Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mangalore Dasara Celebrations at Kudroli

Mangalore Dasara celebrations at Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple is one of the biggest festivities in coastal Karnataka. Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple was established as a small shrine by Sri Narayana Guru in 1912. Sri Narayana Guru, hailing from Kerala worked for the upliftment of backward communities. Main Gopura of Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, Mangalore
Main Gopura of Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple
Dasara celebrations here began 18 years ago in 1990, when the old small shrine was renovated into a large complex in Chola style architecture. In 1995, tableaux were introduced for the first time in the Dasara procession on the last day of celebrations. Mangalore dasara is called common man's dasara as it is not funded by the Government as in Mysore Dasara and people of the city participate actively. All roads in Mangalore lead to this temple during Dasara.Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, Mangalore decorated on Dasara
Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple decorated
This year, Dasara/Navarathri celebrations were held from 30th September to 9th October, last day being Vijayadashami. I was in Mangalore during this time and got a chance to view the festivites after several years. The temple complex is largest in Mangalore city and wears a modern look. When I went to the temple in the evening of 8th October, the shrine was full with people and the temple fully decorated with electric lamps/bulbs wore festive look. Temple painted in gold color added to the visual treat. Main attraction during the festivities was the hall where the idols of Navadurgis are kept.Idols of Navadurgis at Kudroli, Mangalore
Idols of Navadurgis
Nine divine forms of Goddess Durga namely Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini, Kalaratri, Mahagouri, and Siddidatri are called Navadurgis. Along with these, idols of Goddess Saraswathi and Lord Ganesha are also kept. This hall was decorated like a palace. Evening was the ideal time for people to visit the temple along with their families. Long queues to go to the temple hall was as expected. After seeing the idols people used to capture the photos with their mobiles, cameras. Volunteers had a tough time asking the people to move on once they had the darshana.Idol of Goddess Saraswathi at Kudroli
Goddess Saraswathi
Another attraction of the place was the temple pond where huge fountains are installed. At each of the four corners of the pond, statue of Lord Shiva is kept. Water sprinkling from Lord Shiva's head symbolises the holy river Ganga flowing out of Lord Shiva's locks and called Gangavatharana. Punyakoti Vana is a small park is inside the temple premises, attracting children.Hanuman Mukha Mantapa, Kudroli, Mangalore
Hanuman Mukha Mantapa
Newly inaugurated Hunuman Mukha Mantapa is another attraction at the temple. The 26 feet high structure, supported by 12 pillars has intricate carvings done in Chola Style. Also large Nandi statue facing the gopura of the temple, Geethopadesha statue catch the visitors attention. Next day was the last day of the celebrations i.e. Vijayadashami. Dasara procession was carried out with several tableaux displaying mythological themes taking part. Idols of Navadurgis, Goddess Saraswathi and Lord Ganapathi were then immersed in the temple pond after the procession across the city. About 3 lakh people said to have witnessed the Mangalore Dasara procession. Navarathri is the best time to visit the temple if you are in Mangalore. It has become one of the major tourist attractions in Mangalore.

Idol of Lord Ganapathi, Kudroli, Mangalore
Lord Ganapathi

Idol of Lord Hanuman, Kudroli, Mangalore
Lord Hanuman

Statue of Lord Nandi at Kudroli, Mangalore
Statue of Lord Nandi

Fountains at temple pond, Kudroli, Mangalore
Fountains (Gangavatharana)

Kudroli, Mangalore Temple premises
Kudroli Temple premises

Friday, October 17, 2008

Devdas Kapikad in a Kannada movie

Veteran of Tulu dramas, Devdas Kapikad is set to make his celluloid debut in Kannada. In Kannada movie 'Venkata in Sankata', directed by ace Kannada actor, Ramesh Aravind, he plays his part. Devdas Kapikad is a popular name in coastal Karnataka associated with Tulu dramas. He has his own theatre group, 'Cha Parka', which performes plays in Mumbai and Gulf countries. All the best to Devdas Kapikad for his new venture.Devdas Kapikad
Devdas Kapikad [Picture Courtesy :]
Ramesh is back with a comedy flick here, after 'Rama Bhama Shama' and 'Sathyavan Savithri'. In this film, Ramesh plays the role of a traffic police man. Film is about his struggle to get a promotion in the department. Music of the film is composed by Ricky Kej who earlier had composed some nice tunes for another Ramesh starrer, 'Accident' - 'Baa Maleye Baa' and 'Ellinda Banthu Ee Thangali'. Hope to see some laught riot in Kannada silver screen soon!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aravind Adiga's Mangalore Connection

2 years ago, in 2006, it was first time, I had heard of Aravind Adiga. Back then, he had written an article about Mangalore in TIME magazine, on how Mangalore as a city is growing up and had made whole of Mangalore proud. I kept on saying about this article in an international magazine to my friends and had written a post on it then. Aravind Adiga, a native of Mangalore, had done his schooling in St.Aloysius High School, Mangalore, one of the premier educational institutions in Mangalore. This year, when he was nominated for Booker prize, I sincerely hoped he wins it. Well, he has won the Booker prize and made whole of India proud. Congratulations Mr.Aravind Adiga.Aravind Adiga
Aravind Adiga [Picture Courtesy :]
Well, first task for me now is to buy and read his award winning novel, 'The White Tiger' :)


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Psycho Film Releasing on 31st October 2008

I keep getting enquiries from my friends about the release date of the film 'Psycho', more so because of the caller tunes I set of the 'Psycho' film songs. Well folks, here is some update on that - 'Psycho', most awaited Kannada movie in the second half of 2008 is set to hit cinema houses on 31st October 2008, if we go by the ads published in leading Kannada news paper, Udayavani.Psycho Kannada Movie Releasing Ad in Udayavani This movie has been in news for quite some time now - for not revealing who plays lead characters in the movie and for the amazing music composed by Raghu Dixit, giving rise to new genre of music in Kannada. Well, it is also said that it will be the world premier of the movie on 31st October 2008, as movie is set to release overseas, in UK and other European nations, Hong kong, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE, Australia, New Zealand and of course USA. Film is directed by V Devdatta, new face in Gandhinagar.

Other than that, Hello, hindi film based on Chetan Bhagat's best selling novel, One Night @ the call center, is set to release this week on 10th October 2008.

Also Read,
Psycho Kannada Movie's Music - A Class Apart

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Wayanad Trip - Day 2

Part1 of the Wayanad trip is here. Continuing after that, Nidhi was the first one to wake up next morning. When it was about 6 30 am everyone was inside the four wheeler to reach first destination of that day, Lakkidi. Within 15 minutes of drive from Kalpetta, we were in Lakkidi.

Lakkidi is the top most view point overlooking the mountains below. If you are driving from Kalpetta towards Kozhikode/Calicut, you will be reaching Lakkidi just crossing the Wayanad district border, covering 1-2 hair pin turns across the ghats. Only if you are arriving from Kozhikode/Calicut side you will have to travel all the way from down to reach the view point at the top of the ghats. Lakkidi View Point, Wayanad
Lakkidi View Point
I must say Lakkidi is one of those breath taking view points which makes the valley down the hill and mountains across the region so small in size. Vehicular movement in ghat turnings too can be viewed as tiny toys moving across. Interestingly Lakkidi is also one of the places which receives highest rainfall in India. After spending some time in Lakkidi and wondering at the sheer beauty of mother nature, we were on our way back. We had in mind prospects of visiting Pookot lake at around 8, but to our dismay lake opens to tourists only after 9, so we were back in the hotel.

Pookot Lake:

After finishing breakfast at the hotel and checking out from there, we reached Pookot Lake at around 10. Here, you can avail the facility of ferry or peddle boat to wander in the lake. We hired two 2 seater peddle boats for four of us. Pookot lake is one of the best places to spend your time in Wayanad with greenery all around and you in middle of the lake. Far away from the lake shore, there are lotus plants and there is a strict instruction against plucking of lotuses from there. Pookot Lake, Wayanad
Pookot Lake
Well, we captured lotuses in our cameras soon. In Pookot lake premises, there are shops selling Kerala craft, wooden carvings and lots of other decorative stuff. We purchased some wooden carvings after a ride in peddle boat.

Banasura Sagar Dam:
Time was around noon and we had reached our next destination Banasura Sagar Dam, the largest earth dam in India. This dam has facilities of motorized boating. Water contained in the dam had created artificial islands. These can be seen when you are cruising in the boat. Banasura Sagar Dam, Wayanad
Banasura Sagar Dam
Half an hour drive in the boat refreshes you quite a lot with you catching the glimpse of mountains in the backdrop of the dam, clouds towering over it and well, the artificial islands in the middle. Besides the dam, small park is being set up. Surprisingly though rainy season, it was really hot and we spent some time in the greens of the park. After giving some attention into the mechanics of the dam, it was time for lunch.

Kuruva Island:

Mananthawady was the next town we stopped for lunch before reaching our last stop in the trip itinery, Kuruva Island. Kuruva Island is at a distance of 17kms from Mananthawady. Though till this time all the roads in Wayanad district wherever we went were in smooth condition, road leading to Kuruva Island was in pathetic condition. Anyhow, when we reached the natural island formed by Kabini river it was 3 pm. One had to travel to the island via boat and rowers' instruction for us was to come back by 4 30 to the point they had left us. This island is a place for rare species of birds, orchids and herbs, they say. Not well versed in Botany or in Zoology, it did not make much difference to us and we thought it as an ideal picnic spot to spend a day. The most common variety of flora, we could identify was bamboo tree which was abundant there. Raft for Crossing Kabini River at Kuruva Island, Wayanad
Crossing the Kabini River in Kuruva Island using raft
The island is not single entity rather a collection of small islands. After reaching the main island we crossed to the other island via raft made up of bamboo sticks with the rafter pulling the rope tied across the trees of river banks on either side to negotiate the river current. This place is inhabitated with paddy fields, tree top huts, shops to prove that. After spending some time here, we were back in the original island and started wandering there at about 4 thinking we can reach the initial entry point well before the dead line of 4 30. Paddy Fields in Kuruva Island, Wayanad
Paddy Fields in Kuruva Island
But even after walking, talking theories of shortest path algorithms, we were no where near to where we started and all seemed lost in panic and it was already 5. More details can be found in Nidhi's blog. Finally at about 5 15 we reached the starting point.

Leaving behind north Kerala tourist destinations, the route we took to reach Mysore via Nagarahole forest was the first big mistake we commited in the entire trip. We were in search of asphalt road which was non existent. When enquired the locals, it was told that it was more than 30 years now that the road was in such a condition! Nearly 20 km road full of ups and downs, full of potholes slowed down the speed of odometers. Nagarahole Forest roads in horrible condition
Horrible Roads near Nagarahole Forest
Big 92.7, Mysore was our constant companion during this time of distress. To call and make them aware of the road condition here, all the mobile phone networks were down. Well, to our delight in middle of the jungle, we saw herd of bisons crossing our way. After travelling distance after the Nagarahole forest, we were back in best of the roads. Reaching Mysore at 9, we were crusing to Bangalore, carrying back home sweet memories of Wayanad.View from Lakkidi view point, Wayanad
View from Lakkidi view point

Lotus at its best at Pookot Lake, Wayanad
Lotus at its best at Pookot Lake

Wooden crocodiles on display near Pookot Lake, Wayanad
Wooden crocodiles on display near Pookot Lake

Motor boating at Banasura Sagar Dam, Wayanad
Motor boating at Banasura Sagar Dam

Inside Kuruva Island, Wayanad
Inside Kuruva Island

River Kabini flows through Kuruva Island, Wayanad
River Kabini flows through Kuruva Island


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