Aadhi Kaveri, Igguthappa Travels, Subrahmanya, Gafoor Travels, Gowhar Travels, Panchakshari… rings a bell? Well, these are the names of private buses in Kodagu of the yesteryears. All these are part of nostalgia now.
Over the last few decades, many of the iconic buses have ceased operations while some of them have changed their names and in some cases the routes have been cancelled.
In the 1980s, residents of Kodagu would know the time of day by looking at the names of these buses at a particular location. The iconic Subrahmanya Travels shuttling between Virajpet and Madikeri was a bus etched in the memory of senior citizens. Even now, they have fond stories to tell about the driver, conductor and cleaner of that particular bus which was operational till 1990.
‘Use and throw’ has become the mantra of modern-day consumerist world. Things are no different in Kodagu either. For the last 15 years, the garbage problem is on a rise in the district. Much of this credit goes to tourism boom.
Garbage issue which was first witnessed in Madikeri has now spread its tentacles all over the district. People from border areas of Kerala dumping waste in our reserve forests are not a new phenomenon anymore. If one visits Perumbadi and Makutta, we can understand the severity of this problem along the highway. In all the big and small towns garbage menace has become quite common. With no proper recycling measures in place, it is getting worse by the day.
MADIKERI: In a major reshuffle among the top brass of the Indian army, Lieutenant General Pattacheruvanda C Thimayya will take over as the 21st General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) at Shimla from November 1, 2018. The incumbent Lieutenant General M M Naravane has been appointed the Eastern Army Commander at Kolkata.
A Mechanised Infantry Officer, commissioned in 1981, Thimayya has varied experiences at the Western and Eastern fronts. Besides commanding a Mechanised Infantry Brigade, he has commanded a strike RAPID division and has held important staff appointments at Integrated HQ of MoD (Army). Thimayya has also been a military observer with UN mission (Angola) and Defence Attache in Bangladesh. In 2016, he took over the command of Chetak Corps from Lieutenant General Ashwani Kumar.
Hailing from Kodagu, Thimayya is the son of Pattacheruvanda Chengappa and Gowru. He studied at Sainik School in Bhubaneshwar and later at National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Pune and Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun.
He is married to Neena Thimayya and has two sons — Arjun who is serving the Indian Navy and Akshay, who is pursuing his Mass Communication studies.
MADIKERI: Kerala’s fourth international airport, at Kannur, is expected to boost tourism in Kodagu. The airport located in Mattannur, just 58 km from Virajpet and about 90 km from Madikeri, will soon open for commercial operations. With the National Highway Authority of India planning to convert the road into a national highway, the travelling time will be reduced further.
In an interview with Kodagu Connect, V Thulasidas, Managing Director, Kannur International Airport, says increase in inbound tourists and export opportunities will improve the socio-economic conditions of Kodagu district.
MADIKERI: This year ‘Theerthodbhava’ will occur at 6.43pm on October 17 in Talakaveri , according to an official communique.
The Kodagu district administration is putting in place necessary facilities like drinking water, temporary toilet blocks, parking and lighting in Talakaveri and Bhagamandala. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will be providing more buses from all parts of the district to the venue.
Apart from devotees from Kodagu, people from Mandya, Mysuru and Bengaluru, and also from neighbouring Kerala and Tamil Nadu are expected to witness the religious ceremonies.
As per the schedule, following rituals will take place till ‘Theerthodbhava’ – placing of rice in Paththaya on September 27, Aajna muhurtha on October 5, and placing of Akshaya pathra and offering boxes on October 15.
MADIKERI: Did you know? Corporation Bank was the first to open a branch in Kodagu in 1934. The first branch was inaugurated in Madikeri (Mercara then) on November 14, 1934.
Till Corporation Bank started operations in Kodagu (Coorg then), the planter community and local businessmen had to go all the way either to Bangalore, Mysore or Madras for their banking needs. It remains a puzzle why it did not occur to other banks to open a branch in Madikeri till 1934. Some say it could be because many were frightened of rumours about the prevalence of malaria in Kodagu. After opening its first branch in Madikeri, the Corporation Bank opened its second branch in Virajpet on July 7, 1935.
Mid-1930s were crucial times. It was a period when trade was in the grip of depression with a steep fall in the prices of coffee and cardamom. Money was dear. But it was at this time the Corporation Bank started doing business of every banking description such as issuing of remittance both by mail and telegram, collecting and discounting cheques and bills, and accepting deposits, and also making advances on approved securities at reasonable rates of interest. Corporation Bank’s service to the planters and business community in Madikeri infused confidence in towns such as Virajpet, Somwarpet and Ponnampet. Subsequently, branches were opened in small towns across the district.
(Source: ‘Corporation Bank – A Corporate Journey’ by M V Kamath)
There are not enough adjectives to explain the enchanting beauty of Kodagu, the tiniest district in Karnataka. Thanks to its exquisiteness, Kodagu has been seeing a tourism boom from the last two decades. As a result, too many home stays and resorts have sprung up across the district. The upgradation of Mysuru-Bantwal state highway 9 (now NH 275) a decade back saw mass flow of tourists into Kodagu from Bengaluru. With more than 15 lakhs tourists visiting Kodagu every year, the ecology of this district is under immense pressure.
An important point to be noted here is that many original inhabitants of Kodagu migrated to metros and some moved abroad. Those who purchased land here started to see monetary benefits from all nook and corners after their acquisition. As a result, many unauthorised structures were built to lure the tourists.
Increased footfall of tourists resulted in a surge of income for people who are directly or indirectly depending on tourism. On the other hand, natural resources of the district took a beating. With sustained pressure on resources to fulfil the need of visitors, the quality of these resources deteriorated.