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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Coorg – our first weekend trip

Last weekend we went to an area called Coorg, an area 5 hours outside of Bangalore but in the same state, Kanartaka.  The main city is Madikeri, and is a tourist hot spot for relaxation and connecting with nature.
We stayed at a hill station resort that Bryan and I both imagine was similar to staying in a cabin in the mountains in the States.  It had the necessary things like a bed and bathroomand was simple enough to encourage people to  be outside when not sleeping.  We saw a lot and have some great stories, so I’ll post 3-4 separate posts about our trip; Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and a post about the flowers.
We left Bangalore at 7 AM on Saturday morning to begin our treck to Coorg.  Suresh, our driver here in Bangalore, took us and we were thankful to have him as he navigated the congested roads and the roads that were hard to get through.  I don’t know how we managed the whole trip without a flat tire, but Suresh did it!
A bit outside of Coorg is a Golden Tietbetan Temple, Bailkuppe.

This gold-coated Buddhist temple was really unique, and may have been my favorite part of the whole trip.
The photo above is the temple from a distance.  After removing our shoes and getting closer, we were able to see just how ornate this temple was!

We went inside and it was HUGE.  While the intricate paintings surrounded us, the statues and decoration at the front was amazing.

The grounds were large so we looked around a bit before leaving to meet Suresh to take us the rest of the way to our resort.
The resort price included 4 meals (breakfast, lunch, high tea, and dinner).  The south Indian food was familiar and tasted good.
After checking in and having lunch, Suresh drove us to Talakeveri, where the Cauvery river starts.  It is also home to a popular temple.  As it is monsoon season, and we were outside Bangalore which is protected from the monsoon rains that the rest of the country gets, the rain picked up and the fog set in.  The humidity was high and the visibility was short.  Suresh navigated the partly paved one-lane road with ease, especially when we met other vans, tour busses, and uncareful drivers.  I’ve seen 2 or 3 lanes become 5 or 6 in Bangalore, but imagine driving up a mountain on a windy one-way road that becomes two!  He did it with ease and we made it to each of our destinations safely.  We tried to take pictures, but they look like blobs of white! 
So we headed back towards our cabin. 
We did stop to see the sunset at Raja’s Seat, a famous viewing spot for sunset and sunrise but due to the fog and our inability to find the sun, let alone see it set, we headed home for the night.
Check back soon for posts about Day 2 in Coorg!

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