Click here for Part 1 of the trip
Day 5- Mangalore to Madikeri (Coorg)- 138 kms
Road conditions: There is only one route from Mangalore to Madikeri. The road was quite good initially but towards the end a 40 kms patch was under construction and took about 3 hrs to cover. The entire journey took us about 6 hrs.
This last patch really tired us out. So we couldn’t think of going anywhere except somewhere close by that day. It was a good decision. The sunset view from Raja’s seat was amazing.
Day 6- Tala Cauveri and Mandalpatti
We went to Tala Cauveri as we had heard a lot about the place. It s a temple from where river Kaveri, supposedly, originates. There is a set of some 370 stairs just next to the temple which leads to the top of brahmagiri peak. We were there for the view ofcourse. The bad part about this is that you have to take off all footwear outside the temple and the since the stairs go from inside the temple, you have to climb the stairs and hobble around the summit without shoes.
Mandalpatti is a paradise for trekkers, casual hikers, lazy bums who want to climb random hillocks. These hills look quite smooth, but only until you get close and see that they are ridden with rocks, making it hard to climb them. The place was many times better than tala cauveri. We could have visited a coffee plantation instead.
Mandalpatti is about 18-20 kms from Madikeri. The road reduces to mud, pebbles, sharp inclines for the last 5 kms. It is therefore advisable to hire a 4×4 from Madikeri bus stop. The standard charges are Rs. 1200. We started at 2 30 pm from Madikeri. It took us around 45 mins to reach the place. We spent 2 hours there and returned.
You can find information about these places in the links below. I will let the pictures do the talking.
Day 7- Dubare Elephant Camp and Namdroling Monastry (Golden Temple)
In order to enjoy Dubare, make sure that you reach at 8 30 in the morning. We started at 7 30 from Madikeri and drove through coffee plantations, with sunlight filtering through the canopy to reach Dubare. The first sight that greeted us was mist lifting off from the waters of river kavery. We were the first lot of visitors who crossed the river via ferry. Elephant bathing started at 9 30. After 10, tourists just poured in. Luckily we were done quickly enough to beat the rush. Instead of the much touted still river rafting, we chose the coracle ride. Absence of a loud engine and cacophony of tourists was the best part about the coracle ride.
Here are a couple of pics of Namdroling Golden Temple
There are tonnes of other things to do in Coorg. Trekking, fishing, camping, quad biking, etc. are some popular activities.
Look at the activities these guys did: http://sunheriyaadein.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/coorg-the-scotland-of-india/
Places to see in coorg: http://kedakal.com/coorg.html
Someone’s 2 day itinerary for coorg: http://www.mygola.com/2-day-itinerary-for-coorg-namdroling-rafting-dubare-quad-biking-fishing-waterfall-etc/q22523
Day 8- Madikeri to Belgaum- 555 kms
We took the madikeri-Kushalnagar-Hassan-Chikmaglur-tarikeri-Honnali-Harihar-Belgaum
Road conditions: We encountered a 30 kms bad patch between Kushalnagar and Hassan. It took us 2-3 hours to cover it. At the next stop we asked a couple of locals who guided us and henceforth all the roads were in good condition.
Day 9- Belgaum to Pune- 336 kms
NH4 is flawless. It was a comfortable ride from Belgaum to Pune.