Enchanting Iruppu waterfalls
It rains heavily in this region. We moved through the long road which goes through the middle of the Coorg coffee plantations, passing slops and steeps. When we passed the orange farm, I could see the villagers wearing woollen cloth and sitting beside their homes. A cool wind is breezing. This is how monsoon in Coorg sounds like. When it gets cooler, tourists rush into Coorg.
People often come here from Karnataka metro cities to experience the cold. Most of the tourist homes look traditionally old and tiled. Even the people who own acres of coffee plantations live in small houses here. This is how it is in Kodagu. They say that they make houses with attics made of wood to prevent too much cold getting inside. Anyone can understand that fact when they stay here for a day. Even when it's very cold outside, the warmth of these small rooms will comfort anyone.
My journey is towards the Brahmagiri valley which is the border of Coorg. My mission is to reach the stream where Kannada people call It Lakshman Theertha and Malayali’s call it Iruppu waterfalls. When I just crossed the Tholpetty check-post which is the border of Wayanad, I could smell the sent of Kodagu. I saw the villagers drinking tea in a small crowded teashop. The two-day nonstop rain has forced to stop the work on coffee plantations. Workers became lazy too. Most of the estate bungalow’s are empty because their owners and their family left to town. They’ll be back when it's about to start work at the estate. A lot of tourist vehicles are moving. When I moved four kilometres after Kutta market I saw a board saying Iruppu waterfalls. There is a sloppy road going south from here which will lead to Brahmagiri hill valley.
This is an important waterfall in the history in between Bramagiri hill valley and Coorg. Water flows from the hills over the giant rocks to the hill valley. This is also a starting point of Kaveri river which nourishes Karnataka. This place is also a part of myth in Ramayanam which says that when Ravana kidnapped Seetha, Raman and Lakshman came here in search of her. And when Raman asked for water, Lakshman started a fountain here by sending an arrow to the mountain. As an influence from the myth in Ramayana, a temple raised here. This is how the Rameshwara temple had originated. At the time of “Shivarathri”, the temple will be filled with followers. We can only reach the waterfall by passing through the temple which is in the middle of the field. Daily hundreds of people visit this waterfall. It is also known as Karnataka’s papanashini. So bathing in this water is Kannada's life routine.
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Papanashini of Coorg
The forest department declared Iruppu waterfalls as an Eco-tourism centre. Plastic materials are restricted in this area. Even bags are not allowed here. Because of wildfire in the summer, security guards watch over the people visiting here. Accidents happen often because of the slippery rocks in the streams. So a hanging bridge is built here.
People come to this calm natural place when they need a break from their busy city life. One can include Iruppu waterfalls if they are planning to visit Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary, Kuruva Dweep, Thirunelli temple and Bird sanctuary.
If Kodagu journey is through Mananthavady in Wayanad, you’ll have to pass through the wildlife sanctuary. You’ll reach Kaatikulam if you travel seven kilometres through the Mysore road from Wayanad. And when you take turn and travel six kilometres through Thirunelli road, you’ll reach Thettu road. From here you’ll get the Tholpetty road if you take the right turn. When you reach the Tholpetty wildlife sanctuary, you have just crossed the Kerala border. And that is the doorway to Kodagu in Karnataka.
You will be first welcomed by the coffee plantations. And you can see the coffee drying place and coffee mills beside the roads. You can also smell the scent of the coffee when it’s the season of blooming of coffee. Then it will be spread in a wide range of distance for days in Kodagu till the season ends. Kutta market is the first mercenary centre in Coorg when it starts from one end of the border. A lot of Malayali’s moved here for merchandising.
So, Kerala food and lots of amazing liquor shops are available here. The villagers said, when alcohol is restricted in Kerala, more people started crossing the border to have a drink. From here, we have to go through narrow lonely village roads to go forward. The beauty of Coorg will be revealed through that journey. You can see a board saying Lakshman Theertha after moving eight kilometres forward. The belief is that all sins will be washed away if someone bathes in this stream. This place also has importance among the followers. Iruppu waterfall is forty kilometres away from the main city in Kodagu. You can also reach by traveling eighty kilometres from Madikeri.
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Translated by: Cameo Pieorat Christy