Saturday, December 30, 2006

Trip to Udupi Beaches (Part 2)

DAY 2 (18th Dec 06) : 7.00 am : I was the first one to get up in the morning. Went to the next room and asked Risaf, Nishit and Jayakumar to get up. The reason for my getting up early was because I had planned to pay a visit to the famous Udupi Sri Krishna Temple. I freshned up very fast and set out to go to the temple so that by the time I return back to hotel other guys will be ready for the trip to Malpe. The receptionist at hotel gave me the route to the temple, It was as a walkable distance from the hotel we were staying. It was a different feeling walking through this city and I would like to mention here that Udupi is one of the clean city I have visited. Walking through the narrow street I reached the temple, the religious chants comming through the loudspeakers had a very soothing effect on me. The place is well-maintained, well-managed. It was surprising that even in this huge crowd, the calmness prevails. The sacred tank, MADHVA SAROVARA, is a beauty to look at. The darshan queue was not too long and after waiting for around half hour I got the darshan of the Lord. Here we have to look at the deity through a window. This window is popularly known as NAVAGRAHA KINDI Which represents the nine planets of the universe. From the window one can see the image of LORD SRI KRISHNA as a small boy with the churning rod ( Kadagolu ) in his right hand and rope in his left. The temple was completely roofed and it was dark inside but through some holes on the roof sunrays were comming inside and it looked as if the temple roof is held by these light pillars. There were some other small temples near to the main temple but I did not visit because I felt that it may take more time and will spoil our plans. I bought some prasadam and returned back to hotel room.
Everybody were ready as the prospect of visiting the island was the top priority in everybody’s mind. . We had the breakfast from the Hotel where we were staying as it was free. We then rushed to the bus stand to catch bus to Malpe. On the way Trevor gave the idea of buying a ball so that we can play at beach. We got a bus to Malpe and reached there within 15 minutes. We got down at Malpe with our luggage strapped behind us, the sun had risen above the tree line and gave no signs of calming down.

Myself and Nishit purchased some eatables like biscuit, cake, etc because we knew that there is nothing available on the island. As soon as we walked further we saw a lot of fishing boats at the ferry ghat .

There was smell of fish creeping in in from everywhere. We inquired a person about the booking office for getting boat for St Mary's Island. He showed us the way to the ticket booking office, pointing to a small pathway besides a small ramshackle booth. While walking towards booking office we saw the fishing boats unloading fishes from boats to other trucks. The ferry service from Malpe to the St Mary's Island is done by Karnataka Fisheries Limited and they charge Rs 75.00 per head. The lady at the booking counter informed us that there should be a minimum of 30 people for the boat service to be carried out. Right now there was only 17 people including five of us. we have to wait for 13 more like-minded people to assemble before we can commence our trip. We started playing volleyball near the booking office counter and inbetween inquiring at the booking counter if any more people has come to take boat. It was already 11'o clock and we were running out of patience because all our travel and plans will be spoilt if we couldn't get the boat service. The lady at the booking counter gave us another alternative that the 17 people can share and contribute a total of Rs 2100/- and all can make the trip. We were ready but another group was not ready to give Rs 125/- per head. Suddenly we had a sense of relieve, a bus load of around 50 school students and teachers came to go to the island. We purchased the tickets and boarded the boat. The boat had good seating arrangements, Himesh Reshamiyya songs were being played loudly on speakers, the boat even had a TV and DVD player. We made comfortable in the boat. The school children were making noise like birds.

I was very much energetic as this will be the first time I am going to travel for 25 mins in sea and to a remote island in sea.The boat cruised at an even pace; slowly the sea covered us from all the sides. The deck swayed vigorously at times, enough to make us grapple for the nearby handrail. A small empty motorised boat was trailing behind us all the time which we thought that was for safety purpose. we waited for the events to unfold by themselves. After 10 minutes of travel we got the first glimpse of the island.

There was a clear patch of sandy beach visible in between the rocks and the coconut groves on the back. Our steamer came to standstill some 100m ahead of the island and it was then that we realised that we would now be ferried in the small boat to cross the shallow waters. The island was maintained in a better condition for visitors and I felt that the island is a stage that is ready for a concert. Finally we set foot on the island, the person who was driving the boat announced that everybody needs to be back by 12.30pm which mean we have 1 hour of stay on the island. All five of us did not waste much time and changed our clothes and we went straight away to the opposite side of the island (200 meters from the end where we landed?? The island is that small).. Myself, Risaf and Trevor climbed some steep rocks that had some nicely formed natural steps and took photos. We walked along the length of the island and reached what seemed to be the furthest point into the sea. Then a, khaki wearing guy came and waved his hands to get back more to the middle of the island. The rocks rose up in a stepped fashion, in clusters, following an inherent hexagonal pattern. Amazingly some of the freestanding rock faces had these hexagonal facets right from the top to the bottom, which we all could not help wondering about. The rocks were arranged like a set of cigarettes together in a packet.

On the middle of the island there were a few bamboo framed thatched shelters for the tourists. The rest of the place was the all encompassing sea in its true splendour, the waves were making rhythmic music by splashing against the rock faces. At one place we saw a lot of red crabs. We looked at the time and were surprised that we had already spent one hour and it is time to return. The school children and other visitor were slowly getting on the return boat. Myself and Risaf went to the Boatmen and asked if we can stay longer and if there will be any return trip in the evening , the boatment asked us to contact the office. A few other visitors who wanted to stay back joined us. Risaf contacted the office over mobile and they agreed that we can stay back and there will be a return boat at 4.00 pm in the evening. We straight away jumped into water, for the next two hours it was full of "masti". We played volleyball in water. We were joined by a couple who were on honeymoon trip for playing. We shared a lot of jokes, meanwhile Trevor was giving Jayakumar and Risaf a few tips about swimming and floating in water. Soon it was 4.30 pm. We were tired, the cakes, biscuits etc were over. At 5.00 pm the return boat came and we packed ourselves and started our return journey. On the boat we could watch the beautiful sunset.

Watching the island fade away and the beautiful susnet over the Arabian sea made all of us speechless. We reached Malpe beach and from there we returned to our Hotel room by Autorickshaw. We had a good bath and all of us were feeling very hungry. We packed our luggage and cleared our room bills and went straight to the nearby Bombay Hotel. Everybody ordered for Chicken Biriyani because outside the hotel it was written that "Special Oil-less chicken biriyani Available". You can make out the intensity of our hunger by the speed by which the biriyani and side dishes vanished from the plate :-).. It was already 9.00 pm and we walked towards the Bus Stand. The Bus arrived at 10.15pm and we made ourselves comfortable on our seats. We had a deep, sound sleep and when we opened our eyes, it was 6.00 and we had reached outer Bangalore. We were again caught up in the usual traffic jams and honking vehicle horns. We got down at Majestic Bus Station and parted ways to our home. While riding back home, I could still hear the sound of waves hitting the rocks, the smell of the sea, the sunset, the laughter of my friends, etc....


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7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing to compare with making a trip to a gorgeous island, those pictures are astonishing. Now I understand why there are so many people that prefer exotic holidays, they have everything it needs to make you forget all your troubles. Is there a place for Canal boat hire in that area or all the trips to the island are organized by the locals?

7:13 PM  

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