A town with an atmosphere rich in history, mythology, religion, belief and faith with the river Cauvery quietly flowing agelessly, a witness to the rise and fall of several kingdoms, to the fervent prayers and resonant chants of devotees, to the happiness and sadness in their hearts and to the progress of human civilization over time.
Some of my colleagues proposed the idea of going on a picnic trip to any nearby place. Rest of us agreed. The places chosen were Talakad or Talakadu which is around 130 kms from Bangalore and 24 kms further to Somnathpur. Bus was hired and food arrangements were made which consisted primarily of South Indian dishes. Permission to go on a picnic on a working Saturday was taken from the management. Bus started at 6 am from the first pick up point. At around 8 am we reached Kanakpura to pick up our supplies. At around 10.30 we stopped for breakfast somewhere beside the road. After breakfast, on our way to Talakadu, all of us started playing Antakshari. It was fun!!
As soon as we reached the outskirts of the small rural settlement, there was a barrier on road and some kids ran up to us…
As a child I don’t remember being too fond of travelling. And our annual travel was to relatives’ homes in Kolkata during the summer vacation which was quite tortuous frankly speaking! The first real vacation trip that I went on was to Puri with my parents after I had started working. Since then it has been one trip after another; some with family, some alone and some with friends.
The inspiration behind this post is a book which I am currently reading. It is a non fiction/travelogue category book (not my genre usually) titled “Around India in 80 Trains” by Monisha Rajesh. What impressed me first was the cover design. It is wonderful and so much attention given to details about Indian Railways.
The blurb of the book says
In 1991, Monishas family uprooted from Sheffield to Madras in the hope of making India their home. Two years later, fed up with soap-eating rats, stolen human hearts and the creepy colonel across the road, they returned to England with a bitter taste in their mouths. Twenty years later, Monisha came back. Taking a page out of Jules Vernes classic tale, Around the World in 80 Days, she embarked on a 40,000km adventure around India in 80 trains. Travelling a distance equivalent to the circumference of the Earth, she lifted the veil on a country that had become a stranger to her. As one of the largest civilian employers in the world, featuring luxury trains, toy trains, Mumbai’s infamous commuter trains and even a hospital on wheels, Indian Railways had more than a few stories to tell. On the way, Monisha met a colourful cast of characters with epic stories of their own. But with a self-confessed militant atheist as her photographer, Monisha’s personal journey around a country built on religion was not quite what she bargained for…Around India in 80 Trains is a story of adventure and drama infused with sparkling wit and humour.
The tourist in me was aroused to read the book and found the concept so innovative and adventurous. I have read three chapters till now so review will be posted later. But the book made me think about my own journeys and the places I have visited around my country India. So I downloaded a royalty free map of India (which by the way had the yet to be formed Telangana state marked and some more mistakes are/were there) and marked all the places I have been till date. So here the places I have visited till now.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ~ Mark Twain
The next day and the day after that, D and I decided to go sight seeing on our own using my SIL’s two wheeler. The weather was as hot as the inside of a furnace! Still we being the ghumakkars that we are, we decided to go exploring the city anyway. I had shortlisted the must see places of the Heritage city. But April 24 being a holiday on the occasion of Bhagvan Shree Parshuram Jayanti, all the government places such as museums, art galleries etc were closed and we missed out on visiting many places. Driving in Ahmedabad city was a spine chilling, adrenalin rushing, heart palpitating act because it seems to be the city where traffic rules go to die and traffic police are non existent. Yet it was interesting to see rural people in ethnic dresses, camel carts and even elephant on the roads!…
In April – May 2012, we made plan to visit Delhi to meet my sister and my cutest niece who were visiting India for the first time since her birth last year. We decided to include Ahmedabad, my SIL’s place, too in the itinerary. Visiting both the places in the months of April and May was going to be a real challenge due to the hot weather. Sight seeing and sun do not go together at all! But who knew the trip was going to be one of a kind experience for me!
So we went via flight to Ahmedabad….my first flight experience ever! The field of clouds, the farm lands, the miniature buildings, the streams, the lakes and the sun from high above in the sky…breathtaking experience!
Next day we visited these places :-
# Adalaj Ni Vav – It is located at Adalaj village, around 19 kms away…
So after lunch, we proceeded on our Mysore sight-seeing trip. Mysore is the Karnataka’s second biggest city. It was the erstwhile capital of the Wodeyar dynasty and is considered the cultural capital of the state. It is also known as the City of Palaces. From what we saw, Mysore appeared to be a clean and well planned city with a heritage feel and quaint charm to it. The places we visited are
#St.Philomena’s Church - This church is dedicated to Saint Philomena, a 3rd century saint from Greece. The twin spires of the Cathedral, 175 feet in height, are visible from a distance making them a distinctive city landmark. Apparently there was a smaller church in the same place dated back to 1800 A.D. This larger church was built in its place in 1956 and is one of the largest churches in the country…
After lunch and a little afternoon shut-eye, we decided to go sightseeing around Digha. Our first destination was the Science Center established by the National Council of Science Museums at New Digha. The Centre offers a variety of mechanisms to make science an enjoyable learning experience. There is a biology section with few animals, a physics section, a planetarium which holds evening shows and a park. Had fun time exploring all the mechanisms.
9th Dec 2010: It had got dark by the time we reached Digha station; all because we had missed the first train and got delayed by three hours. Digha is the most popular sea beach and tourist spot in West Bengal. It is known as “Brighton of the East”. Digha station looked quite new and clean. I guess to promote tourism, WBTDC has spruced up the place. Also there are 4-5 trains from Kolkata to Digha!
First of all I want to apologize for being absent on your blogs’ comment sections and not replying to your comments on mine. I have been really busy in studying and thesis work and will remain so for some more time. But I had to write a blog post to keep this blog alive, right? :) Also you must know when I come back I will read each and every unread post and comment :) So please bear with me till then.
As I mentioned in my last post, D and I had gone to Kolkata in December 2010. During our stay there, we went on two trips – a one day trip in Kolkata only and a 3 day trip to Digha beach which is the most popular weekend destination for Calcuttans.
# 6th Nov Day 3 :- Next day, we hired a car. Cars are easily available for hire. One can also rent a car and drive oneself. It costs 1400 rs for South Goa trip. South Goa trip is for one day and North Goa trip takes another day. We didn’t have time to visit North Goa this time.
So I spent my Diwali vacation in Goa this year. :) It was my first trip to Goa and the people to go on the trip were my parents, D and I.
# 4th Nov 2010 day 1 :- Arrived at Madgaon early morning from Pune. The feeling of being in Goa starts from Madgaon station itself because of all the cartoon drawings of Mario Miranda on the walls of Madgoan station :) Colva beach is only 10 kms from Madgaon so it is no use staying at Madgaon. So we hired a pre paid taxi to Colva beach. Checked in to a good family resort just 100 m away from beach. Nice place but bad service and rude staff. :(
Continued from the first part here and second part here
29th May :- We went to Alibaug in late morning as planned. Thankfully our hotel was near an auto stand so we didn’t have to walk much in the hot sun. Alibaug is quite well-developed commercially. But the only shopping we did there was to buy “hapoos” mangoes at cheaper price and of better quality than Pune. :D:D We also had tender coconut water there but it was tasteless. The best tender coconut water is available at Konark, Orissa. :)
During my summer vacation stay at Pune this year, D and I had gone on a short trip to Kihim and Alibaug during weekend. So before I get too late in posting my account of the trip like Vimmuuu [ :P ] and I forget the details for the travelogue, here is the first part of the three post series.