Nisargadhama forest is one of the tourist attractions in Kodagu, Karnataka. It is an island formed by the river Kaveri. What you see everywhere on this 64-acre island are bamboos. There are also some sandalwood and teak trees. As you walk along the mud track, some deer will gaze at you with a strange longing in their eyes. Their gaze looks plaintive.
You enter this forest through a narrow hanging bridge which raises your hopes if not dreams. You walk along chasing those hopes or dreams. Bamboos blink at you everywhere. An air of desolation overwhelms you slowly. You long for something more than bamboos. More than the wistfulness in the doleful eyes of the deer.
|One of the many huts on the way|
For a change you can choose an elephant ride. Or maybe look out for a peacock. The easiest diversion will be the elevated huts. Climb up and then climb down. Back on the mud track, philosophise about life’s inevitable ups and downs.
Take the path leading to the river. You can step into the water. Wet yourself. Immerse yourself if you are in the mood. It’s precious water. It’s the water for which Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have fought many a battle. It is the symbol of an endless conflict, endless human wants. You can remember the other conflict that Tamil Nadu sustains in Kerala for water from the Mullaperiyar dam. You can contemplate on the history of human struggles.
Of human longings. Nisargadhama is a forest of longings. You can feel its uneasy breathing. A suffocation that chokes the air passage within you. You realise that the mud track beneath you has raised enough dust to block your nostrils. Take out the Otrivin phial that accompanies you like a faithful companion and squeeze the drops into the ducts that connect your life with the universe.
What nasal drops can save the universe? Kaveri gurgles down. Longing to revitalise the universe, perhaps. But she is powerless. Power belongs to the biped whose longings have no end.
PS. I visited the place on 31 Oct 2016 along with a group of students of mine.
|At the Harangi dam across a tributary of Kaveri|