‘Disguised’ Rahul Gandhi has Quiet Holiday in Coorg

Madikeri, Feb 24 (TOI): Even a political scion is entitled to his days of peace and quiet, away from the political din and media glare. Away from his party’s troubles, 39-year-old Rahul Gandhi visited Kodagu with friends from February 16 to 20.

Rahul flew into Calicut last Wednesday, and drove to the Now and Neverland resort around midnight at the nearby Chelavara.

With 31 friends from Kerala and New Delhi for company, he is said to have enjoyed a quiet time. Rahul spent the four days rock climbing and working out at the gym. He returned to Calicut on February 20.

While participating in adventure sports in Kodagu, Rahul injured his leg and was treated at a private hospital at Ammathi. Rahul was so well-disguised he succeeded in making the doctors mistake him for a foreign tourist. Gautham, manager of Now and Neverland, said Rahul seemed to enjoy himself during his stay.

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Victoria Gowramma: The Lost Princess of Coorg

By  C. P. Belliappa

Veerarajendra, the exiled raja of Coorg, and his eleven-year-old daughter of Gowramma, were the first Indian royals to land in Britain in the summer of 1852. Veerarajendra used the pretext of his daughter’s embracing Christanity and acquiring a Western education, as a ruse to secure permission to visit England.

What was his true motive behind this journey? Furthermore, as godmother to Gowramma, Queen Victoria had grand plans for the princess and another exiled royalty: Maharaja Duleep Singh of Punjab. In this book, C.P. Belliappa has reconstructed the extraordinary saga of the earliest Indian royalities to visit and live in Victorian England. He has unearthed hither to unpublished material that throws light on Veerarajendra’s and Princess Victoria Gowramma’s life in England, and the amazing affection Queen Victoria bestowed on the young princess.

For a list of books written on Coorg please click here

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Joshna Chinappa upsets Pallikal to win Chicago Open


India’s Joshna Chinappa scored an upset 3-2 victory over compatriot Dipika Pallikal to win the Metrosquash Windy City Open title in Chicago.

Fourth seeded Chinappa, ranked 35th in the world, won 11-4 6-11 12-10 2-11 11-6 against another Indian Pallikal, seeded second, in the $ 8,000 WISPA World tour event.

Both the Indians were neck on neck throughout the tie and matched each other in execution of shots and dead drops for winners.

But Chinappa was able to hold her nerve better and the third game which she won in deuce put pressure on her higher ranked opponent.

In the semifinals, Chennai girl Chinappa, ranked 24th in the world, had defeated top seed Ireland’s Aisling Blake 7-11 11-5 5-11 11-8 6-11 in 59 minutes.

Pallikal, who recently became the highest ranked Indian in the world, advanced to the summit clash after her opponent USA’s Latasha Khan retired in the fifth game.

Both were locked 2-2 (5-11 11-6 8-11 12-10) after the fourth game.

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-The Hindu

Arabica coffee price reaches all time high

The price of Arabica coffee has been increased to Rs 10,000 for 50 kg for the first time in the history of coffee market.
ABC Coffee Marketing Agency had announced Rs 9,900 for Arabica coffee bags of 50 kg. Meanwhile, the coffee was sold for Rs 10,100 in the open market. The price of Arabica coffee had earlier touched the Rs 8,000 mark in 1995 – 96.

The price of coffee per bag has been increased by 254 cents in the US. Following this, dealers are in much expectations that growers will sell coffee in large quantity. However, growers too are expecting further increase in the price.

“Many growers had asked us to inform when the price touches Rs 10,000 mark. We called many growers to inform the increased rate. However, growers did not come to sell coffee even at Rs 10,000 per bag and are waiting to see further boost in the price,” said N Shivakumar of S R Coffee Traders.


The production of Arabica coffee has been reduced by 30 per cent in Columbia, which is the largest producer of Washed Arabica coffee in the world. The production has been reduced by 11 million bags in Brazil. Similarly, the production has been reduced drastically in America too. Experts opine that the rate of coffee will increase further due to the reduction in the production in foreign nations.

Due to the untimely rains during the flowering season, the production of Arabica also had decreased in India.

Karnataka Growers Federation President Dr N K Pradeep says that the bumper price will not make any difference among farmers as the cost of production including labour charge had increased considerably.

Karnataka Planters Association President Sahadev Balakrishna said that crop loss in coffee growing nations in the world led to increase in the price of coffee in India.  When contacted, an official of a coffee trading agency in Italy warned the growers that it will not be a good decision to wait for further increase in the price.

“The price of coffee had increased because of the commodity trading. Hence, the growers should think of selling the coffee at the right time,” official advised



US under-secretary goes on a secret mission to Bylakuppe

Coorg Tibetan Monestery – CoorgCreek.com

US under-secretary of state for democracy and global affairs Maria Otero, who is also specially designated for Tibetan affairs, on Wednesday, visited the world’s largest Tibetan settlement at Bylakuppe.

Her visit assumed pan-India importance following the fresh influx of refugees from the Himalayan nation into India recently and also the row involving Karmapa Lama, where a large chunk of Chinese currency was recovered from his monastery in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. However, her visit was a totally hushed-up affair and the settlement officials were instructed not to reveal any information.

“Otero’s visit was organised in a hurry. We were told to prepare for her visit just 48 hours back,” said a senior official of the settlement.

Her visit lasted three hours. First, she interacted with a group of Buddhist scholars both from junior and senior grades and spoke to their teachers separately.She also met the administrators and representatives of the settlement and visited one of the farm groups. Otero later visited the Buddhist Golden temple or the Namdroling monastery.

Sources who accompanied Otero on the tour of the settlement told DNA that her visit was arranged to get firsthand information about the problems faced by Tibetan refugees in India.

A senior expert in political science and international affairs at Mysore University told DNA on condition of anonymity, “The US is now worried over the Chinese influence in Indian politics and economy. If the US wants to block Chinese influence in India, Tibetan knowledge and experience is the only way. After the fall of Russia, the US is closely watching the largest surviving Communist block in the world that is in China and Tibetan affairs vis-a-vis the Indian reflections on the Tibetan refugees will give the US a foothold in the Sino-Indian scenario.”

Largest Tibetan settlement
Bylakuppe is the largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet and has been the hope of thousands of refugees who first came to India in 1959, escaping Chinese oppression. There are10,700 refugees who are engaged in agriculture and allied activities. The Tibetan Settlement Co-operative Society runs agro workshops, petrol pumps, restaurants, tourist circuits, shops selling Tibetan artisan products and food items.

After 50 years of co-existence with the Indian population in Kushalnagar and Periyapatna, the refugees have now spread out in Kodagu and Mysore districts. Many of them have integrated well with local society, and earn a livelihood here. The Mysore University reserves certain number of seats forrefugee monks who have graduated from the Buddhist theology courses at monasteries in Bylakuppe.

For more Coorg Buddhist temple  pics, please click here

– DNAIndia

US magazine rates Karnataka best tourist spot

Tourism in Karnataka has received a boost after a US-based lifestyle magazine Conde Nast featured the State and rated it as the fourth best destination in the world to visit this year in its Traveller edition this month.
Karnataka in the fourth position and Odisha in the ninth position are the only Indian places to figure in the list of eleven. Iran tops the list of the must-travel destinations for the year followed by Botswana, Tasmania (Australia), Karnataka, Myanmar, Seoul (South Korea), Tel Aviv (Israel), Tallinn (Estonia), Odisha, Sri Lanka and Uruguay.

Director of Tourism Vishwanatha K Reddy said that this was the best possible exposure for Karnataka tourism and would help enormously in making the State a visible brand name in the international tourism sector in the coming years.

The Traveller piece recommends Karnataka for its palaces, tiger-spotting at unspoilt sanctuaries like Bandipur, the rapids of Coorg with the homestay experience along with the specially brewed coffee and of course the temples of Belur and Halebeedu.

The Tourism Department has been aggressively promoting the State in the international circles for the last three years by participating in trade fairs and road shows. This includes almost all European capitals and Argentina, Brazil, China, UAE and Japan. Reddy said they expected a big leap in tourists and the results of the promotions could be seen in a couple of years.