Monday, January 30, 2012

New Currency Note with Rupee Symbol

Many of us in India, might have noticed the new currency symbol in Rs in 1 rupee and 2 rupee coins. Have you noticed the change in our currency notes? I found a 10 rupee note incorporating the new rupee symbol.
Front Side of New Currency Note With Rupee Symbol Back side of New Currency Note With Rupee Symbol
Not much change if you compare the old currency note given below.
Front side of Currency Note Without Rupee SymbolBack side of Currency Note Without Rupee Symbol

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Learn Tulu Online now with Audio Guide

I thought of giving new dimension to the Learn Tulu Online Series in this blog. You will now be able to hear and learn Tulu in Introducing from this post is the audio guide which will help in getting the pronunciations right in Tulu and Kannada. I am beginning from the first post in Learn Tulu Online series, which is Commonly Used Phrases. Also, please find audio clips for other posts in the series. Please press the play button to listen to the recording. Please note that playing of the audio depends upon whether the browser you are using is HTML 5 compatible or not. Please leave your comments in case of any issues and do let me know how did you like this experiment!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ferry Ride from Holebaagilu to Sigandur

On Wednesday, 5th October 2011, me and Manju went to Sigandur taking a day off from Ninasam Culture Course 2011 at Heggodu. Decision to visit Sigandur instead of Ikkeri or Keladi (which were historical places) was mainly because of the mode of transport from Holebaagilu to Sigandur, a ferry!
Traffic jam near Holebaagilu
Heggodu to Holebaagilu : We boarded a bus towards Sagara from Heggodu in the morning and got down at a stop after being said that one can catch the bus to Sigandur there instead of going to Sagara. After few inquiries we came to know that there were only few buses to Sigandur and when the bus finally arrived, it was overcrowded. We thought of backing out on the plan but finally succumbed to our adventure instincts and boarded the bus. There was not even an inch to keep our feet anywhere. In these tough times, comic relief was provided by the conductor of the bus entertaining the crowd! I also noticed the usage of a different Kannada term for 'move inside' the bus unlike jarugi used in Bangalore. People from in this region of Malnad use the term daati. Kannadigas generally use this term to mean 'cross' - like cross the road, cross the river. I thought this usage might have been because people here cross rivers more often! :)
Ferry Carrying People, Bus and other vehicles
Talking of hardships, this was only the beginning; more were to come later! Somehow managing unprecedented rush in the bus, we reached some 2-3 kms away from Holebaagilu, place where one needs to board the ferry. Why not at Holebaagilu? Beacause of traffic jam. But in this remote town of Malnad, how come? It was a jam created by Bangaloreans for the most part. How? - It was Dasara season and that day, it was Mahanavami. We then also noticed the bus being decorated with flowers - it was the day of Ayudha Pooja too and huge number of people had come from all over Karnataka and particularly from Bangalore(as it was evident from the registration numbers of vehicles parked) to visit Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple. Analyzing the situation the bus conductor started giving back some part of the ticket money as the passengers now would not be able to reach Sigandur via this bus! Me and Manju got down from the bus and walked till Holebaagilu and waited for the ferry.
View of Sharavati River from Ferry
Ferry or Launch Ride : When the ferry arrived, people were allowed to board first and then the vehicles - cars, bikes and vans. The first thing we did boarding the ferry was securing a strategic place to sit so that we can enjoy the ride watching the exquisite natural surroundings. Sitting on the edge of the ferry seemed perfect to view the nature in our travel.Our ticket for this travel cost mere Rs.1 per person! Because it was operated by Govt. of Karnataka. Sitting on the edge of the ferry with legs dropped we could see the water flow underneath our feet - wonderful. Kids on board were too excited and posed for photos whenever I took the camera out! We could also watch another ferry carrying the bus and other vehicles too. Other fantastic view - was of the vegetation in the submerged river, clear sky and the hills nearby in one shot!
Ferry near Sigandur
Sigandur by Road : Once we reached the other end of the Sharavati river, it was about 1 30 pm and we were extremely hungry. There are few small hotels here. Lemon rice, chutney and pakoda - a combination which I felt like one of the best meals I had in recent times. From here, there are private players transporting passengers to Sigandur Temple and their mode of transport - jeep and car. Needless to say, they operate only after the vehicle is fully occupied or rather tightly packed with passengers.
Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple
Sigandur Chowdeshwari Temple : Since it was an auspicious day, huge number of devotees were visiting the temple. I had wait for a long time to get a darshana of the goddess as people were sent in batches to view the idol of Chowdeshwari.
Areca nut palms
Areca nut Palms, Return Journey and Meditation! : After the visit to the temple, me and Manju went exploring the nearby estate filled with areca nut palms. We went further to find a green plain ground; watching the clouds in a clear sky lying in the ground is what we did to pass time there! Coming back from there, we returned back to the river bank this time in a jeep. In the return journey, we were not so lucky as we did not get the strategic place to sit in the ferry. Once we reached Holebaagilu, Manju had an idea. To sit by the river without talking as a form of meditation. He did so and I did too with a twist, having a book in hand to read! After half an hour or so we were on our way back to Sagara and then to Heggodu ending a wonderful day. 
View of Sharavati River from its bank at Holebaagilu

Friday, January 20, 2012

Trip to Jog Falls, Sagara, Karnataka

A day before Ninasam Culture Workshop 2011, I visited Jog Falls. 1st October 2011 seemed to be the perfect day to visit as there was plenty of water and enough of water to allow us to get down to the bottom of the falls.

Jog Falls
First Reaction : Coming from Bangalore, we got down at Sagara, which is 10 km from India's 2nd highest plunge falls. Without spending much time in Sagara, we boarded a local transport bus heading towards Jog. My first impression after reaching the Jog was 'hey, it does not look that high or as I saw in the photos!'.  And I was visiting the place after 15 years; last time on a school trip. This must have added to my bewilderment. Well, it does look like that when you are a bit far off the water falls. Having finished our break-fast at the hotel run by Karnataka Tourism department, we headed towards the natural beauty!

Photos, People and Monkeys : I think the first thing most of us do when we reach a tourist place is to capture in our camera the proof that we were there. Well, I insisted on that, though Manju and Guru were not in much enthusiasm to stand in front of the electronic gadget! But the enthusiasm for photographs was all over the place with people handing over their cameras to strangers to capture the perfect group photo in Jog. Apart from the humans, monkeys dotted the 1000 odd steps descending down to the bottom of the falls. It was a hot sunny day and so, we guessed it would take some effort getting down.
Monkeys in Jog
Walk, Rest, Walk : It seemed it would be easy getting down but it was not to be. Every now and then, we took rest to cross more stairs! Not to worry as we found people selling biscuits, cucumber slices, lemonades on the way to quench our thirst and silence our hunger!

Wow: As we were getting closer to the falls, it seemed it was revealing more of its ever charming beauty and I was uttering wow more than once. As a avid viewer of NGC and Discovery channels, I tried to capture that perfect shot imagining Amazon rain forest photographs. Well, it does help following these channels or the GEO magazine which I am subscribed which publishes some splendid pictures, as it provides you with new dimensions when you are trying to take some extraordinary photographs. 

Close up of Jog Falls
Water everywhere: Once we reached the bottom of the falls, it was water all over and the slippery rocks. Roarer falls was making too much noise justifying its name. Visibility was low purely because droplets arising out of the water falling on the rocks. In this setting, there were photographers lined up who will take the photos and give the printed photo then and there and their assurance - we avoid the mistiness in the photos taken though it was unavoidable. Getting wet and sitting on a rock listening the sounds made by the water is an amazing feeling. I can sit listening to these soothing sounds for hours together.

Rainbow: Having spent enough time down the falls, we were once again on the stairs on our way up. Mission was more difficult this time. Not doing physical exercises daily and spending most of the time sitting in front of the computer - these were evident on our tired faces. Having finished our water bottles on our journey down, we were now looking for anything liquid. Soon we found lemonade on offer. We had it but it only increased our thirst further. Thank god, there were also people selling plain drinking water! One of the best sights on our way back was the rainbow formed in front of the falls and it was the time to say wow once again.

Rainbow in Jog Falls
Lunch: There are no good hotels near Jog. But all the shops boost of having one. Though these guys don't have a menu-card, they know the names of dishes Bangalore guys would love. But what is served is entirely different. Well, we managed this and ordered Omlette, plain rice, sambar avoiding fried rice second time!

Rani Falls: After lunch, it was time to get adventurous once again and go to the top of the falls. You need to bargain with autowallahs everywhere and Jog was no different. The auto rickshaw guy we found insisted on Rs.200 for the entire visit - Rani falls, British Bungalow and Sharavati valley. We brought it down to Rs.180. Rani falls is the first stream of water you get to see falling from a height.

Rani Falls, Jog
Rani Falls
Roarer and Rocket: After crossing British Bungalow, when we reached the spot where we can spot the other 3 falls, Roarer, Rocket and Raja - it was Roarer which caught my attention. Such speed, such loud sound - I felt a sense of fear and it was going to last longer as it was my nightmare for the next 2 days.

Rocket Falls, Jog
Rocket Falls
Roarer Falls, Jog
Roarer Falls
Raja Falls and Mungaaru Male Spot : Raja falls straight from the rocky top without any intervening rocks till it reaches ground. It is the same spot where Mugaaru Male was shot - Nandini(Pooja Gandhi aka Sanjana Gandhi then) expresses her love for Preetham(Ganesh) here and the song - Kunidu Kunidu Baare follows. It was quite dangerous to go near the place from where the Raja plunges down. We did not go there and there were plenty who were crazy enough to take a photograph lying down in the rock beside. One could also spot a monkey which was sitting over the edge of a rock without any fear!

Raja Falls, Jog
Raja Falls
Sharavati Valley: Then we went to see the Sharavati Valley. Well, it was dusk and it was a great time to see sun rays falling on the hills and it was a wonderful day to end with.
Sharavati Valley, Jog
Sharavati Valley

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vishnuvardhana is entertaining

Though without a great plot, Vishnuvardhana  has plenty of ingredients to keep the audience glued to the silver screen till the end. Though few of the scenes sans logic, there are few which are brilliant - thanks to director P Kumar. I would say the film is well packaged and it is the comedy scenes which entertain the most with witty dialogues. That the film tries to make most of the popularity of late Kannada superstar Vishnuvardhan is evident from the first scene, though Sudeep falls short of imitating Vishnu's mannerisms.
Vishnuvardhana film poster
Sudeep in Vishnuvardhana
Plot revolves around Vishnu alias Vishnuvardhana(Sudeep) and his rags-to-riches story and his confronting of don Adishesha(Sonu Sood). Duo of Sudeep and Arun Sagar(Shastry) form a good comedy pair. Sonu Sood as stylish villain suits the role well and it seems that he himself dubbed for this Kannada movie. Bhavana, the pretty face of 2010's hit movie Jackie makes her presence felt in this movie too. Priyamani, the other female lead has less scope here. The film is into the 7th week and there are already rumors of this film being remade in  Hindi, Tamil and Telugu! You can have a look at the trailer of the movie Vishnuvardhana in below video in Youtube:


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