25 April 2008

Save the nature!

Dear All,
Today, Global warming is happening at an alarming pace and the effects of it are already evident in the likes of unseasoned rains, floods, drought, crop failure, extreme variations in the the temperature etc. This internally making the human life miserable. Among various reasons for this problem, the deforestation is a major one. The state of Karnataka, God has blessed it with a beautiful evergreen rain forest which is a part of the western ghats. Because of this, there has been no scarcity of the basic necessities like water etc in the state. We have to use these natural resources judicially. If we exploit the resources beyond a limit, then the disaster will be at our doorstep. Is it not a duty of every citizen to take care of this nature’s gift so that it will continue to server our future generations? yes it is.

But few anti social elements(read politicians, policemen etc) are misusing it and turning this pristine forest in to a mining zone just to pocket huge money them selves.
Ucchangi cave hill is a beautiful hillock in the bisle range of western ghat. On the top of the hill there is huge rock formation and there are caves in this rock formation. It looks like Yana. Please click the link to view few snaps of this hillock.
http://picasaweb.google.com/prapancha/Ssanthe_photos_3march. Past 2 years has seen a rise in the mining mafia that is ruining this beautiful place with the active involvement of politicians and bureaucrats. Local people are fighting against them, but as usual they(Mafia) care a least for them. Now they are requesting everyone among all walks of life to help them out in their struggle.
To help them out and to sensitize people through media we are planing for a protest rally on 1st May 2008. We are planing to invite well known environmentalists like Dr. U R Ananthmurthy, Retired high court judge Justice M. F. Saldhana and Former PCF A.N Yallappa Reddy, Former Lokayuktha Justice Venkatachala and many other NGOs etc.,
We invite you all to take part in this and help locals to save this beautiful place for our future generation. Also please note that this will also be a 1 day trip, where we can explore this cave hill, visit bisle ghat, visit to an unexplored Mookana mane water falls.

Protest Place :- Uchhangi Cave Hill, Sakaleshpur(Taluk), Hassan(Dist) Karnataka.
Protest day:- 1-05-2008
Mode of transport:- KSRTC Bus (Hired)
Program itinerary is as follows :
  • Departure from Bangalore at 5:00 AM in the morning and
  • reach sakaleshpur by 9:00AM.
  • Take out a rally in the town for about an hour and
  • proceed to cave hill which is about 25KM from this place.
  • Reach the foot hill of this hill and take out rally to the top of the hillock which is at about 2.5 KM distance.
  • Have lunch, which will be prepared on the hillock.
  • Walk down to the foot hill and catch the bus and proceed towards Bisle ghat view point.
  • Visit Mookana mane water falls and proceed towards bangalore.
  • Reach bangalore latest by 8:00PM

Note:-As this is a voluntary work towards a great cause, We request individuals to bear the cost which will work out to be around Rs.350/person.Please attend and save the hillock.
Please e-mail to prapancha@gmail.com to confirm ur participation.

You can also contact me Srikanth @ 9845072868 to confirm or for further information, if needed.

Yours,
Srikanth.

03 April 2008

Pondicherry

l To Pondicherry l Pondicherry l

Dec 23rd: Sunday: Sun-rise:
A shrill noise of alarm on my mobile woke me up, at 5:30AM. When I looked around, all were sleeping as though nothing can break it forever. All these days I was of the habit of waking up that early and go on a jog for sometime. And how could I break it today? I just freshened up and went out.

I dint tell you that the youth hostel is located at a perfect location on the beach. This beach is not so clean, nor broad, but full of fishermen. In fact, the whole colony around the hostel is full of them. As I walked out, I could see them running to sea to fetch fishes. I entered, and had a brief conversation with a few of them, who enthusiastically explained from where in sea they get fresh fishes, and what they do with it later. I asked them to take me along to fish, but they laughed loud at the idea :’(.

This conversation had to be in Tamil as they didn’t know any other language, neither did I know Tamil. But I have developed such a knack that I can manage with any language, with my broken Tamil, I could definitely manage.

Rode back to the rock beach to witness the Sunrise. The east coast is famous for its marvelous sunrise. I went there, in order to jog over the same rock-beach avenue, named as Goubert Avenue. The early morning hour was perfect for a visit here since the atmosphere was sincere, the ecstatic. The sunrise watchers were there allover. After running thru the stretch once, walked it out a second time. And then it was time for the Sunrise. I chose a rock on this rock-beach to witness this spectacle.

@image : Your's truly riding on the Goubert Avenue, Pondicherry's most fancied place!

However, the Sunday morning, was in deed a Sun-day morning. I was disappointed with Sun, however, was thankful that I could at least got to witness the change in colours in the sky and over the sea.

When I came back, people in my room were still up on the bed. I took bath first and woke them up, lest the bathrooms would become busy. It was a lazy morning for them, and a blessing one for me.

Once everyone was ready, we started the planning the itinerary for the day. Pondicherry had cast a spell on us, and we didn’t want to return so soon!! So, unanimously decided to extend our stay for a day and start early next day to Bangalore. Then we hatched plans to visit Auroville, and Arobnindo ashram.

After a quick breakfast, we started straight to Auroville, a conceptual town about 9KMs from Pondicherry town. Auroville is a town conceptualised around the fact of Universal Brother-hood. Everyone in this town is equal, no sorrow, no bonding for a country, not bounded by any borders, rules, no tears, no fears rule over. The conceptual town is still under construction, and the Matri mandir, the soul of this town, is standing as a resonance of this idea.


@image : Matri Mandir, out of all boundaries, scapes and scopes.

Matri mandir is a globe shaped structure that is constructed with a huge auditorium space, with the inner surface of it, lighted by a divine crystal that is the whole of this temple. It is exactly at the centre of this town, and visualizes the town entering into being. The auditorium where one can view it, has a lotus structure made up of sand from 108 countries from across the globe. This signifies the idea upon which the town is being conceived. A wonderful structure, if not the idea, this temple treated us with its magnanimity.

@image : Three nomads infront of the Matri Mandir

We rode so fast that we missed all the boards leading to this village, and ended up roaming around the whole place making our journey some 20Kms extra. Nonetheless, we were treated with a wonderful ride on the interior roads of this unknown land.

We came back towards the main road where exists Auroville beach, the lesser troublesome, and huge beach that is clean with playable waters. We entered the water, enjoying the crazy waves, and of course the crowd as well. Foreigners were more in number, and they were enjoying as well.

One crib about the place, the administration here restricts Indians from entering a part of the beach that is reserved for foreigners alone. Even if we assume, there are many foreigners visiting here, this is an atrocious move to have restricted Indians from enjoying a part of their own land! This is a condemnable attitude here.

@image : A bike-eye's view of Goubert Avenue, a paradise in Pondicherry!

Now too we had passed the lunchtime as we entered the city. It was 4PM or so, had Appams we all (our Shyavige), and it was really a good treat. Visited the Siddhi Vinayagar temple and Arobindashram, Sri Arobindo Samadhi, by when it was already around 7PM. We walked across the Nehru Street, visited a huge church on the way, where a Sunday evening mass was being witnessed by a number of people. Did some window shopping, and past the very crowded lanes of these bazaars, and again walked on the brilliant Mahatma Gandhi Avenue, on the Rock beach, this time enjoying the different monuments of French architecture, trying to read all the French names, Stories written about the statues that were erect…and so on. The roar of the sea was too much tonight since it was a full-moon night. We enjoyed this pleasurable event that was a bonus since it was not a planned one.

In all, it was a meaningful evening, as much we walk, as much we wanted to walk. There was no end to the road, and we wanted no end to it either.

Had dinner at a different hotel and went back to sleep with no mood for it.

Meter read 460 KMS of total ride.

Dec 24th: Monday: 10am:

We got ready, and checked out of the hostel. Wished them all a happy New Year in advance, and bid adieu. Soon after that, flew towards Bangalore on the same route, as was our onward journey. We reached the city by around 7 in the evening, with brief halts, once at Thiruvannamalai and next at Krishnagiri Vasavi for an evening snack. We also stopped near Chenchi to have a far-view of the Chenchi fort over a small hillock.

Three days spent in the company of sea and bike, refreshed us to face a bright new year that was shortly listed to visit us.

Meter read 830 KMS of total ride.

Coming next : A ride to the West Coast!!

A ride to the East Coast of India

l To Pondicherry l Pondicherry l


It was an idea that was floating around for some time then, a ride to Kanyakumari. And what best a time for it than the year-end, when people go without any work! Alas, it was not to be… A Christmas holiday that ensured more work for me at office, and no chance of leaves, whatsoever. Prashanth had just shifted to a new company, and couldn’t afford taking any leave.

So when Kudwa asked us if we were ready for a ride, none of us was in a shape of a proper yes, and there was just about 5 days remaining for the planned commencement of the ride! A miracle would take us to Kanyakumari. And when Tuppad agreed for it, there started the temptation, but couldn’t it be for more than three days. I instantly suggested, since only three of us were there, a shorter ride…to….. Pondicherry. And all agreed, as it was a brilliant idea.

Immediately, there started hunt of Pondicherry material on the Internet. We found info such as it was the French paradise on Indian land, from the magnanimous beaches, to the Karma-bhumi of Sri Aurobindo. We found route maps leading to Pondy.

And it was decided that we start early on Saturday and reach there by evening, and start back by Sunday afternoon to Bengalooru. And we prepared our bikes for the journey, Sandeep his Pulsar 150 black, Kudwa his Thunderbird and me, my Pulsar 150 DTSi.

Dec 22nd: Saturday: Sun-rise:
As the Sun was up on his journey westward, we were against him, to the east. Sandeep joined me at Forum, and we both lead our bikes towards e-city, where Ganesh was waiting for us. It was decided that we stop at Krishnagiri for breakfast, and nowhere before. The road was splendid, broad and serene! No traffic at all, all along. Over the mist on the highway, we sped past. As we gained momentum, were greeted by the school-goers in Hossur. I stopped a while at the petrol-bunk, of course to fill in, after Hossur. And I was shell shocked to note the petrol prices, just about so much lesser than the city I live in, only 50KMs down the road!

With the sun-rising, and chillness on ground effing more and more, we ran un-interrupted. Krishnagiri soon arrived. The ride was fantastic as the sight here offered wonderful scenery, with picturesque mountains and lakes every now and then. It was just about 8:45AM when we arrived near Krishnagiri. And a very smart me... flew over as I found the fly-over! In fact, that is a fly-over to avoid the town, we had to turn left and return for about a Kilometer to get to the town, and find a country type hotel, called Vasavi. At a first glance of this old-fashioned city central circle hotel, I felt, somewhere to fill the tummy! But little I knew what was coming, we got a very hospitable server, and the most delicious idlies were already on our plates, ooops, it was a banana-leave breakfast, no plates. After the yummy breakfast, we were up again towards Thiruvannamalai.

Road from Krishnagiri to Thiruvannamalai was not of the standards that we rode till then. It was a normal two-lane two-way traffic road with abundant craters in between. Whatsoever, the road was between the beautiful mountain ranges, valleys of flowers, ponds and lakes of beaky creatures… Nonetheless a wonderful ride was on cards. Tamilunadu offered us more than what we expected out of it.

We were at Thiruvannamalai exactly at 11:30, almost Noon, and since I knew that there was a famous temple here, was just curious to pave a visit. But little did I expect its magnanimous statute!! Wow! What an amazing structure it was…..too huge to be believed. Built by the Chola kings in 12th century, it ranges over some 30 acres of land; it can be a city by itself. The main deity here is Arunachaleshwara, famously called Anna. It is said that Uma, the daughter of Himavanth, performed a penance here to win over Lord Shiva, and marry him further. And so, it is here that Shiva burnt Kamadeva, lord of Love and infatuation. So, the place is referred to as the Agni tatva, where one gets rid of all the kalmasha (impurities) and comes clean. After the darshan, and after having a walk around the temple, we were actually tired.



@ some post cards from Thuruvannamalai temple


We had goli-soda and were not in a position for any meals, decided to head fast and reach Pondy for a late lunch. And past the dangerous curves, and sliding countryside of the Tamil land, we were getting close to a hot area. It was getting hot, and taking a toll on us.

Surpassing Chenchi, and Thindivanam, we crossed the Pondicherry border.

Pondicherry or Puducheri, as the local people call, is a Central administered city in India. Though it is majorly a Tamil populated country, since it was ruled by the French pre-independence, it is now a separate entity.

The French connection of the city is truly amazing. Known as the little France out there, it lives up to its acquired reputation. The Bay of Bengal roars as a testimony to this fact. The French monuments, and buildings, churches, Cafes, French nationals in abundance, French-speaking locals, French names for residential colonies and roads, make us believe that we are indeed in France!!
Well, as we entered, we struggled to get a hotel to fill out, found a sufficiently good one, but there was no meal (Saapaat) available at that hour. It was about 4:25 PM when we stopped for lunch.

Had something that was available, and enquired for the Youth hostel. A Good Samaritan gave me the way diagram, and I religiously followed it to reach the hostel safely. Since we had not booked pre-hand, we were hoping for a room there. And the good uncle over there, called us in to enroll us for a day. We got a big dormitory with 7 beds for our stay. He informed us that there was a guy already in the room, though he was not to be seen around. And we three added to the otherwise an empty room.

Freshened up and started straight away to the Rock beach, the paradise of Pondicherry. This is the French face of the city. We parked our bikes mile away and walked across the mile-long road that was full of visitors, and roar of the Bay of Bengal.
The road has a huge statue of Mahatma Gandhi decorated with lamps at night, and pillars around on a huge platform. It stands on the shore of the beach which hues every second, after another. What a beautiful moment, the night walk on the glamorous beach. The crowd was interesting there as well. The right blends of foreigners and desis, hot girls and cool boys, young and old…you name a category, and we found them then.

We enjoyed the evening with a few gulps of whiskey in an exquisite French looking bar, and a very normal dinner at a seaside hotel. By then it was about 10:15, and the hostel warden’s warning echoed in the ears, hostel closes at 10! We rushed towards the 3KMs far hostel, rang the bell to get admitted again, and to end an enormously beautiful day.

We met our roommate for the first time. He turned out to be a Tamilian, student in some Engineering college in Trichy, and was in Pondy for a project work. An interesting young man, named Iliaz.

Meter read 370 KMS of total ride.

To be continued......