That a DSLR camera makes a sea of difference to your life is no exaggeration. My recent trip to the beautiful hill-town of Madikeri exemplified this and more. This was not my first visit. I have been here innumerable times mostly during my childhood. This was were my grandmom stayed for a good 20 years of her life, reason enough for me and other kids in the family to spend many memorable school vacations complete with games and story-telling. Little would I have known then that my fairy tale land would one day turn to a photographic haven.
I woke up early one Sunday morning before the crack of dawn to trek all the way to Raja’s Seat, Madikeri’s most famous tourist spot. The idea was to capture the sunrise but sadly I was a tad late. However, the walk uphill made up for the disappointment in a large way. The air was filled with a mélange of fragrances. The faint drizzle added to the romance of the surroundings. Every now and then Magpie Robins broke into a song. At a distance the rooster crowed, “kookra-a-koo ku”, not once but thrice. There were so many sparrows chirping around. The road was lined with dwellings large and small, some old others trendy. All along, there were narrow mud roads wet because of the incessant drizzles. The 4-km walk was simply out of the world. And to add to all the nature’s treats was a soft-as-satin breeze blowing against my face.
I looked everywhere except at my watch so I wouldn’t be able to say for how long I had walked before I eventually reached Raja’s Seat. There were a lot of people at the park. I could see joggers, walkers, and a lot of tourists. The flowers were wet and looked fresh and pretty. They stood out against the lush greenery. Birds chirped and sang in concert.
As I approached the Raja’s Seat, the air smelt sweeter. The sight of clouds kissing the mountains was breathtaking. Once upon a time, this was where the erstwhile Rajas of Kodagu (Coorg) spent a lot of time enjoying nature and watching the emerald mountains and blue skies.
A group of tourists had completely let their hair down running around trying to catch each other, some others were playing musical chair and then there was a group tugging at each others shirts and saree pallus reciting “Fire in the Mountain, run run run …”. Perhaps the beauty of the surroundings had driven them nuts.
A good half-an-hour later, I made my way back. This time my walk was downhill. The experience was similar to my walk uphill. I felt like in heaven.
A week later, the songs of the magpie robins linger in my mind. I can still smell the fragrances of the flowers. The mountains of Coorg are a great place to be in summer!