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This is the second time I am visiting the golden temple at Bylakuppe near to Kushal Nagar. First time, it was with my best buddy Alain and this year with my wifey. The grand Golden Temple here has a sixty-foot statue of Gautam Buddha, flanked by two other equally grand images of Buddhas. The monastery is called the Namdroling Monastery. Namdroling was established by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche shortly after he came to India from Tibet. We had a good time at the Golden Temple, but I screwed up my camera lens due to direct sunlight which I didn’t realize while taking snaps of the temple.
After spending few hours at the Golden Temple, we drove to Dubare, which is the elephant capturing and training camp of the Forest Department of Coorg. It’s like 18kms from Kushalnagar and is located between Kushalnagar and Siddapur on the banks of river Kaveri. Dubare is a home to many wild animals and birds. Even though Elephants being the major attraction one can also spot the Deers, Bisons, Peacocks, woodpeckers, kingfishers etc in Dubare forest range. Though it was good, we didn’t feel like spending much time there due to the heat. So, we drove to a near by nature park Nisargadhama, also known as Cauvery Nisargadhama which is just 3kms from Kushalnagar and 30 kms from Madikeri. In Kaveri Nisargadhama River Kaveri splits forming a beautiful island measuring 65 acres. The forest department develops this tourist center by providing a hanging bridge into the island, boating, tree top shelters and elephant riding and other tourists attractions. Animals like deer, elephants, peacocks can be found around here. To add to the beauty of the resort river Cauveri flows just in and around Nisargadhama which is really a marvelous scenic beauty. We both really loved the breath taking scenic beauty of Nisargadhama and finally left to Mysore to rest for the night.
After spending the night at Mysore, we drove to Chamundi Hills. Standing as the crown jewel of Mysore, Chamundi Hills is the abode of all powerful Goddess, Chamundi or Chamundeswari. One can see these hills from a distance of about 8 to 10kms while driving to this city of Palaces from any direction. The Chamundi Hills is about 3km from the city. It is at a height of 1065 meters above sea leave and about 800 feet above Mysore city. On the top of the hill is the Chamundeshwari temple that dates back to the 11th century. Goddess Chamundeshwari is an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi who took this form to destroy the demon king Mahishasura. It was a bad idea to visit the temple in the midday. It was deadly hot and we just wanted to get back to the car.
Ranganathitu bird santuary was near to Mysore and so we went there to watch the birds and relax for a bit before we head back to Bangalore. Every year a number of bird lovers throng the sanctuary to see the avian in-habitants of the sanctuary. The sanctuary is quite popular both among Indian and foreign tourists. Apart from home to native avian habitants, the sanctuary each year attracts a large number of migratory birds. Wildlife experts believe that migratory birds come to this sanctuary as far as from Siberia, Australia and even North America. Some of the birds you come across on your birding tour to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary include snake bird, darters, spoonbills, river tern, open bill storks, white Ibis, little cormorants, egret, heron, stone plougher, kingfisher and partridge.