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293 Kms from Poombarai
Best time to visit - January,September,October,November,December
About 100kms west of Mysore, the hilly hamlet of Kodagu (also known as Coorg) is located in the evergreen highlands of t...
I travelled with my friend to Coorg from Goa taking a train from Madgaon to Mangalore Junction and a bus thereafter from the nearby Padil bus stop to Madikeri bus stand. We had planned only a 2 day trip and wanted to see as much as possible in this short span of time. So relaxing at resorts or sleeping till late in hotel rooms were not on our minds.We reached Madikeri after travelling through the night around 11 am. We had the famous Coorg pork chops for lunch at a restaurant called Taste of Coorg. Very recommended if you're a non vegetarian. Their staff had 3 ladies who prepared delicious homely food. After lunch we headed to Namdroling monastery, also known as the Golden Temple locally. We took a bus till Kushalnagar and then an auto to reach the place. There's really no better way to explain the experience over there than showing you the picture below.
These plantation trails through the hills of Kodagu are well known for the refreshing coffee aroma, the fresh invigorating mountain air and a memorable coffee bean-picking adventure. Take your experience a notch up by booking yourself a stay at a plantation. You can pick from homestays, estate stays and resorts or club a day each at these properties to make your Coorg experience come a full circle.
Day 2: Woke up early, went for a walk, played with those little pawsome friends and then we had a tour with a guide who explained us about coffee plantation and made us taste the real coffee of Coorg. And the saddest part, we had to check out Zostel! After checking out we headed towards the Monastery which was 12 km from Zostel.By that time the sun was up and it was hot indeed, but the way to the Monastery was beautiful. We got to know from the autowala that the Karnataka Govt. had given these Chinese/Tibetan people acres of lands to cultivate! This was the first time I was going to any such monasteries!
Hola Trippers,This trip was not at all planned! So much so that we were about to miss the bus (which was booked after so much hesitation and procrastination)!!! I mean who does that isn't it? But finally, we set out for a 3 day trip to Coorg and Mysore.But little did we know that we weren't actually leaving Bangalore, but following entire Bangalore to a whole new destination...trust me, the traffic at morning 6.30 took the s**t out of me!!Anyway, coming back to the point, after almost missing the bus and the bus being late for 4 hours we finally reached Coorg on 23rd December evening 5.30. Needless to say, it was tourist season and we had to face a lot of trouble while booking the buses as well as the hotels. But that very moment this tiny little fairy showed up to us named Zostel (www.zostel.com) do check out their website, it is another name of #awesomeness. Not only we got awesome rooms/beds but at the cost of literally nothing!! This leads to -Tip no. 1 - Always try to book backpackers hostels when you want to be on a budget trip and don't want to put a hole in your pocket.
Day 7:- Madikeri (coorg) Got up in the cold morning. As we were a going to stay in coorg today as well so we booked a hotel through oyo. Which was hardly 4km from where we were staying. So we freshened up and they provided breakfast as complimentary. After which we loaded our bikes and went to the hotel where we booked a new room for the day. The check in time was 11am but we went before that but by them the double occupancy room was not vacated so we suggested them to keep our luggages at reception and once the room is vacant put our luggages into the room and meanwhile we will go to explore coorg. But the person at reception said no need to keep the luggages here i will upgrade your room at the same cost. And he gave us a deluxe room with two kingsize beds in it. The rooms we got was too good. So plan was to visit Abbey falls,raja seat and a coffee plantation tour. At the hotel they had displayed a hoarding of coffee plantations, so i enquired that where can we get to see coffee plantation. They said it is some 17km from here and it belongs to the same owner of this hotel. So i asked them what is the cost of coffee plantation tour , he said its complimentary for those who had taken room here also boating is complimentary there. They also provide barbecue but we have to pay them and they also have rooms inside the coffee estate. He said he will inform the concerned person there about our arrival so they can give us a detailed tour. So we said we will go there after lunch. So we first went to visit abbey falls which was 6km from the hotel. We have to take a ticket and park our bikes and walk through footsteps for around 5 minutes to reach the falls. This falls had nice amount of water. The whole scene was good except for the garbage which visitors throw in the open. We cannot go near the falls as they have build a stage with railing around it. Came back to our bike had some coconut water and left for raja seat. This place has a very nominal ticket and it has been maintained well. They say that kings used to sit here. Which gives a view of entire village. Though there was nothing much to see here. We clicked few pic here. Went back to our hotel and had lunch then left for the plantation tour. Thought it was not far. After riding few kilometers we got two route option one was through the main road which was closer and other was off road through the coffee estates. So we choose the later. It was only 3km more but it was fun to ride through the coffee plantations. Roads were rough and at a decent i was at good speed, but i cannot apply the brake as the bike would skid. I thought i am going to crash now but luckily survived and still wonder how did the speed increase that much. We reached our destination but there were 2 gates first one was shut so we went inside the second gate, but it was someone else’s house. We opened the gate and went inside 200 to 300 meters where there was rooms and the care taker. He took us to a brief tour and it lasted for more than an hour. Explained everything about coffee plantation and coffee beans and its process. There were beatle nut trees, pepper plantation as well. We then went for boating for sometime. So we were done with the plantation tour. And out had some coffee and reached hotel by 6pm and had some snack there and went to our room. Took rest and came down for dinner and went inside the market area where we found kfc kind of restaurant so for a change we had some fried chicken and burgers. Had a small walk around the area then went back to our room.
Day 6:- Jog Falls to Madikeri (Coorg) Got up from yesterday’s scary ride as the biggest scare was if the bike would have stopped for any reason it would have been a big problem. But thank God nothing happened. The jog falls was 10minutes form the hotel where we were staying. So we first got up and went to have breakfast by walk. Came back and freshened up and decided to visit jog falls first and then come back to the hotel and take all our luggage. It hardly took 10 to 15 minutes to reach the jog falls. At the entrance you will find a huge granite board in which it is written as welcome to world famous jog falls. Once you get inside you have to take entrance tickets for you and your vehicle. The whole area is quite well maintained. You have cafeteria, atm ,washroom and other facilities inside it. We went to the spot from where the falls was visible. As the rainy season had already ended the water was less in the falls. But the falls actually huge. After the photo shoot we had a good coffee there and left for the hotel. We loaded all the luggage on our bike and left for coorg as it was already past 12 noon. Also it was 350km from there. On the way we came across a lake so we stopped there for sometime. Enroute i saw a small lane leading to woods so we took our machines there and clicked few pics after which halted for beverages. After few hours of ride we halted for lunch and spent around without realizing it. At some parts google maps took us through small lanes of villages and then we were on good road. We had already blocked a room at madikeri through one of my contact so we didn’t have to search for a room once we reach there. The route was scenic as it went through villages. On the way we missed a turn and went ahead so we had to take a u turn and come back to take the exact route. Then we came across a ghat section and it was fun to ride the bike as the roads have many twist and turns. Once down the ghat mateen wanted to halt for coffee. By the time it had started becoming dark. The road at several parts were small also it had turned dark so we had to maintain our pace. We had to halt twice in another 3 hours.Suddenly the temperature dropped down. By the time we reached coorg it was 11pm. It was a tiring day. We went into the hotel to find that the cost of the rooms were thrice our budget. We had to bargain as it was already late to find another hotel they gave a 50% as we said we won’t be here for whole day we will leave in the morning. Also the attending guys was so good that he provided some bread butter and jam by himself even though the restaurant had closed. But the rooms were individual cottages and very nice. Nevertheless we were so tired so we went off to sleep.
I don’t have a lot of memories with them because as the night progressed I had made friends with whom I ended up drinking till 3AM.
Fam Jam down South!Moving on, the next destination was in down south. My parents are my biggest inspiration when it comes to travel as they took me to places, right from snowfall in Manali to snowfall in Switzerland, little parts of India to little India in Singapore. This time it was my turn, to do something for them so I took them on a trip. Trust me, this was one of the happiest and proudest moment of my life.Again a road trip, this time from Bangalore. Did Brindavan Garden on the way before reaching our destination, Coorg, rightly called as the Scotland of India. If you're someone who dreams of lush greenery, breathtaking waterfalls, hills covered with forests, and spectacular misty landscapes, Coorg is meant just for you!We had booked a homestay for this refreshing break, best part was we could hear the sound of humming insects in the plantations around our stay. Instantly, a sense of peace, serenity and tranquility takes over as you inhale freshcardamom, black pepper and eucalyptus leaves.Must do things in Coorg would be a visit to Abbey Falls, Dubare Elephant Camp, Namdrolig Monastery, breathtaking view from Raja's Seat, Omkarehwar Temple, Cauvery Nisargadhama and Talacauvery. With its picturesque locales, alluring mountains and verdant coffee plantations, all in all, Coorg is a paradise for nature lovers, and just about anyone looking to calm their frayed nerves!
202 Kms from Poombarai
The morning sun brought a completely new sight, however. Our room had big windows and a balcony. The moment I opened my eyes, I could see the entire earth covered with tall coconut trees. I had only ever pictured a few coconut trees at the beaches, like in the paintings. This was so much different than what I had witnessed in Mumbai as well. It took me a minute to realize that the blue beyond green, was not just sky, but it was the ocean which was not visible in the dark sky last night.
During my flight, I read in the magazine that Kerala is basically a honeymoon destination, however, before I build an opinion, it was proven wrong as Kerala isn't for the newly wedded couples only. Kerala has been the most sought-after destination for the families, the backpackers, solo travelers as well as couples. My craving to crush the land of Kerala was surmounting as soon as I reached the Trivandrum International Airport.The Thiruvananthapuram airport reflects the mood and the nature of the city. Despite managing heavy traffic from the middle-east countries, the airport is compact and yet functional. From the window of my cab, even the city looked the same; knit and well-organized. However, the traffic situation is no different than any other part of India.Usually, Trivandrum is used as a launchpad by the most of travelers towards Kovalam and other cities for their pristine beaches, luxury or medial resorts, and abundance of nature. I had no different plans but I'm to stay at least for four hours in the city before I start my journey towards Kollam. I decided to spend a few more bucks on my cab driver and asked him to go round to the places that should be visited next time at leisure. In strict two hour ride, I covered many architectures that belong to British era and also touched the doorsteps of a few art galleries. I made a promise to myself to visit the Puthenmalika and Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in detail next time (Not really sure when).
After 45 hours of gruelling train journey, we, four wanderlusts came to the capital city of God's Own Country. Our hotel was clearly visible by it's large glowing billboard from the platform. Hotel Highland could make a headline for it's brilliant Restaurant. Their overall service was also decent.
Sightseeing- Zoo, Planetarium, Padmanabhaswamy Temple.Shopping City- Sarees, ChipsChecked in a hotel in eveningHotel Name- Jumayira Residency, Trivandrum. ( Rs.4000/- for 2 a.c. rooms.)Day 7 Kovalam
From Varkala, we took a bus to Trivandrum, our next destination. The capital of Kerala, its one the crowded cities in Kerala, situated on the west coast of India, and is bounded by Laccadive Sea to its west and the Western Ghats to its east. Like any other city, Trivandrum also has innumerable restaurants, which didn't fail to excite a foodie like me. Hotel Rehmaniya serves delicious beef, mutton and appam. Sneak into Hotel ZamZam for Malabari-style biriyani, and Hotel South Park for Onasadya, a typical Kerala recipe that will make your taste-buds go crazy!
Next morning we went to the main beech for breakfast and after strolling a bit on the beech we packed our bags for the next destination, Kolvalam. We reached Trivandrum by afternoon and checked in a hotel there. Then we headed to Kovalam which just 15 kms from there. Again quiet a descent beech by Indian standards but it was heavy crowded and we could not find any patch where we could just be alone. So we destined ourselves to enjoy the crowd. The sunset was quiet beautiful the best of all was yet to come.Day 7:- Trivandrum to Kanyakumari
On the D-day , we reached Trivandrum in the evening. The weather gods were happy and it was drizzling that time. We took a taxi from the airport itself and set course to Varkala. It took us almost 2 hrs to reach the place. Our guest house was located 5 minute off the main road. The location was perfect for a peaceful stay.It was a traditionally kerala house with a wide backyard, coconut trees, garden in front and so colorfully painted. I was just in love with the location of guest house and the ambience.The settings of the rooms were equally bright. One room with yellow ambience and other with blue.Equipped with mosquito nets and WiFi. Attached bathroom with hot water facility was also available.Pretty decent rooms. Ayurvedic consultation and treatment is also available.
244 Kms from Poombarai
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. Bu...
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.
152 Kms from Poombarai
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 ...
Ooty as many of you know is a place of toy trains and tea estates. It’s known for its flower shows and lake rides. Most of them picture their holiday in this lush green valley, sipping their hot cup of tea, soaking in every bit of tranquillity that nature can offer while gazing out at the stars at night. One can very well do all this and more.
I had this thing in my mind to tell everyone of my first Road Trip and here it is,I hope you enjoy it and plan to go there .I had nothing planned for this journey .I did not know I was going to choose road instead of railway .I had no experience in driving the bike but somehow I managed to drive bike for the first time without anyone's help to the toughest trail of south India and I could proudly say that with god grace I have completed approx. 15-20 successful road trips .I urge you to take road trip and believe me there is nothing more powerful than the spell of nature.What if perfect time doesn't come ,what if all you have carried throughout life is burden and hope for things to go better and smooth ,why can't you establish a pact with yourself and stop being worried,disappointed and hopeless with your life all the time. It’s time to outsmart the truth and accept what you are and stop being someone you've been dreaming of.People do day dreams ,they compare their lives with someone else's without knowing the fact that comparison is the thief of joy .No matters who you are ,no matters what you do ,there is always place of going places in one’s mind .To be truthful ,I was not happy person ever, not even now but when it comes to travel and places ,my soul fills with felicity.I am writing this blog not to gain popularity rather to help some person who needs a break from day to day life.I started my expedition from Chennai, Tamil Nadu to Ooty .Here is my route map throughout the journey
1st Wedding Anniversary is a special day, 365 of love adjustments little little fights and loads of enjoyment and a day to celebrate. We Tripjodi had no such special plans to celebrate our first Anniversary, however had thought to go for a ride to our nearest hill station Ooty. ( hardly 85 Km from Coimbatore ).
Some of the major Shooting location area that i covered are shown in the photographs. 'Kellan Marg'- A very very beautiful landscape, very cinematic, green spreads till you reach your sight and lovely horses and goats playing around enjoying the mother nature. Treat for ones eyes.! I seriously couldn't stop jumping you see :)
I have been thinking about writing a blog about Ooty for years now. Just like anyone writing blogs, I am not always satisfied with the end product. After deleting 100's of write ups, I have realized that my love for the place cannot be put into words.So I have decided to just go with the photos I have taken over my multiple trips to this heavenly abode I call my "Second Home".I hope you enjoy them as much as I did in clicking them!!
7. Ooty and Coonoor
Day 8:- Coorg to Ooty I was well aware that today’s ride is going to be a super awesome ride as we have to ride from one cold place Coorg to the queen of hills the other cold place Ooty. And the main attraction for the day was that we had to cross 3 states karnataka, kerala and Tamil nadu and the road runs through bandipur national park(karnataka), wayanad (kerala) and mudumalai with masinagudi (tamilnadu). So most of the time the road runs through dense forest. But there was a big risk involved in it, as it was a tiger reserve so you can get a change to see a tiger. If not that there been several cases of elephant attacks on these road. They are wild not the tamed one, so imagine if you are on bike and happen to meet these animals right in front of you. So with great joy we started our day from coorg and after a few hours of ride we reached nagarhole national park. We were stopped at the entrance. After enquiring we came to know that bikes are not allowed only cars and buses are allowed. Because it’s a tiger reserve. So we came to the main road and started towards bandipur . For that you will come across a place called kutta after which the kerala border starts and we have to ride for somtime inside kerala in order take the road for bandipur. It was already past 2pm so we decided to stop for lunch. Found a hotel and had an authentic kerala food on banana leaves with fried fish. After that we had to first cross wayanad forest then enter bandipur. Actually all the 3 forest wayanad,bandipur and mudumalai is a single forest but divided due to state boundaries. One important thing to be kept in mind is that we are not allowed to enter these places after 6pm. So we have to make sure we enter these place before that. If you have to go through the forest road from bandipur towards ooty, you have to take route 766 because only this route will take you through forest or else you will miss the forest ride. So once you enter bandipur by 766 it will take you out of bandipur towards gundlupete, from there you have to take the route 181 which is known as the coimbatore ooty gundlupete highway which will take us to the second entrance to the bandipur national park. The initial ride before exiting was also awesome. We are not allowed to stop anywhere on the road as it’s a forest area either you be in car or bike. No photography is allowed. But people were stopping at certain place wherever they spot deers and other wild animal’s . So unless no forest officials caught us there is no issue or else we will have to pay fine. In the first ride we spotted only deer,monkey,peacocks. So after exiting from 766 route we took the 181 route which brought us to the second entrance of bandipur national park which leads to Ooty via mudumalai forest. Only after reaching there we knew that we have to go through 2 entrances. And luckily at the second entrance when we reached it was 5:45pm , if we would have been 20 minutes late. They wouldn’t have allowed us to pass through. We now entered the gate after some distance we spotted deers again, but the fear was that neither tiger nor elephant should cross the route. And it was getting darker. Finally saw an elephant close to the road as other cars were pass we also didn’t stop. Then at many places we spotted groups of elephants some were only 2 to 3 feet close to road but none of them did anything. At a place even we spotted a tiger footprints. But luckily no tiger around. Finally we crossed bandipur and entered tamilnadu through mudumalai national park. At the entrance of mudumalai the forest officials informed me that few minutes back a herd of elephants passed from here so be care full they can turn violent anytime. It was getting colder and colder and by now it had already become dark. And we have to cross this forest . I followed a mahindra thar as this is easy way because the roads were zigzag so you need to concentrate more and chances of hitting any animal is also less during night. It had a good caption behind it which read “I may get lost somewhere. But i will not get stuck anywhere “. Kept following it as he was driving at a good pace till we exited the forest area. We came to a Junction called theppakadu, from there we took route 700 which is known as mysuru ooty road and exited the forest through masinagudi. Once out of forest we stopped for a hot coffee and bhajji. Sat there for some time. Then continued we came across a valley which is known as bison valley after which we had to take 36 hairpin bends upwards. I stopped and clicked a photo and continued as the height went increasing it became cooler and cooler. Which showed us that we are reaching ooty. But it was super fun to take those 36 hairpin bends as it was too steep. Once done with it we reached ooty in some time again halted for coffee break before searching for hotel. We came inside ooty for hotels and we saw an oyo board near a hotel and asked mateen to stop. By then a person came from the opposite direction and asked us are you looking for hotel. We said yes and he took us to the same hotel where we stopped bargained and took a room for 2 nights as 800 per day. In the end it was an awesome ride we ordered our dinner , had it and went to sleep.
10. 'Golmaal Again': ultimate Ooty
98 Kms from Poombarai
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'r...
Our preparations started way back in December, when we booked our trek seats through YHAI. All our seats were booked except Prashob's due to some glitch in the system and his only option was to get spot booking done at the Base camp. We drew up a list, made a plan and made some efforts to be prepared in the best way possible for all scenarios!
Day 4: Coimbatore (on the return back to Mysuru)Last day we planned to start early and cover Coimbatore on the way back home. I believe our PM's visit that brought lot of popularity for the large Shiva statue set up in Isha Foundation, Coimbatore.We had a mouth watering local food that includes - Ven pongal, Onion Uttappam, Ambode, Medu vada and onion dosa just before we take left in Coimbatore city to reach Isha foundation. Breakfast costed less than 200/- for 4 people
Love birds are you planning for a vacation ?? Do you want to get detached from the daily life schedule and get lost loving, caressing each other ❤, then Vattakanal is the best place to be.
We started from Coimbatore, it is just 53 Kilometres from Coimbatore and nice offbeat place to spend a weekendDhoni waterfalls is a small waterfalls near Palakkad in Kerala. We had a weekend exploration to the Dhoni and enjoyed the 4 kilometres long trek through dense forests in Wester ghats.
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.
290 Kms from Poombarai
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Need a dose of vitamin sea? This city in the North Malabar region of Kerala can surely take care of that, with its seren...
We arrived Palkkayamthattu road after one and half an hour ride. We faced irritating things like a traffic jam, party procession etc. The road to Palkkayamthattu was a little bit tough and steep ascent. We reached there after an adventurous off-road experience.I can't say it was an untouched beauty as it was crowded. The place is well maintained by the tourism department. Obviously, we had to pay tickets to access the place. We had an easy hike to the green highland. The hill was magnificent and panoramic. We began to rest when we peaked the hill. We breathed fresh and cool air. The scenery almost on all sides of the hill was breathtaking and glorious.
Right in the beautiful stretch connecting Mangalore and Calicut, lies the calm land of loom and lores, Kannur. Known for its pleasant climate and pleasing scenery, Kannur is surrounded by a beautiful coastline on one side and mountains on the other. With the Lakshadweep Sea set to the west and Western Ghats towards the East, no other place can be better to liven up your spirit after a long week. Just the kind of place when you can't come to a conclusion on the big mountains vs. beaches debate!
As you drive down from Kasargod, make the next stop in and around Kannur. Like most Kerala towns, there’s nothing ‘happening’ to experience in the city: the city is about the small things. Take your car and drive to Muzhappilangad Beach - Asia’s largest drive-in beach! Much like most of Kerala, the beach is perfectly clean and apt for a calm evening walk or a drive.
I was keen also to experience the culture of Kannur and I was fortunate enough to travel during the festive period of 'Theyyam'. Again, with the owner of the property to rescue, he guided us to a place where Theyyam was being celebrated. Though we didn't know a word in malayalam, a local helped us in conversing with the person performing the ritual. I don't know the spiritual importance of this festival but the way it was celebrated made me acknowledge the why Kerala is called God's own country. Me and my brother ventured deeper into the village and tried to get a feel of Kannur. The landscape around was stunning to say the least!
Nearest town where you can get a direct bus to this places are Kannur and Payyannur or Thaliparamba in between these two. Nearest railway station is Kannur or Payyannur. Get a bus to Pottemplavu if not to Kudiyanmala. Pottemplavu village is where the Paithalmala hill station is located at.
Got up in the morning very relaxed and fresh after a good sleep, we woke up to birds chirping. How awesome is that.Then we went down, the break fast was getting ready, meanwhile Uncle showed the place around and was telling about important places around. we went to terrace and we got to see a peacock passing by! absolutely brilliant.
Our Awesome Airbnb Hosts!I need a special block for this, coz it was nothing like trip stay, it was more like a visit to a known ones.We both greeted and Uncle took to the place and we met Aunty, greeted, and went in. Aunty suggested we have some soup and relax as we were pretty tired. And so with soup we had a quick chat. Then they told us to get freshen up, and get ready for dinner.The place is pretty Nice, a big spacious duplex house, we were given a separate room upstairs. We got fresh and came back down, the dinner was ready.
Malabar coast adventure continues. Day two early morning, after checking out from hotel, we decided to visit Kannur to see famous Theyyam.Theyyam is popular ritual form of worship of North Malabar in Kerala, India, predominant in the Kasargod, Kannur Districts, Wayanad and Kozhikode of Kerala, as a living cult with several thousand-year-old traditions, rituals and customs. Theyyam glorifies Goddess Kali. Theyyam or Theyyatam is derived from two Malayalam words “Deyvam” ( god ) and “Aattam” ( dance). The performers of Theyyam belong to the lower caste community, and have an important position in Theyyam. People of these districts consider Theyyam itself as a God and they seek blessings from this Theyyam.Theyyam dances are usually performed in the months of October to June. You can browse this site to know more about timing and place http://www.theyyamcalendar.com/We were not sure, where we can see this, internet helped us and we got to know one place where Theyyam was getting performed. There was contact number as well, we called and the person told us timing and the direction of temple. We reached there exactly on time.It was small temple but decorated beautifully. So many food stalls there and off course place was crowded. There was one open courtyard, for performance.The whole locality had gathered in and around the courtyard to watch the Theyyam. For many local its a time for coming together as family. We somehow managed to get inside the courtyard and took the blessing from Theyyam performers. All the performer adorn colourful costumes and heavy makeup and within 15 minutes Theyyam started.
My eagerness to witness an art form was quenched by watching “Theyyam”, a dance form which recites the mythological stories, in Kannur. I was smitten by its costume, makeup and dance. The aura which this recital creates actually takes one to a different platform. Also, the devotion and discipline of the people to come even in early mornings and witness this dance/mime is worth a praise. It is a ritual for people in north Kerala and some even conduct it in their houses as a form of worship or either go to a temple for the same. Other local tourist attractions, are Snake Park, St. Angelo’s fort and Payyambalam beach. This visit showed me the true picture of the idols of southern India and how are they worshipped in Kerala. The lighting lamps placed near the idol just enhanced the beauty of that small and simple structure even more.
The Land of Loom and Lores, Kannur is probably one of the best spots for a weekend getaway from Bangalore. Mid-way on the Mangalore-Calicut route, Kannur is renowned for its amazing climate and picturesque beauty. For a long weekend, the beaches of Kannur are extremely enchanting.Book your ride to Kannur now.
137 Kms from Poombarai
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Thrissur, the land of temples, is one of the most visited cities in Kerala. The waterfalls and the scenic temples here o...
Here's to the main purpose of the visit. It was my first being part of a church wedding.4. The Church- Urgh.. I forgot to note the nameIt was a Mass marriage where a collective couples get married at the same time. Never ever miss to admire the interior, architecture of the church. Oh yeah the pretty flower girls too.
Here I am, safely returned over those peaks from a journey far more beautiful and magnificent than anything I had hoped for or imagined.....It's always fun to pack your bags and join your travel buddies without knowing a single plan on the itenery. Oh yeah I did the same.This whole trip is two in one travel purpose, A collegue's marriage and mainly sight seeing.After a long tiring day in office we boarded the bus from Bangalore to Ernakulam heading towards Thrissur.
The vibrance of the culture of Kerala is best highlighted during the annual festivals dedicated to the village deities. Thrissur Pooram is one of these post-harvest festivals that promises a grand spectacle to travellers who wish to be a part of local culture during their travels. The festival is celebrated from April to May and showcases a spectacle of an assembly of village deities on bedecked elephants from around the region. The procession reaches the Vadakumnathan Temple, where a strict ritual for 36 long hours is an absolute sight to behold for any visitor in town.Suggested accommodation: Clayfingers - Art Cottages; rooms start at Rs 4,000You might also like: Vadakumnathan Temple, Thrissur: A stillness within the chaos by Shilpa Shinde
Athirapally: One place you shouldn't miss while on Kochi. 85 km from the city centre. Athirapally and vazhachal waterfalls can be covered in a day trip basis. The beauty of the waterfalls can only be matched by its vastness. Nobody can actually describe it so it's better to watch it for yourselves.
Payyanur to thrissur (250km) :Road to calicut or kozhikode is filled with twisties and forests. Though the road is 2 lane, its still a treat to drive on. It Always keeps you on your toes. No trip to calicut is complete without a chicken biriyani at the world famous PARAGON hotel! By having The biriyani, suleimani and milk sarbath you are having a slice of calicut culture which dates back to the olden days. A ride on the jhangar boat in beypore is also a novel experience. Thrissur is just about 120kms from here. Easily accesible yet confusing once you reach the city. So we rode as a group in the thrissur city. The city is built around the vadakunnathan temple. The vadakunnathan temple is an ancient hindu temple dedicated to lord shiva. This temple is a classic example of the architectural style of kerala and has monumental towers on all four sides and also a kuttambalam. Mural paintings depicting various episodes from mahabharata can be seen inside the temple.Tip: Guruvayur temple is just 27km from thrissur city and can be covered easily
This humble district is finding its way on most Kerala Itineraries owning to its splendid display of culture and festivals that form a highlight of the trip.
Athirapalli waterfall and Guruvayu Temple
143 Kms from Poombarai
Best time to visit - January,February,August,October,November,December
This seventh largest city of Kerala is popular for its houseboat cruises along the Kerala backwaters. Alappuzha is bed...
Drive from Kochi to Alleppey, its 53km away & would take around less than 1.5 hours to reach. Check in to a boat house whose check-in time is 12pm and it would start sailing on the back waters till 5pm and it would stop at one point. You can get down and visit nearby places. Overnight stay in the boat house.
Now this is why I love Kerala and Keralites (or Mallus, as they are fondly called) so much. We were approached by an auto, he checked where we wanted to go, got confused a bit with the description of the address, and when he realized the place dropped us there at the same rate that he would charge otherwise normally. In between I didn't feel a drop of fear, which may not be the same in other cities.
Exciting day for my little one as we were heading to Alleppey or Alappuzha as it is called in Malayalam for the overnight stay in houseboat.We reached Alleppey at around 12:00 noon and checked in to our personal houseboat operated by the company known as Swagatha.Houseboats are available as per the group size. As we were just 3 of us, we had our private one.They sail into the backwaters and all we have to do is sit back,relax and enjoy the lush green coconut grooves on both the sides,the country life and awsome authentic food.It was a well maintained and beautiful houseboat which began to sail at 12.30 pm into the backwaters of Alleppey. They served us welcome drink on arrival and lunch after an hour. Lunch had options of both veg and non veg. Non-veg food had fresh karimeen fry in authentic kerala style. Karimeen is a very tasty fish and a part of staple diet for the locals.Tea and veg fritters were served at 5 pm while the boat took us deep in the backwaters. Sun was about to set and we enjoyed the view while sipping the tea.As per the Govt. Law the boat had to be parked by 6.30 pm. One can chose to check out of the houseboat and book a hotel nearby,however we decided to spend the entire night there.Our houseboat had a small but cute bedroom and a very organised kitchen.Dinner menu was 2 vegetables, dal, roti, rice,Kerala style chicken and salad which was served by 9 pm. Off to sleep for yet another beautiful day.Other things to explore in Alleppey:Alleppey beachVembanad Lake - the longest lake in IndiaBird Watching.
The next morning the back waters of allepey was waiting for us. One of my favourite destination . I went there few times in my college days so already was having fair idea what was lying ahead. we didnt opt for night stay in houseboat as the government dont allow the boat cruising after 6 o clock . Any way boat wil standstill at night and we dont have much activity to do. we planned to do 5 hours of backwater activity , after that we will head towards mararikulam beach ( dont miss this beach , its very clean and nice). Now lets put some pics .
I got back to my stay by 8 pm, and decided to look around for cheaper options for dinner. However, The Indian Coffee House that appeared on the map was shut down, and Cafe Catamaran just across my place was mobbed with travelers. Thus, I had my humble meal of ginger Chicken & Rice at Art House Cafe which too wasn't very far. By the time I got back, the property manager called up people for a bonfire at the beach. Siddharth was actively getting up people gathered and we lit fire and sat around it with music playing. I was pretty tired with the activities of the day and moved on to my room in some time, and fell asleep much before anyone else came back.I woke up early in the morning and got fresh, I had a walk across the beach and clicked some pictures. I figured out that there wasn't much left to do in Alleppey, so I decided to move on to my next destination. I went to have breakfast at Halais Restaurant who supposedly made good Kebabs and Shwarmas. However, they didn't have that on the breakfast menu and I ended up having Egg Curry and Appam, which was pretty good. I got into an auto for the Railway Station, and about a km later realised that I left my camera at the restaurant itself. We drove back to the place where I found my camera lying unattended at the same place I had left it. Arriving at the Railway Station, I got a ticket to Varkala Sivagiri for 50 bucks. The direct train to Varkala was a bit late, so I boarded the next train that took me to Kayankulam. From Kayankulam, I boarded the New Delhi- Kerala Express which had its only General Compartment at the front end of the train. By the time I could get to that compartment, the train had already started moving, and hence, I got into one of the Sleeper coaches. I waited for the TTE to come but that didn't happen, and in an hour I got down at Varkala.
My roommate Sidhharth had been traveling for about 6 weeks now of which he had been here for about 4. I just inquired him of the houseboat scene and he told me that there was a government ferry at 4.45 pm that gave you a round trip in about 3 hrs. I left for the Boat Ferry immediately, and reached there just in time, I got a 40 Rs ticket for the ride, and perched on the upper deck for a grander view. The ferry boat was basically a bus in the backwaters meant for transporting people. Young students got off to their homes which lay in the middle of the creeks. It was a pleasure to see the greenery and the luxurious houseboats floating around in the water. Fishermen in smaller boats created a beautiful sight. There were Shikaras that gave couples a nice alone time witnessing the pleasant landscape. My ride took 1.5 hours to reach the terminating point at Vembnad Lake which looked like an endless expanse of water. The ride back was quicker. In all I paid 80 bucks to and fro. This is a great deal for solo travelers as the shikaras or the houseboats charge much higher in the range of 2000 Rs, and spend more time in the water which may be a bit boring for someone who is restless.
Right at the Alleppey Railway station, I had a Rice-Fish Meal at the IRCTC Eatery. Having done that I got an auto to drop me at the Alleppey Beach. I walked towards Zostel Alleppey, which was almost a km away, or so I felt in the blazing heat at 3pm with the Sun reflected on my face from the white sand of the spectacular beach. However, the heat and the weight of my luggage kept me away from going closer to the shore. Zostel was right in front of the beach at a far North corner. I hadn't made an advanced booking, but they had a dorm bed empty for the day, and were happy to have me.
Poombarai Village A little further to the west the road forks. Straight one leads to Mannavannur & Kavunji and the right deviation is to Kukkal village. Another 8 km and just before the road ends, is the Kukkal lake. There are only 2 cottages near the Kukkal lake, and we had a contact that came through for us to get a room in one of those cottages. It wasn't anything fancy, just a huge room big enough for all of us.
Manavanur-Poombarai.Another untouched heaven"Berijam" 30 kms ride from Kodaikanal town. This place is less traveled and now a restricted one.You need to get a permission from Kodai forest Department to enter here and visit is time bounded and you need to return by 3 pm. Berijam caught the attraction of artists, nature lovers, musicians and tourists.The lake is a source of pure natural mountain water.Its deep inside the forest and far away from civilization.civilization. Munnar another famous hill station in Kerala is around 40 kms from Berijam.There is also a trekking route through forest to Munnar which takes 3 days.There is a dormitory in Berijam which is a base for trekkers.
Nirmal and Sumant leave for Kodai on their bike and we four hire a taxi. We almost lose them but finally we get down near the Kodai lake and walk towards the bus stop. We wait for a long time for the local bus. We were waiting for the blue bus. We were going to Poombarai. Poombarai is a village located in the heart of Palani Hills in the Western Ghats. It is 18 killometres from Kodaikanal. We four got on the bus and none of us knew Tamil. The conductor charges us 10 bucks each. Everyone else in the bus were local villagers. The bus went on with a neck-breaking speed through the twists and turns of the mountains. I could barely hold on to the railings of the bus seats. The bus enters the Pine forests. Huge thick Pine trees surround us. Everywhere i could see, i saw lines and lines of Pine forest. It appeared that everyone in the bus knew everyone else. All of a sudden all the women in the bus would start talking. It was as if i was lost in a huge birds nest. Through the winding and turning paths of the forest, we finally reached Poombarai. It takes us 2 hours. We meet Nirmal and Sumant there. We sit outside a temple and eat egg pakoras. Nirmal tells us that going to Pundi is not possible so we must go on to another village. He meets a village elder and jumps into a long animated conversation. The rest of us just pretend to look interested. We keep waiting for some bus to take us to this next village. The village elder takes us to a local view point from where we witness the surrounding mountain ranges. The whole of Palani Hills seemed to greet us. The hills were cut into steps for farming. We stood on the edge and smoked a joint with the village elder. The mist of the air filled our lungs. We stood in awe looking at the clouds play with the tress and if the hills were on fire. It was 2:30 and my plans of catching my bus to Bangalore seemed very bleak. We climb back down to the village center. We walk to the booze shop and buy "Honey Dew" brandy. This was for the night. Nirmal had talked to some guy and the guy agreed to give us a lift to about a kilometer from the other village in his goods jeep. I got on with Sumant on his bike. Nirmal and others got on the back of the jeep. We crossed through lines of Eucalyptus. We crossed broken down roads and few paths so steep that i had to get off the bike. The jeep followed us. We would stop at the T-points and smoke cigarettes. We would wander into the forests. Every spot seemed like a magic place. After an hour of travelling, the jeep dropped them off and went into the forest. Then they had to trek. I too got down off the bike and trekked for a while. But Sumant got bored of riding alone so again i was on bike. We made a stop on a small bridge over a stream. It was raining really hard. We all were soaked. We stood under a bent crooked tree and smoked a chillum. After 45 minutes we took the final turn and came face to face with the most awe inspiring lake. It stretched out as far as i could see. The water was so pure and everything around it was peaceful. We crossed the banks and sat on the concrete divider and smoked. The soft sunlight glimmers from the lake. A steep winding path leads from the lake to the village hamlet. We walk towards the village in total silence.We are greeted by village kids like rockstars with lines of stretched out hands. "Welcome to our village", they kept repeating. The evening fell soon. We were looking for a place to stay. One local invited us to use a potato shed on the hill steep. Not anticipating the night, we agreed and went in search of fire wood. An old women chided us for being so careless. She lets us stay at the government shed. She gets us Eucalyptus bark for firewood. We light the fire. Sumant and I go to the only local bar. It is a small room and people sit around drinking. We drank few pegs and packed 'sapar' from the only kitchen and went back to out camp. I keep drinking and sitting near the fire. The wind rises and crashed against the tin shed. Everyone is shivering in the room. I open my bag and share my clothes with everyone. Nirmal is shivering and quiet. We all fall asleep. In the morning Nirmal and Sumant go in search of Mushrooms . Realising i have very less time to catch the bus from Kodai, I rush to the lake (which is also the bus stop) and catch the direct bus to Kodai.