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    Weekend getaway

    The Hanging Bridge at Nisargadham.

    The Hanging Bridge at Nisargadham.

    What do you do when you have a long weekend at hand and you wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of the IT capital? Driving to Coorg, the ‘Scotland of India’, is definitely not a bad option. That’s precisely what we did on one such weekend that had a public holiday attached. We decided to make the most of it by driving to that part of the world, where one can be at peace at the Buddhist Monastery, be one with nature at the vast coffee estates sipping a hot cup of filter ‘kaapi’, play Peeping Tom to bathing elephants and relish some delicious local delicacies.

    How did we go?
    The drive from Bengaluru (Whitefield) can take around six hours with a couple of breaks, so we decided to leave office early post lunch on a Friday with the intention of beating the weekend traffic that piles up on Mysore Road. The drive from Whitefield until the Mysore Road exit can be taxing and no sooner had we entered Bidadi that we started our countdown to the restaurant. We regularly halted on Mysore Road for some nice ‘thatte idli’ and filter coffee. Post our refreshment break, we drove non-stop until we reached Aishwarya Suites (at New Bamboo Bazaar Road, Mysuru City) for our overnight stay. On day two, we got off at around 7 am and headed towards Coorg.

    The stay
    We stayed at the Leisure Vacation’s Brook Stone Villas at Thalatmane village on the Mysuru-Mangaluru highway. The location is around six km from Gen Thimmaiah Circle as one turns towards Mangaluru. One has to traverse through acres of coffee estates on a ‘kuccha’ road, giving the driver a semi off-roading experience.

    What did we do?
    Driving through the scenic road flanked by tobacco farms, we visited the Buddhist Golden Temple. After paying homage at the temple, our next port of call was Nisargadhama Island on the Kaveri river. Here one can visit the island via a hanging bridge, suspended over the river. Later in the day, we visited Abbey Falls and called it a day after visiting Raja’s Seat — a picnic spot that offers a West facing beautiful valley and sunset view, a nice flower garden and a musical fountain treat.We covered Talakad on the second day. At Talakad, one can visit the temple and the higher altitude offers some good sights of the valley beneath. On day three, post breakfast, we headed back to Bengaluru albeit with lots of lovely memories.

    (The author can be contacted at srikanthmenon@yahoo.com)

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Srikanth Venugopal / May 11th, 2017

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