November to February, the winter months at Coorg, see temperatures tumbling down. The Monsoon and the low pressures at the Bay of Bengal between October and December bring in rainfall, thereby pushing down the mercury levels further. It was during one of these winters, that I was biking to Coorg on a two wheeler.
Coorg or Kodagu is a small administrative district in Karnataka but has a lot to offer any tourist. I was amused by the heights of three beautiful sights when I was on the tour, the Virajpet Clock Tower, St. Anne’s Church and the Irupu waterfalls.
The Virajpet Clock Tower, built to commemorate King George V’s visit to India by Mukkatira Aiyyappa, has stood tall for almost 97 years now. The foundation stone was laid by the then Chief Commissioner of Coorg, Sir. Huch Daly on the 5th of February, 1914. It stands majestically in the heart of the town and serves as a perfect reference point for getting around. I walked around the tower from all 3 main roads and it was a feeling that can’t be described when you see such old structures.
When the Virajpet Clock Tower takes you back by 100 years, St. Anne’s Church of Virajpet, moves you by 200+ years. The St. Anne’s Church was built in the year 1792 in European and Gothic styles, the same year in which the Virajpet (Veerarajendrapete) town was founded by the then ruler of Kodagu, Veerarajendra Wodeyar.
I also got to understand that there is a school/college attached to the St. Anne’s church, which produced hundreds of great alumni.
The next stop for me was the perennial Irupu falls, which is in being for ages now. This waterfall is very popular among general tourists for its beauty and accessibility. The waters of the Irupu originate from streams in the Brahmagiri range and crash down the Irupu falls to join the Lakshman Teertha river.
Legends speak about the religious significance of these falls, dating back to the days of Lord Rama. I was sitting there for a while listening to the musical notes created by the waters, in addition to the musings of the birds around. I must say, riding to Irupu on a two wheeler during winters is indeed bliss.