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Friday, January 22, 2010

In the banks of Kaveri..

After the gap of 1 year, again we started thinking about a journey, many options raised such as Goa, Agumbe and at last Mysore and coorg. Since it was a Navarathri festival time we decided to go to Coorg through Mysore.

As usual Hari was our leader, he brings good dimensions to our tour plan and date. So we planned with four bikes. Honda unicorn (150CC) myself and Sonu, Pulsar (180CC) Vinayak and Abhilash, Karizma (220CC) hari and Gautham and Pulsar (180CC) Nizar and Telse.We started our journey in evening 6:15 pm.

The Actual plan was to reach Mysore by night 8 o clock and visit Chamundi temple and stay at Hari’s friends house at Mysore.Next day early morning we can start from Mysore to Bhagamandala, Thalakaveri and then Brahmagiri hills. By 11’o clock morning we could return back to Mysore and on the way have a peep to Kushal Nagar Tibetan colony, Abbey falls in Madikkeri and return to Hosur by night.

Hari and Gautham were waiting in Nice road for our arrival, Rest of the bikers started the journey from Hosur.Vinayak went to Chandapura for taking jacket. As usual the Bangalore traffic was hectic. We got into long queue of vehicles near Chandapura.But somehow we managed to reach Nice road by 7 pm and met Hari.Then again waited for Vinayak’s arrival. Since it was the month of October the climate in Bangalore was so cool. Our only worry was Drizzling. Previous week Bangalore had heavy showering. If it rains riding becomes tough and chances of skidding increases. After 15 minutes Vinayak arrived.

We geared up for the Coorg journey. We set our speed limits to 70Km/hr. Since it was night journey visibility in road will become poor. We had a good understanding between riders throughout the journey. Telse lead us, since he had good experience on the route, Followed by Vinayak Hari and last Sonu.

The nice road was a spacious road, with less traffic. By Nice road we can avoid journey through the city, but the only concern was the tollgate, which always made disturbance to our flow. From E City to Mysore road we reached in 30 minutes, normal cases we used to take 2~3 Hrs through the city traffic.

After reaching Mysore road we got state Highway leads to Mysore, time now itself crossed 8 pm, even None of us know where to stay in Mysore.Since it was Dussera the chances of getting a room at Mysore is like getting one glass of mineral water in the mid of sea. Mean time Sonu crossed Hari and lead the way, as I was the pillion my main duty was to find humps and turns and give signal to the remaining bikers. Each one of the pillion riders done the same. Soon we crossed Channapatna.After almost 1 hr drive we took a break for our dinner. We had some vegetarian dishes. Then we started thinking about Lodging at Mysore.As Hari said we can stay at his friends room None of us much cared about the stay, but unfortunately his friend’s relatives came for Dussera, so we have to search some other way for our stay.

Unfortunately we had very limited contacts in Mysore, so we planned to go directly to Kushal Nagar, which is located around 80Km away from Mysore, towards Madikkeri.So we started our Journey again. For going to Kushal Nagar there is a shortcut through which without touching Mysore city we could reach Kushal Nagar.We headed towards Srirangapatna, The Historical city where Tipu sultan fought his last Battle. We have to take Diversion from Srirangapatna.The climate is becoming more cooler, after 1 hr drive we reached Srirangapatna. Telse lead us through the shortcut route. The route was not so good and even there were no lights. At first sight it looked like a forest area, Sonu overtaken Telse and rode the bike fast. I felt so uncomfortable by seeing the way, it resembled like a graveyard. Before some years I have visited a graveyard in Jalahalli with Hari and Gautham on a Friday midnight.

Gautham used to get strange ideas; I visited Gautham’s room in Jalahalli for spending a weekend. Hari was mad of doing Ouija Board for calling spirits. Gautham too. So that day evening after the dinner from Spicea Hotel we started doing Ouija board.

Unfortunately no good spirits came in our way, we got fed up by keeping our finger over the steel glass for hours, So Gautham suggested to go to graveyard near Air force area. I said, “I know the way” as I have traveled through that way during my industrial training at FAR India pvt ltd. So Hari got excited he started his Pulsar. His Pulsar’s silencer was odd, which created heavy noise and we three went to Graveyard in triples.

It was a dark night, and the Graveyard behind the Air force area was in total silence, Hari’s Silencer created heavy noise in midnight. So we got scared of getting caught by some air force official, so Gautham suggested Hari to go in neutral. But when he changed gear bike got switched off, even the headlamp got switched off. Almost full darkness, and in the midst of a graveyard. Gautham screamed in local koyilandi language as “ayyo Poyikkaa”oodikko mooney”hari tried to start the bike, but he failed.

But after waiting some time he started the bike, Gautham got good relief after that…Hari rode the bike in 80Km/hr and within 15min we reached room.

I said Sonu to go slow since we rode the bike fast and none of the bikers were available behind us, and there were so many cut roads so chances of getting into a wrong route also was more. After some 15 Minutes everyone reached the spot. We felt little tiredness slight back pain started due to the bad condition of the road. We have covered almost 270 Kms now, so another 50Kms we have to travel to reach Kushal Nagar, after reaching there only we will come to know whether we can get some room or sleep on footpath?

After some 10Kms drive we reached at the state Highway. We took a small break. Hari and Vinayak got cigars from pocket, none of the shops opened, I thought we should have some hot tea. The climate is becoming cooler. And we have to cover another 40Kms.

We started the bike again. I said to stop in front of some teashop. Sonu rode to lead the group. I was losing my patience, after riding another 2 more Kilometer we found one tea shop.

We took a break for our Ride and ordered tea. The teashop had only one person for serving tea and two kids were sleeping on the benches kept outside the shop and one dog was sleeping near the courtyard. We sipped the hot tea. Hari bought some peanuts. Time was around 11.15pm.

The road was fully foggy and had only light from the headlamp of our bikes. Even the jackets failed to resist against the chillness, but the helmet protected us from the cold wind.

We headed towards Kushal Nagar, after half an hours ride we reached Kushal nagar, it was a lonely place. so we thought we could get some rooms near Tibetan settlement. Which is 2 Kms away from the main road and we have to take some diversions. When we reached the Tibetan settlement we found the golden temple and near by some guesthouses. We enquired in some of the guesthouses and found the rooms are full. Someone suggested us to get rooms in Kushal Nagar town. So we returned back to Kushal Nagar, and started searching for rooms. After a long bargain we got two rooms, Time is almost 1:30 now.

We planned to get up in early morning and to visit Tibetan temple and settlement. But due to the tiredness we all got up by 7 am in morning, By 8:30 am we reached Tibetan golden temple.

Bailkuppe near Kushal Nagar is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in south India. Most notable among them are the large educational monastic institution Sera, the smaller Tashilunpo monastery and Namdroling monastery .The Mahayana Buddhist University is at Sera. There are nearly 7,000+ monks and nuns. The gold-coated Buddhist statues in the monastery are imposing and unique, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the Tibetans. The statues are of Guru Padmasambhava, Buddha Shakyamuni and Amitayus

We found so many Tangka paintings, similar to mural paintings in the temples of Kerala depicting different stories of Sri Buddha. These thangka served as important teaching tools depicting the life of the Buddha, various influential lamas and other deities and bodhisattvas. One popular subject is The Wheel of Life, which is a visual representation of the Abhidharma teachings (Art of Enlightenment).
To Buddhists these Tibetan religious paintings offer a beautiful manifestation of the divine, being both visually and mentally stimulating.
Thangka, when created properly, perform several different functions. Images of deities can be used as teaching tools when depicting the life (or lives) of the Buddha, describing historical events concerning important Lamas, or retelling myths associated with other deities. Devotional images act as the centerpiece during a ritual or ceremony and are often used as mediums through which one can offer prayers or make requests. Overall, and perhaps most importantly, religious art is used as a meditation tool to help bring one further down the path to enlightenment.

We saw the Meditation hall and other facilities in Tibetan settlement. Some of our guys bought the handicrafts, sweters and caps.
We returned back from Tibetan settlement by 10.30 am and our next destination was Kaveri Nisarga Dama, a Bamboo forest. Which is 3 Kms towards Madikkeri from Kushal Nagar, Here River Kaveri splits forming a beautiful island measuring 65 acres. The forest department develops this tourist center by providing a hanging bridge into the island, boating, tree top shelters and elephant riding and other tourist’s attractions.

We spent some time in the bamboo forest and Returned to Kushal Nagar for Lunch. Our Next destination was Abbey falls located near Madikkeri.Its is just 10Kms away from Madikkeri.The abbey falls is located in the midst of a coffee plantation. After reaching Abbey falls we found the time is running out and we have to return to Mysore by night.

The water from Abbey falls made Rainbows. It took me to memory of my journey to Nandi Hills; it was on last November that was the last trip we had with friends. After Nandi Hill journey Hari got transferred to Pune.Gautham went to Dubai. And rest of the year we didn’t had enough time or opportunity to make a journey, and I used to feel loneliness on those days, by work pressure and we never found time even for a get together party. New year celebration also finished inside the four walls of my room.
There is a dialogue from the film Dil chahta hai, it goes like this ”How strange is this journey, if you think each one of us is so unaware of where he is destined to go of or what the future holds for each of us”??
Hari called me for another ride, I said bid to Abbey falls and reached the vehicle parking area, Sonu took the Unicorn and stopped in front of me.
Slowly we passed the up hills and reached the highway road, where we saw a signboard said Madikkeri 7Kms.We took diversion to Kushal Nagar.Time is around 3.30pm,It started raining and we got really scared off skidding the bike. So we decided to go in 60Km/Hr speed. After another 1.5 hr ride we reached Kushal Nagar.We took a small break. Hari suggested having dinner; I said it is hardly 5 pm. But Sonu supported him by saying the condition of climate and chance of getting into Chamundi hills also very less. So we decided to have some food. Supplier bought some Hot Chappathy and Green peas curry. We had the food and prepared for another long drive; now our next destination is Mysore town, but reaching Chamundi hill before 8pm is very difficult, else we may lose the view of shrine. As today is the auspicious day of Dussera the Mahanavami.
Another 80Kms drive is required to reach Mysore.So we started soon, Rain also reduced so driving became easy, But after 10Kms drive we got a pleasant climate and good road. We avoided the shortcut route, which we have preferred during our journey to Kushal Nagar.Everyone was in a good spirit so the speedometer never came below 60Km/hr.and even many time by 7pm we reached Mysore.Next directed towards Chamundi Hills. The Mysore was heavily croweded. Some how we reached the foot hill of Chamundi hills.
The evening mist formed a thick quilt over Chamundi hills, and it made a divine atmosphere. I felt it like the gods of heaven gathered over Chamundi hills to see goddess Chamundeswari on her thrown.
We slowly started riding over the hills, and at each hairpin curve we could see the beauty of Mysore, Every streets were decorated with colorful light and lamps. By 15minutes we reached on top of the hill. We rushed to the entrance of the Shrine. But we found it was about to close. Abhilash lead us through another way to the shrine and we reached inside the temple.
Previous year on “Vidyarambha”day I was in the same temple, and exactly one year later again I got the same opportunity. The mahishasura marddini sthothra was sounding on the walls of the shrine.
After some time we reached outside the temple. The mist is thicker now. We said to the viewpoint of the hill. And enjoyed the charming beauty of Mysore.
We started bikes to reach Hosur.After reaching Main road we got into a Dilemma, whether to stay in Mysore or to leave to Hosur? At last majority supported for the ride to Hosur as the difficulty of getting room in Mysore was the issue.
After one hr drive we took a break for Tea. Time is around 11.30pm. After having tea we waited till 12am to wish a Happy Birthday to Sonu. Early morning 3 am we reached back to Hosur.
I remembered a saying “Bike riding, Mountaineering are the real sports rest all are just childish play”

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Spiritual journey to Kudajadri

A view from Chitramoola
A view on the way
Towards kudajaadri..
At Chitramoola
Near Kudajaadri temple
A view from top
Towards Kudajaari


It was my long cherished dream to visit Kudajaadri, even I visited Kollur more than a couple of time and My “Vidyarambha” was at Kollur Mookambika Temple, But I never got a chance to visit Kudajaadri.After waiting for a long time I got an opportunity to visit Kollur again. This time Vijayettan also accompanied us, Vijayettan was an experienced traveler, and had visited different parts of Himalayas too. He was always became an inspiration to me, he shown me a path by giving a book titled”Thapobhoomi Utharghand” written by Mr. Ramachandran, That book changed me a lot in personally as well as spiritually. Even my thoughts and approach towards life also changed dramatically. That book made me to read more and more books, After my 10th class I stopped reading books, Vijayettan was a photographer too and he shooted some videos of his visit to Valley of flowers, Adi kailash, Sathyapadam, Sathopanth, Gangothri, Tapovan etc. These videos made curiosity in me and I searched for the Books of similar kind and read. Whatever books I read I found the thoughts of Sri Adi shankaracharya, Shankaracharya played an integral part in the Mythology related to Kollur Mookambika temple.

We started our journey from Iritty in the last week of May 2008,one early morning and we managed to reach Mangalore before 2pm and had lunch. We got Mathsyaghanda express from Mangalore to reach Byndoor.From Byndoor the journey was in a local bus, it took 1 hr to reach Kollur Mookambika temple. The Myth behind Kudajaadri was long ago when a demon called Kaumasura obtained a boon from Lord Shiva was reigning pompously, Kudajaadri became the hiding place for all the gods and divine beings who became helpless in his harassment. While the saptarishis were engaged in Prayers and pooja to bring about the end of Demon Kaumasura, Guru sukrachaarya enlightens him about his impending death at the hands of woman. Learning this Kaumasura performs an austere penance to please Lord Shiva. When lord pleased with his prayers, appears before him and ask him to name the boon that he wishes, Vagdevi, the goddess of speech senses that this could lead to a greater devastation and makes him speechless. The dumb Kaumasura then become unable to verbalize his wishes and then onwards he was called as Mookasura.Soon after on the request of Kola Rishi, the goddess creates a mystical power by bringing together the individual powers of all the gods who had assembled. This divine power wages war on Mookasura and brings about his destruction, and there by granting him salvation. The place where Devi killed Mookasura called marana katte.

We reached Kollur by 6 pm. We got a room near by temple and refreshed ourself. We visited Kollur temple. We planned to go to Kudajaadri by Next day early morning.

It was early morning; Vijayettan and me were ready to trek to Kudajaadri. Kudajaadri is 33 Km away from Kollur temple. People can travel till Karaghatta via bus and from there by walk. Jeep services are also available to Kudajaadri.We preferred the journey by walk. It was drizzling outside; we had a hope that the climate will change soon. We waited till 6 am. The rain stopped, We got a pleasant climate for walk.6:30 am there is a Shimoga bus, starting from Kollur.If we could catch that bus by 7:15 am we could start walking. By this plan we came out of hotel. We stood beside the temple to catch bus. Bus was in time and we got it by 6:30 am. We took tickets to Karaghatta.Other than Driver and conductor we were the only passengers.

Around 7:15 am we reached Karaghatta. Karaghatta is a part of forest, No signboard we found there. We saw a small cut road, which lead directly into the forest. I assumed it as the way to Kudajaadri. Vijayettan visited Kudajaadri more than a dozen times; he came in almost all seasons. We saw a huge tree fell down in the path as if it as a bad omen. Due to the rain that showered yesterday night would have caused the falling of tree! I took my camera and taken some photographs. We started walking, the way was covered with fogg, and I felt difficult to walk, it was a new experience for me, I took good effort to walk. We heard different sound of birds, monkeys etc..It had a signaling effect. As if someone signals our arrival in the forest. Whenever we reached each point we heard different sound. Vijayettan said me. There is a shortcut through which we could save 1.5 Km walking. I agreed that and we took diversion, I couldn’t find any way there but I followed was a small path through which only one person can walk Both the sides we could see some gigantic trees. Vijayettan warned me about leeches “The blood sucking creatures” Just after hearing that I scanned my legs and chappals; by that time itself five to six leeches occupied their places. By luck I saw them, I took leaches and thrown them. Leaches are more due to the showering. We walked further. But due to lack of light and fogs I couldn’t take any photos. We walked around 1 km now, we reached a place where we got a peculiar kind of smell. Vijayettan said it is the smell of leopards and the place had lot of leopards also. We walked gently and after some time we found an open area where the path gets joined to the road, where we saw a small ground and a school. Not only that I saw a Malayalee hotel!!…Wow…I was in surprise….Now I understood the ability of Malayalee to sustain in any kind of situations. We got into the hotel and ordered Puttu with kadla curry and Tea…One of the favorite dishes of Malayalee. He served it hot. We enquired him about the school, shop owner said that there is a village near by and many students are studying there.

We got one bottle full of salt mixed with water from hotel and we thanked him. The salt water can resist the entry of leaches in the body. I poured salt water on by leg and folded my pants, so that I could find leaches easily. We started walking; there were only one way that leads directly to Kudajaadri.The path were little steep but some how I managed to climb that. After walking some 1.5 Km we saw a grassland and took rest for some time. We saw the hotel from there and it looked like a hut. I took camera from bag but fog covered us. We walked again after some 20 minutes walk we could see Kudajaadri temple like a small spot. I think we may have to walk another 1.5 Kms to reach top. The hill is steeper now. I can’t explain the beauty of nature on that spot. On the last lap I felt more difficult to reach the top. At last with the grace of Lord Mookambika I touched the peek. I heard chanting of sahasranama now…I was speechless at that moment by seeing the beauty of nature.

We saw a small temple and a teashop over there. We washed our legs, which got drenched in dirt. And walked towards temple. I saw a Trishul with which Devi killed Mookasura stood there in silence for a while. After the darsan we moved to hotel and ordered 2 meals. After ordering we went to see Agasthyatheertham where river Sauparnika originated, on the way I saw another temple very near to old temple where Goddess Uma is worshiped. We took some water from Agasthyatheertham and walked towards Ganapathy cave. Where we saw idol of Lord Vighneshwara, and behind the idol there was a tunnel, which lead to Kollur.

After Ganapathy cave we walked towards Sarvajnapeetam where Idol of Sri Sankaracharya worshiped. We walked beside the Sarvajnapeetam and went towards Chitramoola were Sri Sankaracharya did Tapas to please goddess Mookambika.We spent some time in that cave and returned back to tea shop. We had lunch, and we returned back to Karaghatta.While returning back it took less time for us to reach Karaghatta.We reached Karaghatta by 4Pm in evening we waited for bus. By 6 Pm we reached back to Kollur.

We got bus to kannur by evening 8 pm.It was a memorable journey which enlightened my spiritual thoughts.