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Malnad Musings: Part I

When we think of tourism in Karnataka, the only places that come to mind are the temples and forts at Mysore, Srirangapatna,
Belur, Halebid or the ruins of Hampi, Badami, Aihole and the likes... Places like Coorg and Kemmangundi are growing more popular these days as weekend getaways. But Karnataka is more than just these places...
In this post and the next few I'll try and
take you to some relatively unknown yet magnificent places in the Malnad region of the state('Male' in Kannada means mountain and 'nadu' means land).

I'll start with a lesser known place called Samse.
Samse is in the Chikmaglur district and is some 10-15km from Kalasa town along the Sringeri-Kudremukh road which is on the way towards Horanadu, a popular pilgrimage centre. The best time to visit Samse is just before the onset of the monsoon(that's exactly when we went). Now the journey itself offers some breath-taking views of the Ghats. I was told a family friend's relative had a house at Samse so we decided to stop there for the night. It was 7 30 in the night when we reached his place and all along the way I was thinking "God knows what his place will be like; I'd better get ready for a sleepless night with all sorts of insects climbing onto me". And I was in for a pleasant shock. The house was simply beautiful(see the pictures... they talk for themselves... but don't mind the dates on them, they're wrong). After a sumptous dinner we were shown rooms which were immaculately clean. And to add to my surprise, there weren't any creepy insects at all(God knows how on Earth he managed to keep the place that clean). I tell you, I had the best sleep in years...

When I woke up the next day and looked outside the window I couldn't see anything but white mist everywhere. For a moment I thought I was dead and this was heaven I was looking at... Being amidst the mist on a hazy morning with thick dewdrops lacing the railings with a hot cuppa coffee in hand was totally out-of-the-world! As the mist slowly cleared I was in for a bigger treat... The view out of the balcony was truly breath-taking. The view of the Kudremukh peak that the balcony offered was simply awesome. Never had I seen so many shades of green in all my life! I still can't believe I spent more than an hour looking at the hills just soaking in the rich green surroundings. I was treated to some mouth-watering authentic Malnad cuisine by my ever-smiling host Mr. Sukumar. There's something about Malnad cuisine that makes it so delicious, so rich in spices and yet... so easy on the stomach. Then we were taken to a nearby creek which was the source of water and electricity (very ingenious, I must say)
to the house. The water of the creek was arguably the sweetest I've ever tasted. I must add a bit about our host Sukumar. He is one of very few people I've seen who is the ideal Good Samaraitan personified. During our very brief period of stay at his house, atleast 3-4 visitors from the nearby villages came alongwith their children seeking his help. And boy had they come to the right place. He was more than glad to help. Mind you he didn't just give them some money and wash his hands off. He enquired if the kids were going to school and for those who had completed basic education, he referred them to places like polytechnic institutes for the boys or tailoring classes for the girls. And I also learnt later that he ran a home for the ailing elders. No matter who you are or what you do, its always good to show concern and reach out to other people who aren't as fortunate as you are. The people he helped literally worship him because he has touched all their lives in a way no one else can. Perhaps we must all take a leaf out of his book...

And so after having close to 30 hours of an unforgettable experience we left towards Horanadu to seek the divine blessings of Sri Annapoorneshwari and then back to Bangalore. The majestic mountains have a way of telling us how small we are. They invariably make us contemplate about a lot of questions that we wish we knew the answers to... Its always good to just be at peace with Nature and let the birds and the water do all the talking. Samse is just the right place to do all that and more. So the next time you plan to trek to Kudremukh or visit the Horanadu temple, make sure you stop at this house in Samse.


shark said…
Hey 'male' in kannada means mountain... So what does 'female' mean... ????? :P

If you want to mention the etymology of malnad, then write how the word is split and their meanings and not some seemingly arbit "male in kannada means.." at the end of the sentence!!!
Vikram said…
Beautiful Pics. Nice post!
pavi said…
extremely beautiful pics..dat single flower specially!n ya thnx for enlightning us abt dis place...i din even kno it existed..that too in our own karnataka!!!keep imparting gyaan like dis:)
Anitha V said…
y tat pic of flower is very beautiful

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