Keeping in continuation with my ‘travel sperm’ entries, this is the second one in line. Yeah, I have grown up a little since I went to the places in Part 1. But still, here you will find a lot of things that would show the wanderings of a young mind and probably will make you laugh. Enjoy them!
Tamil Nadu Trip
My first trip to Tamil Nadu was a religious one with my maternal grandparents in March 2002. We started from Bangalore and went to Madurai. Apart from the Meenakshi Temple and a palace/fort which had many coloured glasses, I can’t recall anything about this place. This was also the time when we used to go to the STD booth to call home and let people know that we are fine. Yeah, the time before the advent of mobile phones into every hand.
From Madurai we had taken a bus journey to Rameshwaram and Kanyakumari. The Pamban Bridge on the Bay of Bengal had fascinated me. How could people build a bridge on the sea? I had wondered. I had read somewhere that the main temple of Rameshwaram had the longest corridor. And so, every corridor I saw in the temple, I exclaimed that it was the longest corridor that I had read about! I was also hopeful of going to the beach and finding the ‘floating stones’. Yeah, the ones which Lord Ram had used to build the bridge to Lanka. I was so disappointed when I learnt that there was no such actual bridge which connected to Sri lanka!! I did buy and get some of the ‘floating stones’ home! I was elated :)
The trip to Kanyakumari was even more anticipated by me. I had just recently studied in one of my English lessons about Kanyakumari and the Vivekanand Rock Memorial. I also knew that this was the bottom most part of India where three seas meet. So, when we reached the holy spot near the sea, I enquired why I couldn’t see three different seas. It looked like a normal beach!! I was disappointed! A motor-boat ride to the Vivekanand Rock Memorial was the next stop. I always thought the huge statue on the rock was that of Vivekanand. I was shocked to learn that the statue of Vivekanand was instead inside the big hall! Haha…
I have been to Tamil Nadu on subsequent trips. One was in 2007, when I was in class 10, to Pondicherry. The place had been amazing, although I was shocked to see that there was no beach where I could go and stand in the water! The roads at right angles amazed me. I loved learning the little French during the trip. Probably the only word I remember now is ‘Rue’. It means ‘lane’, right?
My most recent visit to the state was in 2008. It was my first long distance train trip alone. My family was at Vellore and during the Diwali vacation I went to visit them. Although every day used to begin with a trip to the huge CMC campus, I remember going to some tourist places in the town including the Golden Temple and the Vellore Fort.
My very first recollection of anything related to Karnataka is a wooden toy train which my grandparents got me from Mysore around 12 years back. I still have it safe and secure in my room. As per my first Karnataka trip, it was to Bangalore in March 2002. My maternal uncle resides in Bangalore and that is the reason of my so many frequent trips to the place. On this first visit, apart from visiting the usual tourist destinations in the city which included the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, the all-lighted Vidhan Soudha, the huge statue of Lord Shiva which one had to enter to see the various ‘lingams’ at one place, Wonder La, the big banyan tree- Doda-alada-mara (I loved saying this as a tongue twister) and many more which I am unable to recollect right now, what I remember vividly and one which I looked forward to in all my subsequent visits to the city was ‘Kemp Fort’. I am not sure if the huge shopping destination exists now or not, but for a 10 year old, visiting a huge castle was something really huge. I had just loved it! This was also the trip when I first got to know that Bangalore had K.R.Puram and Delhi had R.K.Puram and R.K.Puram was the place which housed DPS and which was going to be my dream school 5 years hence! :D
My next visit to Karnataka was in October the same year with my parents. This was going to be a week long road trip of places all over the state. So we started from Bangalore and went on to visit Hospet, Hampi, Badami, Mangalore and many more places which I think if I look at the map of Karnataka I would be able to recollect easily. The Jog Falls with the four different falls (Raja, Rani, Rocket and Roarer) is vividly imprinted in my memory. Then there was Udupi, which according to my father is the birthplace of the ‘Dosa’. He intended to try the native dosa but due to lack of time and a dosa-providing restaurant nearby, he couldn’t. St. Mary’s Island was another beautiful place we visited. ‘Ye to TV ke beach ki tarah dikh raha hai’, I had remarked happily. Climbing the 600+ steps at Shravanbelagola and then our ambassador going out of fuel in the middle of the jungle on the highway are a few moments which I fail to let go off from my memories.
I had been to Bangalore for the last time in October 2008. That was a short trip for me from Vellore so as to catch the train to Delhi. There is still a lot that remains to be seen in Bangalore and hopefully I shall be making another trip to the city soon.