Friday, July 29, 2011


COORG (Kodagu)
Honey Valley – Yavakapady Village Post; 011-91-8272-238-339;; serves as staging point for other hikes; offers longest, most complicated Mount Tadiandamol ascent.
Misty Woods – Kakkabe; 011-91-8272-238-561;; individual clay brick and wood cottage complex on functioning coffee estate.
Palace Estate – Kakkabe; 011-91-8272-238-446;; located just above Nalaknad Palace; handsome, wood-paneled guest house; small waterfall is 5-minute walk.
Sights & Sites
Mount Tadiandamol – highest point in Coorg.
Nalaknad Palace – Kakkabe; ornamentally carved Nalaknad Palace, built in 1791 by Veerarajendra, Coorg’s embattled ruler.

Bars & Nightclubs
Lalitha Mahal Palace – Siddhartha Nagar; 011-91-821-247-0470;; sweeping city views at cocktail hour are wonderful.
Green Hotel – 2270 Vinoba Road; 011-91-821-425-5000;; oasis in restored Chittaranjan Palace; beautiful gardens and good restaurant.
Kabini River Lodge – on Nagerhole National Park’s edge; 011-91-80-2559-7021;; waterfront meals and evening bonfires overlooking river; simple rustic rooms surround original lodge, where maharaja stayed during annual kheda (“elephant round-up”) before independence.
Lalitha Mahal Palace – Siddhartha Nagar; 011-91-821-247-0470;; voluptuous palace built in 1921 for Maharaja’s visitors; balcony has sweeping city views; restaurant should be avoided.
Regaalis Hotel – 13-14 Vinobha Road; 011-91-821-242-6426; only modern, full service, centrally air-conditioned luxury hotel in Mysore, set in 3.5 verdant acres; lovely pool.
Royal Orchid Metropole – 5 Jhansi Lakshmibai Road; 011-91-821-425-5566;; restored 1920s stucco building with 30 rooms; best is 1K square foot “Maharaja’s Suite”; delicious meals and drinks on veranda.
Anu’s Bamboo Hut – 367, 2nd Main, 3rd Stage (Gokulam); 011-91-821-428-8120; home-cooked meals and internet access.
Green Hotel – 2270 Vinoba Road; 011-91-821-425-5000;
Sights & Sites
Amba Vilas Palace – Mysore Palace; 011-91-821-242-1051;; must arrange tickets in advance; in Mysore’s middle; “must see”; architectural style known as “Indo-Gothic,” built between 1827-1912 for 24th Maharaja.
Chamundeswari Temple –; dedicated to Chamundeswari, Mysore’s titular deity.
Chamundi Hill –; climb up stepped path to see huge, 1659 Nandi (Shiva’s bull) statue; at top.
Devaraja Market – Sayyaji Rao Road; sells flowers, fruits, spices, and vegetables.
Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre – Lalithadripura (Ittigegud); 011-91-821-247-7601;; provides casual practice and study.
Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery – in Ambas Vilas (Mysore) Palace complex;; displays 20th Century paintings and photographs.
Keshava Temple Somnathpur – 90-minute drive from Mysore (southeast, past villagers raising silkworms); see densely carved, exquisite Keshava Vishnu Temple, built in 1268, by Hoysala ruler King Narashimha III’s army commander to glorify Hoysala craftsmanship; 64 cells opening on to verandah; 3 sanctums with exquisitely carved idols (Janardhana, Kesava, and Venugopala) and 16 different ceilings.
Maharaja College Grounds – Ramavilasa Road (at Mysore University Sports Complex);; cricket grounds.
Mysore Race Club – Bangalore-Calicut Highway;; open August-October; built in 1906; pretty.
Nagarhole National Park – Kodagu (60 mile drive from Mysore, southwest);; good stocks of elephant live in this 250 square mile reserve. Enjoy boating on Kabini River. [Note: stay at Kabini River Lodge.]
Parthasarathy Temple (Arulmigu Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple) – Singarachari Street (Triplicane); 011-91-44-2844-2449 or 011-91-44-2844-2462;; 8th Century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to god Krishna; temple is glorified in Divya Prabandha, early medieval Tamil literature canon of Alvar saints from 6th-9th Centuries CE & classified among 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu; name in Sanskrit means “charioteer of Arjuna,” referring to Krishna’s role as Arjuna’s charioteer in Mahabaratha; originally built by Pallavas in 8th Century by king Narasimhavarman I; has icons of 5 forms of Vishnu: Narasimha, Rama, Gajendra Varadaraja, Ranganatha & Krishna; among oldest structures in Chennai; shrines for VedavalliThayar, Ranganatha, Rama, Gajendra Varadaraja, Narasimha, Andal, Hanuman, Alvars, Ramanuja, Swami Manavala Mamunigal & Vedanthachariar; separate entrances for Krishna & Narasimha temples; gopuram (towers) & mandapas (pillars) are decorated with elaborate carvings.
Shravanabelagola Jain Temple –; 60-minute drive from Mysore (north); climb hill to see 58' statue of Gomateshvara, carved out of rock in 981, depicting Jain saint who meditated so long, forest plants twine around his legs.
Srirangapatnam – 30-minute drive from Mysore (north); 16th Century fortress on island, where Tippu Sultan builds delightful royal pleasure resort, were meets his end while defending fort against British attack (in 1799).

Soukya – Soukya Road; 011-91-80-2801-7000 or 866-471-0015;; 1 of most acclaimed, holistic health centers in world; 24 rooms; all food is vegetarian and sourced from center’s organic farm; pool.

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