Archive for January, 2008

I remember my first trip to Kodachadri over 8 years ago. This is a hill on the western ghats, close to Shimoga town, tucked away and totally isolated from civilization. I was on a trek with a group of friends and we were all wondering why the organizer had choosen some unheard of place like Kodachadri when we have more popular destinations like Thadiyanmol, Kudremukh etc.

We left Bangalore and took an overnight train to Shimoga. On reaching Shimoga in the morning, we took a bus to this place called ‘sunkunkatte’ (I think!). We requested the bus driver to stop at the point where most people begin the trek. He was good enough to halt at a path that led into the forest that was located at the foothills of an imposing mountain. We split ourselves into groups and started our treks in right earnest. I must say the trek up the hill through the forest was fantastic. We encountered a couple of snakes, a small bear and a wildboar but thankfully managed to reach the peak without incident. There is a government bungalow that can be booked in advance; alternatively, there is an old lady who rents out a dormitory and charges Rs. 20 for a night’s stay. She also provides fantastic rice, rasam pickle and curd served on a bannana leaf.

Kodachadri surely mesmerizes a visitor! there are certain places from where you can see mountains after mountains covered with lush green golf course-like grass. It almost looks like dunes of mountains dotted by a stream here and a waterfall there. You suddenly are in the midst of a low-lying cloud (actually, you are high up there!) and it feels awesome as it engulfs you into its embrace. Don’t miss trekking upto the peak early in the morning to witness the sunrise. An experience definitely doesn’t get better than this!

I visited this place a couple of times again and each time was better than the previous one. I went during the monsoons too….it’s another experience altogether! the only issue is that at any point in time, you have 5 leaches clinging to your leg!

Kodachadri, in the recent past has seen an increase in tourism, with majority of the populace opting to trek their way up. I’d like to make a special mention of the latest Kannada movie ‘Galipata’ that has been extensively shot in Kodachadri. The place looked so very unbelievable! I suggest everyone sees this movie, atleast to check out Kodachadri at its best! With this movie becoming a runaway success, am sure Kodachadri is going to witness a surge in visitors henceforth. So go on and calm your senses in the beautiful land. Just a couple of pointers though – do not venture out from the main paths without a travel guide and for heaven’s sake, carry an empty hand bag to dump all your trash in. We’ve got too many places exquisitely crafted by nature, but senselessly destroyed by us. Lets do our bit to preserve Kodachadri!

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Goa.. Goa.. Everyone talks of Goa, especially during New Years and why not with half of the urban young trying to make their way to this little piece of land… read Paradise.

Goa has always been one of the hottest destinations to visit for Christmas & New Years. Almost every hotel, resort, guest house & service apartment ((www.greatescapes.co.in)) gets filled up during the month of December despite skyrocketing prices. Our team of escapists got to visit this paradise land from 28th of Dec to 2nd of Jan and got to see for themselves what all the hype was about.

You will find people from almost every part of the country and world in this 50km radius of land zipping around on bikes & scooters that are available on hire. Some who are fortunate get to drive around in their own cars but trust us, u’r much better off on two wheelers to beat the year end traffic.

This year Goa was host to the largest party in India called SUNBURN 2007 with over 35 international dj’s spinning the best of house, tranz and underground music for over 2 days at a beach location in North Goa. It was a different world once you entered this heavily guarded area with two DJ’s playing simultaneously on two dance floors and a third DJ spinning rite on the beach during sunset. The whole environment was electrificing with people dancing and swinging to the beats. Whatever be the cost, it was definitely worth the visit esp if u like such music.

31st Nite was a different ball game altogether with people scrambling to the ATM’s across Calangute and Candolin area and trying to do some last min shopping. Entry to popular disc’s like Copa Cabana, Club Shiroz etc were starting at Rs1500 per head and going upto Rs2500/-. Regardless of the entry fee, most of the discs were packed to full capacity.

While in Goa, we didn’t miss eating at some of the popular joints like Martin’s (South Goa), Britto’s (Baga Beach) & Suza Lobo (Calangute Beach). Take caution to book your table in advance as most of these places are packed to capacity. Before you leave Goa don’t’ forget to take back some good port wine and roasted cashews.

ur escapist

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