Friday, May 7, 2010

Golden Temple Coorg - An experience to cherish (Coorg Exclusive - Part 4)

This is the last of the Coorg Exclusive series of blog post. Click to read -> Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Everyone was feeling pretty relaxed as we opted for extending our stay and it was well reflected in our drive to Kushalnagar which was home to Golden Temple along with a Budhist Monastry. The drive through the highway in the Mysore direction was a breeze and we reached Kushalnagar in 10 minutes time. From the junction signboards are present pointing to Golden Temple. This junction and its surrounding does not give a good impression as it was messy and not so clean.

Neverthless we moved on through the small road guided by the signboards. Finally saw a board which announced our arrival at the destination and we rolled into the parking lot. Some restrooms were available at the parking lot,which was utilized well by all of us.

It was 1pm and Sun was at its blasting with all its strength. Still when we were in the shades we felt really cool, only when we are directly under the sun's fury will we feel bad.

We reached the gates of the Monastery which itself gave an idea of the kind of architecture inside.

Before we could get in lot of tourist guides approached us with their visiting cards offering for homestay at Madikeri. It seems that people coming from Bangalore/Mysore always visit this place first. So these guides are stationed here to get some business.

We passed the gate and suddenly felt to be in another world, there was a sprawling campus which was very neat, with a lengthy building on one sides. The sky also was giving a perfect backdrop to the ambience.

Walked through this ground and entered the campus of the Temple. Words cannot simply express what we saw in our front. Just watch what we saw from a distance

The color, the complexity of the design, the symmetry, the beautiful lawns on both sides, the superb pathway leading to the temple and even the fencing was looking beautiful. We walked ahead without talking our eye out of this marvellous work.

Even at this mid afternoon, people were seen watering the plants and cleaning the litter. A lot of hardwork goes behind the reason for this place being so neat, clean and beautiful.

Unfortunately this temple was closed. We were little disappointed as we all were eager to have a peek inside. We were so much concentrated on watching this temple alone that we forgot to look to our surroundings. Once we found this closed, we saw another building on its side and decided to explore.

As we walked towards the building, we got a view of the temple from its side and I could not stop myself from capturing the view.

A more close up view will give an idea of the detailing.

We approached near the other building which was named as "Padmasambhava Buddhist Vihara".

Some tourists were getting inside through a big tour. We too followed suite. The big door was really heavy. Once we opened the door, we felt as if we were in a dreamland. The big sprawling hall with reflective flooring, sound absorbant walls ensuring complete silence, the three big dieties with gold coating was shining and undoubtedly the centre of attraction.

No wonder, even the people who don't have the habit of meditation will be tempted to sit here and meditate. The ambience is such that we will be tempted to sit here and stay calm and we did no different. Even the little kids were silent. Is silence also so infectious. No one instructed us to be silent. Still we were silent. That is the brilliance of well thought out architecture, which literally tells how people to behave.

A closer view of the budha statue. The face expression tells it all !!!

We lost track of time as we spend a good amount of time simply sitting here, without uttering a word. Finally someone woke up to reality and reminded us that we did not have our lunch and the kids will be feeling hungry too. So it was time to part this beautiful prayer hall.

Luckily, there were some hotels nearby the parking lot, from where we had a nice lunch. After lunch we decided to get back to Madikeri. It was already 4 and based on the time taken for our onward journey to Kushalnagar we expected to reach Madikeri by 5.30pm. But as is the usual case surprises was in store for us.

Once the highway part of the Mysore - Madikeri road was over we reached the junction which we found on our onward journey. From here we seemed to take a wrong turn, but on enquiry with a localite, found out that this road also leads to Madikeri. Eventhough this might turn out to be more distant than the one we took in the morning, we thought of taking this route, as in the morning we found some beautiful places taking a wrong route.

But our expectations again went wrong and we reached Madikeri by 4.30pm. This turned out to be the right route for Madikeri and it was just 25 kms from KushalNagar. During our onward journey, we had taken the wrong route and travelled around 50kms to reach kushalNagar, but the bonus was some beautiful landscape. It turned out that the while we started our onward journey to Kaveri Nisargadhama, just after Madikeri, we had reached a V junction and we took the route which had a board pointing to Mysore, and we did not bother to read the other board which had so many places listed. Among the so many places listed Mysore also was figured and so was Kushal Nagar. That was the easiest route to Kushal Nagar.

We went back to hotel hilltown, had some rest after which decided to roam around Madikeri and do some shopping too. Our roaming around Madikeri finally landed us at Raja Seat again (Click here to read about Raja Seat). It was already dark by the time we reached Raja Seat. 

The view from the view point was not so clear. Still we spend about half an hour there enjoying the cool climate and relaxing. 

Rain stayed away and by 7.30pm music started. All people were seen running towards a fountain on one side of the park and by the time we got up the fountain was completely surronded by a good crowd. Some popular Hindi songs were being played and the fountain also started

Since everyone was near the fountain, the park was left with lots of open spaces and we decided to enjoy the musical fountain from a distance. Even from a distance it was quite visible and we get a full view of the fountain too.

Our feets and body soon started moving according to the tune of music and we found that dancing along with the fountain in the wide open spaces of the park was better off than being in the crowd and watching it standing still.

It was pure fun for the next 45 minutes and we enjoyed the musical fountain as much as jumping around and the cool climate ensured that we are still fresh like a potato. We all felt glad that we chose to stay in this place for one more day. More shopping followed suite and it was almost 10pm when we got back to the hotel after dinner and shopping. We planned to start early and decided to travel quickly with minimal stops so that we can reach calicut by afternoon, coz we had start travelling from Calicut to Thiruvananthapuram the next day.

As is the usual case we enjoyed sleeping in the cool climate and slept till 8 in the morning. Even though we had plans for an early start no one seemed to be in a hurry to leave this place. We took our own time to get ready, packed our bags, checked out from Hotel and started our return journey by 10am.

No photo stops meant that we passed Virajpet quickly and was on our way to Kutta, when we found two roads from a point and both pointing to Kutta, one having 3 kms more than the other. Decided to ask the localites on which is the better route and they told like the longer one is having average roads till Kutta, while the shorter one is having good roads for some distance and then it is worse roads. We decided to take the longer average road. This was not the route which we took during our onward journey. It took longer than expected to reach Kutta since the roads were not in a condition to go fast eventhough it did not contain any potholes.

Once we reached Kutta, the real bad stretch started. This time none of us alighted for a walk as we had a slight fatigue and most of the passengers were asleep or just dosing off. Finally we reached Kerala border and the other side of the sign board was on our view.

Soon we were cruising along the beautiful roads before Mananthavadi with those tall trees on both sides. Only difference with the onward journey was that we were travelling at good speeds. 

The long bridge which appeared to start and end at infinity was on our view again and this time I managed to take a shot of how it is extending towards one direction

Once we crossed Mananthavady, roads again became good. We stopped at Kalpetta for having our lunch at 1.30pm. Within an hour we were again on the roads. Wayanad ghats was again sighted on the windshield.

I enjoyed driving down the winding roads, through the beautiful ghats (click here to view photos of the twisty roads) while everyone inside the vehicle were enjoying a sound sleep after the lunch.

By 4.30pm we reached Calicut and that signalled the end of a three day long exciting and enjoyable trip. Coorg has got some speciality which made us fall in love with the place even though it is not outright beautiful or is having greenery like Vagamon (view vagamon - the switzerland of kerala here) or Kuttanad (view Kuttanad - the rice bowl of Kerala here) or the mesmerizing Munnar (view Munnar here)

The trip was made with almost minimal or zero planning, so we might have missed out some beautiful locations in Coorg, still we enjoyed each moment of this trip. Looking forward to more such vacations to keep ourselves energized and to explore our beautiful country.

Quick Facts:

Name of place:
Golden Temple at Kushal Nagar

KushalNagar is in the Mysore - Madikeri highway at a distance of 90 km from Mysore and 29 kms from Madikeri.

Places to visit:
Golden temple, the prayer hall and the sprawling campus of the monastry.

Ideal time to visit:
any time during the day.

Time required:
Minimum of 1 hour and maximum can depend on how long you wish to stay inside the beautiful prayer hall which is sure to cool of your mind.

COORG TRAVEL PLAN (from Bangalore/Mysore)

Day 1.
Start early morning.

Reach Kushal nagar by 9 am (90km from Bangalore).
Visit Golden temple and relax there till afternoon. Have food from hotels nearby Golden Temple.

Start from Kushal nagar by 1.30pm. Travel 5km towards Madikeri and reach Kaveri Nisargadhama.
Left side of the National Highway towards Madikeri, Don't miss the board

Enjoy boating, elephant ride, deer park and the Kaveri river. Spend there till evening 5pm. (click to view more of Kaveri Nisargadhama)

Start to Madikeri at 5pm. Reach Madikeri at 6pm. Check in to Hotel or Homestay.

Day 2.
Early morning at 7am go to Raja Seat. the view is best in the morning.

By 10 visit Heritage mueseum at Madikeri

Afternoon spend time at Abbey falls.

Evening return to Raja seat and enjoy the children's park, the gardens and light and sound show. (click here to view more of Raja Seat)

(this means very less travel on day 2)

Day 3.
Travel in the direction of virajpet and vist Iruppu Falls (80 kms) or Visit ThalaCauvery (80 Kms). It is better to limit the visit to one of these places so as to have relaxed tour.

Day 4.
Return trip to Bangalore. On the way find some time to visit Dubarey Forest also.

The complete trip story

Part 1 - A tale of a twisty trail (The journey through winding roads of Wayanad)
Part 2 - Explore Madikeri (The Raja seat)
Part 3 - The Kaveri Nisargadhama (A photo log of the beautiful island)


Anu said...

Great! i have heard so much about this place... thanks for taking me along with you on this trip... loved all the parts of this series...

monsoon-dreams said...

wonderful travelogue!i always wanted to visit coorg,but there any guided tour or something like nature club who conduct tours?being a taurean,i cant resist travelling ,being a lady i am not supposed to wander!someday i will visit this place for sure. said...

hello Anu
Thank you very much. There are many more places to explore which I cudn't visit. Let those unexplored places prompt me to visit this place again!! said...

hi Monsoon dreams
Nice to find another taurean who can't resist travelling!! I donno about any nature club who conduct tours. But hotels at coorg will arrange for daily conducted tours to different picnic spots. Based on my experience it seems to be a safe place.

Shri Krishna said...

Very very interesting, attractive images,
I would like to visit that place now, but not have much time...
Really, This images shows your professional photography sir...

Sanal said...

It was wonderful. Will tempt those who have not visited these places.
Two places you missed are Abbey falls and talacauvery. Both places are nice to see, but one month back bit dry. Now there were some rains, so may be better.

Nalini Hebbar said...

Lovely pictures...tempting me to plan a trip.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Such amazing pics. The Buddha statue one being my favorite!

Something about your pictures make me want to go and visit that place. So serene and so beautiful.

Will browse through your blog more. Later.

Anya said...

Amazing !!!
Love that colorful temple :))
Thanks for showing us the beauty from your country ...
I wish I could visit it once :P
Wonderful shots Subu
my compliments :))

Enjoy your weeken(@^.^@)

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots and narration. This is a nice place to spend the time relaxing.

SANDIPAN said...

you sure are enjoying ur life wish i cud do that too...but this job i have in ntpc sucks bigtime....also the photography is fantastic..i am planning to visit kerela....tell me some of the must see sites

Jacob said...

What a fantastic post! I enjoyed the photos by themselves, but your commentary really made them come alive! Fascinating place, also. I can imagine a person could spend several days there and not see it all.

Lakshmi said...

thanks for dropping by at backpacker..My first trip to bylakuppe was ten years ago when we two gals stayed in the lama camp..I remember going to the monastery at 2 am where all the lamas were meditating and there was so much peace there said...

Hello ShriKrishna
Thanks for your comment. When the place is beautiful, images become beautiful.

Hey Sanal
Yes we did not have time to go to Abbey falls and talacauvery. For going to talacauvery one full day is required. Abbey falls eventhough was close to the place where we stayed. But we did not want to pack our schedule. We have to go again to this beautiful and addictive place. said...

Hello Nalini Hebbar
You won't regret your decision to visit this place. Infact it will give more dimensions to the poet in you

Hi Choco
Welcome to my blog!! Thanks for your comment too. Good to know that these pictures are tempting you for a visit. Plz do keep on visiting as I will be updating this blog with more of my journeys..

Hello Anya
So nice of you for your continued support. Please do visit this great country and enjoy the diversity and its beauty.

Hello Rajesh
Thanx a lot said...

Hello Sandipan

Photography/riding/driving is my passion, which ensures that I am on a road trip atleast twice a month.
Many of the beautiful sites in Kerala are already up there in my blog. Plz check out and pls feel free to contact me for any more info.
thanks a lot for your comment

Traci said...

How beautiful! I am amazed that the color can be both so vibrant and tranquil at the same time. Absolutely stunning in its majesty!

Viper said...

Chettaaa....well written & awesome snaps.....reading it actually makes me realise what we missed....we really MISSED this trip...!!

Viper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
radha said...

Never knew of this place. Looks quite like the temples in Thailand. And as you said so serene that we will also maintain silence without being asked to! Beautiful pictures.

Indrani said...

Great trip description, Coorg has always been my fav.

Glennis said...

A really special temple, the golden Buddha is unusual and beautiful.
You did have a sacred experience there.

Indli said...

Your blog is cool. To gain more visitors to your blog submit your posts at

lbandlav said...

great pics! went there in last july, nice place to hang around!

dimpy roy said...

Lovely pictures. Hotels in Kushalnagar welcome all the visitors coming to this unexplored paradise, blessed with unprecedented beauty and scenic views. Check out Atithi Comforts, Kushalnagar, a budget hotel in Kushalnagar.


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