On 13 March 2023, cadets from Sainik School Kodagu went on an educational tour to Madikeri. The aim of the tour was to enhance students’ knowledge and inspire their curiosity about the world around them. The tour was a huge success, and cadets learned a lot from the experience.
The tour started at 0830 hrs in the morning, with the cadets and staff at the school. Cadets boarded the bus with excitement and enthusiasm. Around 1030 hrs., we visited Padi Sri Igguthappa Temple at Kakkabe which is 34 km from Madikeri. Padi Sri igguthappa Temple was built in 1810 AD by Linga Rajendra. The temple is dedicated to Lord Subramanya, also known as Iguthappa by the Kodavas. Lord Iguthappa is an important deity for Kodavas. The temple resembles Kerala style of architecture, located in a very natural and beautiful setting, situated on a hillock. There is something calm and prayerful about it. The priest here meets each individual devotee and gives them his blessings. After pooja, he then took us to the kitchen where we received the Prasad in the form of Avalakki and Upma. With calm and peaceful mind, we left to Nalknad Palace, at Yavakapadi village.
Nalknad palace called Naalnaad Aramane in the local Kodava language. It was built between the years 1792 and 1794 AD. It was tastefully decorated with stone and wood artwork and several colourful wall and roof paintings, the place was once used as hideout by the emperor belonging to the Haleri dynasty. We were told that Nalknad Aramane was constructed by the Haleri ruler Dodda Veerarajendra in 1792 after he escaped from the clutches of Tipu Sultan’s army. A large gate leads visitors to the palace and a stage where weddings were conducted can be seen. The palace also has a durbar hall where the convened meetings and entertainment events were staged. Moreover, there are two dark rooms in the basement which served as the hideout of the king. At present owned by the Directorate of Archaeology and Museum under the Government of Karnataka, and there are plans to convert it into a museum exhibiting the handicrafts of Coorg region. We enjoyed our refreshments at palace ground watching beautiful tall green trees and mountains. With joyful hearts around 1300 hrs., we left to Madikeri. After reaching Madikeri, we had our packed lunch and visited General Thimayya Museum.
General KS Thimayya served as the Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961 and his ancestral house ‘Sunny Side’ has been renovated and converted into a museum. The museum showcases memorabilia, including weapons and military uniforms, and battle tank at the entrance in addition to a fighter jet, both of which were used by Indian army during India-Pakistan war in 1971. Military uniforms, books and information on Indian armed forces have been displayed. Cadets were fascinated by the exhibits which include verities of guns, photos, paintings etc. We noticed the Army discipline here too everything seemed in order, neat and clean. At the end we took a group photo at Soldier’s black book sculpted in cement at the entrance of the Museum. It was an enthralling experience. From here we went to visit Omkareshwara Temple.
Omkareshwara Temple is an ancient shrine dedicated to Lord Shive. The temple construction reflects Islamic style. It was constructed by King Lingarajendra II in the 18th century as a form of penance. We were surprised to see the temple design that is quite similar to the Muslim dargah. The interesting thing we notice is that the temple lacks a pillared hall as is common in most temples in India. The temple is a large and simple structure with a peaceful ambiance. A water tank inside the temple premises has mantapa built in the centre. Cadets were attracted and happy to see many fishes playing in the water tank. With a serene mind and heart, we left to Raja Seat.
Raja Seat is located in the middle of a garden called as Gandhi Mantap. It is a structure of four pillars that are bridged by arches. This garden is known for its scenery and was a favorite place of recreation for the Rajas and named as Raja Seat. It is built on a high-level ground overlooking the cliffs and valleys to the west. We enjoyed lovely sunset and fountains danced to the tune of rhythmic music and gush out colourful water. The sunset point overlooks a valley and offers a spectacular view of green mist-laden mountains beyond the valley. We were mesmerized seeing many varieties of colourful flowers inside the garden. At the end, we appreciated the Horticulture Department staff for maintaining the garden so beautiful and clean. Eateries are not allowed inside the garden, so we had our tasty eateries outside and boarded the bus to Sainik School Kodagu.
Around 2045 hrs., we reached school. Finally, one day educational tour to the Madikeri was a great success, providing our cadets with rich and meaningful learning experience that will undoubtedly shape their future. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our principal Col G Kannan and all the staff and volunteers who made this tour possible.