Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A tale of two weekends…

Whom do you curse when you see traffic jams on a Bangalore- Mysore highway?
In spite of having a four lane road to cater to the needs, there were traffic jams. It was as if the entire Bangalore was on the move on this highway. I realized it wasn’t so after reading the newspaper reports of traffic jams around MG Road the next day…Wherever Bangaloreans go, traffic jam follows!!!

Two consecutive weekends and 800KM of travel hasn’t stopped me from planning something for the coming weekend!!

The first weekend we drove to Mysore. If you haven’t driven on this road then you are missing something…The four lane road makes you forget that you are in Karnataka…The fun is in the drive where you can reach speeds of 160Kmph without breaking a sweat.

The next weekend was a drive to Coorg. An added incentive is you have to travel on the same road. Just before reaching Mysore we took the diversion to Coorg. The road to Coorg was under expansion. Most part of the road was expanded and was really good but there were small stretches all along to remind us that we were still in Karnataka..;)
We reached Kushalnagar in the evening and checked into a hotel called Kannika International. At around Rs.1000 per day they were expensive for the kind of service they provided. In fact the service was so bad we decided to have our dinner somewhere outside. For guidance we asked the waiter whether there was some good hotel nearby…To our surprise he actually directed us to some hotel…I found it really funny that a waiter of one hotel guiding its customers to find some better hotel. Anyway after having dinner we hit the bed.
The next day we got up early, to visit the Buddha golden temple. The architecture was really amazing. It was the first time I had visited a Buddhist monastery and was really thrilled to see the huge Buddha statue (60foot) and the wall paintings. The atmosphere there would have been similar to that of a church on any other day except that on this day there was a whole bunch of kids who had come on an excursion making hell of a noise, making mockery of all the boards there which were pleading us to maintain silence.

I always felt we had too many relatives than we could handle. It was proved when I met some of them even in Kushalnagar. But somehow I felt sorrier for them after they decided to tag along with us for a couple of places. They were newly wed couples and I had a feeling of being kabab me haddi..:)

After the temple we went to Harangi dam. A dam with a huge capacity, but had only a few buckets of water…Then we went to Cauvery Nisargadhama. After some sightseeing and an elephant ride we again hit the road to Madikeri. One interesting anecdote at Nisargadhama was the sight of a few fishermen frantically searching for something in the water. There was a Hanging Bridge from where all of us were watching, and obviously we were under the impression that they were fishing. But these fishermen were a breed of a different kind. They were actually searching for a mobile phone!!! Apparently they were being paid by someone who had accidentally dropped his mobile phone from the bridge into the waters!!! I am sure the fishes were having a nice conversation there..:)

We reached Madikeri in the afternoon and checked into a hotel called Coorg International. We had requested someone to book a room in advance and were told that the cost would be about Rs.1500 per day. Only after checking in we realized that it was Rs.5000 per day. They were exorbitantly charging because of the peak season. We had to stick to the hotel knowing that the whole of Coorg was booked for the entire week…Anyway at least they did justice to the money we paid and to their name (International) by providing us excellent service and amazing food. It was only later we learnt that it was a three star hotel!!!

We spent the rest of the day in hotel after visiting Raja seat and Abbi falls, trying to do justice to the amount we were paying..:)
After more than a decade I spent sometime playing TT with my dad…Reminded me a lot of my school days when we regularly used to play during weekends. The only difference was that I won all the games easily and hence didn’t have to loose my temper and throw my bat around which regularly used to happen then…:)

The next day we visited Bhagamandala (where the water felt like it came from a freezer!!) and Talacauvery (the water here would have given complex to the drainages of Bangalore!!!). Even here it took us quite sometime to find a parking slot because of the exodus of people from Bangalore.

After this we headed back to Bangalore enjoying the scenic beauty around and my favorite past time being, counting the number of cars from Bangalore!!!

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