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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Talakkad Jaladhama Trip

We did this 1 night and ~2 days trip to Talakkad Jaladhama by road from 1st Oct '14 morning to 2nd Oct 2014 evening.


It was a three meal package we had booked at Talakadu Jaladhama - Back Water Holiday Resort in advance. The resort is about 130 KM in the south-west direction from Bangalore. Here is a Google route map. Talakkad is actually known for a few small ancient temples that were excavated from sand dune covering, and also a few big normal temples that are very old as well. We did not go to those locations in this trip, as we did that in August 2004, you can see the posting here. Jaladhama is located on the banks of Cauvery water and is claimed to be like a peninsula covered by water on 3 sides.

Itinerary

Here is a high level summary of the trip.

01/Oct/14 (Wed) 
     7:15 Start from Bangalore.
     9:15 to 9:40 Breakfast stop at Rathna Upahar Kanakapura.
     [We read Vasu Hotel is good in Kanakapura, but were warned at a wink and miss possibility.
     And we did miss it even after searching around. So we stopped at Rathna Upahar.
     We did spot the small tiny Vasu Hotel during our return route though!]
     10:40 Passed through Malavalli.
     11:30 Reached the car parking lot of Jaladhama boat pick-up point at Mudukuthore.
     11:40 A quick 1.5 min. boat ride to cross the river and reached Jaladama Resort.
     13:30 Lunch at the garden restaurant.
     17:15 to 18:15 High-tea on cruise on the river.
     20:15 Dinner at the large, high-roof restaurant.

02/Oct/14 (Thu) 
     7:00 Morning tea near the volley-ball court around trees.
      9:15 Breakfast on the floating restaurant with live counters.
     11:00 Check-out and 1.5 min boat ride for return drop off at car parking lot.
     11:05 Mallikarjuna Swamy temple, Mudukutore that is located opposite to Jaladhama.
     11:40 Quick visit to Cauvery River beach point.
     12:15 Quick visit to see the river bridge and Bhoruka Power Plant gates view.
     15:30 Reached Bangalore.

Overview

Overall it was a good trip, though a very short one that went off in a jiffy. The highlight of the trip was the different meal and snack serving concept variations Jaladhama offers. Lunch at the open air restaurant around trees, evening high-tea on a short river cruise, dinner at the high-roof large hall, morning tea by the side of the volley-ball court around trees, and yummy breakfast on the floating restaurant. All of that gave that extra bit of novelty, excitement and interest.

That the arrival at the resort is by a boat pick-up to cross the river by a 1 min. or 2 min. ride on the small motor boat also provides a bit of differentiation and excitement.

Each cottage is named after a bird. And there is a small statue of that bird in front of the cottage as well. The cottage itself is designed hexagon shaped six walled block that was nice too, something different from the standard four walled typical design.

All the meals were served as buffet, and there were 1 or 2 live counters in all meals and snacks. Food was generally good. It was probably 80-20 good and bad in terms of taste. For instance, Fish at lunch was very badly prepared, may be it was free for them caught from the river by their side, but the recipe was bad. Soup at dinner was too too spicy and no one could gulp one mouthful. Otherwise rest all food was good. Biryani in the lunch was very nice. Rest of the items in the Dinner were good. All the items in the Breakfast were great.

The place has a lot of open space with trees and landscaping that was vast. For people coming in large groups, it has a lot of attractions to use, like the swimming pool, rain dance (5 pm), dinner time DJ music, camp fire, rope walking, volley ball, basket ball, indoor games, floor painted chess board, on-pay water scooter and boating services etc.

After spending a day / night at Jaladhama, we also visited the Mallikarjuna temple and did a quick stop at the Cauvery river beach spot for a few minutes during our return.

Review: Highlights of Talakkad Jaladama and this entire trip

     * The drive on the Kanakapura route is generally nice with some farms and greenery around.
     * Nice hexagon shaped room with six walls designed nicely.
     * Each meal or snack served at a different location creating variety and making it interesting.
     * Lunch arrangement at the open air restaurant around trees was good.
     * Evening high-tea on the river cruise with live Bajji counter was interesting while looking at the sunset.
     * Dinner at the high-roof large hall was spacious; live counters for rotis and dosas were tasty.
     * Morning tea by the side of the volley-ball court was calm and cool.
     * And the top highlight: Breakfast on the floating restaurant was very yummy and exciting.
     * No staffs looked for money. I gave zero tips during this entire stay.
     * Good amount of trees, landscaping, monkeys, and some birds talking the sound of nature all the time.
     * AC, fans and lights in the room worked fine.
     * TV and intercom phone are available in the room, in case you like them.
     * They have multiple sizes of of cottage accommodations in case you want to select.
     * Insects are always around in such a place of stay. A highlight, if you look forward to them.
     * My son spotted a 3 inches long centipede, poisonous, under the study table in the room. I killed it.
     * When I went to the river side for clicking early morning pictures, I spotted a snake in the water.
     * We also spotted giant spider on a web, snails on the wall, frog near the door, etc. which are common.
     * Housekeeping keeps the open place clean by blow-cleaning, dis-infection-smoking, etc.
     * Electric cars to help people move around within the resort area avoids noise and smoke pollution.
     * Good view from the top of Mallikarjuna temple hillock.
     * The Cauvery river beach spot that offers nice shallow waters to get in comfortably.

Review: Lowlights of Talakkad Jaladhama and this entire trip

     * Resort, though claimed to be like a peninsula, we can see water only on one side!
     * Floors were unclean; may be our cottage was missed to clean after some recent renovation work.
     * Drops of cleaning agents or unclean surfaces were left sticky on our feet.
     * Bathroom had leaky wash basin and a very skidding glossy granite floor tiling that was risky.
     * Cellphone as well as data does not work well; I had to climb to the roof top (warning no side walls!)
     * Had a lot of mosquito menace in and around cottage; it reduced after they disinfected later by evening.
     * Lastly, when large groups are also staying here, you would not have a calm and peaceful stay.

Thanks for your time to read this travelogue. Do remember to leave your comments here.

Read on further... for more interesting details and lots of pictures.

Bangalore to Talakkad and Back
During a drive like this, it is interesting to see the local culture, tradition and living. During the entire drive there were quite a few interesting sights. Here are quite a few pictures to share.
    Small silk growers plucking silk worm cocoons, set up around their houses. Regular appearance of Karnataka tourism's trade mark 'One State. Many World.' yellow boards.

    While going we stopped at Rathna Upahar Kanakapura for breakfast.

    Karnataka tourism maps showing surroundings. Also the Cauvery Water Transmission pipe line traveling along side the road for most of the distance.

    More silk growers along the roadside. Almost all town and village houses having a cow or bull in front of their house. Lady carrying water on her head.

    People carrying their plant cuts on their bicycles. Tractors and cows in front of houses.

    Cow and spacious surroundings around houses. Vast green farms.

    Large house with pillars and verandahs in front. Cauvery river canal crossing.

    Flocks of sheep walking towards their grazing lands.

    More fields.

    People walking and driving 2-wheeler home along with their bull.

    Sugarcane harvested. Paddy fields.

    More tourism sign boards.

    Tourism maps. Farmer plowing the field in preparation to sowing the next seeds.

    Final leg of route after Malavalli leading towards Mudukuthore. Tomato farm.

    More sugarcane trucks. Corn fields.

    Plantain farm. Grain fields.

    Almost nearing Talakkad, 9 KM. More paddy fields.

    Jaladadama seen on the other end of this picture. Harvested plant piles going for distribution.

    Flock of well grown sheep. Coconut delivery van.

    On-road mill to grind their grains free of cost. Cut trees transported.

    Small ponds with some water left. Plantain farms.

    Corn peeling and separating machine in full operation. The next day being Dasara Pooja, fresh plucked Marigold flower sales near the farm itself.

    Corn being dried on the road. Groundnut farm.

    While returning we stopped at Hotel Utsav Malavalli (very good food) for lunch.


    Hot day, 32 deg. C. More farms plowing in full swing.

    Kanakapura's tall brick chimney landmark that is left over after the factory is gone. We finally spotted Vasu Hotel.

    At Talakkad Jaladhama
    The resort had good amount of greenery and facilities that are fit for large corporate groups that are common here. See several pictures below.

    Map and signage at the Mudukuthore junction for Jaladhama, and the parking lot.

    Boat pick-up point.

    Arriving by the motor boat.

    Walk up to the reception via the bamboo bushes.

    The programme list at the arrival hall and the electric transport for movement within the premises.

    The Bul Bul cottage where we stayed.


    The open space, landscaping, gardens, monkeys, etc.

    Open space. Lunch around the trees.

    Lunch.

    Lunch. A big spider web.

    Swimming pool. Rain Dance.

    Rope walk. Garden areas.

    Other cottages. Ladder to the top of our cottage.

    Hexagonal shape of our cottage; warning: no side walls; floor is skidding as well. Climbed up to catch data network and working on my emails.

    Evening high-tea on river cruise.






    Disinfecting smoking operation in the evening around the cottages.

    DJ music. Swimming pool by night.

    Dinner hall, buffet settings, and the food.



    Camp fire by the swimming pool. Indoor games area.

    Snail on the wall. Frog near the door.

    Morning pictures by the river side boating point

    Spot the snake in the water at the center of this picture. More pictures of the morning.

    Blow-cleaning of the premises. Floors in the cottage.

    Calm morning of the premises. Coffee and tea are ready.

    Tea by the volley-ball court. The floating breakfast restaurant.

    Breakfast - Yummy!



    Ready for departure.

    Talakkad local sights
    We did a quick stop at the temple and the Cauvery beach spot.  as you can see some pictures of the street and houses.

    Mallikarjuna Swamy temple located right on the opposite side to Jaladhama.


    Talakkad central place is a very small town, with nicely designed compact houses.

    A local shop in the small street. The Cauvery river beach spot.

    Shallow waters and coracles.

    The bridge across the river and the view of the Bhoruka Hydel Power Plant water gates.

    Trip Tips
    • Cost: A trip like this described here, would cost about Rs 11k for three, plus fuel expenses for the vehicle.
    • Mode of travel: Self driven vehicle helps to stop for looking around the local farming, villages, etc. whenever needed. But I think there are buses that takes people from Bangalore to Talakkad and you have to get down 3-4 KM before Talakkad, at Mudukuthore for Jaladhama boat pick-up point.
    • Season: It is better to visit during Nov / Dec. When we went it was quite warm to hot weather outside. So the AC in the room helped. The morning weather was slightly better.
    • Days: Big groups of corporate bookings are common here. So week-ends and vacation times are highly crowded. So you might enjoy better peace if you go during week days. 
    • Places to see: The sight-seeing spots in Talakkad are popular and very special. We did a trip earlier in August 2004 and visited all those spots at that time. You can see more details of those in the posting here.There are guides all around looking for money. So please take care. 
    Verdict

    Here are our ratings on a scale of 5, 1 being low and 5 being high.
    • Drive from Bangalore to Talakkad -- 3/5
    • Talakkad Jaladhama Resort overall -- 3.5/5
    • Lunch at open air garden area -- 3.5/5
    • River cruise for evening high-tea -- 4.5/5
    • Dinner at high-roof large restaurant -- 4/5
    • Morning tea by the side of volley-ball court around trees -- 4/5
    • Morning breakfast on floating restaurant -- 4.5/5
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    1 comment:

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