Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2019

The forgotten story of a migration: Nacharamma of South India

This is a story of Nacharamma (fictionised by me to some extent), which is not documented in any inscriptions or ancient texts, but has been told by the ancestors of the community, and also been researched by some historians like M Keshavaiah, Dr Pranarthiharan and a few others.

Overview: Around the early 17th century, the Pilgrims set to sail across the Atlantic to become the first settlers of America. Much before this, a small but no less interesting migration took place in the Southern India of a community called the 'Sankethis'.
It was the summer of 1420 CE, in a place called Sengottai, in Tamil Nadu, along the foothills of the Western Ghats bordering Kerala. The place was flourishing with knowledge of the Vedas where Agraharams were set up. One of the prominent communities of learned people was the Sankethi Iyer community, also known as Sangeethi, derived from the name of the place- Sengottai or Shankotta. Another theory says that they were  The group followed Adi Shankara…

Yedathore: An old town lost in floods

Overview: Yedathore, an old town in Mysore District, gave way to modern Krishnarajanagara, in the 1930s. The town was completely devastated in the floods by the Cauvery river and the whole town had to be shifted some 3 kms away. The new town named KR Nagara, was established between 1920s and 30s by the Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar. The pillar, commemorating the formation of the new town, can be seen at the centre of KR Nagar town. Some of the old remains of Yedathore can still be seen, like the old railway station, still called so. The ruins of the old station can still be seen, and the platform is still recognizable, even though the tracks are not to be seen anywhere. The most prominent landmark of the old Yedathore is the Arkeshwara temple, having Chola features, and built in the 14th century by the Vijayanagara kings.









A visit to Sriharikota and Pulikat Lake

Overview:A visit to Sriharikota to view one of the satellite launches (read Chandrayaan) was in my bucketlist for a long time. Earlier the entry into the Space Centre was prohibited so watching the launch was a difficult task.
When I read about the PSLV C46 launch, and the arrangements made to enable common public to view the launch, I decided that it's a good opportunity. The registration process is pretty easy, where we would need to enter some details like Name, DOB, Aadhar card, Address etc. The launch is normally scheduled mid-week, so I had to go and come back just in 1 day. 
About PSLV C46: This spacecraft carried the earth observation satellite RISAT 2B, which can monitor movements even in bad weather conditions. 
We started from Bangalore on Tuesday evening and reached Sullurpeta late night. Being a small town with limited tourist attractions, there are not many options to stay, however, there are around 4-5 hotels which are good enough for 3-4 hours sleep. We had booked Lat…

Exploring North-East India: Manipur - 1

Overview: Once we had a thought of visiting the North-East of India, the first task was to decide on what states to visit. After some thought we finalised on Manipur and Tripura. Now to come up with an itinerary, it was an uphill task, because all the districts in Manipur and Tripura are full of surprises, so arriving at the places to visit was difficult. So finally we selected a mix of nature, heritage and culture.
Day 1: We landed in Imphal at 9:30am and the cab driver arrived at the airport at the right time. Our first place of interest was the Kangla Fort.Believed to be in existence since the 1st century CE with the Ningthouja dynasty under Nongda Lairen Pakhangba. Encircled by the traditional 4 divisions of the state, the area includes the burial places, sacred sites, megalithic mounds and places of worship. Some of the important historical structures in the fort are the Citadel wall, the Kanglasha, Sri Govindjee temple, Bir Tikendrajit temple and Gen Slim's cottage. The ancie…

Gujarat Diaries - 7

Overview: This was our final day with Zoomcar, and we started early as usual to avoid queues at the Sardar Patel statue. We reached the parking lot at Kevadia at around 7:30am. The ticket counters open at 8:30am, so we had our breakfast and morning tea near the parking lot. There are 4 types of ticket, Rs 30 for a bus ride and a glimpse of teh statue, Rs 150 for entry into the Sardar Patel Statue premises and the museum, Rs 350 for reaching the top of the statue through elevator, and Rs 1000 ticket for priority pass and avoiding any queues. We took the Rs 150 ticket and hopped on to the bus. The bus takes the visitors to the Sardar Patel statue, Valley of Flowers and the Sardar Sarovar Dam. We reached Sardar Patel statue in 10 mins by bus. We were awestruck by the sheer size of the statue, and couldn't help but take pictures at every step till we reached the foot of the Iron Man. An average man is not even half the size of the toe of the statue. This was something we had not seen…

Gujarat Diaries - 6

Overview: Another long day was awaiting when we started our journey from Rajkot towards Champaner Archaeological site. We started around 5:30am and reached Champaner at around 11:30am. The roads are very good all across Gujarat, so we did not feel much stress of driving. Inside the Champaner Fort is the Shehar-ki-masjid, a private mosque built for the royal family of the Gujarat Sultanate in teh 15th-16th century. The mosque is built in Indo-Sarcenic architecture, with the outer pillars resembling the Hindu temple type of architecture. The outer structure is flanked by 2 minarets on both the sides. A few yards from Shehar-ki-Masjid is the Mandvi or the Customs house, used as a tax collection booth. This structure locally known as the bazaar. Also nearby are some stray structures and the 3-celled building, used as a prison in the 15th century.



After relishing these monuments, we headed to the Pavagadh hill, which looked massive from outside. On the top of the hill is the Kalika Mata t…

Gujarat Diaries - 5

Overview: We had booked a safari at Devaliya Interpretation Zone at Gir at 9am. So we started from Diu at around 5:30am so that we could reach their on time. The distance from Diu to Sasan Gir is around 100kms so we kept a driving time of 3 hours and 30 mins buffer. We had some confusion on whether to book a 3 hour safari into the Gir forest or 1 hour safari to the Gir Interpretation Zone, where a smaller fenced area of Gir has been created so that more animals can be spotted. The decision proved good in the end after we spotted the Asiatic Lion, Jackal, Vultures, Wild Cat, Leopard and a few migratory birds. Spotting these animals in their natural habitat was a great experience early in the morning. It took around 1.5 hours from the safari starting point to return to the same place. The ticket cost is Rs 200 per head, and Rs 200 for camera. We had to pay an additional Rs 1900 for the gypsy.



From here, we headed to Junagadh, around 1.5 hours drive from here. We first saw the 3rd centu…