Jul 30, 2009

Om beach

...videos I shot during my visit to Om beach with Durga, Deepak and Gulli.

I was expecting the beach to be crowded like my previous visit in January but I was surprised to see the beach was peaceful, hardly anybody around. The next morning we were the only tourists on the beach, just four of us on the entire beach!

East end of Om Beach

Boat ride

Walk on the beach


Jul 27, 2009

Encounter Cobra

Gulli and I, on the way back to Bangalore from Nandi Hills, saw a temple sitting on a small rocky hill to our left. We turned off the road and took the dirt-track, rode about a kilometer and parked the bike at the base of the hill just in front of the steps leading up to the temple.

We started going up the steps talking noisily looking at the surroundings. May be 50 or 60 steps up, just 3 - 4 steps ahead of us, I saw a Cobra slithering up the steps!! When I told Gulli about the Cobra his first reaction was to go towards it. “Hey Sidda what a lovely creature! This is the first time I'm seeing a real snake.” For a moment it looked as though he was going to catch it, I caught the back of his shirt and stopped him from getting closer to the snake. Suddenly I noticed a dog next to us. It went past us sniffing at the Cobra. We realized the steps were flanked by low walls on both sides, which means no chance of snake escaping until it reached the summit. I took the left one and Gulli on the right wall. We watched the snake crawl up all the way... it slowed as it went up every step... the stone-steps surface was too smooth for it to grip. When it took the last of the step I took a picture. Till the moment I had completely forgotten my Yashica.

It must be 6' long.

Once the snake was on flat surface it picked up speed and it took off the moment it reached mud... disappeared into the bushes. Snake gone. We got off the wall.

The temple door was closed and locked, did namaskara to the Gods inside. We realized the dog had disappeared!! We went around the temple looking for it but It was no where to be seen. It had vanished!!!


Jul 23, 2009


Think it was sometime mid 1995. it was a solo trip on my Hero Honda Splendor, Took a short break 2 kms before Kortagere village.

It was a cloudy day, morning air was laden with mist.

Snaky road climbing the slopes towards Yoga Narasimha temple.

Ruins of Devarayanadurga fort and stairway to Yoga Narasimha temple. It was too early for temple doors to be open. I looked for a way to the hill top.. reaching the fort ruins was the purpose of this visit but I did not wait until the doors opened.

View point near Bhoga Narasimha temple.

Plains between the hills of Devarayanadurga hill range as seen from the view point. I did not spend much time here. Soon I was riding down the till..

..towards Tumkur, I stopped by a forest department station where few deer are reared. Within the forest department campus is a fresh water spring known as Namada Chilume.

On the way back to Bangalore, rain poured down between Nelemangala and Peenya, it was so heavy that visibility was barely 200 meters.


Jul 18, 2009

Navalur Gudda

I'd seen this hill from Dharwad - Hubli road several times. And wanted to come here. Mom told me that she had visited long back with her grandfather. I kept postponing the visit untill one Februsry Sunday. It was bright and warm.

I drove through the narrow streets of Navalur, a dusty village. On the other side of the village, I had drive my Omni through dirt track, Jeep would've been better for such terrain.

That's Basavanna temple. I went to the temple and to my surprise I saw a dozen Muslim women and kids. The poojari was a HIndu. By the looks of the temple, it's half way through it's so called 'renovation'. I wish people would leave the temple structure as it is and pray sincerely instead.

The white patches are 'kana' place where grains are separated from the husk.

That's a small cave behind the temple.

This pond, for the cattle grazing on these hills (I wonder what they get to eat) is like an oasis in the middle of a desert. Not just for the animals but also the dhanakayo boys too. I mean the cowboys... cowherds.

I have no plans of visiting this place again.


Jul 14, 2009


Tirumala; the most visited pilgrim center of India …I’ve visited the place four times and climbed the hill two times.

Lord Venkateswara’s temple is atop seven hills ...
Saptagiri. There are two ways to reach it. By road, go in a vehicle, what most people prefer. The other one is by foot …the path starts at Tirupati and goes up all the way to Tirumala. I guess the more pious take this route. The tradition is that one has to climb bare foot, carry their belongings which includes offerings to the Lord above on their head and chant his name till the darshan. It’s a belief that one needs to go through hardships to see God.

It was dad’s suggestion to go by foot …Roopa and I agreed to join. My interest was in climbing the hill, it was a new found passion then which I still cherish. We started early and weather was on our side …cloudy or raining and cool. The climb got interesting, the breeze stronger as we went higher and higher. From few points we could see the first gateway up above. The climb looked daunting but we were determined. The steps were wet with rain water and this helped our feet stay cool. We reached the first gateway …it was a wonderful feeling to be high above in the clouds. I think we had some snacks. From here the path was almost in one level for some time and then started climbing up again slowly …very slowly. At one point the foot path and road intersected and ran parallel for a short distance. This is the only part of the path without overhead shelter. The last bit was one real steep climb, the steepest in the entire stretch …my lungs ached and I got cramps in my leg. The trouble was worth every bit, we made it to the top. Dad's words still echo in my ears;
Roopa, you proved your mettle.

We bought special
Darshan tickets, joined the line of pilgrims and waited nearly 18 hours to see get our chance to get a glimpse of the Lord adorned with gold jewelry studded with diamonds. A sight every one has to see once.


Jul 6, 2009

Nandi and Shiva Linga at Lepakshi

Lepakshi is where you can see the world's largest Nandi. According to our guide at Lepakshi, this bull is supposed to have been carved by Jakanachari in just one day - from dawn to dusk. This Nandi, like all other Nandi, is a calf. It faces a big Shiva Linga about half a kilomater away.

That's my dad, S Rajendra Prasad, his last picture shot by me sometime July 2002.

He passed away on November 2, 2002.


Jul 3, 2009

Allwyn Nissan Cabstar

Sometime 1987.

The first visit to Mekedatu was with my parents, brother and PES College PUC-I classmates. Dad took us all in our truck- Allwyn Nissan Cabstar, the most advanced truck on the road for the times. On the day I was not keeping too well so I got to ride with my parents in the cab while Deepi and my friends rode in the cargo space. The diesel engine was smooth & powerful and inside the cab, with the windows rolled up, it was really silent. Much better than Ambassador cars.

The second visit to Mekedatu was with my SSMRV College PUC-II classmates. This time I drove. We were around 15 of us (Deepi, Praveen, Vijay, Jayant, Venkatesh, Jayanna, Srinivasmurthy… cannot recall few names) plus one BMX bike. Though I was an expert with this vehicle, I drove relatively slow… 70 to 80 kmph since it was the first time I was driving this vehicle on a highway. Yeah, I did not have a license to drive a LCV. We parked the truck at Sangama, I took the BMX while rest of the gang walked the 4km pebble-strewn dirt track to Mekedatu. Some smart ones came bare foot! We spend about an hour at the goat’s crossing.

On the way back the ground was really hot, some could barely walk towards the end. Anyway, we had plenty of time to cool off at the Sangama. I found a spot to dive into the water riding the BMX. It was fun!

On the way back to Bangalore, we raced with a FIAT car. FIAT was no match for Nissan. Further we raced with a Swaraj Mazda bus. The driver would not let us pass easily but I was determined. The gang was cheering me from the back. Nissan – Mazda abreast on the highway for nearly a kilometer. I pushed hard… touching 130 kmph and finally did it. The Mazda was behind the Nissan. There was a mini celebration at the back.

That was one of the craziest piece of driving I ever did but I was good at it. No questions about my control over the vehicle.