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.
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.
(a lesser known cousin of Hampi !) Strolling around in a mall / window shopping is not that enjoyable if & when you need to lug around an adorable 1.5 yr old toddler. As such, weekends and other free time tends to get incredibly boring! Eating out is passé, hitting the popular spots in the city even more so and staying at home is not even an option, considering you would have been closeted at home thru the working week albeit with your lovable kid. So here’s what happens, you find yourself analysing all the leisure activities and weekend getaways from your place very very minutely.
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.
I was bit skeptical about this in the beginning when S had this idea of spending couple of days in the back waters of Kerala @ Alleppey. Nevertheless, we made up our mind and decided to go ahead. It was really a memorable and a wonderful experience. After getting the details from our family friend, who had been there last year we dialled to Mr Alex from Seasons Cruise. Nice gentleman he is... he took care of A-Z of our travel. As soon as we alighted from the train, a cab was waiting to pick us up and he dropped us to a homestay where in we could refresh ourselves. Houseboat -stand (If I may call so) was at the walking distance from homestay and we started our journey in the morning.