Thursday, 18 July 2013

Magnificent Sun Temples of Konark & Modhera

[Disclaimer: The description, facts i'm mentioning here are largely as told by the local guide of Modhera Sun Temple. He was well informed and very narrative. Thanks to him. Other details are from wikipedia and other internet sources.]

There were 12 Sun Temples in grand olden days of Hindustan. Its well known fact that the Arab invaders like Muhammad Ghori, Muhammad Ghazni killed many, demolished, looted again and again all over the country, mainly the rich & prosperous, the symbol of faith and the place of worship, The Temples. It included these places where Surya bhagwan was worshiped. (Surprised by the mention "was" ?!! Sadly, Yes..!! As we are aware, once the main idol is destroyed, they are no longer worshiped by Hindus). Its said that only 4 are remaining nowadays: 1) Konark Sun temple, Odisha. 2) Modhera Sun temple, Gujarat. 3) Martand Sun temple, Jammu & Kashmir. 4) Multan Sun temple, Pakistan. (All are linked to their respective wikipedia pages. Besides these, there are many sun temples built on later days which i'm not considering here). With regards to Multan sun temple, when I googled, came to know that now it's in total ruins :( Thus remaining 3 Sun temples in India are now maintained with some restoration by the Archaeological Survey of India as heritage sites. A common legend to all these temples is that they were built by Samba, the son of lord Krishna, to get relief from leprosy, which means around the times of 3000 B.C. !! But the present existing temples are built by the kings of various dynasty. 

In March 2010, I along with my friends, when we traveled Bhubaneshwar on the purpose of training from our newly joined company, had the opportunity of visiting Konark's famous Sun temple. And as of Modhera it was in June 2013 along with Karthik and Akshay during 3 days visit to Ahmedabad and surrounding places. I'm not sure whether I will visit Martand of J&K, but having seen the other 2, the Konark and Modhera let me tell something about them. Surprisingly many things come in common when we discuss these 2 great sun temples. And as there are already many facts descriptions in the internet regarding the both, avoiding much details I will go through both of them together.

Front View of Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun temple was built on 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I (1238-1250 CE) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty (It is said to have took 12 years to build completely). Around 65km from the capital city of Orissa state, Bhubaneshwar, the small town Konark exists where we find this magnificent temple. While Modhera was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty (It is said to have took 36 years to build completely). Its situated at 95kms from Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat, in Mehsana district. So former in the east and the latter in the west side of our country. And its evident that Konark is much bigger with more elegant sculptures than Modhera, but latter is in better condition now. Yet, both simply make us awe by the sight of the whole structure with their own art and architectural marvels !!

Konark's entire complex was designed in the form of the Surya Bhagwan's huge chariot drawn by seven spirited horses on twelve pairs of exquisitely decorated wheels at its base. The huge wheels carved at the base of the temple are one of the major attractions. The spokes of the wheels serve as sundials and the shadows cast by these can give the precise time of the day !! But as said earlier most of them are in bad shape because of the attack by the Muslim rulers.

The Main Sanctum of Konark
Modhera's temple still has a beautiful large rectangular stepped lake in front, which has 108 miniature shrines carved around them. Its called Suryakund or Ramakund. It is said that 49% of the temple was destroyed but restoration were carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India to preserve its beauty. During the restoration they realized that the temple is built without any foundation stone and yet was intact withstanding the natural calamities like earthquake !! Reason??!! These huge stone blocks used for the construction were placed one above the other with sesame wooden logs inserting through the holes drilled on those stones were acting as a lock and key system. Thus even though, the whole block may shake a bit during the earthquake,  doesn't fall apart !! Also the other most interesting part here is, this particular temple lies in the area where the Tropic of Cancer passes through !!! Amazing right?!!

Carvings at the Modhera Sun Temple
Temples in India were always a place of education. In those days temples were carved for not just to enhance the beauty of the temple structure but also to educate the people visiting them. Both Sun temples are built using sand stones and significantly have stone carvings telling everything. For the children its statues of animals & birds; stories from epics Mahabharat & Ramayan; ladies can learn lifestyle lessons of hair styling, dressing, dance steps; adults can have sex education with different sex forms and positions.. etc. Do you know that Modhera Temple's assembly hall has 52 pillars (yes !! indicating 52 weeks of the year) with 365 ladies carved in different hair styles .. (That's like every day of the year to have different styles) !! And regarding kamasutra's erotic sculptures, they are thoughtfully done above 5ft from the ground so that it can be barred from children's sight.. :)

Now let me tell the legendary part of these two temples.. It is said that the main Surya Bhagwan idols in both temples had a diamond placed in such a way that, Konark in the eastern part and Modhera in the western part of India gets their morning sun rays, directly passing through Audience/Assembly Hall which will reflect from those diamonds placed at the idols in the main sanctum !! (Exactly to say, this phenomenon seems to happen on 2 days of the year - 21st March & 22nd September, days of Equinox, when sun rises precisely at the East ie., the sun rays passes exact along the line of Tropic of Cancer !!). One more popular belief of the local guides at Konark is that the main pratima (idol) was believed to be floating in the air because of the unique arrangements of the main magnets and other series of magnets from all the sides inside the main sanctum !!!! Hmm.. anyhow we just have to imagine this mind blowing scenarios by ourselves now.. forget the diamonds or magnets, not even main idols are spared by the ruthless barbarians (it's said magnets are robbed by Portuguese) :( 

Take a look at some snaps below to feel better and wonder at those marvels :)

The famous symbolic chariot wheel at the Konark's Main Sanctum
The full view of the Modhera Temple Complex with the pond on front side
The beautiful stepped pond (Suryakund) at the front of Modhera Sun Temple
A view through the Assembly Hall of Modhera Sun Temple

Main Sanctum of Modhera Sun Temple
Two standing alone pillars at north-east of the Modhera Sun Temple (Pls ignore the idiots at the pillar :-P)

|| om namo bhagavate suryaya namah ||

Sunday, 7 July 2013

A Fishy Tale - Pixtorified !!!

Location: Tarkarli Beach, Maharashtra. 
Date: 9th Feb 2013
Time: After 6pm

(1/12) After visiting the near by places we decided to relax the evening a bit at Tarkarli Beach, 
so vast and beautiful, felt too pleasant to roam along the shore. 
We could see the ocean till the horizon along with some small boats.

(2/12) Surprisingly, there were too many sea birds, in fact hundreds of them near-by those boats.

(3/12) Thats when we noticed a group of men ahead of us holding a very long rope 
and where trying to pull it out from the sea !!

(4/12) Oh yeah.. local fishermen, excited, enthusiastically pulling their net at the 2 ends. 
2 groups at the 2 ends of the rope were separated by around 500mts !! 
Yes.. the net they had spread to the sea was atleast 500mts wide !!!

(5/12) We learned from them that they had spread the net by observing a large black patch in the sea, 
which indicates a large school of fish :) 
When we asked about the amount of birds circling and catching the fish from the netted area, 
they were too glad because.. as large the birds number.. larger amount of the of fish they are gonna get !!! 
The net area was more than 3 kms away from the shore, so they estimated it to pull out from the sea only by 9pm.. 
Hmmm.. we now were too curious to see their prized amount in their net !!

(6/12) As time past.. the flock of sea birds were nearing the shore indicating the advancing net towards us.
 My God !! birds were frenzy catching fish with their signature dive in to the sea. 
Woah.. Some where even fighting each other for the fish they caught hold of.. 
was a treat to witness the whole scenario :)

(7/12) Gradually, men started to get the ends of the net,
 in which also there were fish stuck and struggling to get out. 

(8/12) Also due to the sweeping waves, many fish started to land upon 
the whole length of the shores. 
Whole of them breathing hard.. trying to hold their lives as long as possible.. 
struggling to get back to their home.. *sigh*

(9/12) OMG!! We just couldn't believe the amount of the fish we were seeing, as they started piling up.

(10/12) Though felt sad seeing those dying fishes, it made even, with the sight of satisfied 50 odd faces.. :) *cheers*

(11/12) Later on we got to know that these fresh fish would be auctioned the same night to the dealers; 
and for the 2-3 tonnes they gathered, expecting to fetch around Rs. 1lakhs.

(12/12) Hmmmm.... later on we slept the remaining night with the reeling images
 inside our head of the whole day's chain of events with much more to see in the next beautiful day :) :)

 Good night!!  Sweet dreams !!!

[PS: Pixtorified is not a real word but I coined to mean that it narrates a story with the pic sequences :)]

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Monsoon Magic at Matheran

Climate was getting calmer indicating the transition from summer to rainy with drops soothing the dry and dusty earth. Do u know what's the best thing about Maharashtra? Hills.. Sahyadri Hills.. and Forts.. Forts on top of those Sahyadri Hills.. Out of 350 odd forts (as mentioned by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation - MTDC here), easily around 65-70% are hill forts (as guessed by Mr. Ashik after roaming around the state :-P ). Now that's the reason why Maharashtra is famous for having so many trekking trails. Others include Land Forts, Sea forts, Forest Forts and Coastal Forts. I really appreciate the MTDC, which promotes the tourism very well, especially their resorts which usually gets occupied a month early at least for the weekends!! But still they have to develop many things else at the places of interest.

Matheran View Point Map (source: Wikipedia)
Hill stations are the place where we love the climate. That's the place where we can view the breath-taking natural valleys, falls, forests.. What's the ideal condition? It should be chilling, cloudy and foggy with a little drizzle; that's when u feel its heavenly !! :) There are many such places identified as hill stations in our beautiful country. Many places are quiet natural, but some are planned & developed for tourism !!

Matheran (meaning - "forest at the forehead" of the mountain) is one such place in Karjat, 90km from Mumbai which was initially developed by British after discovery of the place in 1850; now maintained well by MTDC. I have to admit, it really got some amazing view points and can be opted for a quite leisurely weekend anytime you want. It's at a height of 803mts from sea-level and covers an area of 8 completely by forest; Yet with a small town and a plenty of options for staying overnight. Anyhow to cover entire area and enjoy the views one need at least 2 days unless u ride in a horse/pony across. 

There are around 30 view points out of which Alexander Point, Louisa Point, Echo Point, Porcupine Point (Sunset Point), Belvedere Point, One Tree Hill Point, Little Chowk & Big Chowk Points are not to be missed. Also Charlotte Lake from where a small dam water over flows and falls to the deep valley which gives amazing view (Lords Point) from that water fall drop. Let me say this straight, it's not possible to explain the tranquility we feel at those places in words. So better pack up to the place and enjoy first hand. I bet, you'll not regret the visit especially from July to December.

Matheran Hill Railway (Toy Train)
We already have visited 3 times in last 2yrs (July 2011, Oct 2011 & July 2012).. still we are ready to go over there once again, such a good experience it offers. Twice in monsoon and once in winter, but I recommend anyone to roam in monsoon which gives us a lush green views (though you might get completely drenched :D). If wanted to try a ride in toy train to the hill top from the base railway station, Neral.. it'll be available between Oct - Feb only. (Pls note: its not Nerul which is different place near Mumbai. I'm highlighting because many people by mistake take tickets of the latter and get caught by the TC s). This toy train, Matheran Hill Railway is one of 6 Mountain Railways of India.

A Beautiful View of the Valley from a view point of Matheran
This is how's the path to walk through forests at Matheran - heavenly !!

A View from Big Chowk Point, Matheran

Rakshith, Karthik & Me (L to R) pretty excited when the fog cleared the view at Lord Point near Charlotte Lake, Matheran (snapped by Akshay)
3rd time (July 2012) Me, Karthik, Akshay and Rakshith stayed overnight for the first time over there. Town-side is a bit crowded, costly (gotta be.. as its near to mumbai and its one of the favorite get away place for mumbaikars) moreover we prefer isolated and quite place to stay. I don't know how.. but whenever we need one, we get a perfect place to enhance our experience!! It was a privately owned place called Sunder Villa deep in the jungle and a bit far from the matheran town totally isolated. We got its presence by a woman who had a tea shop near a view point, Coronation. As per her direction we started searching for it as the dusk was nearing. As we walked for some minutes we found one compound without a gate and a name plate, Sunder Villa. It had some 3 or 4 separated old house scattered in a slope. We started searching around for some living being to show up, but couldn't find one for nearly 10 mins. My companions turned around to leave the place as we saw no one, but I felt like going a bit down to try once again and that's when I found one small home with smoke drifting skywards. So we got a old room for 4 with an attached bathroom for 600. It was like those one of a haunted room shown in Hindi horror movies, still we were pretty excited by the ambiance :) As the night fell, we got an awesome home made marathi food from the owner's house which really meant a lot for us being bachelors staying in a city far from home (hehe...) and had a sound sleep after discussing horror stories because of the feel we were getting..!! Meanwhile, on that dark night outside, it was still drizzling with wind and hooting sounds of the owls making it spooky perfect..!!!

The place we stayed in July 2012, Sunder Villa at Matheran

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Beach Freaks !!

City life is boring when you tend to like the nature and peacefulness in it. Had heard about many good places out of Mumbai which are worth visiting. So we decided to start exploring them. As I had said in one of my previous pages, Alibaug is one of the Mumbai's favorite getaway place where we can find some good sea shores with water sports and lots of home stays to spend a weekend. Just an hour in ferry from gateway of India and an hour again in bus/taxi will get us into the town. 

Alibaug is a small coastal town of Raigad district. Upon reaching there our first destination was to check out the town beach and a fort which is half a km in sea. The fascinating things about the beaches here is it vanishes at least once in a day !!! Hold on.. don't freak out.. what i'm saying is that they retreat... and to such an extent that you might start wondering whether really sea does exist here..!! Yeah its an amazing phenomenon to witness, the same place in two such condition. Usually sea will be normal with waves striking the shores and mocking at us about our helplessness facing its fierce and vastness. But as the flaring sun starts slipping from the skies, the sea slowly starts to retreat as if its following that setting sun, leaving behind fully wet and cool sand which gives a pleasant feel for our bare feet. I din't know before, that such things do happen!! The sea thus retreated has a sound sleep i guess, because it starts filling thus left, land of sands back next day again only when sun makes his circuit back to our overhead. And I heard that the retreat time varies, according to the moon phases. Hmmm.. Quite relaxed it feels when u have a stroll early morning on such a left over wet sands. I can recall when we stayed near Kihim Beach...

Harsha, Akshay, Karthik had left early for the morning walk, later me and Rakesh started to join them. They had walked a long way, because we couldn't find them from our sight of vision. I just couldn't believe the length up to which the sea had retreated. Panoramic-ally could see the sea shore gone back for at least half a km from the place where it was yesterday evening. Wow!! digesting the scenario, we starting walking slowly and searching for the trio who left us behind. We could see some people here and there scattered and enjoying the pleasant wind and weather of early morning, but among them where are these rascals who left us? in which directing are they? As we were about to stop searching from our eyes and walk on our own, I recognized a familiar light blue florescent shorts even from a km distant at 10'O clock ahead of us !! Rakesh gave a sarcastic hint of smile.. Haha.. Dumma (Akshay) !!! :P Who else could that be ?!! :P Let me tell you, that is the only time I appreciated his vague sensed taste about the dress color he chooses (lol..) We thus started sprinting towards them :) As the sea had fallen back, we could see many sea shells, small creatures which were left back. They seemed not least worried about their condition. Might be that they know the ocean is gonna come back to them and take to its womb...!! :)

After a long stretch of walk we decided to head back in half mind to leave such a peaceful place. Suddenly Akshay noticed something and he picked up a light brown colored stone like thing and started exclaiming "Special Stone !!!". Me and Rakesh stared at it in a bit of doubt minded. I glanced at Rakesh, I could see a hint of naughty smile on his face. Yes, he was also thinking what i'm thinking it might be !! :P Akshay now got a bit shaky and looked worried !! Still he repeated its "Special Stone.. Special Stone.." Me and rakesh exchanged a funny look and started laughing, in such a way that we just couldn't stop. Even though we were not 100% sure that its a recidue of a dog's poop.. but we were convinced enough.. (lollzz ). Akshay now dropped that and started walking shyly, but me and Rakesh were laughing like silly hyenas.. :D

Kashid, Akshi, Navgoan, Kihim, Varsoli etc.. are the some beaches we can find there of which, most are black sand beaches.. (its not as black as of charcoal). Here Kihim, Arnala (north to mumbai, near virar) beaches are more dark in color comparatively. Many will not prefer staying too long on those sands. If you ask why they are blackish.. yes.. its because of the pollution, oil spills.. mainly by ships that sail towards Mumbai port. Whereas beaches like Kashid, Akshi are better and have water-sports.. Sunil and Harsha are the front runners to try some adventure or to give a dip in the sea at least.  Even though we tried them all, but prefer enjoying the ambiance and just relax... Thus had spent some weekends continuously along these pleasant sea shores, playing cricket, taking a nap on the sands, having friendly chit-chat, walking along the shores.. still feels wonderful.. leaving a hint of smile.. while i recall :)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Mumbai Welcomes :-)

It was morning 5.15 AM when Harsha & I landed in Kalyan. All we knew by then was, to reach our destination - Pokhran road 2, Thane. Our induction in Mumbai was scheduled there and we had no idea of the distance from Kalyan to Thane. Having all fears and imagination of crowded local, with backpack and luggage in both hands, we decided to hire a rick who promised to drop us for 450 bucks. We weren't sure if it was a fair deal by then, but were relieved for the safe shipping of our heavy baggage  Driver seemed to be very helpful as he took us to the address, later to a couple of hotels nearby till we were satisfied and  settled in one which looked pretty decent for us.
It was Sunday and we just started inquiring the hotel manager about accommodations in Mumbai till Hari & Ashik who were coming from Mangalore joined us that afternoon. As we had no clue about our exact location in Mumbai, we couldn't help ourselves finding any accommodation that day. So it was just fun and giggles about our Bhubaneshwar experiences for the rest of the day.

Next morning, We were introduced to Mumbai in our induction and were posted to Andheri (only place in Mumbai which sounded familiar as I heard the name in teleshopping address in TV before). As soon as we were done with induction, Hari along with Ashik and Rakesh went out to catch a broker and look for the accommodation in Andheri while I and Harsha pulled out all phone numbers in the brokers list to check out the rent.
It seemed to be a fairly successful day as Hari & Ashik could find a broker who agreed to get a house on the very next day which was very close to Teligali- our location in Andheri. Having broad smiles on our face we confidently checked out of the hotel and shifted our luggage to one of our friend's place who along with 6 other friends stayed in his NRI uncle's empty space. We assured him that we would vacate his place late in the evening, as soon as we get the keys of Andheri house. He had no probs keeping our luggage but requested us to shift as they were already 6 in 2 BHK. We agreed and were proud of saving a day's rent of the hotel tat day.

As soon as we finished the day's training, we called up the broker and went to have a look @ the flat. It was a horrific sight as wall painting of an old flat was still on and they needed 1 more day to clear things for us. We couldn't bear anymore and went to Powai where another broker who was running a PG showed us a couple of flats. Although rent was a bit high, I & Harsha were fine with the deal as the flat was fully furnished. Hari and Ashik looked confused as they didn't want to travel. Even Rakesh and Delwin were against traveling, so we decided to part for a while.
As we went back finalizing things, it was 12.30 AM in the night and was Ashik's 23rd birthday as well. None of us imagined that his b'day was gonna be celebrated on road. After b'day wishes with lots of laughter and smile, we reached our friend's place in thane. We had to take bath @ 1 in the night as we knew that 12 people could never finish bathing in the morning and take a 7.30 bus.
After finishing the second day's training, we had to rush back to Thane from Andheri to shift our luggage. It was 1 o clock in the night when we finally settled in a room of unknown people who opened the door for us with lot of confusion. On the other side, Hari and Ashik too settled down in Andheri flat by 2 O clock that night.
One fact of Mumbai stands out - Neither you face any problem commuting @ 1 or 2 in the night nor do u fear of late nights as the city keeps buzzing all throughout.

Welcome to Mumbai -"The City that Never Sleeps"

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Its Mum-bhaaiii...

Andheri is one of the crowd-est suburb region of mumbai. Walking across station from west to east was our every-day-route. Mumbai has 2 main division. Mumbai city or South Mumbai and the Suburbs. But east-west division is mainly bec of the city's 'lifeline' railway line which covers most of the city. 

We quickly dressed that day (05/06/2010) and locked the door back when leaving. Hari Prasad (@hpadhur), Akshay Nayak, Rakesh, Sunil, Delwin Dias and me hurried to the station and caught the jam packed local train heading towards Churchgate terminals, the one end of the western railway. That train was then driving back to Virar, the other end (covering 79km). There is one more railway line that starts from south mumbai, The Central Railway using which Karthik and Harsha were joining us from Powai (known for having l&t company, a beautiful lake and IIT, Mumbai but not a Railway station !!). Its main head station is Chhatrapathi Shivaji Terminals (C.S.T) and connects till Kalyan, which makes nearly 64 km coverage. Check out this wikipedia link to know more about local railway system of Mumbai. Both Churchgate and C.S.T lies parallel to each other with around 2 kms in between.

Finally all gathered at the welcoming doorway for the country from the arabian sea, The Gateway of India built in 1924 (sadly it welcomed Kasab too in 2008). Next to it we can see the majestic heritage hotel owned by TATA group, The Tajmahal Palace & Towers. Beside the gateway there were many ferries tripping to Alibaug and Elephanta Caves. We had decided to head towards that island where those Hindu & Buddhist caves having archaeological importance exists an hour distant (around 10km) on those ferries.

The Tajmahal Palace & Towers with The Gateway of India :)
As ferry drifted away we could see back both the great structures as if they were built as a final touch to the city's beauty. (Yes, South Mumbai is really beautiful mainly because of the architecture of the old buildings mostly built in reign of British. Those who appreciate the art and can ignore the crowd/tourists, will love roaming around the city. But we get the opposite opinion about not-so-clean suburbs). The view gets even better when we can see the panoramic sweep of the eastern part of island city. After-all.. Mumbai is said to be made by joining 7 islands by the British after Portuguese dowry-gifted to them !!!

The coastline still continues at both end where we see huge ships anchored, being one of the busiest ports, along with our pride Indian Navy dockyards with sophisticated and equipped sailing vehicles. While O.N.G.C was busy pumping out the oil from the sea beds (though i'm not sure what they are doing exactly :-P), I could see many private luxurious boats floating here and there...

Elephanta Caves: Its a great place for any historian, enthusiastic archaeologists or admirers of the artistic stone sculptures. Name derived by the Portuguese because of the elephant sculptures found by them at the entrance of the main cave temple(At present, the statue of elephant is housed at Jijamata Garden in Mumbai). There are seven cave excavations in the Elephanta group belonging to 6 -7th century A.D. The most exotic feature of the caves is the Maheshmurti, depicting the three facets of Lord Brahma the creator, Lord Shiva the destroyer, and Lord Vishnu the protector. And other prominent structures are Ardhanarishvara, Lord Shiva holding the rush of Ganga to earth, Yogisvara, Nataraja .. etc.. But the sad part is many of them are not in good shape. Said to be destroyed by portuguese, and lack of maintenance perished naturally. Anyway now its a UNESCO heritage site of Rs.10 ticket per Indian. After visiting all the caves, because of the sun's heat we decided to get kulfi by the seller. As it was making us calm and moving along, we had forgotten about the localities !! Monkeys !!!! They were very aggressive than any where else I have seen. They had come after us for the kulfi.. Some of us managed to hide it somehow, Hari had completely inserted in to mouth :P. But the best part happened to Rakesh, he gave up his piece to them and raised the hands. His dramatic action was so funny that we laughed the whole day thereafter mocking his act.. :P :D

Mumbai have these all... (just a rough list) -

  • C.S.T (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) formerly Victoria Terminus, Churchgate Terminus, The Gateway of India, The Tajmahal Palace & Towers (if u can afford, try booking a room :D).
  • Elephanta Caves (Island)
Yes..!!! Mumbai's favorite The Marine Drive :)
  • Marine Drive - A 4.3 km road linking from Nariman Point to Babulnath and Malabar Hill, runs in a curve giving it a nickname 'The Queen's Necklace'. You won't deny this if you happen to take a pleasant stroll over its walkway at the dawn. When the sun gets dimmer the street light comes to life along the drive making u feel amazed by the 'glittering jewel-like view. And the ambiance gets cooler, calmer as wind blows from the west ( hmm yeah sounds romantic ;) :P ). 
  • Bandra-Worli Sea link, 5.6 km long, 8-laned cable-stayed bridge opened in June, 2009 - an engineering marvel of the country costing 1,600 crore. If you have a glance from the flight once, will understand the need of it for Mumbai as it saves nearly 30mins in peak hours for the regular commuters over that region. 'Time is Money', the motto of Mumbai !!?
  • Wankhede stadium, Oval Ground & Azad Maidan.
  • The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly, Prince of Wales Museum) & Nehru Planetarium(in Worli).
  • Some prominent Buildings, Structures - RBI,  BSE, NSE, Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC), Air India Building, Bombay High Court, Hotel Trident...
  • Siddhivinayak, Mahalakshmi Temples (Mumbai's popular temples) & Haji Ali durgha (at least you'll like its location). 
  • Borivali National Park - not that good if u r expecting animals but Kanheri Caves 6kms inside the forest area is a pleasant one for its location & numerous Buddhist Caves dated back from 1st century BCE to 10th century ADE. 
  • The Global Vipaasana Pagoda, Gorai -  The world's largest stone tomb built without any supporting pillar, a Buddhist Meditation Hall. It also has complete relics of Lord Buddha and a museum depicting his life through Paintings. Its in the same Island where the Essel World and Water Kingdom locates. So a full day can be enjoyed over there :) 
  • Just roam around in Colaba Region of South Mumbai and happy shopping ;)

PS: This is not supposed to be a guide to Mumbai (in fact has lot more than these), but just some things about it that I wanna share :)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Getting along with 'The City that never sleeps'...

It all started with the weekend getting bored in a mega-city Mumbai. What do you think in a big city people do in weekends? watch a movie, do lots of shopping, whatever the rush.. eat in a restaurant. Being born and bought up in a village and small towns its freakishly fast paced living to adjust with. I was feeling amazed at the people's run-around when stayed at my uncle's home for sometime (5-6 months in 2009) in Bengaluru. But as soon as I landed in deputed city, Mumbai (May 2010) for the job, 6 months of Bengaluru experience of a city life felt nothing !!!

Glimpse of crowd at Marine Drive on the New Year's Eve (2012)
-- Courtesy: Karthik PJ (
 Oh God.. !! help me to get adjust with 'the city that never sleeps' !!! Yeah its true, even at night after 12 am you can see people traveling around for work or home or 'just like that' ?!! Can u imagine a crowded bus at around 1 am? Of course I don't blame the people here; after all day/night work they too deserve their own time or enjoyment. As sun sets across the horizon from marine drive, night life start getting its own color. Stressed mind seek some pleasure with the money earned, but to what extent? Mumbai has everything you wish for.. still I don't see the point in enjoying by spoiling our own body. And it depends on their own maturity level, principles (some are so stupid that they think they are heroes by trying 'things' out, not their mistake but Indian Cinemas to be blamed here, my advance condolences to them).

Church Gate, South Mumbai.  
-- Courtesy: Akshay Nayak (
In the beginning, it was hectic to get along with the city, but as we got used to.. were tempted to explore this great metro city (literally its not metro railed city till the end of 2012 when I wrote this but the construction going well in a fast rate). The best thing about the city is cheap transport facility covering say about 70% of it - The local Railway, the most trusted system to travel on time if u r swift enough to get into one !! Because a whole bunch of people have to board in a station when it stops for just 30 secs !! Ufff.. Crowd in the train is just unbelievable. You can't help yourself when u feel that someone pick-pocketing as there will be no room to move to avoid one!! Still I found the crowd descent and helpful enough in many situation.

When I here say 'we'.. I'm referring to my friends along with whom I came to Mumbai. Many were blaming themselves for their hard luck to land into a place far from their own hometown. Guess this can be because most of them were for the first time, are staying away from home or they might have planned their life how should be pretty neat. Reason for the frustration becomes solid when we have to shell out the rent at least 3 times the cost than in Bangaluru. Hmmm.. Can't blame anyone for the unexpected situation we land in, but how do we handle or get along with that situation makes the difference, may be.. that's the Art of Living ?!!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Why I decided to Blog?

At Chittorghar Fort, Rajastan.(2nd Oct 2012)
                                     -- Courtesy: Sunil Balugodu

A lot of untold stories.. A lot of incredible experience.. Lemme type-down one by one..

In Kannada there's a saying.. "ದೇಶ ಸುತ್ತು, ಕೋಶ ಓದು" (Travel the country, read the books).. Had been reading ever since I can recall back and it had been my favorite hobby.. But started to get-out, from my graduation days.. as traveling became a habit, it became my hobby.. in turn enriching my knowledge more than I get from reading!!

Incredible !ndia.. literally is true. Each season offers different experience in every place of our country. What fascinates me most is the lush green forests, dense foggy valleys, misty drizzling monsoon, gushing rush of rivers, free falling waterfalls, chilling wind at the peaks, peaceful dawning seashores, unfolding tales at the historical places & wonders.. inspiring a lot for much more to explore..

But why I decided to write? I'm not a good writer (in fact first timer) or want others to read my scribbles and even don't have the habit of writing a dairy but these days recalling each one of those wonderful memories becoming too hard and seriously I don't want to lose them..