Every year, during Diwali, I will always have something to rant about. I’ve done it for two years now, 2014 and 2015. Mostly it’ll be be about all the pollution caused on the three days of Diwali. So, this year, my family and I escaped the madness and the pollution and sound by packing our bags and going off to Madikeri (Coorg).
Even though I have an exam tomorrow, we still went. I decided that I couldn’t stay put in Bengaluru and listen to all the crackers bursting and creating pollution on a global-threat scale. Sorry, Bengaluru, I love you, but I will cheat on you every time this year.
We left early on Saturday morning, and drove the 6-hour drive to Coorg. The place and its people are known for their hospitality, so they have several “home stay” places, where tourists or visitors and can stay in a very homely environment. Our home stay was owned by a man named Somaiah, and it was in a place called Gaalibeedu, 8 kilometers or so away from the city of Madikeri. It was a beautiful place. The huge house, surrounded by their estate and farm on one side, and the other side by a pond and rice plantations. I heard no vehicles and breathed the purest of air. I woke up to the sound of the birds and slept to the sound of crickets. It was absolute heaven. When I came back to Bengaluru, I groaned, not finding the beautiful green outside my window.
That evening, we went to the famous Raja seat, and the Omkareshwara temple. The Raja seat is basically a spot on a hill where the king of Coorg sat and enjoyed the view. And my, my, he had taste. The only downer here was the number of people and their phones. There were too many people, too many flashes and too many selfie sticks. I got really irritated at it and left soon.
We went back home and ate a good meal and slept well. The next day, we planned to go to Bhagmandala and Talakaveri. The drive to Talakaveri was long and winding and tedious but the birth place of Kaveri was beautiful. It was up on a hill and a temple was built there. We went there, said our thanks to the mother who has sustained us for thousands of years and drank a few drops of the purest water ever. Up on the hill, after visiting Kaveri, we stood a view point for a long time, taking all the beauty in. The clouds hug low an passed through us; we could see it on the other side but we felt it near us. The air was crisp and cool and we couldn’t get enough of it.
After getting back from Talakaveri, my sister fell ill, because of a bad stomach bug or something. Earlier that day, my dad was feverish. We got him medicines and the owners of the home stay got him home medicines which worked wonders.
We spent the evening inside our room, my dad and sister resting, my mum watching TV and I reading a book.
And yes, I carried half a suitcase full of books to take photographs with the nature. And I was not one bit disappointed. Check out my Instagram on the right for photos of books! I’ll be saving a lot of them for future use.
There is a place called Mandalpatti, maintained by the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, and we went there in the early our of the next day to watch the sunrise. Driving to the place was the task. Up until a point, we can drive by ourselves, but after that, we need to hire a jeep. Our driver was John, and he was amazing. The road, or lack thereof, was rocky and full of steep ups and downs, and while on one side was the mountain we were scaling in the jeep, the other side was an opening to hell. It was mad, and scary and thrilling.
From the base, we trekked a little higher to reach the view point. Me, wearing nothing but sandals, got scared a little. But I trekked up, thinking of how I did on Kunti Betta and this trek was so small compared to that. I did it, and it was totally worth it.
The Sun was almost up, and the clouds rose with it. It was mesmerizing.
We left that evening, and reached home at midnight. I missed Madikeri already.
More on food, people, city and culture in the next post!