i was away with family on vacation for about 10 days. we covered wyanad, coorg and hassan. we had 2 other friends (with their families) with us on this trip. (for a photo album click here http://picasaweb.google.com/ckguruprasad/TripToWyanadCoorgHassan)
here are a few thoughts/ tips/ ideas i wanted to share with you.
1. when you are planning a vacation with kids, its a good idea to team up with friends who also have kids in the same age-group. makes for a much better quality time and far less trauma than if you were to do it yourself.
2. coorg is a beautiful place with largely virgin, unspoiled landscapes. there aren't too many resorts or hotels unlike in most other 'tourist destinations'. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodagu)
we opted for a 'home stay' with a wonderful couple - geoffery and kalpana muthanna. (http://www.indianbeat.net/index.php?option=content&pcontent=1&task=view&id=62&Itemid=113)
this meant we lived in their beautiful, spacious house in the midst of a 40 acre coffee estate adjacent to the cauvery river. we could go bathing/ swimming in the river. we did not choose the option of 'mahseer angling' or 'rafting'. we were introduced to many plants and trees including the sandalwood, rose wood, coffee, pepper, vanilla, the fiery 'gandhari' chillies, and so many more!
we also went to the 'dubare elephant reserve' which is a training camp for elephants run by the forest department. here you can bathe the elephants, watch them being fed and also go on an elephant ride.
the 'tala kaveri' or the birth place of the kaveri river was being renovated. this is a very important pilgrimage destination for the local coorgis and even tamilians. (http://images.narian.org.uk/image78.html)
3. our next destination was hassan in karnataka. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan,_India)
the chenna keshava temple in belur (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chennakesava_Temple) is a 'must visit' place. the temple is an architectural marvel and the sculptures adorning the temple are exquisite.
4. on our way back to bangalore on our last leg we stopped to visit the gomateshwara bahubali statue atop the vidhyanagari hill at shravanabelagola. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shravanabelagola)
we had to climb more than 600 steps cut into the stone hill to reach the temple at the top. standing at the foot of the 58 feet tall statue is a humbling experience.
all in all, a wonderful time!
and now, back to the grind and the grime of mumbai :-)