A Road Trip to Masinagudi – A Much Needed Respite From City Life

I have been craving a weekend getaway for a while now and when talks of a trip to Masinagudi was brewing, I knew that I had to go.

Deriving its name from the famous Masani Ammam temple located in the hilly terrains of the city, Masinagudi is a small hill station in the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu and one of the five regions in Mudumalai National Park. Due to its proximity to Ooty (roughly 30 km), Masinagudi is widely visited by tourists of all kinds.

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A Road Trip to One of the Lesser Known Hill Stations – Valparai

While coming back from Kodaikanal, we took a detour towards Valparai, a tiny hill station in the Coimbatore district to Tamil Nadu. It is often dubbed as the ‘Seventh Heaven’ of those who desire to visit hill stations like Ooty, Kodaikanal, andCoorg but are dismayed by the upsurge of the footfall of tourists in those places.

The road from Kodaikanal to Valparai is very scenic with 40 hairpin bends on the way up to Valparai from Aliyar. You can see the forest giving way to plantations as you reach the town.

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A Road Trip to Kodaikanal – The Princess of Hill Stations

Last summer I went to Kodaikanal with my college friends just to get away from my mundane life. Back then my parents were looking for a suitable groom for me and I was a little frustrated with the search. Kodaikanal was a welcome break for me.

Located in the hills of Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal is often referred to as the “Princess of Hill Stations” and for good reasons. The word “Kodaikanal” loosely means “The Gift of the Forest” which it undoubtedly is. Kodaikanal every year attracts lot of tourists, who are looking for an escape from their mundane lives.

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Top 5 Offbeat Honeymoon Destinations in India in 2018

Sometime, we want to visit an offbeat place to spend some quality time with our partners where nobody but the sweets voices of birds will wake you up or where you can walk for miles on the cool sandy beaches under moonlight. It’s high time that we start exploring the emerging offbeat places in India. They offer the much deserved peace, serenity and tranquility amidst the playful waves or the dreamlike mountains topped with snow.

1. Daman and Diu

Daman and Diu Union territory is situated on the west coast of India surrounded by the Arabian Sea. The striking location of this marvelous place is blessed with sun, sand and sea. Just like Goa, Portuguese has left incredible influence on Daman and Diu. You will be in for an adventure for your life time.

Daman and Diu

Best time to Visit Daman & Diu: October to March

2. Leh – Ladakh

Leh is the largest town in Ladakh which is a region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. No words can come near in describing the beauty of this place. This is a very famous destination for those who love remote adventure spot for many outdoor activities that pump adrenaline into the brain. Ladakh is a stretch of null vegetation hills, rugged mountain passes, thick snow, monasteries and clear water bodies that usually stands as chunk of ice.

Leh Ladakh

Best Time to Visit Leh – Ladakh: June to Sept

3. Lakswadweep

The underwater view at Lakshadweep is kaleidoscopic and awe-inspiring. The lagoon offers excellent potential for water sports like swimming, wind-surfing, diving, snorkeling and kayaking. No wonder, Lakshadweep is fast becoming India’s one of its kind adventure location.

Lakswadeep

Best Time to Visit Lakshadweep: October to mid-May

4. Tawang

Tawang is a mountain town in Asia. India considers it to be part of the state of Arunachal Pradesh, while China claims it as part of South Tibet. And Yes, Inner line permits are required for visitors to visit Arunachal Pradesh. Tawang is a place which will flatter you with its natural beauty wrapped in the scent of spirituality. The beautiful orchid sanctuary and the Tipi Orchid Sanctuary is also an ideal place for your list of places to visit.

Tawang

Best Time to Visit Tawang: March, April, May, June, September and October.

5. Majuli

A treasure trove of natural beauty and diverse history, Assam is one of the least explored regions in the country, lending it an immaculate, untouched aura that will allure you. Majuli is one such treasure in Assam. Majuli is a lush green environment-friendly, pristine and pollution free fresh water island in the river Brahmaputra, just 20 km from the Jorhat city.

Majuli

Best Time to Visit Assam: July to March

Can this offbeat places become your Honeymoon destinations in India? I would say yes! So what are you waiting for, visit this places soon. And if you already have visited any of this amazing places, do drop me a Comment and Subscribe!

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Top 5 Offbeat Honeymoon Destinations in India

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Coonoor – Serenity at its best!

My parents were in town so, we decided Coonoor to be the next destination for our family trip. Coonoor is one of the most famous hill stations of the Nilgiri hills, because it offers breathtaking views of the lush green hills and is located at a distance of 19 km away from Ooty. I have already been to Ooty before, so we decided to keep this trip strictly to Coonoor. more “Coonoor – Serenity at its best!”

Coorg – Scotland of India

Coorg is often referred to as the ‘Scotland of India’ and for pretty good reasons. Set amidst the beauty and calmness of hills, vegetation, and deep valleys, Coorg is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. The hill station attracts travelers from different parts of the country and even from abroad.

Kodagu Valley

Travel Options

By Air:

The nearest domestic airport is the Mangalore International Airport, about 160 kms away. The nearest international airport is in Bengalore, which is approximately 265 kms away.

By Bus:

If you want to take the bus, there are K.S.R.T.C deluxe buses, which run daily from Bengalore, Mysore and Mangalore.

By Train:

The nearest railway station is in Mysore, which is about 95 kms away.

By Car:

The journey from Bengalore to Coorg is a smooth drive that takes about four and a half hours.

The best place to stay is in Madikeri but many also opt to stay in Kushalnagar. The Dubare Elephant Camp is near to Kushalnagar but all other major tourist spots are in Madikeri.

Following are some of the places we visited in our 2 days trip in the district:

Nisargadhama: We started early on Saturday morning and visited first Nisargadhama on our way to our home stay in Madikeri. On entering this place with an entrance fee of Rs 10 per person, you will be greeted by a hanging bridge, which a prime location of selfies at this spot. Nisargadhama includes a deer park, a village themed park, treetop bamboo cottages, some activities like boating and zip lining. Visitors are allowed to get into water at a few shallow and safe points along the river.

River Kaveri at Nisargadhama

Talakaveri: Post lunch, we visited the source of river Kaveri. It is located by Brahmagiri hill near Bhagamandala in Kodagu district, Karnataka. There is a temple of Lord Shiva at the top of the source.

Mandalpatti Trek: On our day 2, we visited Mandalpatti Trek early in morning. This is one of the must-visit places in this region. The view from up top is absolutely breath taking. The jeep ride for 22 kms costed us Rs.1800 and it is worth it.

Though the locals say that we cannot drive there ourselves, I have seen people with SUVs driving to the spot. There are trails of differing difficulty and based on our experience we can chose the appropriate one.

Mandalpatti Trek

Mandalpatti Trek

Top Tip: If you are a trekking buff, you should take the Kumara Parvatha Trek in Coorg.

Abbey Falls: Abbey Falls is a popular waterfalls, in Kodagu, in the Western Ghats, in Karnataka. This is 8 kms far from Madikeri. We hoped to bath here but on reaching, we found out that this falls is closed for bathing. And the once beautiful hanging bridge, is also closed for visitors. None the less, this spot attracts lot of tourists.

Abbey Falls

Sri Omkareshwar Temple: This is a beautiful temple of Lord Shiva. The center of attraction of Sri Omkareshwar temple is a small fish pond right in front of its entrance. As soon as you stop to admire the pond, you will be greeted by Koi fishes and Indian Spot Billed ducks happily swimming around.

Sri Omkareshwar Temple

Raja’s Seat: Post lunch, we visited Raja’s Seat which offers some fantastic views of the Kodagu valley, with mountains and greenery and clouds. It costs Rs 5 for entrance. There is a nearby Toy Train station which is a lovely addition to the attractions of Coorg. The 2 mins Toy Train ride will certainly bring back your childhood memories.

View from Raja's Seat

Toy Train

Namdroling Monastery: Our last day in Coorg ended with a visit to the Golden Temple in Namdroling Monastery. The monastery is home to a Sangha community of over five thousand lamas (both monks and nuns), a junior high school named Yeshe Wodsal Sherab Raldri Ling, a religious college and hospital. We were lucky to be able to observe a prayer session of the students, in silence.

Golden Temple: Namdroling Monastery

Namdroling Monastery

Golden Temple: Namdroling Monastery

With a heavy heart, we came back to Bangalore and to our busy lives. After coming back, I learned about the Dubare Elephant Camp which is very near to Kushalnagar. You can observed the various activities in the camp and stay at the Jungle lodges in the midst of nature.

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