Someone said, and I can’t remember who, that the journey to a destination is as important and interesting as the destination itself. But sadly, most of us do not give much importance to what we see around us during journeys. I, too, have been guilty of this.
But a recent holiday to North Karnataka (where I visited Bijapur, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole, and Hampi) changed all this. Since I was travelling with a tour group for the first time, common courtesy dictated that I do not bury myself in a book all the time, something I normally do while travelling.
But more than that, I feel that the main reason for the interesting journey was because I did not travel in a sterile aeroplane or air-conditioned train compartment (except on my return journey to Mumbai), or an air-conditioned car/jeep/bus, which usually does not allow you to be a spectator or participant to the world around you. Travelling in a Second Class train compartment or non air-conditioned vehicle forced me to look out of the window and breathe in the fresh, cool air or sometimes air flavoured with dust and diesel/petrol fumes !
This recent trip was a veritable feast for my jaded eyes and soul. Every leg of the journey (and the various destinations, about which I will write in other blog posts) presented something new and refreshing.
Enroute to Bijapur from Mumbai by train …
Lush green countryside after Solapur
River crossing near Tadwal
Railway lines and stations often come in the way of traditional grazing grounds for cattle. Here, a buffalo and her owner make their way along a well-tread path through the railway station. The way the pair of them came charging down the path, I thought that they would get into the train !
On the way to the Bhootnath Temple at Badami…
A film shooting was in progress on the steps of the Agastya tank. As far as I could figure out, the scene being shot involved people stoning a woman as she cried out to her mother for help
Enroute to Pattadakal…
A magnificent, 300-year old banyan tree outside the Mahakoota Temple
Enroute to the Vittala Temple in Hampi…
Talarigatta Gate, one of the entrance gates to the ancient village of Vittalapura
Enroute to the Daroji Bear Sanctuary…
Sunflower field with fast approaching rain clouds
Enroute to Hubli…
Tungabhadra Dam (Photo Courtesy: Shailaja Apte)
Enroute to Mumbai by train…
Passing a thickly forested area before Londa Station
There were so many things that I was unable to photograph and share it here with you:
endless fields of bajra, jowar, corn and sugarcane
lush green banana plantations
agressive pigs, nervous dogs and emaciated cats in the various towns and villages that we passed through
monkeys, monkeys and more monkeys
the ever-changing landscape of North Karnataka
the hundreds of beautiful trees in the region
eager-eyed children with their families
The list can go on and on and on…