There is something about effervescent green fields and hills that makes me want to stop, take a long break and enjoy the smell of the place. I believe that smell of rain bouncing off green leaves and trees, shattering into finer drops, and landing onto the soil has a very unique smell. Wet roads have a lovely satiated but inviting aura to them, promising to take you to a world filled with heavy clouds and swollen rivers. The wind howls its way through the gaps in the hills and forests, and casts a spell on you that seeps deep into the core of your body. Like the armies of Gondor, endless lines of grey clouds keep marching deeper, conquering parched lands and wet sands alike. Brown rivers swirl and eddy around bridges, crash their way through rocky lands and plunge down cliffs where one can only stare at the spectacle in awe. Such is the magic of monsoon!
After a lot of debating and mulling over, 4 families (CSK, PCR, SSG and yours truly) decided to head out to Coorg to put our feet up and enjoy the monsoon. We had booked our stay at Coorg Cliffs pre covid and finally decided to enjoy their hospitality during the independence weekend. The plan was to just put our feet up, enjoy the monsoon and spend some time together.
14th Aug Morning was a 6 am start for Kadamba on mysore road. We made good time and reached Thotada Mane for breakfast at 7.45 am. We had ordered breakfast in advance the previous day and we devoured the akki rotti, ragi rotti and shavige bath that was served. After some hot coffee we headed out to explore around backwaters of KRS.
KRS Dam and KRS backwaters
Our first point of call was KRS dam view point, from where we could see that few of the dam gates were open. CSK knew of a mud road that would take us close to the dam and we decided to drive there to get a closer look at the dam.
After spending some time enjoying the beauty of KRS, we headed towards Sagarkatte bridge but decided to take the roads that edge around the dam backwaters. Words can’t describe the beauty of green fields on one side and blue grey waters of KRS on the other. We stopped many many times to enjoy the beauty around and click a few pics for posterity.
We ended up at Sagarkatte bridge after a long winding, peaceful drive through some bad and worse roads. After enjoying the intermingling of brown monsoon fed Cauvery waters with steel grey waters of lakshmana teertha we decided to head to the hills and settle down for some quiet time. All this while, swollen monsoon clouds kept drifting through the skies and the cold wind from the hills swirled around us and welcomed us with its effervescent embrace.
From Sagarkatte, we quickly got onto Madikeri roads and took the deviation towards Gonikoppa after Hunsur. We crossed the small section of Nagarhole forest and took the right at Thithimati to head towards Polibetta. The twisting winding sections through coffee plantations was a welcome change after the urban confines of home and we enjoyed our drive to Coorg Cliffs.
Coorg Cliffs Resort
We had zeroed in on Coorg Cliffs because of its location, views and it did not disappoint. Added bonus was the food, which was absolutely lip smacking. As we had gone in for the all-inclusive plan, we really did not have to worry about food and I am pretty sure that I have put on a couple of kgs over the weekend. The standout dish for me was the Shahi tukada, which was crisp, sweet and perfect!
Over the next two days the sound of birds, frogs and cicadas battled with our banter and ribbing. Wave after wave of Monsoon clouds buffeted our rooms and we ended up wrapping ourselves in many layers of warm clothes. There is nothing better than good food, great company and amazing views to make one relax and enjoy the small things in life. Most of us ended up doing nothing on 15th Aug, except for CSK and family, who did visit Harangi dam (all gates were open) and Chiklihole dam.
After a heavy breakfast on 16th Aug, we bid adieu to Coorg Cliffs at 12.30 pm and reached Thotada Mane for lunch at 2.30 pm. South Indian meals and gobi parathas were polished off by 4 hungry families and we bid adieu. I decided to take my usual Nagamangala – Nelamangala route home as the traffic on Mysore road seemed close to pre covid level weekend traffic. All the others headed back home via mysore road. Thotada Mane to Swati delicacy was an hour and after a quick pit stop for coffee, we headed home. Thus ended the first weekend getaway of 2020 and I am hoping for a few more over the next few months.
Quick note on precautions – Given the current situation, all resort staff were wearing gloves and face masks. Sanitizers were used in abundance and the rule followed by the resort is to keep a room empty for 24 hours post occupancy, clean and sanitize and then leave idle for another 24 hours before allowing guests to occupy. Registrations and all other formalities were completed the day before we traveled and contact was minimal. Food menu was shared on a whatsapp group and we had to place order 30 min in advance, post which food would be prepared and served. On the whole, the entire experience was great and we did feel safe but at the same time pampered.
Route and Road Conditions
BLR – Maddur – Thotada Mane: Due to the early morning start, we made good time and were able to reach Thotada mane in less than 2 hours from Nice road exit on Mysore road. 6L work is in full swing and hence lots of deviations and speed breakers on Mysore road.
Thotada Mane – KRS: Nothing new here, usual KRS route with a mixed set of good and bad roads
KRS Dam – KRS Backwaters – Sagarkatte: As we decided to take the lesser used roads, it was a mix of bad to no roads that we ended up driving on till we got to Sagarkatte bridge. But it was totally worth it thanks to the views of KRS backwaters
Sagarkatte – Coorg Cliffs: Good to very good roads. A breeze to drive on especially when you reach close to Thithimati and have to drive through the plantations towards Polibetta.
Return Journey was the same route till Thotada mane, post which I took:
Nagamangala – Nelamangala: Great roads, any day the best option for anyone who live in West and North Bangalore.