PAYANIGA

Travel Blog by Prashanth M

Palace Estate Homestay, Coorg

April 16, 2014 by Prashanth | 4 Comments

With most of my errands being unplanned and with friends, there was no much importance given to booking hotel rooms. Treks were spent looking up the sky, counting the stars and other biking or backpacking trips, it was crashing into a decent enough available hotel room. Last April when I planned to take my family to Coorg, I was lost in deciding on accommodation. Many web pages were viewed, reviews read; but of no help. Finally a good friend and an avid traveller Arun recommended Palace Estate Home stay near Kakkabbe in Coorg.

Though we started morning from Bangalore, it was close to four in the evening by the time we reached the homestay. Cool breeze welcomed us as we drove up the small hill to the portico. The beautiful view of the mountains and forests made us forget our tiredness. Palace Estate, a 50 acre farm, is run by Aparanda family where they grow coffee, orange, banana, cardamom, pepper and many other crops. The next two and half days were spent in the home stay with some lazy walks in the huge farm and short visits around Coorg.

Palace Estate Homestay, Coorg

An early morning view form the balcony of our room

Location:
Palace Estate homestay is located in such a way that it’s so near but seems so far from the noises of civilization. A quiet, remote place which is perfect for a quiet holiday. Situated on top of a hill, standing in the balcony gives almost 270 degree view of the rolling hills & the forests. And you get to listen to only chirping of the birds all around. The place is about 25 KMs from Virajpet and 35 KMs from Madikeri (Coorg).

Activities:
If you are someone who want to leave the blaring city life behind for a day or two and enjoy the peaceful moments, this is the place for you. If you wish to explore the vicinity, you can trek to Thadiyandamol which is just 6 KMs from the homestay. Or go on walk within the farm, visit Nalnad Palace, Padi Igguthappa temple. Or browse through the books available in the small library.

Rooms & Food:
Rooms are spacious with attached toilets. Most of the rooms are on the first floor which are wooden constructions. Open verandah on the first floor gives a beautiful view of the forest range. The kitchen offers home cooked vegetarian & non vegetarian food, clean spring water & coffee.

How to get there:
Located a bit far off from the Virajapete and Madikeri main road, it is advised to go on your own vehicle or taxi to reach this place. Here is the route –

Bangalore – Srirangapattana – Mysore – Hunsur – Thithimathi – Gonikoppa – Virajpet – Kadnoor – Cheyandane – Palace Estate

Near by places of interests:
Dubare Elephant camp, Bailukuppe, Nisargadhama, Abbi falls, Irpu falls, Nagarahole national park, Rajah seat in Madikeri.

Cross posted from my other blog ‘Avalokana‘. I stayed at this home stay in April 2010.

Memories of Mahabalipuram

March 27, 2014 by Prashanth | 9 Comments

First of my many visits to Mahabalipuram was ten years ago. Those were the days when I was not yet bitten by the travel bug. It was a hot sunny day in the month of May 2004 when I got down from the bus – definitely not an ideal time to visit the coastal heritage town. With no fixed agenda, the day was spent roaming around the town visiting the heritage sites – the shore temple, stone chariots, cave temple. I stumbled on these photos after a long time and had me going back in time reliving those days and my visits to Mahabs.
Memories of MahabalipuramMemories of Mahabalipuram

The first visit was followed by quite a bit of short visits – main goal of the visits being to break the monotony. Get ready to office a bit early in the morning, then drive down to Mahabalipuram – either to catch sun rise at the beach or enjoy the it while on the way. Spend an hour or so at the beach looking at the waves & sun and then head back directly to office with a coffee break in between.
Memories of MahabalipuramMemories of MahabalipuramMemories of MahabalipuramMemories of Mahabalipuram

When the wild elephants chased us

January 20, 2014 by Prashanth | 4 Comments

This article first appeared in CLAY – Club Mahindra blog in April 2009 titled ‘A tryst with the pachyderms’.
payaniga_wild_elephants_2Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad.

The sun was setting down. My eyes were looking out of the jeep mechanically while the mind was still at Kuruvadweep thinking about the missed chance in visiting the place. It was my third jeep safari in two days, the first two were in Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary. With Shashank settled in co-driver’s seat, I was all alone in the back. Except for some deer and bison sightings it was getting more like a jeep drive in a remote village. Blame it on the weekend crowd. We had completed almost three fourth of the safari and had to stop because of a traffic jam. It took us few seconds to understand what was happening. There was a herd of wild elephants which were crossing our path. Or to put it in a correct way, we were crossing their path and had to wait for our turn. There were 11 elephants in the group including couple of calves and the leader was standing in the middle of the jeep track while rest of the gang crossed the path. There were two jeeps between our vehicle & the pachyderms looked as tensed as us. We were third in the queue waiting for the way to be cleared while there was another vehicle, a Toyota Qualis behind us (yes, private vehicles are allowed in Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary as long as it’s a four-wheeler).

The elephants took their own sweet time to cross the road while the leader kept an eye on us. The leader was not too happy with our intrusion & noise (engine & hush voices). As if this was not enough, a jeep came from the opposite direction, which meant we – the two jeeps in front of us & our jeep – were sandwiched between a not-so-happy-looking elephant & a vehicle some 15-20 meters behind us. The driver of the jeep who joined the party late understood the situation and slowly backed off. And our wait game continued.
payaniga_wild_elephants_3
payaniga_wild_elephants_1

After what seemed like eternity (it was just a couple of minutes )the captain slowly gave way and started moving into the woods. The driver of the first jeep mustered up the courage and slowly moved ahead. Then the one in front of our vehicle started moving and we followed them. It was not all over but it was time for more drama. It started with the vehicle in front of us. We could not fathom what got into the driver of the jeep for all of a sudden he started honking while he sped away. We were then moving almost parallel to the leader elephant which was some 15-20 meters away and the pachyderm turned towards and started chasing us. I was looking out of the jeep to see the big mammal running towards us. It was the moment, the mind went blank. No thoughts, just void. It was a mock charge to shoo us away from its territory.

Today, the experience is etched in my mind. I’ve had similar experiences of getting blank few times, but this stands first in the list. Whenever I see a photo of an elephant or a video, I go back to my seat on the back of the jeep in Tholpetty.

Year 2013 in pictures

December 30, 2013 by Prashanth | 1 Comment

In terms of travel, year 2013 was a year of hibernation. Year started on a good note with a weekend trek in Western ghats, climbing Narasimha parvatha near Agumbe. Then followed a long dormancy of six-seven months. After that all my travel plans never made it further from planning stage. Remaining months were followed by couple of road trips with the family, a weekend cycling ride in Coorg & Kasaragod, a short visit to Singapore on business and few one day hikes around Bangalore to break the humdrum days of the year. Here are few photos from my dormant year, with a hope of a better year ahead.

And wishing all the readers a happy & wonderful new year. Godspeed.

On top of Narasimha Parvatha

On top of Narasimha Parvatha

Kabbalu Durga

Kabbalu Durga

Makali Durga

Makali Durga

A weekend of cycling from Bhagamandala to Kasaragod

A weekend of cycling from Bhagamandala to Kasaragod

KRS backwaters

KRS backwaters

Savanadurga

Savanadurga

A short visit to Singapore

A short visit to Singapore

Channarayana Durga

Channarayana Durga