REVISITING COORG- Concl.

IMG_4385.JPGRevisiting Coorg -with some last minute shopping to be done, I set out downtown, which is the pulse and marketplace of Coorg. Former glorious days these bustling towns catered to just bare essential ma and pa shops.

IMG_4328.JPGIt’s a far cry now with traffic snarls, narrow roads that intensify chaos amongst swelling crowds.

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The mid-90s witnessed a surge in tourist boom. The verdant forests, cool climate and manicured coffee estates are such an allure to this mountainous district in Karnataka. Home Stays (luckily in and around far-flung villages, coffee estates) and many Hotels (unfortunately around townships) have led to traffic woes and other adversities.

IMG_4372.JPGTourist preferences are indicative in these small towns of Coorg. The proliferation of restaurants catering to tourists from neighbouring states is inevitable. I was beyond shocked to see KFC (Kodagu for Chicken or something to that effect!).

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In Virajpet, several Delhi eating joints, Chaat shops, thankfully a few Kerala Paratha joints and Kerala cuisine, but North Indian food appears to have swept over local cuisine.

IMG_4374.JPGIndian tourists quite frankly are quite averse to trying out food other than what they are accustomed to, especially Vegetarians.

 IMG_4389.JPGCoorg Cuisine in Mercara, Main road, is one place not to avoid for the most authentic Kodava dishes.

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Girish Pemmaiah proudly serves well-known local cuisine handed over by his grandma a great cook and his Mother. He does show exasperation when tourists demand Dal Chaval and takes great trouble retaining and initiating them to Kodava food.

IMG_4393.JPGSome dishes like Pandi Curry Kadambutu, and Nuputu is to die for. Don’t miss the Bamboo curry, even though seasonal, at CC it’s available all year round.

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Authentic Coorg food is difficult to trace even in Mercara, couple another hole in the wall places exists but difficult to ascertain the quality of food.

COORG THEN AND NOW

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I found a sea change in the way Coorg has emerged from a sleepy coffee growing/farming district to hook on as a potential tourism destination.

IMG_4379.JPGTwo decades ago it was a chore driving down to my husband’s estate filled with potholes and bad roads. Today infrastructure has vastly improved, with smooth roads even in the deep interiors.

IMG_4387.JPGGarbage disposal was a problem, but now the District has that organised and maintains squeaky-clean streets, especially Mercara.

IMG_4438.JPGI remember climbing hilltop to catch network on my mobile, similarly that has greatly improved.

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The Kodavas guard their customs and traditions rather diligently especially in their hometown find progress slightly intrusive.

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The young Turks (Kodavas) on the other hand take great pride in nonconformity, welcoming change that is inevitable and returning home as was the norm.

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