Fewer sounds are as pleasing to the ear as the sound of rain, falling on leaves that are as green as green can be, and on the very earth to which we belong. This write up is dedicated to the Western Ghats, where the sights can’t help but remind you of the glory of the lord!
A road trip to Coorg (or Kodagu in the local language) is a must for everyone living in Karnataka. We began our journey at 7 am with a beautifully grey Bengaluru morning and headed to Mysore. Breakfast at Kamath’s, the quintessential Uttar Kanada joint on the Bengaluru – Mysore highway, is the best way to start a holiday.
The drive was smooth and uninterrupted and the only turn being the one we took for Ranganathittu and going forth to Coorg. The roads on most of the journey were smooth as silk and even our humble car that I was driving could touch 120 kmph on empty stretches.
As soon as we spotted the hills we could see their tops surrounded by clouds and we knew we were in for a treat. The Ghats never cease to stun me with their beauty, even after having spent considerable time trekking and travelling through them over the past seven years.
On the way to Coorg lies a small town called Kushalnagar, but more about that later. The road from Kushalnagar to Madikeri is not your typical hill road; it is smooth and amply wide, lined with subtropical forests and coffee plantations. The experience can leave you speechless!
Madikeri is a small town: a typical hill station with little shops and a small bazaar. This is where Field Marshal Karriappa hails from and hence the main circle of the town is named after him. The town is covered with clouds during the monsoons and it rains endlessly, so you must pack your jackets and raincoats. The food too is brilliant and Coorg is especially famous for its pork curry.
There are many places to stay but I would recommend staying in a plantation. The accommodation is cheap and ambiance peaceful! All you hear around you are the night time sounds of the forest at and the rain, sounds you will want to trap and take back to your noisy city. There is nothing like a good book and a good drink to accompany you in a coffee field. My humble vocabulary does not have enough words to describe the peace I found in Coorg.
A slightly more difficult drive will take you to Abbey Falls, a big waterfall during the monsoons; this is definitely a sight to see. To have a cup of tea while watching the water plunge down from the hill top is a spectacular experience.
On your way back, Kushalnagar offers you a surprise, a Tibetan monastery. The first Tibetan settlement in South India, the monastery is beautiful, with its gold plated temple and larger than life Shakyamuni statue. This place will leave you in awe of the skills of the artists who built it.
I would like to congratulate the Karnataka State Tourism and road authorities for having maintained these areas beautifully and ensuring that there are the most wonderful roads leading up to them. Here is a hill station, unspoiled and untouched, so go ahead drive out to Coorg and find your peace as I did.