Until 1947, Mysore was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore and was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, except for a 40-year era in the 18th century when Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan were the de facto rulers of the province. The Wodeyars were patrons of art and culture and contributed significantly to the cultural growth of the city, which has led to Mysore earning the sobriquet Cultural capital of Karnataka.
|Mysore Bazaar, discover a world of smells, colours and charming shop keepers|
|The Lalita Palace, Mysore, This Palace is now a hotel and we will stay 1 night.|
|Entrance of The Lalita Palace|
|The traditional Taxi in Mysore in contrast with our modern Tempo traveler.|
|Ganesh Temple in Mysore. Early morning puja|
|At Mysore Bazaar you will have a chance to buy essential oils, silks, sandal, incense and handicrafts.|
The coffee land of Coorg
We arrived at the Green Hill Estate. The trip have been very smooth, climbing the gentle slopes of the Coorg's hills. Upwards, downwards, crossing ample meadows planted with rice and coconut plantations. Bamboo forests growing along the shores of the Kavery river. Coffee is all around, patios with coffee cherries and multi hued pepper corns spread like in a zen garden, to be dried under the blessings of the sun.
The house was built in the XIX by a Swiss architect, in red stone, tailed roof and rose wood. The Verandha is the best spot to have breakfast and inhale the tranquility of the place.
Our coffee was all the time with us
The whole house was occupied by us. We had the feeling to be in a friend house. We set up the tables with candles, put nice music...meanwhile dinner is getting ready, the smell of spices is all around.
Aloe and Eden ready for supper
The Nalknad Palace
Just a few kilometers from the Green Hill Estate, we found an interesting spot to explore. The lesser known temple built in the middle of the jungle at the foot of the highest peak in Coorg, the Thadiyandamol.
The trekking to the top of the mountain is a unique opportunity to see the rain forest in its full expression.
HistoryAfter the death of the Kodagu king, Lingaraja I in 1780 A.D., Hyder Ali captured Kodagu under the pretext of being a guardian to Lingaraja's sons, DoddaVeerarajendra and Linga Rajendra who were of tender age. The princes were sent to reside in a fort at Gorur in Hassan district, a garrison was stationed at Mercara (capital of Kodagu) and a minister (Amaldar) was appointed to look after the administration of Kodagu. The people of Kodagu were angry at the takeover of Kodagu by Hyder Ali and rebelled against him in 1782 A.D. Since Hyder Ali was busy in fighting against the British army, they managed to throw the garrison out of Kodagu and proclaim their independence.
After Hyder Ali's death, his son Tipu Sultan wanted to recapture Kodagu. He moved the Kodagu princes from Gorur to Periyapatna and closely monitored them. However, Dooda Veerarajendra managed to escape and returned to Kodagu. He started to wage battles against Tipu Sultan's army which forced Tipu to send a large force to Kodagu to subdue the king. Tipu Sultan's army was able to capture some forts but suffered heavy losses as well. However, Dodda Veerarajendra managed to recapture the forts except the Mercara fort. He decided to move to a thickly forested area called Nalknad and convert it as a base for its operations. He built the Nalknad Palace here. It was a two-storeyed structure with a tiled roof. Since Dodda Veerarajendra did not have any sons from his first marriage, he married Mahadevammaji in 1796, and this marriage took place in Nalknad Palace. However, his second queen also could not bear him any sons. After Tipu's death, he entered into an alliance with the British to maintain peace with them.
When Dodda Veerarajendra died in 1809, his ten-year old daughter Devammaji was declared as the "queen of Kodagu". However, in 1811, Linga Rajendra, the younger brother of the deceased king, proclaimed himself as the king of Kodagu and ruled the region till his death in 1820. Chikka Veerarajendra, the son of Linga Rajendra, became the king of Kodagu. In 1832, differences began to rise between the king and the British, forcing the king to start a war against the British. However, the Britishers attacked Kodagu with full force and began to make inroads. Chikka Veerarajendra moved to Nalknad Palace which became his last refuge. In order to prevent major losses, the king had to surrender and the British deposed him to Benares. With this, Kodagu came under the direct rule of the British and Chikka Veerarajendra remained as the last king of Kodagu.[
Pepper and coffee harvesting at Green Hills Estate, Virajpet
Robusta cherries ready to harvest at the Green Hill Estate.
Visit to Talakavery, the sacred birthplace of the Kavery river
This is the origin of river Kavery on the eastern slopes of Brahmagiri peak at 1350 metres altitude, about 8 km by road from Bhagamandala.
An enclosure around the spring called Gundige is connected to a small pond beside. The water from the pond goes underground and comes out after about one kilometer down the hill. There are three shrines above the spring and birds eye view of west-coast from the hill range.
On a predetermined date and time of Tulasankranthi every year the spring from Gundige overflows called Thirthodbhava. This holy water is carried home by all pilgrims when they go back after paying the last rituals to their parent or spouse departed during the preceding year.
Young priest in a ceremony
The flowering of coffee
Visit to Virajpet
|Road to Virajpet|
St Anne's Church was built in the year 1792 in European and Gothic styles, under the direction of Father Gullivan.St Anne's Church It is surrounded by vast paddy fields on one side and the majestic Malethirke Hill in the background. This church is also a symbol of Coorg's secular tradition. In the year 1811 it was brought down and rebuilt in the year 1868 with a huge spacious structure. The roof is made of copper with decorated interiors and statues from the Bible. The steeple is 180 Feet which resembles a giant candle.
|Virajpet boys with Montse|
|Entrance to St Anne's church|
|Traffic ranger in Virajpet|
|Jasmine, roses, calendulas shop at the market|
Visit to the coffee curing works in Kushalnagar
|From this godowns coffee is send to Cochin by containers to be exported to Europe|
|The premises are kept always in best conditions|
|This machine sorts out the coffee beans by size|
|An electronic eye grades the coffee beans by the colour.|
|Coffee grading trays|
|There is no machine that can much the human eye to finally select the best beans|
|Coffee being carried to the final bag|
|This tailor stitches the bag with a special sewing machine|
Hand sorting of coffee
|Woman sorting out the beans, the final check|
|It was really an experience!|
|The boat takes us into the wilderness. The birds continue their routine and are not bothered by our silent presence|
The islets came into being when a dam across the Kaveri river was built in the 18th century. The ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali observed that the isles formed an important nesting ground for birds, and persuaded the Wodeyar kings of Mysore to declare the area a wildlife sanctuary in 1940.
Most of the park falls under the Riparian biome, corresponding to the Indomalaya ecozone.
Riverine reed beds cover the banks of the islands, while the islands themselves are covered in broadleaf forests, with dominant species being Terminalia arjun (Arjun tree), bamboo groves, and Pandanus trees. Eucalyptus and Acacia trees have also been planted, which might lead to long-term eradication of native species. The endemic and threatened lily Iphigenia mysorensis of the family Colchicaceae grows in the sanctuary.
The islands are host to numerous small mammals, including Bonnet Macaque, colonies of Flying Fox and common small mammals like Common Palm Civet and Indian Gray Mongoose and the monitor lizard.
The Mugger Crocodile or Marsh Crocodile is a common inhabitant of the riverine reed beds. Breeding water birds include Painted Stork, Asian Openbill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, White Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher and other common birds like egrets, cormorants, Oriental Darter, and herons. The Great Stone Plover, and River Tern also nest here. The park is home to a large flock of Streak-throated Swallows.
|We get as close as this picture.|
|Flying foxes hanging in the bamboo groves|
|The Kavery river|
|The Mugger Crocodile or Marsh Crocodile is a common inhabitant of the riverine reed beds|
|Greater cormorant and open billed stork nesting|
Visit to Dubare, Elephant Camp and river rafting
Dubare is known for its elephant camp, and is a forest camp on the banks of the river Kaveri in the district of Kodagu, Karnataka. It is an important base for the Karnataka Forest Department's elephants.
The elephants for the Mysore Dussehra were trained at Dubare elephant camp. At present, after logging operations have ceased, the elephants have been practically retired except for giving some rides to tourists.
There are opportunities for trekking, elephant rides, fishing, and river rafting. these activities are hosted by Jungle Lodges and resorts. The Forest Department also conducts some treks along well-defined routes.
The moist deciduous forests of Dubare are home to many wild animals and birds. Sighting of wild Asiatic elephants are regular and so is spotting the sambhar and the spotted deer. tiger, leopard, wild dogs, gaur and bears are also seen in these forests. Crocodiles can be seen in river. The forests are also home to many reptiles non-venomous snakes.
Birdlife in Dubare includes peacock, partridge, kingfisher and woodpeckers topping the list.
|River rafting is a great way to experience the environment of the river Kavery|
|Small islet are formed by ancient jungle trees creating a landscape of magical nature|
|A tusker at Dubare|
|Bamboo groves are elephant's favorite environment|