By P.T. Bopanna

Despite being a rationalist, it has been a quirky habit with me to read the astrological predictions usually titled ‘This week for you’ published in various magazines. Though I believe the predictions are just bunkum, due to curiosity and my inbuilt insecurity I continue to read them.

Sometime in 2005, I came across a prediction in an astrology column that said I would do well if I started a website. My professional career was not doing well around that time, so I decided to act on the prediction. There was a problem though. I was not technology savvy and did not know much about websites.  But this did not stop me from registering my first domain

I developed content for the site on matters of tourist interest. My financial position was tight, but things began to look up after the then managing director of Tata Coffee Ltd, M.H. Ashraff, offered advertisement sponsorship for my website. The then Orange County resort near Siddapur in Kodagu also extended sponsorship.

I requested writer C.P. Belliappa to contribute a column to the website. I also began posting Kodagu-related news items. Despite initial technical hiccups, the website started doing well and mine was the first website displayed in google search results, for the keyword ‘Coorg’.

There was hardly any competition at that time as the big players like ‘TripAdvisor’ had not yet become active in the Coorg segment. Net penetration was still poor and Coorg was just starting to become a weekend destination of the techies in Bengaluru, the concept of home stays was still gaining popularity.

Well, I had already undertaken the task of chronicling all things Coorg, and at some point during that journey I realised that the land has a rich culinary tradition as well, one which is certainly worth preserving. Towards that end, I put together a Coorg recipes website way back in 2006.

The recipe site also included a section on Coorg jewellery. But wanting to focus totally on food, I created an exclusive website only for the jewellery – was launched around 2010.

With the concept of homestays in Coorg becoming popular, I started around 2010. It was basically intended to provide contact details of homestays to those visiting Coorg. I had also selected 10 top Coorg homestays after doing a bit of research on the Net.

In 2014, I launched, a news portal to cater Coorg news to the Kodava diaspora spread across the world. I had done several hard-hitting reports, mostly about Kodagu DCs and local MLAs. The affected parties complained to Facebook where I used to share the links of my reports from They succeeded in blocking my news site content appearing on Facebook. The ground for blocking my website by Facbook was that my reports went against ‘community standards’. Facebook was acting on the new digital rules brought out by the Modi government. So much for the freedom of the press in our country. I do not blame Facebook because the platform is being arm-twisted by government agencies.

After promoting five Coorg-centric websites, I had no plans to go in for one more website. However, the lockdown triggered by the coronavirus, pushed me into going in for one more website.

During the lockdown, my books could not be distributed. Moreover, I had more time on my hand.This gave me the idea for putting together, a website exclusively devoted for my books.

The last website I launched was sometime in 2021, to feature content on Kodava culture. There was a section devoted to Kodava rituals relating to birth, wedding and death for ready reference. “I felt the need for providing the rituals in detail because the Kodava diaspora is spread around the world and this   information could come in handy for them”.

With Coorg emerging as a prime eco-tourism destination in South India, I decided to revamp my sites. I recently merged five of my websites with the flagship website

My aim is to provide all information relating to Coorg under one roof.  I have merged my recipes, homestays, jewellery, and books sites. However, my Coorg news site will not be merged. The merger is intended for easy navigation across segments.

Basically, I consider my websites as a public service platform that aims to guide people visiting Coorg about its local culture and traditions so that they become more aware, responsible, understanding, and appreciative of the place.

*P.T. Bopanna’s photo by Ajay Ghatage, formerly of Times of India

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