Coorg – Weekend Getaway – Day1

A weekend trip … a Surprise… Yeaaahh… no nice clothes … Have to get up early… 4 am.. is he kidding?.. Grrr… were the thoughts that I had when I came to know that we were going to Coorg over the weekend. This was Friday nite, 9 pm. We left at 6 am on Saturday. We had our fight shortly thereafter which almost led to the cancellation of the trip 🙂 I say almost because we turned back n drove towards home for 10 mts – both of us totally angry – and burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole fight somewhere after 5 mts. Ya.. we are like that.. Anyways we reached Kamat Lokaruchi arnd 8. This inspite of the parking disaster we had when we left, and our short fight – I felt we had made good time.
A heavy breakfast later, that consisted of the famous conical shaped idlies, maddur vada, regular vada, dosa, and two amazingly hot cuppas of tea and coffee – I would say we were in a wonderful mood :). It has always been the case that after moving so far away from Bangalore, you always end up meeting ppl whom you would not have met while they were right next to your cubicle. When we were returning from Bandipur, our last trip, we met Subash and Nisha. This time we met Ranga (Sriranga Nadiger) and his wife. This time the service at Kamat was slow and we did not get a table for a very loong time and then after finishing our breakfast, they took a loong time to get the bill and so I felt that we may have lost the good time that we made. Anyways we continued on our way to RanganaThittu, where we were to change routes. The drive was good and not as boring as I thought it would be. We were listening to songs from the movie Kaakha Kaakha , which is one of my favorites and happily singing (er.. braying)along. As we neared the destination, we decided to visit all the spots before we reached the Home Stay.
The first place we visited was the Tibetan Monastry near Kushalnagar. On the left is a picture of the arch taken from a distance. The whole place was serene, strangely beautiful, and begged to be photographed. The weather was simply lovely, it would rain for sometime, stop abruptly, drizzle again and the whole place looked so green and lovely. This snap was taken when it stopped raining for a bit. I wanted to shop for gifts for kids but did not get gifts for his nephew and so abandoned the gift giving plan. You always get gifts for gals, a pair of ear-rings, a brooch, knick-knacks, anything. For guys… you just don’t get anything. Sad fact of life.
Inside the monastry there are three huge statues which are gold plated and you are instantly rendered speechless in awe. The statue in the middle is the Buddha, the statue on the left is Guru Rinpoche (I think..) and the statue on the right is Budda Amitayus. The low benches placed in front are used by the monks for prayer and we are asked not to touch them. Not that we were planning to. The walls are all painted in bright red and green colours and it is very difficult to understand the story that they are depicting. I did wish we had a guide. There are huge bells that are tolled when all the monks are summoned for prayer… or maybe lunch… 🙂 Time for lunch… we decided to have a bite at a local restuarant and keep going. I had been to Coorg before but I had not visited the Tibetan Monastry or the Golden temple. We had been to Irruppu falls and seen some tea estates. This was a very different trip and I was totally enjoying it.
Our next stop was at Nisarga Dhaama. It almost reminded me of RanganaThittu. There was a lovely hanging bridge near the entrance, as you can see from the picture. It was raining again and I ran to get the umbrella. The rain had made the cauvery swell up and it was a sight to see. There were tree houses and cute benches that were now wet because of the rain. There were quite a few swings. There was really nothing much to see and the path was wet and it was steadily drizzling and so we decided to get going.
The next plan was to go to the Elephant Camp to Dubare. It was now pouring and we decided to go for a boat ride to the camp. As soon as we reached the other side, we realized that we were not sure if we have locked the car or not… we worried and worried and worried… and it was the most gruelling 1 hour of our life. We were soaking wet too.. to add to our miseries.. Finally, when we reached the car, we found out that we had locked it after all. Grrr… Walked into the Dubare Hotel which only offered Tea, Omlette, and Fried Rice. Had bitter, totally burnt chai, and an omlette which had uncooked, small onion chunks. We come in contact with a nondescript lean man who is having fried rice 🙂 and come to know that there is water rafting at Dubare. In fact, in the exact same place where we had the boat ride. The hitch was that we were supposed to arrive at 8 am – I laughed out loud. We were yet to reach Madikeri and he had been driving the entire day.. but the look in his eyes stopped me from voicing my thoughts… and so we went on to the Home Stay – totally relishing the experince of Day 1 of our short vacation.