Tag Archives: Moonlit night

Dharmasthala – Belur

The drive went on forever or so it seemed : D and then we saw a board on the road, that stated “Dharmasthala – 1 Km” and both of us seemed happy to find that it was indeed closeby. We were determined to spend less than an hour at Dharmasthala.

DharmasthalaYet again, this place had a connection with my past – I had been to Dharmasthala a loooong time ago with my parents when I was but a small kid – I could only vaguely remember a few details. The place had changed so much and then I saw the entrance and said “I remember this.”  I remembered reaching Dharmasthala late in the evening – with only a single street lamp to tell us where the temple lay – and that was my first glimpse of Dharmasthala.  I was now seeing the same entrance in the afternoon. To my utter dismay, we find that the temple is closed and will be re-opened only after 6 p.m. – we wud be leaving way b4 that 😦 This doorway was all I was going to see of the temple and that totally shocked me!! We had already parked the car and so we wondered if we shd jes leave. I was still too taken aback at the turn of events! 

The Arien is practical most of the times and so he enquired ’bout any tourist spots that we could visit – and I wanted to tell him – “No – this is a religious place – there will be nothing” – Surprisingly, there was. Apart from the temple, Dharmasthala was also known for two museums.  We decided to visit both those places. The first place we visited was the Car Museum which had an amazing amount of vintage cars – the types we have only read ’bout in old english books or seen in old english movies. These cars actually belonged to quite a few Indian kings – surprisingly. Well, not so surprisingly, I guess.

We were not allowed to take any snaps – we could buy the postcards of the vehicles from the guy who sold us the tickets. I was not too interested and so we went in and were surprised. The bikes looked cute, the cars were totally stylish, well-kept, well-polished and shining, looking as if we could drive them away if we only had the key. I remembered my Honda Activa and realized tht my 3 year old bike looked like it was older to some of the 70+ year old bikes – Yikes!!! 😦 The visit took arnd half an hour and my mood was back on track – we decided to visit the other museum (Manjusha Museum) as well – whch had jes opened – post lunch. This museum had a unique collection of heritage objects, artefacts, objects of worship, utilitarian stuff etc. We walked so much… my feet started to ache pretty badly and the Arien also looked pretty tired out. One item that stood out was the skeleton of a whale – it occupied most part of the back of the hall. Yet again, we were not allowed to take snaps and so I have none to share. When we got back to the street, we were totally worn out 😦

Our plan was to proceed imm to Belur. We had to get to the Ghat section before sun-down and I was getting a lil worried. The GhatsThe Arien ran around talking to various drivers but not recieving any helpful answers – I was ready to give up!! One driver said that the route was fine and we decided to base the nxt part of the journey on tht driver’s words – Cautious??? Hardly!! So we got started – when we were leaving Dharmasthala, it was warm and we liked the breeze that teased the hair and our faces – as we got onto the Ghat section – it progressively got cooler – it was like the AC was on – only it wasn’t!!

The road was curvaceous – we ripped – I was screaming out of fear not fun – the Arien was enjoying the ride. Then we saw quite a few folks taking snaps of the amazing view, the curved road, and et al and instantly the Arien stopped and started taking pics. I was very tense throughtout this part of the journey. The road was quite narrow and sometimes you jes had to stop so that the other person could go on – in the opposite direction.  I pressurised the Arien into leaving – by refusing to: get out of the car, take any snaps, calm down, and generally playing spoil sport.

Ghats2The Arien could not understand why I was being so tense. I wanted us to clear the Ghat section before night fall and he was not being serious. I had promised the Senior Arien that we will not be going via the Ghat section at all and for once I did not find it funny that we were actually doing jes tht. I usually find that most parents, older junta worry too much – but for once I was in total agreement with them. The Arien took one more cute snap of the view and started on the drive – I was not sure if we were going up or going down anymore – it jes felt like we were in a merry-go-around – going round and round. It was getting really cold and we had rolled up the windows all the way up – the glass pane felt ice-cold to my touch and then the Arien gets serious! Grrrr…

Anyways, suddenly we were at the end of the Ghat section – Both of us were taken aback at the suddeness with which we had reached the end. Nope nope – we did not have a fall 😀 – one wud expect tht you have reached either the summit or the bottom level – this was almost level ground. The first thing we did was to fill petrol and ask the guy who filled our tank – how to get to Belur. He told us we were on the right path and asked us to go on for another 15 or so kms.

15 was a small number – right? WRONG!! Firstly, darkness had fallen so swiftly that wen we reached the Petrol bunk – it felt like 7 pm when it was Belurmoonlitejes 6 pm. Secondly, as we drove along – 15 kms felt like 45 kms – really!! It was so dark – tht I actually felt we were driving at midnight – very few street lights – most huts had no lights or had switched off the lights – very few vehicles on the road and so there was no one we cud ask for directions – it was scary!!! The one cute part of the whole drive was the bright and beautiful moon which followed us or rather which we followed 😀 I wanted to take a snap of the lovely moon and it was the turn of the Arien to play spoil sport – he refused to stop – he insisted that I take the snap as he kept driving – looks like he was bitten by the tension bug tht bit me earlier. 😀 Anyways, after a lot of persuasion – he stopped so I cud take this snap.

Did we reach Belur? Yepp – we did. After staring at milestones forever and forever – we finally reached a town – more lights – lots of ppl – and drew sm enthu 😀 We stayed at a hotel tht had heard of better days 😦 The dinner was good and not too expensive but the ppl who visited the hotel seemed like thugs. I became so terrified after seeing them – I did not want to stay at tht hotel – the Arien had this “Do you really want me to drive elsewhere?” expression. I decided I did not want him walking off in a huff and so insisted that we keep the chairs, side-table, and our luggage – against the door of our room – so we wud wake up wen smne tried to force their way in. The Arien stared at me as tho’ I was mad. I insisted on moving all the stuff against the door! He decided he did not want to start a fight and did jes tht. The place was so coooold – tht it felt like Central AC was on 😀 I fell asleep telling the Arien to not open the door under any circumstances!

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Udipi – Day 5

The Fishing NetThe day dawned bright and sunny and surprisingly, both of us decided to catch the sunrise at the beach. Ok…Ok.. It was not exactly sunrise time but it was early in comparison with our waking time on holidays. The Arien was a lil worried that we may end up seeing stuff that may forever spoil the beach in our eyes as this was not exactly a private beach – and lots of  fishermen lived next to the Resort – Thankfully, nothing untoward had happened, or was happening when we reached the beach. We were the only ones on the beach. The first thing, we noticed was a huge net that was spread across the entire beach. I think the fishermen had finished their first fishing visit already. The beach looked soothing, calm, and so we decided to spend the evening at the beach again.

The plan was to proceed to Malpe beach after breakfast at our Resort. We came down to the common area for breakfast a good hour later – to find a hungry cat that kept mewing while walking under the dining table. I have a horror of any moving thing that is under my chair – I usually shriek, scream, and jump out of chair and generally end up creating a scene. Not wanting to embarrass myself or the Arien, I kept an eye out for the cat. The breakfast was cup Idli which resemble Sannas. Sannas are like idlis, only fatter, and are a favorite snack item for mangaloreans – Progrm has brought this for lunch many a time and I have always said “Oh this is Idli” and she wud b like “No – they are called sannas”. Anyways, this guy called it a cup idli. While I was distracted by the cup idli, the hungry cat decided it wanted to eat too and while it thought it was making itself a la puss in boots – I was shocked out and pushed the table with the cup idlis, sambhar dish, and chutney, away frm me so I could get up. The Arien was faster and caught the table so there was no mishap – the cat ran away and I sat down amidst rude stares frm others. I murmurmed a “Sorry” to the table in general and a “Thanks” to the Arien while he was wolfing down the cup Idlis. Was I mad? You bet I was… When I make Idlis at home – they are largely ignored or eaten “naam ke vaasthe” types (I’ll have 1 – Ok I’ll have 2 b’cos you made it -blaaaaah) and here he was gobbling away. The mystery was soon solved – the hungry cat was being fed by the Arien – two birds with one stone!!

The whole malpe thing was an amazing fiasco – surprising but true! B’cos of morning drama – we left at 11 a.m. and St. Mary's Islesit was pretty warm – by the time we reached Malpe beach – I did not honestly want to step out of AC vehicle at all. We decided to visit the Paradise Isles Resort that is a sister organization of the Palm Grove Resort – the look was so different – Palm Grove wud b a country cousin in comparison. We had an interesting 1.5 hr roam as we chked their facilities including the rooms, resturants, etc. etc. The young manager was very obliging and this inspite of his knowing that we did not plan to stay at their resort. When we came out of the resort, we realized that both of us were tempted to shift to Paradise Isles – well, we were already off-budget – I did not want us going overboard with this trip and so we convinced ourselves it was ok to guz this tempting offer and go on to St. Mary’s Isles. This picture was taken from the Malpe beach. When we reached the destination where boat rides were arranged, we were told that there was no way we could go to St. Mary’s Isles as the boat would move only at capacity (arnd 60 ppl) or we pay as much so we can go there. Plus, being a weekday, there won’t b so many ppl going on tht ride at this point of time, the ticket checker happily informed us – making it clear that waiting was not going to help. I remember a comment made by a dear friend, who had been there almost a year ago, the essence of which was – missing the St. Mary’s Isles was no beeg deal- and so that is the only snap of that location.

We decided to head to Udipi and have lunch at Mitra Samaj. Another Kela – most of the places were shut today – we were totally taken aback. We had our lunch at Woodlands. The food was ok – cud have been better – no complaints really – after a heavy oota – we decided we were going to Manipal which was pretty close to Udipi and check out some tourist hot spots. We went around hunting for a place known as the Heritage Village – which was supposed to be a tourist spot and the Hasth Shilpa. Beeeg Kela! Some of the locals had no clue where the two places where – some even had difficulty pronouncing the names – we drove arnd – got lost – went round and round till the Arien was ready to burst a blood vessel. I quickly dropped the plan. We finally went back to the resort. The resort owner was a lil displeased with us as we had all our meals outside and sent his boy to ask us if we wanted dinner and we said “No” in unison. We decided to have tea/coffee to appease him and totally regretted the decision – if tht was tea – I am so glad I had so far eaten out – the Arien refused to take the second sip – he is wht most ppl consider fussy 😛

Crows on the BeachAfter taking rest, we went to the beach again – it was a 5 mt walk. We had decided to carry sm snacks in a bag so we did not have to cut short the beach time and instead be there until late evening.  The first thing that surprised us was the number of crows… they seemed happy and not too worried ’bout us which was curious but was fine by us.  After playing in the water for a while – we noticed that the crows were poking at our bag – apparently, for food. This was getting crazy and so we opened the snacks, shared it with them, and generally took a nice chat break while we stared at the endless water. The Arien enjoyed his role as a giver of snacks and took it the nxt level – forgot tht the snacks were actually meant for us and not for the crows… Grrr 😦 After the snacks were gobbled up by our new-found feathered frends – they left – we continued playing in the water, collected sea shells, Moonlightwalked along the beach, took a stick and started writing in sand, … and soon it was late evening and then nite. The moon looked totally romantic – I guess it was a full moon day – or nearing that anyways – it was glowing and kept us enraptured – not 4 loong tho’. The Arien is practical at all times and he announced that it was time for dinner – right in the middle of my loong talk on the lovely moon and how beautiful it was looking etc etc. I burst out laughing 😀 

Our plan was to head to Woodlands at Udipi again – I was tempted to suggest eating at the resort so we didn’t have to drive to Udipi but knowing the Arien – I knew it was well and truly a wasted initiative – it wud be best if I drop all plans of lazing and got dressed for dinner at Woodlands. 

The entrance to Udipi was totally lit up and looked awe-inspiring yet again. Udipi EntranceWe decided to visit the temple this time. First surprise was to see the A/C inside the temple. Both of us were pleasantly surprised at that. I was sure that was new. My memories had indeed served me right – there was an in-house kolam inside the temple – I can still recall how we were pushed, pulled, dragged, and shoved when I had been here with my family, a loong time ago. The experience was distinctly different this time around – maybe b’cos I was a lot older or maybe b’cos it wasn’t as crowded. Whtever the reason – I felt calm.

BalloonMan

The place was lit up like day before and there was this balloon man who was  claiming all the attention of the kids. He appeared impressed that we were taking his snap and struck a nonchalant pose.

Udipi looked lovely and I was jes thinking that I would have missed this, had I decided to stay back at the resort and I was really thnkful to the Arien for this visit.

All lit upDinner at Woodlands was ok – did not damage our budget – but did not help it either – the place was xtremely popular by the number of ppl waiting and the quick service – it reminded me of Shanthi Saagar during the weekends. We had a quick dinner and the Arien looked pretty tired too and so we decided to get back to the resort – we were going to Belur, Halebid tomorrow – if all goes well and according to plan. As we left Udipi, the one thing that stayed with us was the festive look.  

When we reached the resort, we were totally tired out and ready to crash. We planned to leave post breakfast so we could cover quite a few places of interest on the way rather than move from Point A to Point B. End of Day 5!