Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coorg Exclusive (Part 2) - Explore Madikeri

All the travellers were feeling quite fresh even though the journey (Click here to read more about the journey  in part1 of this post - A tale of a twisty trail) took longer than expected. The climate was really cool, a welcome change from the harsh summer conditions back home in Kerala. One of the reasons why we chose this destination was the climate and this place did not let us down.

The parking lot of the hotel was neatly maintained with a nice little open restaurant on one side.



We had not so high expectations of the hotel, but wanted it to be neat. It was a sudden booking and we did not get any time to enquire about this hotel. A view of the hotel from the parking lot.


Not bad, but nothing much to boast also. Once inside the launch we felt ok, coz everything was neat. The check in process was very smooth and we did not have to wait at all. The keys of the 3 rooms which we had booked were handed over immediately and we were guided to the rooms which luckily were on adjacent rooms. It was a delux family room and at a rate of Rs 1000 ( $ 20) it was a good deal.


A view of the restaurant inside the hotel.


There is one more restaurant inside the hotel.

We were not in a mood to take rest and everyone was ready to have the first outing at Coorg even though it was already 5.30pm. The cool climate seems to have rejuvenated all our bodies. 

I had a discussion with the front office guy who was really helpful and explained the available options in detail. From him I came to know that Madikeri is one of the most hilly terrain of Coorg. The picnic spots of Coorg are pretty spread out. Our plan was to check out some nearby picnic spots.

The places to visit in Madikeri are

1. A mueseum which is housed in a Palace. Open till 5 pm only, so we cannot go there

2. Raja seat, A view point at Madikeri, Open till late in the night
3. Childrens park at Raja Seat.
4. Light and Sound show at Raja seat, normally starts at 7.30 pm.
5. Abbey falls, which is just 8 km away from Madikeri, but entrance is only till 5pm. So ruled that out.

The only option available for today is a visit to Raja Seat so that we can enjoy options 2, 3 and 4 above.

Quickly we were back in our carriage and we were driving in the direction of Raja seat. The town roads of Madikeri contained only two junctions and where ever you have to go, just reach the juction and ask, people are very happy to help, and they talk English, Hindi and Malayalam well.

On our way to "Raja Seat" saw the mueseum, which is an ancient building housed at an elevated location.

We reached Raja Seat in a matter of few minutes. This place is called Raja's seat, since during ancient times, the King (Raja) had a Royal Seat here at the view point which offers a marvelous view. Paid the parking fees and had a look around to decide where to go first. The kids were the first to react when they found the sound of a train whistling away through a near by track with a full load of children and they wanted to have a ride in it. So we had no other option, but to move inside the park. There is no entry fee for the park.

We also decided to have a ride in the toy train


The train is quite colorful and reminded me of the train at Ooty.


The train made a full round inside the park and also passed through a tunnel. All of us enjoyed the ride just as like the kids with the cool air flowing against us. After all rides like these brings back the children in us and it is nice feeling too (Who wouldn't like to back to childhood once again?)

During the ride, my kids spotted the children's park and they had no doubt on where we are going once the ride is over. The whole gang marched towards the park, with my son leading the pack.


May be because it is children's park, all of us suddenly transformed into kids and was seen playing in the park.


My son wanted to fly from top of a children's maze and just like any other parent I too wish him to fly high in his chosen path when he grows up.


We all were having so much fun at this park, that we forgot to keep track of time and it was already 6.30 when we decided to take a visit to Raja's seat viewpoint. Light was already fading and we wondered whether we will get a clear view from the view point. Even if we get a view or not, we are not going to be disappointed, since we had a good time at the park and this is for what we came here and we don't have any target to visit each and every picnic spot.

There is an nominal entry fee (Rs. 5 per person) for entering the park which houses Raja seat. This entry ticket is valid for viewing the light and sound show tooo.

Seen here the entrance to the Raja seat park

There was a neatly maintained lawn and towards one end there was a monument like structure too.


A close up view of the beautiful monument. This monument symbolizes the royal seat.


We walked towards the edge of the garden to have a view from the view point. By this time we could here some grinding noise from the skies, it was getting dark and seems like clouds were engulfing us.

There were many seats towards the edge of the park and some beautiful trees too.


Once at the edge, it was a wonderful view of the valley down. But thanks to the clouds we were not getting a clear view and my camera was having a real busy time because of the way I was changing its settings to get the best pic out of this cloud cover.


We could even walk down through the small roads seen here.

But before we could proceed any further we could see a shiny nerve like thingy in the sky in front of us followed by the roar of a thunder. Kids were afraid and we also felt it a little bit dangerous as we were on a very elevated place. So the next thing we did was to run out of the park and some how got inside our vehicle. By this time there was a heavy downpour. Rains was a welcome change for us and while running back we all got drenched in water and we enjoyed every bit of that too. We would have let ourselves drenched in that downpour, but for the lightning and thunder, some of which seems to come very near us.

We waited inside the vehicle for sometime but it seems that the downpour is not going to stop. So we decided to have some food from a nearby hotel. We had some real good Ghee roast from a good vegetarian restaurant. We spend around 1 hour in this restaurant. Even then rain was not subsiding. The only option left was to get back to our hotel as the people at the hotel told that light and sound show will not happen today due to the rains.

Once back at the hotel, we had a good time together cracking jokes and creating all kinds stories which will only evolve when everyone is together. We had a preview of what happened on that day by having a look at the photos which I took. Before we went to bed we had a discussion on where to go tomorrow. We planned to go Kaveri Nisargadhama which is a good 30 away from Madikeri, and then to Golden Temple after which we will come back, check out the hotel room, roam around till evening and return to home in the evening (something which we could not think of, coz we started enjoying this cool climate). But as is the usual case everything won't work out as per the plan and it happened in our case tooo, luckily it was something good for us and something we all longed for...

Soon we snored away to glory after a long and exciting day during which we enjoyed the Twisty trail and then a small but enjoyable visit to Raja Seat.

This town has some speciality even though it is not outright a beautiful place. It had some kind of calmness around which has its influence on the people coming here too. The local people are very happy to help. Everything in this town seems to be quiet relaxed.

We have started experiencing Coorg and a good bond was beginning to develop.

 More destinations at Coorg in my next post . Click here to read Part 3 - The Kaveri Nisargadhama

Some quick facts

Name of Place:
Madikeri

Location:
50 Kms from Virajpet, or 100 kms from Mysore.

Speciality:
A cool place, with a cool climate

Raja seat which is in heart of this town offers
- A superb view point which offers great view of the Coorg valley
- A well maintained garden
- A childrens park with enough gadgets to keep the kids and "kids at heart" busy.
- Light and sound show at Raja seat (if there is no rain)

There is an old palace which houses a Mueseum

Abbey falls which is about 9kms from Madikeri.


Food
Good vegetarian restaurants available

Stay
Hotel hilltown is a clean place. One can opt this if they are going to be outdoors all the time and will be coming back to the rooms only at night for sleeping.
You get some good home stay options too, but check out the place before opting for it. You can get three bedroom houses starting at Rs 1500 per day.
When ever you chose a home stay, it is better to be in and around Madikeri, since this place seems to have the best of the climate of  all Coorg.

Related Posts
Coorg Exclusive Part 1 - A Tale of a twisty trail
Coorg Exclusive Part 3 - The Kaveri Nisargadhama

13 comments:

radha said...

Nice account of the place. And pictures. What a lovely place ( even from your previous post). Seems so inviting especially since we are being subjected to the torrid summer sun right now.

Anu said...

great pics, as usual!

subu.ps said...

Hello Radha
Welcome to my blog. The thing which attracted most was indeed the climate. Now the torrid summer is gone no? It is raining here in Kerala now.

Hi Anu
Thanks !!

Roshmi Sinha said...

Wonderfully narrated and some great pics too! I have heard a lot about Coorg... but have not had the opportunity to visit. Maybe some day...

Haddock said...

This is one place that is on my list "to visit"

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful post and lovely shots !! I simply appreciate the post !!Great Work Subu !!Also please visit my New Blog About Paranormal Studies of India.Click on the Link to view it Unseen Rajasthan Paranormal

subu.ps said...

Hello Roshmi Sinha
Thanks for the nice words. Well Coorg is nice place to spend 3 to 4 days.

subu.ps said...

Hello Haddock
Welcome to my blog and thanks for commenting too

subu.ps said...

Hey Unseen Rajasthan
Thanks for those wonderful words. I will surely visit your new blog.

P. Venugopal said...

Your blog is very interesting, the next best thing to actually visiting the beautiful places you describe. Very good pictures too.

Ranjith Vasudevan said...

Dear Subu,

I am Ranjith basically from Feroke and currently in Bangalore.

Your narration is really good and useful.

We are planning a 3 days visit to Coorg and expected in Coog on 31 OCT 2010 and expected return on 03 NOV 2010. Can you please suggest a comfortable resort for stay. We will need 3 rooms and budget is 1000 - 1500 per room per night.

Regards,

Ranjith

subu.ps said...

Hello Ranjith.
Nice to know that you are from Calicut, one of my favourite places.
I stayed at Hotel Hilltown and the tariff was INR 1000 for a day. It was a delux double room and the hotel had a very decent set up. You can see the room pic in my blog above. The food was superb.
thanks
subu.ps

Ranjith Vasudevan said...

Thanks Subu,

By any chance, you have their phone number/ address/ website.

Regards,

Ranjith

PS: We are visiting Trivandrum in August 4th week

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