Nature comes to its best Western Ghats during Monsoon and we had been planning a trip from Bangalore to Coorg since the onset of rains. After our plans to visit King Cobra Sanctuary in Agumbe could not crystallize, we decided to visit Coorg (also known as Kodagu). Coorg is about 280 kms from IIM Bangalore and we left on Friday night at 11 PM from IIM Bangalore campus. We left a bit early as we also had plans to visit Rasta Cafe on Bangalore-Mysore Road (Open 24 hours).
Rasta Cafe: We reached Rasta Cafe around 12 midnight and place was almost fully occupied. Hukka was good, ambiance was great but we did not find food much appealing. Rasta Cafe is recommended only if you want to enjoy a drive from Bangalore to to the place at night and hang out with friends (Smoking flavored Hukkas and ordering only beverages)
We left Rasta Cafe at around 2:30 AM and reached Madikeri (Coorg) by 5:45 in morning. Coorg Weather was at its best and place was all green on both sides of the road, wrapped with mist and clouds
We headed straight to our home stay – Coorg Coffee Hills. It is located around 11.5 kms away from Madikeri on Madikeri-Mangalore Highway. This Coorg home stay is of average kind but it is superbly located amid Coffee plantations and far from the hustle bustle of the city. We could clearly hear the sound of a waterfall flowing at a distance of about 50 meters from our home stay. Caretakers were really helpful and cooked delicious breakfast and dinner for us. We let to visit the nearby waterfall and found it in full flow hidden amid thick vegetation and coffee plantations.
After enjoying the waterfall, we left for Talakaveri – birth place of Kaveri (Cauveri) River.
Talakaveri Temple– Talakaveri is famous as the birth place of River Kaveri. There is a small kund from which river Kaveri is believed to originate. Up above are two temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha. On the side are the stairs to go to the top of Brahmagiri peak from where one can enjoy the spectacular view of the surroundings. However, we were deprived of the view due to fog and clouds. On the way to Talakaveri, one could also stop at Bhagamandala Temple. Surroundings of the temple are spectacular. I captured this shot from entrance of the temple.
After Talakaveri, we left for Abbey Waterfall (around 6 KMs from Madikeri)
Abbey Waterfall – One has to walk around 500 meters to reach to the waterfall. Pathway to the fall was all wet drenched in rain, passing through the thick green forest and thick bushes and we could hear the sound of water even from a distance. As we took our left on the last turn, we could see the water falling from the height with air full of mist and water drops.
After Abbey Waterfall, we headed to Raja’s seat in Madikeri. Valley view form this place was again breath-taking. But, as we started to engross and enjoy the beauty of nature, clouds let open all their doorways and it started raining cats and dogs. This was the last place for the day and then we returned to our home stay. We had our dinner by side of bonfire, listening old Bollywood songs and local Coorgi songs. Next morning, we went for Coffee Plantation visit. It was raining lightly and we enjoyed our first tryst with leeches as we moved on.
After plantation visit, we left for Kushalnagar to visit three more places –
Rafting in Dubare Reserve Forest – Here one can visit the Elephant Camp opposite to river Kaveri. On the day, tribal people were on strike and there were no elephants at the camp. So we went to rafting base camp on the river bank. There were around 4 rapids in the 7 km stretch and hardly anyone posed a real challenge. We enjoyed the rafting experience by propelling our raft with full vigour into the rapids and jumping into the water whenever we found a still stretch.
Nisargadhama Forest – Our next stop was Nisargadhama, a few kms away from Dubare. We roamed around in bamboo forest, went up on Machaan, chatted sitting over there and fed cucumber to the deer in deer park.
Namdroling Monastery (Golden Temple) – We all were completely amazed by our experience at the monastery. It was peaceful and music was soothing.
It was my first visit to a monastery and when the monks began the worship with full music, I got thrilled with the sudden transition of atmosphere from complete silence to the divine vibrancy.
This was our last stop on our Coorg Trip and we thoroughly enjoyed our trip – Nature, greenery, waterfalls, rains, mist, temples, monastery and of course adventure.