Nilgiris - Travel Information
|Kinnakorai - Where Man and Nature live in Harmony|
It's a place where the climate changes like your mood. Kinnakorai, situated at the tip of the Nilgiris, on the Kerala-tamilnadu border,is inhabited by a few score Badaga families that still believe in old-words Hospitality.
we ask for directions at the Manjur bus stand, a local thalaivar
comes to our aid and soon two Badaga men acompany us on the hour-and
a-half drive. At Carrington Estate, the tea plantation stretchas far
as the eye can see. The rays of the sun cut a swathe acros the middle
of the deep green-gray valley part of which belongs to Kerala. As you
walk down the quiet Carrington road enroute to Kinnakorai,even the
sound of twigs snapping under your feet gets magnified. Nerby is the
Thiasholatea estate, which grows organic tea. Carington and Thiashola
are the oldest tea plantation in the Nilgiris.
Till 60 years ago , Kinakorai was known only for its coffee gardens. But falling prices saw the locals switch to tea cultivation, which has proved more profitable. From the tea gardens, situated at an altitude of 6,000 ft above sea level, you can see the Geddai power station, winch route and the narrow, widing road. You can also spot Kolathurai, Attapadi and Anaikatti.
After stopping by at the tea plantations, make it a point to visit at least one badaga village. We choose Melur - a village where tradition and modernity have struck a truce. The children go down to the plains to study while the elders continue life at their own pace.
The people are so friendly that they don't mind you gawking at their traditional attire. Known for their hospitality, they ensure that you never leave without sharing a meal with them. At the entrance to Melur is a semi - circular beach-like stone structure. This is were the village headman presides over meetigs. A hole in the midle server as a fireplace.
Nearby, a grid for a game of dice has been chiselled in stone. This and the image of a tiger were carved in 1882, as indicated by the artist's signature on a stone near by. The local believe that anyone who is sick will be cured if they show the affected part to the image, first thing in the morning. The road leading to Kinnakorai is an example of harmonious co-existence between Man and Nature.
forest is so well preserved that tigers and panthers don't
mind taking a stroll even in the middle of the day.The locals
and merely wait for the original inhabitants to move on. That the
people here love nature is evident in the way they look after
|How to Get There|
Drive up to Manjur, 88 km from Coimbatore. From there,it is a 35 - km drive to Kinnakorai. There are no hotels around. But, the place is perfect for a day's outing.
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