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A less known part of Coorg – Haarangi Backwaters

Stuck in a rut with the mundane lifestyle – same four walls, same directions, same vibes and same faces pushed me out on a weekend getaway from Bangalore.

My cousin called me as a blessing in disguise to give shape to my longing from breaking free from busy life. She invited me to her home in Coorg but hardly did we know that we would make a spontaneous visit to a less known part of Coorg. There was no typical coffee estate or a forest in the hilly roads as I preconceived it to be. To my surprise that evening in Coorg turned out to be a Switzerland as we witnessed vast grassland with backwaters.

The time of my unplanned visit proved perfect to feel a blend of mild rain, chilly breezy atmosphere as the post monsoon rains was in nascence on our arrival. There was a blend of dark clouds in the sky, mild rain and sudden change of weather with cheerful sunshine.

As we arrive in the afternoon to my aunt’s home in a sub-urban town or rather I can say a total commercialised tourist place now with numerous home stays, resorts, we cross Nisargadhama- a delta which is called as island by local people, formed by kaveri river near kushalnagar in the district of Coorg in Karnataka. On either sides of the road we are surrounded by Anekadu Reserve Forest (home of wild elephants). As I stepped into my aunt’s farm house, I felt as if I have come to another world of flora and fauna from the busy buzzing city of Bangalore. Hot and peppery mutton leg soup and steam rice was waiting to complement the weather. What more could I have asked from this getaway than to have this scrumptious lunch that afternoon.

As time goes by chit-chatting, my cousin and I decide to step out as she wanted to be fair in bringing me on a getaway and not to make me feel as mere family visit. A local auto rickshaw comes to escort us to Harangi Backwaters approximately 10 Kms interior through dense forest of aanekaadu from basavanahalli where we were residing.

The dam is built against a small tributary of river Cauvery known as Harangue in the Hadgur village of Coorg and is mostly a combined visit with Cauvery Nishargadhama which is hardly 8 to 10 KM from the Dam. Harangi river originates from the Pushpagiri hills and runs through 50 kilometres of a distance before meeting the main river Kaveri or Cauvery. The dam is located at distance of 9 KM Kushalnagar town in Coorg As the rickshaw gears through the local estates on the either side of a narrow road and dense forest, the driver tells us stories about his brave childhood, encountering wild elephants mid of the muddy pathway then, at a particular spot many times when it’s dark. The drizzle and chillness picks up hard with breeze and we wonder whether it was a good idea to venture out.

The rickshaw abruptly jerks and stops as the driver offers us with fancy coloured umbrellas. We look at him with the question mark on our face and ask him, “is this the place!! There is nothing to be seen here? “I and my cousin were dumbstruck as we could not see anything. Something looked as a white smoked yonder but as we walked a little further ahead through the fog, we were in awe! Slowly our vision cleared to see a vast spread back waters with huge black rocks at the shore surrounded by mountain trees on the opposite side of the water, green carpet of grassland surrounding us. Far across through the fog on one side we could get a glimpse of the dam too. It was indeed a breathtaking moment of my life as I have visited Coorg as early as a child but never knew it to be the way I was seeing it now. It is true that Coorg is called the Scotland of India.

The rain subsides steadily as the sun peeps through the clouds brightening our face and slowly the sky clears. Far across the distance it was scenic to see a bright blue tent in this grass land with bonfire. A maroon robes moving across the fire. When we neared by we could see that it was a group of Tibetan monks camping here for that evening living life free and full with nature and that very moment I just got reminded of the Tibetan proverb “The secret to living well and longer is: Eat half, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure “.Well the population of Tibetans in these surroundings is large as Bylakuppe near Coorg is the second largest Tibetan settlement in the world outside Tibet after Dharmashala.

There were more of locals driving in really rash and wanting to be crazy in their SUVs on this vast grass land probably wanting a change of atmosphere than their routine life. So I discovered that this place is less known to usual traffic of tourist coming to Coorg I had one more surprise moment to witness before we left. A huge colourful rainbow emerges far across the grass land. I had never seen it so full a bow in an open space like this ever before. I sensed a breeze of syncronity rush through me of making the trip at the right time at the right place as if the fairies in that land wanted to bring joy to my heart at that very moment soothing me from the chaos of life. We walked back near the rickshaw feeling fulfilled and content with what nature allowed herself to show us. A gift of Mother Nature.

Details for Visitors

Harangi Backwater Road, Herur, Kushalnagar, Sunti Koppa Hobli, Somvarpet Taluk, Coorg, Karnataka Homestays on the back waters road – coorg lagoon back waters resort. Budget – Rs.3000 to 6000 for double sharing per night.Distance and hour from Bangalore – approximately 340 km of 5 hours of on road travel time.

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