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    Devaragundi Falls

    Devaragundi Falls

    Travelling to Nishani Motte and hiking there was on our bucket list for a long time. We had heard that the place is also called the ‘Leech Kingdom’ as it is surrounded by a large number of leeches during the Monsoon.

    On a Saturday early morning, I left Bengaluru with four of my friends for this interesting journey. We took the Hassan Road which is good to drive during the Monsoon months.

    The first stop we planned was the Devarakolli Falls, which is a few km after Madikeri on Madikeri-Mangalore Road.

    The Falls lie parallel to the main road and there are some shops for the travellers to have snacks. You can’t take bath in the Falls but it is a great place to shoot some good pictures.

    After the short break, we hit the road for beautiful Devaragundi Falls, which is exactly 13 km from Sampaje, and located in a village called Thodikana. You need to park the vehicle two km before the Falls and do a small trek of two km on a flat jeep track to reach the Falls, which is so majestically placed inside the forest and is easily accessible.

    To say the least, it was beautiful and gushing at the peak of Monsoon. Until January end, there is water for taking bath in the Falls but it gets dry during the peak of summer.

    However, one should keep an eye on the kids as the water gushing area is steep. We were informed about this by the local villagers.

    After a refreshing bath, we reached Mayura Cauvery in Bhagamandala to stay the night over.

    The rooms were decent enough. We had our dinner in the small village of Bhagamandala.

    Next day morning, we visited the forest office in Bhagamandala and got permission from the department to trek to Nishani Motte after paying a nominal entry fee and guide charges.

    There was also another group who joined us in the trek. The Nishani Motte trek is around five km in total. One has to hire a jeep or travel in their own vehicle to the base from the forest office. The base is around five to six km from the forest office. We started our trek around 9 am.

    The initial trek was a mild climb through estates and huge trees. In 20 minutes, we could see the grasslands and the leeches too. No wonder this place is called the ‘Leech Kingdom’ as thousands of leeches jumped over us.

    Two hours through the trek, we reached the peak which was misty and foggy. We enjoyed every minute of the trek exploring the greenery and escaping from the leeches.

    It started to rain during the last leg of our trek but it was an amazing experience to completely get drenched and enjoy the walk with friends.

    Finally, we reached the other side of the base. We had our jeep waiting for us to drop us back to the Forest Department office. We reached the forest office around 2.30 pm, had a great lunch and finally visited the Thalacauvery Temple which is just a 15-minute-drive from Bhagamandala.

    After visiting the Thalacauvery Temple, which is interestingly the birthplace of river Cauvery, we started our drive back to Bengaluru with lovely memories to cherish forever.

    (The author can be contacted at kavinkishore85@gmail.com)

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Kavin Kishore/ January 03rd, 2018

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    Coffee planter Manavattira Dore Somanna warned the district administration of locking up the entrance of Brahmagiri if the entry of public is not banned within a week.

    He further added that the Brahmagiri, the birthplace of river Cauvery has been converted into an abode of illegal activities. “Tourists have been spoiling the sanctity of the place by littering it with garbage. This will affect the purity of river Cauvery.”

    He said that the district administration should also ban the illegal shops near Talacauvery. Tourists should be banned from discarding the food leftovers at the Triveni Sangama in Bhagamandala. CCTV camera should be installed to monitor the activities of people. Additional staff should be deployed at the spiritual destination to perform the religious rituals smoothly. Also, the temple should conduct the ‘Ashtamangala Prashne’, he added.

    Badumanda Muttappa, Padiyammanda Yogish Monnammaiah, Manavattira Papu Changappa and Manavattira Harish Biddappa were present in the press meet.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / DH News Service / Napoklu – January 01st, 2018

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    The backwater of the KRS dam. According to a KSPCB official, Cauvery river water in Karnataka falls under 'C' grade, which means it is safe for drinking after treatment. DH FILE PHOTO

    The backwater of the KRS dam. According to a KSPCB official, Cauvery river water in Karnataka falls under ‘C’ grade, which means it is safe for drinking after treatment. DH FILE PHOTO

    Environment experts claim that the report on River Cauvery published by Anna University, Tamil Nadu, may be partially true, but, the river water is safe for consumption in Karnataka.

    S Srikantaswamy, professor in Environmental Science, University of Mysore (UoM), said, the pollution level at River Cauvery will be high during summer as water flow is less. The professor, who had conducted a study on River Cauvery two years back, said, “We cannot ignore the report, but, the pollution level in the river varies at different points in time.”

    “It is true that the river, which has its origin at Talacauvery, in Kodagu district, receives wastewater from the starting point itself. The river flows amidst coffee plantations and the coffee pulped water is directly let into the river without any treatment. Similarly, the industries located along the river discharge wastewater (including toxic effluents) without treatment,” he said.

    An official of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) said that he is unaware about the parameters of the study conducted by Anna University.

    “The water in Karnataka comes under ‘C’ grade, which means it is safe for drinking after treatment. The report might be true as the river might be more polluted in TN,” he said.

    In TN, a large number of small and medium textile dyeing industries, paper and sugar mills are located besides the river, and this could be the reason for high pollution levels. The pollution level during summer will be high as self-purification is low due to less volume of water flow, he said.

    In Mysuru district, except sewage water in a few places, no industry releases wastewater into the river directly. The authorities monitor the quality of water every month at various places, commencing from Kodagu district up to the border of Karnataka, and the river water quality is good, he claimed.

    Claiming that the River Cauvery in Karnataka is not polluted as much as River Ganga, he said, as per the physical appearance itself, the river is not much polluted.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / by Ranjith Kandya / Mysuru – DH News Service / December 25th, 2017

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    December 26th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy, Nature


    The construction of the state’s first goat milk producing and processing unit is in full swing at Byadagotta near Kushalnagar.

    Animal husbandry minister A Manju had in February laid foundation stone for the unit which will come up on 112 acres of land. It is estimated to cost Rs 5 crore of which the state government has released Rs 2 crore.

    Veterinary Department deputy director Padmanabha said it has planned to buy Jamalapuri, Seroy, and beetle breeds of goats from Maharashtra which provide upto 3 litres of milk per day.

    He said an expert team has been formed to purchase 200 goats for rearing. At later stages, goat milk producers unions will be established at village levels. He said the milk will be sent to Bengaluru for marketing and in later stages, the unit will pack the milk in sachets and sell in local markets too. Goat milk has a good demand in the state where it is sold at Rs 70 per litre.

    The department has also planned to grow grass for goats here and manure produced by goats will be sold to farmers.

    The government will appoint an assistant director, a doctor, technician, an agriculture officer, 50 labourers for the milk producing unit. The unit will also generate direct employment for 50 locals and provide indirect employment to hundreds of farmers, he said.

    Farmer Ganesh said dairy farming is a good idea for farmers to boost their incomes. He said the area has greenery which provides fodder for goats.

    Byadagotta village is situated just 8 kilometre from Kushalnagar and has potential for development. The state government also planned to construct a mini airport at Aluvara. Mangaluru university has already established a PG centre in Aluvara.

    source: http://www.msn.com / MSN.com / Home> Headlines> News – The New Indian Express / December 26th, 2017

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    District wants to follow on Nilgiris’ footsteps, urges Payment for Ecological Services fund for the benefit of farmers and region’s ecology

    Worried about the increasing tourism activity in Kodagu district, greens have urged the government to follow the Niligiris district administration and impose a green tax on tourist vehicles entering the district.

    Recently, the Nilgiris district administration announced that tourist vehicles entering the district via the Burliar, Kakkanallah and Nambiar Kunnu checkposts will be charged a green tax of Rs. 20, which will be used for the maintenance of the district’s ecology. It is expected that the fee will be used by the administration to carry out restoration works and maintain the fragile Nilgiris landscape.

    Sundar Muthanna, Bengaluru Co-ordinator for Coorg Wildlife Society, welcomed the move by the Nilgiris district administration and said this should be implemented at all entry points to Kodagu district too.

    “Collecting a cess or tax from tourist vehicles is important at the entry points because tourism has a very negative foot print on the ecology. Some of the damage can be undone by the tourism industry itself. They cannot go on exploiting the land endlessly and they have to give back,” he said.

    He said the money generated should be used for tree planting and rejuvenating the existing water sources. “The money thus collected must go to the Payment for Ecological Services (PES) fund. The idea for PES comes from the belief that a rich and diverse ecology is equal to economic capital for the state and the nation.

    Through PES we can help the people of Malnad preserve the ecology they live in. A well-preserved ecology will encourage rainfall locally in the Malnad and in the neighbouring regions,” he said. The fund could be used to provide subsidies for Malnad’s planters and farmers, he said.

    Paddy cultivation could be encouraged with this fund, as rice fields contribute richly to the streams and rivers, and help to make them perennial, or flow through the year. Cottage industries such as pepper processing, canning, coffee processing can be set up in each taluk of the districts of Malnad.

    The entry point to Kodagu district is from Hassan, Mysuru, Dakshina Kannada and Kerala.

    Dinesh Holla, convener Sahyadri Sanchaya, said uncontrollable damage has already taken place in the Western Ghats region of Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru. “Rainfall has reduced. The government talks about only development, but when environmentalists approach the minister requesting him to procure helicopters so that in case of forest fire, quick action can be initiated, we are told that we are not living in a foreign country. It is time that the youth come forward, raise their voice and protect whatever little is left behind in the fragile Western Ghats,” he said.

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> News> State / by Deepthi Sanjiv, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / December 21st, 2017

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    CNC President N U Nachappa and CNC members observed Huthari festival by cutting paddy sheaves in the filed of Uthappa at Chikkabettageri near Kushalnagar on Sunday.

    CNC President N U Nachappa and CNC members observed Huthari festival by cutting paddy sheaves in the filed of Uthappa at Chikkabettageri near Kushalnagar on Sunday.

    The Codava National Council (CNC) led by its president N U Nachappa celebrated Huthari, the harvest festival of Kodagu, at a paddy field of Nandineravanda Uthappa, in Chikkabettageri village near Kushalnagar in Kodagu on Sunday.

    By cutting paddy sheaves in the paddy field of Uthappa, the members celebrated the festival in a traditional manner.

    The members offered prayers to the gods and began the Huthari celebrations with ‘Nere Kattuvo’ ritual. The leaves of mango, jackfruit, “Arali”, “Kumbali” and cashew nut trees were used in the ritual.

    After the ritual, the participants walked in a procession to paddy fields accompanied by the ‘Dudikottpat’ (Dudi is a small drum of Kodavas).

    After firing thrice in the air, the paddy sheaves were cut and brought home in a procession.

    The CNC members performed traditional Kolata, Pareya Kali and Chowkata on the occasion. People relished Payasa, “Thambittu,” “Kadubu”, “Pandikari” and other delicacies on the occasion.

    Speaking on the occasion, the CNC President urged the government to include Kodava language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

    He said that the government should accord tribal status to Kodavas.

    The central government should declare a holiday for Huthari festival.

    The CNC is continuing its struggle for an autonomous Kodava land and Kodava land should be declared a union territory. The culture and tradition of Kodavas should be included in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco, he said.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / by DH News Service, Kushalnagar / December 03rd, 2017

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    We recently decided to travel to Madikeri and surrounding areas with our relatives Uday Kumar and Bharathi.

    They had arranged our stay in a resort surrounded by thick forest.

    How did we go?
    We left Bengaluru on Friday morning by car. Our main destination was Madikeri and Kodagu but we touched other places along the way.

    What did we do?
    We took the NH 275 and our first halt was at Kokkare Bellur. We observed some pelicans perched on a few trees. Our next halt was Balmuri waters, the manmade bund over Kaveri river. The water and scenery were good but the surrounding was spoilt by the heavy flow of tourists. It was a brief stopover and we soon left Balmuri.

    We entered Nagarahole National Park and headed towards Virajpete. Virajpet is a small town tucked inside forested area, hills and coffee plantations. We stopped for tea and headed to Club Mahindra Virajpet, located inside a forest at a distance of 13 km from Virajpet. The road passed through coffee plantations and entered a forested area, wherein the resort is built.

    On looking through the window of our cottage, I found that the flower and fruits of a wild banana growing in reverse direction! The flower and fruits were growing upwards, which was interesting. I also took a photograph of a wild orchid flower growing on an old arecanut tree trunk just outside the cottage.

    Next morning we headed to Nalknad Palace, which was a hiding place for Chikkaveerajendra, the last king of Kodagu who was arrested by British East India Company in 1834. To reach the place, we had to manoeuvre several steep curves through coffee plantations and forests and after passing Kakkabe, we reached Nalknad Palace. The renovated building is a Mangalore tiled structure with four secret dark rooms where the Raja used to keep fugitives and his opponents. The wall paintings on Nalkand Palace are also interesting. After his arrest, he was deported to Vellore at first, then to Varanasi by the British and ‘Coorg Nest’ was the building where he was kept along with his wives and assistants. Nalknad palace was the last hideout for Chikkaveerarajendra, who was arrested by the British on the charges of atrocity he committed in his kingdom.

    Located high in the mountains, the Nalknad Palace is a very interesting place to see. There are several homestays and resorts near Nalknad Palace, all tucked inside several forest nooks. On returning from Nalknad, we went to Iguthappa Temple, which is nearby. The recently-renovated temple is located on a small hillock and is frequently visited by the Kodava people.

    After spending about thirty minutes there, we headed to Abbey Falls. The view of the falls is a sight to behold. We returned to Madikeri and the first thing we did was to find a good place for lunch. After lunch, we roamed in Madikeri Fort which is still in good condition. It is interesting to observe that the Palace of Madikeri Raja is still being used as offices of Government of Karnataka. The old church at the entrance of the fort is converted to an archaeological museum.

    At 5 pm we visited Onkareshwara Temple, which looks good with its reflection in the temple pond located just in front of the temple. At around 6 pm, we went to see Raja Seat. The sunset from Raja Seat is a colourful affair with the evening rays filling up the entire valley below, as the spot is located on the edge of a mountain.

    Next morning, we headed towards Dubare Elephant camp. Dubare is located on the banks of Kaveri river and Government of Karnataka is managing an elephant training camp. River rafting is something one should experience.

    After spending an hour in Dubare, we went towards Bylakuppe, which is near Kushalnagar and Bylakuppe is a well-known Tibetan settlement. The settlers were hardworking and earned livelihood by cultivating forest lands and woollen business. They built a colourful Golden Temple as per Tibetan architecture. The mythological drawings depict the stories as per Tibetan tradition and makes a interesting sight. After spending some time in this Buddhist temple complex, we had lunch at Kushalanagar and headed towards Bengaluru.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Shashidharan Halady / November 29th, 2017

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    A group of children in Kodagu have written — rather drawn — to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to protect river Cauvery which is under threat because of unplanned development activities. Instead of the usual way of writing a letter, the children opted for a scroll which has a series of paintings which depict the current state of the river.

    Meena Cariappa, a social worker associated with the Opportunity School in Madikeri and wife of Air Marshal Cariappa (rtd), told Bangalore Mirror, “it is a scary situation the way river Cauvery is facing. While environment activists are working towards protecting the river, the children of Kodagu have joined hands in this mission and have attempted to draw the attention of the prime minister himself.”

    She says if PM can look into the issue, the river can be a role model for the entire country itself.

    She said, “Apart from a tweet to the Prime Minister’s Office, we have sent a six-ft–long scroll to the Prime Minister’s residence, hoping that he would look at it and there could be some change. There are many things happening in the name of development which is destroying the river, the lifeline of South India.”

    The scroll reads: Respected Prime Minister, Please Save the Cauvery. We can see it dying and it won’t be there when we grow up. Only you can save it. There is a photograph of the Cauvery flowing in the centre. There are two photographs of the river on either side — one stating ‘what you had’ and another ‘what we get’. The entire text is handwritten on a recycled paper. It has pictures of about 100 students, though nearly 1,000 kids participated.”

    “We have sent this scroll to the Prime Minister’s residence as part of Children’s Day celebration. We are hopeful that that he will respond to the students’ request. We are waiting,” Meena said.

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> News> State / by Deepthi Sanjiv, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / November 23rd, 2017

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    A new biofuel, which contains part coffee oil, is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain where it can be used without the need for modification.

    Transport for London has been turning to biofuels to curb carbon emissions, trialling a fuel made with used cooking oil from the catering industry.(Shutterstock)

    Transport for London has been turning to biofuels to curb carbon emissions, trialling a fuel made with used cooking oil from the catering industry.(Shutterstock)

    Waste coffee grounds will be used to help fuel some of London’s buses, Royal Dutch Shell and clean technology company bio-bean said on Monday.

    A new biofuel, which contains part coffee oil, is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain where it can be used without the need for modification, the companies said in a statement.

    Bio-bean and partner Argent Energy have so far produced enough coffee oil to power one bus for a year, if used as a pure-blend for the 20 percent bio component and mixed with mineral diesel to form a B20 fuel, they said.

    Transport for London has been turning to biofuels to curb carbon emissions, trialling a fuel made with used cooking oil from the catering industry, the transport operator said on its website.

    Bio-bean said the average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day, producing over 200,000 tonnes of waste a year. It collects waste grounds from high street chains and factories, which are dried and processed to extract coffee oil.

    “It’s a great example of what can be done when we start to reimagine waste as an untapped resource,” bio-bean founder Arthur Kay said.

    The coffee fuel technology has been supported by Shell.

    source: http://www.hindustantimes.com / Hindustan Times / Home> World / by Reuters, London / November 20th, 2017

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    Sthree Shakthi members take out a procession.

    Sthree Shakthi members take out a procession.

    There was a festive atmosphere at Ponnampete on the border of Kodagu district in Virajpet taluk, which is hosting a two-day district-level Kannada Sahitya Sammelan. A large number of students participated in the Kannada literary meet, which commenced on Saturday.

    Inaugurating the meet, writer Dr Siddalingaiah said that there is a need to protect Kannada in Kodagu. “A few Malayalam name boards are found in the district. Kannadigas should be awake in the district.

    There is no need for a Malayalam name board in Kannada land,” he said.

    Stating that there are ample opportunities for promotion of tourism in the district, he said that the state government should chalk out programmes to safeguard the culture and uniqueness of the district along with the promotion of tourism.

    Highlighting the importance of Kannada in the district, he said Kodagu Commissioner Cubbon had removed Lakshminarayanayya from the post of Diwan of Kodagu in 1838. He had written a letter to Governor General in Kolkatta highlighting the injustice met on him in pure Kannada.

    Siddalingaiah said, “there is a need to restrict the purchase of land in the district by people from outside the district to protect the culture of the land.”

    “Field Marshal Cariappa, General Thimmaiah not only brought fame to Kodagu but also the entire country. The people of the district not only guard the border but also protect the language.”

    Kaveri nadi pradhikara
    In her presidential address, Kechamada Subbamma Thimmaiah demanded the setting up of Kaveri nadi pradhikara.

    She said “the test reports have confirmed that the water from river Cauvery at several places is not potable. The garbage and sewage from various places enter the river and pollute it. Cauvery is the lifeline of the state. There is a need to check dumping of garbage into the river. If left untreated, it could choke the river flow, ” she warned.

    “The Kodagu district is the land of warriors and culture. There is a need to protect the culture of the land.”, she added.

    Arameri Kalancheri Mutt seer Shantha Mallikarjuna Swami, Ponnampete Ramakrishna Sharadhashrama Swaroopanandaji Maharaj were present.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / Ponnampete – DH News Service / November 18th, 2017

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