The Pine trees and the starry night

Painting is something that soothes my mind. Shades of blue depict coolness to me. I also fancy hill-side slopes. The fern tress or the pine trees that grow along the steeps amplifies the beauty creating a postcard scene. I have tried to capture something similar in my water color painting. Few pine tress along the steeps of a hillside region on a starry night in my art is presented here. If you like it, hit like 🙂 If you have any inputs or feedback, please comment them 🙂

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Featured post

The Arecanut path

You might have seen unique, weird, creative varieties of walkway and bridges in the world. You may be exposed to this or may be never ever knew about this pathway. Let me take you to one of such pathways, The Arecanut pathway. Here we go,

Walking on a pathway

I presumably consider that people first use resources which are available immediately to them or find ideas to make use of whatever they find in their region for their livelihood. I hail from the coastal parts of Karnataka in India where significant mass of land is unstained even in the present century. The districts that run through the coastal belt have embraced agriculture distinctly boasting the backbone of India. Arecanut plantations tops the farming chart in parts of coastal Karnataka and few parts of Kerala. In this area, wherever you see, your view is incomplete without finding atleast a couple of Arecanut trees standing perpendicular to the ground forming natural skyscrapers.

Arecanut tree plantation

Arecanut farming has been cultivated since centuries I guess. Thus, the local people have made all the possible use of the tree. One of the best use that is distinctly seen is the walkway made out of the trees. If you visit this region, you will definitely find huge yards of greenery. Several small streams are also found. The locals in the region have used arecanut trees for walkway and bridges. This scenario is in habit ever since so many years.

The tree is a kind of palm which runs hollow inside. Post the tree breaks or dies, the long bark is used as a pathway. The hollow long stem is stacked together in parallel to construct a bridge to connect small distances. Also, they are stacked together in land to create a pathway. In this region, monsoon are always observed with extreme rainfall and thus walking on bare land becomes difficult as mud puddles throughout the area. So, the ancestors of this region came up with a solution long ago which is the arecanut pathway.

Walkway

This might seem very natural but I consider the inventor to be very creative. Walking through the path laid out by the stem requires proper balance. Especially, the bridge though !!! Oh god !, hardly 2 to 3 stems will be stacked in parallel and walking across the bridge is indeed fun. If you lose your balance, you can find yourself in the stream or on the rocks… hahaha !

A mini bridge across a mini channel
A mini bridge

Bridges made out of Arecanut stem can be used across canals, streams. It can support from 300 to 400kgs on an average. Specifically the bottom part of the stem is used which is strong. They can last from 2 to 3 years. Their lifetime can be increased using chemical methods. 40% of the tree’s length from the bottom can be used for bridge purpose whereas other parts can be utilized for firewood. These bridges can be found yet in few parts in the remote areas where arecanut grows.

I have childhood memories associated with this hollow wood bridge. Since I am a city kid, visiting my native during vacations was a must. Going near the bridge, trying to balance myself walking in a single stem that lies by the side was my point of fun back then. Arms stretched out wide for obtaining balance, trembling feet moving in the side most stem  I used to enjoy walking across the bridge gaining some balance and reaching the other side of the bridge without a fall was mini adventure for a city child.  Trust me, even now being an adult when I visit the region, automatically I end up walking that way, hahaha the never dying child in me I must say. The wild plants and mushrooms grown in between the stem looks attractive for me.

Wild mushroom

The pathway maybe very common to the locals but from the eyes of the world this is part of the lifestyle of the region. Such tiny features mark the authenticity of a region, forming a part of culture. Apart from being a pathway, they add exquisite beauty if you see with the eyes that embrace nature. Displaying the natural patterns of the stem, these pathway have a beauty of their own.

With the present generation of globalization where the circumference of villages are getting reduced in a very fast pace, people have embraced advancements in life. Even the remotest villages are being spoilt, old age traditional bridges like these are replaced by concrete bridges in the villages. Finding these beautiful walkways have become a near to rare sight already.  Yet, even after various advancements and modernization in lifestyle, one thing I am glad about is that this beautiful pathway still exists in few villages. I hope that these age old beautiful authentic ways are preserved in some villages along with the growth of generations just for its authentic beauty. I wish they survive and exist for ages in practice instead of finding them as a part of ambience in some restaurants or resorts or parks.

Featured post

Hues of Sunset in watercolors


Sunset is one of the best sightings of the day. It is natural mixing of colors in a palette, the Sky. As the Sun dissolves, the shades of orange and yellow meddle with the blues of the sky creating colorful shades dispersing across the horizon. Such a beautiful view gets even more enhanced when a tree is in the foreground. One such view has been captured in my water color painting.

Featured post

The charm of old Bengaluru, 8th cross Malleshwaram

I am living in Bengaluru ever since I was 2 months old. Living in the north part of Bengaluru, Malleshwaram in central Bengaluru was my favourite shopping destination during childhood. To be precise, 8th cross in Malleshwaram adjacent to Sampige road is the busiest street in  the area. I have seen 8th cross grow along with me since years. There is everything in this street. Back then when I was a kid, I remember shopping my outfits from Roop Sangam, Orange City etc. That was the time when Bengaluru didn’t have any malls other than Kemp Fort. Shops in 8th cross were the favourite for people in north bengaluru.

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8th cross, Malleshwaram

I remember my parents taking me to 8th cross almost on every Saturday. I used to eat the mini pizza ( A different kind of pizza !! ), the softee ice cream, chats (I miss Gomatha Chats Center now). Later sweet corn entered the market. I love walking in the entire street, there is everything that a normal old bengalurian looks for. The street gets highly crowded on weekends. Along with the crowd, I love taking a stroll here. Visiting the footwear shops or the makeshift footwear kiosks, the accessories stall, bargaining over the prices; This is the common scene found here. These days street shopping has taken the street by storm. A lot of vendors sell beautiful Indian Kurtas in infinite shades of  bright colours along with leggings and dupattas. This wasn’t there back in my childhood.

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Kurta Vendors by the street side
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Street vendors

The other thing that you cannot miss about this street is this street makes you go gaga over flowers. Vendors in the wooden cart wheel stack their cart with various varieties of jasmine, multiple types of sevanthige (Chrysanthemum), types of roses and many more varieties of flowers. Also, few vendors sell garlands of  jasmine and sevanthige in woven bamboo baskets. Every time I go there, beautiful flowers distract my eyes. As I go closer to them, their enchanting fragrance hits my brain. The varieties of flowers decorates the street giving a festive vibe. The fresh green vegetables on sale tempts my taste buds.

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Flowers
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Flower cart
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garlands of chrysanthemum
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Garlands of Jasmine

The entire street has turned up to be a famous market in bengaluru over the years. There is everything here that a bengalurian craves for. The best part about this street is that it has not adopted high-end fashion. This street is for the common man. Even at present, post 20 years after the mall life in Bengaluru took a storm, after bengaluru turned a hub for IT/MNC companies bringing varieties of people and mix up of cultures this street still disperses the flavours of old city. No matter how widely the city has expanded and transformed over years influenced by various cultures, this street and the city has that old city aura which makes me feel grounded.If any Indian festivals are around the corner, then don’t even ask. The entire street gets occupied with varieties of flowers, fruits and pooja articles. Even clothes shopping will be in full zoom. The street gets decked up with various articles creating a pre-festive celebration environment. Visiting this street during festivals for shopping is close to mandatory for the localites.

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Shopping in this street has a beautiful feeling than shopping anywhere else.Beyond buying anything, just walking in this street connects you to the authenticity of the old bengaluru. The street boasts with a forever flea market. Even in the present world with everyday changing trends, this old street has retained its charm. This entire street embraces Bengaluru culture. Even now, when I feel very bored at home with no plans for the weekend, I go to this street, eat some street food available there, buy some flowers, eatables with mom and return back home.

Guys, so if you are outside India or within India but on having plans of visiting Bengaluru anytime soon, make some time and visit this street on an evening. Also, If you live in Bengaluru but never visited this area, then plan your time over a weekend and visit this beautiful street, do some street shopping munching on some street food and if you still have some space in tummy then drool on some yummy food at CTR, Veena Stores and Sai Ram Chats etc which are legendary to Malleshwaram.

 

Featured post

Drive through the state-borders during strike

I knew Ooty to be one of the busiest and most famous hill-stations in South India. But, I wanted to visit the place in real to know why it is that famous. Well, I had too many assumptions and imaginations about how the place might be in real. Feeding my curious thoughts to rest, my weekend trip started off to the coolest place in the nilgiris.

I departed from Bengaluru on a friday night. As the bus moved through mysore I was asleep. Later, I woke up subconsciously sensing the bus to be static in a place. I moved the curtains and stressed my eyes for the view out as it was still dark. Sudden thought: Oh god !. Don’t tel me now that the bus actually broke down and I will be arriving after a delay or something… Shhhitttttt… Noooo *fingers crossed*. As I peeped out in the dark, I found a huge entrance at a distance camouflaging with the shades of the dawn. Yes, it was as early as 04 am in the morning.

The entrance which stood there was the gate for the Bandipur National Park. Well, if you are travelling to Ooty via mysore, then the route is through Bandipur. As the rules made by the forest department, no vehicles are allowed inside the forest area from 9pm-6am so that the wild life doesn’t get disturbed. Cool, isn’t it !. So, now you know why my bus was not moving. As the clock struck 06:00AM, the gates flung open, my bus entered inside the forest.

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Bandipur entrance

The road was labyrinthine with multiple turns coming in the way. As it was just the time when the first rays of the sun were hitting the land, the environment was freezing with dew drops falling from trees and the mist blocking the far-away views. The thorny forest remained in silence as I tried to find a Tiger (I didn’t, unluky). Yet, within few seconds I spotted a huge group of spotted deer feeding on the fresh greens. The velvet brown skin of the deer with chrome-yellow spots added beauty to the animal. As I covered more parts of the forest on my way, I found a lot of deer in my way. I was still surfacing through the borders of Karnataka and I knew somewhere within the forest itself, I will be moving to the state of Tamilnadu.

As the bus moved through a turn, I saw a beautiful arch bridge coming on our way. As I was staring at the bridge, I also spotted forest monkeys jumping across trees. I was feeling happy about my trip, looking at the nature and then I saw Mudumalai Tiger Reserve entrance. So, this entrance from where Tamilnadu begins also has a check post and a gate to let vehicles pass-through. As we approached the gate, the bus suddenly halted. I guessed maybe the bus stopped because it is a check post and the officers do mind to check the vehicles for goods and let us pass on. Well, my guess went wrong and then the real scenario hit my mind.

Karnataka and Tamilnadu are neighbouring states in India and when it comes to the matter of Kaveri river and it’s water, the conflicts arising are too casual for either of the states. So, on the day I was stuck between the borders there was a strike happening in Karnataka which was against Tamilnadu (TN). Due to differences between the two states, the bus I was travelling in as it belonged to Karnataka State wasn’t allowed to enter Tamilnadu. For around 15 odd minutes I did not step out of the bus hoping that the bus would be allowed to get in. Sadly, the kick of excitement began to fade off as tension made room for itself in my mind. I got out of the bus hoping to try my best to let our bus go. Nothing was working. After procrastinating there for around 30 odd minutes we received the final hearing from the check post officer that the bus cannot be sent inside TN.

When I head out for traveling, I count on every single minute. A long delay in the middle of no-where in a tiger reserve spread out in a huge area divided between two states could easily damage my itinerary for the day. Quick plans had to be made to go to our destination. Fortunately there were TN jeeps who were ready to provide jeep service all the way to Ooty at a moderate price. After few solid quick decisions we left the bus and boarded the jeep.

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Front seat be the best

My excitement hit my mind back again and I was very happy about whatever happened. Who wouldn’t love a jeep drive in the middle of a  dense forest filled with wild habitat. So, the jeep took the shortest route to Ooty ditching off the long route which the bus was supposed to take. As the jeep took the Masinagudi route, I got to see herds of deer again from a very close distance. There was a lot of dry land with thorny shrubs growing everywhere. As the drive was only through the plains without any deviations the driver told us that we were about to get into a road with crazy hairpin bends. Yayyyy, I was excited. Finally, something good.. 🙂 🙂

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View found on the way
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Beautiful views all the way

The jeep started climbing the hill. There were a lot of bends in the road. With every bend higher, there was a better view. After few crazy twisted bends, at a distance the view turned out to be spectacular. I literally saw the thin clouds floating far away at the same height where I was. As the altitude increased, the climate turned out to be cooler. I feel this hairpin bend road is the one you definitely shouldn’t miss if you are driving to Ooty. It really gives you some adrenaline rush along with beautiful view points at every intervals.

We got onto the top a bit earlier actually as the jeep driver took a short route. Just because the bus was stopped and not allowed further, I got into this jeep which took me on an amazing drive in the morning through steep twisted roads and guess what even after all that drama, I reached my cottage earlier and I ended up with more time to tour around Ooty. If the bus itself had moved, I couldn’t have experienced all of this. Sadly, I would have reached Ooty almost by noon affecting the itinerary. Well, after this situation I somewhere started believing on the phrase ‘Everything that happens, happens for good’.

Featured post

Cardinal Bird

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I always fascinate drawing birds and colouring them with color pencils. Here in frame is the reddish brown coloured cardinal bird sitting on a bark.

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Trekking in the steeps of Savandurga

Will I be able to climb the precipitate hill in my canvas sneakers 😦 ? Will I finish the trek successfully or accept the defeat by returning back half way disappointed? So, what actually happened later is in the story below.

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Savandurga from the bottom

I was gazing at the hill to be conquered positioned in front of me from the parking lot. After a cheerful morning bike ride, I was high on enthusiasm to begin my trek for the day. The hill looked manageable to conquer and return within a duration of around four hours from the spot where I stood. Before I set my feet next, I filled my tummy with spicy churmuri ( local snack). Behind the food cart was the way made through the forest to reach the foot of the hill. As the hill did not look of much height, I moved in slowly through the woods and reached the foothill just to see the steep hill in front of me.

As the hill was steep enough, I started placing my steps having a grip on the floor. Not beyond 100 steps, I slipped when I placed my feet on the wet rock and few seconds later I felt the rock hitting my body. Yet, being highly determined I started off with a bang. Exposing to the sun, as the sweat dripped down from the skin, I moved ahead having a look at the cactus, forming the main vegetation of the hill. Also, to see away, every height had a promising view. After certain height without any steps to climb or any grill to hold on, the trek turned out to be a challenging one.

I still remember a point where I struggled to cross a rock as it was precipitous and I climbed the rock with great efforts after two to three trials. As I sighed and sat down to take a break, I found a beautiful patch of water at a distance. As the trek resumed, I had to stop by as I found something very much precipitous on my way. As I lifted my head to view the huge steep almost raised at around 75 degrees, I felt that the trek had turned very challenging. I found few goats and their kids climbing the hill with ease. Probably, the hill was home to them. I also found those villagers who were climbing the hill with greater ease that also holding a baby in their arms. Trust me, these things motivated me and powered me up to climb the rock. Thus pushing myself, I climbed up and at a point I had to even rely on my hands for support. Luckily in that steep, few acorn-grinding pits were carved to have hold on the rock while climbing. Once covered, I could grab a better view; a bit microscopic of that found from the bottom. Later, the trek turned out to be ease as we ascended further.

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Precipitous much !!!

After climbing through the steeps and reaching certain height, I found an old ruined watch point built by bricks. This led to some serious worm running in my brain. How strong were the people back in those times to carry bricks up and build something at that edge like a watch tower? Well, anyways the hiking later turned out to be mere walking as we reached close to the peak. Strolling through the plains and woods, I reached the final raising which upon climbing, the hill would be conquered. As I was holding rocks for support during climbing, I also discovered the garden lizards camouflaging with the rock sticking onto them.

As the clock showed 04:00 pm in the evening, we had reached the top. The hilltop has a mini open gopuram (dome) inside which resides a statue of Nandi (Bull). Again wondering, building a mini monument at the hilltop might have been a habit by then who ruled the area. The gopuram had great carvings and the Nandi was beautifully carved as well. Woah, the artisans who lived by then deserve a bow. Surpassing the steep trails and later building a structure at the top of the hill made me feel exceptional about the people back then.

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view from the top
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The Nandi Gopuram

After sweating off completely, sighing for minutes, reaching the hill top gave me bliss with the spectacular view it offered. Every minute ran during my time on the peak. As my trek was during the beginning of monsoon, the sky was filled with milky clouds making the look more eye-catching. The blue sky filled with cotton like clouds and to contrast with that the green fields at the bottom was making the view beyond beautiful. One thing that is unique to the peak of savandurga is the view of the amoeba shaped Manchanabele Dam from the top. The bluish water spread over the area surrounded by greenery looks mesmerizing. Trust me, this reservoir definitely made the view from the top exceptional. Watching the panoramic view and indulging in absorbing the beauty of it I couldn’t get enough of the scenery.

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Nandi

Moments like these when you feel serene at the peak gives contentment for burning energy and reaching the top. The feel of contempt is out of this world, which has to be felt and cannot be explained. Later, with the accomplished happy mind I started returning back. As I moved down, the view was getting more zoomed in and macroscopic. Since I had to get down safely, I couldn’t stay up for the sunset. As I moved down, again at a steep I was about to slip and fall to some depth but luckily my friend caught me. We came down chilling around enjoying every view, clicking pictures, climbing trees, making merry. By the time I got down completely, the sky had turned dark welcoming the moon and the stars.

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Hiking this hill had a lot of challenges but these slippery precipitous rock without any carved steps made my expedition more thrilling and gave me an adrenaline rush. If the hiking was easy, probably it would have washed away from my memories. The more tougher it gets, the more thrilling it can get.

Key Details:

  • Savandurga is located at a distance of around 56 kilometers from Bengaluru, India.
  • Hiking can be fatal during rainy seasons.
  • As no food/beverages are available during hiking except for the overpriced soft drinks, it is suggested to carry water bottle, some snacks and energy bars in your bag.
  • Advisable to go in a group as the route up to the peak can be confusing at times.
  • If you are a beginner at hiking/ trekking, then consider starting your trek by morning itself.
Featured post

Coffee indulgence by the waterfront

I was in Ernakulam on a sunday evening. Happening to be a part of my trip, after cruising over fort kochi for a couple of hours and after getting down at the boat jetty I was craving for a dose of caffeine to light up my mind. Being my maiden visit to Ernakulam and Kochi, I had null idea about any cafe’s in the area. I was strolling through the marine drive walkway and my feet paused when I found a houseboat by the side. Yes, there was a cafe which looked exactly like a houseboat from outside. The cafe was compact with two floors and limited seating. Happily, I went in and climbed the stairs that was twisted around a pole and found a wooden table and bench for myself facing the waters.

As I laid my back against the seat, stretched out my legs and relaxed my body, the delightful cup of porcelain arrived in my table. The authentic south Indian filter coffee was served in its best porcelain cup and saucer. A perfect blend of frothed milk with decoction obtained by brewing finely ground coffee powder results in delightful filter coffee that can lighten up your mood. Wow, the magic this drink creates is that with every sip you tend to indulge more and more in the flavors and aroma of coffee bean. With a spectacular view to watch out with the hot cup of coffee in my hands the heaven was right there.

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Filter coffee served in cup and saucer with a view behind

From my seat, I could probably grab the best view of fort Kochi. The panoramic view had too much of awesomeness to look out for. The Indian Navy vessels, the cargo ships, the lavish cruises anchored by the harbour, the Chinese fishing nets at a distance in fort kochi, the mini cruises gliding through the waters, the cruises embracing the vast ocean as they move out of the harbour into the waters, the overall scene was a marvellous delight for the eyes. To add more beauty to the scene, the sun was going off the horizon painting the evening sky with dozens of shades of orange amalgamating with the shades of blue. With such a breathtaking view outside, sitting in the cafe sipping the authentic flavorful filter coffee was a great delight.

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View from Marine drive walkway

Sipping every gulp of my coffee with the creamy froth sticking my lips, the caffeine hitting my brain, viewing the spectacular fort kochi I felt refreshed and relaxed as I drank my coffee. The picturesque fort kochi at the eyesight, a cup of hot filter coffee in hand, watching the shores of the port as the sun dropped off the horizon, life couldn’t get any better that evening. Also, for a short eat I chose ripened banana fritters which was yummy going in my tummy. As I emptied the contents, the sky had already turned blackish blue for the arriving night. A simple cup of humble coffee in a normal cafe rejuvenated me, definitely not a daily thing for a person who lives in the land locked city. Happy and content, I left the beautiful place with my best memories of coffee:)

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Fort Kochi
Featured post

Watercolor houseboat in the scenic backwaters

The handcrafted houseboats in the serene backwaters of kerala is like watching a painting. The captivating beauty of the scene was picture perfect to add hues to my paper. Art works like these inspiring out of the places you visit are treasured forever. Every time I look at my art, all those moments spent on the wooden houseboat in enchanted backwaters of  Alleppey will be remembered. So, I have painted the scene using watercolor which is featured here.

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For the entire details and story of my  experience in a houseboat and the backwaters, refer link Embracing the backwaters in a houseboat

Featured post

Embracing the backwaters in a houseboat

Kerala is a compact state that runs along the Arabian coast of India. This God’s own country is famous for its enthralling pristine backwaters and lush greenery. The lure backwaters are spread over a huge area comprising the Vembanad Lake and also forms an archipelago in the area it surrounds.  The handcrafted houseboats gliding and floating through the enchanted backwaters is the unique identity of Kerala. As attractive as the houseboats can get, I always had a ‘visit to houseboat’ pinned on my bucket list. So, I will be taking you on my wonderful memories of living a day in the houseboat.

Alleppey or Alappuzha known as Venice of the east is a small town in Kerala and is known for its extravagant houseboats adorning the backwaters. My story on exploring the labyrinthine canals, the brackish lagoons, as the alluring houseboats glide through the serene backwaters begins here.

We had booked a room in a three bedroom houseboat. I stepped into the houseboat around 12:00pm. The houseboat consists of a living hall as well as dining, bedrooms with attached bathrooms/washrooms, a kitchen and a bay to walk through. As soon as we entered the houseboat and got into our rooms, we were served with welcome drink. Later, I guess around 1pm the boat revved on and drifted through the waters.

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As the wheel steered, the rustic boat glided through the labyrinthine canals covered by lush tropical coconut tress on either sides. The scenes were getting breathtaking as there was a lot to catch every second. Be it the other beautiful wooden houseboats floating in the vicinity, the islands at a distance, the tall coconut trees or the blackish-green colored waters filling the area; everything in a sight was flamboyant. After floating through the meandering backwaters for a while, the boat anchored for lunch. The lunch served inside the boat was scrumptious and the food had great flavours of Indian spices. After having delicious food, the boat drifted back into the waters. To immerse completely in the serenity of the backwaters, I stretched my legs out and sat down at the bow. As the boat floated through the infinite space, I relaxed watching the lush water plants floating in the waters, the ripples,coconut tress dancing to the winds at a distance and the enthralled backwaters as far as my eyes could see.

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Floating Houseboats in Alleppey
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An authentic houseboat that was passing by
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Sitting at the bow and watching the backwaters

After embracing the beauty of the poised backwaters, our boat stopped by for Tea/coffee and snacks. Meanwhile, we stepped out of the boat and visited the paddy fields in an island. The day was spent completely in the lap of nature. Later, sipping on my cup of coffee, I relaxed in the couch of my boat, listening to the waves of the waters and the winds. The boat halted around 5:30pm signing off for the day. Having ample amount of time with the night arriving, we chilled out in the boat, made friends with the fellow boat mates. We were served with delicious dinner and then watching the silence of the calm waters I let sleep overtake me.

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Evening ride

Mornings were absolutely mesmerizing. As the sun appeared with the rays lighting up the earth, life began. The local fishermen started launching their nets into the waters in their tiny boats with the public transport boats and ferries moving around. Slurping my cup of morning coffee I watched the misty backwaters. The breakfast was served and the boat started moving for a ride. Since I opted for one day stay, it was my time to leave the boat post breakfast. I stepped out of the boat packing my memories of royal indulgence in the lush coconut lagoons, floating through the enchanted backwaters in a beautiful houseboat. The time spent on houseboat is to be cherished forever and I would love to go back again when I need a tranquil break away from hustle of city life.

Additional details:

  • Houseboats are available all over the backwaters of Kerala. Yet, I would suggest you to visit either Alleppey or Kumarakom.
  • You can stay for as many days in the houseboat but I feel one day of stay is sufficient for absorbing the beauty of backwaters.
  • Houseboats beyond three bedrooms lose their charm as they look too huge and vast as a building and I feel the antiquity is lost.
  • Book a single bedroom houseboat for a private date or a romantic getaway.
  • Alcohol can be carried over but it is not provided in the houseboat.
  • You can ask for Vegetarian food in prior in case if you are vegetarian. For Non-vegetarians, local fresh sea-food delicacies will be served.
  • Nearest City: Ernakulam/ Kochi
  • Nearest Airport: Kochi
Featured post

Lantern

Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning. Light up my lantern and brighten the world.

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The age old lantern in my paper. This lantern is also known as Petromax.  This art piece looks better when viewed from a distance in real. Featured here is a water color painting.

Featured post

Nature’s red pom-poms

The mercury levels have augmented, juicy watermelons have filled the markets, the mangoes have appeared again, prone towards cool liquids have increased indicating the arrival of summer. As the heat waves set the temperature high, going out in burning summer is a tedious task. In case you are going out in a two wheeler then you definitely don’t wish to move out in this season.

Living in Bengaluru, the signs of summer are getting subjugated everyday. When I go out in this burning hot environment, I look up to areas where there is shade. Certain roads in the city are covered with century old trees which forms a canopy and cease the harsh rays of the sun. Then there is the annual red bloom that happily takes a kickstart in april and stays till first quarter of June. Since my childhood, I have been mesmerized by the beauty of vermilion bound May flower. On another casual day, on my just another outing in the city, under the boiling noon I again got bewitched. In a stretch as far as the eyes could see, various shades of red-hued pom poms were dazzling here-and-there in the canopy. Yes, the enchanting May Flowers have arrived painting the city with distinct hues of red.

The bloom of Royal Poinciana is restricted to the months of April-June in the Indian subcontinent and indicate the hot flares of the sun hitting the Earth. Royal Poinciana commonly called as May Flower or Gulmohar in India adds beauty to the surroundings wherever it blooms covering the area with its distinct shades of red.

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Royal Poinciana flowers close-up look

I was riding with my friend in the 3rd main road, Sadashivnagar which connects to CV Raman road. So, this particular lane runs along the borders of Sankey Tank which is a huge lake in Bengaluru. As we were riding, at a distance of 50 yards away, I found a full bloom Royal Poinciana standing tall adding bright hues to the area. Being a nature enthusiast, I stopped for a while, clicked some pictures of the bright red flowers and admired their rivet beauty.Again, as I resumed on the road, I found the red patches blossoming happily in the tree in many parts of the city.

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Near Sankey Lake, Bengaluru
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Flamboyant display of flowers

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Being an admirer of the bountiful Royal Poinciana, I would always love to see the flamboyant display of flowers, ruling the area where they blossom. I have a strong wish that these trees should be planted in a row along the streets so that we can celebrate the prolific bloom and enjoy the marvels of nature. During off season, these trees are densely populated with leaves which provide shade. Also, the other trees in the city which forms a canopy providing shade to the streets should be thanked as well. It is impossible to bear direct sunlight attacking your skin whenever you are out. I actually experienced this in a traffic signal junction where there were no trees. Waiting for an odd 100 seconds for the green light was like placing myself inside an operating microwave. Coming to those areas covered with lush trees, the effect of sun is barely felt. I wish the trees get saved, keeping the environment cool and the planet remains green so that life exists for many more centuries.

Save trees, retain greenery 🙂

Additional details:

  • Royal Poinciana: Flowering Plant
  • Scientific Name : Delonix Regia
  • Common name : May Flower/ Gulmohar/ Flamboyant tree.

P. S. : The photos have been shot only for representational purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dainty Diet

On a weekend, I had a relative’s ceremony to attend in my native. Well, my native is spread over the Dakshina Kannada District (Mangalore) of Karnataka and parts of Kasaragod district of Kerala.  As the event was being held close to my maternal grandparent’s place, I decided to go directly to my granny’s and then attend the ceremony. My granny’s house is surrounded by lush plantations and the local vegetation in all the directions.

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I stepped myself out to have a look on the cultivated nature and it was merely ten steps on my feet, something stopped me. My eyes were witnessing the  12feet high tree that was filled with juicy water apples (also called as Java apple). For a moment, I felt like skipping the event and drool over the luscious fruit. Yet, controlling my taste buds for a wait of few hours I left to the event. The moment I got back, I made a place for myself right under the tree, sat there waiting for the fruit to fall into my hands (Laughs). There were few fully ripened ones at the height where I could reach out; thus by leaning my body in various postures possible I got hold of the twigs of the tree, bent them a bit and plucked the scrumptious delight. Later my uncle plucked a huge number of fruits using his farm skills and we had hundreds of water apples to nosh.

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Just plucked water apples

Those greenish-white water apples were so tender, mouthwatering, juicy, perfectly ripened moreover it was fresh and handpicked directly from the lush trees of the vegetation. Drooling over this succulent fruit during summer definitely made me forget the beating heat around. Having forever cravings for this delectable fruit, visiting my granny’s during the right season of water apples made me feel lucky. Enjoying on every bite of it, sitting under the tree surrounded by lush greenery around was worth going all the way from Bengaluru to my native just for a day.

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Water apples hanging in the tree
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Water apples 

Fruit details :

  • Binomial Nomenclature : syzygium samarangense
  • Local Names: Water apple, Java apple, Malay Rose Apple, Jambu Nerale (Kannada)
  • Colors: White, Pink, Green and Pink
  • Tropical Fruit
  • Grown during late spring/ summer

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Cherry blossom of Garden City

Every year, as the winter arrives the earth jumps into air-conditioned mode. Later as the winter departs, leaves shed off from the trees, rustle with the cold waves. As the outgoing cold waves get amalgamated with the incoming warm waves, the spring arrives. The trees adorn with the fresh leaves, the pollination accelerates and then there is huge bloom 🙂

The tress of the world welcome the spring blossoming with bright hues. As far as spring is considered, Japan takes hands-down pride in flaunting its cherry blossom. Yet, I feel every portion of the world has a polychromatic bloom as well. Whenever I head out in spring, all that seeks the time of my eyes are the trees filled with flowers or baby mangoes hanging from the tress in Bengaluru. These days, when I go out roaming, I had a ravishing view of the flowers blooming in the city.

The city is embellished with various hues of pink. Be it Cubbon park, Sankey road, Domlur, Old Airport Road, Rajajinagar, palace road (Places where I have been) etc are all amplifying the aura of the city with the pink blossom. The trees are completely covered with pink flowers which looks like cotton candy stuck here-and-there in the city. I wish I could gaze at the bloom forever. This cherry blossom look-alike gives justice to the title that Bengaluru holds as the Garden City of India. Even though the smoldering summer takes a head-start in the city with the mercury levels rising up to the extremes, the pinky patches all around the city makes your move worth of getting out into the streets.

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Sankey road
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Somewhere in Rajajinagar
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Sankey Road

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Taking a thought out of the box, Bengaluru is known for its growing economy and the expanding dimensions of the city. As a result, various news get circulated which involves cutting down of trees to build a flyover, buildings, roads etc. I just hope the trees of Bengaluru stay strong on ground and gleam as the sumptuous jewels of the city. This city without the cherry blossom of the lush flora is like a kingdom without a plush palace.

Save our trees, save the Planet.

P.S. : The images are taken in a basic cellphone camera and thus lacks high definition.

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Walls that Inspire

I strongly believe that every piece of art should have a story of its own. This piece of art has a story associated with it as well. Here is the story linked with more of my daily routine. While traveling anywhere I make it a point to extract the beauty of what I get to see and record them in my memories. So on my daily commute to office in the morning, I depart my place around 07:40 am and my cab usually navigates through M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Manipal Center and old airport road. As soon as my cab arrives near the stadium around 08:00am I always look around as this area has a lot of greenery as there is cubbon park right next to the stadium.

As we move ahead we get the army base camp for a long stretch. I usually sleep in the cab and in case I am awake, I will be peeping out of the window. So, one such day when my eyes were kinda open, I was near Manekshaw Parade ground traffic signal at that time. As the cab left, after reaching a 500 yards ahead on Cubbon road, the engine stopped at Manipal Center traffic signal. I was looking out, towards my right and my eyes widened. I guess the building I saw is probably army quarters, but what caught my eyes are it’s block wall fence. The wall was simply beautiful. The patterns that the wall had been painted with; added beauty to the street actually. I must say, this wall remains as one of my favorites in the entire city. The total area looks so beautiful indeed. This wall made me fall in love with the city again. The combination of canary yellow and brick red color of the wall did not just remain for my views.

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Water color painting of the wall

 

I have been doing paintings based on old doors, windows and walls these days. So, I got this random thought that why don’t I paint something that’s so beautiful in my city. Why cannot I give a shot at painting  by taking inspiration from the walls of Bengaluru and highlight the beauty of it. Also, what made me love the wall is that at few places, there are trees in background which amplifies the entire view. Thus, I went ahead and painted the block wall fence with those trees in the background. Now, every time I see my painting, my mind goes back to the beautiful wall near Manipal Center, Bengaluru.

So, in case if you are in Bengaluru and if you are wandering in and around MG road, then if at all you pass by Manipal Center, give some seconds to observe and you can find this beautiful wall flaunting those patterns in brick red color.

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Revisiting the Shopping Hub of Bengaluru

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Commercial Street

Shopping is fantasized by majority of women around the world. No matter you claim yourself to be a shopaholic or not, at some point everyone do go for shopping to refresh the wardrobe. In the present era, we have everything right in our hands; internet and the highly evolved online shopping has made life easy for us. Basically, since two years I am too much into online shopping. Living in Bengaluru, I used to fancy those goods available outside. It’s been almost two years I did not step into our own shopping hub, the Commercial Street in Bengaluru. It so happened that one of my friends wanted to go on shopping to Commercial Street. So, I accompanied her on a Sunday.

I started off from the starting point near Soch. The whole street was looking so colorful. After visiting this street after such a long time, I started feeling refreshed when I began exploring the area. The collections were so amazing that I ended up shopping for myself. I actually found too many good stuffs that even shortlisting on what to buy was difficult for me.

I got into a very narrow lane next to Anand sweets. Oh my god !!! my eyes got wonderstruck. Tops, kurtis, bangles, earrings, bags, clutches, sandals and what not! were popping out everywhere, literally in every sight of my eye. This particular lane is too narrow for more than 3 people to walk in a row. What you get here is one of the best in the street. The more I went on exploring the lanes, the more I got exposed to the Indian fashion. We Indians love wearing western outfits but at the same time our love for Indian wear doesn’t leave us. We turn on our creative minds, mix up ideas and come up with Indo-western trends. I got awestruck looking at the types of clothing and there were innumerable ideas running in my mind like which category do I try, which dress might look good etc. Coming to the accessories, you will love being an Indian for those beautiful jhumkas, bangles. Watching them decked up in a stack looked pretty.

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Indian ethnic earrings

 

After indulging for a couple of hours in shopping, stomach starts craving for some food. This street has a lot of options for food but Konark remains my ultimate favorite. After a tedious time of shopping down the sun, a happy lunch was a must. Man chow soup and Paneer fried rice at this place are my all time favorite. After making my tummy happy, reloading my energy I could get back into the street and have a look at all the bright little-big things out there. You can also slurp on lemon soda drink or Ice gola and roam around.

The best part about this street is that you get everything here. There are outlets from various brands to choose depending on your choice. What surprised me are the non-branded clothes. They were so bright, colorful and beautiful as well, at a very economical price. You can shop in this street with a budget and get really impressing clothes only if you are talented in choosing the best from the rest. From Indian outfits in Ibrahim street to western outfits all over the commercial, there is a huge variety of clothing lined up everywhere.The whole area is decorated with glittering  accessories, that drags your attention towards it. Apart from this, what caught my eyes were those wide range of footwear by the side of the lanes.

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Tops from Commercial Street at a very low price

 

Though I did not buy a lot of items, strolling through the road and every tiny lanes adjacent to it was simply amazing. I felt like I got something back which I had lost. Online shopping is great but it is virtual. Going out to the street, checking out those tiny shops, I could get hands on the running trend. Those earrings, neckpieces and many other accessories in a bunch on display were such an appealing sight. Exploring those narrow lanes packed with clothes, accessories and footwear was exemplary. Adding more to it, the street would have seemed dead without the crowd. With the dense crowd around, I found enthusiasm in  the people. The street has a charm of its own. A lane which is one stop for all the essentials.

While leaving my home to visit this street, I had no clue that I will end up having such a happy day. But, it is the magic of this street that attracts you by its glamour. Looking at so many options available, this street promises shopping delights to anyone. You can start from 100’s and go on until thousands. Having shopping plans in mind, before you open your shopping apps, give a day or some hours to yourself, go out into the shopping streets and explore, otherwise you will never know what is happening in the market. Feel the fabric, the metals, the glitters of the accessories, have a look on the quality and then buy it. Trust me, this can be a stressbuster as well as a day out for you.

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I always wanted to paint a window box just for the reason that they look so bright and colorful for my eyes. I believe adding little bit of flowers adds to its beauty. I took an additional step and added a bicycle as well which is parked in front of the window. This is my first ever attempt in painting window box with those old walls. I hope I will be able to paint better ones in the future.

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How about a bunch of bougainvillea falling down from the edges of the roof🌸🌸🍀🍀 , These pink leaves and those tiny white flowers enclosed within, altogether in a group of thousands they add beauty to the world😘😘😍

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Blue-and-yellow Macaw. This is a large South American parrot with blue top parts and yellow under parts which is not seen in my art. It is a member of the large group of neotropical parrots known as macaws. Featuring here is a color pencil art of the same.

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Road trip in the monsoon

Traveling in monsoon has been my favorite since 2013. Mangaluru is my all-time getaway. As my best friend also lives there, I visit this city quite often. Thus, on one of my visits back in June 2016, we girls made a random plan to go on a road trip. We were done with our grad school and before entering into our profession, we badly needed a break and what’s more better than getting connected with the nature. My favorite monsoon had arrived as well. So, the engine revved and the trip started.

We traversed through Udupi in NH-66 and after a while we stopped by Maravanthe Beach. This particular beach appears by the side of NH-66 itself with a river on the other side.

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Maravanthe Beach

After relaxing for a while, we resumed our journey back into the track of NH-66. Our next place of visit was Murudeshwara. After a drive for about 2 hours, we reached Murudeshwara which is covered by water on three sides. After visiting the beautiful spot, we headed to our next destination, Gokarna. On the way, we also visited a temple called as Idagunji dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Ganesh. Later, it was post afternoon and the sun had fallen into its off the horizon mode. By the time we reached Om beach in Gokarna it was dusk. So, we paid a visit to Mahabaleshwara temple in Gokarna town and called it off for the day. (I will be discussing Gokarna in detail soon)

The weather was completely humid next day with slight drizzle. We left Gokarna early in the morning and set forth our drive into the woods of Uttara Kannada, Karnataka. Our destination was Yana, but on the way we happened to visit a waterfall named as Vibhuti Falls. As it was rainy season, the water was falling down the rock in full swing. Later we visited Yana, known for its unusual rock formations. These places are completely inside the dense woods and thinking of a public transport to visit these places is big NO. It was very hard for us to find any petrol pump or even some food for ourselves. So, if you are visiting make sure to pack sufficient food for yourselves.

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Yana

The road was pretty good with zero traffic indeed and we drove through the forest for almost a couple of hours getting totally connected with the moist nature. Next in list was the world famous Jog Falls which is 100 odd kilometers away from Yana. For some food and fuel, we traversed through the Sirsi town and directed ourselves to Jog Falls. On the way, we could spot few streams running with fresh water where we stopped by, played in water and enjoyed the pour down of the season. As the sun was above our head, we reached Jog Falls. Even though there were lots of showers in that season, waterfalls had scanty of water. So, when you travel in and around Jog falls, you get to find lots of pineapple sellers by the side of the road probably as they grow it around in the surroundings.

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Jog Falls

While driving back to mangaluru, we decided to get some essence of Agumbe as well. We drove all the way up to the peak of Kundadri hills. The moment we reached there, the sky was drizzling, the clouds had blocked all the view up there. We could barely see anything, maybe for a couple of seconds we managed to see the view of the fields down when the clouds were moving as the winds took them off. It was very cool like that of inside a refrigerator. We paid our visit to the Jain Basadi over there and departed.

The actual struggle we faced was while climbing down the hairpin bends of Agumbe. As the monsoon was at its peak, the clouds and the fog had blocked the way completely. The visibility was very very poor for even 1o meters away. Even though there are a lot of view points in Agumbe, we couldn’t have a view at all. Everything was completely blocked by dense clouds. After a lot of struggle, we managed to reach the foot of Agumbe safely. Crossing those hairpin bends was such an adventure that evening. So, to sum up, this was one hell of a trip. The dense moist woods and the thick fog was amazing to watch and feel the wet nature. Trust me, tripping in rainy season is really adventurous. 🙂 🙂

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Girls voyage in the monsoon

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View of western ghats from the train

Rewinding my life back to almost four years ago, when I was in 1st year of engineering. I had a group of close friends consisting of four girls including me by then. To add to the excitement of the teenage or be it with the beginning of college life, we had named our group as Sizzlers (hahaha this might seem funny) but we were crazy indeed. So, in the second half of the second semester we felt like we need a break and we started planning for ‘The Trip’. Initially we decided to go to Karwar but later the plans got changed and we clinched to Mangaluru (Mangalore) in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. Mangaluru because it is my native ,I have lots of love and emotions for that city and probably the safest plan for attaining parents permission for the trip.

In the month of June usually we used to have our semester exams and July was our vacation time. Our exams used to last for a whole month as we were part of the most famous university in Karnataka VTU and dragging exams for a month is VTU’s tradition. So, our study holidays and exam times were also meant for all sorts of planning for the jaunt. On the last day of the exam, we finished our papers and headed directly to the railway station to book our train tickets to mangaluru. After a couple of hours and then again after another couple of hours, the spoilsport rain started to open its mask. During that time, just turn on the television and watch any news channels, the only information we could get was floods ,floods ,floods, floods…everywhere in and around mangaluru. Roads have been completely water logged and blocked, transportation has been cut in various places, huge unconventional rainfall…blah blah blah…. these were the sort of over plugged information that was popping out from every possible corners of the world. Still, we manages to convince our parents and firmly made up our minds to enter into the monsoon adventure in the coastal area of Karnataka.

We boarded the train from yeshwantpur railway station early in the morning around 7:45am. We girls were having a normal travel gossipping, clicking pictures until we reached Sakleshpur. Western Ghats was all set to welcome us with its lush green peaks covered with floating mass of clouds and mist. The journey was breathtaking. It was an alternate view of misty peaks in the top and full swing fresh water streams flowing in the bottom. We got involved into the nature’s monsoon attire and started writing poems as well. When the train used to pass in tunnells, we screamed until our vocal chords frazzled. After the wonderful journey, we reached mangaluru and headed to my aunts place for the stay.

Next day, early in the morning we left to Hanuman Gundi waterfalls which is in Kudremukh forest, played in the fresh monsoon water, got completely drenched under the shower and then we moved to Karkala. We visited the Bahubali hills and chilled out over there at the hill top. Such a peaceful evening it was, total bliss. Due to heavy showers in the area, we slipped a lot while walking and even had a fun fall at certain places. My friends were waiting to hit the beach and bathe in the saline water, so the next day we hit the Panambur Beach in Mangalore. A best friend of mine from mangalore also joined us as well. We had our perfect girl time in the beach. We had to head back to my granny’s place in Kerala that evening, but we were completely wet playing in the sea and getting wet in the rain simultaneoulsy. We were sort of late in reaching mangalore and to add more pinch of tension, there was a bus strike in kerala. So, we had to take a different route. We were looking like some hippies on that evening for our looks, body language and some sand stuck into our skin as well (hahahaha). After such a tiring journey, we reached my granny’s place and dozed off.

Next day,  we had relaxing time roaming around the farms of my grandpa and he took us to nearby streams as well. As the downpour was heavy, everything was looking so fresh and green. All we could see was just water everywhere, like literally. Later in the evening we visited a temple called as Anantapura in Kerala known for the sole living crocodile. Then, the next day we were feasting over jackfruits at my granny’s ,the second half of the day was at the Bekal Fort, Kerala and again a local beach on the way. The next day we left my granny’s and left to mangaluru.

As this was the last day of our trip, I took my friends to Sulthan Battery Beach and we partied over there for the whole day. The weather was just so perfect. As the tides were high, getting into waters was abandoned, but still we made a way and soaked ourselves in the salty waters of the Arabian Sea. To add more into our excitement, the sky was pouring down in intervals.

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Sulthan Battery Beach, Mangaluru

As the sun hidden behind the clouds declined down the horizon for the day, we left the beach and explored the city of Mangaluru. Late in the night we left Mangaluru signing off our monsoon vagabond. Since this trip, I have become a die hard fan of monsoon and taking trips in monsoon has been my year goals.

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The Bicycle Girl

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Precisely a decade ago riding a bicycle was my daily routine. My pink ladybird was my road partner. From being a kid to teen, I have lots of memories associated with my bicycle. Be it riding along with friends, riding to school, even riding in cyclothon (hahaha yes, one of my best memories in Nice road) I loved my bicycle a lot. So, this painting remains as a memory of my life with ladybird. To all the girls out there, who loved riding bicycles back then during school days, cherish your memories and this painting is dedicated to all of you 😘😘🚲🎨

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Wandering through the rocks

 

When it comes to history, Karnataka is no less in flaunting its rich historical sites. To get some exposure towards the history of India especially Karnataka, I decided to go on a budget trip over a weekend. I was very much interested in exploring the history of chalukyas and the royal Vijayanagara empire. After some research online , I decided to visit the historical places laid in northern parts of Karnataka where every stone has a story 🙂 . Let me give you every detail about my trip.

The places we decided to visit was Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole and Hampi. Thus, I started my journey from Yeshwantpur Railway Station in Bengaluru. We boarded onto the Golgumbaz express by evening 07:15pm and we reached Badami station next day by 07:45am. Badami is majorly filled with rocky hillocks and is a very small town. Outside the Badami station, there were lots of Autorickshaw drivers who were waiting for arrival of the passengers. We boarded into an Auto and asked the auto driver to plan our itinerary for the day as we had to reach Hospet by night. The auto driver really gave us an amazing plan which made our trip a tension-free escapade. As we had just 2 days in hand and we were traveling on our own, every short route mattered and every time was being counted.

We later checked into a hotel for a couple of hours for just bathing, got ready and checked out of the hotel. We later had our breakfast in a nearby hotel as none of us were actually hungry. P.S. : In case you have a good appetite do try the ‘Khanavalis‘ over there which serves the authentic local food. We dumped all our luggage in the Auto, which was a huge one with baby seats in the backside. We started our sight-seeing with Badami Caves, Badami Fort and by 12pm we headed to the famous Banashankari Temple, where we also had the lunch. About a 30 minutes drive later, we reached Pattadakal. Again a 30 minutes drive from Pattadakal we visited Aihole. Around 04:30pm we left Aihole and our driver took us to a place called Amingad. We tasted the famous ‘Karadantu‘ (a dry-fruit dessert) and bid goodbye to the auto wala.

We got into a KSRTC bus in Amingad which took us to a place called as Ilkal. From Ilkal, we got into another KSRTC bus whose destination was Hospet. We reached Hospet by 08:30pm and found a good room for ourselves and put an end for the day.

Hospet is a huge town in Bellary district and is the closest town to Hampi. The next day morning we started off by 9am after having our breakfast in Hospet. We hired an auto again to tour the ruins of Hampi. Hampi is also filled with lots of hillocks with tiny rocks. We visited all the ruins of Hampi in the Auto itself and we were done by afternoon 3pm. Hampi is a village where u can hire bicycles, two- wheelers for roaming around. We came back to our rooms at Hospet later and relaxed for the day. We had our Train at 9:15pm from Hospet Railway station, Hampi express.I call this as a budget trip because we spent really less and you can have this on your list for pocket-friendly ones. Also, it is necessary to have Cash in hands when you travel as ATM/Paytm or any digital transactions are barely found at few places. Thus, after exploring through the historical sites for 2days, the next morning I was back in my city, Bengaluru carrying tons of moments and memories.

 

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Badami
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Pattadakal
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Aihole
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Hampi
Featured post

Hues of Sunset in watercolors

The Outspoken Tales


Sunset is one of the best sightings of the day. It is natural mixing of colors in a palette, the Sky. As the Sun dissolves, the shades of orange and yellow meddle with the blues of the sky creating colorful shades dispersing across the horizon. Such a beautiful view gets even more enhanced when a tree is in the foreground. One such view has been captured in my water color painting.

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