02 July 2008


@image : Wall carving from Belur - Ugra Narasimha.

@image : Wall carving from Belur - Shiva Tandava.

Udupi, we took only a little while to freshen up, since we had a visitor whom we could wait no more wait to meet. Rajesh Naik, a fellow blogger, enthusiastic traveler of nomadic variety, a wonderful person more than anything else.

Rajesh was waiting at the reception; we couldn’t guess it must be him since he looked different to what we had imagined. However, since there was no one else, we did. We had planned for a dinner meet and all the three of us took on for this lazy dinner.

Dead tired of a ride close to 440Kms, we had no hint of it when the meet began. Rajesh is considered as a wikipedia about Karnataka’s Western Ghats, and this meet proved again that why he is so. His passion towards forests, water falls and in search of stories, are models to any travel enthusiast. He has traveled across the state with an enthusiasm unmatched. He keeps a low profile of himself.

Today, I saw a presentation running on a friend’s PC that had a collage of a few magnificent postcards from Karnataka. I took no time to yell “Hey! This is pictured by Rajesh, my friend!”

The man has in his voice a magnet that attracted us and had hooked us all through. He shared a few stories of himself which raised eye brows from the listeners. With the same enthusiasm he listened to our stories, of how the journey was that day and how we liked traveling.

We started dining at 8:45PM and we had no sense of what was going on when a waiter came in asking us to leave so they closed the restaurant doors! It was like meeting an old lost friend, so much to discuss, so much to share and so much to learn! We had not yet completed the traveling stories, and it was time to move out, sad. But the little time we got to spend here was the highlight of this whole journey to west.

Meanwhile, there was a discussion about fellow travelers, and when Rajesh mentioned the name of Shreekanth, whom we knew thru his blog. How can we go back not meeting the person we know for such a long time? Rajesh called him and he turned up in no time. It was a pleasant time for all of us, a first meet that never let us feel so.

Shreekanth had to get back early to prepare for an exam that was due the next day. And we continued to have our dinner and when the hoteliers were done with us, it was about 11:30PM. We walked to reach the hotel back, reluctantly parted. Before that, we didn’t forget to hatch our plans for the coming day with the able guidance of Rajesh.

From the heart of civilization to the loneliness of forests, from traffic jams to the solitude of the curvature; from the flat lands to the mountain valleys; from the valley of sunset to the flat lands past Arabian Sea, from the dry and cool Bengalooru to hot and humid Udupi, we had traveled that day. To add to this exciting journey, dinner with Rajesh was like a silver lining to this super memorable day.

@image : A panoramic view from the Agumbe ghati.

We had a content sleep that day with all the sweet memoirs running in mind

Day I:

Bengalooru -> Nelamangala -> Kunigal -> Chennarayapattana -> Hassana -> Belur -> Yagachi -> Chikkamagalooru -> Balehonnuru -> Sringeri -> Agumbe -> Hebri -> Seethanadi -> Udupi

To be continued………….

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