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Thread: The Coffee Lands Of India | Part I

  1. #1
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    Default The Coffee Lands Of India | Part I

    The Coffee Lands Of India | Part I

    As per my every year’s customary, it was time for my yet another birthday ride. This time, I was in for a long and relaxing getaway amongst the Coffee estates, and boy! Was I thrilled given the beauty of South in the Monsoons? To keep it very short, it was worth !

    KICK OFF | Day 1

    I started from Mumbai on the 8th of June, hoping for some monsoons to kick in. But, nature had its own plans, and all the way till Gokarna, it was unbearably hot! The only time it was a bit pleasant would be from 2:30 AM till around 10 AM. The Road from Kittur till Gokarna is not that great. Ongoing construction most of the way.

    Zostel Gokarna

    My first stop was at Gokarna, a home to many beautiful beaches. I reached around 15:45 at Zostel Gokarna. Well, I booked this place only for the view, and it did not disappoint me at all. After the tiresome journey, the cliff top view was relaxing.

    Got fresh and left for a quick bite. Nothing could have been so soothing than this moment, watching the calm of the sea waves and the serene shore. It’s a destination worth to devote a couple of days.

    Zostel Gokarna – Gokarna Beach

    Soon after, sleep started kicking in. It was over 18 sleepless hours with ~700 KM riding. I was off to bed by 20:30 as I had an early start next day.
    MADIKERI | Day 2

    Next morning, I started for Murdeshwar – Coorg. And as expected, the weather decided to remain unchanged. It was scorching hot and the humidity made me drench in sweat all the way till Mangalore & further till Pittur.

    80 KM from Gokarnais the Murdeshwar Temple, a magnificent shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It boosts the 2nd highest statue of Lord Shiva in the world.


    The Raja Gopura is 20 storey high and has a lift for which people queue to get a breathtaking view of the Shiva statue from the top. Sat for while in the Temple, but the increasing heat kicked me to move.

    Raja Gopura – Murdeshwar

    Few riders joined till I took the exit towards Coorg from Mangalore. The Ride was nothing but developed cities, construction and usual site till Kodagu apart from the Maravanthe beach road cuddled by a river on one side and Sea on the other .

    As the crooked roads kicked in, I could feel the thrill of the trip building up in me. With the trees and lush green plants, the ride had just got better and was finally giving me the monsoon feels.

    Seasonal garden of flowers and artificial fountains

    Cruising through, losing the time to the beauty of the roads, soon reached Madikeri. It was 230 PM, I was about a kilometer or so away from Madikeri town, and there it was, the first rainfall of the ride. It was such bliss amidst the hot and sweaty journey.

    Raja’s Seat View Point

    Raja’s seat is a view point in Madikeri, which overlooks the vast ranges of hills and mountains. A Serene place to get blown away by the gusty winds. The entry to the place is 10 rs. Spent about 30 mins taking in the beauty of the place, a sip of Coffee and then left for my abode for the next 2 days, Zostel Coorg.

    Raja’s Seat

    Located about 20 kms from Madikeri town, the road to this Zostel is through dense estates of Coffee and Pepper. As I appreciated the beauty along the way, time flew by, and I was at my destination.

    Towards Zostel Coorg

    It is located in the midst of estates, surrounded by tall trees, pepper plantations, and a view to make you a willing prisoner there, one of my decision-making criteria to stay here.

    The rest of the day was to stay put and get a detox. Unsurprisingly, I met many fellow travelers who are a relief at such times when one could use some change after a long solo ride. After a brief exchange I ordered for dinner and waited patiently listening to the crickets, one of many things you don’t get to do in Mumbai.

    Zostel Coorg

    It was a buffet for dinner; and we were in for the feast. We sat playing cards and shared stories of travels, India and international till about 1 AM. After a lot of laughter and a loss in UNO, I called it a day with a final gaze at the mesmerizing stars and the fireflies.
    OFF ROAD | Day 3

    Woke up to chirping birds and a drizzle. The gush of the cold breeze was enough to wake up my sleepy eyes. Took a deep breath and was in love with the mornings there.

    Zostel Coorg

    The itinerary for the day was Mandalpatti (I was most excited about and you’ll know why!), Abbey falls, Namdroling Monastery, Chiklihole Reservoir.

    A fellow traveler tagged along for the ride till Madikeri town. Dropping off, I headed towards Mandalpatti peak. With drizzles and fog, the ride was pleasant as the roads were well maintained, though narrow. I cruised up easily till I hit the Mountains.

    Bound to slide down during heavy rains

    The mushy soil over the roads due to landslides and deforestation was a sore sight. Though the place looked full of trees, one can easily notice the trees vanished in the interiors.

    Half way till the Mandalpatti road junction, the roads were of concrete. With coffee estates and huts, the calmness was hypnotizing and one would get thoughts about spending months at these places .

    Mandalpatti Jeeps

    The ascends to the peak starts with a steep incline and loose soil. Only a little drizzle and the paths were mushy already with no proper roads at some stretches. The trail is narrow with many bridges. Soon reached the Mandalpatti point where jeeps are available for ascend to the top.

    Bigger Pits all the way till the Top

    The trail is not easy and smooth and hence one needs to have a higher ground clearance vehicle to make the climb. Sedans are a strict no, unless you want to see the car bottom scrapped out or stuck midway. Entry here for private vehicle is charged with a mere 15rs by the jeep association, which I skipped and accelerated my way up.

    The bumpy trail with a fall on one side was thrilling. There was none but Jeeps on the path. Mid way, I started having second thoughts to go ahead as the path was getting too miserable for the bike due to a little low ground clearance.


    Took a stop to inspect the tyres and the underbelly, Not a scratch!! Well that’s how your bike compliments your decisions and I revved ahead. Soon I caught up with 2 scooters, almost struggling . Through the pointy rocks and pits, it took me almost 20 min to reach the parking point at the top.

    It was a one of a kind off-road adventure. The rains were compassionate to stay low-key during the climb.

    Mandalpatti Peak Entrance Parking and Toll Fee Center

    There is a 20 rs entry fee to the view point with no vehicles allowed beyond that point.

    A few 100 Meters Trek

    A trek of few hundred meters up, and I arrived at a breathtaking view. I stood there for a minute to take the whole experience in as more often than not, we forget to pause and feel.

    Mandalpatti Peak

    The gusty winds and rains added to the thrill. Dark Clouds were forming beneath the eyes, wandering into the mountains giving a sneak peek to the view beyond them.

    Mandalpatti Peak

    The winds did give my helmet its first crash here . But all is fair to the peace it offers.

    Mandalpatti Peak

    After spending enough time there chatting with few people, clicking a few pictures for my memories and of course for you guys, I started with the descent.

    Mandalpatti Peak

    There is continuous drizzle at the top of the peak and dense fog at intervals, with the mountains playing hide-and-seek .

    Mandalpatti Peak

    The rains did shower heavy this time. It was difficult in the rains, but what’s better than a thrilling bike trail ! With few stops for pictures, reached the main road for a cup of tea with the jeep drivers.

    Mandalpatti Peak

    The next stop was Abbey falls on the way to Namdroling Monastery.

    The rains stopped but the zigzag undulated road had water clogged at some places. Zapp-Zupp –Splash, I reached Abbey falls, which is a bit on the interiors from the roads. There was slow moving traffic due to its popularity. The place is crowded with people and hawkers at the entrance. It’s a 10 min walk through a well maintained stairs and fencing till the water fall.

    Abbey Falls – Madkeri

    There was very little water at the falls as rains had just started. I lingered around for a couple of minutes and took off towards the bike.

    Though hungry, I did not risk eating anything there going by the cleanliness maintained. Not even coffee could lure me there. A few eager kids circled around the bike as I got into my gears. A little chat and I was off to my next stop.

    Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery

    The Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery is the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. I reached there around 15:00. There is a pay and park option just outside.

    Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery

    The monastery is home to nearly 5000 monks and nuns. The place is serene and powerful vibe flows through, giving you a sense of peace and patience.


    I was in-time for the prayers. Soon all the monks assembled at the temple and we went in. Prayers started with drums and chants. Statue of Buddha is 60 ft high while those of Guru Padmasambhava and Buddha Amitayus are 58 ft . The walls of the temple came alive with Tibetan paintings and the architecture was commendable.

    Buddha Statue

    Munching the delicious Kairi slices with a Coffee on the street, decided to skip the lake, rather opted to visit the Dubare camp only to see the site. I had no interest in going inside to see the chained Elephants.

    The road was adjoining the river and the weather was cold. Stuck to the curves of the road and was soon on the banks of River Kaveri. Watch out for the left turn towards Elephant Camp. High chances of it to be missed. The place was crowded with people and cars, hotels and hawkers. The only good thing was the smell of Elephants and the dung.

    Although I did not want to stay longer amidst the crowd, but stayed back 10 mins sipping coffee with a guy who was eagerly chatting with me about my trip.

    Soon after I took off quickly and was at the Zostel in no time. The ride was about 15 km.

    Zostel Coorg

    Got fresh and it was dusk when I settled on a bench with a cup of coffee, watching the sun setting for the day. Rewinding the places I had been too, reliving the moments.

    New faces new travelers, new stories, and new adventures and last but not the least, UNO!! It was soon dinner time ( saved me from another losing game ). Delicious one to fill the belly after a day of almost fasting. Sat back for some post dinner chit chat, and to witness the stars and fireflies which is a extinct sight in Mumbai.

    Zostel Coorg

    The next day was to be in Chikmagalur, and yes of-course a little Coffee shopping before leaving Coorg. Exited, unknown about the new addiction this place going to gift me in the next few days, went to sleep with flashes of the day and the never-ending thrust to ride further, a little more.. a little more…
    To be continued …

    Till then, do check out other bike trips and a whole lot of stuff here…

  2. #2
    Moderator Samarth 619's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: The Coffee Lands Of India | Part I

    Tourlogue Approved.

    Beautiful places you visited there. Off roads are always fun & challenging.

    Waiting for the next part...
    gixxy06 likes this.
    Brotherhood, Rules, Freedom. Xbhp.
    Indian riding = Alertness, Anticipation and Adjustment.

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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Coffee Lands Of India | Part I

    Beautiful clicks!

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    Rusted akshay's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Coffee Lands Of India | Part I

    Well done! Taking the coastal route which is is in a perpetual state of repair and probably will continue to be till I am an old man is not a good idea. The numerous diversions and dust kicked up along with the unrelenting humidity is a complete drag and takes away much of the joy in riding the bike. Nevertheless, you have covered a fair amount of places in Madikeri which are beautiful. My recent ride in Dec 2019 was just passing through Madikeri and an overnight halt. But I relate to you describing the beauty of the coffee and pepper plantations that grow in this area with abundance and being a treat to ride among the plantations, forest reserves etc. I hope you are able to keep up your birthday tradition of riding out somewhere. Thanks for sharing your travelogue with us.
    Ride To Live

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