Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coorg - Karnataka's Treasure - A trip log

Its been a month of quite a few trips. And hopefully more to come. This time the destination was coorg, talacauvery and jog falls. A total distance of 1005 km, 18 hours on road were to be the trip's stats, the starting point being Udupi.

All these places are on the coastal fringe of the western ghats and are beautiful all year long, but the monsoon makes them even more beautiful. Trust me when I say that, cuz when u get to see them, you'll be awestruck.

Here's the trip log:

3-July: Started from udupi at around 1530. The winding undulating roads are a pleasure to drive on, except for a few patches destroyed by monsoon. Though it is a state highway, the roads are well laid and smooth. Torrential rain dampened the speed and we could do only 50-55 on the speedo at the max. Reached Madikeri the capital of the coorg district by 2100. 5.5 hours for the 210 km journey. A quick dinner and then a well deserved sleep was what followed.

4-July: We started off to Bylakoppa by 7 heading to the Namdroling Monastery. Entirely established by tibetian migrants here, it is a beautiful place. Situated in the midst of corn fields, it exudes a quiet exuberance which is probably due to the Golden towers and 3 towering golden Buddhas.

The place is absolutely serene and except for bird calls, not a sound can be heard, other than the prayer bells and whistles of course. You end up feeling much calmer after a visit here. Elderly monks shower their blessings on you and it feels pretty good. Sat in the hall in front of the buddhas for close to an hour.

Started from Bylakoppa by 10 and headed towards Abbey/Abbi Falls. It is about 10km from Madikeri. Believe it or not, this falls are under a private ownership and vehicles are charged 20 bucks per entry. The parking lot is about 500m on top from the base of the falls. The trek to the base of the falls is through thick forest. In the monsoon, the trek path is infested with leeches and make sure you are adequately protected from them. Believe me, they are quite humongous and suck quite a lot of blood. I saw a couple of people faint due to blood loss and had to be carried back on stretchers. The falls are so pretty and inviting, but bathing is prohibited in the monsoon due to leech infestation. The best viewpoint is from a hanging bridge which is right opposite to the falls. The trek and the time spent at the falls and the monastery made us quite ravenous and we made a pitstop for lunch. The food is really good in the hotels at madikeri. I’d suggest you try the local cuisine which is really good.

After lunch we started off towards Talacauvery. Its about 50km from Coorg. The drive was pretty treacherous owing to heavy rain. Plus the dense cloud cover did not help. It took about 2 hours and 15 mins to cover the entire journey. This place is the point of origin on the Cauvery River and hence the name ('Tala' - Head/Origin). Its a place of religious significance too as the cauvery river, like the ganges is considered sacred. A small temple adorns the small crevice from where this historic river starts. Its pretty pristine and you can never soak enough of this place's beauty. Lots of trekking paths for adventure seekers.

From there, we started the long journey back to Udupi. Whoever said that the journey home is never too long (Bombay Dreams) would reconsider their opinion. None of us had the desire to leave this amazing place. Coorg, no matter what the human intervention is, remains pristine and untouched. Would love to do this on a bike again.

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