Soaked by rain, though enjoyed the rain and ride to Madikeri (Mercara/ಮಡಿಕೇರಿ)
It was an FB message from Shagil asking for a bike ride in monsoon and he suggested “Go Coorg”, on 31st May and asked to wait till the monsoon get stronger. I went through the calendar and suggested to execute it in 1st week of July as I have holiday that time. Proposed the idea to my “Naduvil Friends” and Vijayakumar Blathur and scheduled one and a half day trip in 2nd week of June. Unfortunately, the trip got postponed to 3rd week due to some reasons and had to make it single day ride with two bikes and one car.
15th June, 2013
The day before journey. Me, Blackie and Angel are ready to explore the places. I had asked Shagil to come home on Saturday so that we could leave early in the morning. Shagil reached home by 11PM. It was quite discouraging news from fellow travelers that, there are some issues and they won’t be able to make it true this week. They asked me whether it is possible to postpone to next week. I had to say “NO” as Shagil has already come my home and cannot predict how next week will go wrong for others, including me! So, we changed the plan and decided to explore Madikeri and Kushalnagar only.
We left home at 6:45AM. Reached Iritty through Naduvil – Chemperi – Ulikkal.
Views on the way to Madikeri
Our first stop for snap (could be called, Milestone?) was at Methiyadippara Hanuman Temple near Perumbadi. The temple located at the bottom of a huge rock. I’m not sure how the name “Methiyadippara” derived. Methiyadi is “Old Wooden Sandal” and “Para” is “Rock” in Malayalam. Do not know more about this.
After clicking and refreshing, continued the journey. Done the Mountain Pass and Stopped at Perumbadi Lake for the first single snap of Blackie, with the misty lake in the background.
Then we had breakfast from the only hotel there and took couple of snaps.
Continued the journey and reached Virajpet, took left turn to Madikeri. We were enjoying the rain and beauty of Kodagu (Coorg). One can see greenery and fields on the way. Could see Youngsters working at the field in rain.
Reached Maithadi, a village on the Virajpet – Madikeri way. Saw an amazing hill with full of greenery. I assumed, it must be a well maintained private property. Went near the hill and took couple of pictures. As it was raining, I had tough time to save the camera (mainly lens) from rain drops, still I failed many times!
Continued the journey and reached Kaggodlu. Saw couple of beautiful cranes and stopped the vehicle. I could manage to take the photo with Angel’s 20X zoom lens, though its not perfect.
When I tried to go near for better photo, the cranes flew away, luckly Angel got focus on them and I got the Flying Picture! What a luck!
Later, The Bird Watcher Shagil identified the bird, it was “Asian Openbill or Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans)”
Shagil saw another bird, but it was small. He identified it, it was Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus).
Madikeri Fort, Govt Museum
Reached Madikeri at 1:30PM and was not sure where to go first. As I had the list of places to visit, I asked the people there and got the direction to the fort. We entered the Fort, it doesn’t looks like a fort, may because we had the view of Bakel Fort, Kannur Fort etc in mind, were not sure whether we at the right place or not.
The reasons why we confused are,
- There is no entry fee at the fort
- There are many other buildings inside the fort
- First we could see a church building, but it is Karnataka Government Museum
- The main building inside the fort is “Madikeri Deputy Commissioner Office”
- There is a public library inside the fort
- We parked the vehicle inside the fort
At last, we checked the GPS and confirmed that it’s Madikeri Fort 😀
Started walking through the fort, its a small one, but it has got the commanding view of Madikeri city from any corner.
There were no much visitors, not sure whether its because of bad weather. Met two couple from Pune come down to explore South-West Karnataka and Ootty.
There is a small temple inside the fort.
At one place, the wall plaster got damaged and I could see the bricks and special type of Surkhi paste (of mixed sand?). I’ve seen only forts built using laterite stones.
Some part of the trail was renovated and did concrete paving on it, at some other part, the renovation was going on. I could see the trail had paved with bricks and now they are paving laterite stone (Planning to concrete over it?).
Could see some old buildings in and out of fort. By seeing the building, Shagil had commented that its Portuguese architecture. I wasn’t sure though.
It was already late (2:30PM), Shagil told me that it’s not possible to go Kushalnagar today as it was already late. We cancelled Kushalnagar. He also told, it requires minimum half day to see the temple fully (if interested).
After spending some time there, we aimed to our next destination, Abbey Falls.
The waterfall Is located 5.5KM from Madikeri town. There is parking fee for the vehicles. It’s 10Rs for two and three wheels and 20Rs for LMV. No entry fee is there. The fall is dangerous, and shouldn’t try to take bath. There is a hanging bridge constructed parallel to the fall for enjoying the view of the fall and also to get refreshed by the water spray formed by the waterfall.
Had a hot coffee and Spicy Puffed Rice mixed with vegetables and Mango. Shagil told me, “the trip would’ve been waste, if we didn’t come here”
The monument Raja’s Tomb (Gaddige) is located 1KM from the Madikeri town and on the way to Abbey falls. It was built in 19th century in Indo-Sarcenic style. In simple way, tomb with Hindu symbols. There is not entry/parking fee here as well. As we didn’t spend much time there, didn’t take the single picture the tombs of the royal officials, Biddanda Bopanna (Bopu) and Biddanda Somaya (who fought against Tipu Sultan). But can see them on the right side of the place as placed on top of two Basavas or Bulls. The royal officials were called as “Sirkarekars” by the king.
It is the place where Rajas used to sit for watching the rising and setting sun. As it is at the North of Madikeri, one can see the spectacular view of the Nature. It is located 0.5KM from the Madikeri town. There is parking fee for vehicles. It is 10Rs for a bike, and an entry fee of 5Rs per head.
Quoted on the Marble Stone there,
This small, square mantapa, with a commanding view of the cliffs and valleys to the west, is an attractive spot for lovers of Nature. Here one can sit and enjoy the glorious scene of sunrise and sunset, as the Raja and his consorts did in the past. Hence the name Raja’s seat.
Ummathat, the lively dance of Kodagu, is set to the beat of cymbals which resemble the exuberant Ummat flower from which the dance gets its name. Ummat (Datura metal) flowers and seeds are both medicinal and poinsonous depending on the parts used and the quantity administered.
There is a platform built for enjoying the view of the valley with railing. One can view the curvy road from there.
Youngsters love adventures, but must take care of themselves. Why I say this? I could see some youngsters were climbing on the railing and jumping from there to the platform. If they slip from there, would be very difficult to help them. Its DANGER to climb on the rails.
There is a well maintained park with artificial water fountain and toy train for kids (for adults too?).
Its 5:15PM now, we are already late. Have to buy Coffee Powder and return back soon as it might be very difficult to ride through the Mountain pass during rainy season. We had Corn with Pepper & Butler mixed and ready to say bye to Madikeri.
Was about to get on the bike and realized, I LOST THE KEYS!! Searched all the pockets and around bike, but no use! I asked the person who is parking in charge about the key and he told, I had the key with me while paying the fee. I went inside the park (Raja’s Seat) and followed the way I went. But, couldn’t find it. For another hope, I asked at the ticket counter and I got a reply “NO”. Back to the place, Shagil was searching for the key outside and he didn’t get as well.
Police officers were checking the other state registered vehicles and asked for my bike’s documents and license. Luckily I was carrying the documents with me in a small back pack. When I took out the documents, one person, named Ganesh came to me with the bike keys and asked whether I’m the person who searching for the key. I was very happy that I got it back. I’m very thankful to that person!!! Passed the checking and we left from there at 5:30PM. Bought 1Kg of fresh Coffee Powder (220Rs/kg) for each and left Madikeri at 5:40PM.
As it wasn’t raining we could reach Virajpet by 6:30PM. We had Chicken Shawarma from there and left at 6:55PM. Virajpet was shedding the tears in the form of rain drops as we are leaving the place 😉 Its drizzling, but cool to ride. Reached Perumbadi at 7:00 and started the ride through the mountain pass. It was damn misty and couldn’t even see the road properly, but could manage as the road was OK. Reached back home at 9:45PM, had a safe and cool ride!
I would like to visit Madikeri again as I knew I couldn’t see/enjoy some of the places there. Soon another trip might be there and will post