The few days and the great time, spent in India since I left Cincinnati is simply beyond my words. You breathe and live a million years, whether you be in Kerala, Karnataka or Tamil Nadu states for that matter. It is a journey which will take you to a totally different realm. The A-380 Emirates flight from JFK to Dubai was elegant, a great aircraft and in a class of its own!
India has to be taken in slowly with ample time required. You can discover a lot, if you have the will, time and resources and if you manage it carefully. The trip to Karnataka and Kerala in particular, were especially scintillating. The trip to Coorg(Madikeri), also known as Kodagu or Mercara was exciting.
The Samudraling Golden Buddhist Monastery at Bylakuppe in Karnataka state was a fine specimen of architecture. The prayer hymns that monks chanted collectively inside the temple still reverberates! The giant bell in the courtyard, the small garden, the turkeys grazing in search of food, at times coming closer to you and the prayer flags brings back fond memories. The Dubare Elephant Camp in Kushal Nagar en route to Madikeri is popular for elephant safaris, multiple activities and its nearby rapids, for river water rafting, a place to visit during season, but not during monsoon or the Dasara Festival. Jungle Resorts and Lodges in Kushal Nagar would be an ideal place to stay with utmost tranquil.
The breathtaking morning mist at the Talacauvery Temple, the equally attractive viewpoint there, the gorgeous Abbey Falls, near Coorg, the Bhagamandala Temple, built in Kerala style, near Talacauvery and the Omkareshwara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva with its mix of Islamic and Gothic architecture on our way back to Madikeri was beautiful, not to forget the fresh smelling jasmine flowers on sale outside. The Coorg coffee aroma and smell of spices in its local shops in Coorg is something not to miss. The Raintree restaurant on Pension Lane is a great place for its delicious cuisine.
Let us a take a glimpse of God's Own Country, Kerala. The first thing which clicks in memory is the time spent in Nileshwar, near Cannanore(Kannur) in Kasaragod District. Bekal Fort, near Kanhangad, less than an hour's drive from Nileshwar(24 kilometers) is a great scenic spot with a pristine beach nearby and the fort itself faces the Arabian Sea. You have accomodations available at Sree Gokulam's Nalanda Resorts and Hotels, Nileshwar, 45 kilometers from Kasaragod. The fully furnished private houseboat nearby Nalanda, next to the National Highway(N.H. 17) takes you on a memorable ride on the Tejaswini River upto almost the Karayamkode Bridge. You can even get a hot tea served along with some cookies. If you stay for the night, you are in for a treat, fish or maybe other seafood!