Mountains of Malnad

Mountains of Malnad

We set off to the monsoon drenched mountains of the Malnad district of Karnataka, in southern India. Our hired car careened wildly past hairpin bends, narrowly missing the nonchalant cows strolling along at a leisurely pace, while we were chased by enthusiastic village dogs.  Out of place and out of time, every village hut boasted a satellite dish on the roof. Wizened monkeys peered curiously through the leaves, and patient elephants allowed their mahouts to bathe them by the river. Masses of white cranes nested in sanctuaries tucked into the Western Ghat mountains of the Deccan plateau.

We arrived at the Bananki plantation where our spirits were restored with old world charm. Our hostess took us on a tour of  the rubber plantations: sap dripping diagonally into plastic bags.  Cash crops of areca nut palms, cardamom and ginger plants, peppercorn vines, and banana trees. The emerald green of terraced paddy fields glinted jewel-bright in the sunlight. The next day, we pushed onwards to the mist covered Jog Falls, where we descended ~1400 steps to the bottom, into oppressive heat and humidity. We paid the price for our foolishness with the climb back up 🙂

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78 Responses to Mountains of Malnad

  1. Ashok Verma says:


    nice pic of nature beauty

  2. Hung Do says:


    Wow, spectacular!!! What an amazing landscape!!!

  3. Jim Carver says:


    True, my back is hurting now just by looking. Looks deathly humid and ridden with mosquitoes in the stagnant places. We’ve had a lot of blood suckers here this season and I hate ’em! 🙂

  4. Rajini Rao says:


    These are some of the rainiest spots on the planet. Very lush to visit, probably a pain to live here 🙂

  5. Rajini Rao says:


    No mosquitoes, and humid only down below because there were no breezes. Up in the mountains, it was cool. They were killer steps!

  6. Kevin Clift says:


    Ireland in India – give or take the snakes.


    Ireland: Rainfall in the west generally averages between 1,000 and 1,250 mm (39.4 and 49.2 in). In many mountainous districts rainfall exceeds 3,000 mm (118.1 in) per year.


    Malenad: The Malenadu region is humid and has an annual rainfall of 1,000 to 3,800 mm.[1] Agumbe which is in Shimoga district receives the highest rainfall in Karnataka (close to 10,000mm).

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    That’s right, Kevin Clift , we were close to Agumbe. The rainiest place in India is in the northeast- Assam. A place called Cherrapunji, although I’m told that some seasons there is more rain in the Malnads.

  8. Jim Carver says:


    Kevin Clift We do know how to use to internet. You don’t have to always educate us because some of us are already educated. Just talk, that’s really all you have to do on here.  I had you circled for a long time and I still know next to nothing about you.

  9. Roy Walter says:


    These are spectacular. Thanks!

  10. Akarsh Simha says:


    ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆ ಜ್ಞಾಪಕವಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ! [Translated: I remember home]

  11. Rajini Rao says:


    Delighted that this brought back memories, Akarsh Simha . Good ones, I hope.

  12. Akarsh Simha says:


    Rajini Rao, Yes, good ones, certainly.


  13. What an amazing place – your prose brought it fully to life Rajini Rao.

  14. Chad Haney says:


    A lot of similarities to Thailand (rice, elephants, humidity, etc). Nice photos. Did  your daughter escape this part of the trip or just the camera?

  15. Kawthar A says:


    I love water falls!!!! 🙂


    Great album again Rajini Rao 🙂


  16. Rajini Rao beautiful!  i have never been to malnad, though i love karnataka.  i was disappointed with the overcrowded villages in nilgiri so i will look up malnad next time.   beautiful photos!

  17. Desh Maharaj says:


    Simply beautiful. The land of the most beautiful still sunsets. But oh God this is torture for me. i lived there once when i was studying in Karnataka.

  18. Rahul Joshi says:


    That place is simply beautiful! Did you also get a chance to visit Coorg while at it Rajini Rao ? I was there late last year and found it so quaint and lush colorful!

  19. Rajini Rao says:


    This place is around the same area, Rahul Joshi . Not quite Coorg, but similar.

  20. Rahul Joshi says:


    Cool. I believe Coorg lies in the region of Malnad, so yes, there would be many similarities Rajini Rao .

  21. Rajini Rao says:


    Next time, we should do a northern India trip Rahul Joshi . Haven’t been further north than New Delhi in ages.

  22. Rahul Joshi says:


    Great idea Rajini Rao ! Besides the obvious Uttaranchal, you must really have the “Sangla-Spiti-Ladakh” route on your list.

  23. Rahul Joshi says:


    You sir, have a great taste. It is on mine too!


  24. Sounds great – thanks for sharing!

  25. Shiv Sankar says:


    I lykd all ur pic & pics r awsome…. truly… natural…i’ve saved for my gadget….

  26. Gregory Esau says:


    I am loving these stories!! And pics!


  27. nature..nature..nothing compare the beauty of God’s perfect creation.


  28. Incredible India or as said in Hindi Atulya Bharat 🙂


  29. Thank you so very very much for posting these wondrous pics Rajini .


    You have truly made my day!

  30. Rajini Rao says:


    I’m delighted you enjoyed them, Terry Hallett . I wasn’t going to put them up..I wondered who would be interested in these ramblings. It’s nice of you to be so kind 🙂


  31. Ooops I missed these photos 😦 Absolutely stunning Rajini Rao and please keep posting them, as much as I enjoy your science posts, the food and travel posts are great too!

  32. Madhhu Patil says:


    Beautiful,feel it to go,Guide it

  33. Mary T says:


    Thank you so much for posting your beautiful photos!  I have always wanted to visit India, but haven’t made it.  I loved seeing the elephants, and it’s nice to see them well cared for.


  34. Beautiful pictures- looks like a wonderful trip, thanks for sharing!

  35. Rajini Rao says:


    Thanks for stopping by, Hudson Ansley 🙂


  36. Great ! (at least you let the science take a rest)


  37. very great and magnific


  38. Jog falls is one of my dream destinations!!! We had planned a trip to Jog falls thrice, but could not go due to many reasons! I will not give up.. 🙂  The pics look heavenly!! Thanks for sharing Rajini Rao 

  39. Rajini Rao says:


    Definitely worth it, Rakshana Jothikumar ! They’re even better in the rainy season. 

  40. Ahmed Gaper says:


    Kevin Clift كزهنتف. 😈😈😈


  41. Fantastic view, feel like visiting.


  42. It’s look like my village from Karnataka


  43. Black pepper bananas elaichi rice fields oh nice

  44. Kanhai Kumar says:


    Kanhai kumarkaranti kumar karanti kumar raj


  45. wow very nice superrrrrr

  46. allen steve says:


    Wow is this oppressive heat

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