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Old 12th August 2010, 07:34   #46
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Awesome, good work MX6. Glued to the travelogue. Isnt MP roads dangerous to drive through at nights?
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Old 12th August 2010, 08:20   #47
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Oh man! Beatiful trip you had there MX6. And great write up and pictures to share with us. Thanks.

Ahilya bai, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, SH27 bring back so many memories from my trip. And knowing that MP roads have improved is wonderful as well. During my trip, most of the roads were being widened, repaired and it was awful. I hope they maintain the roads now.

And I did not visit Gadkalika mata temple when I visited Mahakaal. But then Ujjain has so much history, that I intend to spend 2 weeks, or may be 2 months or even 2 years discovering the rich heritage.
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Old 12th August 2010, 08:21   #48
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***** is what I did before I could read further & only then did I noticed.

I think I forgot to breathe when I was reading the adventure on "art of crossing Lord Shiva"; very good narration.
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Old 12th August 2010, 09:27   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Now that I'm out of it, I feel like an idiot following the satnav in old towns blindly.
Why do I get the De ja vu feel? The bloody device did the same thing to me in Jodhpur, when I punched in Mehrangarh fort as my destination. There is a fantastic road outside of old Jodhpur but the device chose to route me through the old city. The roads were narrow, just enough for a car + 1 feet on each side, and coming towards me was a marriage procession with the guy in a proper decorated horse with a good crowd following him. The guys were polite though asking me why I came in that road when there is a better road. I had that idiotic smile for having trusted the device.

Indore was in my itinerary for my last trip, but did'nt do it. Expecting the trip logs to form my next plan. Am not a big temple man, but my wife is a big fan of temples.

Nainar
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Old 12th August 2010, 10:58   #50
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Anybody out there knows Priyadarshan's mobile no or e-mail id?

Quote:
Till that moment, many people were peering out from their house windows (even from first floor windows). When this stone was moved by those 3, the person from who's house this was moved, started screaming.
Him: Get the stone back you theives. Don't break it. You got only this stone to try your gimmicks? You have to pay me if the stone breaks.
The crowd was literally laughing out.
One trying to help me: We'll give it, we'll give it. If the stone breaks, then the car will get stuck in the gutter. You can have the car itself!
I was muttering, who is giving away who's car and for what?
Imagine MX6 as Sunil Shetty driving the car, Akshay Kumar as the person helping by removing the stone and Paresh Rawal as the house owner, you'll get an idea what the scene will be like in 'Hera-Pheri III"

I am sure I am not going do any work in office today
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Old 12th August 2010, 13:18   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I am still not done reading. But what stuck on to me is that snap of Public transport in Ujjain. I used to travel in a similar one in Kota. Just that colours were black and yellow!
Those were the kind of vehicles I found in many places in MP. Everything had a Route number and the places where they stopped painted on them too! It transported me to my Gujarat days where I used to travel in Chakdas (huge trays where I used to sit with other passengers, mounted on two wheels, lugged by Rajdhoot bike).

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Originally Posted by govigov View Post
Awesome, good work MX6. Glued to the travelogue. Isnt MP roads dangerous to drive through at nights?
Thanks govigov. That's the same concern I had and HVK dispelled those. If you are driving an SUV, then be prepared for trouble. Seems cops give you a tough time as they want the SUVs for election duty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akbaree View Post
Oh man! Beatiful trip you had there MX6. And great write up and pictures to share with us. Thanks.

Ahilya bai, Mahakaleshwar, Omkareshwar, SH27 bring back so many memories from my trip. And knowing that MP roads have improved is wonderful as well. During my trip, most of the roads were being widened, repaired and it was awful. I hope they maintain the roads now.

And I did not visit Gadkalika mata temple when I visited Mahakaal. But then Ujjain has so much history, that I intend to spend 2 weeks, or may be 2 months or even 2 years discovering the rich heritage.
Thanks akbaree. Some great pics of Omkareshwar are coming up next.
Yes. Ujjain is an ancient kingdom with a lot of history. I have some great retirement plans. One of them is to buy a bullet and live a nomadic life for a year!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
***** is what I did before I could read further & only then did I noticed.

I think I forgot to breathe when I was reading the adventure on "art of crossing Lord Shiva"; very good narration.
Thanks aargee. But never ever forget to breathe. It can be fatal.
I don't want to lose out on a fellow well wisher here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anainar View Post
Indore was in my itinerary for my last trip, but did'nt do it. Expecting the trip logs to form my next plan. Am not a big temple man, but my wife is a big fan of temples.

Nainar
Incidentally, we used Indore only for overnight stay. I knew there were palaces and many other attractions there. But my task was cut out. Trip logs will be posted at the end of the log, which is round the corner. Thanks for following!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrprabhu View Post
Anybody out there knows Priyadarshan's mobile no or e-mail id?

Imagine MX6 as Sunil Shetty driving the car, Akshay Kumar as the person helping by removing the stone and Paresh Rawal as the house owner, you'll get an idea what the scene will be like in 'Hera-Pheri III"

I am sure I am not going do any work in office today
You will work today VRP. I have to complete this stupid UPP today. Else my project will turn red! So no further updates in this log for another 3 hours. Please pardon me.

Once I post the Omkareshwar photos, and finish a brief post about the excellent drive back, I shall post the cost details, trip logs (point to point) with exact route and road conditions.

Here's a sneak peak though. If you think this place looks so cluttered at the first look, be ready for surprise. The whole place transformed and it grew on me as time progressed.
First view of Omkareshwar from the MP tourist resort.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-1.jpg

The place is filled with filth. People are destroying nature. But once you cross the bridge and get in to the om shaped island, the place transforms. The beauty and the peace of the place captivates one's heart and mind immediately.
Soon all the comic travails were forgotten, in the gentle gurgling of Narmada below.

Up next: Magnificent Omkareshwara in the night!
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Old 12th August 2010, 13:38   #52
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No issues @MX6; but remember to post the pics & we're waiting for you
Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6
The place is filled with filth. People are destroying nature
I think its not the localities, its the tourists; when we went on our Coorg trip, my car had every single coke/pepsi bottles that we bought in our entire trip & later we disposed to waste recycle mart.

Last edited by aargee : 12th August 2010 at 13:40.
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Old 12th August 2010, 14:41   #53
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MX6! What a travelogue. Although I go to Indore, every year, I have never been to Ujjain or Omkareshwar. I did a trip to Maheshwar last summer. Next time, I will definitely plan to visit Omkareshwar and Ujjain.

Reading about your Ikon getting to the point of no return, I was reminded of the Chembur incident. Lucky that they decided not take your car apart, carry it over to the other side and assemble it again.

The Chembur incident in 2007.
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The news about this - http://cities.expressindia.com/fulls...?newsid=234707
-Biju
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Old 12th August 2010, 15:29   #54
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MS, well narrated and might i add. Good photo's. Like you always say, you didnt get lost, you just found a new place where shiva blocks your way. 5* for your narration!
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Old 12th August 2010, 15:51   #55
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Thanks for the ratings dear friends. Guess someone's hit a wrong button by mistake!
Yes, I remembered that jumbo incident at chembur too.

We dropped out things in the room and went around in to town. Soon we were flanked by pujaris who promised us quick darshan for a trifle amount. But then, I believe in one thing. There's nothing like quick darshan. I'd like to take my own time.

There are two temples. Legend has it that the Jyotirlinga broke in to two. One piece falling on either side of Narmada. One is Amaleshwar (amareshwar) and the other is Omkareshwar.
Hence the line Omkaram Mamaleshwaram.
So it's not counted done until you visit both the shiva lingas.
We decided to to roam around a bit, talk to locals and were pleasantly surprised to hear that the darshan if done early in the morning is the best. There's no crowd. All pujaris come in after 8 and hence there's no extortion bid as well.
So we went and paid our respects to Amaleshwar maharaj first.
You can drive up to the temple and park your car behind for a fee of 10 bucks and walk in to the temple which is 2 mins away.
Amareshwar was a low key temple very old. No pomp and show. The priest was sitting outside and chanting om namashivaya silently.
Omkareshwar needs a bit of walking. Cross the river on one of the two bridges or take the boat across.
There was also a parikrama one can do which takes max of 3 hours. But I decided to skip it as it was too hot and I couldn't walk without footwear.

Photos follows next.
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Old 12th August 2010, 16:20   #56
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Mamaleshwar / Amaleshwar/ Amareshwar wasn't well lit. It was a poor distant cousin when compared to Omkareshwar.

But the temple exuded in spirituality in its ambience.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-amaleshwar-1.jpg

I sorely missed my tripod. But then I'd be returning to capture the glory of this temple in day light the next day again!
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-amaleshwar-2.jpg

After darshan at Amareshwar, we decided to go back to our resort for dinner. The dining hall had a nice balcony with great views.
We ordered our staple diet - Masala papad, Tadka dal, Steamed rice, dahi, green salad. I took the corner table where we kept both the windows open and enjoyed the view while eating.

View from the open balcony. Narmada below, temple above, dam at far end. Time stood still.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-night-1.jpg

The river was flowing. Hence couldn't get a clear reflection one can get from lakes.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-night-2.jpg

Omkareshwar was well lit. It was an enchanting sight.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-night-3.jpg

After dinner, we retired to our room to catch up with sleep. I wanted to leave at 5:30 in the morning to get Darshan of both the shiva lingas again. And if I can finish that by 7, take the parikrama before it becomes too hot.
But the view from our room was terrific too.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-night-4.jpg

Up next - Early morning visit to Omkareshwara! On a Monday - Someshwara on somavara.
Incidentally, the same day, they celebrate the Aradhana of Jagadguru sri Narasimha Bharati swamiji in Sringeri shankaracharya mutt. My father wanted to go to Sringeri for that. I went one step ahead. I took him to Omkareshwara.
And in there, to a place which he never imagined he'd ever get to visit!
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Old 12th August 2010, 18:01   #57
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Morning we were very fresh. Quickly we drove out to Amaleshwar temple. Decided to visit him on the way back and drove directly to the hanging bridge. There are two bridges to cross over to the island.

The Island is in the form of sanskrit letter Om (Aum) with Narmada splitting immediately after the dam and going all around, creating an island hill. Had I gone on the Parikrama I'd have got photos of the other sides and the top as well.

Entrance to the huge hanging bridge build by NHDC
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-2.jpg

View of Omkareshwar temple - other bridge and omkareshwar town
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-3.jpg

Omkareshwar town - Narmada - boats on the ghats
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-4.jpg

The bridge IS long. Don't be fooled by earlier photos of how wide Narmada is.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-5.jpg

Narmada Dam. It was peak summer. Hence no discharge of water yet. The best time to see Narmada in spate would be next month.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-6.jpg

Hanging bridge. It joins Mamaleshwar with Omkareshwar.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-7.jpg

We were very high up. This Simian was doing his antics without any bother of the sheer drop in the river directly below.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-omkareshwar-8.jpg

We had a nice darshan of Omkareshwara. Though I carried my camera in, I didn't want to take photos inside as photography was prohibited.
There was a small crowd, but we were having great darshan! A lady suddenly went in to a trance. Then she started dancing. Her whole body started vibrating and a lot of pilgrims started falling at her feet.
She started emanating strange sounds and danced her way shaking her whole body violently towards Shiva. Her husband got some vibhooti (ash) and smeared on her. When her convulsions came down, she lit camphor in her palm, did Arati to shiva and swallowed it.
The whole place was transfixed during this whole time.
I didn't take photos out of extreme respect for such people.

Soon we had our darshan and came out of the temple. It was around 8 am and we were very hungry as we didn't have even tea in the morning. We found a nice tea shop and had tea. By 8:30 the weather changed so drastically that it was over 35 degrees. I dropped the plans of Parikrama as it would be damn hot by 11. I'll go back in winter when it's the best time to do the Parikrama.

I'll leave the details about the other temples and parikrama now. May be will cover it some other time.

Coming up next: A special write up for HVK
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Old 12th August 2010, 18:42   #58
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Excellent Picture MS of hanging bridge. Was it take using wide angle?

I read the story again inspite of you telling me in person, I guess its fun reading it again.

Your famed public transport of Ujjain is now the poster for Peepli live film
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-pl.jpg
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Old 12th August 2010, 18:45   #59
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Wow man. I guess I should take AK to court for this. Or atleast raise a controversy and become famous like Chetan Bhagat. Look at the angle of the vehicle in both the photos!

All the photos till now were using my standard 18 - 55 mm lens. Wait for the wide angle one's a little later
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Old 12th August 2010, 19:16   #60
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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
What a traveller! Central Kerala (Kalady) to Sringeri (Karnataka), Dwaraka, Srinagar and Badrinath, all before he was 32 years old. A feat which most even today can only aspire for.

A Sankara mission would be a great theme for a drive across India!
That was HVK's comment on my "Trip close to the heart" travelogue.

One day there was a conversation going on in my house.

Father: I'd like to go to Sringeri. It's Narasimha Bharati swami's Aradhana on Monday.
Me: I'll take you to Bhimashankar and Grishneshwar.
Mother: Adishankara is supposed to have prayed at Kalaram temple in Nasik. Shall we go there?
Me: Yes, we can do that. Why not rope in a bigger place?
Mother: Like what?
Me: Remember where Adi Shankara met his guru Govindabhagawad Pada?
Mother: Some inaccessible place near Narmada
Me: There's nothing inaccessible in that. We can very well go. I'll take you.
Father: But that's very far.
Me: Yeah. But we are not going to walk like Shankara. We'll take the car.
Father irritated. Mother elated. I'm rolling around laughing.

Yes folks. This is the place where it all began. Incidentally, it appeared in the vision of The Mahamuni of Kanchi - Chandrashekhara saraswati swami, that this is probably the cave where Shankara met his guru.

And upon his vision, his disciples reached the temple authorities and pointed out. Rest is history and is also captured in a plaque that adorns this cave.

This post is for steadfast travellers. This is for people like HVK.

History of the Govindeshwar Gupha.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-govinda-bhagavad-pada-1.jpg

Entrance to the gupha. Notice the Thorana Ganapati. The grills are a recent addition. Previously it was hidden by stoes.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-govinda-bhagavad-pada-2.jpg

Straight opposite to the entrance, one comes across a recent idol of Govindabhagawad pada. Behind him is carved on the cave wall, Govind Bhagavad pada and a young shankara who is taming the raging Narmada using his Kamandala. No idea how old that carving is. A thousand years maybe!
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-govinda-bhagavad-pada-3.jpg

Towards the right, there's an opening with steps leeding further down.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-govinda-bhagavad-pada-4.jpg

A small chamber, and then at the extreme end there's further stairs leading further down. No windows or light. Didn't want to go down in utter darkness. Stopped here and turned back! It seemed like the cave was spiralling down to the river.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-govinda-bhagavad-pada-5.jpg

Old Adhishtana (in remembrance to a guru who's passed away. May be Govinda bhagavad pada himself?) Adhishtanas in earlier times were all shaped like Shiva lingams.
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-govinda-bhagavad-pada-6.jpg

Closer look at the would be guru and his would be sishya. When the raging narmada threatened to wash away all the works of the guru, Adi Shankara is supposed to have subdued Naramada by filling her in to his Kamandala, saving all the great works of the guru! He attained deeksha there. Then started his world famous travels spreading Sanatana Dharma wide and far!
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-govinda-bhagavad-pada-7.jpg

Dharma artha kama moksha. That's the way it is. As testimony to that, we have this statue in a place where monks dwelled, practicing celibacy, reflecting on dharma and artha, in a path towards moksha!
Went in search of Shiva - Found him blocking my way-govinda-bhagavad-pada-8.jpg

After some time, we emerged from the cave. With a feeling of accomplishing a life's mision. We didn't feel like leaving that place. But we had another 650 kms to drive back home.

That after another visit to Mamaleshwar, then a climb down to the Narmada ghats, some photo shots, lunch and some cold orange juice in 40 degrees sweltering heat!
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