Marriage was at around 11 in the morning. So, we had all the day to spend in Udupi. Udupi, a religious town, has innumerable temples in and around it, Krishna temple being the best known landmark.
Kanakadasa(ಕನಕದಾಸರು), a saint in 11th century AD was not allowed to enter the temple, since he belonged to an untouchable community. The singer saint didn’t leave it at that; he worshipped Lord Krishna from out side the temple, when the Lord heard his devotee’s voice. And the idol turned to its back to face Kanakadasa. Untouchability was vanished thus by the Lord himself. The legend says so.
@image : The Majestic chariot for Udupi Krishna, see Kanaka Gopura in the background.
As a testimony to this fact, a Kanaka mantapa stands facing the Krishna idol just outside the temple, and it is said that it was here Kanakadasa got the divya darshana of Krishna, the Lord. Kanaka Gopura and Kanakana kindi are two other landmarks of this temple that speak about saint Kanakadasa. It is thru this Kanakana kindi(ಕನಕನ ಕಿಂಡಿ) that one is to take darshan of the Lord even today.
Udupi temple is not only about the legend of Kanakadasa, but also about various other saints and scholars who has stood firm to uphold the Sanathana dharma. Udupi temple was installed by Madhwacharya(ಮಧ್ವಾಚಾರ್ಯ), a scholar who founded a major school of learning in Hinduism called Dvaita(ದ್ವೈತ). Udupi has maintained that holy atmosphere even to today.
We had a relaxing visit to the temple early in the morning, and by 8:15 we were out on the streets again! There was a scattered plan in place that we had drawn with the help of Rajesh the other day.
Malpe beach was the first on our list. We rode straight into the Malpe fishing port(ಮಲ್ಪೆ ಮೀನುಗಾರಿಕಾ ಬಂದರು) where the early morning crowd was either busy with unloading the fresh fish stock from sea or in buying them from vendors. We were lost for a while seeing at this huge stock of Bhutaya, a seasonal fish variety found in this dry season. I was told that the fishing boats leave the port by 5 in the morning or earlier when they get more fishes. Each boat had fishes in thousands of numbers that are sold in kilo grams just like any other commodity out in the market.
@image : Huge stock of fresh fishes at Malpe.
Bewildered at the site, we ran out to have a beach experience, to Malpe beach. I couldn’t believe that no one stopped us when we rode the bikes straight into the beach, pretty close to the dancing waves! Of course it was tough to get the bikes on sand, but fun when riding along the coast with water rushing to chase us off. It is definitely a ride to remember. We rode for about a kilometer on this sand platue of the Malpe beach. People there stared at us, but they cared very little about our adventures.
@image : The sand ride on Malpe beach.
Later, with the help of locals on the beach, we got our bikes out of the sands, on to the road. Enquiring how to reach Bengre(ಬೆಂಗ್ರೆ), we ventured ahead. By then it was all just 10AM!
@image : River Suvarna - Never tired of running.
Bengre in Tulu(ತುಳು), language spoken in this part of the world, is a place where a river meets a sea. Such a place is called as Alive(ಅಳಿವೆ) in Kannada. Malpe beach has two such Bengres, one on each side. We were now on our way to the one on its left. As we reached Bengre, we got suspicious whether we had come to the right spot, after all. We thought so since there was no noise at all, and the village looked like a normal movie setup of 1970s. But it had no visitor, no activities around. We confirmed that we were at no wrong place by enquiring at a few locals. All the noise here was that of the Arabian Sea(ಅರಬ್ಬೀ ಸಮುದ್ರ) and the river Suvarna(ಸುವರ್ಣ) merging with it forever, none else whatsoever.
It was for the first time that I ever got a chance to witness this pretty natural phenomenon of a river getting absolved in to this huge body of water. Astounded with the visuals, I tried getting into the water, exactly where the merger happened. One thing I observed was the Sea had a sloppy appearance and the river had a sudden depth. The enigmatic green look of the place transfixed into the royal blue as my eyes moved away. The seemingly motionless huge water body overflowing to grab a hapless hyperactive river was all we had there. The water, sand and we two, there was no third human being around!
Slowly the locals came in one by one to enquire whether we were shooting for any film, since Prashanth’s camera on a tripod looked like a filmable camera to them, no surprises at it.
@image : Arabian Sea at Bengre.
Spending about an hour in this deafeningly silent atmosphere with the Arabian Sea and river Suvarna in the background, we headed back to the town. We then realized that we had not had breakfast that morning. So, had refreshing teas at a petty shop before being back on our bikes again.
We had to reluctantly call off our Barkur(ಬಾರ್ಕೂರು) plans owing to the time running against us. We had an old Jain temple in Barkur on our list of places to be visited. But since the major reason of this trip was to attend the marriage, we had to return to Udupi, where the marriage was being held.
We had a tasty breakfast at a local Udupi hotel before getting into the marriage hall. Marriage hall was huge and there were too many people too. We found some place to sit and enjoyed the event by making some comments this side that side, around. We were asked to lunch before meeting the couple. We did so, and wished the couple a happy long life together, and continued with our mega journey.
Our next project was to reach Mangalooru.
Bengalooru -> Nelamangala -> Kunigal -> Chennarayapattana -> Hassana -> Belur -> Yagachi -> Chikkamagalooru -> Balehonnuru -> Sringeri -> Agumbe -> Hebri -> Seethanadi -> Udupi
Udupi -> Malpe -> Bengre ->Udupi
To be continued……….