The massive Toyota's engine purred to life. Hoorah! We were on our way! The day couldn't have been more perfect and the sky was an azure blue with cotton candy clouds floating about cheerfully. That was the glorious morning when our family set off from Mysore on a journey which we will always treasure — a journey to Coorg.

After the twilight, the white silvery fog was gradually disappearing, bringing into view, the majestic hills which beckoned invitingly in the distance.

Soon the level rose to greater heights and the morning wind grew cooler. We were jolted into a ride on one of the most thrilling hairpin bends ever! The air was filled with the aroma of sweet flowers bright red sylvias, candy pink chrysanthemums, purple balsams, tulips and a million different flowers in a multitude of hues.

After an hour or so the fog heralded the arrival of Madikeri. Finally we were there, at Kodagu — the mystical, dreamy land with heavenly aromas and a magical charm that makes your heart crave for more. The mighty, old sathyagra has towered regally surrounding this little, sleepy town nestled in the warmth of the golden sun. We basked in the divine aromas of tea and spices and were entranced by the beauty of the misty, green plantation. Down below, shimmered the magnificent river Cauvery, gleaming under the summer sun.

We reached the hotel at about 10 and had a very early lunch (or brunch rather) that included a steaming soup, fluffy chappathis, spicy paneer curry and mutton biryani, topped with a scrumptious dessert of chocolate pudding. With our stomachs full, we sauntered out leisurely for a walk to the Raja's seat park to bask in those quaint, wooden branches. We were awestruck by the sun lowering its majestic head and the horizon looked like an artist's palette with shades of purple, orange grey and red. We did feel like Rajas!

After a fantastic campfire dinner, we went to bed and the light drizzle pattered on the ancient tiles lulling us to sleep. The next day dawned bright and cool and we went to the Nisargadhama santuary. The bamboo tree houses and the massive, half a century old tusker - Harsha were great fun!

A 15 minute drive took us to the Namdroling monastery. The royal red and gold portals opened into an entirely new world. It was quite an experience to watch the saffron clad monks with their unique customs. The ride to the Abbey falls was quite pleasant (with a tinge of monkey business to it) we sat down by a grassy patch by a little spring for our picnic lunch. Those monkeys had the cheek to run away with my mother's lovely kheema sandwiches!

But the Abbi falls made me forget everything else. It was love at first sight — it was beautiful and the water gushed making noises as it bubbled over the pebbles and yet the atmosphere was serene and calm interspersed with the melody of mynah's.

We stood there, transfixed by the grandiose of Coorg. Finally, we had to bid adieu, but not long because though we departed, nothing can keep us from that quaint old town tucked away cosily in the midst of those old majestic hills. Coorg will always have its same old charm and those divine memories will always linger in my heart.

Keerthi B. is a Std XII student at C.S.I Bain School.

Keywords: CoorgMaadikeri