Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Coorg Trip (July 5 - July 6, 2012)

It was like a switch on the hands of a kid - On, Off, On, Off, On, Off. Discussions continued and at the end the trip did happen. Coorg welcomed us with a slight drizzle and cool weather in the early morning. Checked in and did what felt best at that time to do. Sleep. The morning had washed the city and left it clean and green. If not for the buildings, it would have been a fantastic sight. Got ready and visited Abbi falls. While the auto guy convinced us that we will get auto for return journey from the falls, later learnt that that is not going to happen. Walked for a KM before taking a Jeep, and sight of this black headed snake made it a little interesting. Visited Raja's seat in the evening, an impressive viewpoint. The evening drizzle made the weather fantastic. On the way back, packed some spices which were little cheap there and retired for the day.

Next day, booked a cab and proceeded to Dubare elephant camp. Spent some time in the camp posing with the elephants, feeding them and watching them taking bath. The interesting part of this trip was 7KM rafting in river Cauvery. Plunged into the river with the life jacket and had fun swimming and floating. After the rafting, visited Namdroling Buddhist monastery/Golden Temple. Ended the day with a visit to Nisargadhama, a small picnic spot which is surrounded by the river Cauvery. With that ended a peaceful and happy trip.

Own transport would have allowed us to visit a few more falls and TalaCauvery, which is claimed to be the birth place of River Cauvery. While i was thinking about it, mind suggested  Bike Trip / Trek at Brahmagiri hills as future options. Would be happy if that happens.

Bike Trip to Lepakshi

Lepakshi was on the list for a long time, partly due to the some random reviews that claimed it to be a great place and partly due to the curiosity to see the world largest monolithic Nandi statue. So when Mr. Jeyahari wanted to go on a long bike trip, it was the first suggestion i made and it was accepted without any concerns.

The trip started at around June 24, 2012, 7.00AM and Rakesh joined us in Hebbal around 7.45AM. Decided to take NH7 through Chickballapur, Bagepalli followed by a 16KM ride on the narrow Lepakshi road. It was surprising to see Bangalore traffic police ready with interceptors at 8.00AM to catch the unsuspecting tourists who are driving over the speed limit on the free roads. I see traffic police more on weekends and rarely do they try to impose any traffic rules on weekdays during the wee hours, when people run amok. Anyway, i had learnt my lesson during the Nandi Hills trip and we were going slow at 50KMPH on the free roads, where 100KMPH was not difficult to achieve. Stopped for breakfast at Kamat and then reached Lepakshi after sometime around 11.00AM.

Stopped first at the infamous Nandi statue. And the first doubt that comes to people from TN is, is that bigger than the one at Tanjore ? Info is that the Nandi statue in Tanjore is actually the third largest. The second biggest monolithic bull is at the Bull Temple in Bangalore near BMSCE. Lepakshi was architecturally rich but after visiting Hampi, i was expecting more. The murals in the ceiling were interesting. The nagalinga was a little fascinating. Soon we finished roaming around and taking photos. Took a little rest, finished our lunch at a small hotel since there were not many lunch options around and started our journey back in the hot sun, which made us wonder whether 120KM in bike was really worth for what Lepakshi has to offer.

Decided to compensate it by stopping in Lumbini gardens at Hebbal. Looks a like a good place for a family and kids to spend a evening. The view of sunset was great. Never knew bangalore had so much to offer. Clicked few pics, had some snacks and returned home after what turned out to be a exhaustive ride and what turned out to be an ok trip overall.