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When was the last time, you had a picnic by a lake? Well then, stop by CHIKLIHOLE, on your way to Madikeri and find yourself, joyfully refreshed and amazed.
First impressions last. Don?t they? My subtle detour to CHIKLIHOLE, which we chanced upon unintentionally on our way to Madikeri has left a memorable mark, urging me to go here each time. Chiklihole instantaneously reminded me of the famed Periyar Lake in Kerala, the first time I laid my eyes on this place.
Calm, serene and pristine, this lake is a sunken ground for trees whose putrefying trunks rise out of the water. Chiklihole is a look-alike of Periyar with its trunks and trees rising out like a sea horse. ?It is a blissful place in Coorg for a picnic or a refreshing stopover.
Offering immense peace and tranquility amidst the chaos, Chiklihole, seldom visited, got us immersed in?its surroundings for hours. It is suggested that any visitor going to Coorg must take a stopover at this place, sit down by the lake, have a snack and experience the chirping of the birds in this pin-drop silent ambience. It seemed so perfect for me, a nature lover and for any holiday maker, who travel as far as Coorg, Chiklihole is a quick-dash of escape from the stress of one?s usual lives.
Sitting on the sandy hillock naturally formed by the sides of the lake, I spoke to a few people passing by to realize that, Chiklihole in fact, is a large reservoir situated on the tributary of river Cauvery. Located in northern Kodagu (Coorg) between Madikeri and Kushalnagar, I was soon engrossed in its charming beauty ? with green meadows on one side and a thick forest on the other side of the dam. Locals take their cattle and sheep grazing here ? making it more interesting.
A farmer I conversed with, stated that they await for the water from the Chiklihole and Harangi dams to be supplied to them in the villages for a good yield – their only sources of water (faith?), especially when the Rain Gods sleep on their jobs. Though one would associate Coorg with its Coffee, the farmers here take up crops like Jowar, Tobacco, Ginger and paddy, when the waters from Chiklihole are in good supply. ?I was told, that the water is let out into the rivers when the lake gets fuller.
Not wanting to get up from the sandy hillock, I visualized how the Chiklihole irrigation catchment area would look when it is brimming with water – the trees would be submerged further, the meadows would be lusher, the colors would be vibrant birds would be seated on these putrefied trees, as my photographic subjects. Sunset here over river Cauvery and a Periyar-like setting is mystical, and gets extremely picturesque for shutterbugs.
Walking back, I thanked myself for taking the detour; it had led me to unravel, Chiklihole, a place which has left a magical impression on me. After all, is it not true how there is a little bit of magic in everything and everywhere?
Writer: HEMA NARAYANAN
Hema Narayanan is a well-known Photojournalist and highly published Travel Writer in Bangalore. She is an Entrepreneur and founder of the firm, WIDER ANGLES. Visit her website at: http://www.hemanarayanan.com/