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4.07 

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Madikeri Vacation - 3 days in a coffee estate
Feb 07, 2007 06:40 PM 15010 Views

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While planning for the coorg trip we had researched a lot on the internet for stays/hotels and for tansportation and sightseeing places etc.And some of the reviews on mouthshut and others was pretty usefull. I had thought then about writing my own review once I returned from my trip, so here I am:-)


Me and wifey reached Bangalore from Mumbai at night and took the next morning bus to madikeri from the KSTDC stand. We wanted to take the Airavat(Volvo AC one), but the Rajhans bus(Volvo non A/C) was starting earlier - so thats the one we took. Had read that the road from mysore to madikeri was bad, but(maybe its because of Volvo or because we are used to Mumbai roads) we found the roads pretty fine. The journey was comfortable, saw a lot of hindi songs plus a hindi and a kannada movie being played in the bus:) We had started at 9:30 from bnglr and reached madikeri at 4pm. We had short listed Coorg International(3-4K per night) or one of the homestays.


Had read in a previous review about one Kushalappa(I think his first name is Viju.mob: 09886264370) and true to the review found him to be very cordial gentleman and interacting with him was comfortable. He suggested many homestays and we selected one in an coffee estate called Rockwood estate which was about 8km away from madikeri town. The place had 3-4 rooms available and we got one for Rs.1600 per night including food. The setting of the estate bungalow was very nice surrounded by hilly coffee estate plantations, but the service provided at the place was not too great though and the food was ok-types. You can get a rickshaw to go from madikeri town to the estate and they charge you Rs80, though by evening they upp the rate to  Rs100.


Since it was evening we went to rajas seat.this is 10 odd mins walk from the bus stand(or 12 bucks in rick, though if you are a tourist the minimum fare is Rs 15;-))(the KSTDC bus stand and private bus stand are 100 meters from each other). The view from there is majestic. If you are there in time it gives you nice photo opportunities.Its a small park and you have to pay a token amount as entrance fees. There is a temple(omkareshwar temple) also nearby which has the look of a mosque.Day 2 we had hired a car and thanks to the research done before hand(and the print outs we carried) we knew the spots where we wanted to go. We started at 8:30 and reached Dubare elephant camp. You pay Rs20 ph for the boat journey to cross over to the camp. We had reached there in the morning by 9:30ish and that was the time when they brought out the elephants for thier bath. Spend an hour there just watching the elephants walking down to the river getting a bath and then comming back in twos and threes. Another round of photo opportunity - you can pose with the elephants with some baksheesh for the mahout:) There was 2 small babay elephants that was fun. there are other activities there like elephnant rides, interacting with elephants etc for which you pay 50 to 150 bucks, though we didnt do any of that.From Dubare we went to the golden temple which is a tibetan monastery. We spend some time there inside the meditation hall. That was serene and beautiful. I dont remember what exactly its called.but the driver mentioned it as the golden temple because of the golden tibenan style roofs of the temple.Next stop was nisargdhama, which is a picnic spot.This is a small island types, you pay an entry fee to cross over the bridge on the river. There are boating available. The nisargdhama itself is like a bamboo forest with enough cozy places to sit down and relax. We had packed lunch from a place called kushalnagar on our way to nisargdhama which turned out to be a smart idea;) If you bring along a change of clothes you can even splash around in the river and yes there are elephant rides available here as well, though it didnt look like too much fun for either the elephnats or for the folks sitting on top.We are always a sucker for water falls, so off we went to the abbey falls which we had read in all the to-be-seen lists. But this was a disappointment. The falls were meagre, small - I have seen better water falls when my building overhead tank overflows;)Plus the whole area is cordoned off and you cannot go near the waterfall.this place was a waste of time.we spend exactly 2 minutes at the falls.But I heard that iruppu falls was much better but then thats too far off and outside the scope of our trip.and we were back at the estate by 4 pm.There are full day cabs for around 1500 and half day cabs for around 800-900 - we had taken a half day one which covered the places we had wanted to go. If it is not a long weekend you probably can bargain on the cab rates and room rates I guess.One place we didnt go was the triveni sangam.but thats targeted for another trip.


The next day a guy named puneet(met him at kushalappas shop) had arranged a trek to a point called nishani. Now this is an easy trek.just what I wanted - a casual walk up a gentle mountain slope with my wife:) The total cost for the trek including travel to the base camp for the both of us was Rs300. We came back by late afternoon.This this fella had mentioned that he also arranges trek with higher difficultly level as well as over night camping. So seems we have somethings lined up for a followup visit:) The rest of the times we were roaming in the estates.there was a lot to explore there as well.


The day after we left by the morning bus to mysore and spend the night there enroute to bangalore. We took the night halt in ginger hotel - which btw was great.


ps: I had found snippets of infos from many different reviews. Hope you also find somehting you can use from my write up. Bon Voyage.


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