Friday 23rd June 2017
Bengaluru to Mysuru
It was the marriage invitation from Coimbatore that made us to plan a visit to the Isha Yoga Complex where this largest bust sculpture of Shiva is situated.
We started our journey early in the evening from Bengaluru. While the ideal route to drive to Coimbatore is via Hosur route, we chose to drive to Mysuru first.
The reason being not that I was closer to Mysuru road but for the sheer pleasure of driving in the Dhimbam Ghats.
With the permission to leave early from office, we left to Mysuru from UB City at 5 pm. This seemed to be a right decision, as we did not encounter severe traffic in the Mysuru road. If we had left after 6 pm, the situation would have been different.
The famous Bidadi Thatte Idli
My little girl came from the school directly. Instead of Burger’s she opted for Bidadi Thatte Idli. I was quite surprised and appreciative. After an hour’s drive, we were in Renuka Tiffany’s near the Bidadi Police station.
There are several restaurants in the junction offering the famous Bidadi Thatte Dili. However, I prefer the Renuka Tiffany’s for the quality and quick service. Moreover, they serve it to the car.
Driving from Bidadi to Mysuru is a breeze except for crossing the cities in between. Surprisingly, the traffic was less than usual in the cities like Ramanagara and Mandya. I was at home by 9 pm.
Saturday 24th June 2017
While travelling with an extended family, it is difficult or nearly impossible to follow the set itinerary. With friends, it is a different story.
Lord Shiva statue at Nanjanagudu
We left Mysuru at 11 am. It is about five hour’s journey to Coimbatore via Nanjangudu – Chamarajanagar route. We had sufficient time as the marriage reception was set at 6 pm onwards.
We almost crossed Nanjangudu and hit Chamarajanagar route, we got a call from a relative saying that there is a delay of about three hours in Dhimbam Ghat due to the road works. They were also travelling to attend the reception.
We were far behind and could not afford to waste three hours on the road. Therefore, we decided to go via Ooty. What an idea sirji!
Our decision to go via Ooty came in quickly. It was worth the decision. I have travelled in this route several times in the past and was sure this is going to be an adventurous drive.
Driving through the lush green Bandipur forest (Tiger Reserve) and the steep curves of Kalhatti Ghat was not only refreshing but also a memorable one.
We came across herds of elephants, spotted deer’s, stags and wild boars. The animals were so used to the traffic that they stood wherever they were. Thanks to them, I was able to capture some beautiful photographs.
The Kalhatti Ghat is one of the two routes to Ooty. It is the shortest route with steep curves and narrow roads. I would recommend that only a highly skilled driver to venture in this road. I read some reports of fatal accidents and major breakdowns in this part of the hill. However, the roads are superb.
We had our late lunch in Ooty’s Kurinji Café restaurant at about 2 pm. The veg-noodles and fried rice was good to have in the chill weather of Ooty.
We did not do any sightseeing in the queen of hill station, instead left for Coimbatore. The marriage reception was more important. Our stay was near the function venue. We reached our lodging in Coimbatore by 7 pm.
To the foothills of Velliangiri Mountains
Sunday 25th June 2017
Next day, we headed to the foothills of Velliangiri Mountains where the Isha Yoga Complex is situated. It is about an hour’s drive from Coimbatore. Considered as the largest bust sculpture by Guinness World Records, the statue of Adiyogi Shiva is in this complex.
It was a weekend and the crowd was huge. The Shiva statue is so big and the property is so vast, even the largest crowd looked minimal. However, the cars parked there were just uncountable.
It was drizzling a lot. There was hardly any shelter except one or two minor structures to escape from the pouring. Though it was a wonderful moment to be in front of the world’s largest bust sculpture in an open complex with slight to medium rain, it was quite difficult to cover the children and infants. However, the situation was not that worse.
The giant Shiva’s statue is near the parking lot but the meditation center is quite faraway. The elders and those carrying children may find it very difficult to walk all the way to the center (from the parking). However, there are some arrangements like bullock carts and vans to ferry them.
We spent most of our time near the statue of Shiva. We had other programs for the evening so had to leave without visiting the main center.
At about 6 pm, we left to Mysuru from Coimbatore. Driving via Ooty was not a good idea as the roads passing through Madhumalai-Bandipur forest closes by the dark.
We drove through the Dhimbam Ghats, one of my favourite Ghat section. Driving through this hilly road requires a fair amount of driving expertise. We witnessed elephants and wild boards here too. We did not dare to stop for a photograph.
It was about 11 pm when we reached Mysuru.
Popular tourist places passed in this tour from Bengaluru – Mysore, Nanjangudu, Bandipur, Mudhumalai, Ooty, Coonoor and Coimbatore (Isha).