In an earlier life, repetitive tourism (in whatever guise:temples, tirth yatra or just a getaway) would be good cause for loud and insistent protests, to my parents lasting aggravation. Post marriage has resulted in a surprising complacency and tolerance that I would not have believed myself of conjuring (though there might be differing opinions on this!). Ergo, we found ourselves cruising along on Mysore road for the second time in as many months. Though its been a couple of years now, we cannot get over our luck at being blessed with this highway:shiny clean and even enough to eat off. As battered as we were by our road trips to South Kanara, we treated this one with the normal emotions Indians reserve when treated to a motorable highway:unselfconscious delight and surprise. This trip was hastily planned with frantic calls to resorts and plenty of second guessing and rethinking to boot. With a friend’s recommendation, we settled on the Royal Orchid otel Hotel ckhoHotel at Brindavan Garden KRS. Brindavan gardens that provided the colour to a hundred tacky wet-sari songs in all possible vernacular tongues.
Visited Kokkare Bellur again, 15 months after my first visit. There were not many birds this time. Painted Storks were around 20-25 in number.Pelicans were very less in number. I counted 7 or 8 pelicans. I tried to get a decent shot of these big birds, but in vain. That pelican was hiding behind the tree branches as if its being guilty of something:P Few of the sun-bathing Storks posed for the camera without hesitation. And so was this squatting one Bellur, became famous &got the prefix ‘Kokkare’ (Storks) because of these beautiful birds &is home for hundreds of storks &pelicans.
After another long gap we got an opportunity, in the form of a 4 day Christmas holiday, to go on an outing. It was late by the time we started planning and getting accommodation was getting difficult. After evaluating different options, we closed in on to either Coonoor or Kudremukh. We got a booking in a small hotel in Coonoor. But Kudremukh was more tempting as we had read quite a bit about it and it appeared more beautiful and pristine. Kudremukh or "Kudere Mukha"literaly means "Horse Face". It gets this name from the highest peak in that region which resembles the face of a horse. It belongs to the Western Ghats mountain ranges of India and has 600 sq. km. of protected forests. There was a large open pit iron ore mine by KIOCL ( Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd.) which has ceased operations now owing to environmental pressures.
Western Ghats constitute the mountain range along the western side of India. It is also considered as the Biological hot spot as it provides housing for diverse species. Kodachadri is one of the popular trekking spot near to Shimoga, Karnataka . One can even reach there using public transport as there are buses from Shimoga often. It was suggested by many that not to trek Kodachadri during Monsoon.On the top or peak of kodachadri is the Shankara Peetam (also called as Sarvajna Peetam), a place where Mythology explains that Adi Shankaracharya did Tapas in order to get blessings from Devi.
Don't get alarmed by the title, I just had a small accident on the trek :D. Unlike my previous trekking posts, I promise to stick to the main details ;) It was Saturday, June the 12th of 2010, that 20 enthusiasts and two guides from BMC embarked to climb Makalidurga, around 70km from Bangalore. Four of them I knew from the trek to Madhugiri. A cloudy and windy day, most of us were prepared for rain (some like me wished for downpour:D). After an awesome ride via new airport road and beautiful country-side we reached the scarcely populated village of Makalidurga. We chattered away for most of the ride and my customary penchant for enjoying the window-view noted just the one odd - a resort named something like 'Ramaswamy - California' Resort!