Thursday, 31 May 2012

Bylakuppe, Dubare, Honey valley : Madikeri bike trip

Friend and I planned to do a 3-day trip to Madikkeri by bike and had a decent time being there.

Started early and skipped traffic in most of the places and reached Bylakuppe [through the Hunsur-Periyapatna route] by 12.00 PM. This was the first time I was visiting the monastery in Bylakuppe and there was a nice feel to the Tibetan settlement present there and also their golden monastery.

Imposing 60-foot idols of Bodisatva, Buddha and Amutayus invite the people in the inner sanctum of the monastery.

Buddha and Amitayus

Buddha @ Bylakuppe

We were just in time to view the monks during the prayer time

Long line of monks reciting their prayers

Next stop was Dubare where there was not much of water - so we could wade through knee deep water to the other side of the river bank where the elephants are found. Dubare seems like a nice place to relax and spend time in if one isnt in a hurry. The Jungle lodges there provide decent rooms at slightly inflated prices but its well worth one's while to try it sometime.

The route from Dubare to Madikkeri is quite scenic and is a fair bit of a technical challenge too. Not very steep but long meandering roads with winding turns interspersed with a hairpin here and there makes it a nice route to ride / drive in. Add the coffee plantations on one side and the smell of the coffee flowers, its a double delight and all the more reason why one should take it slow and take all the smell and the scene in while riding. We halted in Madikkeri for the night.

Personal advice: skip Abbi falls - its commercial and not that great. Raja's seat is perched atop the park and is just about OK. The park also has a musical fountain bewtween 6.30-7.00 PM almost all days - we went late but from I saw, it was quite good for the last few mins that I was able to view.

We planned to go to Honey valley the next day - though I have been there many times earlier, each individual visit to Honey valley is an unique experience by itself and I am getting quite fond of the place. Excellent views and ability to have long walks really impress me about this place vis-avis most other homestays where the walks end in 15 mins.

View from some 3.5-4 kms away from Honey valley towards Tadiandamol ridge walk route
Note: From Madikkeri - take the route to Mangalore to go to Honeyvalley. Madikkeri->Kakkabe->Kabbinakad. Honey valley is about 4 kms from Kabbinakad. One can park their car in the parking lot and then either walk up or ask for the jeep [call earlier to arrange for the same].

We came back to Blr through the Kabbinakad->Virajpet->Gonikoppa->Hunsur and back. The route from Madikkeri-> Hunsur through Virajpet and Gonikoppa is quite bad when compared to the route from Hunsur->Madikkeri through periyapatna. [Just somewhere beyond Hunsur there is a bifurcation where the left takes one to Virajpet and the right goes to Madikkeri through Periyapatna]

All in all, a decent trip and lots of good memories.