The route to Madikeri from Nisargadham is an ascent, driving through winding roads shaded by Bettlenut and Coffee plantation is a thrilling experience. The greenery soaks you up and young hearts are bound to flutter. It was almost a 1.5 hours journey right upto our Hotel Mayura Valley View.
Owned by the KSTDC meant prime location and the best views. This is a hill station and so it was not very warm even though it was the summer season. It was pleasant. We had booked in advance non a/c rooms for the night's stay. They were neat and clean. The front side of the hotel had a balcony cum corridor for an uninterrupted view of the valley. The room had huge windows framing the other side of the descend of the hill steeping into the valley.
The evening sun lit the room in a dreamy gold color. The kid looked an incarnation of the divine sitting at the window gazing down at the lush green valley.
I love this picture capturing the hues of the sunset reflecting on the child's face.
We sat there undisturbed watching the dusk fade into dark shadows of the evening till my sis Charu came into the room after her bath hurrying us towards the dinning terrace. It is aptly the highpoint of the Hotel, antique lamp poles and open terrace on the edge of the valley and sky above you. What else does one need? I was wrong, when hot plates of Kanda Bhajji and tea were brought in by the waiter. One plate was not enough! they had made it my family special way and that was a surprise for us here in the south!! We ordered a second and we still wanted more. When he said that he was not able to offer us more we ordered 2 plates of sandwiches to douse the hunger the kanda bhajji had agravated,Uff !! But they too were good, we found out later the manager had served at the Taj at Mumbai. Humm some connection to the food we love in a new place.
The picture on the dinning terrace was taken in the morning after breakfast so you see the bright sun.
It was 7 pm when we realized we had go to the Omkareshwar temple. It would be auspicious to go there in the evening just in time for the aarti we agreed. It was not very crowded and we got a peaceful darshan of the Shivlinga. The temple is unique in its architecture which is an hybrid of the islamic and hindu styles. The temple reminded me of the temples in Goa and the Konkan. The pujaris looked really spiritually inclined and non commercial. It was night and I could barely get a click of the shadow of the little temple in the pond in front of the main temple.
We returned to our hotel and on the way back stopped to check on the timings when the Raja's seat park would open the next morning. We had planned to wake up in time to catch the sunrise over Madikeri and then walk down to the park for some pure envigorating air.
We returned to the hotel and spent some time playing catching cook with the kid. It has been many moons since I played antakshari, sliding down a grass slope and all the gang things. Pranav made us do all those things. He is a cool kid at times.
Suddenly we realized it was 9 pm and rushed to the restaraunt. They were almost going to close. We ordered a quick paneer masala, alu mutter and rice. The chapathi timing was over by then and we had to make do with just rice. It is less said the better about the food, it was a confused marriage between the north and the south! I had never tasted such rubbery paneer is a tamarind soured gravy, so this was my first! ;)
It was a slightly warm night and we gulped down bottles of cola and sprite to help us keep a fit tummy. We talked into the rest of the night on the cement benches linning the parking area and loved walking on the cobble stones. Their coolness tingling our feet only slightly.
The morning next was spent in the hotel corridors leaning against the balcony and welcoming the Suryanarayan in all its splendour as it lit the sky in picturesque hues.As usual I was silent all the while the intermittent mischief my brother was doing with his wife was also a hindrance. A not so newly wed probably found his wife more beautiful than this sunrise, anyways :P may it last that way. God bless.
However for me it was a moment of oneness that I always seek with nature and the superbeing and it is my unfailing experience to be able to get a certain headiness out of this. I must learn to enjoy that feeling and move ahead on my spiritual path without lingering there too much on the out of body experience bit. Was it real or my imagination of my spirit floating accross the hills swept by the Irshanya winds just like they depict in the Chandamama comics.
I was irritated by some silly giggling of the other four and I scold them that they do not know how to enjoy the experience. I was reprimanded immediately in return. We then decide to walk down to the Raja's seat park.
It's a neatly maintained park for a small town like Madikeri with a jogging track and its again on the edge of the hill with well located cement benches which allow you the pleasure of a maharaja with the Nilgiris at your feet.
The Burshe' Maharajas and Ranis here :P LOL.
(Burshe' is the unclean and just out of bed look in Marathi)
Sumeet was very irritable by then, I did not figure out why till the end of the trip. Sometimes even siblings change and you cannot figure out why. I hope I was not the reason. Never want to be. Intermittently he was smilling and enjoying too like you see in this picture with a gorgeous canine that we became friendly with as we walked back to our hotel which is near the Raja's seat Park.
I am a dog lover! and I wear it on my sleeve wherever I go!!
When I look back at my albums I have atleast one picture with a dog from the place I visit ! is that some trivia about me ;)