We started visiting Thirunelly temple and it was really located in a beautiful ambience with mountains and forests around. But like other temples of South India, it’s too commercialized to my liking. I found a rate chart with various types of pujas/offering/services listed on a board and there is a cash counter where people busy in paying. Even the people there couldn’t allow me to take a snap to far side mountains unless I pay some donations, sorry it’s not the place I wanted to be. Quickly headed towards same route via Thutta road and Kattikulam and moved to Nagarhole NP via Bavali. The road to Nagarhole was amazing and again a stretch where you would enjoy every second of driving. In Karapura, now a part of NH (for 10km) is closed and all vehicles detoured through village road to reduce disturbances to wild life. This stretch was horrible to drive but finally reached JLR Kabini around 1.30pm.
The best JLR as I heard from many of my friends, the place is amazing. With nice settings and comfortable cottages and tents, this is a place to stay if your budget permits. The Food was good, the evening safari at forest was interesting as we could spot many deer, (I haven’t such a large herd of deer anywhere in India, at least 50/60 deer were there in a herd, amazing sightings), Sambars, Wild Boars, Bisons, Wild Elephants, Giant Squirrels and many different birds. Only complain was JLR arranged a 14 seater bus for the evening safari, which I really didn’t like and with lots of noise, you really can’t enjoy the forest ambience. I complained to the manager and next morning we were given an exclusive Gypsy just for us. JLR is an example of how professional even the Govt agencies can be. The food as usual was awesome and we retired early to bed on that day.
Car Odo Reading:
Thirunelly – 45011
Kattikulam – 45034
Bavali – 45041
Karapura – 45065
Kabini JLR- 45069
Wonderful Church at Kattikulam:
Elephant with 20 days old baby:
Indian Gaur@ Kabini
The day started with a nice tea and then the forest safari in our exclusive Gypsy. Tourists have options to choose between boat ride to Kabini backwater or jeep ride to forest. We wanted the Jeep travel and the highlight was the close encounter with a leopard, whom we heard growling, saw the half eaten kill, felt its presence very close but with several attempts couldn’t spot it. But the feeling of the big cat so close to us was simply awesome.
We came back, had a nice breakfast and then went for a coracle ride at Kabini backwater. We enjoyed our stay there completely and started our journey towards Coorg. Question was which route to follow, the straight one via Hunsur or the more scenic one via Kutta, Gonikoppal. We discussed and decided for Kutta route, so backtracking till Tholpetty via same route through Bavali, Kattikulam and finally proceeding to Kutta. Kutta to Gonikoppal is 37 km and out of that 15km was very poor, rest was ok to good. We took Gonikoppal – Virajpet and finally Madikeri route and reach KSTDC Valley view hotel. This KSTDC is nice one and newly renovated it seems. I met JP here, called him at Raja’s Seat, enjoyed a fabulous sunset from there and then had an enjoyable dinner together while discussing lots on Karnataka road. He was instrumental in designing my plans regarding roads and it was great to meet him there.
If you love nature and are looking for a nice driving in lap of nature you should not miss the drive from Kabini to Madikeri via Kutta, Gonikoppal, Virajpet. It gives you the absolute feeling of Southern Coorg, which is simply mind blowing.
Car Odo Reading:
Kabini JLR – 45069
Bavali – 45096
Kutta – 45120
Gonikoppal – 45157
Virajpet – 45175
Madikeri – 45209
Early Morning at Kabini:
Nagahole National Park:
Nagarhole NP in the backdrop of Kabini Reservoirs:
Wild Elephant beside the National Highway:
The road from Karapura to Bavali, truly a safari drive:
An unforgettable sunset from Raja’s Seat at Madikeri, Coorg:
We started our day with a quick visit to Abbey Falls, as it was quite early, we didn’t find much crowd and enjoyed it a lot. On return, had breakfast and started our day towards Bhagamandala. Nice temple, I liked it but more I liked the next place, Talacauvery where if you climb to the top, an awesome vista would be exposed in front of your eyes. Enroute from a view point you can enjoy the Bhagamandala temple at far side.
The exploration continues and with advice of few experienced travellers who took the less travelled Bhagamandala – Panathur route which was through Talacauvery Tiger Reserve and a forest road through the ghat sections. It was indeed one of the most scenic routes I have taken in this trip. You would feel the loneliness that I was missing in this trip and it’s very dense like a true rain forest. Slowly we started losing height and finally reach Kerala plains in 2 hours flat, roads were unexpectedly good and we felt the change to a hot and humid weather from the colder ambience of Coorg.
We reached Bekal via Kanhangad and what a sea fort it is!! The settings, its locations, the colorful grasses and the long ocean coast kissing the fort makes it a great place to enjoy! You must be there to enjoy the red stones in evening light of sun and we experienced a magical sunset in Arabian sea, one of the most perfect I have ever seen in my life. There were not much options to stay at Bekal and we thought of proceeding straight to Mangalore for night stay. The hotel was just average but had AC and clean beds, we were very tired and soon went to bed for an even more promising journey of next day.
Car Odo Reading:
Madikeri – 45209
Abbey Falls – 45219
Back to Madikeri – 45230
Bhagamandala – 45266
Talacauvery – 45274
Bhagamandala – 45284
Panathur – 45314
Kanhangad – 45360
Bekal Fort – 45373
Kasaragod – 45386
Mangalore – 45436
From the top of Talacauvery, the landscape looks amazing:
Bhagamandala Temple from Talacauvery view point:
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