Coorg – 2

View from Talakaveri temple

View from Talakaveri temple

Continued from earlier post – Coorg – 1 .

One of the places you shouldn’t miss if you go to Coorg is Tala-Kaveri, which is the origin of river Cauvery (Kaveri ). There is a temple built at the source where you can get a pooja done and also a place where you can throw a coin and wish. But the best thing about the place is the natural beauty. The silence, the air, the greenery is breath-taking. I just didn’t want to leave the place.

Paputtu - a Coorgi dish

Paputtu - a Coorgi dish. Since I lost my phone with the pic, have taken it from the Internet.

We couldn’t visit Bhagamandala (one of our friends is apparently too cool for visiting a temple). It is again a temple, built at the confluence of river Kaveri and it’s two tributaries : Kanika and Sujyoti ( joins from underground). It is considered sacred because of the triveni sangam  and the temple is a blend of Malayalee and Nepali architecture. I had visited Coorg, may be around 13-14 years back and I think it is this place where we could stand at the point of tributaries meeting and you could keep one feet in cold water and other in slightly warmer water. Two sources meeting at the single point and still retaining their thermal identity. Is that even possible? Don’t know but I clearly remember that amazing feeling.

Inside Golden Temple

Inside Golden Temple

Talking of temples, another one you shouldn’t miss is the Golden temple in Kushal Nagar(an hour away from Madikeri). It is a Buddhist temple along with the Nyingmapa Tibetan Monastery. The beautiful array of colours leaves you dazzled. We also spotted this cute white duck at the temple premises and some rabbits with pink eyes too. Also the shopping complex offers you a wide range of Tibetan goods.

White Duck

White Duck @ the temple complex premises

The most recent addition to the tourist attractions of Coorg is the Dubare Elephant Camp. The place also offers river-rafting but then we again had no time coz some people had more important things to do than have fun at a trip.

cry

crying elephant

Anyway, if you go at the right timing, you also get to give the elephants a bath(at a price of course). I think it is between 9-10 in the morning and 4-5 in the evening. We had to take a boat to reach the place. You also get a chance to feed the elephant and ride on the elephant. We reached at an odd time so all we got to do was see the elephants and talk to them(yeah I did).  I felt bad for them. I even saw one crying. Wish I could do something for them.

That brings an end my Coorg saga.  🙂

I also know of Nisargadhama in Madikeri which is known to be good place to visit but we didn’t go as we didn’t have enough time. I just remember a tree house @ the place from my trip to Coorg way back when I was in school.

Golden Temple Premises

Golden Temple Premises

Also, from one of the posts, I came to know of the museums in the city of Madikeri, which one can visit.

With Balaram

With Balaram

soaked in the colours of Golden Temple

Soaked in the colours of Golden Temple

Hope you enjoyed reading this 🙂

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Kashmir of the South – Coorg

Coorg

Beautiful Coorg - taken at Tala-Kaveri temple

Kodagu or Coorg (as the British called it) also known as the ‘Scotland of India’ or ‘Kashmir of the South’ is one of most beautiful hill stations you can visit. Nestled among the lush greens of the Western Ghats, it is in Karnataka, about 260 kms from the capital city Bangalore. It is quite easily reachable.

Though a small area(about 4100 sq kms), the region boasts of a very distinct culture.  The Kodavas speak a different dialect of Kannada(called Kodava), have a unique dressing style found nowhere else in India, food habits are different, only Indian community with no dowry system, marriages performed by elders instead of Priests and so on. Coorg was one of the British favorites and was directly ruled by them till Indian Independence and was a separate province called Coorg Province till it was merged with State of Mysore in 1956 which later became the modern State of Karnataka. The region is well-known for Coffee plantations and the Brave-Warriors. Field Marshall K.M. Cariappa,  first Indian Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army who led the Indian forces on the Western Front during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1947, hails from here.

Coorgi_dressing

Coorgi style dressing

Of the very few places that I have traveled from the time I have come to Bangalore, Coorg is one of them. It has been a long time now but I didn’t feel like writing about it as it wasn’t exactly a nice trip. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  I even lost my new phone and my contacts and photos along with it. But the place is too beautiful to not visit or to visit and not share it with others. So here are a few pics from my friend’s camera and an account of places we visited.

We chose to stay in a home-stay instead of a hotel to get a feel of the place and it was pleasure being there. Our place was in the midst of a coffee-estate with a lake of it’s own(though we only got to see the small pond. It was raining and we couldn’t go near the bigger one) . A wonderful house with a very warm family as the hosts. It couldn’t get better.

With the hosts at home stay

With the hosts at home stay

One of the main tourist attractions in Coorg is the Abbey falls. And since we went at the end of July, we could see the falls in its full splendor.

The waterfall is inside a coffee estate and the small trail leading to it is beautiful too. The waterfall appears suddenly, giving you a feel that is you have discovered a hidden treasure and stand looking wide-eyed. There is also a hanging bridge right opposite to the waterfall and a Kali mandir at the other end of the bridge.

On the way to Abbey falls

On the way to Abbey falls

Abbey falls

Abbey falls

We made it a point to roam around the coffee estate and see the beautiful coffee plantations, small and big flowers of various kinds, the small pond inside it and the small red chilies growing in the backyard to come back to a sumptuous breakfast.

Inside the Coffee Estate

Inside the Coffee Estate

Another attraction in the city of Madikere(the capital of Coorg district), is the park called as the Raja seat. Along with one another park beside it, these parks are well-maintained with beautiful flowers and benches and  makes you want to stay there for a long time. The park gives a beautiful view of the paddy fields below and the mountains around.

Also, if you are planning to eat something, Madikeri is the place. Elsewhere you will keep driving for hours to only see green trees around you. Also, if you want to buy anything, the place is famous for honey, spices  and coffee. Few of my experimental friends also tried home-made oil for hair and other such things. I stuck to the traditional options.

View from Raja Seat

View from Raja Seat

Guess this is enough for one post. Will post more pics from Coorg in another part-2.
Anytime you get a chance do visit the place 🙂

Coffee_beans

Coffee_beans

Lalbaugcharaja

Lalbaugcharaja is the Mumbais favorite Ganapati. Year after year devotees throng to get a glimpse of the huge Ganapati idol
in Lalbaug,Mumbai. Witnessing a darshan queue as long as 4-5 km is not unusual. It is believed that by praying to the
Lalbaugcha Raja one’s wishes will be fulfilled. The main attraction here is a golden crown of two kg, golden bracelets and
other gold ornaments.
This year we thought of going to lalbaug to see the Ganapati and chose to go in the night to avoid the crowd. We reached
the Ganapati at 11 in the night expecting to back within an hour only to find a long queue. It took us a good twenty-five
minutes to find the end of the queue where we could join. Looking at the length of the queue it looked as if was impossible
to get the darshan before 5:00 in the morning.
There are two queues
1. Mukhadarshan — You can see the idol from a distance
2. Darshan — Where you get to go near the Stage
We joined the first. I was told for the later one had to stand in the queue for around 22 hrs before getting the darshan.
Even before I saw the Ganapati I was amazed, amazed at the crowd that had gathered there. One could hardly feel it was 12
or 1:00 in the night. The place was crowded with all kinds of people including kids. It was nothing
less of a mela(a fair).Apart from people selling photos of Lalbaugcharaja, flowers and coconut to offer the god, there were
lots of people selling vada pav,dosa, chips,cold-drinks and everything you could think of in a fun fair. All these were
open(and crowded) even at 2:00 in the night!!!
We were lucky that the queue moved pretty fast. The organisers and the police had taken enough measures to handle the
crowd. We finally got the darshan at 1:45 am and it was awesome. Though I didn’t expect the line to end that far from the
idol, it was a great experience. It was indeed a treat watching the Lalbaugcharaja 🙂 and an awesome Vada pav after that
makes all the effort worth it. We did also visit some other Ganapati mandals after that. But the award goes to the Mumbai
spirit and the people coz if it was not for the watch that I was wearing I would have hardly realised that I was roaming
around at that ungodly hours in the night
Lalbaugcharaja

Lalbaugcharaja

Lalbaugcharaja is the Mumbais favorite Ganapati. Year after year devotees throng to get a glimpse of the huge Ganapati idol in Lalbaug,Mumbai. Witnessing a darshan queue as long as 4-5 km is not unusual. It is believed that by praying to the Lalbaugcha Raja one’s wishes will be fulfilled. The main attraction here is a golden crown of two kg, golden bracelets and other gold ornaments.

This year we thought of going to lalbaug to see the Ganapati and chose to go in the night to avoid the crowd. We reached the Ganapati at 11 in the night expecting to back within an hour only to find a long queue. It took us a good twenty-five minutes to find the end of the queue where we could join. Looking at the length of the queue it looked as if was impossible to get the darshan before 5:00 in the morning.

There are two queues

1. Mukhadarshan — You can see the idol from a distance

2. Darshan — Where you get to go near the Stage

We joined the first. I was told for the later one had to stand in the queue for around 22 hrs before getting the darshan. Even before I saw the Ganapati I was amazed, amazed at the crowd that had gathered there. One could hardly feel it was nearly twelve in the night. The place was crowded with all kinds of people including kids. It was nothing less of a mela(a fair). Apart from people selling photos of Lalbaugcharaja, flowers and coconut to offer the god, there were lots of people selling vada pav,dosa, chips,cold-drinks and everything you could think of in a fun fair. All these were open(and crowded) even at 2:00 in the night!!!

We were lucky that the queue moved pretty fast. The organisers and the police had taken enough measures to handle the crowd. We finally got the darshan at 1:45 am and it was awesome. Though I didn’t expect the darshan to be that far from the idol, it was a great experience. It was indeed a treat watching the Lalbaugcharaja 🙂 and an awesome Vada pav after that makes all the effort worth it. We did also visit some other Ganapati mandals before reaching home at 6:00 in the morning and I loved them too. But if there is an award that must go to the Mumbai spirit and the people coz if it was not for the watch that I was wearing I would have hardly realised that I was roaming around at that ungodly hours in the night.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Come rainy season and you can see greenery everywhere. It is one of the best time to go on a nature trail or bird-watching and the like. With the Sanjay Gandhi National Park so close by how could we let the opportunity go waste. It is also an excellent season for capturing your favorite moments on the camera.

Situated in the Mumbai suburbs of Borivali, Sanjay Gandhi National Park is great getaway for the weekends. The vast Green stretch of National Park extends from Borivali to Goregaon. The park has plenty of attractions. Museum, Nature information centre (NIC), Kanheri caves, Tree house and Tiger and Lion Safari being few of them. This time we chose to go on the safari.

The safari rides are closed on Monday. On all the other days, do check out the timings before you head for the ride. On reaching at the counter you will find the green coloured safari buses waiting for you. An outing is no fun without friends. And I was fortunate enough to have two of them(Ganesh and Gunjan). And when you have friends with great sense of humor it is a blast. 

We found a streamlet nearby and watched the bird catch its prey with great interest. We were excited at the prospect of seeing the wild animals in their natural habitat. As soon as we started we could spot a white tiger and four Bengal tigers. The tigers were in a playful mood and it was treat watching them. As the safari bus stopped one of them got up and walked a full circle as if it is showing off. Everybody in the bus was trying to get a good glimpse of the tiger so that they can capture it on their camera. Our bus started and very soon there was a Lion waiting for us. It majestically walked in front of the bus and sat right beside it. No wonder Lion is called the ‘King of the Jungle’. The royal and pompous mannerism is just impossible to miss.There was also a lioness sleeping nearby. The ride was too short to spot to miss any more than two animals but no body was complaining. Who wants to see anything else?

This was followed by a lunch with hot tea. My weekend Couldn’t have been better.

Bandra-Worli Sea Link

Bandra-Worli Sea Link(BWSL) is dominating the news these days and rightly so. This engineering marvel is the hot topic for discussion. Some found  it amazing, the others found it a waste of taxpayers money. The pictures of cable-stayed bridges(esp. Golden Gate)  have fascinated me. Staying in Mumbai and working in a area so close to the bridge, not visiting this new landmark would be a sin. So we decided to check it out yesterday.

We hired a cab(the only option for ppl like us who don’t own a car) as no buses ply as yet.  It was an exhilarating experience. Watching the sea from your vehicle on the bridge is an awesome feeling. It would have been much better if not for the traffic. Especially now since the toll fee is waved upto 6th July people are eager and you could spot more people who had just come to see the bridge. Many of them took a U-turn and checked out the journey from both the sides(just like we did) 🙂 .

Agreed that for a country which churns out more than 3 lakh engineers every year, this is not an achievement we need to be very proud about. But atleast we have made a beginning. And a good one. The BWSL is supposed to be a eight lane (four in either direction) road. But only four are operational presently. The delay in the construction and cost far exceeding the estimated cost are a trademark of Indian projects so nothing special about that one.  After the completion of all the lanes(hopefully soon) this could become the next tourist spot of Mumbai. But that would require another lane where tourists could pull over,watch the sunset and take pics and enjoy the scenery… Presently we are not allowed to stop anywhere on the bridge.