Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Madikeri, Coorg...

Madikeri is a hill station town in Karnataka state, India. Also known as Mercara,
it is the headquarters of the district of Kodagu. It is a popular tourist destination.


I stayed at Madikeri for two weeks this summer. It was an exciting trip. It brought
back sooo many childhood memories. I had gone to Madikeri before with my parents when
I was 6 or 7. Only this time, I went alone.
tied to it. It was tied during my last visit, when me and Rahi were still babies. But we both
remember that time very clearly. Both Rahi and I were insisting on throwing the ropes

x





I flew to Banglore where I was picked up at the Banglore airport by a family who had
known me since I was just a baby. The names- Nitin, Neha, Rahi and Sufi. Rahi has
been my friend since he was born and I was two. Sufi was just a baby when I went
before.

Sufi to the left, Rahi in the middle and Me at the right

We went to Coorg via Mysore from Banglore. That night, we stayed at Mysore.

People run 'home stays' in many parts of Kodagu(Coorg), Mysore and Banglore. Home
stays are where people stay at a house for a few days and pay the rent to the
owner/caretaker. It is like renting a house but only for a few days. This is done so that
the owner can earn money for the maintenance of the house/mansion. All the houses
there, are ancestral except a few buildings and most of the shops. Most of
the common people in Coorg have/work in estates. These estates grow only coffee,
spices, cocoa beans, etc. Madikeri is situated in the western ghats.

Neha and Nitin have a huge ancestral house with a few small houses and trees in the
front yard and back yard. There is this huge tree in their front yard which has a swing
 to the men on the tree while Nitin kept denying our pleas because red ants were
biting those poor men who had climbed the tree to tie the ropes around the branches...😅

Neha and Nitin have many trees like butter fruit trees, mulberry trees, cherry trees, etc.
(the fruits taste delicious!). They also have two hunting dogs named Tom and Jerry.
Tom is the Alpha male of the litter and Jerry is the youngest pup. Tom is majestic with black shiny fur and golden eyes while Jerry has a rich shade of gold for his fur and
warm, cute brown eyes. They both are quite strong. 😁

I made lots of friends there. All the neighbours were my friends. Rahi, Nikil, Monica
(Nikil's sister and my best friend), Sufi, Teja (Monica's and my best friend) and I spent
a lot of time roaming around town with  no particular destination in our minds. We did
loads of shopping.
We visited fairs, We sat in public places and played truth or dare. We ran around.
We bonded so closely people would think we were siblings or at least cousins. We look
almost the same except Rahi and Sufi are smaller and fairer than all of us. We had a lot
of fun. And since almost the whole town knew them, they would just say 'hi' and pass by.
They didn't say anything to us. We did whatever we wanted but we did not cross the
limits. I love them all so much. I love everyone and every part of Madikeri. Later that week,
Neha took Rahi, Sufi, Nikil, and me to get cool haircuts at Kushalnagar.

I got side bangs, Sufi got a chinese style cut, Rahi and Nikil got military cuts.We looked
great. Later that day we played 21 questions and found out we had a lot in common.
Such as our tastes in music, movies, cars, sports, etc...I came to know more about the
Kodavas that day. Neha told me everything about them. Their eating habits, clothing
style, occupations...

The traditional dresses of men and women of the Kodava tribe are very interesting.
The men wear dhotis with a turban and kurtas with short and decorative daggers
hanging from their belts. Women wear sarees with the pleats in the back.



The Kodava language has no separate script of its own. So, it is written in Kannada.
But it is spoken differently. The Kodavas are hunters and planters. They eat all types of
meats. Their food and traditions are a little similar to Gauls as they drink wine and eat
pork at almost all festivities. If you ever go to Madikeri, I suggest you just take a day off
and roam around with no destination in mind. But the toy train, the raja's seat, and the
raja's fort are a must see. If the problem is packing, carry at least one sweater and be sure
to carry a lot of socks, jeans and t-shirts. One or two dresses are okay...Also, be sure to
carry sneakers, trekking shoes or any types of sports shoes and rain boots because rains
in Madikeri lead to mudslides, slushy roads and huge puddles(which are fun to jump in!)

I went to one of my friends estate and it was simply awesome. He had a huge estate with
3 keres( Kere written “ಕೆರೆ” meaning 'pond' or 'lake' in Kannada) connected with a stream.
It had puddles, trenches, huge trees, and was very green...it was exquisite.

Naachi(the friend/owner guy) has 4 dogs named Drupak, Lola, Sheba and Lucy.
I had loads of fun. Rahi, Nikil and I swam in the keres and caught tadpoles. Then we had
a water fight. After that, we watched the movie-Mad Max: Fury Road for some time.
It didn’t matter to us that our clothes were wet from swimming in  the keres because we
were having a LOT of fun tormenting poor Naachi (he has an amazing collection of
instruments!)

Anyway, I REALLY, really hope you guys experience the true beauty of Madikeri and if
you do, be sure to contact me on my email ID: tholakari.refis@gmail.com (you can also
contact me on my other ID: chinuku.medida@gmail.com or on my Instagram ID: tholakari_medida) and share your experiences and suggestions to fellow travellers with me.

Thank you for staying put and au revoir!

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