Gokarna – Tranquillity redefined

Om Namah Shivaya Namah Om was the ditty recited by couple of nonnatives at Cafe 1987, resort situated at the slope top of Kudle shoreline, as we headed inside to fill our bottomless pit. A place with great seating course of action with cushions and beddings on the floor, high quality paper lanterns, colossal Graffiti painted in fall hues with shower paints “There is no way to Happiness.. Happiness is the way“, some little earthen pots with therapeutic herbs and an adorable establishment of Shiva Lingaa in the corner perfumed with incense sticks and little Diya’s looked delightful.

Mythology says “Ruler Ravana was once honored with divine Atma Lingaa when he impressed Lord Shiva by his profound supplications towards Lord Shiva. Amid Ravana’s visit back to Lanka, he ended on the ocean shore to perform sandhya vandane(evening supplications), while he gave the Atma Lingaa to Lord Ganapati who camouflaged as a Brahmin and hence Lord Ganapati set the Lingaa on the ground established when Ravana did not return promptly and in this way every one of the forces of the Lingaa were lost. In anger, Ravana attempted to haul out the Lingaa from the beginning, an outcome it de-formed and broke into a few pieces. Ravana tossed these pieces in various headings” and hence one such place is Gokarn, which means Cows Ear in Karnataka.

Surprisingly, most of the visitors I met were from Germany, Spain, Italy and South America who visit India during winter to learn Vedic chants, Yoga, Sun salutation, Meditation, Reiki, Iyengar Yoga and more.

Kudle beach – accessible by walk or rickshaw from Gokarn city, one of the most popular beaches, is where we rented a beautiful cottage at Namastey holiday homes. I believe everyone here acknowledges a Namastey instead of a Hello and are so friendly, serving every dish made with sanctity. Nearly 13 restaurants serving Italian, Caribbean, Mexican, Goan, South Indian food nearby. Precisely inferring what each recipe is made of like Upma made with Semolina. We spent our first day relaxing around the beach, we were lucky to grab enough of Mexican food and of course mouth-watering Gobi Manchuria.

Kudle beach is steep and is dangerous for diving. In spite of the warning signs people have lost lives swimming here. However, we decided to settle back and breathe easy, unwind and rest.

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(my shot at the beach)

Nearby young ladies accumulated around each nonnative, to offer fake stone gems. I welcome that these explorers do purchase the stuff as souvenirs every costing Re/ – 200-500. Somehow, I felt the costs of pieces of jewelry, key chains were too high and how these outcasts get hoodwinked. Listening to one of their discussions, the young lady said, she makes a trip each day to the shoreline to sell her gems and she knows how to make them by hand consummately. In the event that, we need to get it changed she will supplant. This young lady was offered a container of Sprite from one Italian person. He was informing her concerning his home in Alps. He likewise purchased a neck piece for his better half and was inquiring as to whether his decision was adequate. The young lady was feeling great inside the Hotel far from scorching beams. Of course, the nearby servers were eve prodding these young ladies. Tragically these young ladies have stopped tutoring and are bringing home the bacon by offering stone gems. I was peaceful perplexed on the measure of information they share naming every stone, which I scarcely penned down. Topaz, and some high review gems. I got two neck pieces as well!! J For Re/ – 100. The young ladies tongue was Gujarati, she talked great English, Hindi and Kannada.

Strolling ahead, after a flavorful feast at the Sunrise Café, we moved to the swimming pool of our resort. 4 section of land is changed over to wonderful slope see cottage homes. We met numerous individuals who were meditating Om Namaha Shivay and were occupied with moving to psychedelic music. They wore orange clothing; a Lungi and Shailya on the shoulders and tangled hair or Jatha/dreadlocks which is an image of Shiva’s streaming locks. Generally, voyagers/hippies or even Reggae inspired individuals wear Jatha in a twisted bunch or bundle on top of the head. The strands are rubbed with ashes and dairy animals manure, considered both sacrosanct and purifying, then scented and decorated with blooms or beads. All things considered, numerous styles and techniques including this.

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(my shot inside the resort)

Hallucinogenic music “psychedelia” one kind of genre is heard all around. Standing between music lines, I watched Om being spread in all tunes. This prompting Psychedelic deep sense of being includes any sort of altered state (ritualistic or not) that by one means or another places you in contact with a persistent journey for God. A delightful lady from Romania was moving and it could recount to us one story that she fancied herself as one of the solid associations she made in looking and raising with God. I would not say much on that in the event that she could have galvanized with any psychedelic pill. Bewildering however, as I was a long ways past the creative ability of the possibility that these explorers are enlivened by our way of life, yet have not pulled back from banned recreational exercises. This woman wore a long skirt, secured herself with a scarf, a bindi on her brow, anklet, bangles, and tangled hair. She looked pretty and her creative abilities were told on the paper independent from anyone else, when she rapidly drew a geometric outline and raced to stick it on the bistro dividers. All were stunned. 🙂

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The following day we enlisted an auto to explore OM beach. As we climbed the foothill, the shoreline look deserted. I was confounded when I assessed the shape of OM. No inquiries for the sensational Gods creation. We can plainly make out the profundity of the shore, bedraggled than Kudle shoreline and very few diner spots to chill. We addressed the neighborhood boat proprietors who showed us a good time at Rs/ – 1600 to Half-Moon beach, Paradise beach, the light house and returning to Kudle beach. We located couple of dolphins seizing little separation from the shore, striking it rich we envisioned them swinging like a snake.

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Credits: Google Maps

As we reached our cottage, we met our neighbor, an elderly lady in her 50’s who was in  India for the fourth time. After learning Massage and Spa benefits from a Pune centre she was here to learn Iyengar Yoga in Gokarn. It is chiefly Hatha Yoga and spotlights on alignment of physical body parts managing diverse Asanas and 14 Pranayam methods. How would you feel when a outsider educates you such variety of things concerning your nation which you dint know?? This old lady is a Yoga instructor in Madrid, Spain and conducts classes 3 days a week. She told us why she was impacted by Hinduism and trusts “God is all over the place” and feels glad to discover God inside ourselves. Droning Om Namah Shivay each morning, working out, going to Yoga classes at the resort and was all solidness and generous sitting tight for her girl to reach India, and was excited to visit Hampi, Ajanta, Ellora and Cochin all in just 17 days. Truth be told, we guided about her next goal Goa, Mumbai and spots she ought to feast and living. My significant other demonstrated her few photographs he shot in Hampi. The woman couldn’t trust her eyes. She was super eager to visit one of the best verifiable places in India. She was talking in her Spanglish highlight, I wanted to hear increasingly.

I constrained her to try “Pani puri”. She scribbled the name in her iPad storyboard, where she had gathered few names of vegetable recipes she savored in Pune. She was curious to know more stories and history identifying with Gokarn, Kanyakumari, Rameshwaram as well. I was so happy to describe it to her. She was awe-inspired and communicated to make it on her next rundown. I exhorted her to visit some well known strongholds and royal residences. I was grinning wide, when my significant other uncovered how he was roused by the motion picture “Zindagi na milegi dobara”. The majority of the taping was shot in Spain. Exacting interpretation of the motion picture name was entertaining. “You won’t get another life” and she was flying high to hear we knew such a great amount about her nation. The conventional Pamplona’s Running of the bulls, Scuba diving in Costa Brava, Bungee bouncing in Barcelona, Skydiving in Seville Andalucia, La Tomatina celebration in Valencia, Flamenco dance form – a honest to goodness Spanish art, and to be more exact a bona fide Southern Spanish craftsmanship. Existing in three structures Cante, the song, Baile, the move, and Guitarra, guitar playing…I additionally talked about my exhibitions in one of the shows, singing a Spanish melody Asereje. She was transfixed. Danza Kuduro, a Spanish/Portuguese tune, splendid foot tapping move number. It was a greater amount of an Ind-Western social trade program-me for us.

Lastly to say, the café holds various western musical instruments like

Didgeridoo, aboriginal hardwood instrument from Australia and is mainly available in Rishikesh,India. Watch here, our friend playing it brilliantly Didgeridoo

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Google credits

A cajón is nominally a six-sided, box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru, played by slapping the front or rear faces with the hands, fingers, or sometimes assorted implements such as brushes, mallets, or sticks. cajon

I proudly say, I played few beats perfectly.

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A djembe or jembe is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. There are daily bhajans and jamming sessions crooning Shiva strotams. Travelers find it easy and eager to learn and spread knowledge about Hinduism, worshiping Bholenath. (Hymn).. so musical.

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Numerous travelers regard our way of life, have faith in Vedic serenades, take after our customs and dress so straightforward. They acknowledge Indian established music and need to spread Hindu culture which the majority of our Indians have overlooked. I was stunned when an European was filling in as low maintenance server and amid his leisure time was reciting shlokas like no other pundit.

One Italian lady revealed how she was feeling protected and secure living in India. Her 2 year old charming child was circling the bistro and was interfacing with the majority of the general population. He communicated in Italian but then would attach well. That is the dialect kids talk. His mom was snooping on my dish and was interested to recognize what I was having for breakfast and lunch. I prompted her to attempt some great formulas on the menu, not at all like she was fasting on servings of mixed greens and her child was getting a charge out of vanilla frozen yogurt regular.

At long last, we said farewell to every one of them and educated to be back following 6 months for another sedating scene of social trade, tranquilizing episode of warmth, sharing thoughts, making companions, getting some outside air, watching the beautiful excellence of Gokarn, crunching best Vegan cooking styles and more J

A foreign exchange program-me justified, despite all the trouble, truly an eye-opener stumble on an alternate note. Meeting new individuals, communicating and guiding about India and I can even now hear the Om reverberating in my ears.

A memory worth embracing and we are re-living each moment exquisitely.

Travel Distance from Bangalore

485km via NH4

Stay – Local lodges and beach resorts. Travel rides – bikes and auto.

Food – you get everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An affair in younger daughters town

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Plans fail sometimes – please don’t ask why?.  When we planned for a team outing!!

After a long discussion, members decided on some great spots Wonderla, Snow city, Coorg, Ooty, Munnar, Mysore etc. These are the sightseeing places in and around Bangalore. Looking at other teams, we always felt we were caged “oh what animal do I look like”.  Unfortunately, I was sick the day when this world summit took place. Friday morning I received a text message from my colleague “Hey we are going to Chikmaglur, Is that OK with you??” and “Yes I am in”.

After all the pleading and requesting, this is how we began our short OD (one day) trip to Chikmaglur, a small district in Karnataka, where you find every house with a coffee estate, families owning a big resort on top of the hills.

Yeah!! Lemons were crushed under the tires at 12 ‘o clock on Friday night, we were late because our manager was refusing to join us though he was very much interested. We picked him up from his home and tracked on the NH48, as we had to reach Hassan at 3.00 AM,  where we were supposed to pick another ex-colleague.

Travel Distance – The distance from Bangalore to Chikmaglur is 250km – you can travel by local transport, private Tempo Traveler (TT), or by car and also by flight to Mangalore then by bus or hire a cab. Heading towards Hassan and then a deviation from there just 55km away is Chikmaglur.

The “coffee land of Karnataka” also means “younger daughters town” in Kannada. There are stories that this place was bought  by a seer named Baba Budan from West Asia whose shrine is located atop the hills. Well, I do not want to start a history feed here.

We reached around 5.30 AM and that guy whom we picked from Hassan did not allow us to sleep whole night, because he kept sharing his stories in the TT.  We booked 3 rooms in a hotel named Planters court. Such a nice hotel which charged Rs. 4000 for just 2 hours for using their bathrooms, of course 14 people. Few guys demanded hot shower, so we had to wait for the rusted taps to release hot sprinkles which would only be benefited from 6.30 AM to 7.00 AM (Tourist place always costly). After 7.00 AM, even if you are freezing, you have no option but take a plunge in cold water.

We watched the sun rise – splendid and marvelous scenery. They say a person should take time to watch a sunrise or a sunset once a day. My wish got fulfilled.

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We were out-bulged after a wholesome breakfast near the lodge. King like plates filled with delicacies: large Masala dosa, Idli with two wadas, Chikmaglur special bun and famous instant coffee into our bellies. We were stuffed.

Over and out we headed towards Mullayanagiri, a place located 6343sq feet above sea level, the highest peak in Karnataka. It’s one of the best trekking places I have ever seen. In winter, you won’t get to see the place so clear as it is smothered with fog.

One the way, we stopped to take few shots of the gods own nature. Bliss to the souls, embalms you to the evergreen beauty.

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Road to Mullayanagiri enthralled us.

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Climbing the steps in action.

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200 steps in not less than an hour and we made it. There’s a Lord Shiva temple at the top. To beat the scorching heat,  you don’t have to cover yourself as the wind blows right thru your hair and it’s chilling under your feet. Lot of Vitamin D, spa like treatment, you may feel the fresh air similar to an ice cube on your face; complete facial. Free from the daily trifles, I felt too good while climbing.

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Ah! I looked back to see how many steps I was above. I defeated all of them and stood first as my lean structure was of good help. My fellow mates were still climbing.

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A view from the bull temple.

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Shiva Temple.

The final destination of Mullayanagiri range.  Victory. At last, touched the honorable flag post. On clear days, Arabian Sea is visible from this point. I could not make out anything as everything looked blue.

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Next stop was at a small Parvati temple nearby, I found a colorful wooden chariot inside a shed. I don’t know where on earth this gets pulled, but believe me, a fare takes place every year, to mark a feast of Baba Budan and thousands of devotees visit this temple.

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We were almost squashed as we had to trek and find paths to reach the main temple at Bababudangiri. We were screaming (Jawano aage bado, badate raho) – keep walking keep searching and could hear the echoes. Hungry and hail looking out for hotel detail..:(. I caught sight of a local kirani (grocery) shop to chill my throat with butter milk and curb my hunger with a packet of Lays.

This place is visited by both Hindus and Muslims. Worshipers believe if you search Baba, you are enlightened.  Baba meditated 150 years ago and people say he is still alive. Rest is history.

We didn’t find a proper restaurant and decided to travel another 15 miles to Hebbay falls and take a dip, dance under the waterfall and hog somewhere around. Poor we, as usual. On the way, it was full of mystery to wonderland (The Road to El Dorado types). Oops, if you find a way you will return else you have to stay in the jungle. Ultimate mud roads, breathe taking turns, pelting stones and poking shrubs. I was chanting Hare Rama Hare Krishna. If the tire skids you never know, we would take a free ticket and our whole team would have washed out. Thank god nothing of that sort happened. Mid way we met few people, who told us that road to the waterfalls was under construction and you would not reach there. We drove ahead and asked another man coming in the opposite direction, he just stared like a south Indian film villain and walked off. We chuckled. We drove further and met a man cycling back when stopped and questioned he waved his hands and went off. Now, this was like all gazes and stares to each other. A suspense thriller, yet we drove and this time, a Skoda car coming back. We did not stop them, they passed us and said “All the best”. Come on now this was 90’s mystery where one stares, one says no (illa illa) and another, all the best. We were curious and I remembered CID, ACP Pradhyumna speaking “ye raasta kahan ja raha hai Daya, zara dekho to sahi” and all dare devil movies like purani haveli, gumnam raasta with some background score from the movie “Satte Pe Satta”. What was it that made this place so interesting we wanted to find?

Yahoo! We got the check post and then got the most wanted answer from the guard who said” You are on the right track, but the bus would not reach there, the roads are closed and you will have to walk 5miles. You have traversed 6km now”. Ahey!! Who is going to walk so long, looking at the capacity of the people, we would reach the next day, all were tired and more over hungry. So, we took a diversion to Kemmangundi and drove another 11km.

Kemmanagundi, a place similar to others, you find Ghats section, roads in a zigzag manner. A rock garden hardly found any rocks, but got to see some hybrid Roses, Gerbera and wild flowers.

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Surprisingly, discovered a resort cum restaurant, built well at an international locale, a board pointed “Vegetarian” hotel. Wow! We were hungry, if served we would have attacked like an alien.

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We made nice plans while stepping inside; order Gobi Manchuri, Fried Rice, Dal Roti with fresh Lime juice.  Lip smacking dishes right?? . Unlike other hotels, it was a ramshackle; don’t know when it would tumble down. It looked beautiful outside. On top of the hotel, few families were waiting to be served along with 8 boney stray dogs, barking aloud, with cataract eyes, panting to eat, as if last when they ate was blue moon day. Excuse-me, I wanted to run away.

Two of my team mates left the place searching for another hotel nearby, by chance they find we would eat some better food. They came back saying “there is another Non-Vega hotel behind this place”. Everybody ran towards this hotel, I being a vegetarian had no option but to go stay here. One guy stood up like a Spartan and said” you all wait here; I will go there and check out if there is a menu card”. HAHAHA.  He returned saying” The non-vegan pointer points to the same hotel where we initially stood waiting for vegan food.

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No other goes but took a U-turn to the vegan hotel. This time few tourists joined us and we lost our tables. One of our members asked the waiter “What’s the menu?” The waiter replied”Nothing” (Enu illa). We drove so far from the city just to hear nothing (bhai kuch to hoga?).  Everyone’s faces were pale and now an additional tension “BATHROOM”. Mind it, men are very lucky in this case, they can go anywhere in the bushes and lighten their loads. We ladies have to look for closed and clean washrooms.

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Mind-blowing, to use bushes also you have to pay and use.

The ladies would have suffered nervous breakdown if we would not request the owner to allow us use one of their washrooms.

Slurp, the food was here after a long wait, we were served the one and only dish  “puri bhaji”. The puri’s were dipped in oil and the bhaji or sabji was absolutely delicious, fabulous, may be the chef forgot to add some masala, salt and little chili powder. I realized when I was in my hometown, I used to make faces for the food my mum made, and would not eat what she prepared by her lovely hands. I felt it was karma that was struck on me that I had to eat this food in the hotel. Few mates refused to eat. But, I decided I will hog.  While eating, that guy from Hassan shared awesome stories from his past trips. He was a complete entertainment package with his broken Hindi and Kannada accent.  He narrated a cock and bull story to the waiter and nicely relished a plate of fried rice, stating he suffered from jaundice.  He made the rest of us laugh and forget what dish we were munching on. Tourists sitting beside were giggling and watching him enact. He took care of the hungry dogs with a packet of Parle-G biscuits throwing one at a time and see them fight over it.

Where’s the wash basin?? We washed our hands from a pipe.

Unhappy, we could not make it to the falls, it was getting dark and we had to leave the place before sun sets else it’s dangerous to drive on the narrow roads. At 4PM we left the place. I spotted many photographers with tripod near the sunset point. They must have taken terrific shots.

We stopped at a dhaba named Giri for a quick break. It was 7PM now. As I got down from the bus, I saw one of my team mate already puking and made me feel to be the next one.

The Giri fellow asked us to join a camp fire especially conducted for tourists coming to this place. Yes, it would be private he said. To compensate the Hebbey falls, we gave in and pushed ourselves inside the resort.

Albeit men did not find their best friends (gum ka saathi rum), they danced. We ladies just watched them groove on the tunes of gangnam style.

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Balle Balle till 9.30PM and again hogged the mouth-watering buffet. Soup, Jeera rice, Roti, Aloo sabji (Potato vegetable), Bhendi fry (fried Lady’s finger), Pickle, Poppadom. Whoa! I was happy, I ate a good meal now and I dint have to starve more and look half dead. We winded at 10PM. 10 minutes later, I felt the stir in my stomach and I made a quirk sound.  (Bus roko) someone shouted and the TT halted. I immediately got down from the bus and ran straight towards the bush. HAH-AHA I puked. The Bhendi fry fried me off in my tummy. If given a chance I would teach them how to improve their culinary skills. I wanted to reach home and just go to sleep.

Indeed, had a fantastic, refreshing day in Chikamaglur. This trip made me and others relax and enjoy the natural beauty and inhale some fresh air.

After reading this if you are planning to visit the place, the ideal time is either summer or winter. Please carry some food along with you. Now I see why those three men on the way behaved extraordinary. If we would have payed attention to their signs may be we would not have seen such a beautiful resort and have some lovely food. The next day I got my RSS feed updated, few others too stopped the bus in between to let out vigorous acid from their stomach. I was not the only one. HEEHAW.

It’s okay. I am desperately waiting for our next trip, more adventurous than this hopefully.

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