Saturday, December 12, 2015

Mangalore To Bangalore!

Continued from Here  

On the fourth day, 12th November, we drove to Udupi at around 11:00. The final rites of Preethi’s grandmother was performed and after lunch we left back home. Dropped parents and sister at home, packed our bags and left at around 4 PM. Mangalore and Bantwal regions had announced a strike related to a murder in Bantwal. A hindu killed by a muslim gang and the muslim friend who tried to stop the attack was also injured. Such issues always successfully turn into communal riots in Mangalore. I realised that nothing has changed here since my college days. Every time I am in Mangalore, the present reminds me of a scary past. Several communal riots, scared Hindus living in Muslim dominated areas and scared muslims living in that of Hindu area; colleges, schools, offices all closed for several days; cops firing tear gas at the mob; petty personal issues dragged into public attention and blown up as a communal clash. Indeed, nothing has changed here. I feared delay in my journey but on the contrary, the curfew made it easier and quicker. There was nobody on the road. I cruised off at highest possible speed and reached Sakleshpura at around 6:30 PM. 

As we reached Sakleshpura, we noticed some burnt tyres hinting further unrest. But somehow as sun goes down everyone seem to settle back into a normal mode. This unrest was not due to the same issue though, it was related to another killing in Madikeri over the Tipu issue that you perhaps have been following with me through these posts. Like my trip, Tipu story too needs a conclusion from my end, doesn't it? 

I wondered what Tipu might be thinking now, from his grave, if at all he is. Is he happy that people are still scared of his name and fighting over it? Or should he be sad that people have defamed him? No matter what he thinks, none of that matters anyway, does it? No body knows for sure who he was or how he was. We all think that our current technology is the strongest to store the history but only time can tell if it really is. So with that lost time are lost, several facts. Then why bother about him? Why does the Government want to pick a controversial name and create unrest. If they had named a day after Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam (Another Muslim), nobody would have said a word. We all know who he was and we all acknowledge his contributions. But no, the controversial names are more fun for our Government  a political agenda behind everything is interesting to stir some action. So why blame Tipu? Let him rest in peace. 

Anyways, unfortunately for wrong reasons, I was glad about the whole thing that brought me back to Bangalore quicker than anticipated. I reached home by 10:00 PM with only one stop for dinner at a A2B outlet. 

So I am back in Bangalore. No Hindu-Muslim clashes, no riots, no interfering, and all that is, is only the thought of present and perhaps a possible future. I love Mangalore but I do not agree with everything that happens there. Someday, when I return there for good, I hope things would have changed and the then present shall remind me of those scary past as a history to learn from. After all that is what History is for - To learn from. Thus let the truth about Tipu remain just a debate, let us not drag it to our present beyond what it is - A debate.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Kasargod District

Continued from Here  

Next day, on the 12th, we decided to travel south and explore the district of Kasargod. I had researched on a list of all the tourist attractions from the net. There were several places to see and it was obvious that I could not cover the entire district in a day. I had originally decided to drive all the way till the end of the district i.e the border of Kannur district and then drive back. But that seemed like a long drive without seeing anything. So I changed plans and after our breakfast at Kumble, we took a deviation to Ananthapura Lake temple. A beautiful temple in the middle of a lake. The idol too is very special as it is made out of direct herbs and barks glued together. Another speciality of this place is that there is a crocodile in this lake that is offered rice as food every morning. It was very peaceful here.

Just about 4kms from here is the Bela church, built in 1890. 

On the way, we stopped at a Bhagavathi temple at Perne which was closed. 

And Malikarjuna temple.

Next, we took an inside route to Madhur per Google maps and interestingly this route passed through other attractions I had in list.

Maipady palace. This was an interesting palace of Kumbala rajas. The Government has recognised these palaces and installed sign boards everywhere. But on our arrival, we realised that these were private properties  Some still have people in them, some have left to the cities leaving the house to the caretakers. But we were allowed to go in and see the house.

Madhur temple is a beautiful complex with its murals and the famous Ganesh rock idol that is constantly growing in size. I was surprised though to see a board here that allowed only Hindu's to enter. I do not recollect having seen such a board anywhere else. I think its wrong and does not go well with our philosophy. Yes, in the past the rulers have demolished several of our temples but today, things are different. I have never seen such a board in the temples in South Canara or any part of the country.. Thus this signage in a Kerala temple disappointed me.

Next, we directly drove to the end of Kasargod district, to a small quiet island  called Valiyaparamba. Tourism board boasted of boating and backwaters but we found nothing there except haunted but serene beaches. The drive was excellent. This is a tiny strip of land that is separated from the mainland by a backwater. 

We had lunch at the only vegetarian restaurant at Cheruvathur. Tried some local sweet snacks made of Banana and coconut. 

Next stop - Nileshwaram. Nileshwaram has a connection with my hometown. It is believed that the main deity of the temple near my house was actually an idol that was traveling to Nilleshwaram and was installed at Marigudi. We visited this temple but it was unfortunately closed. 

Another famous temple called Nilakanteshwara was also closed at this odd time. 

There are a few more palaces here. These more looked like a traditional house than a palace. However, we were not allowed to enter the house. This made me wonder why Kerala Government was promoting these private properties as tourist attractions. They had sign boards everywhere for this palace. 

On my way back, I tried to locate the Hosdurg fort. There was a sign board that led me up a small hill but there was no sign of the fort or further boards up there. So we returned back disappointed with Kerala tourism.

We then Drove to Kanhangad. There are two famous ashrams here. The first  is called  Nityanandashram. Now, do not confuse the name with that of a much recent swami famous for his scandal. Here, the samadhi of the Swami has a very beautiful architecture and there are around 45 caves below it built by him. The Ashram was almost empty. The care taker, who happened to be from South Canara, told us about the mystic powers of the swami and guided us to the museum. 

Anandashrama of Swami Ramdas had a peaceful atmosphere. Devotees were performing Bhajans, Serving snacks and the whole place looked lively. 

We ended our trip at Ajnoor which is around 5 kms from Kanhangad. We mostly followed the directions from locals. Here is a beautiful Madiyankulom temple dedicated to Badrakali and Bhairavan. It seemed like a peaceful place to end our trip and head back home.

It was a very interesting trip for the entire family. I was too optimistic to cover the entire district in one day but I must revisit Kasargod to cover the rest.  Almost till Bekal, you can manage with Tulu or Kannada language. Beyond it people only spoke Malayalam. As my parents speak the language it was not hard to find our way to these remote places. But most places are on Google maps so, I haven’t spent too much time detailing out directions.

To Be Continued...