ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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How Green Was My Forest

As the old gives way to the new in Kodagu, those who grew up in erstwhile Coorg rue the changes that tourism has brought to the region.

The forests of our childhood, where we once walked the calf-path barefoot, stepping over the spread of large buttress tree roots, past the tantalisingly hung vines and over the virgin undergrowth sprinkled with surprises of myriad insects in all hues and shapes, are barricaded now by barbed-wire fences as everyone on every patch of hillside grows coffee these days – a bitter brew that has lost its earlier pecuniary sheen for the grower.

Our children will never traverse the jungles of Coorg as our parents once did. And the meticulously tended coffee bushes no longer fill the coffers of the growers as easily as before, for much of the profits are now being shared by wiser and far more demanding labour groups who practically break their backs to fill that early morning cup with cheer. While the barbed wires remain, the place known as Kodagu (before it became Coorg only to scurry back to being called Kodagu again) has opened up – to tourism.

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