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Wednesday 11 September 2019

A view like no other

We were on a family holiday at Coorg, Karnataka. On our sightseeing agenda was the Talakaveri temple in the Brahmagiri hills of Kodagu District. 
Being a non-peak tourist season, a serene temple darshan and visit to the origin of the mighty Kaveri river went off rather quickly.
With time on our hands we wondered what to do next. We spotted steps next to the temple and a lot of people going up and down it. The steps went up the Brahmagiri hill. I looked at the steep incline and the vast number of steps and felt my knees creaking in protest. 
We were debating whether we should do the climb or visit some other spot. Just then we spotted a middle-aged couple coming down the steps. My family looked at me meaningfully with a; 'see if they can do it, you can too' kinda look. 
I stopped them and enquired about the climb. They said it was 407 steps to the top. I asked them what was there to see at the top of the climb. (I'd done 272 steps to the Batu caves in Malaysia years ago and the end of the climb had rewarded us with a marvelous experience of the caves and the shrine within.)
The couple looked at each other briefly, the man smiled and said,"You'll have to find that out yourself, won't you? But it will be totally worth it, let me assure you. Just go for it!" The two of them exchanged secret smiles (Aww, how romantic, I thought) and they went their way.
So now that we had this bit of info, we decided to go for it. The sleeping arithmetician in me kicked in; 407 steps, that's roughly, 20 floors.
The tremendous fitness un-enthusiast in me was breathing strenuously after probably 50 steps. Just 350 more steps, cajoled my family.
Well, huffing and puffing I finally made it to the top after the steep 407 step climb and caught up with the others. I couldn't wait to catch my breath in anticipation of what awaited me there.
There can't be more of an anti-climax than the view from the top of Brahmagiri hills! There is a mediocre view of a surrounding valley, nothing extraordinary. The kind you'd probably not even give a second look if you saw a photograph of. The summit itself has a small platform with railings around. Absolutely nothing else! Probably the climb and the view might have been more rewarding with swirling mists, but we weren't that fortunate.

The smug smiles of the couple we'd met at the bottom came to mind, the couple that'd egged us on to take up the climb.
Yes, they'd undertaken the futile climb themselves, knowingly or unknowingly and wouldn't want to deprive others of the same disappointment that awaited the end of the arduous climb! 
Seriously makes me suspect the intent behind all kinds of reviews...of books, movies, destinations, restaurants and so on. The more the number of stars, the more dubious I get!
That reminds me, I need to do a tripadvisor review of this place. Any guesses how many stars this destination gets from me?? 😈

Anyway, we had a good laugh as we came down the hill, if nothing it was definitely an unforgettable experience! While we were coming down a bunch of college kids was beginning their ascent. My husband called out to them, "Keep your DSLR's ready for the view at the top."😈😈

A nursery rhyme I sang as a kid came back to me. One I've always found pretty silly and futile. I sang it aloud as I trundled down the steps. 
It runs like this,

A bear went over the mountain, 
A bear went over the mountain, 
A bear went over the mountain, 
To see what he could see.

And all that he could see,
And all that he could see,
Was the other side of the mountain.
The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
Was all he could see.

You could hear it as well, at least kids today can have some visuals with this aimless rhyme!

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