Thursday, 26 November 2015

Mirjan Fort - Kumta : During Summer

Long back I had written about Mirjan Fort, a beautiful fort situated in my native place Kumta. I had visited the fort during peak Monsoon when the entire fort was wearing green look. With the lush green surroundings the fort looked very lovely and lively. The fort was covered by green creepers, algae and green grasses. You can read my post on the fort, about its history etc by clicking the link below :
                             Mirjan Fort - Kumta : During Monsoon
But last time when I visited the fort during hot summer, the entire picture of the fort was different. Mirjan fort was built using brick red laterite stones. In summer, we can clearly identify these stones and fort looks red. Surroundings look very dry with no trace of greenery. Here are some photos of the fort taken during the warm summer season.
Entrance to the big well inside the Fort..During Monsoon all these steps will be sunk in the water...
The Place where horses were tied

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Grand Taj Expo and The Family Fair

The picture of Taj Mahal and a big banner 'The Grand Taj Expo' attracted us near Jayadeva Hospital/Jalabhavan when we were returning from a family function. The word 'Taj Expo' increased my curiosity to know what exactly this expo was all about. We parked the car, paid an entry fees of 150Rs and went inside. Wow!! There was a mini Taj Mahal. A huge replica of Taj Mahal was attracting everyone. Colorful plants and flower pots were kept in front of the Taj Model to create the magical feel of real Taj Mahal. 

This replica of Taj Mahal was made using different materials - wood, plywood, fibre, Plaster of Paris etc. It was created by Chennai born Malaysian artist Shekhar and his team. They took almost two months to complete this Taj model. 
There were many other attractions for kids like kids train, motor riding, water games, giant wheel, toys etc..My son had great fun and enjoyed kids games. 

At the place there were stalls of jewelries, bags, footwear, utensils, cosmetics, cloths. Ladies were seen shopping happily. 

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Kamat Upachar : At Your Service - Your Food Friend On Your Way

Kamat Upachar restaurants belong to Kamat Hotels Group - a big name in hotel industry of Karnataka. Whenever you are on the highways of Karnataka, you can rely on Kamat Upachars for food - be it breakfast, lunch, quick afternoon snacks or dinner. It is our food destination every time we travel to native on NH4. Kamat Upachar is one of the very few available decent option for food on NH4. Kamat Upachar outlets are present in Tumkur, Chitradurga, Sira, Ranebennur, Hubli and Dharwad.
Kamat Upachar@Ranebennur
Food is delicious here. They have decent varieties for breakfast, meals and dinner. Varieties of dosas, idli, Poori, Upma etc are available for breakfast. Coming to meals - Jowar roti meals are tasty. Normal South Indian thalis are also available. North Indian thali lovers can taste hot and crispy roti and curries. Tea, coffee, fruit juices, milk shakes also satisfy your hunger. 
Kamat Upachar@Tumkur
Ambiance of Kamat Upachars is neat and clean. Spacious sitting arrangements, fast service, friendly servers, ample parking place, well maintained clean toilets will invite you again whenever you are on the road. 

Overall, Kamat Upachars are good pit-stops during long road trips on NH4.  

Thursday, 5 November 2015

River Aghanashini - The Lifeline Of Kumta

Western Ghats are the birth place of many rivers. The river Aghanashini originates in the Western Ghats of Uttara Kannada district.The birth place of Aghanashini river is called "Shankara Honda" and it is situated in Sirsi town. Aghanashini river flows westward towards Arabian sea and meets the sea in a small Village called 'Aghanashini' (named after the river) of Kumta taluk. On its way, the river has created many beautiful falls - Unchalli falls, Burude falls, Benne Hole Falls etc.

River Aghanashini
Aghanashini river is called as the lifeline of Kumta and it is the source of livelihood for thousands of fishermen who live along the bank of the river. They worship Aghanashini as "Destroyer of Sins".There are more than 150 varieties of fish in the river.  Many varieties of edible bivalves (shellfish) can be found in the river and they have high demand in the local market as well as from neighouring states. Bivalves harvesting and collection has provided direct employment for the people of Kumta.
Fishermen boats parked on the Aghanshini River
Aghanashini River as seen from Kumta Bridge
Aghanashini is one of the pristine rivers of Karnataka. There are no major dams and industrial establishments along the banks of the river. The river is surrounded by hills, valleys, paddy fields, arecanut and coconut farms, mangrove forests. The Mangrove forest surrounding the river is an important habitat and source of food for many birds, animals and reptiles.  These mangrove forests play an important role in maintaining the Eco system. As it is a rain fed river, Aghanashini looks even more beautiful during Monsoon season. It is a stunning sight to see the river with muddy water and high tides. 
Konkan Railway Bridge constructed across the river
Aghanashini is an ancient river, older than the river Ganga - considering the Western Ghats were formed around 88 million years ago while the Himalayas were formed around 50 million years ago. In 2014 February, Bangalore based company 'Eco Watch' had organized a fest called 'Aghanashini Sambhrama'. The aim of the festival was to celebrate the rich heritage of river Aghanashini, to promote tourism, to conserve the Western Ghats and to spread the awareness about Eco System and Bio diversity.

I feel that people of my native town Kumta are really blessed to have such a holy river in their life. Whenever I visit my home I make sure that I spend some time on the banks of Aghanashini and enjoy its serene landscape.