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Old 25th October 2009, 12:53   #61
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Where the Soul soars like an Eagle

The Goli Baje and the Gadbad put a song of good cheer in our hearts. My cousin and I agreed a visit to the beach would be a great way to end the afternoon. Neither of us even thought of Malpe. It has become too touristic and is no longer the same beach we longed to go to in our childhood days. I suggested Maravanthe. My cousin proposed Kapu instead as it is closer to Udupi. I had only a vague recollection of going there when I was probably 5 or 6 years of age and a blurred image of a lighthouse was etched in my memory like this old and fading photograph from some archive.

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We took the NH17 towards Mangalore and somewhere after Katpadi saw a sign indicating that we were 3 kilometers from 'KAUP'. I am yet to crack the mystery on why it is spelt K-A-U-P although I can swear I have never ever heard any one call it by any other name than Kapu. Either it was misspelt while recording the name for use in official maps, or perhaps it has something to do with the British who had the incorrigible habit of changing the original names of any place they could lay their hands on. To their credit, we must thank them for putting a lighthouse here.

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We kept going till another signboard on the highway indicated that we had to turn right to get to the lighthouse. A narrow road led us through the village and to the beach and the lighthouse. We could only catch glimpses of the sea on the way as there are houses and shrubs blocking the view. When we arrived, to my surprise I found there was a parking area with attendants, a shop selling snacks and cool drinks and even a shack bar.There were at least 25 vehicles including tourist buses parked there. Looks like the long tentacles of tourism has reached even this gem of a beach tucked away near a remote little fishing village in Dakshin Kannada.

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We go to Udupi every year and sometimes more than once. I now saw what I had missed all these years. Talk of going to Kapu did come up during some trips, but we never took the trouble to make a visit happen. My cousin, a mumbaikar, moved to Udupi 10 years ago to set up a business of his own, but never visited Kapu although he had been to many other beaches on this belt. When I asked him why, he grinned sheepishly and shrugged his shoulders. I parked my car and we made our way to the beach. There towered the lighthouse, tall and proud on the hillock of black rock. There were people bathing in the sea completely oblivious to a signboard warning. My cousin marvelled at the quality of sand which was fine and white. The cove looked pristine. Some fishing boats parked on the sands and the eagles hovering above added an artistic touch to the view.

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An Hindi speaking man collected Rs.5 as entry charge and magnanimously told us we could take pictures although it is prohibited. The winding stairway took us to the lantern room at the top where we stopped to marvel at the giant beacon of light that sends out signals far into the sea to steer ships and boats away from marine dangers. I could not help overhearing a gentleman explaining to his family that the streaks of light from this lighthouse could be seen from as far as South Africa. I am not sure if he had been witness to the phenomenon when on a visit to the South African coast, or if it was the result of his imagination getting fired at the sight of the giant apparatus of powerful lights and lenses that emits the life-saving signals.

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We stepped out of a little door on to a narrow observation deck running round the lantern room. After an initial feeling of vertigo, I got used to the height and looked around. My heart was overcome by a surge of unexplainable sensation. Two curving white beaches span long on either sides of the lighthouse like giant wings as it suveys the vast expanse of the Arabian sea before it. My soul soared as I beheld the panorama. I find it difficult to describe in words the beauty of what my eyes recorded or my emotions thereof.

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My cousin awe-struck by the magnificent views.

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As we reluctantly climbed down the stairway, I knew I had to return here with Sonny and my wife on our next trip to Udupi. I turned back one last time before we left the hillock and saw the setting sun behind the dark clouds cast a surrealistic glow on the Arabian Sea.

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Old 25th October 2009, 18:04   #62
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Wonderful pics Vishy.Truly breathtaking
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Old 25th October 2009, 21:13   #63
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Beautiful pics and travelogue! It reminds me of my time in Mangalore as a kid about 15 yrs ago. All visitors to our house were always recommended to make a trip to Kapu if they were headed north.

Sunsets in DK are amazing, especially during monsoons when the sky turns different shades of orange and yellow. Must be nostalgia, but i've never managed to see those types of sunsets anywhere else i've lived.
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Old 25th October 2009, 21:47   #64
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Now I know where my next trip is going to be. Thanks dude.
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Old 26th October 2009, 10:31   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin View Post
Now I know where my next trip is going to be.
Note that entry to the Kapu lighthouse is from 3pm to 5.30pm. When there is a big crowd they seem to keep it open till past 6pm like it happened on the day I visited.
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Old 26th October 2009, 11:15   #66
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Excellent writeup Roameo!

Even though my roots are in South Canara, it's been a real long time since I visited these places. I'm tempted to do a road trip through this circuit now!
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Old 26th October 2009, 12:29   #67
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Roameo, keep on doing the good work! Enjoying every moment of the thread. I think today had only a mention on Ghol baji and the ice cream, normally there is some delicacy shown!
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Old 27th October 2009, 01:02   #68
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Tale of two Towns

It rained almost all the time the week I was in Udupi but there were a few hours of respite in the afternoon on some days. One such afternoon, I decided to take my parents for a drive. They hadn't seen Manipal after it got a make over in the last few years.

In the mid 70s, one of my aunts family bought a large piece of land in Indrali between Udupi and Manipal, and built a big house on it. Since they lived in Mumbai and ran a business there, my grandparents moved in and the house became the vacation base for the families of their sons and daughters of which there were ten in all. There were sometimes up to 20 of us during the summer holidays in May and we could have the best of both the worlds. And what a splendid time we had!

Manipal represented everthing that was 'hep' to us. There were a large number of students from Bombay studying in the engineering and medical colleges who brought with them the fashion of the times. They had their hair styled after Amitabh Bachan or Rishi kapoor and wore bell bottoms, high heeled shoes, waist long shirts with top two or buttons open and big rounded collars that looked like dogs tongue. A steel chain with a large swastika on their chests and a pair of sunglasses completed their attire. Modified Rajdoot and Yezdi bikes were popular with them. Some rode on those little 'Bobby' bikes(Rajdoot GTS) and would even have in tow a girlfriend sporting a mini-skirt and blouse usually with a generous exhibition of cleavage just like Dimple Kapadia did in the movie. There was sun, love and freedom in the air. For an eight year this was the ultimate dream, and dreamt I did. Before the readers start getting any ideas, let me clarify that I am refering to the little 'Bobby' bike.

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Only the bike courtesy HILLRAM's gallery
Rajdoot Bobby GTX (1980) (Blue Thunder) - hillram's Photo Gallery - Team-BHP


Udupi on the other hand was a different universe. One of old temples, Goli Baje, aroma of Ayurvedic herbs, sandlewood and textile floating the streets and most of people went about their business in dhotis. Come evening and children would gather in large numbers on the fields of Ajjarad to play and there was a radio tower on a rock which played the latest Hindi songs from a loudspeaker. The students from Manipal came down to Udupi for the movies at Alankar and Kalpana cinemas as there were none in Manipal and went to Diana or the only chinese restaurant in the city before returning to their base. I was curious to find out what chinese food tasted like but my father refused to entertain my desire saying all their dishes included frogs and insects.

I am not sure if this is the Manipal T.M.A Pai dreamt of, but a barren hill is today the top educational township with its instituions equipped with the state-of-the art equipement and beginning to look more like a students' hill station. You can study if you want to, or have fun if that is what you are looking for, or do both if you are up to it. There is a swanky mediatheque, and plush apartments and airconditioned hostels catering to the comforts of the wealthy and NRIs and a fair sprinkling of foreign students. There are nice restaurants and eating joints. It is a common sight to see visiting parents taking their children and their class fellows out for a dinner.

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The state-of-the-art mediatheque.

We had heard so much about the Heritage House built by Vijaynath Shenoy, we decided to see what it was all about. When got to the house near the Syndicate Bank staff training centre, we were disappointed to see it was not only locked but looked abandoned with shubs covering most of the entrance. People in neighbouring house informed us that Shenoy was working on a Heritage Village near the planetorium. A few students we enquired with at entrance to the planetorium informed us that there is no such village in Manipal. The security gaurd seemed a little more informed and he directed us to the village which is right next to the planetorium. We passed by huge sheds stacked with hundreds of old rosewood pillars, intricatly carved doors and windows, a little temple chariot and cart wheels. We could see several old houses and were quite exited. The gate was locked and a security gaurd inside that the village would be closed for another year as there is some restoration work happening. It certainly looked worth a visit.

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When I returned to Bangalore I had to make do for now looking at the images on this website:

D A I J I W O R L D

We spent the rest of the afternoon at End Point enjoying a walk in the beautiful garden and admiring the scenic views.

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With dad and mom

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Swarna River seen from End Point


On the way back we dropped in at my aunt's place to pick up some 'Taikilo' leaves and mom made some crispy pakoda's for dinner. It was probably after 20 years I was savouring these.

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(To be continued)

Last edited by Roameo : 27th October 2009 at 01:11.
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:11   #69
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A sting in the Tale

The following day I went to an internet cafe to check on some updates on the rain situation. I had to return to Bangalore that weekend and with the rains giving the state a mighty lashing, I was beginning to get really worried. I checked the forum to see if there were any updates. I had posted information in my introductory thread about my presence in Udupi and to my pleasant surprise found a post from Samurai asking me to send him a PM to meet up a short while in Manipal if I could make the time. I sent him a PM with my mobile number and he called me as I was leaving the net cafe.

The sky was overcast when I left for Manipal at about a quarter past four in the afternoon and a light drizzle started as I drove up the hill, past Manipal and I found Samurai's office building. One could almost miss it except for the company name diplayed by the main road, The building stands hidden from the road atop a little hill. His boss and senior partner who was visiting from US received me and took me to Samurai San's lair. Instead of his usual armor and sword we are so used to seeing, he was in a more relaxed attire. After some coffee and a chat, Sharad showed me around the office building and explained how they decided to move base to Manipal from Bangalore when the real estate costs shot up to ridiculous levels. Unlike Bangalore, the attritions he had in Manipal was more due to the young women employees getting married and moving to another city. It had started drizzling steadily by now and a short off-roading spin right in the backyard of his office was really exciting. It was also a good demonstration of the power and nimbleness of the four-wheel drive jeep as it went up and down the rough terrain with effortless ease. He certainly seemed to be enjoying the best of both the worlds : Sharad the entrepreneur and Samurai the road warrior.

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As we took leave of each other, I forgot to ask him if he was in any way related to Fighter Shetty.

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Fighter Shetty: I waited with bated breath for the fight to start between him and Dharmendra.

On the way down, I took pictures of these magnificent trees at Indrali being cut down to make way for a broader road. With them goes another visual reference that binds my heart to this place.

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The whole landscape between the two towns seems to be transforming rapidly. Behind one of these trees was my aunt's big house where my grandma used to stay. My aunt sold it an year ago as it was becoming difficult for her to maintain it and her son has no plans to relocate. It was torn down and in its place now stands a new apartment block.

Gone for ever will be the Udupi and Manipal of my childhood for the good or the bad.
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:28   #70
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The bald head notwithstanding, I am not related to Fighter Shetty. As they say looks could be deceiving. BTW, I spell my name as Sharath.

Notice how we treat visitors, even personal visitors. The founder of company escorts Roameo from reception to my cabin. And I go out in the rain holding umbrella over his head to his car.
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:34   #71
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Nice pictures and narration Roameo, i think your narration is getting interesting everytime. I am really enjoying your work. mmmmm so today you have ended with Pakoras!
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:38   #72
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Excellent & point by point details make me as if I'm part of the trip.

Slight corrections
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roameo View Post
Tale of two Towns

Come evening and children would gather in large numbers on the fields of Ajjarad to play and there was a radio tower on a rock which played the latest Hindi songs from a loudspeaker.
Isn't it Ajjarakad ??. Probably a typo I feel

Quote:
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Sharad showed me around the office building : Sharad the entrepreneur and Samurai the road warrior.
He isn't Sharad, He's Sharath :-)
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:44   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roameo View Post
It had started drizzling steadily by now and a short off-roading spin right in the backyard of his office was really exciting.
Looks like someone doesn't miss a chance to show-off

Nice travelogue. Its good to see a place through the eyes of a local. The history and the present are nicely recollected and compared. Carry on
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Old 27th October 2009, 10:50   #74
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Samurai Sir, after the royal treatment given to Roameo, i would defenitely travel to meet you. Your land is absolutely fantastic, after going through the narrations on Team BHP, i am really planning on a trip to your land!
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Old 27th October 2009, 11:29   #75
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Majic, you are welcome. But I am not sure whether I can get my boss to receive you at the reception.
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