Can I take leave for a week Sir? It was the much dreaded sentence which I uttered to my boss fearing a definite denial. But to my surprise he granted me my much needed break. The anticipation of an amazing trip to Coorg with my family filled my heart with joy.
Our journey began with a visit to Bengaluru where my uncle stays. Bengaluru is one of my favourite cities, reason being its fantastic weather and crowd. The trip was just a week long and so had to compromise on the city tour this time, though I would have loved to explore it more. After spending a day in the city we started for our planned trip to Coorg, which is approximately 270 kms from Bengaluru and it takes around 5-6 hours to reach there. Our trip to Coorg started early morning via Mysore road. We had booked a private taxi. The travel was exceptionally smooth as the roads are well maintained and our drive turned even more enjoyable as beautiful landscapes and lush green fields greeted us on our way. Colossal forests, coffee and spice plantations welcomed us as we entered the “Scotland of India”.
Coorg caressed our souls with its spectacular scenery, tranquil falls and fertile green valleys.
Our first halt was at the Namdroling Monastry at Kushalnagar. I was simply mesmerized and awestruck at seeing the beautiful Buddha idols and as Buddhist chants reverberated around me, I was transported to a heavenly world of sanctity and spirituality. The whole atmosphere was so incredible that for once I felt I did not want to go back.
It was a wonderful sight to see Buddhist devotees chanting the prayers with full devotion. It was time for us to leave as we were supposed to go to our cozy homestay at The Elephant Trail, Valnur where delicious food and a very courteous host was waiting to welcome us.
We reached the place where we were supposed to stay for two days. We were in a nature’s paradise, surrounded by lush green trees and coffee plantations. Our hunger pangs were satiated by the delectable home cooked Coorgi food, which we enjoyed eating to our heart’s content.
The next day started with a serene morning in the lap of nature and we set out for the day planning to visit Abbey falls, Dubare Elephant camp and Talakaveri.
We chose to visit the Abbey Falls first. From the town of Madikeri the Abbey Falls is accessible by a well laid road till the coffee estate gate. I could hear the roar of the waterfall right at the entrance. My love for water bodies is never ending and as I walked, excitement gripped me at the thought of seeing the fall. The white gushing waterfall enthralled me as expected with its splendor. The Abbey falls is situated between private coffee plantations and spice estates. There was a hanging bridge just opposite the waterfall which looked inviting enough but unfortunately was closed. We captured some amazing pictures as the backdrop was apt for it.
Dubare Elephant Camp
Our next interesting stop was at the Dubare elephant camp. Situated on the banks of river Cauvery in the Kodagu district of Karnataka, it is a must visit place for anyone visiting Coorg. Here one can enjoy a plethora of activities like trekking, elephant rides, fishing and river rafting. We had great fun here getting into the river with elephants bathing and being pampered with scrub bath and oil being applied to their forehead and tusks.
We then enjoyed a fun filled elephant ride to the Dubare Reserve forest but the most exciting part was the coracle ride. Coracles are circular rafts which give a typical boat ride experience. The forest surrounding the river has wildlife including leopards, sloth bears, tigers, peacocks etc. It was a wonderful experience altogether.
Our day ended with our visit to a place called Talakaveri. This place is popularly known to be the source of the river Cauvery, located near the Brahmagiri hill near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district of Karnataka, 1,276 above sea level. This place was absolutely breathtaking. It was raining when we reached there. There was a temple which is dedicated to Lord Agastheeswara, a temple of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha. We saw a tank there, called holy Kundike, it was filled by the water originating from the river Cauvery. On special days people bathe here as it is considered to be a holy place.
It was evening by the time we left Talakaveri and headed back to our home stay. On our way we went to the local market and bought some souvenirs for friends and colleagues back home. We spent the night chatting with our host who shared his stories about Coorg.
Although it was a short trip but we enjoyed a lot and carried back home the sweet reminisces of the place.
– Suparna De