Neelakurinji Flower Bloom at Mandalpatti Hills- Once in 12 years

A flower that blooms once in 12 years! isn’t it fascinating? For me, it sure is. Aah! I just love nature. A few days ago, saw this article going viral on the Internet which talks about Neelakurinji Flower bloom at Mandalpatti hills in Karnataka.

I knew I had to go and check it out. On my “Bangalore Girl’s Squad” Whatsapp group, someone posted that they are 2 girls going to visit the Mandalpatti hills are looking for 2 more travel companions. Instantly, I along with a friend decided to join.

In this blog, I am going to share the complete itinerary along with the expenses that we followed which can help you plan your trip.

Mandalpatti Hills is in Karnataka, 11 km from Madikeri which is a popular touristy spot. Those who haven’t heard about Madikeri must be aware of Coorg. Madikeri is 25 km ahead of Coorg.

My Itinerary | 1 night and 2 days

Yeah, it was a quick trip. And also very touristy, which is not so my style of travel but I had time constraints and wanted to cover as much as I could.

Day 1 | Bangalore | 5 am

We booked a taxi and started at 5 am from my place. Took the first halt at Halli Mane for breakfast at 8 am. Trust me when I say, I had the best South Indian Breakfast ever of my life.

Click here for Google Map Location – Kicchana Halli Mane hotel

We had Mangalore Bun, Ragi Dosa, Millet Dosa, Onion Dosa, and Rava Idli, and oh! can’t go without having a Chai. Total Bill was Rs. 460

Next, we took a stop at Nisargadhama at 11:30 am.
Nisargadhama is a delta which is called an island by local people, formed by river Kaveri near Kushalnagar in the district of Kodagu. Entry ticket per person is Rs. 10.

We spent quite some time there and clicked a lot of pictures. Going till the river was not allowed but somehow we managed to sneak. I am not at all encouraging that to do but if you do, please take care of yourself. Don’t go inside the river. The rocks are really slippery. Left around 3:15 pm from Nisargadham.

4:00 PM Reached Madikeri Checked in the Airbnb we booked. Omg, it was not at all resembling what I saw in pictures while booking. Hence, not at all sharing the details of that here. But it was pretty much within budget. We paid 1600 for 1 night. Also, it was very near to all the major touristy spots that we had to cover.
You will find a lot of options to stay near Raja’s Seat, so, check wisely and book according to your budget.

After resting a bit, we left for Raja’s Seat (10 Rs. entry ticket). It’s more like a garden for localities, saw a lot. of people chilling, walking, and jogging. But, the view from there is damn amazing. Just loved it. It is open till 6:30 pm and opens at 5 am.

6:00 PM Left for Madikeri Fort, which is 15 mins walk from Raja’s seat and was apparently closed. The closing time on Internet says 6:30 but it was closed by 6. A part of Madikeri Fort is now a museum and some government office. So, yeah, quite an understandable situation of why it was closed before time!!
You can take an auto till there also.

After strolling around a bit, visited the temple just next to Raja’s seat, had some street food, shopped for some chocolates and tea. Ordered food in the room itself and slept early that day.
Yeah, it was a long day!

Day 2 | Madikeri

I woke up quite early (around 5:30 am) and it’s a norm to go out for a walk early in the morning, wherever I travel to. Especially when I am traveling to a new place and with a group. Some “me-time” is very important!

Went to Raja’s Seat again. I believe that was the highlight of my trip. It was so so beautiful, Can’t describe it in words. Clouds floating in the sky and hilltop peeping, it looked like an island in the vast sea. For a person who just loves the sky, the sight was a pure Skygasm!

It was so sunny at 6:30 am, I continued walking and capturing in random lanes and instantly it turned all foggy. I went back to my hotel at around 7:30. Left again after 30 minutes, walked till Onkerashwar Temple, which is quite far. I didn’t realize that. Maps can be misleading at times, especially when you are in the hills. It showed 500 meters but it was more than 2-3 km. Took an auto way back.

Had Breakfast at Udupi Garden and did some spice shopping. It’s a must when traveling in South India. Prices are a little high if you compare it with other places in South India, for obvious reasons. Madikeri is very touristy. I shopped spices earlier this year in Wayanad, hence could compare the cost. But still, you should get some as they are really good quality.

11 AM | MandalPatti Hills
After checking out, left for Mandalpatti Hills. If you use a map, you will reach a junction where you can get a jeep to Mandalpatti.
Charges are Rs. 1800. It Will takes around 40 minutes to reach and you are given 40 minutes at the top to enjoy.
Ok, just to mention, drivers are extremely rude, they won’t bargain at all and they even treat you badly if you are not a native. Yeah, that’s a problem everywhere in South India for North Indians (this is one of the reasons why the South still lags behind in tourism even after being so beautiful), anyway, it’s more like a taxi mafia.

The view from Mandalpatti hills is worth it! And well, to witness the Neelakurinji flower bloom was obviously the main point of the whole trip.

The valley was painted purple ?
It is said that these flowers bloom once every 12 years. They belong to a shrub found in the Shola forests of the Western Ghats in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Interestingly, Nilgiri Hills, which means ‘blue hills’, get their name from the bluish-purplish flowers that are Neelakurinji.

After coming back, from the same taxi boarding point, there is another route to Abbey Falls, which is a 3 km drive, you can take your own car.
It’s again a beautiful place. Spent approx. 1 hour there in total, started back to Bangalore around 4 PM.

My Personal Tips if you plan to go to Madikeri:

  • Just don’t forget to carry your jacket, irrespective of what time of the year you are visiting.
  • Carry umbrella or raincoats. Weather in the Western Ghats is really unpredictable
  • If you are going by taxi, don’t forget to take pictures of kilometers on the Speedometer. Actually, we missed it and the driver ending up charging extra for almost 100 km.
  • If you are not a Kannada Speaking person, be ready to face some challenges. It’s good to go a little prepared with an itinerary so that the human interaction is minimized anyway.

    I am a person who just loves interacting with locals wherever I travel, be it drivers, auto walas, chai walas, shopkeepers, hotel people and you know, it gives me more understanding about the place but it’s been almost 8 months of traveling in South, It’s safe to say that people are not welcoming here. Not all, obviously but the majority of them. Yeah, just a heads up!
  • If you plan to cover all the touristy spots, it’s better to stay in the main Madikeri town than some estate, I mean, totally depends on your purpose of travel and itinerary.
  • Shop some handmade chocolates, bakery items, and local wine.
  • Go with an open mind, click a lot of pictures, spend time on the roads than your hotel room, and grasp what the city has to offer.

The moment I reached Madikeri, I found the place similar to Shimla in terms of architecture and was constantly comparing. That’s when happens when you are from the North. haha. But by the end of the trip, I realized it’s nowhere even close. It’s different and very beautiful. It’s quiet, calm and maybe I visited on weekdays, that’s why there were not a lot of tourists.

The place is recommended for at least one time visit.

In total, we spent Rs. 14000 which comes out to Rs. 3500 per person (Bangalore to Bangalore).

Well, that’s all. I hope you enjoyed reading this and it will help you plan your trip.

P.S. Currently weekend curfew is there, please check before you go.
See you in the next blog 🙂

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