Monday, February 18, 2013

Kodanadu View Point, Kotagiri (Ooty) Nilgiri Omnibus Part 2

So we were sitting on the road parapet after the Kodanadu Estate Bunglow and gotten yourself lost in the vast expanse of untouched nature. Finally we move from here because now due to clouds we feel cold. We move and here comes a very pretty and colorful, little temple and then begins another scenic village Gandhi Nagar. Village is situated at our left side and at the right side are tea gardens on the downhill slope.
We enjoy the views of faraway Tamilnadu and Karnataka.
Salvia Leucantha. Mexican Bush Sage.

There are some tea shops in the village. After passing the village comes a small shack of the restaurant run by a lady. It is lunch time and we order dosas; lady asks us, how many dosas.
Plains dosas are 7 rupee a piece and we say just 2. So she makes us 2 dosas.

Kodanadu Estate Area.
We sit outside the restaurant on the chairs; goats are grazing around us. Views are simply breathtaking from all over. To our right side are the tea gardens on the down slope and that ends in the gorge. On the clear day one can view as far as Erode and Chamraj Nagar near Mysore. You can see Moyar River entering into Bhawanisagar Lake.

Views from the small restaurants where we had dosas
Dosas arrived; we never ate so simple and so tasty dosas before so we order more and then more and them more. At the end I ask the lady for the bill she says 56 rupee and I pay her and we leave. I turn back after some 100 feet …
“Hey Amma, you said one dosa for 7 rupee.”
Now amma is worried that by mistake she over charged us, it is apparant that she is very poor.
I come to the table and pick up the Tamil news paper and do some accounting with my pen on the white edge and show here the paper. We almost robbed her by paying 56 rupee whereas we ate 11 dosas and finished up her whole sambar. So I pay her more and poor lady has tears in her eyes.
Kodanadu Area.
Here in Niligiri’s many homes grows a unique blue colored plant next to Tulsi etc, this is Ruta Gravleons. It is a beautiful plant with bluish leaves and yellow flowers. In South America it is used as spice but it has not culinary importance in India.
It is a major homeopathy remedy; chiefly used for Eyes pains, Cartilage injuries, lameness after sprains; (All pains are worse, lying down).
I have treated many many patients with Ruta.
Ruta Graveolens/Garden Rue.
Anytime I see this plant, I put some twigs of it in my pockets to relieve myself of injured tendons while doing some serious downhill walk. Nilgiri tribal consider this plant a sacred so they grow it outside their homes but they don’t know its medicinal importance. I try to educate local people about its benefits.
Ruta Graveolens/Garden Rue
Overall it is a poisonous plant but chewing a smallest twig is harmless but anyway a smallest portion of it in your mouth will give you a bad day because of extreme bitter, pungent and foul taste. I use it alteast 3X potency or 1000 times diluted.
Kodnad Estate
Well I get diverted again as usual. When I visit a place, there is so much to tell about it and I myself get lost ……….
Well …. We had several dosas; I was telling that that views are superb from all over. Kodanadu view point is now barely 1 kilometer and it is visible.
Nice parapets by the road serve as benches to relax. We keep walking on the slope and tea estates come to end near the view point and now jungle of blue acacia begins. No wonder all blue plants and tress thrive in Nilgiris. This acacia (Acacia Mearnsii) is brought from Australia and it made a happy home here on Nilgiris. It quickly binds the erosion prone soil. Like other acacia it does not have vicious thrones so I do my daaton with its branches.
I simply love its refreshing taste and want to do its daaton at just any given time.
Acacia Mearnsii
Here comes Kodanadu View point, road ends here and at the road they made a tower to watch the view we take the stairs in the jungle and go to natural ledge. People use it as picnic area on the rocks and views are extreme here. A panorama of hundreds of kilometers is visible.

Signpost at Kodanadu View Point
Clouds play games with the valleys and mountains they form and break. Suddenly sky is cloudless and then suddenly you witness the clouds being born, accumulate and now it is cloudy in just 2 minutes and then all the sudden they break up and vanish in the blue sky.
Clouds are formed when hot and cold air mix. Moisture in the hot air become suspended in cold air and hence clouds form. All the sudden cold air is again mixed with much hot air so clouds again vanish.
A huge waterfall is also happily falling in the valley thousands of feet below.
Kodanadu View Point
The jungle village of Thengumarada is below down. You can see its streets. You see the dirt road form here going towards Bhawani.
I sigh, I visited this place several times and a trail leads to Thengumarada and I never visited there. I heard there are hotels and area is rich in wildlife. Winding Moyar River can be seeing for many kilometers in the valley reserved for only wildlife. No other human habitation can be seen in the gorge below that extends from Gunlupet to Bhavani Sagar Dam (100 kilometers apart). A perimeter path around the village separates the village and its plantations with the jungle and then river also separates it. If you have patience and a good binocular; you can find many elephants roaming in the wilderness. People spend hours here looking at the views.
It is quite common that their drivers are screaming at them to return to the vehicle so to get back within the promised time. People do visit here but still crowd is manageable because this area is not so popular like Ooty.

The area around view point is large and for the sake of privacy one can walk away on the rocks. After the gorge, you can see agriculture in the plains of Karnataka, and after the plains you can witness whole of the Bandipul Wildlife Sanctuary.
Since now it is 2PM and finally we leave this most beautiful place.
Kodanadu View Point
Another tree that you may see growing scattered in Nilgiri’s is Monkey Puzzle tree. Some tea estate owners and tree enthusiastic planted this tree here or there in Nilgiri Mountains.
Botanical name of this tree is Araucaria araucana. It is an evergreen tree growing to 40 metres (130 ft) tall with up to 2 meters (7 ft) trunk diameter. The tree is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina.

Monkey Puzzle Tree
Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Araucaria. Because of the species’ great age it is sometimes described as a living fossil.
The dark green leaves are triangular, stiff, sharply pointed, and overlap each other in a long whorl that can reach up to six feet. Each leaf can live for 10-15 years, and persist on the twigs and branches even after it dies and turns brown.

Monkey Puzzle Tree
Several times I myself picked up about 4 feet long these rough and sharp whorls. No wonder it is called monkey puzzle tree because when monkey may jump over it and gets vicious hurt. Many times it is mortal for monkey to fall upon it accidentally. There are about 4 these trees in Bangalore Lal Bagh and 2 in Bangalore Cubbon Park.

Monkey Puzzle Tree’s pointed leaves in a spiral whorl.
In the climate of India these trees do not germinate so any tree is lost is lost for ever.

Monkey Puzzle Tree

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