Wednesday, June 30, 2010

29 June 2010 - Bakasuramalai

Govindharajan, District Manager-Nilgiris, of Tantea Corporation, needed to check a tea plantation in the vicinity of Bakasura Malai where it is believed there are ancient mysterious caves that can take you to Mysore and other faraway places.  He took us along for the view and a picnic.

Bakasura Malai is also known as Droog Fort, built by Tipu Sultan of the Kingdom of Mysore in the 18th century to fight wars with various adversaries, including the British.  Parts of the stone wall are still there.  It is now located in the Non Such tea plantation and was a 1.5 km climb on rugged trail for us.  I think if you were not guests of tea-plantation folks, it would be a much longer trek as we were able to drive through Non Such plantation, ya know?

We drove to Govindharajan's office at the Tiger Hill factory.  The scene as we approached was breathtaking since the fog had settled down into the valley.
Tiger Hill factory of Tantea where Govindharajan's office is
Gopal and Raju with Tantea employees who report to Govindharajan.
Raju at Bakasura Malai
Raju on the left, Govindharajan 3rd from the left, and Tantea employees who accompanied us
View-point structure at the top of the hill.  If the clouds had not accompanied us, the views would have been incredible.  The hike up there is so rigorous, I can't imagine doing it again soon, ya know?
Stopping for water on the way down
I tried to help this guy who was carrying these pots of water and tea.  But I guess it would have been unseemly and inappropriate for him to accept help from me.  (The smile is for having his picture taken.)
Gopal ahead on the trail.  The plants on either side are 'pruned' tea trees.  Tea trees on tea plantations are actually bonsai trees, since they naturally grow to 70-80 feet tall.  The trees scattered around are silver oaks which are in every treed plantation since they absorb extra water in the soil and provide shade.
This is the view from our SUV on the way home.  I wanted to show you how HORRIBLE the road is, but failed.  The bumping along violently actually made us sick to our stomachs.  My little Maruti would never had survived this road.
This is Raju backed by a typical tea plantation scene.  All the following photos are our views as we rode home.

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