Day Four: 29.12.11

Trip Start Dec 17, 2011
Trip End Jan 03, 2012

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Crimson Eye Home stay

Flag of India  , Karnātaka,
Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day Four: 29.12.11

mammoth fun: elephants at dubare camp

Most of Kodagu district falls in the hilly terrain of the Western Ghats hill complex with its multitude of valleys, and is bestowed with rich biodiversity. The presence of avian, reptiles, wild animals' gene-pool bodes well and is indicative of a healthy eco-system. 

River Kaveri known as the Ganga of South rises from a spring at Talakaveri about 45 km from Madikeri.

Every landowner, big or small, has coffee plantations. All through our drive so far, we saw almost all the hill slopes under coffee plantations. Occasionally multi-tiered tropical rain forests too were encountered.

Dubare Elephant Camp is 30 km away on the bank of River Kaveri. Basically a center for elephant training, it has now become a tourist spot for water rafting in Kaveri River and elephant ride.

It is a pleasant site to enjoy few peaceful moments  away from home. There is a large crowd of tourists to enjoy elephant ride, feeding elephants and river rafting.

talakaveri - source of river Kaveri

A small spring in Talakaveri gives birth to the River Kaveri, the life-line of peninsular India, about 45 km from Madikeri. It is one of the important centers of pilgrimage in Karnataka. Kaveri is worshipped as it is considered the Holy River of south India, and is often called Dakshina Ganga.

The drive to the shrine is a joy through dense green cover all the way, through whispering vale and dale, rising and falling like ebbs and flows of ocean waves.

It is beautiful drive. The road heaves often to rise but falls back soon after, into valleys. It snakes around several hillocks swarming one after another, rising and falling, the road bracing them, ferns waving, Christmas plants all along on the roadside with bright red petals welcoming us. The slopes are covered with coffee plantations under the shelter of tall palm trees.

We reach Triveni Sangam on the foot of Brahmagiri hills where three rivers – Kaveri, Kannike and Sujyothi meet. It is a large open valley. It is customary for the pilgrims to take holy dip here before visiting deity of Kodagu, Talakaveri.

From Triveni the road ascends snaking through hillock for 5 km to reach Talakaveri. Before it ascends, we have a rare glimpse of multistoried tropical rain forest perhaps preserved for posterity. These hills might have been under tropical rain forests but now replaced by coffee plantations, and retain the dense multistoried cover. And as we ascend 100 meters again, the coffee plantations come in view.

A holy pond has been erected at the site where a spring appears at 4000 ft and water disappears to reappear as a river near Bhagamandala.

As shoes are not allowed in the temple premises, we climb barefoot on well-chiselled sandstone slab stairs with pipe-guards on either side to the hilltop. In spite of the prickly stones, pebbles and sand grievously hurting the sole we walk on along the ridge barefoot and stop at the vantage point to watch the sunset.

Aha, look yonder, what a wonder!

A 360 degrees sweep view of the splendour of the verdant beauty of Brahmgiri hills and valleys! Waves after waves of lush, misty hills, rising and falling, chasing each other until the flow is obstructed far away at the horizon where they meet the hazy sky.

And look at the spectacle of the setting sun at the western sky. Just before sunset, a thin layer of mist or haze slowly glows with shades of red colour, and soon after, the horizon is ablaze in a riot of hues of red, orange, yellow and blue. The entire 360-degree of horizon wears a beautiful colourful circular ribbon of a garland. The colour is splashed with a crimson tint thick and wide in the western sky. The sky was as though waiting for the sun to set.

I am mesmerized by what I see… a marvel of nature … an absolute joy to behold the display of colours soon after sun sinks down and bids adieu. The sky wears a wreath of flame – the blazing red glow of a setting sun.

The crimson-gold flush of the skyline that burst into a rainbow flare, lingers for a while. Its reflection lights up the earth. It slowly fades until wispy patches of colour remain which, at nightfall, become a gray mist hanging on the desolate dark blue sky.

I want to stay glued to my seat on the hill, but we are told the entry gates down below close at sunset. While dusk was still opening scroll of wondrous sight, we had to leave the mesmerizing view. It lasted for a long time, I cannot tell, because I was lost in the stunning display of colours. Every object is aglow with the glow of the dying sun. It was hypnotic and I stand entranced.

The evening magical show is over. Dark blankets are spread all over. Mountain ranges cover themselves in mist. And gloom descends.

It was indeed worth the labour to be here ... 

amid joyous generous gift of nature.

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