Monday, February 2, 2009

Back from the vacation

I am back from a 9 day long vacation. Had been planning for it since days and it turned out to be fulfilling and exciting as expected. I will recommend the destinations, homestays/hotels and itinerary to every avid traveler. Find the details below and get back to me if you need more information.

Pune - Mangalore - Madikeri (Coorg) - Kalpetta (Wayanad) - Kozhikode - Mumbai - Pune

Day 0 - Left Pune at 6.00 p.m. Took KSRTC volvo to Mangalore. Excellent service offered by KSRTC during the journey.

Day 1 - Reached Mangalore at 8.30 a.m. Stayed at Hotel Deepa Comforts. Nice and posh executive hotel very near to the Central Bus Stand at Mangalore. Visited Pilikula Nisarg-Dhama. Had elephant ride and saw a lot of animals in well maintained zoo.

Lioness at Pilikula

Day 2 - At 10.30 took a KSRTC bus to Madikeri. Had done online booking from Pune. Excellent booking system (One can choose the seats too). Reached Madikeri (Coorg) at 2.30. The homestay provided pickup. Stayed in HoneyPotHomes.

HoneypotHomes is an excellent home stay in a 200 acres private coffee and spice planation estate in Coorg. The owners are extremely helpful and cordial. Check out some photos of the homestay and estate here

Our Home at Madikeri

Tree house in the Estate

Day 3 - Visited Talakaveri (Origin of Kaveri River) and BhagMandala. Came back to Madikeri town. Had lunch at "East End" (A must for a foodie). Went to Abbey Falls and a couple of other local places. Saw sunset at Raja's Seat.

Abbey Falls

Day 4 - Left at 8.30 and reached Dubare Elephant Camp at 9.30. Played with elephants in water. :-) Had another elephant ride. Left at 12.30. Reached Golden Temple at KushalNagar. (2nd largest Tibetan settlement in India - again a must see) On a way back visited Nisargadhama. Had Coorgi food for dinner.

Giving bath to elephants at Dubare

Golden Temple at Kushalnagar

Day 5 - Plantation estate/coffee plan visit. Stay at Tree house.

Day 6 - Left in the morning for Kalpetta, Waynad, Kerala. On the way saw Irupu falls. Visited Tholpetta Wildlife Sanctury and enjoyed a jungle safari. Spotted a lot of deers, peacocks, birds, a bison and a barking deer. Reached Waynad at late evening. Stayed at Meenmutty Resorts.

Meenmutty heights is an excellent resort at an amazingly quite and picturesque location. We had a river facing room with its other end on waterfall and plantation side.

Our home in Waynad

Breakfast place

Day 7 - Had a trek to Meenmutty Waterfalls. This is quite a tough trek and is not recommended to be done without a local guide. Spent the evening at the resort enjoying a camp-fire. Saw Slumdog Millionaire.

Day 8 - Went for a walk in the estate. Post lunch did fishing in the stream. Couldn't catch a single fish :-) Had Ayurvedic massage followed by ice-cold "stream" bath.

Day 9 - Left in the morning for Kozhikode. On the way visited Phookot lake. Cought a train to Mumbai.

Day 10 - Reached Kurla at 12.30 p.m. Took a cab to Pune. Home by 5.30 p.m.