Monday, December 22, 2008

Trip to Paandavpura, Kuntibetta, Tannerkere

Hi People,

This blog is about my trip to Paandavpura with my friends Deepa, Manoj, Raaj and Girish.Paandavpura is about 130 - 140 kms from Bangalore. We planned for a 1 day trip to some place which is not well known. Paandavpura is close to Mandya District of Karnataka and as the name suggests , it is believed that the Paandavas stayed here for sometime during their "vanvaas". So we set out on Aug 15th 2008 as it was a holiday for our independence day.

Manoj and Deepa came to my house at 8 AM and then the 3 of us started the drive from my house in my car and on the way we picked up Girish. We took the route through Bangalore University and then onto Mysore Road as were supposed to pick up Raaj near PES College. We reached earlier than him and had to wait for quite some time and then we took the Mysore road. We were driving for a long time, just talking n listening to music all the way. All of us were hungry before we reached a certain restaurant where we stopped to have breakfast around 10.30.

We finished having breakfast and resumed our drive for another hour or so before we reached this place off the highway which was calm, quiet and nobody around. It was a huge stretch of farm land and lot of full grown trees around. It was green wherever we could see.The stretch was beautiful and somewhere across the farm was a hut kind of a thing made of hay.We stopped the car and walked upto the hut where we took a lot of snaps.The weather was awsome, there were clouds and cool breeze .Now that is what i call true beauty......
We then set out to Paandavpura, which has few ancient temples. As you enter Paandavpura, you get to see only Sugarcane fields everywhere and some small factories in those fields where they make sugar. As we kept going we finally reached the temples . The first temple is called Laxminarayana Temple. The temple is considered a monument, we checked out the temple. We were not allowed to take pictures inside the temple. There is another temple opposite to laxminarayana temple, called the Gopalkrishna Temple.
All this was good, but i was more interested in the lake which i heard was good called TANNEERKERE...We had to go through this uphill kind of road which was curvy to reach the lake. When we reached, we quite a lot of people and quite a number of cars. The lake was big and really nice and picturesque. Across the lake were mountains and trees, all of it was so breathtaking.........
To out right of where we stood facing the lake was a small shore of sand which was at quite some distance. The amazing thing is no one can easily reach that shore unless u manage to cross apath of rocks which extends to atleast half a kilometer. So, not many regular normal people like me can manage to cross the path. Deepa, Manoj and me did not attempt to cover the path and we sat by the lake on the steps just enjoying the waves, But Girish and Raaj took up the challenge and tried crossing it, it was scary since that day it had rained and the rocks were all slippery.
We just sat by the lake and could not do the boating part in the coracle because that day the tides were choppy, wind was heavy and it could have been very risky and the local people kept their coracles away... But the experience was still very good as it was very relaxing. After sitting there for a while, we were wondering if those 2 guys managed to go too far since we had lost their sight. We waited and then they came back without being able to cross the whole distance..
We all then stayed there for a while enjoying the cool breeze and the place . We were very hungry since we did not have lunch but there was nothing around there to eat. We couldn do much about and it dint matter as we were happy.
We left that place around 4 and we planned to leave to Bangalore although we wanted to go to a place called Kuntibetta . But we thought it would be late by the time we find that place, and as were were moving , after a certain distance we found this sign board which pointed that kuntibetta was left side.... We all were so excited, we took reverse and went straight to Kuntibetta, all thanks to me since i forced them that we go. If we dint go there we would missed seeing a lot of interesting things...
It was very interesting what ever we saw, there were mountains and some sculptures carved out of the rocks and a small pond .. we could easily climb on the mountains and even sat on it and meditated.. hehhe... Best part was there were no one around , no one to disturb us... it was just the 5 of us.. as if the whole place belonged to us, we were doing all sorts of crazy stuff..We were exploring the place when we found out there is a small temple kind of a place which was so different, it had a cave like mountain formation an there was this huge nandi statue which was painted colourful.. Across it was an exit which had stairs that led to the village,.,,. It seems it had been built during Tipu sultan times.. We hung around that place and it was nice .. then we explored more and we found this place where we could climb on the small and big rocks ... I cant even describe it it was just a beautiful experience...
We had an amazing trip although it was just for 1 day and not such a well known place.. but that was the best part, since it was not well known and uninvaded... We did not have any agenda on where to reach and other things,.. the whole journey was just exploration and thats why it was so memorable....I cannot forget the experience for a long time to come... we decided that such 1 day trips are more fun ...We left at around 5.30 although no one was really interested to leave but we had to reach before it got dark.. we travelled back and reached Bangalore around 8.30 Pm and by 9.30 Pm everyone was back home after having a great day!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sriharikota - My place of Birth

Hello Guys ,
I m not sure of how many people know about the place SRIHARIKOTA, although there has been a mention of this place off late because of " CHANDRAYAAN - The Moon Misson ". Sriharikota is a barrier island which seperates the Pulicat lake from the Bay of Bengal. It houses India's only Satellite Launch Centre in the Satish Dhawan Space Centre also known as SHAR, and is used by ISRO( Indian Space Research Organisation ) to launch rockets like the PSLV and the GSLV.

Sriharikota is populated by the Yanaadis or the Adinivaasis ( The Nomads) who walk around almost naked ;) and as the name says it means 'one crore Sri Hari Lingas' .I was born in Sriharikota, and i remember very well about the place. There were a lot of lovely beaches where we collected a lot of shells , it had a peaceful environment,with a lot of sand around. The adinivaasis sold the fresh cashewnut fruit and my friends and me would collect money to eat that fruit.
We had a big house which had a big lawn in the backyard which had full grown trees like the Neem Tree and the Drumstick tree . I would climb the Neem tree and play with my friends when i was arond 3-5 yrs old. There were cotton plants too, which we used to get the cotton for the "pooja". There was the wall built around the house and i would jump off the wall ,on to the road when i had to go to my friend's place, and i was like a complete tomboy then.

My dad would take my sister and me on his green Bajaj Chetak Scooter to the beach on Sundays and the road, which he took us on,was very beautiful, surrounded by forests ,a jungle and monkeys running all over the place.I loved the ride with my dad . At the beach ,we would put our legs in the water and run in the water at the shore as my dad wouldn't let us get into the water with the fear of the tides pullling us into the sea with its mighty force.

The forest was closeby to our place and we children would get into it for trekking and experimented with all kids of fruits , leaves and other things. We could hear the howling of the foxes in the night but i would never be scared since my dad always told us never to fear , i was like the bold kid .
Since there were a lot of beaches close by to the house, a lot of of snakes came into the backyard . They were green in colour and would hang around the trees . When my dad spotted them, he would kill them and i still remember the blood would be all over , aahh,awful, bad thing to watch. But i must admit, my dad killed a lot of snakes and i would be so proud of my dad thinking he is the "HERO". hehehe

We had a long road in front of our house, and across the road was a huge ground which had a huge badminton court. I had a big bunch of friends ranging from small kids of my age to teenage kids. We would play the whole evening after school, and we would have a running race competion with the kids and i remember i always used to win. i would run, win and then my mom would be ready with a big glass of milk which i would drink and then again run. Fun it was !!
We would play hide and seek, and the kids would be scatterred all over , we would find them and give them some task if they got caught. Amazing feeling, actually a nostalgic feeling......
I was so innocent then;)

Sundays was real fun because my sister, me and her friends, we would take a walk in the island, wandering aimlessly near the beach side, and also dig into the sand, build some strange structures out of the sand. When we dug into the sand for about 2-3 feet we would find water , that was like an achievement for us..... During holi time, we would collect a lot of dry twings in huge amounts and put it all together in huge huge pile and burn it up.

I was very notorious even as a small kid, as i would hurt the other kids, beat them up and come home running and i would hide in my house.Hahahhaha... My sister would take me to this huge park which was so beautiful and green, and we would roll all over it, play on the slides and the swing, ohh i miss those days, i remember almost every thing about the place though i was aronund 4-5 yrs.

Last but not the least of the experiences i remember was the rocket launches that would happen from there. All people, all aunts, uncles, kids, elders would gang up on terrace and would wait for the rocket to take off into the skies. We would be sitting around 7- 8 kms from the rocket launch place and as the rocket would go up into the skies, it was a beautiful scene, worth watch once in a lifetime, and i m so glad i still remember it. The rocket would go up into the sky with the fire and smoke beneath it, and then as it went higher and higher, it would become fainter n fainter anf then gone into the skies above ........... We would all celebrate the rocket success... My dad told us the story of the space and the planets and the moon and it was awsome, i dreamed i would be an astronaut one day..

I lived there for 6 years and it was the most amazing time of my life . Those were the best days of my life ... after that we had to move to Bangalore, and i have lived here ever since..