Tumkur Diary

I’ve been in and around Tumkur for quite a few months. A place that I’ve heard of, located in maps, heard occasionally, and had never thought would visit, forget ‘live*’ here.

A calm, and vibrant place, when compared to the neighboring Bengaluru, Tumkur (oops it’s Tumakuru now!) is famous for the Siddaganga Mutt and the 109 year old and still rocking Swamiji. He is referred to as Nadedaduva Devaru (Walking God), and no amount of praise can be attributed to the yeoman service that he has done, and is doing for the betterment of the society.

Nandi near Siddaganga Mutt Entrance

Tumkur is also famous for its numerous colleges, that it is known as the Educational District of Karnataka [FYI, Chennai also has a lot of engineering colleges ūüėČ Only a Chennaikaaran/kaari can appreciate a subtle joke here!]

Mahatma Gandhi Stadium at Tumkur

Tumkur has got another nickname – Kalpatharu Naadu – A place that gives boons to all! Yeah it has given several boons to me, that I’d treasure for a lifetime and more [Again FYI, Chennai is known as Vandhaarai Vaazha Veikum Chennai – A place that helps a person to thrive, when he comes here, to Chennai]

Siddaganga hostel and playground. Seen at the background is the Siddaganga Hill.

Tumkur is surrounded by hills, small and large which gives an opportunity for a lot of sceneries and weekend escapes. The Siddaganga Mutt itself is situated at the foothills of a range of hills, with the Siddaganga Temple situated over a small hill. Siddarbetta, Siddagange, Chinnaga Betta are few other popular hills with temples, in this region. Madhugiri (which translates to honey-hill) is another rocky place, bit far from here, which has the second largest monolith of Asia, along with some ancient forts.

Along the Bangalore-Tumkur highway, on a winter morning!

Tumkur, already a city with good facilities, is under development to be a smart city, with facilities like full wi-fi connectivity, rapid transportation system, and to name. Tumkur is very well connected to Bangalore, around 75 kms away, with bus and train facilities. Tumkur enjoys the same climate as of Bangalore, with almost same facilities, yet lesser pollution, lesser traffic and cheaper cost of living. No wonder it is already a smart city!

Old Building of the Siddaganga Mutt

*I didn’t want to use the word stay, for you’d have understood that I haven’t stayed, but lived in Tumkur!

Cheers
God Bless

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Two Thousand 15

A post with specially picked photos from my phone, that defined the year 2015 for me

Its twenty days since the beginning of 2016, and a budding procrastinator is here with a recap of 2015!

It began with a ritualistic screenshot of my mobile screen…
One of the first events of the year, The Hindu Lit for Life in the month of January…
Some baking in February…
A wonderful trip to Kumbakonam in March…
Sketching, shading, twists and surprises in April…
Lots of dates with self in May…
Dreams and reality merging in June…
Realization of the fluidity of life in July…
New vistas, new experiences in August…
Celebrations in September…
More celebrations in October…
Again celebrations in November…
Celebrations extending to December…
Ritualistic screenshot again…

Cheers_________________________________________
God Bless

You See Cricket in UC Cricket!

UC browser 1It all started with catching up the headlines in newspaper the next day, to live commentary on radio, followed by live telecast with some glitches on national television, and now we are here now, having the live score updates and even the live telecast of our favourite cricket match within our palms!

There are many applications, that bring ‘personalized’ cricket, but none as good, as better, as best as UC Cricket does! UC Cricket from UC Browser brings the best of cricket happenings, from across the world, to our palms.

uc brow 2Imagine the time, when your favourite rival teams are clashing, and you need to be clashing with the assignments at office. The various websites that update the minute-by-minute score and stream the live match are blocked! And there are none, patient enough to update you with latest score, or the last wicket, or the just hit boundary.

Or that Saturday evening IPL match, when the team from your home place and the team from your staying place, clash and then, the biggest dilemma of your life, is not choosing between them, but thinking of how to get the latest score update, while shopping with your fiancee!

uc brow 3Or the final day of the test match, across the hemisphere, heading to a nail biting finish, with no idea of how luck would favour any of the teams. And you are required to travel that very night to attend that very important meeting. Half your friends are unaware of such a match, and the rest have their phones silent, or switched off, or fast asleep!

This is the era of smartphones, which make our lives smart. One of the best features of these smartphones are the various applications which aid in making our lives smarter. There are apps that are mediocre and then there are apps that are super-smart! And one of that league is UC Browser. A browser from where one can Surf it All! Surf it Fast!

uc brow 4UC Cricket is one of the best features that UC Browser can offer. UC Cricket provides live updates, discussions, sharing options, special videos, and lots and lots of other options, to choose from!

With UC Cricket from UC Browser, you enjoy the match in solitude, along with muting that boring review call at midnight, at office!

Or enjoy the Saturday date with your fiancee, and also getting immediate updates about the IPL clash that you were awaiting! A clear win-win.

uc brow 5And what can describe that feel, when the train is running into the darkness of cold night, and you are cosily lying on the berth, with UC Cricket updating your favourite match scores!

Get the UC Browser from here –¬†http://www.ucweb.com/¬†and get to UC Cricket. Change your phone from smart to smarter! And click on those screenshots of¬†UC Cricket from UC Browser all along, taken from my Lumia phone.


UC Browser РSurf it All! Surf it Fast! 

Cheers

God Bless

Vacation Chronicles ~ 3

Melkote

Following the earlier two posts – Vacation Chronicles ~ 1 and Vacation Chronicles ~ 2 – The stones are alive! here goes the third and concluding post on my vacation.

This post is completely dedicated to a beautiful, clean, serene, divine, calm, picturesque, peaceful, little town in Karnataka, named Melkote. It is at a distance of about 50 kms from Mysore and has good, accessible road from there. And still,¬†i’m still out of adjectives to sing the praise of this place!

Raya Gopura

Melkote, also known as ThiruNarayanaPuram is more of a pilgrimage center, than a tourist spot, and that’s the main reason we were there (remember I had mentioned family vacation/pilgrimage in the earlier post?) The CheluvaNarayana Temple and the YogaNarasimha Swamy Temple atop a small hill are the important temples, apart from a few other ancient, antique temples here.

CheluvaNarayana Temple

Melkote is quiet, little town with few ancient temples, many clean and pristine ponds surrounded by lush greenery, simple and traditional homes, clean roads, little shops, a Sanskrit college and academy, scenic vistas, humble and helpful people, which makes a person fall in love with this place again and again!

The YogaNarasimha Swamy temple is situated atop a small hill. Visiting this temple requires a climb of around 200 rock cut steps, which are covered by lush greenery, and occasional stone mantapa. There were many monkeys and goats along this way too, giving us a good company.

And not to forget the yummy Puliogare and Chakare Pongal that we got to taste here. Simply divine! And for the uninitiated, Puliogare and Chakare Pongal are a delicacy present in many South Indian¬†Temples. They are supposed to be second most important aspect of the temple, the first being the Lord ūüėČ

That’s me, on the way to YogaNarasimhaSwamy Temple, atop the hill.

From the various experiences that I had here, the one I loved the most are the divinity and the cleanliness of this place. Divinity is beyond the scope of any explanation and our understanding! So moving on to the cleanliness aspect, the temples, roads, ponds, public washrooms are maintained so well in this little town!

Overall, the pilgrimage to Melkote was nourishing to the soul, pumping up more faith into the mind and lifting up our spirits.

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Check out the following links, which provide more information on Melkote. Please do pay a visit to this place and get an experience of a lifetime!

Melkote – Wikipedia

Melkote – Anudinam

***The pictures included in this post were taken by me***

Cheers

God Bless

Vacation Chronicles ~ 2

The stones are alive!

Continuing from my previous post – Vacation Chronicles ~ 1, here I go with my second post. Without any explanation, by the end of this post, you would know why ‘The stones are alive!’

Standing at the threshold
of the mighty and impressive
Chennakeshava Devasthana*,
I wonder,
Do I bow to the Lord
Or the spirit of the sculptors?
Then, I feel His charm
And I bow to the Lord,
who dwells in and as
the soul of the sculptor,
And of the stone!

The following pictures were taken at the ChennaKeshava Temple complex at Belur, Karnataka. ChennaKeshava expands to ‘Chennagi Iruva Keshava’ which means the Handsome Keshava, in Kannada. His temple is beautiful, but His charm is matchless!

Chronicle to be concluded in next post Vacation Chronicles ~ 3 – Melkote

*Devasthana = Place of God ~ Temple

***The pictures included in this post were taken by me***

Cheers

God Bless

Vacation Chronicles ~ 1

Finally, we got time for our long pending, long family vacation/pilgrimage! And honestly I just cannot write about our week long vacation in a post, or even a series of posts! So I go with a summary of my experiences, thoughts, observations and happenings…

Raya Gopura – Melkote, Karnataka

Journey is a destination too…
The journey through the dense forests of Sathyamangalam, along the course of the river Kaveri, next to the impressive Bhavani Sagar Dam, over the twisting roads of Mettupalayam, over the rough terrains of Ooty, kissing the bright Morning Glory creepers from the hilly terrains, over the bridges, through the tunnels, overlooking the tea estates, over the narrow roads adjacent to Pykara Lake, on the steep slopes overlooking the scary Frog Hill View Point, though the evergreen forests of Mudumalai, occasional sightings of a variety of monkeys and buffaloes, a rare sighting of an elephant, through the downsloping roads of Bandipur, through the broad regal roads of Mysore, through the sugarcane fields to Melkote, over the rough roads to Belur, on the dusty roads to Halebidu…oh wait! These are just the bus journey routes. Many times in life we forget that, real happiness is not a destination, but found all around through the journey!

Window to the world…
It is the window which shows us the world, as we sit comfortably in our home, or a cosy bus/train. It is the window which makes one enjoy the sightings, like those which were mentioned above, to admire the beauty of nature and sing the praise of the Lord.
One disturbing thing was that people tend to take (dis)advantage of these beautiful windows and the more beautiful vistas outside. And I honestly wish that every bus/train (with openable windows) have a Pleading/Warning in bold letters which says…“Windows are NOT DUSTBINS!”

Fragrance of a river…
Believe me this river has a fragrance, an emotional connect to everyone related to the place though which it meanders, and is considered holier than the Ganga Рthe Kaveri. The fragrance, the warmth, the peace, the connect could be felt while cruising along its banks through Sathyamangalam, over the bridges at Mysore, over its canals at Mandya, along its banks at Srirangapatna, over the lush green sugarcane fields, the coconut groves, and my praise and admiration for this river can never stop!

Chennakeshava Temple – Belur, Karnataka

Love affair with a city…
Ask me, ‘which is your favourite place?’ and my instant reply would be Mysore! One of the cleanest, greenest, less-congested, regal cities of India. The palaces, wide and clean roads, almost-nil traffic jams, greenery, crispy and mouthwatering dishes, well connectivity, humble and simple people, non-existent water woes, absence of crimes, cheaper lifestyle, and on and on. The list to fall in love with Mysore can be extended to one’s will!

One just can’t stop me from singing the praises for the places that I visited. Such was the mesmerization, enchantment that were present here. So continuing my chronicle in the next 2 posts too…

1) Vacation Chronicles ~ 2 РThe stones are alive!

2) Vacation Chronicles ~ 3 РMelkote

***The pictures included in this post were taken by me***

Cheers

God Bless

Kumbakonam Chronicle

This was a post pending for long, and finally I’ve got time to post. An office colleague who is also a good friend got¬†married few days back, at her hometown Kumbakonam. Few guys of us not just attended the wedding, but also had a good time roaming about at Kumbakonam.¬†

kolam_kumb1

A town known for temples and festivals, it also had some of the warmest people i’ve ever met. The town, its streets, temple, people, their hospitality,¬†wedding, food, ponds, fun, etc, etc could be elaborated over a series of lengthy posts! So rich was our experience in a short stay of two days. And here goes my short picture chronicle on our Kumbakonam trip…

Sarangapani Temple undergoing renovation. We had a pleasant time praying to the handsome Sarangapani, with the temple not much crowded while we visited on the Saturday morning.
The famed Mahamaham pond, right at the heart of Kumbakonam, getting decked up for the Mahamaham festival to be held next year.
Porthamarai pond behind the Sarangapani Temple. The temple seen here behind this pond is AdhiKumbeshwarar Temple. Kumbakonam is a town with so many temples, that when you exit from a temple, you enter into another!
Another enchanting view of the Porthamarai pond.
Nageshwarar Temple. Another hub of peace and serenity.
The elephant of AdhiKumbeshwarar Temple, who was dancing with joy and was only happy to bless us too!
A bright and colourful view of the Kumbakonam skyline at twilight. Can you spot a lone star twinkling?
The A/C bus stop here. Chennai needs some of these very badly!
Hey, that’s me at the friend’s wedding!

As stated earlier, it’d take a series of lengthy posts to talk about the rich and awesome experiences we had at Kumbakonam. And these pictures talk about few of them!

Cheers

God Bless