Thursday, October 29, 2015

Madikeri trip was an eye-opener

It had been months of captivity at home with the shackles of mid-term exams of the kids not allowing me complete peace of mind for sometime. So when it all ended and the annual festivities of Durga Puja began almost immediately, my mind, revelling in the joy of visiting puja pandals scattered across the length and breadth of Bengaluru, also pined for the refreshing calm and rejuvenating quiet that only a hill station can offer. There was sudden sickness at home and my long-held desire to run away for a weekend-long respite from the city I've been calling home for much more than a decade almost came under the threat of getting nipped. However all was well just before the long-awaited weekend arrived and a Friday morning saw us driving away towards Madikeri in Coorg district of Karnataka.

Before long we were zipping forward merrily on the highway, soaking ourselves in the special charm of a morning away from the city unfolding before four pairs of hungry eyes. The cloak of negativity recently built around me from frustration at being unable to realize where exactly my heart lay amongst a set of part-time constructive activities I have been engaged with and a series of unflattering recent experiences involving me directly and indirectly fell off from me gradually. The freshness in the air and the sunshine streaming in gently and generously acted as the perfect balm for our jaded minds and exhausted bodies. With a sumptuous, nutritious breakfast from the famous Kamat Lokaruchi in our satisfied stomachs, our car took us through cities and villages and towns and finally on the hilly road towards our destination, gifting us with long stretches of views that our thirsty eyes feasted on actively.

Oh! The temporarily-forgotten beauty of paddy and sugarcane and millets growing in fields flanking our winding path, joy of watching azure sky looking down at us and horizon of forested hills began working their charm slowly on our nerves! What is this magic hidden in these treasures that swiftly replaces the exhaustion and pessimism in the human minds with freshness, vigour and the-usually-elusive peace of mind? I assume it is because our race, uncountable years ago, originated in the forests. The sky was the roof, the trees formed the walls and the kitchen depended on forests and rivers. It is another story that, our ancestors , harassed by the unpredictable weather and threatened by wild animals, got fed up of the regular picnics and changed their way of life. To speak honestly, even now life in the hills is actually not as thrilling as it would seem to city-dwellers, what with the lack of many basic amenities and the excitement of malls and cinema that most city-dwellers cannot think of missing for long.

We had dared to travel without any advance booking but found a decent homestay in less than an hour of careful search. Tea-session over before five, we were free from having to think of our tummies till eight and so, no longer satisfied with charming view of forests through our room windows, set off on a stroll. Through narrow paths adorned with plants and trees, rich with leaves and flowers of varying sizes, shapes, colours and shades, our eager feet took us by a stream and to nerves-and-eyes-soothing stretches of vegetation that grew denser, darker and quieter by the minute. The next day was spent in driving down to Abbey Falls, watching and listening to the waterfall rapidly rushing down mammoth rocks and trudging back again to snatch a glimpse of Raja Seat.

In this three-day-two-nights trip, the icing on the cake was Mandalapatti. On the last day, after an hour-long drive that made half of our family extremely giddy and almost made us all consider giving up and returning to our temporary home, we reached a place from where only jeeps ferry people to the "best" point there for a "breathtaking view" (as the Internet said). My daughter and I, the "easily-feel-giddy-delicate-darlings", preferred to trek in the hills nearby while my son and husband took the rough ride to the "best point". So, while those two were gifted with a precious-thirty-minutes-stay loaded with awe-inspiring panoramic view from the last-accessible-hill, we two were delighted and fully contented with self-paced walk along the rough road alternating with trek on the hills rising next to us. We had the freedom to pause, absorb the beauty of the nearby hills - some carpeted with grass and some crowned with forests, and the lure of the faraway misty bluish hills, admire the beauty of never-seen-wild flowers on our way and contemplating on the changing, enthralling views.

Later, we exchanged our stories of walk-pause-relish the sight and the silence-resume walk-trek-walk AND quick-and-rough-jeep-ride-followed by -breath-taking 360 degree view from the last hill that could be reached there.
Almost simultaneously, I couldn't help but compare the 
feeling of relaxation we were immersed in during the hours we spent in the homestay, watching the forests on the rolling hills or listening to birds' calls with rapt attention AND the feeling of excitement we were awash with every time we went to a new unexplored point in Madikeri!

It was right then that this dawned on me very suddenly - this journey of life too is like this! Some of us prefer to keep galloping and some of us prefer a self-paced walk. The former love to run towards difficult-to-reach-targets while the latter enjoy walking, running, pausing, relishing every bit of this life journey, resuming the walk, sometimes sprinting, and on the whole cherishing the whole set of experiences of everyday living. 

Where does your heart lie - in the charm of sometimes-slow-sometimes-fast journey or in the thrill of arriving-fast-at-the-faraway-destination? Both have their own basket of unique gifts!

(The snaps are not in any particular order).


  1. It's vivid and very photogenic I was transferred there very easily. some photos.

  2. I am very glad that it touched you. I would soon post some photos.