Thursday, June 18, 2020
What takes people out of their cozy homes to places that they may or may not like? In my case it is just to break the monotony, no matter how beautiful it is. Then there are my mentors on social media who keep inspiring or pestering me through their lovely travel blogs to get out of my shell and create the moments that I would relish years later on my easy chair.
I had to go to Bangalore to visit my son and explore the temples and wildlife and food and everything of the beautiful state of Karnataka. I had 10 days in hand and more than 10 destinations in my mind. I had no Idea what I would do. Just a week before it is difficult to book hotel rooms, taxis and Air-tickets. I fell on a friend's feet to guide me. It must be the most tiresome task to make an itinerary for someone else. Especially if the person is too busy with his work, family and school going kids. I made many guilt laden calls and sent many messages to communicate my choices and queries related to the trip. I have no words to thank him for this support. Finally Natraj sent me my Itinerary.
It took me a whole day to reach Bangalore from Kanpur. My son welcomed me in his one BHK in his long flowing hair. He looked more like his toddler self to me when I used to tie his hair in a small ponytail and all my anger vanished.
Unlike a traditional mom, who would have cleaned the house and cooked for her son, I followed my itinerary and headed for Mysore the very next morning. With a car booked for the whole trip and a local, reliable driver, I did not consider myself a solo traveller. For travelling solo. I hv yet to gain confidence. I started early and thoroughly enjoyed the drive. It was like watching a South Indian movie with dense patches of coconut grooves, hamlets, small temples, and billboards displaying huge pictures of film actors.
After a nap I woke up in front of the Banarasi Dhaba, although I was expecting some eatery named Shravana or Latha.
I complimented the owner for the feast, while paying the bill. Rs 120 for two stomachs full, including coffee.
Ginger Hotel, Mysore was going to be my home for the next three days. I found hotel rooms fascinating and they do make a part of my happy memories and my extended 'me time'. All things needed are packed in a suitcase. Room service, the beds with the soft matresses to sink in and sprouts in breakfast which I have not soaked is a luxury I love to devour.
The whole day at hand, I followed what the brochure at the hotel suggested. The Mysore zoo was the first destination. I had imagined myself visiting a palace or a museum or a temple, but not a zoo. The zoo was grand and spread over 157-acres of land. It must be a Herculean's task to manage such a place. Birds and more birds did steal my heart.
The Tiger was royal indeed !
Baby Care Rooms for little visitors
Melody Wax Museum
| With His Highness Srikantadutta Narasimharaja Wadiyar|
Dinner at Hotel Siddhart was good. I am not a foody, but I craved for the really tasty food which I would not get in my city. After all I came so far to experience it. Then I realised that the food I was craving for can be only had in the kitchen of a home chef.
In the premises of the hotel there was a pan seller. I walked to get a meetha pan. He was from UP.It was nice to chat with someone in Hindi after a gap of many hours. A fan of the CM of UP, he informed me that finally he has electricity in his village, near Gorakhpur.
off to Belur
Sunday, April 05, 2020
My mother-in-law had been the Gram Pradhan of her village for three consecutive terms, elected unanimously. After that she was the Chairperson of the ‘Samaj Kalyan Vibhag’, Uttarkashi district. By the time I joined the family she had taken the voluntary retirement. Her long years of social work and family responsibilities went on simultaneously.
In the times of Corona/ kovid 19, I wonder if there is a remedy for this pandemic, hidden under the earth as a root or blooming somewhere in the wilderness as a flower.
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Sunday, January 28, 2018
A 90 minutes drive from Uttarkashi took me to Raithal, one of the most fertile and prosperous villages of Uttrakhand. Trekking for the famous Dayara Bugyal (meadow) begins here. The twenty four hours I stayed there were engaging, exciting and breathtaking.
I waited for my host Sumit at the entrance of the village. A large clearing, a friendly policeman and a helpful passer by who offered me his mobile phone to call Sumit have already won my heart. The moment I started talking to the shopkeeper to buy some snacks, (like---- in the movie My Fair Lady) he asked me if I belonged to the Pauri region of Uttrakhand, because I spoke garhwali in a particular accent.
Sumit knew all the people we met on the way and greeted them with due respect. It was nice to talk to them. The basketful of foliage was neither fit for fodder nor for fire. They told me that they spread it on the floor of the basement rooms where cows are kept . It keeps them warm. It is removed after a couple of days along with the cow dung and stored in some place in the fields. Within a month or so the organic fertiliser is ready to use.
Landmark in the jungle.
First there was a little snow and then snow all around!
Woods are lovely, indeed!
Goi Bugyal, (4 km from the base) The group has left the camp to trek to Dayara. Only seasoned trekkers can reach Dayara in a day. I took another trail to reach Naag Devta temple.
Frozen pond on the way to Naag Devta temple.
Naag Devta temple, gram devta of raithal village.
Food n fire in the forest when I was hungry and cold after a really long walk.
In full bloom! These flowers should bloom in March, but the high temperature and no or late rains is the culprit.
It was dark by the time we reached home and this was the first thing I saw in the morning.
Thank you Mrs Raturi for the warm hospitality and sumptuous breakfast, dinner and packed lunch
The grand temple
Happier and healthier than his counterpart in the plains.
Spacious, warm and comfortable room with a view.
Famous Rajma of Raithal and daal nuggets (Bari)
On the way back to Uttrakashi.
Raithal was never in my bucket list, now I wonder why it was not? Now I know why it is called Homestay and not Housestay. Thank you Sumit for the wonderful time and lovely stories you told me while climbing down. And Baronmasa What are you going to offer me next?