Coorg is a place of sheer natural wonder, the path leading from mangalore to madhikeri.. takes some 8 hours by road, and through thick western ghat jungles; the site is breathtaking. It has been a long time since I have visited that pretty hill station, but its memories are ever young and rejuvenated in me. Madhikeri lies at a small height from the rest of the parts of coorg district (of karnataka). The smell changes as you ascend slowly over a period of some 8 hours along the western ghats to this pretty lost place.
Coorgis are not indians, they have their own laws. They are allowed by Indian law to keep guns as part of their culture, they are basically descendants of greeks, if my memory serves me right. They stayed (coorg being the last place where Alexanders army could penetrate in south India). The people have different features, and customs ( I have had couple of really good coorgi friends.. their warrior courage and respect for fellow humans shows on their faces).
The nights here were so clear when I visited it. The stars spread across entire horizon. The night was pollution and noise free. I stayed over at the capital of coorg for over 5 days. In this time, i visited many touristy places.. the chinese gold temple, the kings shiva temple in the city, the tea gardens so abundant everywhere, and some jungle routes. Besides this i went to see the starting of the so sacred river kaveri, from the inside of a mountain (place is called talak kaveri). The place was breathtaking when i visited it. I dont know the current condition of it thought.
Talak kaveri takes couple of hours (i think) to go by road from madhikeri, the river starts here as a trickle (literally) and joined by various tributary sources becomes the massive deity southwards. The road goes till the start of talak kaveri. It is at a greater height than even coorg, the air was so fresh, out of the world stillness, there are some small temples and a kund which is the official start and vision of the river. I saw some locals including a very pretty coorgi lady in her customized saree taking a dip in the cold water tank. I worshiped at the temples and was informed by my driver of a small hill starting up at the base of talak kaveri, which leads up through steps.. its called sapta rishi hill for supposedly the rishis took time off here together to meditate. Not many steps and the view at top is worth it. I go and just sit down for couple of hours, the wind the day i visited was out of the world. It was enough to even blow me away, only one concrete structure at the top.. a small pole which i hold on to, there is no other hill as high as this place and hence there is extreme wind. I am blown away, the wind blows all thought inside my head away. am at peace for a long time sitting and contemplating the scenery around me. The meditation soothes me, and makes me enter an almost alternate consciousness. Everything is as it is, i still remember the indescribable feeling which i had on the top of talak kaveri.
Coorg in an excellent place to visit with ones beloved, though i havent been able to go with mine, i will for sure in the future, amidst thick tea gardens, there are accommodations in coorgi homes as well, with their home delicacies at the offing. too much to resist. The people there have a very different aura, they are brave (warriors spirit still alive in em) and yet peaceful towards outsiders. Something which many cultures still havent been able to do in india.
There is an awesome view to be had in the town's center most part- looking out to the valleys- called raja's seat- the king used to enjoy this view; now everyone can marvel at the breathtaking view of madhikeri.. something not to be missed