With a very mildly excited mood I set out to Coorg to explore the wilderness and nature trails that offered peace and quiet from the bustling city of Bangalore. I have seen many cities, the crowd sometimes proves out to be good company, you need people around you, to talk and socialize, to share experiences and encounters, to rewind your own sphere and look beyond that, to inhale the wisdom that others offer so that your own thoughts and feelings are sorted and cleared, last but not the least to share humor and have an atmosphere of mirth around you to keep you smiling and hearty. But once in a while away from all this, the little heart wishes to wander and go deep into the tentacles of Mother Earth where you are connected to nature.
As I reached Coorg and delved deeper into the forest and the winding Ghats that took me on top of the mountain right at the helm of the clouds, nature bestowed its gift upon me. I just kept on wondering looking at the powerful play of trees and clouds, the rustling leaves and winds made sounds to complement each other. One word FASCINATED is all I could think of in Madikeri. The birds fluttered across the sky and the gentle breeze did not leave a stone unturned to enthrall the whole body with its musical charms. Dancing in the nature trails I walked the path of the old villa stay in the midst of the forest where I had booked my stay. It was a 300 year old ancestral property located around 25km away from Coorg in a village called Karada, situated on top of the mountain, so on the top that as the sun set down and illuminated the rooftop of this adorned villa, everything shone to existence, even the wild roses nearby in the small patch garden gave its resting signals. As the day closed the curtains over the mighty aqua marine sky turning it to navy blue, star gazing became a favourite past time. Such moments of quiet get you quick and thinking about life. Keemelekad home stay is a lonely, yet peaceful property situated right in the midst of the forest with estates and lush plantation around that has been practiced for generations. Everything literally talks to you, because there is not a single sound to be heard, except cooking activities, the songs you play, the wild creatures making their tweets, insects crawling up on the wild bushes and crickets enjoying their timely conversations. Once in a while a car or a bike may pass by to deliver necessary items and then zoom off. No pollution is guaranteed at this location because I saw the Milky Way Galaxy and other various constellations right in front of my eyes with effective clarity without having to use a telescope. I explored the nearby waterfalls and the Madikeri fort which were tourist attractions but also gave ample time to relax and just trail in the plantations and a jungle. What is more, staying at the property proved to be a boon as we got home cooked meals, sipping coffee and sitting on a rocking wooden chair in a tree house with just songs for company made my Saturday the best one that month.
One more fascinating feature about this property was that it does not need an AC, there was no wifi, there is one helper that takes care of your basic needs whenever you need him in emergency and the best of all, hot water is there for your relaxing baths or showers even in the middle of the jungle. A huge, classic 19th century veranda encircled the house where festivals might have been held. A loyal doggy to accompany the grand old man that took care of this huge property and earthen vessels in huge quantity were stored in the common kitchen to all. Marriages would have been a treat here with such ample place, greenery, a dedicated porch to hold your ceremonies and antique backyards with rustic bicycles that stood silently against the wall witnessing everything that this property might have gone through.
After all the sightseeing, trailing, wandering and travelling here are the top ten things that you must do in Coorg.
- Star gazing under the night sky with the least pollution on top of the mountain and take a walk around the cocoa and coffee plantations during the night when crickets wake up.
- Do live in a home stay in a quiet village. The charm, the aura and the surroundings of a home-stay are really very special. Coorg has plenty of options for home-stays.
- Visit Abbey Falls or Chelavara falls, it is a scene to behold, there will be lot of tourists, but one picture here and the trek below to the falls is an exciting one.
- Experience the natural beauty in Coorg with blooming flowers of exotic variety at every spot.
- Coorg is certainly a haven of ornithologists as well as bird lovers. It is to be noted that Coorg contributes 25% of the total amount of bird population in India. Thus, it is ideal to plan bird watching in Coorg.
- Drive along the western ghats just for fun in the hills unknown in and around Coorg that offer breathtaking vistas of the greens.
- Wait at a river and take in the feeling of how small you are in front of nature, and such a tiny piece of human living on this planet.
- Run wild into the jungle and go through an open trail without a map or any help, keep going till you feel refreshed.
- Keep away your mobile phones and talk to the locals, they are the best people to tell you, what Coorg offers and has in store, do not follow the mainstream, plan your own little holiday.
- Shut yourself in a treehouse in a coffee plantation and listen to your favourite music.
Recommended are also fish catching, trekking and elephant rides if you love them, especially early morning and evening before the sun sets.
Catch you guys soon with another exciting travel experience.
Rucha Sudhir Khot