Summer Holiday – Part 3

Few hours drive from Coonoor…

We stop for the day…

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This is a busy village in the Coonoor to Bengaluru route….

After checking into a hotel just off the main road, we take a walk to explore the village…

And come across the village temple… And we see that the village “Maasinaagudi” is actually “Masheeneegudi” – named after village Goddess “Masheenee Devi”…

Here’s the entrance to the temple of the Goddess.

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The temple….

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A village guardian deity, in the temple courtyard…

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There are many hotels in Masinagudi and near-about. We choose a hotel that is under two thousands rupees a day for the room… There are some swanky resorts nearby where the tariff is in the range of 15 K per day, one understands…

The hotel we choose is quite ok… Here’s a picture…

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The view behind the hotel…

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They have Jeep rides for wildlife sighting… If you want the whole Jeep to yourself for a two hour ride, it costs close to a thousand rupees or so… And there are more than two hundred jeeps available on hire… Guess with some bargaining you can get a better price… Better still, you can take your own car and just follow one of these jeeps… There’s not much that you cannot cover by yourself… We did that the next day…

Ok… Jim Corbette Soota ready with the Jeep…

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And now, picture some encounters.. No tigers, let me quickly add… And good for tigers… Wouldn’t want them anywhere near so many humans….

Our first encounter is with a wild elephant that is near enough to knock our Jeep down…

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A lone elephant is dangerous…

But not everyone seems to fear them… Seeing the elephant so near, some Tarzans in other vehicles decide to get down onto the road, perhaps to pose with the elephant. Thankfully, the forest department officials are patrolling and they sternly warn the champions to get back into their cars and move on… As the forest guards are themselves on the road, the elephant decides to say a hello, of irritation, and takes a step towards one of them, who runs for his life. You would too, if an elephant were running after you.

One sees peacocks, monkeys…

And deer….

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A bison in the bushes…

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One of the fork roads is set at a height… And on the slopes on the left, down below, there is a gorge… And we spot some more elephants… That have come down for water..

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And now, signing off this post, Masinagudi, and this Summer Holiday series, with a short video…

Of a baby elephant that was grazing in green just off the road…Our car was having a CD playing a prayer that is chanted in Venkateshwara temple… The particular part of that Hymn that is heard in this recording has a list of Carnatic Music Raaga names, followed by holy treatise names etc, as an offering to the Lord…

Seeing that elephant, while listening to this chant, is a good way to say “Adios”.

** Concluded **

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