Pushpagiri Hills. Kumar Parvatha - the toughest trek of South India, is one of the hills in Pushpagiri.Bisle ghat has one more interesting place - The Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal Ridge. The ridge is the point in the mountains that determines which way rivers or streams are likely to flow. It is said that this stone was laid by the British. British officers on their topographical survey of the Western Ghats found that it was the point where rain water splits and reaches two different seas. The rainwater from the series of hills and mountains to the left of this point flows towards the west drainage basins that feed into the Arabian Sea while water from the eastern side drains into the Bay of Bengal.
We debated the mode of transport, like rail, bus or tempo traveler and decided on Tempo, thus fixed the maximum team size to be 12. New few days we discussed the logistics and each ones responsibility. As the day came closer, there were dropouts and additions, finally we were 11 (Manohar, Gururaj M J, Sujith, Hariprasad Kashi, Guruprasad kashi, Muralidhar D S, Sumanth, Guruprasad Gudigar, Ganesh K Gudigar, Darshan and I). Sujith arranged two tents and Manohar arranged for one tent and sleeping bags for all. I picked up three rucksacks from Pedals and Wheels Malleswaram. We had circulated things to carry. Sujith had arranged the tempo and took it to Rajarajeshwari nagar. The idea was to start from Rajarajeshwari Nagar, pick me and Guru Kashi from near my house and pick up Guruprasad Gudigar from Channarayapattana (he was coming from Mysore). As the most common Shiradi Ghat road to Kukke was blocked, we thought we would go via Bisle Ghat, only to realize later that that was also closed.Things were fine and we were picked up about half an hour later than the scheduled time (which was OK) near the Rajkumar statue at Kurubarahalli. All of us were impressed by the condition of the tempo and were vocal with our praise. Alas..Murphy’s rule, in next few minutes the vehicle stopped near Nandini Theater, it took some time for us to realize that it was a major breakdown and the accelerator cable had got cut. Many of us went in search of garage, Sujith with the help of a local friend, explored many places. We lost one good hour Sujith contacted his friend for a different vehicle. By then Hari came up with the idea of arranging a different tempo through his office source. The new vehicle came in about half an hour. Though not as comfortable vehicle, the driver was very good. We left Bangalore by 10.20pm. Guruprasad Gudigar has been waiting at Channarayapattana. We picked him around 12 pm. We thought we can go via Bisle ghat, but were told that that is also closed. It was quite long as we went by Kushalnagar, Madikeri and Sulya. Thanks to the driver Umesh who was an expert, we reached Kukke Subramanya by 7 am. We freshened up quickly in a temple shelter and finished heavy breakfast in a local restaurant. The road to the start of the trek was under repair and we had to walk some distance before we reached the starting point.It was 8.40 am by the time we got into the jungle. There were many others too. It was pleasant in the morning, as the trail was through jungle. In a couple of hours, we crossed the Bheemana bande (Bheema’s rock) and were into grassy slopes and the Sun was making his presence felt. Depending upon our pace, 11 of had become two groups by the time we reached Bhatra mane between 11:30 am to 11:45am. There was refreshing butter milk that many trekkers who were there consumed in plenty. The elder Mahalingeshwar Bhat had gone to Kukke and the younger brother Narayana Bhat was working in the dairy. We had sumptuous, delicious lunch of rice, soutekai sambar and pickles at 12.30pm. In bhatramane garden, there were many butterflies and I enjoyed photography for some time.We left at 1pm. The forest office was just after Bhatramane where we registered by paying Rs 200 per head. Near to that was a view point where we took some pictures. The next destination was kallu mantapa and the path was steep and did not have many trees. In the scorching heat, there were 20 odd people in the shade of a signle tree.The scene all around however was breath taking. It was 3.45pm by the time we reached the water source near kallu mantapa. We refilled our water bottles. I thought we were doing very well with time, but certainly it was long way to go. There were five who were faster, and six of us who were slower. By the time the second group reached top of Sheshaparvatha, it was 6 pm and the Sun was setting. The first batch was waiting for us there.We took about half an hour break there and moved ahead though a valley of forest. It was getting darker. There were some groups who had tented near the creek in the valley. Many of us were tired and were hoping to reach the peak soon. It was around 6:45pm by the time we reached the end of the forest and we were in for a shock! There was a huge plane rock in the way of the peak that was at 60o angle. We had no choice, but to get on all fours and do rock climbing. Some of us had head torches, and those who climbed up showed light to those who were climbing. It was quite an effort by the time all of us crossed and reached Pushpagiri or the peak of Kumara Parvatha.It took some time to find a place suitable to pitch three tents, and we chose the place on the way to Somwarpet as we did not want to wander for too long in the dark. It was already 7:15 pm and we pitched the tents and lit a camp fire.We had chapatis, chatni pudi and curds liberally distributed by Ganesh. It was wonderful to sit and have food in the moon light.The floor was not very even, but with all of us having sleeping bags, it was manageable. Two tents had four people each (snug-fit :-) ) and one had three. The night was relatively calm. We were up by 5.30 am and walked to the place from where we could see the Sun rise. There were at least 50-60 people tenting on the peak.We had some left over chapatis just before starting the descent at 8.30 am. We could catch driver Umesh over phone and tell to come to Somvarapete. The trail was fully covered by trees thus making it very pleasant. This route also had regular sign boards leading to Beedhalli. Midway, there was a small stream of very refreshing cold water. The 7 km trek was completed in 4.5 hours and by 1 pm we were already at the forest office. It took another half an hour’s walk by a dusty road to reach the main road and after a few minutes wait there was our vehicle. We had lunch at Somavarapete and returned home by night, to have a refreshing shower and a good night’s sleep.Though it was my third trip to KP, this one was special as we climbed all the way to top from Kukke in a single day and tented right on top. Though challenging at times, it was pleasurable, thanks to the unparalleled beauty of nature, great company and planning of our young friends.
The divine serpent Vasuki whom Lord Shiva wore as an ornament around his neck, was threatened by Garuda (mount/Vahana of Lord Vishnu). Vasuki performed tapas (worship) for numerous years in the caves of Kukke Subhramaniya temple trying to avoid attacks from Garuda. Lord Shiva decided to send his son Kartikeya to protect Vasuki from Garuda. Apparently Kartikeya visited Kumara Parvatha and blessed Vasuki that he shall stay with him forever. From then onwards the pooja offered to serpent shall be considered as the pooja offered to Kartikeya himself.
The road from the gate to the peak passed through the pushpagiri wildlife reserve,trust me if you own a sedan or a bike with not enough torque,this is not a good place to be 'JEEPS and Royal Enfield ONLY'.Took around 40min to reach the forest officer's camp on the foothill of mandal Patti, parked my bike there and started trekking to the top,the view at the top was the best I have ever seen,with the morning sunlight cut by the mountains and the cloud of fog under you,makes you feel like you just stepped into heaven. And then i met the special anti poaching officer at the pushpagiri wildlife reserve,and he volunteered to take me to abbi falls if I could drop him in Madikeri.we had a cup of tea and spent a little time at the tea shop,he was quite famous in that part of madikeri,he shared some information about the wildlife there. And then we reached Madikeri at around 8:30am and he got off my bike,and may be that is what life is about, people come,people go but the journey must go on. Now it was time to head home,came with a heavy heart and coorg embraced me with love and mother nature did the trick. Clicked a selfie with Mr.john kollanaur,the owner of the home stay I was staying at. And then the journey back home to see the city lights began. Left Madikeri at around 1:30pm and now there was one last obstacle to overcome, as I earlier pointed out,I didn't have a lot of money so I only had around 200rs left with around 400rs of worth fuel in my bike's patrol tank, didn't know if I could make it, and as suspected my bike ran out of fuel near kengeri, and somehow managed to get fuel from the nearest petrol bunk with the help of the locals there and finally reached home at around 6pm.And the journey that was planned in 30min had come to an end. And a coorg wildlife society flier to remember the whole ordeal.
Kumara parvata is considered to be one of the toughest yet must do trek in western ghats of Karnataka. At 1712 mtrs Kumarparvata is the 6th highest trek spot in Karnataka. You will encounter Batra mane on the way which is the only place to have food and also gives place to pitch the tents.2. Kudremukh Trek
Kumara Parvatha is a beautiful place for trekking as it offers amazing views of the surrounding hillside and waterfalls. Kumara Parvatha is in Kukke Subrahmanya town which is about 100 Km from Mangalore. You can reach here in 2.5 hrs, leave early from Mangalore. The trek is moderately difficult. You need to register in the forest department office before starting the trek. Do visit Kukke Subrahmanya temple (The temple of Serpent God) and Adi Subrahmanya temple (Old Subramanya temple). You can return to Mangaluru or stay in Kukke town.
Namdroling Monastery (Golden Temple)
The Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery is the biggest showing focus of the Nyingma ancestry of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. The cloister was set up by throne-holder Kyabje Penor Rinpoche in 1963, after his 1959 way out from Tibet as the second seat of the Palyul Monastery, one of the six awesome Nyingmapa Mother religious communities of Tibet preceding addition. Every day Namdroling religious community invites many guests, both from India and abroad to encounter the teachings and make the most of our grounds, sanctuaries and thoughtful environment. For travelers wishing to see their grounds and sanctuaries, it is conceivable to stay in inns in the neighborhood town of Kushalnagar without license and make day excursions to the monastery. Tourists and different guests with non-Indian international IDs for the most part stay in inns in Kushalnagar, a short auto Rickshaw ride from the cloister (10 rupees for every individual, 30 rupees if more individuals). Amid extraordinary occasions, the religious community may book the spaces for uncommon visitors so check close before your entry to protect accessibility.
I reached Amritsar early in the morning and the first thing that I wanted to do was visit the Golden Temple and pay my respects. The Golden Temple is the most revered shrine of the Sikhs but is visited by almost everybody. I entered through one of the four gates, one in each cardinal direction, which symbolized an open invitation to all to visit the shrine. The incredible amount of pure gold plated on the shrine was way more than one can expect from pictures. After having offered my prayers, I went around the compound to come across an old Jubi tree which was planted 450 odd years ago.
This is the most famous monastery in the region and is situated in Camp 4 of the settlement. It houses the spectacular Golden Temple with its majestic gold plated statue of Buddha.You can sit and meditate or just marvel at the intricate wall paintings and architecture of the temples. The best time to visit this temple is during the early morning prayers when the sunshine filters in, giving this place an ethereal charm, and the chants of the monks transports you to another world.
If one believes that certain places on earth are sacred, surely this is one of them. A 60-ft golden statue of the Buddha, to be precise, flanked by two equally impressive figures. The entrance to the Main temple complex has a huge photo of one of the leaders/head-monk at the top of a prayer hall. The Main prayer hall (on the left of the previous prayer hall) offers the travelers a peek into what Buddhism is all about with Buddha and other statues towering over 60 feet and prayer mats laid out uniformly in front to seat the monks. We chose to spend a weekend in Coorg because it promised wild elephants, monsoon soaked views of lush hills and valleys, and a home stay on a coffee plantation. Yet right there on the main road was an elaborate gateway beckoning us into the settlement. It was like entering another world. The road to the temple passes restaurants advertising Tibetan food, a shop selling prayer flags, the Tibetan Career Institute, a school, etc. The sight of monks walking in a row along the road or drinking tea at Café Tibet was priceless. Feeling totally detached from the hurly burly of the Indian market just outside the settlement, we reached the monastery. Even its elaborate entrance and large courtyard filled with Tibetan children didn't prepare me for the first glimpse of the inner sanctum, with the three giant statues seemingly lit up from within and rows of seating mats laid in neat rows in front of them. Hindus, Muslims, others-- we all stood silently and in awe.
The sheer size of the three storied temple covered in victory banners, tassels and canopies and topped by a golden pinnacle overwhelms the visitor to the Namdroling Monastery – the most popular of the many monasteries in Bylakuppe. In the morning rows upon rows of monks occupy the wide open halls reciting prayers in unison; solemn pilgrims, carrying prayer beads, can be seen seated alongside the heavy wooden doors immersed in the wave of devotion. The main attractions in the monastery are the Golden Temple, silver and giant red prayer wheels and a row of white pagodas.
Home to Tibetan Culture in Karnataka, The Golden Temple is a Buddhist monastery with Golden statues of Gautama Buddha, Padmasambhava and Amitāyus. The monastery is utterly calm and peaceful , a sudden change of environment we experienced after a long ride. Trees bearing yellow flowers fully blossomed, neatly maintained garden and monks sleeping under the shade of trees are the first of things one can witness as you enter the premises. The gold-coated Buddhist statues in the monastery are imposing and unique, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the Tibetans. Tourists can also shop for handicrafts, carpets and incense sticks, all sold by the monks. Remember there is no chance to negotiate as the monks do not talk at all ! You either buy or let go.
The next morning, we woke up early and headed to the Golden Temple. I wanted to go particularly early to listen to them praying and chanting. We had to be there by 5:45-6 AM. And we made it. While my friend went around taking photos with his camera, I sat at the foot of the shrine and listened to them chant. They use a combination of instruments and chanting in any prayer of theirs. Some type of trumpet or wind instrument along with some percussion instruments.The Buddhist kids were adorable! Especially the one who felt he was too cool to pose in a selfie with me. “Bahut galat, bahut galat,” he said, as he walked away shaking his tiny head.
It is actually an island, surrounded by the rivulets of Cauvery river, encircling its banks on all sides. And, along with this comes a beautiful resort, situated amongst the lush greens of the Nisargadhama Island, right in the middle of the walkable piece of land. The hanging bridge that took me across the river was an amazing experience. And to add to this were the ever-adventurous opportunities to row a boat in the river streams, and go on some enjoyable elephant rides and mostly the exceedingly incredible views of the flora and fauna around the island. Especially numerous species of deer, peacocks, monkeys and birds - all inhabitants in their very natural habitat.
It is actually an island, surrounded by the rivulets of Cauvery river, encircling its banks on all sides. And, along with this comes a beautiful resort, situated amongst the lush greens of the Nisargadhama Island, right in the middle of the walkable piece of land. The hanging bridge that took me across the river was an amazing experience. And to add to this were the ever-adventurous opportunities to row a boat in the river streams, and go on some enjoyable elephant rides and mostly the exceedingly incredible views of the flora and fauna around the island. Especially numerous species of deer, peacocks, monkeys and birds - all inhabitants in their very natural habitat.
Nisargadhama is a breathtakingly beautiful island formed by the river Kaveri in Kushalnagara and is about half an hour away from Bylakuppe in an auto. It is accessible through a hanging rope bridge and has abundant foliage of thick bamboo groves, sandalwood and teak trees. You can take a tour through the forest or just lay back on the rocks dotting the river. It also has a children's playground, an orchidarium, and a forest department-run guest house.
A beautiful Island formed by the tranquil waters of river Kaveri, Nisargadhama is a scenic spot and a delightful treat of nature lovers. It is sixty four acre island with lush green forests and also has some animals like deer, elephants and rabbits which makes it one of the best tourist places in Karnataka to visit during the summer season.
Cauvery Nisargadhama is a thick mangrove forest on the back waters of river Cauveri. It is stunning to see mangrove tress fully grown in water as you walk on the wooden bridge that is built across the forest. The trees completely shade sunlight and provide home to birds and monkeys which are quite an entertainment to watch. One can see the black fishes of a certain kind fluttering in the water. There is a ultra-mini zoo with caged white , black and brown rabbits feeding on leaves and straws. Cauvery Nisargadhama is a place to visit if you've never seen mangroves. The ride to cauvery is pleasant and unforgettable with a boulevard of trees shading the highway and pleasant cool breeze that is perennial.
On our way to Madikeri from Kushalnagar we saw this place called Nisargadhama. It gives you a glimpse of the beauty you are going to experience in Coorg. It is an artificial forest with a lovely entry on a photogenic hanging bridge. It is more like a garden and I would not recommend spending much time inside if you are in hurry or are planning to visit any national park in Coorg. We had a small coffee break at this place and first time tasted the tasty Coorgi coffee.
Kaveri Nisargadhama is an island formed by river Kaveri near Kushalnagar in the district of Kodagu, Karnataka. It is approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) from Kushalanagara, off the State Highway and 30 km (19 mi) from Madikeri and 95 km (59 mi) from Mysore. It is a holiday destination in Karnataka. It is a 64-acre (260,000 m2) island, with lush foliage of thick bamboo groves, sandalwood and teak trees. The island is accessible through a hanging rope bridge. There are deer, rabbits, peacocks, and a children's playground as well as an orchidarium. Nisargadhama Hanging Bridge Visitors are allowed to get into water at a few shallow and safe points along the river. Elephant rides and boating are some of the other attractions. It also has a forest department-run guest house and treetop bamboo cottages.
It was our final day in Coorg. We got ready and packed our bags. On the way to Mysore there is Nisargadhama Forest. It was not in our list but as we had more time left to catch bus in mysore, we stopped there in noon. Weather was friendly that day, so we were lucky.There is a lot of free space of parking. We parked our bikes and entered into the area. it was calm and greenery. You have to cross a rope bridge to reach the forest area, which is a great experience.
From the Golden Temple we reached Cauvery Nisargadhama at around 4.30 pm. We had our lunch there and the kids played around the area in the adventure park.Nisargadhama is a forest resort in Coorg just 3kms from Kushalnagar towards Madikeri off the state highway. Nisargadhama is a 25 acre island formed by river Kaveri with bamboos, teak, sandalwood trees streams and wild life covering it.
Mallalli Water Falls
At the foothills of Pushpagiri, around 25 km from Somwarpet, Kumaradhara river falls from over 200 feet to form the Mallallai falls. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Karnataka and the view from here is spectacular with lush green mountains around and steep valleys.The waterfalls are located at a distance of about 256 km from Bangalore.
At the foothills of Pushpagiri, around 25 km from Somwarpet, Kumaradhara river falls from over 200 feet to form the Mallallai falls. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Karnataka and the view from here is spectacular with lush green mountains around and steep valleys.The waterfalls are located at a distance of about 256 km from Bangalore.
Where to go?I am still exploring Kodagu(Coorg) but if you are looking for a quick weekend getaway that is a little off the tourist circuit, then Mallalli Falls is the place to be.Some background - Mallalli falls is located very close to Pushpagiri hill or Kumara Parvatha, which is the 2nd highest peak in Karnataka. Kumaradhara is the river that crashes down those granite steps and winds it way to Kukke Subramanya. My guess is that most of the forest cover around the falls is part of the Bisle forests and on clear days, you could probably see the slopes of bisle from the falls viewpoint (again - this is my guess as I haven't found any evidence for the same).
Located on the foothills of Pushpagiri, Malalli Falls is 25 kilometers away from Somwarpet. The source of the waterfall is Kumaradhara river which falls from a height of 200 feet. Since the waterfall is located at an edge of a hiking trail, it presents the gorgeous views of the Kodagu Valley and mesmerizing Western Ghats.
Nagarhole National Park
It is a national parl located in Kodagu district as was declared as a Project Tiger tiger reserve, it covers the Western Ghats ad moves down to Kerala and is about 645 sq kms in area.
With the astonishing abundance of wildlife, especially the Asiatic elephant, backdrop of the distant misty blue Brahmagiri Mountains, the natural sounds of the jungle, the gurgling of streams and rivers, and the chirping sound of the birds make Nagarahole a memorable experience.
Nagarhole National Park is just few kilometers away from Kutta town. I was surprised to see KSRTC buses in the park, these buses run from Mysuru. The gates of the park are open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm everyday and a road towards Mysuru passes through the park. The government run safari rides are available at 6:00 am and 3:00 pm except if it is raining heavily. We enjoyed the early morning safari although we could spot the herds of deer and few birds during this ride. However, the drive towards Mysuru allowed us to enjoy the forest closely. We even spotted an Elephant and wild boar. It was wonderful drive than the safari experience in this forest.
One of the best rides I have taken so far .
When the whole world seemed like it ended (don't think I am a love failure, I just got bored with the routine life of urbanization:P ), I decided to take a break from my mundane day-to-day life between office and home. I wanted to head towards some natural place with less human intervention. I wanted to head towards somewhere rich in flora and fauna. Somewhere the sounds of everything natural will occur and treat our ears. And I came up with this place. Nagarhole.I researched to find it amusing and also nearer to some other similar places if this one fails to please me.I packed me bag, with a survival kit for 3 days, borrowed a 5000 from my friend, since it was almost the end of the month :PI just booked a ticket to Mysore. Nothing more was planned. All else came in just on the flow. Like, the ride shared from Mysore to Nagarhole. Or the accomodation arranged with a troop of photographers. Or even the next 3 days with total strangers on the soil of Kodagu district. I just thoroughly enjoyed the place and its scenic beauty. Along with the sounds of nature it presented every now and then.A fascinating wildlife trip on a simple note. Relax. And Rejuvenate.
Considered as one of the best tiger reserves in the country, the Rajiv Gandhi Tiger Reserve is home to the maximum number of tigers in India and also known as the Nagarhole National Park. April is off-season for tourists, because of the increasing humidity and almost a start to the monsoon. However, the nights are very pleasant and cover up for the heat during the day. Tiger spotting becomes easy during this season as tigers come to water resources to quench their thirst. There are many options to stay in and around the tiger reserve.The nearest airport to the Rajiv Gandhi Tiger Reserve is the Kempegowda Airport in Bangalore (BLR). You can easily reach the reserve by train and the nearest railway station is in Mysore; well connected to both Bangalore and Chennai.
The Nagarhole National Park is a great escape for little wildlife enthusiasts—go on safaris and nature walks to spot elephants and tigers, stay in a luxury cottage at The Serai, and have picnics by the stream. For an up, close, and personal experience, visit the Dubare Elephant Camp and feed the giants, learn about their care, and give them a bath.You can take a more relaxed pace in the misty hills of Coorg, where the sweet aroma of coffee tickles your senses. Plantation walks, bird watching, village excursions, trekking, and golfing— Coorg is delightful all year long. Book the Lily Pool Bungalow at Orange County Coorg and give your kids their own private courtyard and pool. The resort also offers a coffee lounge, a library, a spa, and a range of dining experiences.
Raja Seat Mantapa
Built on a high level ground, this was a viewing spot for the Rajas that showcases the beautiful valleys and cliffs , bounded by beautiful surroundings.
It is said that Rajas Seat is where the king of Madikeri used to relax at evenings . Located very near to the Madikeri fort in the middle of the town , it is built on the edge of a hill with a beautiful garden and artificial fountains. The view from Raja's seat is a pleasant spectacle of several layers of greenery and an unending chain of hills . Every evening one can witness the sun-kissed mountains with flamboyant colors of the blue sky as dusk begins.
From Bagamandala just take a bus to return to Madikeri and in between just again "ASK" the driver to drop you near Raja Seat Garden. A beautiful garden with an entry fee of Rs. 5 per Adult, you will find a fantastic view point, a toy train ride, musical fountain and a place to chillax on green grass along side a small temple. After getting drenched in the "Lean On" music in Raja's Seat, I urge you to take a "Bhelpuri" from outside and have a calm and serene walk till Omkareshwara Temple, just 20 minutes walking from the place.
Raja seat is a sunset view point.There was also a toy train ride (INR 30 per person) which we enjoyed thoroughly. We watched the day come to an end. The sky was lit with beautiful hues of Orange and red. We returned home and our host, Mr. Bharath served us the yummy dinner.
It was time for the sunset and we knew exactly the place from where the perfect sight can be enjoyed. Raja’s seat is the best and most famous place to witness the sunset. As it is famous, it was crowded with people who were there for the view and hence finding a calm and peaceful place was an impossible task. The sun slowly disappeared behind the humongous mountains and it was a delightful experience. After the sunset we sailed through the Madekeri markets for spices and coffee shopping.
7.30 AM, we reached the first major tourist attraction in Madikeri. Raja's Seat is a high altitude up-the-hill garden that provides a spectacular view of the evergreen Coorg Valley.
Hotels and Homestays in Kodagu 616 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Kodagu
208 Kms from Kodagu
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Bangalore or Bengaluru, also known as the Silicon valley of India, will greet you with dreamy weather, Carnatic fusion melodies, a signature breakfast of masala dosa and filter coffee, and notorious traffic. Bangalore serves as a comfortable cohabitation of tradition and modernisation that can be seen throughout the places to visit in the city, with throngs of vibrant Kannada temples coexisting with budding start-ups. Travel to Bangalore city for the lively cafes, quirky shops and a fascinating contemporary culture. Visit classic attractions such as the Bangalore castle known for its Tudor-style architecture and Tipu Sultan’s summer palace that dates back to the 17th century. To get your art fix in Bengaluru, you could head to the fascinating Venkatappa Art Gallery. One of the more popular things to do in Bangalore city is to take a walk through the green spaces of the 19th century old Cubbon Park, that were once the reason why Bangalore was known as the Garden City. Bengaluru’s Vidhana Soudha, the Neo-Dravidian granite palace is also must visit places for the architecture aficionados. Tourists can head to Bengaluru’s much revered Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR), for authentic south Indian food and Toit’s, the brick-walled microbrewery for a cold beer. Read More
The preparation for a Himalayan trek started in May. It was to be me, Anoop, Sourabha, and Harsha. For Sourabha and Harsha it was to be their 1st exposure to the Himalayas. But we were at loggerheads; Sourabha wanted to go to Rupin, Anoop had his heart set at Goecha La, me and Harsha were indifferent. After much deliberations it was to be Rupin Pass. Without much adieu we booked our slots in the trek by June end, and flight tickets were booked by July. Excited we!We got all our hiking gear from our friendly neighbourhood Decathlon store. The plan was to be like this:1. We travel to Delhi early morning on 30th Sept, roam all day.2. Travel to Dehradun on 30th Sept with Nanda Devi express, and reach early morning. From Dehradun we go to Rishikesh for adventure sports, and stay there on 30th Sept and 1st Oct.3. Bungee jumping on 1st Oct and roam around Rishikesh at night and4. Do river rafting of 24 Km stretch, return to Dehradun by evening, and rendezvous with the Indiahikes trekkers on 3rd Oct morn.We had an amazing time loitering around Delhi, doing bungy jumping and river rafting in Rishikesh (described in a separate blog post).Day 1: A Long, Twisty but Serene Ride We reached Dehradun railway station at around 6:30am. Anoop and all the other trekkers were already there (sans Mahendra, Jaggi, Hrishi, and Vishwa, who went on their own the previous day). Some nice lemon tea, a group pic and we were on our way to Dhaula. 3 vehicles were carrying 16 people.
From childhood it was my dream to see and explore the mighty Himalayas. And when I got a job at Bangalore and started finding time to explore India with my friend in bike, I still had that spark inside me for Himalayas. I some how managed my unconditional love for mountains by doing small small treks to western Ghats and the near by trekking spots around Bangalore. One fine day I decided to give life to my Himalayan dream when I saw an add accidentally on net about “India hikes” a very popular trekking community. I was not sure weather to give it a try or not. The landscape, weather & so many other factors which I have no clue how to handle and also the budget was also quite expensive. I always take decisions passionately here also I did the same. I choose a moderate to hard level trek in Uttarakhand called Brahmtal summit. For first timer it is a quite hard trek still I choose that because it was the only trek that was available that time which takes us close inside the Himalayan ranges and yes I was thrilled to experience the snow capped landscape this trek gonna offer. It was in the month of Feb which is winter season in Himalayas so not many treks were open also at that time.
And then we realized that we have to get back to our normal routine. We checked out post breakfast and headed back to Bangalore. And luckily we saw few wild elephants when we were crossing the forest.All together it was like a real good cup of tea with a little masala of adventure, sweetness of leisure and a slight ginger flavour of the musical nights.Bangalore to Vythri Village Resort : 300 Km via Mysore
The science of nightlife was earlier explained in case of Hyderabad, but Bengaluru is the ultimate boss of nighclubs in the entire South India. With 5-star nightclubs everywhere to huge international bands performing there day in and out, this city is one of the very best if you're a sucker for endless parties. When it comes to the list of India nightlife, Bengaluru is no. 4 on the list.Tripoto's top 3 of the city: No Limmits Lounge and Club, i-Bar, and High Ultra Lounge.Average expenditure for two: Rs. 3,000Read more about the city.
Day5:It was the last day of our sojourn and we were up around 6 a.m. to bid adieu to the other riders. With that out of the way, we resumed our ride towards Bangalore. Everyone wanted to reach Bangalore early, so we stopped only for tea and light snacks in between. We reached Bangalore at around 4 p.m. with everyone dispersing towards their respective homes
Our ride started from Skanda Motors in Rajaji Nagar, Bengaluru. The seven of us started the journey at 8 in the morning. To shrug off the sleepiness we all had a cup of coffee in the morning. Needless to say, we were all excited and geared up for the ride. Two of the riders started from Mumbai towards Goa and 4 other riders, on their Mahindra Mojo, joined us in Goa.
Nothing like a good trip over the weekend after a long boring energy sucking week!! Not until 6:00 PM did I have the faintest idea that I will be off to Kodaikanal for the weekend. It was just a usual hot summer evening in Bangalore. I get back to my room and jump into my bed to catch my sleep. But I toss and twirl trying to find that comfort position and then I fail. I lay awake staring at the ceiling letting my mind wander at will. All I remember next was browsing Redbus for tickets. And there it was: two tickets to Kodaikanal, like it was saved for me and someone I was sure will accompany me. I called up a friend who was no less crazy than me, and booked us both a trip to kodai. Kodaikanal is a hill station in Tamil Nadu, its name translated as "Gift of the Forest" and it is indeed. I have covered hill stations in South, but Kodaikanal has a raw charm that beats all the others with its less anglicized landscapes and mist covered forests. It is less commercialised and well preserved and oddly enough with no plastic leftovers in sight.Locally known as the Princess of Hill Stations, The city is accessible by road, train or by air. The cheapest being train(Of course depending upon where you are travelling from). The nearest airports are in Madurai, Coimbatore and Tiruchirapally. Nearest railway stations are Palani (the ride uphill from Palani is beyond gorgeous), Kodaikanal Road Station and Madurai Junction. Buses run uphill at intervals taking you to Kodaikanal.We decided to take the bus from Bangalore to avoid crossovers and bought our tickets for 850 Rs (you will get it for around 600 Rs if you book three weeks ahead). We also had our room booked on Tripadvisor to avoid the hassle of looking around for rooms.It was 7:30 PM when we were done booking our rooms and with all the uncertainity of catching our bus, waddling through Bangalore's infamous traffic,we packed our bags and left.We did make it to the bus, almost missing it. And as we settled in, we realised we were in seats with no leg space. Either the bus catered only to zero sized figurines or we had missed how much our thighs had grown horizontally over the lazy week days at work. Nevertheless, we were two happy souls on our way to Kodaikanal - the land of magic mushrooms.
Catched bus the same night towards bangalore for i had to attend a 3 day conference. Tried Oyo Rooms during my stay at bangalore for 800 per night and found it to be value for money! from amenities like laundry, water, food to cleanliness, from toiletries standards to AC rooms to cozy beds to furniture used and interiors, everything was beyond my expectations!
Eravikulam National Park
274 Kms from Kodagu
Best time to visit - April,May,June,September,October,November
This national park is the breathtaking home of a plethora of precious flora and fauna, and lies along the Western Ghats. Considered the magnum opus of Kerala, the park provides magnificent panoramic views of tea plantations and rolling hills blanketed in mist. The grasslands protect the endangered Nilgiri Tahr and harbour several other species of animals, birds and butterflies, including a new species of frog that was discovered recently. Eravikulam park becomes a sought after destination when the hill slopes get veiled by a carpet of blue, a miraculous phenomena caused by the flowering of Neelakurinji, which blooms only once in 12 years. Anamudi, translating to elephant's forehead and located within the park, is the highest peak of South India and its might and height of 8,842 ft can be enjoyed from a distance at Rajamala, from where the endangered Nilgiri Tahr can also be observed. The park provides a number of safaris for convenient and safe tourism around the park. The Kurinji Trail, which follows through misty tracks of protected animals and flowery grasslands, is a must for trekking lovers. Another famous but charming spot is the Lakkom Waterfalls, which provide an enchanting view along with an eco-shop cafeteria to eat at. Close to these falls is a log house, which offers comfortable accommodation with complimentary food and the much desired solitude and peace amidst the lap of nature. Read More
95 Kms from Kodagu
Best time to visit - January,February,March,July,August,September,October,November
Once the seat of the Maharajas of Mysore for six centuries, Mysore is now the third most populous state of Karnataka. But not much as changed in terms of its cultural ambiance and heritage, hence deeming it as the cultural capital of Karnataka. This city is popular for its year-round pleasant climate, silk, sandalwood and many majestic palaces, such as Lalitha Mohan Palace, Jaganmohan Palace and the most visited and grand one being the Mysore Palace. To get an exclusive insight into Mysore's culture, Folklore Museum would be the best place, where a plethora of carved wooden figures, ceremonial headdresses, vibrant masks can be seen along with puppet shows depicting Hindu mythological stories. Mysore Zoo is perfect for animal and nature lovers while the Regional Museum of Natural History serves those interested in ecological history. For those looking for unwinding strolls or simple relaxation, Karanji Lake and Kukkarahalli Lake are the best to visit, preferably early in the morning or evenings. More attractions include Brindavan Gardens, Railway Museum and St. Philomena's Church. Cauvery Arts and Crafts emporium is renowned for an array of silk sarees, carved sandalwood, wooden toys and inlay work, whereas Devaraja market is ideal for a more local shopping experience. Restaurants such as Hotel RRR Restaurant, Malgudi Cafe, Vinayaka Mylari, Sapphire and Anu's Bamboo Hut cater to popular local and international cuisines. Mysore comes alive during the 10-day festival of Dussehra, celebrated in October, when one can witness the entire city bedecked with lights, colours and music, making Mysore a memorable visit. Read More
The distance from Ooty to Mysore is 130 kms and the road from Ooty to Mysore passes through Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The road is really awesome and full of thrill as it passes through dense forests and there are many animals crossing points also. Because we had enough time thus we decided to take a safari in the dense forest of Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Tamil Nadu while Bandipur Tiger Reserve is situated in Karnataka. Bandipur Tiger Reserve is also a good place for wildlife lovers. After that we continued our journey by heading towards Mysore and in the evening we reached Mysore. Tariff's for Hotel: Starting from ₹1000/- per room (Non AC) Starting from ₹1500/- per room (AC) Mysore is one of the most popular tourist destination in Karnataka. It is also known as "Palace City" of India. There we visited Mysore Palace, Lalitha Mahal Palace and Chamundi Hills. Mysore Palace is one of the best palaces in India. The Palace shows us the lifestyle of our kings that how they lived such a royal life. It is a must visit palace. Lalitha Mahal is also a royal palace with a good architecture. After visiting Chamundi Hills, we left Mysore and then started our journey towards Chennai. The distance from Mysore to Chennai is 480 kms. After a smooth drive of 8 hrs we reached Chennai in the late night.
The Mysore Palace is breathtaking and is en route to Madumalai National Park. Hence a stopover to see the palace is must. If anyone is interested...its the best place to buy silk saris.
As far as majestic history goes, there are not many places that can trump Mysore, often referred to as the 'City of Palaces'. The Mysore Palace built by the Wodeyar Kings is a place where perhaps one can locate how Mysore became as culturally rich as it is for the Wodeyar Kings were great patrons of art and culture, allowing various forms, crafts and styles to flourish and grow in a way that they still exist and temper the way the city is today. However, this is not all, Mysore is not just a place of cultural but also natural beauty. Located at the foot of the Chamundi Hills it has numerous lakes like Kukkarhalli and Karanji. The Chamundi Hills are also important because atop them is located the Chamundeshwari Temple, one of the most important religious sites in Mysore.
Mysore, formerly a Princely State, until the Independence of India in 1947 is filled with Royal beauty. It was once a region with flourishing art and culture under the royal and mighty kings. Also called as the "City of Palaces", Mysore's beauty can be seen through its rich architecture and its majestic palaces that stand tall today. Passed form the Vijayanagar Empire to the Wodeyar family (that lives here even today), Mysore has always been occupied by Royalty.
After the break, we reached Mysore recharged and our first stop had to be the street side dosa stalls serving up the famous south Indian dish ‘masala dosa’. With hot, freshly made dosas in our laps we sat on cold stone steps looking out on the magnificent 1927 Silver Jubilee Clock Tower now lit up by spotlights. The next morning we made our way to visit our first Catholic church in India, St. Philomena’s Cathedral. The cathedral has some beautiful stained-glassed windows and it was very interesting how inside the locals had Indianised the church. From the cathedral we caught a rickshaw and made our way towards the gate of the Maharaja’s Palace. Continuing through the palace the interior never ceased to amaze with huge hallways, massive swinging chandeliers and a kaleidoscope of mirrors, stained glass and sparkling walls that when reflected in the mirrors seemed to continue forever.
We won't be able to start riding from the outset, but will initially have to take a shuttle bus to battle the traffic on its own terms. Once we get to riding, the route for the day is overflowing with culture, which is quite expected for India! We ride past mango orchards, nurseries, paddy fields and temples and make the first stop at the Big Banyan Tree. This gigantic tree is about 400 years old and spreads itself over 3 acres. after a stop here, we move onto the small town of Channapatna, where toy-makers make handmade toys in their small factories. Before this, we stop for a typical Kannadiga cuisine at Kamat Lokaruchi. Channapatna owes its toy-making heritage to the King Tipu Sultan, who first introduced this otherwise Persian art. The small highway town is lined with bright shops showcasing horses, beads and sundry toys. We again use shuttle to reach the cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore.
124 Kms from Kodagu
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Known as the gateway to Karnataka, the picturesque city of Mangalore is famous for its golden beaches, revered temples and delicious coffee. This port city lies nestled between the blue waters of the Arabian Sea and the towering hills of the Western Ghats. The pristine beach of Panambur is a popular tourist destination and also plays host to the colourful kite festival of Mangalore. Adorned with ancient murals, the Kudroli Gorakhnath Temple is frequented by many devotees. The Ullal Beach of Mangalore is a great place to enjoy water sports. Easily comparable to the Marine Drive of Mumbai, the New Mangalore Port is an ideal place to relax and unwind. Mangalore is famous for its Udupi style dishes and staple seafood preparations. The Neer Dosa, Mangalorean fish curry, Cashew Upkari and Rasam are great introductions to this cuisine. Pallkhi, Gajalee, Cochin Bakery and Naivedyam are popular eateries here. There are multiple hotel options for tourists, extending from high-end resorts to budget hotels and even beach resorts. With its easygoing air and calm countenance, Mangalore is the perfect destination to relax and unwind. Read More
It was Saturday morning I told one of my friend about this trek near kudremukh I sent him some links of the blogs and photos. After seeing the pictures he was amazed and was ready to join me on this trek. We asked all our friends to join us. But only 4 people came up with yes . It was 11:00 in the morning, I went to bus stand to ask for bus timing to kudremukh ,The buses were at 1:00,2:20 and last bus was at 3:40 from state bank private bus stand of Mangalore . So we decided to catch 1:00 bus. I was packing my bag I got a call from one of my friend that he cannot come with us. It was very disappointing But we couldn’t miss that trek because of him. So we packed our bag and left home by the time I reached bus stop it was 1:15 and we had missed the bus,our next bus was at 2:20 and none of my friends had reached the bus stop yet . I was sitting in bus stop and scrolling my Instagram page at 1:30 remaining two of my friends showed up finally . The next bus was at 2:20 and we still had 1 hour , So we decided to go to Karkala first and then change the bus at Karkala to kudremukh we dint knew perfectly but we were trying our luck ,I was 70% sure that we may get bus from Karkala .We took Karkala bus- the journey time from mangalore to Karkala is 1 and half hour . If had not booked anything in kudremukh yet. But we had a phone number of a base camp(home stay ), He is very well known person in that area his name is ‘Raje Gowda’.
We woke up early the next day because we had to make it to the wedding. It was a muslim wedding and so it involved a lot of biryani and short wedding service. I met my childhood friend at the wedding venue and we had lunch together. I'm not a wedding person so we decided to leave quickly after lunch. I went back to the hotel and changed while two of my other friends went and got scooters for us to get around the city. Mangalore is humid since it's a coastal area. But, I never found it as humid as Chennai or Goa.
We left late in the afternoon and went by bus. After 350 km and hours of a slow drive, we reached late in the night and the drive had been extremely bumpy due to some road work going on in the ghat section of the western coast of south India. It was nearly midnight and I wanted a bed to sleep. We found our rooms, changed, and slept.
Spend the Day 3 in Mangaluru leisurely savouring the coastal Konkan delicacies at Giri Manja's on Car Street, or try some Chicken Ghee Roast at Shetty Lunch Home at Hampankatta. Mangaluru has a lot to showcase to its tourists, like Sultan Battery, Tannir bavi Beach, Kadri Manjunath Temple, Panambur Beach etc."Bring out the Vasco Da Gama in You, Set Foot on St Mary's Island"Picture Credits:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Mary%27s_Islands#/media/File:St_Mary%27s_island.JPGhttps://www.google.co.in/search?q=madagascar+on+map+from+india&rlz=1C1CHBD_enIN708IN708&tbm=isch&imgil=4sMXSpYkrB7OsM%253A%253BuF-5SDSz0AjkrM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fontheworldmap.com%25252Fmadagascar%25252Fmadagascar-location-on-the-indian-ocean-map.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=4sMXSpYkrB7OsM%253A%252CuF-5SDSz0AjkrM%252C_&usg=__4OwaBhBL3ptY5PogEBsln2flgVo%3D&biw=1366&bih=662&ved=0ahUKEwjtyOKOjLjWAhXMLo8KHXV5AMcQyjcIMg&ei=KKTEWe2UFczdvAT18oG4DA#imgrc=n1uSHqbDzQtnjM:
MANGALORE is one of the most important cities of Karnataka. It is the nearest airport to Manipal. If you are missing the city vibes and feel like shopping or want to be stuck in traffic for a while, Mangalore is the place to go. Mangalore offers a number of options for shopping ranging from Levi's to Calvin Klein. It also offers a good range of food joints and restaurants.
Flight journey from Mangalore to DehradunHoping for safer, smoother and shorter yatra , we left for Dehradun from Mangalore on June 18th 2016 early morning. To travel to the Chardham circuit, we hired a mini-bus from Haridwar since it was the only mode of transport that could carry 13 people across the terrains. Helicopter service has become popularity , if pilgrimage is the only objective, one can choose this mode of transport.Day 2 and 3
We decided to travel by train up to Mangalore and then hire a bus for the road journey. “Matsyagandha express” dropped us at Mangalore central station at 9.30 a.m. sharp. We hired a bus for our road journey up till Kodagu, but we decided to refuel ourselves with some breakfast. Our driver (Mr. Shivaji) took us to a nearby restaurant which served simple, yet elegant South Indian breakfast.
Bekal is a small village situated in the northernmost district of Kerala, Kasargod. This place happens to be my native too. We visit here to attend the functions at our family temple every year. Bekal is famous for the Bekal fort, which is the largest fort in Kerala. There is also a famous Shiva temple on the way to the fort.Getting here: One can visit Bekal by train or by road. The train Mangalore–Coimbatore passenger departs from Mangalore Central at 7:35 AM. The journey is of 45-50 minutes. But we usually travel by our car. It is around 75 KM ride from Mangalore city.We started at around 7 AM from Mangalore by our car. The NH66 road is in excellent condition now.Our first stop was the Anantapur Lake Temple. This temple is built in the middle of the lake in Ananthapura Village. Legend has it that the cave near the temple is connected to the Ananta Padmanabha temple of Thiruvananthapuram. Unforunately, I had not clicked any pictures of the temple during my visit there ( as our phones were switched off)
143 Kms from Kodagu
Best time to visit - May,June,September,October,November
This renowned hill station once housed the Madras Presidency during the British Rule and possesses many remnants in the form of regal looking bungalows, such as the Stone House, The Ootacamund Club, Government House and Fernhill Palace. This along with the tall pine trees in the green areas almost makes you believe you are in old English country. Ooty is also home to some of the most breathtaking lakes in the country, such as the Avalanche Lake, Emerald Lake and the popular Ooty Lake. For some adventure, one can hop on the Nilgiri Toy Train and enjoy a ride through the blue mountains, winding through dense forests, dark tunnels and valleys from Ooty to Coonoor. Ooty is heaven for nature lovers and a trek through the Mukurthi National Park will be etched on your mind for years to come, offering a stunning panorama of carpet like green hills, home to the tallest peak of the Nilgiri Range, several wildflowers and beauties such as the Nilgiri Tahr, Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, Leopard, Bonnet Macaque, Mouse Deer, Otter, Small Indian Civet and many more. If you still want more, you can take a mesmerising walk through the charming 19th century Government Botanical Gardens. Ooty's beauty can be explored more adventurously with everything from horse riding to hand gliding and mountain biking, all arranged by various resorts. Avid readers will be overwhelmed to visit the 19th century Nilgiri Library, sheltering around 25,000 books and hosting many events to promote reading habits among all age groups. Chocoholics should place King Star on the top of their itineraries for purchasing a plethora of delicious homemade chocolates. More delicious food from vegetarian, cafe to non-vegetarian cuisines can be enjoyed at popular places such as Quality Restaurant, Earl's Secret and Willy's Coffee Pub, which also has a commendable library for one to delve into while enjoying their drink. Witness Ooty come alive in the month of May, with its vibrant boat races and flower shows, hosted across the town.Read More
How to reach Ooty:1. By Air: The nearest airport is Coimbatore which is 88kms away2. Ooty is well connected by buses. The Tamil Nadu State Transport buses frequently run services to Ooty along with private operators.3. Train: The nearest rail station is Mettupalyam which is 40kms from Ooty
Who hasn’t heard of Ooty? This stunning hill station in Tamil Nadu is one of the most visited hill stations for us, Indians and an ideal honeymoon spot. And why not. It has stunning lakes, beautiful forests and mountains with a great view. Visit it in winter and you’ll be rewarded with weather that will not make you want to leave.
Ooty, also known as Queen of Hill stations, is true to what it stands for, situated in the state of Tamil Nadu in the South of India, is one of the most popular tourist destination. Lofty mountains, dense forest and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the passengers on most routes.Ooty offers picturesque views of valley, tranquil forests, beautiful flora and fauna with bustling music of the wildlife. So I am providing a three day itinerary to visit Ooty. So we (me and friends) took this trip in the winter season, in the month of January, where the days were warm but nights quite cold. The cost provided above is for per person excluding travel cost. So we took a car to travel to Ooty and started our trip at midnight (from Thrissur, Kerala), so that we reach there by morning, there were about 36 hairpin bends.
We booked a cab from Madurai to Mettupalayam so that we can take the toy train from Mettupalayam to Ooty. I think this is the most simplest of plan, if you are travelling from Madurai and want to discover the mountain train as well. Please make sure to check the timings for the toy train before making any plans. Mettupalayam is around 200-300 kms from Madurai, which takes around 4-5 hours in a car. The car journey is always a joy because you come to see so many different aspects about a place. I love to be on the road as it teaches me something new every time. We took the national highway NH-44 and after a few hours the weather starting showing its true colour. We stopped in between to have some delicious idlis and dosas. We got at the station in the afternoon and got our tickets for the toy train and reached Ooty by evening. One of my friend's dad is in the army, which means we can utilise Army guest houses sometime. This time also we told him to book it for us, as you always like to keep the expenses low. We reached the guest house by evening and the place is very well kept and so royal. We had some food in the guest house and asked the manager for the best options to explore the city. He told us that they have a bus service for 300 inr, which takes you from the guest house and will show you all around and back in the evening. We found this as the best option to explore and discover the exotic places in Ooty. He told us the bus will be here 0700 in the morning. We went to sleep so that we can get up early and be ready for the full exciting day tomorrow.Day2.The room was fabulous with all the necessary comfort you can ask for. We got up early in the morning and the weather was quite pleasant. We got ready and had our breakfast before leaving the guest house. The breakfast was simple south indian food, some idlis and vadas which was expected. The bus came sharp at 0700 in the morning and we along with other people who were staying in the guest house, who also opted for this joined us. It was a small group of around 10 people in the bus for the days trip. The driver was very professional and told us the full plan in advance and about all the stops.
After what seemed like an eternity, our two bikes reached Ooty. Some people stood by the side of the road next to a fire they started. We instantly stopped our bikes next to the fire and huddled up to heat our hands. Nearly half an hour later, everyone else began to arrive one by one. We flagged them down to ask them directions to the stay. I was freezing and I didn't even want dinner. I just wanted 10 warm blankets around me!Finally, 20 minutes later, we reached our stay. My friend's Fazer refused to start as he rightly predicted. He later told me that he had to have a heart-to-heart conversation with his bike for it to start and get him to the stay.I left my bikes on the bike and headed up to get into bed. I got my friend's massive blanket from Kolukkumalai and dragged a few more rugs to cover me. I stole another friend's sweater and jumped into bed. After nearly an hour, it was nearing midnight and we had reached on New Year's Eve.My friends bugged me to get out of bed and join them at the massive bonfire they'd started downstairs. We had a whole house to ourselves for this stay. I wrapped the blanket around me and went downstairs to the gate. A huge fire had been started and I didn't need the blanket. The night sky was lit up by several similar fires in neighbouring areas. Loud music and firecrackers bursting echoed through the air mixed with people laughing and singing along. We all sat and tried to eat some biryani around the fire but we were too sleepy and tired to do anything. Some of the riders sat with their drinks while I sat around talking to everyone and taking photos.
Soon, midnight struck and we cheered, wishing everyone a happy new year. It had been a fun way to end the year. As I walked away from the fire, I knew that I would freeze if I didn't get to bed. I ran upstairs, jumped into bed, and dozed off. Somewhere in the middle of the night, I woke up feeling cold and realized that someone had taken one of the three blankets off me. I woke my friend up and bugged him to get the blanket back.Sleepily, he walked in the freezing cold of the room and saw that five guys were huddling under my blanket from the cold. I instantly felt bad about it and let them keep it. I had two more blankets with me anyway. The worst part about this stay was that the walls were like the walls of a freezer: the cold was emanating from it.After a cold sleep, we all woke up the next morning to a cloudy and chilly day. It was still terribly cold but the sunlight made things a shade better. I badly wanted fries and a burger. I instantly headed out with a friend after packing my bags while the other got ready. By the time we were done eating, the rest joined us and we rode for hours through Bandipur forest. The challenge was to get past the Bandipur checkpost before 530PM or they close the route.We made it just in time and at this point, we had to take different routes. I had to head through Mysore road while the others were going to take an alternative route to get to their part of Bangalore.We all reached late at night. While I was exhausted and glad to be home, the winter ride had been an experience of a lifetime, something that I will repeat in the coming months.
The next day, our cab came to pick us up at 10 and we made way to see Ooty lake. To be honest, you can give this place a miss. The place has been made into a commercial area, and has been given a look and feel of a small amusement park. Families can be seen enjoying a boat ride in the lake, there is also a haunted house and outside near the parking you can see some guys offering horse rides. We snapped some photos and quickly made our way to the next sight.
This is among the few places I visited before I fell in love with travelling. Ooty is a 255km drive from Bengaluru. Bengaluru itself is a beautiful place and you don't need too much reasons to visit. What adds to the experience is this hill station. One can travel from their personal car or hire a car. Other than car, buses are also easily available.
196 Kms from Kodagu
Best time to visit - January,February,March,September,October,November,December
A major city and commercial hub in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore offers not much in terms of touristic attractions unless you're on your way to Ooty or any of the Nilgiri hill stations. Although some places might make for really interesting stopovers, such as the Kovai Kutralam Falls, Vaidehi Waterfalls and Thoonakkadavu Lake. For a taste of knowledge, there's the Gass Forest Museum, which is a natural history museum, or pay a visit to G.D. Naidu Industrial Exhibition, a science and exhibition centre which has a lot to exhibit in terms of innovation and science. The city is home to innumerable temples, some of them being Marudamalai and Velliangiri hill temple. Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park makes for an interesting visit for nature lovers. Places such as Shree Annapoorna, Junior Kuppanna and Anandhas Quality Vegetarian are well known for their Indian dishes.Read More
Known for its salubrious climate and proximity to the Nilgiris, Coimbatore is a bustling city in Kongunadu in western Tamil Nadu. Teeming with education institutions, engineering companies and textile mills, the city is also considered among the safest and fastest growing ones in the country. About 25 km from the city is the pristine region of Siruvani, through which the river by the same name flows gently. Located close to the foothills of the Western Ghats, this green belt is rife with waterfalls, rolling hills, fields and rivers; a few resorts have sprung up in the Siruvani region, offering visitors an opportunity to unwind, slow down and explore the forests in the vicinity. The newest, and perhaps the plushest, among them is VM Hospitality’s Dvara.
From everything we gathered on the internet and Couchsurfing, we figured that to reach Ooty, we'd have to take a flight to Coimbatore and then take a bus to Ooty. We found out that there are 2 terminals near the Airport. The internet suggested that there are direct buses from Gandhipuram, however we learnt that the bus services are limited and we should take a bus from Mettupalayam Road Terminus. So we took the 4:00 AM flight from Delhi to Coimbatore and took an Ola from the airport to Mettupalayam Road Terminus. We took the bus from Mettupalayam at around 10:30 and reached our hotel in Ooty by about 4. We had booked Fun City Resort through Goibibo. We had actually reached the place well before 4 but Google maps just refused to help us reach our hotel, and we ended up walking uphill in the wrong direction! Anyway, we somehow reached our hotel, and were famished! We planned on ordering something, only to find out that our hotel didn't provide room service. So, now after freshening up, we made a move to the mall road, which was about 5 km from our hotel. The bus stop was at a walk-able distance, so we took the bus going towards mall road. I remember asking people at the bus stop about the exact name of the place we should get down at, "Charring cross" is the name of the place if I remember it correctly. We took the bus and on a fellow Couchsurfer's suggestion checked out some good food joints. He also specially suggested us to go to Moddy's which is at the far end of the mall road. Ooty is famous for homemade chocolates, and we were told that this place is not only famous but has been there for some considerable number of years now. We got some homemade chocolates for home and also got some for my cousin and our host in Coorg. While heading back we saw a board which had details of cab rates for local sight seeing. As we stood there trying to figure out who to get in touch with, a cab stopped by us and asked if we were looking for some help. On getting a nod in affirmative from us, he gave us a visiting card of a travel agent. I gave him a call while getting some food packed for dinner. And in moments I had booked a cab for local sight seeing.
"Let's do that again!", the five of us vowed as we returned home to Coimbatore. Twenty-four hours earlier, we were upset that we had only one day of our semester holidays in common. Wanting to make the best use of that one day, I decided to give my friends a taste of Vattakanal. It is a small town a few kilometers form Kodaikanal. I had fallen in love with this place during my last visit, the previous year.So we left Coimbatore at 5 in the morning (one hour later than planned) in my Maruti Suzuki Swift ZDi. Construction work on Pollachi Road made making up for lost time impossible and gave us quite an off-roading experience. We had to tolerate bad roads till we reached Palani.(Tip 1: Consider the condition of the roads while planning your trip. This rule applies to any road trip.)
From Coimbatore, my place of interest to visit was ISHA yoga center and Adiyogi statue. I just enquired about buses & took a bus to Gandhipuram busstop, from where I got a bus to ISHA yoga center ie; Bus no. 14D which in turn passed through station from where I took bus to Gandhipuram...this is what happens when u r new to a place and don't know the local knowledge;)
Having finished the remainder of my assignment during the connecting Indigo flight, I was relieved. It was heartening to see the coconut plantations from the airplane window as we began our descent at Coimbatore. A little while later we were greeted by the tropical South-Indian weather as we made our way to the baggage claim. Since the Zoomcars request processing time is approximately three hours (we had booked the vehicle at 9am), we found ourselves with a little less than two hours to kill. My sister joined us in the meantime, and we had a short breakfast comprising of ready-to-eat noodles and ice-creams from the general store outside the airport. Little did we know about the adventures that lay ahead of us!After getting picked up by the Zoomcars representative, we headed to their nearest depot. Having completed all the formalities, we found ourselves driving to the Adiyogi Statue twenty minutes later. We had been looking forward to visiting since we saw the unveiling ceremony on TV, and our trip to Ooty was the best opportunity we could possibly think of. Google Maps had become our best friend, as the hour-long journey to the statue was really eventful - we found ourselves passing by fields of coconut trees, and small patches of land blooming with yellow and orange marigolds. A couple of bridges and a few narrow roads later, we found ourselves at the entrance of the parking lot.
Here it goes.. our road trip in the state of Tamil Nadu . This was my first core south trip so i was really excited to see the city ,people around and the culture . For few km we crossed various small towns and then ghat section started from Mettulapalam which was around 40kms from Ooty . I was enjoying the zig zag roads, lovely greenery and super fresh atmosphere .
We planned a day trip to get away from Coimbatore and since Ooty is so near by, we couldn't wish to have a better getaway place. But, we planned to do something different.. we didn't wanna roam. we just wanna enjoy the climate and the view through out the day. so, we went to Metupalayam on a bike and then to Conoor via a bus. The bus journey was pleasant in itself. We got a train from Conoor to Ooty. We were totally surprised by the views and the climate. And once we got down at Oort, we just the train back to Conoor and then to Metupalayam as well. Even though the Trip between Metupalayam and Conoor is more popluar( due to use of Steam engines), the other travels were peaceful and entertaining as well. A must try if you want a getaway from the city for a day.
A city where everyone from Tamilnadu aspires to settle. Known for its Moderate climate, Coimbatore was supposed to take Bangalore's place. Coimbatore has lots of places to visit
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