Monthly Archives: July 2011

Sunderbans – West Bengal, India

It all started in Kolkatta. You would think that when I am in a different state my senses would awaken soon enough. But of course, I was proved wrong. My eyelids refused to open and my body froze at the sound of the alarm ringing at 4 in the morning. With less than few hours of sleep to my credit, it was surprising that I even got up. I rushed on with my morning routine and left for the station. With the humidity almost too much to bear, I was thankful to my host for providing me with an AC room.

On arriving a bit early at the railway station, I had the pleasure of roaming around in search of familiar faces. It was not difficult to spot my ‘gang’ as they were loaded with huge backpacks and looked ready for an adventure. After the initial niceties, we boarded the local train to Canning from where a tempo will take us to the port. The travel in the tempo was the fun part, with a few of us sitting on top as there was no space inside. All through the way, I heard interesting stories from my fellow traveler who proved to be an intelligent source of information throughout the trip.

The Boat - Travelling Through Mangroves - Photo By Sanghita Mukherjee

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Trip To Pattadakal – Karnataka, India

The man wearing a Gandhi cap peered into the small window of my car to answer a question I had asked a few seconds ago in my amateurish incoherent Kannada. “Saar, pattadakal dhaari Ghota?” (Sir, do you know the route to pattadakal?). After staring blankly for a second, he replied in Hindi “Aap raste peeche chod diya ” (You have already crossed the route). After a few moments of highly detailed route discussion with him waving his hands to aid my understanding, I bid farewell to the kind stranger. Driving through bumpy narrow roads was not the first time for me, but driving through slush on both sides of roads was. The small village of Pattadakal greeted me with an eerie silence. The first sign of life came in the form of boy who popped out of nowhere to sell photographs of the village. The person at the ticket counter demanded Rs.100 from us, which we knew was the fare for foreigners. Now, this situation leaves two conclusions: either we were badly dressed that we were assumed to be ‘phirangis’ or maybe spotting visitors on a historical site on the day of the world cup cricket finals raised eyebrows. Whatever the reason, we had the whole site for us to explore in silence.

Pattadakal

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