Coorg or Kodagu as it is known now, is an astonishing land in the heart of the southern Indian peninsula. This unspoilt“country of million hills, situated on the slopes of the Western Ghats, is India’s coffee bowl. The tiny district in the state of Karnataka is the biggest producer of coffee. Madikeri or Mercara as it was known when it was once ruled by the British, is the district headquarters and situated at an elevation of 1,140m. Dotted with red-tiled bungalows, the town has an old world charm about it. The British who colonized Coorg and set up coffee plantations prior to Independence, compared Coorg to Scotland as both the places had grand and regal highlands with a sturdy mountain-dwelling race.
THE JOURNEY – (Tavant, Year 2006)
We started from Majestic at around 11:00pm IST. The bus was from RajHamsa Travels, and was comfortable enough for us to fall asleep within a few hours of boarding it. The journey was smooth and uneventful. But that didn’t make it dull and boring. It had an element of mystery and intrigue to its credit. We all were puzzled by one of our team mate’s unnatural affinity for his backpack. They were inseparable to say the least. We reached at a place near Kutta early in the morning (at around 5:30am).The estate owner, Kabir Thimaaiyah, came to pick us up – in a tractor. The state of the tractor prompted us to decide to walk instead. It was a good decision. In the 1 km distance that we covered, the sights were heavenly. It was green all around us. And ‘picture perfect’ is not enough to describe it. After reaching the estate, we helped ourselves with piping hot Coorg Coffee.
We were relieved to find that the trek was clear of snakes, wild animals, cannibals and other dangers, though at one point we were really scared to go ahead. Some of us were also thinking to go back, but the bravest of us decided to go ahead and complete it. So, we had a good share of laughs, cries, fun, screams, and of course the pictures 🙂
BESIDES THE STREAM
Amidst lush green land (am I mentioning the words ‘green’ and ‘fun’ too many number of times? If yes, then it is not my fault, given the fact that there is no other word to describe what we saw and experienced. Ok! Back to the topic….), there was a small stream flowing through the rocks. The water was clear and cool. The “guys”* had “soft” drinks with snacks, and the girls, well we too had snacks, and soft drinks. And while most of the “guys” were busy playing football, two members of our team took upon themselves the task to explore the area downstream, and I decided to take a nap. By this time, we were feeling a little tired and so went back to the estate, and I continued with my nap. The rest, I guess, did the same!
THE IRUPU WATERFALL
After the refreshing afternoon nap, we were all set to visit the Irupu Waterfalls. It took us around 10minutes by jeep to reach the place. And from there we walked up towards the Falls. What I remember most about the path is the Rope Bridge above the stream. After reaching there, the “guys” jumped into the water, while we sat there guarding the bags, observing the rocks, the water, and I took this opportunity to study the turbulence of water and its relationship with the Reynold’s number***.
Enacting “Paap ko jalaa kar rakh kar doonga”, “Jal bin machhli, nrita bin bijli”, “The hunchback of Nostre dame” was certainly difficult. But our champions did all very convincingly, though, not all the attempts were successfull in scoring points.
During the Dance-Party, we all let our hairs down (literally), and allowed ourselves to be what we had always wanted to be. So, it was not us who danced the way through the night, but the ostriches, the jumping jacks, the aerobics instructors, the PTIs (physical training instructors), michael jackson/Hrithik Roshan wannabes and many others. Needless to say, it was the ultimate source of entertainment to all of us (to those who were dancing, and also to some of those who were not). It was also a knowledge transfer session in disguise, where we shared tips and know-how of various forms of dances prevalant in and out of this world. Here I should add that most of the credit for the success of this party goes to Vijay Mallya. I would like to thank T for keeping the fire alive and defining the word “Fire Jockey” for us. Also, thanks are due to R for making sure that no one was left out. …
AT THE END..
We just chatted and sang around the cozy fire. And each one of us was wishing that the time would stop. But like all other good things in life, this too, came to an end, and we started our journey back home in the morning..
* “guys” – something that was repeated in the beginning and end of each sentence that A spoke!