For Bangalorians, Mysore is the weekend get away.They go because…there is madikeri,Wayanad and coorg. It is so popularized now a days..that,reaching kengeri in weekends are a nightmare..Let alone reaching Mysore.The traffic is worst,that worst.!
Going to Mysore also becoming a deal itself..The over speeding cars and so many villages on the way…The accidents….Kenneth’s time there was only a battered Ford Car..And he rode it,so blissfully to Mysore to reach the virgin jungles of coorg and wayanad.
Kenneth himself had visited these areas for a rare hunt of a man eating Tiger in Wayanad..”The Killer of Wayanad” is the book you should read.In his time, the places were lonely..There was a thrill in driving..
Now, every thing is Artificial here…Hundreds of Home stays, So many travelers, Drunken driving…you name it, you could see that.
But, The Nature is still Wonderful..I have very secret places, where i stay.They are still deep in the forest and Most beloved hospitality at very affordable prices.
This time i have gone there, not by my own will..Have designed a Farm house in wayanad for a software engineer, and a part of the site visit, i had to go.
The Client took care of everything for two days.!
KA’S Description of the Place…In his Book, “The Killer of Wayanad”
TO THE SOUTHWEST OF THE CITY OF MYSORE LIES THE HEAVILY forested area of the Kakankote jungles, for centuries the home of many herds of wild elephants that are partial to the kind of jungle that grows in this district. The rainfall is heavy and the vegetation is luxurious.
In my opinion, the state of Kerala, in the extreme southwest of the Indian peninsula, offers a scenery second only in beauty to that of the Himalayas, though very different. It is a land of dense forests, fertile plantations of tea, coffee, cinnamon, rubber and tapioca, and emerald-green fields in the areas bordering the sea; of gently flowing rivers and waterways without number, along which palm-thatched river boats glide
among coconut palms laden with huge bunches of green nuts, and a sea coast without parallel, culminating at the southern tip of the peninsula in the famous beach of Cape Comorin.
The town of Manantoddy, on the Kerala side of the border, stands on the Western Ghats, the range of mountains that run down the west coast of India, almost from Bombay to the far south, at an average elevation of about 4,000 feet above sea level. This district is known as the North Wynaad,
Kenneth Anderson further describes the downsides of this Place in Detail,
“Pleasant as they are in all other respects, these regions abound in leeches throughout the year, and in the rainy season their numbers are enormous. Moreover, that curse of the drier jungles, the tick, thrives in yet greater comfort than it does in the forests of the interior—both the large crab-tick that gives you tick-fever when it bites you in sufficient numbers, and the microscopic jungle, or grass-tick, smaller than a pin’s head, that provokes a small sore wherever it has sucked your blood.
Since it bites you all over the body, in hundreds of places, you become a very sore creature indeed, covered with sores that last for many months. You scratch and scratch yourself, night and day, into a mental and physical wreck”
Okay, So, The waynad story in detail was in his book ” Kenneth Anderson Omnibus” Please read it, as it starts with the traveler (long back) traveled from kakankote jungles to mananthoddy…
The Excerpts from KA,..”Then, across the border in the state of Mysore, preparations were started for the next kheddah operation, in which many wild elephants were to be caught.
Coolies were engaged in hundreds to build the mighty wooden stockade into which they would later drive the elephants before the gate was dropped and the bewildered beasts captured. Much preliminary work was required; timber had to be felled, the forest cleared, bamboos gathered and bound together and then moved to the spot selected for the stockade. This required not only hard work but experienced workers.
Men from the jungle tribes, the Karumbas and the Sholagas, provided most of the recruits, for they were experienced not only in tree-felling and bamboo-binding, but in the ways of the elephants, in driving them into the stockade, and in roping and shackling them and taming them afterwards.
That was when the tiger struck, a second and a third time., before people realized that a man-eater was amongst them. Two Karumbas vanished within three days of each other and the half-eaten remains of the first showed he had been devoured by a tiger.
The body of the second Karumba, like that of the traveller to Manantoddy, was never seen again. There is another way of getting to Manantoddy from Mysore city, and that is via Coorg, which was for years an independent state but has recently joined Mysore. It is a more circuitous route, but the scenery is even more picturesque…
We had traveled over ten miles from Manantoddy and were negotiating a stretch of dense forest; mostly of bamboo, on the Kerala bank of the Kabini river,
when we saw a party of men approaching us, carrying a litter. And this is where my story really begins, for on the litter was a man, his tattered clothing soaked with his blood. The bearers told us they were bamboo cutters and had been working on contract by the riverside, just over a mile away,
when shortly after dawn that morning and without warning, a tiger had suddenly charged upon two of them, in full view of the others, and struck down one, whom it had grabbed by the shoulder and begun to drag away”.
TO BE CONTINUED…