Place: Coorg or kodagu (Karnataka, India)
Speciality: Hill station (1500-2000 mtrs) above mean sea level. Coffee, spices plantation
Main town: Medikeri
Facilties: Almost all minimum facilities like ATM, filling stations, restaurants, hotels etc are there
Main Attractions: For detail please follow this link:
How to go? Madikeri is well connected from Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Hassan with regular buses running. Nearest airport is Mangalore (140Kms). Ours was by a rented Innova.
Our road map: Bangalore-Mysore- Hunsoor- Kushalnagar- Madikeri. Roads are very good as on 1st Jan 2012.
Enroute options : SH 17 (Bangalore-Mysore ) are dotted with restaurants n dhabas, cafes, bar & so finding one should not be a problem.
Follow link: https://omus.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/sh17-bangalore-mysore-highway/ for more on SH17.
Hunsoor (Hunsoor Bypass) got few options like Café coorg. Kushalnagar is also infested with restaurants. We had our breakfast in Hotel Kings way, which was good in taste n budget (Rs. 400 for 6 people).
In nutshell, from Bangalore to Madikeri route has all basic facilities, a tourist route should have.
The plan to do something different for new year had weeks ago & it was decided to head off to some near-by hill station near Bangalore. Considering the crowd levels & cost factors, Coorg won over Ooty & Wayanad. But even after planning weeks ahead, it was difficult to get a cottage or homestay under reasonable price.What was shocking during our search that couples do pay up-to Rs. 50000 just for a weekend. Really it will be a fool to say India is a poor country. Anyways, coming back after making some 20 odd calls, we couldn’t find a deal for us. Frustrated (& was about to give up plan), I clicked 10th page in google n found Vanvihar Link. Luckily we got a good deal for us, which actually turned out to be golden deal.
Two lessons from this exercise, infact three:
1) Plan your outing weeks ahead if you are in Bangalore. Because Bangalore will flood all the tourist places in 500 Kms radius.
2) India is not a poor country, it is unequaled distribution of wealth that is there.
3) Random/un-thought of things often turn out to be best things.
Anyways back to our New year bash, 6 of us: Avijit, Smruti, Baba Nihar, Srikant & HareKrishna started off in comfy 7+1 Innova on cool n cyclonic Saturday morning 4 AM . On way we had breakfast in Kushalnagar at Hotel Kings way (7/10). We reached our Homestay (Van Vihar), some 5 Kms from Madikeri, by 10 AM. After check-in & getting fresh, we were all set to explore few places in n around. We saw Raja’s seat , coffee plantation near our home stay & it was time for lunch. After lunch, we retired in our rooms, because of rain. Luckily, rain was gone by 9PM & we all partied into new year 2012 around camp fire.
Next day, we woke to stunning sun rise. This time I was actually getting a feeling why Coorg is called Scotland of Karnataka (if not of India). We started our return journey at 10 AM, visited Golden Temple in Bylakuppe, had lunch in Amarish Jungle Dhaba, on Mysore ring road near Infosys campus, & finally reached Bangalore by 8PM.
1) Van Vihar Homestay : Cost ( Rs. 4000 per night). Easy can accommodate 5-8 people. It has got two houses with Ground floor, first floor & terrace. All the houses have its own kitchen & 24 hrs hot water facility. It had basic & neat & clean bedding (Pillows, bed, extra beds, blankets are provided) & toilet facilties. The caretaker, Pramod speaks good English & is very good guy. Terrace has some superb view of surrounding green hills. Although 6 kms from Madikeri, one feel like being inside a jungle with occasional traffic noise coming from nearby State highway.
Be wary , there are no near-by shops or any other facility. So prepare to bring your necessities beforehand. Also lunch & Dinner have tobe ordered beforehand, as they outsourced from outside.
Overall rating of the place (mine rating): 8/10
How to reach the place: Take a right turn just before Arch welcoming to Medikeri town (while coming from Kushalnagar or Bangalore or Mysore). From here there are Van Vihar board to guide. It is some 4-5 Kms from this turn.
For more details, click on Vanvihar website: http://www.vanaviharhomestay.com/
2) King’s way restaurant: Kushalnagar. While coming from Bangalore, it is near the starting of town, on left side of road. Although small, it gave decent south Indian meals. It also Chole Batore, which surprisingly was also good. Cost wise it is medium with Dosa costing 35 to 45 rupees. Chole batore costs 60 bucks. Overall rating : 7.5/10
3) Amarish Jungle Dhaba: On Mysore ring road, near to Infosys Campus. Generally flooded with Infoscians, it is a decent dhaba amid densely packed coconut plantation. Be wary of coconuts falling. I had a close miss, with a coconut falling just 10 ft away from me. Overall rating : 7/10
4) Rajvarshi Bar n restaurant: Near Raja’s seat, Madikeri. We had lunch there. Although ambience was bit old n dampy, but had plenty of food options. Taste was good. Our bill for 6 people lunching: Rs 1000. A Kingfisher premium costs Rs 100. Overall rating: 7/10