Posted in Great Escapes, Locations, tagged chikmagalur, Conoor, Distances from Bangalore, Locations from Bangalore, Masinagudi, Nandi hills, Ooty, Wayanad, weekend getaways, Yelagiri, Yercaud on February 18, 2009|
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Some of you must have read stories recently and those living in this city might have felt it too.. Temperature in the city has been rising every year and we are seeing the effects of summer already in Feb. We are also reading about scanty rains this season which would otherwise give us the much needed relief.
Fortunately, there are a few options to help us cool down our nerves. Yes, head to the Hills.
Bangalore is ideally located about 150 – 250 kms from various popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Some of the popular names are Wayanad, Ooty / Conoor, Chikmagalur and Yercaud. These are ideally located about 4 – 5 hrs from Bangalore and has good motorable roads. There are a few more less popular locations like Yelagiri & Nandi hills which are just about 2 -3 hrs from the city.
Almost all of these locations have multiple options for accommodation from regular hotels to scenic resorts and to suit every pocket size.
So, the next time you are looking for a short break from your hectic schedule and want to chill down, just head to one of these locations and of course with a prior booking.
If you have newer locations to suggest, pls feel free to contribute. You can find the relevant article here <http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/The-heat-is-on-and-it-is-just-February/articleshow/4146529.cms>
The majestic Western Ghats
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Chikmagalur is a fantastic weekend getaway from Bangalore – far from the madding crowd and a perfect refuge from the hustle bustle of the city. A couple of old friends and I wanted to experience a ‘good drive’ and spend the night at a place with ‘no mobile range’, a little bit of monsoon showers and nature.
We left Bangalore by 7AM. Taking the “NICE road’ – Kanakpura road – Mysore road route and finally connecting to Tumkur road, we beat the traffic and saved a good 45 min. By 7:45, we were really hungry and ready for breakfast. 20 minutes after taking a left turn at the Nelamangala junction we stopped at a ‘open air dosa restaurant’. The food was fantastic and well rested, we took off again….
I’ve driven around most of South India and I can say that the road we took was arguably one of the nicest stretches to drive on. As you near Hassan and then Chikamagalur, what will strike you is the number of water bodies – lake after lake on both sides made this drive doubly pleasant.
We finally reached our destination – a coffee estate -cum- home stay tucked away in the mountain ranges on the slopes of Mullayanagiri hill (highest peak in Karnataka). Reaching this estate (15 km from Chikamagalur town) was a challenge as we needed to pass through three other estates on slippery monsoon-hit roads. However, the Maruti Swift we were in stood up to the challenge…
The estate is basically an ancestral bungalow that belongs to a family staying in Chikamagalur town. Having travelled extensively, I am accustomed to the ‘star-hotel-service’ – but the experience here was a class apart! There was this ‘caretaker-cum-cook-cum-guide-cum-everything’ who welcomed us with a glass of fresh lemonade and got a heavenly 7-course South-Indian meal ready in no time. A heavy nap followed and evening saw us enjoy estate walks, fresh coffee from the estate, more snacks and a quiet drink. The dinner we had (again a 7 course!) was definitely the best I’ve had till date and the pepper chicken was to die for!
We were off to sleep after a couple of games of carrom. The ever smiling caretaker made masala dosas in the morning and we took leave after thanking him for his wonderful hospitality. I dare say that no 7 star hotel can match up to the warm and honest hospitality displayed by these unassuming mountain folk.
On the way back we stopped near a lake where we saw a couple of water snakes. We also stopped at Belur and Halebidu – another fascinating experience (more about that in another post!). Lunch at Hassan and back to Bangalore by 7:30 PM. This was a perfect 1 night – 2 day getaway. The stay at the estate cost us Rs. 1500 per head, which included 3 meals, coffee and snacks fit for a king and a smiling host, on the house!
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