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Old 19th October 2009, 17:59   #31
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First it was your intro thread and now this travelogue!
Glued for more updates.
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Old 19th October 2009, 18:11   #32
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Return to Teerthahalli

After an early breakfast of Idli-Vada and coffee, we left for Augumbe via the same route in reverse till Teerthahalli. It somehow seemed different although we passed the same places again. It is amazing how things can look different from an opposite perspective.

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As straight as it can get

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Tea with a view


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Tiger dance boy, a common sight in the region during Dussera

The roads were intermitently broad and narrow, new and old, moderate and bordering on bad. It set me wondering why only some stretches were so good unless they were so hopelessly bad earlier that the authorities decided to re-lay them and decided to do a good job of it.

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Electrifying drive

BHPians intending to take this route are advised to note that there are many cows and dogs to be encountered on the way and they are unlike any other you would find in the state. The warmth of the tarred roads must have been a welcome change after the rains.The dogs lay basking in the mild sunshine. I honked hard and long to wake them up, but they briefly opened a lazy eye and went right back to their naps. I challeged many a cow with angry honks, but they nonchallently turned away in very slow motion and stood their ground, chewing the cud. There was little I could do but slip past by going off the the track in their interest and mine.

Having bypassed the last cow, We reached Teerthahalli at 10.15am.

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Last edited by Roameo : 19th October 2009 at 18:15. Reason: changes made to text.
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Old 19th October 2009, 23:53   #33
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At home with Kuvempu, the poet of Malnad

We still had a long day ahead of us and this perfectly suited my scheme of things. Agumbe was a short distance away and we had time. I decided a visit to Kuppali, the ancestal dwelling of Kuvempu the national poet would add flavour to our journey. Sensing my enthusiasm, my wife reluctantly agreed.

Just 18km from Teerthahalli off the Koppa Road, I found the drive one of the most pleasant and scenic drives in the region and the roads are splendid. It is not be missed if you happen to be anywhere near Teerthahalli.

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The sprawling house where the poet spent his childhood and his last years, is a sight to behold.

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It must have been totally cut off from civilisaton in the yester years and my wife could not help wondering why anyone could choose to build so big a house and stay in such isolation. It is so even today. I put it to her that as there were many families and numerous children staying there, they would have had no dearth of company and the young poet must have had a wonderful time playing hide-and-seek or running around the big plantation at the back or exploring the woods around. My wife gave me a look which only a wife can give her husband.

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The house was teeming with two bus loads of college students and we had difficulty navigating our way through the numerous rooms in the house. It is extremely well maintained and on a quiet day with few tourists, you could probably imagine hearing the joyful laughter of children at play and the chatter of the women folks as they went about their daily chores.

View of the inner courtyard from the verandah above.
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There was nobody on the large verandah on the first floor with Kuvempu's favourite easy chair in a corner and I could almost feel the poet's invisible presence when I approached it. Although the experience unsettled me momentarily, I stood by the chair a few minutes feeling the cool floor and the peace radiating the air as I quielty hummed his soulful lyrics of the song from the old Kannada movie "Miss Leelavathi".

"Doni Sagali,
munde hogali,
dooratheerava serali"
May the boat sail,
Go forth,
and reach the distant shores.

Please refer this site for more information on Kuvempu and his life:
:-: Official website of Sri Kuvempu :-:

Last edited by Roameo : 20th October 2009 at 00:03. Reason: Edit a phrase
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:18   #34
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Nice pictures of Kuvempu's house, were you able to take pictures of the inside, looking for to more pictures.
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:47   #35
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Nice, Kuvempu's house reminds me of my grandfathers house and some relatives place....
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Old 20th October 2009, 12:53   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majic View Post
Nice pictures of Kuvempu's house, were you able to take pictures of the inside, looking for to more pictures.
Photography is not allowed inside the house.
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Old 20th October 2009, 14:26   #37
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Nice account of your travels. Good pictures too.

It inspires me to take a long break from work and explore our land.

And many thanks for the Kuvempu url, it thrilled me to read his original manuscript on it.
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Old 20th October 2009, 15:29   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roameo View Post
Photography is not allowed inside the house.
I was just wondering why in India , most places you are not allowed to take photos, is it something that has to do with the flashes?
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Old 20th October 2009, 17:07   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Govinda-Govinda View Post
Nice account of your travels. Good pictures too.

It inspires me to take a long break from work and explore our land.

And many thanks for the Kuvempu url, it thrilled me to read his original manuscript on it.
Thanks, Govinda. Yes, you must take a break. It greatly relaxes your body, mind and soul. There such nice places also within 6 hours of drive from Bangalore, if you can't take a long holiday.

There is more on Kuvempu coming up in my next post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Majic View Post
I was just wondering why in India , most places you are not allowed to take photos, is it something that has to do with the flashes?
I too was wondering about it. Only logical reason I can think of is it is to prevent people from blocking the area posing for pics, sometimes in groups. This could happen in enclosed and crowded places like temples. May be be it is a good rule.
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:07   #40
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Kavishaila, the heavenly hillock.

Silence! To speak here is a sin.
The hill is in meditation
Joy is worship and silence is prayer
In this Nature's Temple.
Ah! Nothing like being up here
In the company of only a gentle drizzle.

These words from 'Kruththike', one of Kuvempu's collection of poems, reflects the love and respect he had for his favourite spot and he longed to return here everytime he was away. From the 'Kavimane', the poet's house, one can tread the same path as the poet did to get here, or by the same road that leads to the house. A massive three stoned gateway opens up the imagination of the visitors to Kavishaila. He spent a lot of his time here as a little boy and in his later years when he retired to Kuppali.

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This charming and secluded spot was home to Kevempu's muse and many of his poems were inspired by this heavenly retreat, and when you get there it is not difficult to realise why.

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As we walked about, I once again broached the subject with my wife: Little Puttappa must have had a splendid time here playing with his numerous cousins with not a care in the world; , picking berries, chasing squirrels,climbing trees and eating mangoes. She gave me a stare only a wife can give her husband.

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My grand father was a recluse, seldom spoke and when not watering plants, spent a great part of his time reclining on his easy chair reading spiritual and philosophical works or literary classics including those of Kuvempu. He went out of the compound only once in a month carrying a bag full of books he had finished reading and returned a few hours later with replacements. I would sometimes secretly approach his bookshelf to see if I could find a volume of Huckleburry Fin or Tom Sawyer. The books were old and not from a library since there were no seals on them. Since I dare not ask him where he got the books from and nobody else in the house bothered, I could never discover the source from which he procured them. It is my guess that he had a friend in Udupi who was also a recluse like himself.

Many years before I was born, Grandpa ran a grocery in one of the shops you can still find around the Sri Krishna Mutt complex in Udupi. He had to close down after he sold excessively on credit to all and sundry without first learning the skill of how to recover the payment due, and as a consequence borrowed excessively to keep the stocks from running out.

When I once remarked that I found him very strange, Grandma recounted how when still in his mid forties and having fathered eight children, grandpa was overcome by an overdose of spirituality and like Buddha, quietly abandoned the family in the middle of a night and took the train to Varanasi. After a region wide search and speaking to everyone who knew him, the family gave up all hopes of ever seeing him again. Some months later , a few piligrims from Udupi returning from a Kashi yatra rushed to inform my grandmother that they thought they had a glimplse of her husband somewhere on the ghats , but he suddenly disappeared in the crowd.The man had long hair, a flowing beard and wore a saffron dhoti due to which they could not authenticate his identification. It was still a ray of hope although a bleak one, and my grandma's elder brother and his friend made haste to board the next train to Varanasi. They returned a few weeks later, dragging grandpa by his dhoti. The first thing they did was to urgently summon the barber in secret to give him a good haircut and shave off his overgrown beard.The whole town knew by sunset. Grandpa sired two more children after his dramatic return.

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Upon retiring from service at the Mazagaon Dock, an uncle of mine from Mumbai ( one of grandpa's son) bought a secluded acre-big property near Moodubidri and built a house on it. Two other houses within a 100 meter range formed the neighbourhood and it was reachable only by a rough mud road. He moved there but his wife, a lecturer, categorically refused to leave the city. Upon his insistence, she visited him once for a few days and did not consider a repeat visit thereafter. Uncle had some training in classical Hindustani music and spent 12 years here all alone singing to himself. I visited him a couple of times for a day when I visited Udupi, and quite liked his place. There was no furniture in the house and two rolls of beds were stacked up in a corner of a room. A coir mat was unfurled on the floor for the rare vistors. He woke up at 4a.m and spent the mornings watering and tending plants in his garden, an alaap in one raga or the other on his lips. The plants were not sown in rows or in any specfic arrangement, and it was a wild riot of colors when the flowers bloomed. Uncle proclaimed with reserved pride that it was an English garden. As dusk fell, he chanted the Hare Krishna naam and methodically massaged himself with an ayurvedic oil specially ordered from Kerala before he went to bathe at the well. His diet mainly consisted of only a bowl of curd with honey,fruit and a few almonds in it for breakfast,and two thin methi chapathis in the afternoon and one in the evening were his lunch and dinner. He retired to bed by 7 pm. I observered he drank water at frequent intervals all day long from a clay pot which he filled with water drawn from the well by dawn, and he always sprinkled some fresh Tulsi leaves in it. He was 62 when I visited him and looked not a day older than 45. I once curiously asked what he did to keep himself engaged in the monsoon season when it rains without a stop for days on end, to which he casually replied,"Nothing!".

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Grandpa's unsual visit to Kashi, Uncle's becoming vanaprastha, my reading habits and love for the countryside prompts my wife to make some definite connections. She greatly fears that it sort of runs in the family and has told her mother that after my grandpa and uncle, I was showing imminent signs of being the 'Chosen One' to keep up the family tradition. Also, the fact that I was named after the presiding diety of that sacred and ancient city has consolidated her belief that history could repeat itself. After returning to Bangalore from this trip, I told her that I would one day like to write a novel. She gave me a stare that only a wife can give her husband.

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The three-stoned Stonehenge like installations add to the awe and mystique of the place and they blend well with the dark hillock and the woods around. When his soul left the flesh in 1998, the poet supreme's remains were cremated here and a samadhi built on the spot.

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While getting back into our car, I could not prevent myself from one last time humming the old song:

"Doni Sagali,
munde hogali,
dooratheerava serali"

My wife gave me a stare only a wife can give her husband.
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:30   #41
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You sure love living life on the edge - 3 tales and 3 stares! Beautifully narrated story with the observations, history and personal tales spicing things up.

Looking forward to more!
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Old 20th October 2009, 23:48   #42
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Those stones resemble the Stonehenge in Salisbury...rather remotly.
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Old 20th October 2009, 23:54   #43
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Default ...dooratheerava serali...

Hi Roameo,

Unlike you, I was born in and have lived all my life in various cities but, like you I too hear the call of the rural/pastoral setting quite strongly. This is perhaps due to my annual visits to my grandmother's farm (she lived alone) with the closest neighbour being a few miles away down a barely motorable track (cannot really call it a road).

Sri Kuvempu's house in the photographs is perhaps a much larger version of my dream house. Set in sylvan surroundings, the whole place emanates a kind of calming and refreshing energy. Dunno about your wife, but if you are the 'chosen one' and emulate your uncle, I shall certainly envy you and watch out - you just might have an unwelcome visitor - ME!

Lovely travelogue, enjoyed it thoroughly.

"Doni Sagali,
munde hogali,

dooratheerava serali"

Cheers,
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Old 21st October 2009, 10:13   #44
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Raomeo, great going!

Your logue certainly inspires me to explore malnad, though am from the same area never made an attempt to explore.
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Old 21st October 2009, 11:40   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillram View Post
Those stones resemble the Stonehenge in Salisbury...rather remotly.
Yes, whoever designed the arrangement in Kavishaila must have been inspired by that pre-historic monument.

Stonehenge, England

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Quote:
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..., but if you are the 'chosen one' and emulate your uncle, I shall certainly envy you and watch out - you just might have an unwelcome visitor - ME!
You will be most welcome, my friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
Your logue certainly inspires me to explore malnad, though am from the same area never made an attempt to explore.
I think what I have seen is only a small part of Malnad. There is a lot more to explore there and will plan another visit sometime.

Last edited by Roameo : 21st October 2009 at 11:45. Reason: change picture
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