Showing posts with label mysore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mysore. Show all posts

Visit to North kerala- Wayanad

From the time Santanu having classes and top of it exams this month; its really a grueling month for both of us. For this I too was not getting some time off from “Our little one”. There was absolute need of one break. Santanu suddenly said two days before last exam that he is having leave and if interested then we can go somewhere near by. Then he only started reading on net and ended up saying we would go to WAYANAD- Northern region of Kerala. Word of mouth were the major sources of procuring information for undertaking the trip. Being at Bangalore, Wayanad was a good option since it was only about a 275 KM drive away. Earlier he said he will go via Nagarhole forest and return via Bandipur forest. My major concern was about our stay. As with Aarush if we don't look for proper place then journey is not peaceful.
We looked for two homestays one near Nagarhole and other near Sultan Bethary. Looking does not means that we will stay there but then also we sincerely jotted them in MS- word with phone no. and all. I wanted to be sure where I am spending night otherwise I am not going anywhere. At that time he said we will do night stay at Mysore and then early morning we will leave for Wayanad. So took down hotel contact details and address of frill-free Ginger hotel of Mysore.
Since that weekend was long weekend and Saturday was Santanu's exam I was not sure when exactly he wanted to leave from home. Because by the time he will reach home after exam it would be late afternoon. Then also on Friday late evening we packed our things with 'just in case thought.' On Saturday he called me up around noon saying to call those home-stays if there is any availability or not and to be ready otherwise to leave immediately within 1 hr. after he returns home. When I called those home-stays only one was available. Gave a call directly to her for availability otherwise pricing will vary then. Thereafter I remembered its not home-stays we are supposed to stay that night but frill free hotel of Mysore. Later after his exams I called him to clarify those doubts and that time he said no we are going straight to one which is available at Wayanad. I was bit stupefied on hearing that - Was really not sure whether he would be able to drive that evening or not but he sounded quite confirmed in his answer. Oh man! he is so adamant not to make any proper itinerary before any trip.

Finally, route was Bangalore - Mysore - Nanjangud - Gundalpet - Sultan Bathery – Wayanad. We set off on Saturday at 4.10 PM from home and touched Mysore by 7.15PM since it was already dark we missed the signal of Ooty and ended up going to Mysore palace. Luckily, from far we saw whole palace being lighted up. So we made a halt to take photographs. Some open air music function was going on at eve of Ugadi. Around 7.50PM we happened to ask one police-officer the route to Ooty and he was startled seeing me and Aarush saying its too late to go there. Will take around 9-10 hrs to reach and road is not that excellent. And suggested to stay at some hotel at Mysore only. Then we said we actually want to go to Wayanad. Hearing that he seemed to be quite relieved and said road is very good and gave direction to the same. By 8.05 we were in car and in no time were at route leading to Nanjangud. Our excitement was in the air.

The route to Wayanad had to be traversed through the hilly terrain highway. We could not speed up much although Aarush was sleeping but dazzling lights from opposite direction vehicles were very disturbing. We made few more stop - overs to confirm the route and then take-away dinner on route. Crossed dense jungle of Bandipur at night. We had to be very vigilant through out. As this was our first night drive. There are lots of check posts and in one check post Santanu had to get down to give driving license and car registration details.
Lady of home-stay – 'Ente vedu' told me once you reach Sultan Bathry give call for further directions. Route to our home-stay was another 45 min. more from S.Bethary. We had to leave NH 212 and drive on a connecting road towards Mananthavady this road was complete dark and up-down roads with lot of winding we were not able to accelerate more. As it crosses villages there were no car or person on the road. Still we found some night owl to confirm we are on the right direction or not. Her guide "Nash Jose" directed us although we were feeling quite uncomfortable for disturbing them that late. Guidance was with location, buildings on the road sides and also with distance from where we were calling. Later from one point we were not able to figure out which route to take then he came himself to that point to guide us. Really nice of him. This home-stay is located in Panamaram, Wayanad.
In spite of reaching the homestay pretty late (past midnight) he showed us room and other facilities and bid goodnight. That night we were given one big room (kind of dormitory where many can stay together with bathroom but toilet was outside. Thank God we did not need to share with anybody. As all other rooms were booked we got this one and we were told by morning we can change to room of our choice.

View Bangalore - Wayanad(Panaram) in a larger map

Road trip to Mysore

Applied for a whole week off in December as I had 25+ days off to take for year 2008 - this gave us 9 days off with two weekends. I preferred a week before Christmas to avoid traffic and tourist. Initial plan was to leave Bangalore on Sunday for Mysore and move from there depending on Aarush's comfort. Stepping out of the home with him means a disrupted routine and adapting to a new environment for all us. Somehow, I was super lazy on Sunday and postponed the travel for next day. Even while dining on Sunday we were discussing just to be in Bangalore for whole next week or not. Then I concluded the discussion by saying- "we will start tomorrow(Monday) very early morning."

Next morning we could not start early either because of apathy; we started with normal daily practice and by the time we left home it was 11:20 on the clock. Aarush dozed off as we crossed Bangalore city limit and car picked some speed. He woke up when we reached almost outskirts of Mysore. I was driving with comfort as it was 3rd time on the same expressway in a short period of time. Followed sign for the Mysore palace and reached south gate entrance.

We had our packed lunch in the car before entering the palace compound. Bargained & hired a guide to show us the nooks and corner of the palace. Cameras are strictly forbidden inside the palace and we also had to leave our shoes outside as we enter the palace. Without going into details the palace is awesome; well maintained in Indian standard but not up to the mark like those of "Châteaux de Loire". The work and craftsmanship inside is too good which highlights how rich Maharajas of Mysore were. They had natural resources at their disposal like Kolar gold mine, Ivory and varieties of expensive woods to fulfill their hearts wish. The campus also has 27 temples almost at every corners of the compound.
It was dark when we left palace car parking and headed for a hotel. Initial choice was Ginger (new no frill hotel from Tata) as I did not stopped on the way to note the phone number we opted for Hotel Paradise. We were lost in dark while finding the hotel though we were certain we are in the same neighborhood and then a lady Samaritan guided us to the same on her scooter. The room was nice and clean; it cost us about 2000 (san air conditioning) rupees. A old fashioned beautiful hotel with nice view to whole city. The structure is old but elegant. We discovered the well kept and manicured Hotel garden next day morning.
After whole days of activity Aarush went to sleep very early skipping his normal dinner. Around 4 AM he woke up with full energy and started banging phone and other objects on which he could lay his hands. After one and half hours of playing he dozed off as the east sky was bright.
We woke up late; I called a friend at work who had been to Coorgweek before for details. After getting the contact called the same home-stay letting them know - we are coming today itself. This caught the owner off guard as he was not prepared for any visitor during the week but he said he will go to the market and dinner will be ready for us tonight.

After breakfast we picked some necessary things before hitting the road for Brindavan garden; it was already 11 AM. Brindhavan garden is only 15 KM from Mysore but the condition of the road started to deteriorate as we reached closer to the dam. It is just horrible with big pot holes; big trucks carrying river stones are the culprit for the road condition.
Being Tuesday, there was hardly any tourist in the garden. This garden is brain child of Sir Mirza Ismail influenced by Mughal design. The dam was built in 1927-32 by Wodeyar rulers of Mysore on river Cauvery. In recent time, there have been renovation work going on to beautify the garden and its surroundings. Old guest house have converted to Royal Orchid Hotel; kept wondering who goes there to stay on business or leisure. Only thing I could think off was to have corporate off-site meeting there.
After Brindhavan garden we headed towards Coorg via SH88.