Friday, August 21, 2015

   The Monsoon Magic- magnificent Jog and mesmerizing Murudeshwar  


                          This Independence day gifted us a freedom to travel to our hearts’ content in the monsoon, for a vacation starved Rams family! I jumped up in joy when my hubby proposed a trip to the western ghats in Uttara Karnataka, to celebrate our wedding anniversary in advance,! Deprived of a well deserved excursion for quite some time, I was indeed looking forward to the short odyssey. Google came to my rescue assisting in the booking of travel, stay and sightseeing and the itinerary was finalized from the cool comforts of my home! Everything seemed to fall in its place and the countdown to the D-day had begun with yours truly, the unskilled packer, stuffing all and sundry into two large suitcases much to the chagrin of the ads whose idea of a vacation was only a backpack! From salt for the leeches, to loosen their vice like grips on our soft bodies to sneakers and jackets to protect us from the rains, the luggage was full and I had the final say!
                         The free ride on the Uber cab was a delight to start our picnic with and we had embarked well ahead of the departure time of the bus. But the snarling peak hour traffic of Bengaluru was driving us insane. The only solace was to think of the sojourn to bliss and be one among nature! I had almost given up on reaching the travels’ office in time but the cabbie  who got the whiff of the situation due to my grumbling and ranting, stepped on the gas and manoeuvred adroitly through the rain filled pot holed by lanes  to reach the terminal on time and we avoided the trauma of seeing the rear of the glistening blue bus!
                               Snugly reclining in the push back seats, heaving a collective sigh of relief, we were off and in less than an hour stopped for dinner at a road side eatery with an ambience that was truly inviting. The “pure veg” tag was the icing on the cake and we enjoyed the steaming hot idis and vadas dunked in sambar and chutney.
                             The onward seven hour journey to Sagar, a lovely district of Shivamogga town in Malnad region of Karnataka was uneventful as darkness had engulfed the picturesque greenery of the country side. As dawn broke the darkness of the silent night, I was overjoyed to see the rain soaked ghat road towards Sagar. Yes, the monsoon magic had begun in full earnest and my heart was beating faster. I turned the clock back 30 years to reminisce the Geography class in school when Sukumari madam was explaining about Gersoppa falls and Linganamakki  dam across the Shravati river. How I had longed then to see India’s second largest segmented plunge and the moment of euphoria had arrived.
                          The hotel Pavithra Residency was decent and the family suite was large, neat and comfortable. Refreshed and raring to go after a warm bath and with a nice breakfast of masala dosai , we embarked on our sightseeing tour in a taxi.

                           The 30 minute drive across lush green carpets of paddy fields with swaying coconut trees fringed at the borders and winding snake roads was captivating. As we neared the gorgeous bluff, the skies opened up and the rain came down in torrents. We could hear the rush and roar of the Jog but the mist and clouds completely covered the falls. Within minutes the rain stopped  lifting the veil of mist and lo and behold, Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket thundered down magnificently and I was spell bound by nature’s bounty. A sheer fall of 800 feet of river Shravati into the ravines, the froth and foam pumping up my adrenalin!


The next couple of hours was absolute delight and a great photo op (sans selfies and groupfies) with different combinations and I am privileged to share those moments of bliss with my dear readers. My heart ached to bid goodbye to the opulence of nature  but we had to move on to the next destination, the Ikkeri Aghoreshwara temple built by the Keladi chiefs and has been taken over by the ASI. 

Then came Keladi with a temple and a museum developed by Kuvempu university which boasted of age old artefacts. Linganamakki reservoir was next on our agenda but despite the dam being almost full, the sluice gates were not opened denying us the opportunity of seeing a torrent of water gushing out!
                             Honnemaradu, the island atop a hillock overlooking the Linganamakki dam was enchanting. After the whirlwind two day sojourn to Sagar and its surroundings, we boarded the KSRTC to take us to Honnavar, the port city on the Arabian Sea. The Western Ghats was a treat to the eyes with dime a dozen hair pin bends on NH 17 interspersed with water falls en route. Copious rains , exotic scenery and salubrious climate made our 100km journey gratifying and pleasant!
                       World’s second largest statue of Lord Shiva with a towering Raja Gopura  was a sight to behold when we reached the coastal town of Murudeshwar in Bhatkal. 

For the etymology and legend about the temple please visit
                       The distinct air of the sea with the colourful fishing boats moored at the shore and the waves crashing into the temple is mesmerizing. The grandeur of the statue is enhanced by the breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea with its long coastline stretching as far as the eyes could see! High speed elevators took us to the 18th floor of the Raja Gopura 

and the view from the top was spectacular. I am bereft of adjectives and the English language seems to be poor to describe the panoramic spectacle where nature blends with perfect harmony with religion and spirituality. The imposing Shiva statue sitting cheek by jowl with the sea is forever etched in my memory! The beaches on the shore were balms for our weary but happy feet and the day culminated with the sunset. A hearty dinner at Kamat’s brought the curtains down on our jaunt.

                            The luxury coach from Honnavar brought us back to our domain , traversing through the Ghats one more time, briefly pausing at Jog and then heading to Bengaluru via Shivamogga . The mirthful, magnetic, marvellous, monsoon magic had come to an end bringing home rejuvenated bodies and souls with lots of memories and a pet leech! (We are yet to name it!)     

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sweet sensation of swiftness! 

                          Sweet sensation of swiftness

Life is rush hour in this modern era of computers and technology and we have become slaves to time. Speed, agility and swiftness matter the most in every field of activity we do or perform.
                         Falling hook, line and sinker to the World Wide Web and being ONLINE 24x7 has become a way of life; the overflowing text messages’ notifications from Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al are the wake up calls replacing the obsolete alarm! Till the time we hit the sack, if ever it happens, the internet rules the roost and we are stuck to it like adhesive. Adroitly and skilfully navigating from one app to another, from one program to another or from one site to another is the ultimate testing ground for the user. The master of the universe decides on whether our hectic lives become exciting or mundane, the provider ignites the day right from the time of the morning ablutions when we catch up with all and sundry to make it roaring.
                            Be it ordering of groceries, fruits and veggies, getting navigated in the mad traffic giving us alternative routes on the go, working with clients across the globe from the cosy comforts of our cubicle, purchasing air/bus/train tickets online, shopping for a zillion products from within the cocoons of our home, taking an appointment with the doctor, booking for a movie or a show, a cab or a meal or simply paying the utility bills will all be a nerve racking experience if the service provider is stuck in generations of yore. We live in an app world and everything needs to be done at the blink of an eye with the click of a mouse or a swipe of an app and the caveat is “speed, quickness, swiftness, pace, rapidity with consistency!”It is suffocating and claustrophobic to get stranded mid way of a transaction and the “hour glass” or the “circular rotating symbol” pops up that make our heads swirl akin to being caught in the middle of a bottleneck or in a bumper to bumper traffic en route to catching a flight or a bus!
                          So the key to all our woes lies with the provider, it is he who decides whether we end up staring at a page that says “loading....please wait, do not click the back button or refresh the page... or a request time out or unable to connect to the internet...”these messages have become diktats, tenets, to which we submit ourselves with extreme frustration and anger!
                          Bringing zest, energy, drive, force and velocity to this drab, crawling lifestyle is the 4G service from Airtel which has zoomed into our domains and pepped up our browsing activity; a cracker of a solution which needs to be experienced to believe! With this 4G in our devices, we are assured and guaranteed of an encounter that will simply blow our minds away, an affair which will undoubtedly last a lifetime promising a never before exposure of galloping on the internet! Vrooming from one page to the next, zip zap zooming on the umpteen applications, downloading and uploading of audio and video clips and photos are all accomplished in a flash and the days, hours, minutes of hesitation, lingering, pausing, buffering, tarrying or hanging fire are all gone, forgotten and become things of the past! Heads will turn and faces of envious users will go scarlet as I have the advantage of a 4G and mind you, this speed really thrills but kills others who are in contemplation mode and  yet to jump on to this band wagon.

                            Now, I am abuzz here, there and everywhere fluttering in the breeze and titillating in the sweet sensation of swiftness, stimulating me to say “wow”!!!

<iframe width="645" height="363" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>