History, Love And A Bit Of Intrigue

During each of my travels to Kodagu, from where my mother hails, I discover something new and interesting about the place. As the language of the place, Kodava Takk, doesn’t have a script almost all the history of this beautiful hilly district of Karnataka is recorded in the form folk songs and lyrics. When someone writes stories or novels about the place, I’m overjoyed! I gotta get my hands on this one:

Victoria Gowramma – The Lost Princess of Coorg by C.P. Belliappa reveals much about Kodagu’s history as it does of England’s. The author has written various short stories on Kodagu (Coorg) and its history and people’s lives. King Chikka Veerarajenra and 11-year-old daughter Gowramma leave for England on the pretext of converting Gowramma to Christianity and to further her education. The flirtatious daughter is even scheduled to be married to another recently-turned Christian, Raja Duleep Singh of Punjab, who’s in England, too.

In 1852, the Lingayat king from the Hilleri dynasty became the first royal to have been given permission to set foot in England. The novel is enthralling for the fact that it presents paper clippings and copies of actual documents that Belliapa found on the net, among the archives of many British officials and the aristocracy.

For those who love history, there’s this palace-summer resort in Kakkabe, Coorg, which was used by Dodda Veerarajendra and his cousin Chikka Veerarajendra to hide from Tipu Sultan as well as the British. The latter king agreed with the British to help them find and capture Tipu Sultan.

It is called Nalknad Palace. It is located on a hilltop and is a quaint, small-in-size palace. The major attractions are the mandap near the entrance, the almost-invisible murals on the front walls of the palace and, of course, the twin dark rooms. Yes, these are perfectly window-less, gap less ‘dark’ rooms, where the king hid during the time he was running away from the two powerful forces at the time. You won’t believe it, once you enter either of the rooms and closed the damn door there’s absolutely NO sound or light coming in from the outside! And they’re located in the basement, too.

Check out the book for more interesting morsels of Kodagu history.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 30th, 2010 at 8:58 am and is filed under History, Non-Fiction. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


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  1. A New Historical Book On Kodagu | Travel Karnataka