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  • In misty Madikeri

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    We recently decided to travel to Madikeri and surrounding areas with our relatives Uday Kumar and Bharathi.

    They had arranged our stay in a resort surrounded by thick forest.

    How did we go?
    We left Bengaluru on Friday morning by car. Our main destination was Madikeri and Kodagu but we touched other places along the way.

    What did we do?
    We took the NH 275 and our first halt was at Kokkare Bellur. We observed some pelicans perched on a few trees. Our next halt was Balmuri waters, the manmade bund over Kaveri river. The water and scenery were good but the surrounding was spoilt by the heavy flow of tourists. It was a brief stopover and we soon left Balmuri.

    We entered Nagarahole National Park and headed towards Virajpete. Virajpet is a small town tucked inside forested area, hills and coffee plantations. We stopped for tea and headed to Club Mahindra Virajpet, located inside a forest at a distance of 13 km from Virajpet. The road passed through coffee plantations and entered a forested area, wherein the resort is built.

    On looking through the window of our cottage, I found that the flower and fruits of a wild banana growing in reverse direction! The flower and fruits were growing upwards, which was interesting. I also took a photograph of a wild orchid flower growing on an old arecanut tree trunk just outside the cottage.

    Next morning we headed to Nalknad Palace, which was a hiding place for Chikkaveerajendra, the last king of Kodagu who was arrested by British East India Company in 1834. To reach the place, we had to manoeuvre several steep curves through coffee plantations and forests and after passing Kakkabe, we reached Nalknad Palace. The renovated building is a Mangalore tiled structure with four secret dark rooms where the Raja used to keep fugitives and his opponents. The wall paintings on Nalkand Palace are also interesting. After his arrest, he was deported to Vellore at first, then to Varanasi by the British and ‘Coorg Nest’ was the building where he was kept along with his wives and assistants. Nalknad palace was the last hideout for Chikkaveerarajendra, who was arrested by the British on the charges of atrocity he committed in his kingdom.

    Located high in the mountains, the Nalknad Palace is a very interesting place to see. There are several homestays and resorts near Nalknad Palace, all tucked inside several forest nooks. On returning from Nalknad, we went to Iguthappa Temple, which is nearby. The recently-renovated temple is located on a small hillock and is frequently visited by the Kodava people.

    After spending about thirty minutes there, we headed to Abbey Falls. The view of the falls is a sight to behold. We returned to Madikeri and the first thing we did was to find a good place for lunch. After lunch, we roamed in Madikeri Fort which is still in good condition. It is interesting to observe that the Palace of Madikeri Raja is still being used as offices of Government of Karnataka. The old church at the entrance of the fort is converted to an archaeological museum.

    At 5 pm we visited Onkareshwara Temple, which looks good with its reflection in the temple pond located just in front of the temple. At around 6 pm, we went to see Raja Seat. The sunset from Raja Seat is a colourful affair with the evening rays filling up the entire valley below, as the spot is located on the edge of a mountain.

    Next morning, we headed towards Dubare Elephant camp. Dubare is located on the banks of Kaveri river and Government of Karnataka is managing an elephant training camp. River rafting is something one should experience.

    After spending an hour in Dubare, we went towards Bylakuppe, which is near Kushalnagar and Bylakuppe is a well-known Tibetan settlement. The settlers were hardworking and earned livelihood by cultivating forest lands and woollen business. They built a colourful Golden Temple as per Tibetan architecture. The mythological drawings depict the stories as per Tibetan tradition and makes a interesting sight. After spending some time in this Buddhist temple complex, we had lunch at Kushalanagar and headed towards Bengaluru.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Shashidharan Halady / November 29th, 2017

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