Kolar temples

When there comes a impetuousness to take deeper plunge in spiritual mood for various reasons, be it to praise the God, trying to purify oneself, asking for forgiveness, praying for strength to overcome challenges or any other untold reason; We are naturally drawn towards where He is closest. It is usually our little prayer room/corner at home or a temple. For long, I haven’t had a spiritual tour and indeed it was sending a disagreeable chill into my spine. There was a desperate need for self fulfillment. Well, this is normal to all believers of God, especially when guilt takes over for not having prayed enough.

It was spiritual time. Taking into account, the travel time and leave consteaint, day trip was most appropriate. I pre-booked a cab, to visit 4 temples which will cover approximately about 250 kilometers. On my list was, Kotilingeshwara, Bangaru Tirupathi, Mulbagal Anjaneya Temple and Kurudmale MahaGanapathi temple. On the day of travel, I started at 5 a.m. via Hoskote Toll, passing Narasapuram, Kolar and then crossing Bangarupet(the famous pani puri place) thus covering 90 kms. The cab reached by 6:45 am and we awaited for the temple to open. At 7.00, the ticket counter opened and a nominal fee of Rs.20/- was charged for entry. Being a weekday, there were less than 15 people, even on a Monday (the day of Shiva).

As you enter a narrow path, advancing towards the short door (where a taller person may have to bend), one can see an array of Shiva Linga’s. Notably, these are not of same sizes, presumably because the Linga’s were donated by people based on individual financial capacity. As an age old story goes, the aim is to install 1 crore Shiva Linga’s. Walking past the beautiful pathway, at the center there are two main temples. One, where the Trimurthi’s (Brahama, Vishnu and Maheswara) are housed and second that housed the first Linga. The view was divine and peaceful, for the Deighty was dressed up in flowers while the priest chanted slokas admiring the Lord. After my prayer, I followed the path that led me to the tallest Linga (38m) outside the main temple premises. Facing the the Linga was a big Nandi which cannot go unnoticed. Post spending a little more than an hour, I left for the next destination at 8:15 am. To be precise having spent some me in solitude may be next to impossible on peak days and presume one might take about two hours or more.

Bangaru Tirupathi temple is about 20 minutes from Koti Linga, I reached at about 8:35 in the morning. Located, amidst a sleepy village with less than 4/5 shops selling pooja articles and couple of vendors selling eatables, the gopuram(gatehouse tower or entrance) of the temple stands out. Since the temple was above the hill, one has to climb roughly about 70/80 steps (an estimate, never really counted). Just as I entered the temple gopuram, there appeared a beautiful pond that housed a smaller temple like structure(very common in South Indian temples) right at the centre. I was in the company of chirping birds and monkeys that were waiting for some coconut/banana to be offered. Now this is what I call “soul satisfaction”. Moving on from the pond, passing by another entrance, I started climbing the deserted steps that welcomed me with trees on both sides. In about 7 minutes, the small temple shrine was nearly ready for visitors with the priest almost done with cleaning.

An uniqueness about this shrine was that the deity was visible via a window rather a door; one has to bend slightly to see the Lord. Taking advantage of being the first visitor, I stood looking at the beautiful idol and prayed to my hearts content. Icing on the cake was the spectacular view, that stretched as far as one’s sight can reach. Aaahhh…each of us need something like this to re-energize ourselves. After a couple of photographs, it was time to move to the next destination. It was quarter past 9, which means I spent a little less than an hour, yet to my heart’s content.

Mulbagal, was 17 kms drive. Since the road were not busy, I was ropped in about 30 minutes. Unlike, previous places, this one was a crowded town and notably a good number of muslim population had chosen to settle. This 5000 year old temple was centrally located attracting good number of people, irrespective of weekend probably due to its proximity to the town’s bus station. This was a older temple and was evident from the inner walls, pillar and the Deity himself. These aged old temples, if any of you have had the experience, has a distinguishing fragrance filled with divinity. Well, it is for sure not because of any perfumed incense sticks. Personally, this was my favorite from this trip. The sight of Lord Venkateshwara on an ekadashi day was stunning. So was Lord Hanuman. It was time to head toward the last destination on my list, Kurudumale.

For those, who wish to take a break, A2B is on the highway after exiting Mulbagal, though a small detour may be required. MahaGanapathi temple is relatively near from Mulbagal and took about 15 minutes. The idol of Ganesha is one the biggest that I have seen.

Whilst preparing for this blog, the very guilt of not spending more time was hitting me hard. For those, who are planning a trip around these aged old shrines it is advised to choose a weekday to unwind from maddening work that gives no time for soul.

Hope this write up is useful for those planning for a break outside Bangalore.

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Saree Day @ Work

Hola!

What if you are on a job that keeps you glued to the seat, and many times just elapses unknowingly becoming plodded. Agreed, it does keep me on my toes and my head running. Amidst this, planning a colorful day, especially while working for a company that is live and not the back-end support types, is not easy.

A common union or, more aptly a small form of celebration is ethnic day. Yes, it was gradually planned after a couple of procrastination’s; This is because women usually drape saree and men in kurta as ethnic wear, not always the state dress, which is actually meant to be. Yes, everyone is aware that saree it the traditional Indian wear. Nevertheless, today’s women, including me don’t often drape it that regularly as earlier women in our age.

Well, is it the ease to wear? I don’t think so, because my mother, aunt or an old neighbor carry it much easily and do house hold chores. Unquestionably, it’s because of practice/habit coupled with serious attempt of aping western cultural trends that, today saree it not a daily wear anymore, in cities. Nonetheless, to the best of what I know, heard or seen, village woman in Western and Southern Indian states drape saree everyday.

Today’s informal corporate gatherings, is an attempt to keep saree tradition alive and ethnic day is a medium.

Here is a capture from ethnic day celebration at work….

 

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Krishna and gopika 🙂

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With close buddies

Cheers,

Vannie

My lunch date with Aaru…

Aaru and me usually meet up around Jayanagar or MG Road to plan our up comming rides. We first got introduced owing to common interest to ride RE; Post which we did most of the rides together. I can say we are growing to be besties☺️ After an exciting Bali off roading we were engrossed in work and hardly phoned each other. Suddenly, it seemed like something was missing, I was with Aaru for 10 days and we eat, danced and spoke a lot. That indeed got us to know each other better. She is a sweetheart, I say.

I texted her for a quick catch up and we decided to meet at UD. Anyone, who has been living in Bangalore for a while cannot miss Upahar Darshini.. popular known as UD. Even after 10 years since my first visit, this place has a long que late afternoon at 3 for lunch. The USP…quick service coupled with tasty food.

Amidst a long list of growing resturants that cater to non vegetarian dishes; good vegetarian options are countable. UD in particular has consistent in keeping it’s originality, that kept attracting visitors. Moreover, the location is a plus for it is at the heart of Jayanagar. A visit on weekdays is suggested, for relatively peaceful lunch over other times, be it, weekday dinner or weekends.

Personal recommendations include all paneer, mushroom and babycorn dishes. I can guarantee that taste buds will be taken care after an sumptuous meal, wanting for more. One can also find multi- coloured food being served. Despite limited options for desserts, it’s worth a try.

Here we are spoiling our tastebuds with Lemon mushroom dry , Pulao and Lime soda….followed by a walk around the colorful market.

A limitless view of Mt. Batur

A glimpse from the trip, that lit up my holiday @ Bali. Located to a close proximity to Kintamani, one can reach this active volcano after a little more than hours drive from Ubud, another popular tourist destination with greener pastors. Early morning view is recommended, should one be interested in sun rise.

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Mount Batur, Bali

Cheers,

Vannie

Beach, Temple & Food @ Goa

It was pre-decided to make the following day peaceful. As part of the plan, we woke a little late and headed straight to the beach for a morning walk (I am an early riser). Damn that morning, a serene atmosphere and I just wanted to lay at the beach that did have less than 20 people other than the fishing community that was ready to go sailing. The waves kissed my feet a hundered times whilst I stood gazing far beyond where the sky and sea touched. Well, this is what I call “A moment in life time”.

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Morning walk @ beach

Once back, after morning breakfast we hired a bike and to explore nearby places. Though, I was keen on getting a Thunder Bird, I ended up with an Avenger. Visitors usually flock to Northern part of Goa, nevertheless South Goa too had lots of attractions and we had many suggestions pouring in. But with two kids, plan was made keeping their choices in mind. The me..first went to seeking blessing and where….to temple. My father’s reaction was, to temple in Goa; Usually people head to churches that speak of its fame. He then did affirm, that I was unlike others 🙂

Why I chose temples over churches? Well, in my research, blogs or tourist information were filled with information famous churches, be it Jesus Basilica or Lady of Immaculate Conception. I have read, seen and heard over and over again. It was my chance to bring in something beyond churches. While I did my search there were handful of temples that were famous but not as of those churches and zeroed on a couple of them. The one that attracted me the most was the Shanta Durga Temple. My personal recommendation for “Temple Lovers”.

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Shanta Durga Temple

We attended the pooja that went on until noon.  The premises had a small underground canteen where meals was being served, probably at a nominal price but chose to look for options outside due to large crowd in waiting to dine at the temple. Since there were fewer options and google was a bit slow due to connectivity issue, I kept asking for people for descent vegetarian joint. After making a couple for circles in the same area, the restaurant or hotel was located, a house that had its front yard converted to mini restaurant with about 5-6 tables serving fresh food. Undoubtedly, I had one of the best local dishes. The ripe mango curry was my favorite, for, its my first time.

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Afternoon Lunch, with a ripe mango curry, dal, beet flavoured buttermilk, chole, roti and rice

After fulfilling my taste-bud, I headed towards Panjim, via Madgoan. At Madgoan, we halted by local market to make some purchses. Fishes everywhere and prawn were so damn cheap @ 100/- , which I would end up paying 400/- in Bangalore. We got a couple of variety for the next two days before heading to our next point, that was about 30 kms.

The road was wide, mostly connecting the highway yet, with less traffic. As we saw the surge in moving vehicle, I knew we were closer to Panjim. I quite liked the view of Panjim port, for the huge steel vessels were not a common scene for someone living in landlocked city. Unfortunately, since we were on the other side, I was a little hesitant to cross over with two kids wanting to run behind wherever I stop. Though I was keen on more photographs on my way back, it didn’t really happen.

 

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My first ride in Avenger! 100+ kms covered!!

Just before we reached the popular beach, I fell off my bike along with my little one, something not very nice that I wish to remember. Flashback–while I stood at a crossing , relatively smaller one with hardly 20 vehicles from all sides, for other vehicle to cross and next moment lying down with the bike over me and my little one. Thankfully, it was a lighter vehicle, nor was I speeding and crowed was slow moving. Neel crying for about 30 mins is still echoing….Despite no fault of mine, I did not forgive myself for his pain. I guess it could have been a blink of  my eyes. With bruised feet and hand, broken mirror and footrest of the vehicle, I managed rest of my journey with pain, yet with determination. My parents were shocked and were in pain too. No sooner we got to the beach and an ice-cream was able to bring back Neel to normal while not allowing him to concentrate on the wound.

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The crowded Panjim Beach

As sun was setting, and visibility turning poor, I decided to wind up not spending much time. It was a long 45 plus kilometers to the resort. The ride was careful.

Next day was meant only to relax, while kids spent hours in the pool, I was busy making a couple of variety of sea food dishes. The whole mood of sickness to mind and body was balanced.

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Morning @ Rogers, Benaulim

The following day, I decided to explore Benaulim that was very close to my  resort. I woke Neel early, while Reshu decided to stay back with parents. A much smaller and a bit of sleepy town, that housed Taj Hotel facing the beach, also had a cleaner stretch with water activities morning was catchy with majority crowd from nearby resorts. We then headed to Rogers Beach shack for an English breakfast, while watching local and foreign tourist float and relax.

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Morning at the beach shack

Spending two hours gaping at the sea, while Neel was hoping, running, jumping and playing in the sand was a memory I will hold close to my heart.

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Morning breakfast

 

Awaiting my next Goan trip, hoping to explore the famous churches and much spoken backwaters………

Beginning Year 2018

Happy New Year Folks!!!

Its yet another newer year that just commenced. The very thought brings freshness to mind and gears up to do wonders by being keyed up in our very own acts. A positive outset indeed. In general, vacation mode has relatively ended and advanced towards the work mode with a dash of adrenaline rush to be able to do little wonders. Let us all conserve the good acts, whilst letting go all that had to, with learning that came by.

Wishing all my wonderful readers A Jubilant and Vivacious New Year!!!!

 

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Tiruvannamalai Temple…Simply Monumental!!!

2017 in Pictures & Words

A moderately nice year, yet a very memorable one is leaving me with new hopes and goals, not to forget the learning importantly. Here are some of the memories in pictures, before that a couple of lessons that I learnt.

1>Allow your self time in solitude, to be able to think before deciding anything crucial

2>Be thankful to all those who have been through your tough time and do not go behind people who don’t value/ respect you

3>Travel as much as you can to learn “life lessons” and read more books

4>Be assertive in making your point without hurting

5>Spend more time talking to kids and motivate them

6>Explain children the need to do charity, it makes them compassionate

7>Plan your spending wisely instead of competing with others

8>Give time to your parents and cook what they like

9>Wear your smile always, even in situations that make you irritated

10>Control your anger (phew…toughest one for me)

 

Here are some of the most memorable captures!!!!

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My first ride with India Bull Riders

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Feast @ housewarming… Preparations by RamLaxman Caterers Bangalore

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Diwali @ home

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One memorable ride to Barachukki falls

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Epic picture @ Worli Sea Link

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Kulfi time early morning @ Mumbai

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@ Raastha cafe with bold girls 🙂

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Neel @ Tiruvanamalai Temple

Hoping to create new and lasting memories in the forthcoming year!!!

Wishing each of you A Very Happy New Year-2018

 

Loads of love,

Vannie