This year when my father chose Coorg for our summer holiday trip it was like a dream come true for me. Many Malayalam films have been shot in this beautiful district in Karnataka. From Thamarassery in Wayanad district up to Mercara, it was a true 'Nature Drive'.
The breathtaking view from the heights of Thamarassery is unforgettable. I really salute those people who would have toiled to make a motorable road through this steep hills. As I saw the movie 'Pazhassiraja' a few weeks back , I could visualise the deeds of our great patriot Pazhassiraja who fought bravely against the British, when I passed through the Wayanad forests. Tall anthills and dense bamboo forests are peculiar to this area. The old temple at Thirunelli and the ‘papanashini' behind the temple attract many pilgrims.
As we entered Karnataka, on both sides of the road we could see coffee plantations. Amidst the coffee plantations we could see orange trees and pepper vines too. By the time we reached Gonigappa it was night. It was very dark and there were no streetlights or houses on either sides of the road. We could only find some plantation workers rushing to their homes in the late dusk. As it was dark, we stayed in a hotel at Gonigappa which is a primitive town with modern amenities.
Next day, we started early in the morning for Mercara. On the way we could see many 'home stays'. Home stays are farm houses with all modern facilities amidst the coffee plantations. The fragrance of coffee filled the air. We reached 'Raja Seat' which gives a splendid view of the city from atop the hill. From there we went to ‘Nisargadham' which is again a nature park with lot of bamboo trees and river Cauvery passing through. We could see the bamboo trees in full blooms. Normally the bamboo trees bloom once in 60 years which denotes the end of its life. The tribals used to collect the bamboo rice and store it for tough times to use it as food. From there we went to the 'Golden Temple' and monastery of Buddhist monks situated in Kushalinagar. The huge statues of Buddha, the huge brass bells and the monks in their red attire will give you a feeling of being in Tibet.
As night journey is prohibited in Bandipur forests, we decided to come back to Gonigappa and we stayed there that night too.
Next morning on our way back, we made a halt in a small church for the Easter mass at Tholpetty, a border village of Kerala adjoining Karnataka. At Mananthavady we halted at the Pazhassi tomb and museum. We also visited ‘Pookot Lake'. Boating there gave us a mesmerising view of the surrounding hills.. That night when I went to my bed I still had a feeling that I am in the lap of mother nature listening to the lullaby sung by her.
Meera Simon is a student of Std VIII, Kuttur, Thrissur