Mesmerizing, picture-perfect & absorbing are the apt words to describe the small hill-station of Madikeri resting in the Western Ghats. Exhibiting austere freshness & charm, the town comes to life when peeked through the camera lens. But not to constraint the praise, the Scotland of India is as alive as it gets in the calm tropical highland climate. Below is a brief log of our recent road trip to Madikeri.
One can try & be a conventional tourist type here, but it’s totally worth to step out of the vehicle & have a closer look at the roadside traces of nature. The only thought that wobbled around my mind was that everything was at peace. Less commercialized & pollution-free, definitely better traits than any of the hill-stations I’ve been to.
Road Trip to Madikeri
I never expected a hill-station, hidden in the depth of the Ghats to be such picturesque & serene. Madikeri scores high on the scale of calmness with utmost beauty. It almost seems that the most placid virtue of nature is given a place so remote that is far from the sight of city enchants.
No wonder, we planned the weekend just for White Water Rafting in the vicinity of the Dubare forest area. I almost under-rated Madikeri’s presence on my wander list. I’m glad I was proved wrong in no time!
We reached Mysore at 11:45 AM (way past our planned arrival time, thanks to Mysore Highway traffic stroll). From there, our friends picked us up in their Ford Figo & we headed towards Dubare via Hunsur Road. The roads are peaceful when you leave Mysore towards Hunsur, but get a little swampy in the countryside. Nevertheless, the breathtaking aroma of the forests en route makes it up for the trouble caused.
Making our way through the dense Dubare forest, we reached the Rafting spot at 04:30 PM, almost the closing time for them. We signed ourselves in & got ready for a much talked about Dubare White Water Rafting experience. The rafting companies provide required safety gears & instructions so that you can have fun & are safe out there too.
Boat Rafting in Madikeri
They say in the peak season & with perfect river conditions, the waters display Level 4 rapids to row through. However, we were not that lucky as we were welcomed by the rapids of Level 2 & lesser only. Rowing our way through the wild waters, we found ourselves a stable but fast stream.
What next, we hopped on into the water, off our rafts. Nothing could seem better than friends around in the vast wild waters, floating our way into yet another rapid. It was raining, which added to the thrill & adventure.
I have to admit that the Dubare Rafting guides are experienced & highly interactive. The two guides showed us the best rapids, the whirlpools & shared their fiercest rafting tales with us. Listening to them, engraved the will to find even scarier rapids in my next rafting extravaganza.
I can’t forget that moment when one of them came to me & pushed me backside-down into the river while we were still traversing the rapids. It came as shock at first being pushed into the delirious water, but I realized the ecstasy of it once I was down.
Mark my words friends; it’s a heavenly feeling floating alongside your raft in a substantially fast stream in a fierce river that’s set to push you into a mind-boggling rapid. I was lying upside down & uttered the words from the song “I believe I can fly”, as it was the wide blue canvas with raging clouds that I could only see. Experience of a lifetime, that’s what I can say!
Rafting Point to Madikeri
We completed 12 km of unveiling fun ride through the fierce waters of Dubare with no bruises, let alone injuries. All thanks to the efficient guides. It was dark & we had to get to Madikeri where we had booked our hotel. To say so, if our ride until this point was bumpy, the ride ahead to Madikeri was scary.
Since we were already in the forest area, we decided to head along the same route through the forest to Madikeri. Although our in-house guide knew the road, she did seem stranded at times amidst those dark hills. The roads were getting narrower & steeper onto the hills.
It was the darkest night I’d ever seen in the hills. The creeping sounds of nocturnals from the woods & that of raging waterfalls alongside the road were scary enough while we moved forth on those steep climbs. Surrounded by woods with no human soul to be seen till the horizon (if there was any), we continued on our way. I could barely see any lights far ahead.
At times if we saw someone, we’d stop to ask the way. And whosoever we asked for directions on road would be startled & say, “Don’t go this way! Better turn back & take the state highway”. As if it was haunted or something, looked spooky to me though.
To add to the scene, Divya started sharing moments from the recent horror flick, The Conjuring. For God’s sake, the aura reminded me of lost tourists in those Hollywood horror movies who got stranded in distant lands, only to meet the devil keeping an eye on them.
Soon I realized it was lame enough to think so. After an hour-long drive through those creepy woods, we were finally on the state highway leading to Madikeri. It was scarily numb, but it was fun. We checked in at the Highton Hotel, a little food-n-booze routine & we were off for the night.
The next day we were to start our journey back to Mysore. We had a real good breakfast at Neel Sagar Restaurant (opposite Madikeri Fort). For the benefit of my fellow wanderers, Madikeri Fort is converted into the DC office now, so there’s not much to hang around in there.
On the way back, we visited the Raja Seat (a hilltop viewpoint) & the Abbey Falls some 7 ks out of Madikeri. Seeping through the not-so-densely-populated town of Madikeri, I could figure out that the place was picture perfect in all ways one could imagine. At times I felt like getting out of the car & feed the shutterbug for a while.
It was drizzling, so we couldn’t click much but the Abbey falls are a sight to witness. Especially, the bridge they have hung in front of the falls gives an immensely refreshing experience. There’s a mile-long hike one needs to do for getting upfront with the furiously outrageous falls. Worth the effort!
Some random clicks from the Picturesque Madikeri; the Scotland of India through my eyes.
Road Trip to Madikeri – Conclusion
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. It’d take a real wanderer to explore the calmness & beauty of such unknown land. One could travel to well-known over-commercialized hill-stations & experience the wonders of nature mentioned in their holiday brochure. Or one can get hold of the closest traits of Mother Nature & witness the goodness.
I’ve realized that the more you are willing to bend the routine, the better you are rewarded in different ways. We simply had a whale of a time getting close to the spooky woods, the raging waters & the fierce heights.
Get up & get going fellas. Make worth of your time, there’s plenty to do out there. Just find a reason & dig it. And when you feel the energy of willfully achieving your dreams, tap your own back. You’re the winner!
It was my debut white water rafting experience & I enjoyed it. I plan to return to the waters with more enthusiasm in search of higher rapids & never-ending thrill. Talk about wild, try wandering in a raging river on a raft.
I hope the travelogue and pictures of my road trip to Madikeri were of help. If you have any questions or need any other details, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be glad to answer.