July 09, 2014

Sunday Mornings

The stars align, but once in a while, usually once in a long while.
A long weekend, a convergence of your circle of friends, an approved leave, a destination and a plan - these do come together...but like all good things, take their own sweet time.

While the current hiatus between two such consecutive events persists, I, along with my flatmate, have been marking our sundays, with 5 AM starts, setting off to places within a smaller distance radius, and being back by early evening. Over the last month or so, heres what we ticked off.

1. Hogenakal, Dharampuri (Tamil Nadu) - 180 Kms

The sobriquet for this place (as I had web-scraped) was 'Niagara of India'. Yes, thats a bit over the top, but it does somewhat lives up to it.
Hogenakal translates to 'smoking rocks' in the local dialect. The multiple falls feeding the river Kaveri flowing through the rocky gorge does conjure up that picture well.
I surely can say that the place would be one sight during peak monsoons.
The coracle (tub shaped mini boats) ride through those narrow gorges was worth the 4 hour ride we undertook to get there. (Blame the 4th hour on our indulgence in a detour off the highway and onto a road less travelled , yet much scenic - not beacuse we were trying to make Robert Frost happy, but because Google maps said it was shorter.)

2. Sharavanabelagola, Hassan - 160 Kms

That giant statue of Gomateshwara had been on my list for quite some time. Perhaps, after Kanyakumari, this mite be the second place where I have tried to lure people into accompanying me.
Finally, Dubjet Roi fell for it two weeks ago. And I dont think he was disappointed. (Maybe a little cause of that 650 step climb upto the sanctum sanctorum of the temple complex).
The statue looks like it was built yesterday, gleaming in the sun, standing tall..and once in every 12 years, pulling Jains all across the globe at its giant feet for the MahamastakABHISHEKa.

We could get there in a little over 2 hours. NH 48 is one smooth road, literally. Another eye pleasing sight is the village just before reaching the hill on which the statue stands. Ponds with lotuses, green meadows
and forest like gardens. I almost wished I owned one of those huts (or perhaps bulid one and put my Civil engineering degree to some use)...and lie in the cool shade of the tree outside...and read all five volumes of A song of ice and fire...and watch FIFA world cup. (Ofcourse, the hut will be wi-fi enable and with 24 hours of electricity supply.)
Cryptic find of the trip: Redbay Rediscovered.

3. Shivasamundaram, Mandya - 140 Kms

This is what personifies the hindi idiom - naam bade aur darshan chhote (Heavy names, shatter expectations). Or perhaps again it was just the bad timing. Waterfall - Monsoon. Period. Or you would have just taken a 3 hour ride for nothing.
The only good part was (again) a detour, (again thanks to google maps promising shortcuts). It took up to a narrow yet well metalled road with ups and downs like a roller coaster right out of Walter Mitty's daydreams. It culminated into a silent lake. Moment of the trip.


4. Nandi Hills (Not to be confused with Nandi Hills, Great Rift Valley, Kenya) - 60 Kms

We went. We saw. And we came back.
Rest was all bullshit.
Enough said. (The more I say about it, the more I get attacked by people).

5. Horsley Hills - 120 Kms

We went. There was nothing to see. Yet we stayed for a day. and came back.
But this time it was not just the two of us. The people you can never get enough of were there. Thankfully. And hence the weekend was saved - by selfies, counting crocodiles, losing keys and sitting on the rocks.

and one more..
6. Hebbal - 20 Kms

It wasnt a sunday morning. Just a regular weeknight...only without electricity and with lots of mosquitoes.
There was blood. Hebbal - the escape. :P

Rights to exaggeration and bragging reserved.
Its not how it happened; its how you remember it.

No characterisation or hurting religious sentiments intended.

Data and information may have been skewed to suit the storyline.
Everything is relative to your perspective.

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