Sunday, April 25, 2010

Enjoy the hailstorm in Srirangapatna: 12 Apr 2010

Srirangapatna is only 35 mins drive from Melkote. We drove through the Pandavpura Taluk and got on to the SH17. Checking at one small shop in a hut for KSTDC's Hotel Mayura River View. This was our first night's stay so everyone was keen to see the rooms. We checked in at 1.15 pm and a very courteous Bell Man showed us around. It was very well done room. It was a delight to see the newly done resort. It matched any 3 star resort infact there is no 4 star else I would rated it a 4!

The resort has just two options a/c double rooms or a/c cottages. My colleague had been to Srirangapatna just last week and had filled me in that it was warm there. So I booked for 2 a/c double rooms. Panu was free. Charu, Sumeet and Sapna were thrilled with the location and seeing the happy smiles on their faces made my day. This place is on the edge of the river and surrounding fields and orchards add to the serenity. Sumeet started rolling on the bed. We decided to rest for an hour and a half and then go see the historic monuments and visit the temples.

We had eaten the puliyogare and curd rice in Melkote so we were not hungry. At 3 we left the resort and decided to go take darshan of Srirangaswamy to start with. On reaching there we found it closed . We were starving so we felt worse. Everyone agreed that idli vada at a nearby stall would be a good idea. The Idli vada and chutney was good but the sambar went untouched.

After dousing the fires with soft drinks we drove around the fort. Spotting on the way the place were the Tiger of Mysore fell in the final battle of Srirangapatna with the British on 4 May 1799. The Jama Masjid was undergoing repairs so we just saw it from the outside.

We thought it to be good idea to visit Tipu's other monuments and then come back to the temple. So we lined up at the Darya Daulat Bagh. The wooden summer palace of Tipu is famous for its Murals that depicts all his conquests. War processions of different times adorn the walls. The balconies are elaborately painted in vivid colors. The building is now home to a museum with artefacts like clothes, furniture and paintings all belonging to Tipu. There are sketches of his sons and darbaris. The painting of Tipu in a striped shirt with a sword swung across his torso brings alive history from the pages of our text books. While I admire Tipu Sultant for his valor I cannot ignore the fact that he fought other petty princes with the help of the French. The condition of India was really bad at that point consisting of small princely states and the outsiders got the better of us.

The granite cannon balls and the weightlifters

Next we visited the Ganjam or the temple of Nimishamba. It is believed the goddess grants wishes is a moment. Oh but I have grown out of this! I don't ask for anything now, have learnt to live with whatever the superior being has rationed out for me.

The parallel road from Nimishamba temple leads you to the Gosai ghat and Gumbaz. Gosai ghat is nice place with a small temple on the shore with steps built to go down to the river for a bath. We decided to go for a Coracle ride. Our pilot rowed us to the other shore and then in the middle of the river gave the coracle a spin. The vortex caused in the water made the basket boat a merry go round for us. We were screaming with the thrill. Some got scared and others asked for a once more. 

The river had tiny islets in the middle and greenery abundant along the shores. Mandya continues to flourish as a sugarcane growing district of Karnataka and the Cauvery provides the fertile plains and water for it.

Further down the road is the Mausoleum of Tipu's family. In the central chamber  lay the bodies of his parents Hyder Ali and Fatima. Later after his fall, Tipu's body was also buried there. This mausoleum has a large dome on the top hence it gets its name as Gumbaz. Next to the Gumbaz is a Mosque called Masjid-E-Aksa.

Tipu had a love for innovation and the arms he possessed were the best technology of that time. The armory was very advanced. I must highlight here that Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali are know to be the pioneers in rocket technology. Like other things the Europeans took it to the west.
It was past 5 pm and we were quite tired after the day's journey but Sumeet insisted that we go for darshan at Sriranganath swamy temple instead of pushing it to the next morning. I love this old temple with the Vishnu idol in his Sheshnarayan Avatar, where Vishnu sleeps on the coil of the serpent god and Goddess Laxmi  at his feet. It always reminds me of the wonderful Padmanabh temple in Thiruvananthapuram. The Sriranganath temple dates back to the 9th century. It is built in stone and idol is a treat to the eyes. It is lit enough the give you happiness and satisfaction of a proper darshan unlike the Padmanabh temple. There was not much rush and we bowed our heads in peace.
Finally coming back to the hotel it was time for some hot tea and sandwiches after a refreshing bath. Sumeet and Panu went for a swim in the river. Panu was enjoying swimming but we wanted him out of the water as it was getting dark. Charu boomed, "come out else the fish and the gharials will come for your nunu !!" Poor kid scampered out immediately.

We sat in the Gol ghar or the round dinning area which is on stilts and half standing in the river bed. The sound of the flowing river was so soothing, the birds chirping in the background. It was quickly getting dark and now the lanterns were shining making the place magical. Sumeet and Panu went to the room. They wanted to lie down.

Charu, me and Sapna got engrossed in our gossip. It started thundering and raining. The thundering grew louder and rain heavier. We were getting wet so we moved from the edge to a central table watching the lightning suddenly flash on the river. We felt like we were in a jungle. The staff had stopped picking up the toppled glasses and jugs that fell on the ground. Its a storm coming we knew. Just then we heard a shower that sounded metallic and ice cubes being hurled in. Charu almost jumped in joy! This is a hailstorm!! We went crazy collecting the perfect ice cubes manufactured by nature almost tempted to pop them into the mouth instantly. I was concerned if the impact would be too much for the car, but brushed away the thought and got back to enjoying the thrill and the chill that the hailstorm brought with it. We were shivering but stayed put in the Gol ghar. The staff passing us some hailstones enjoying the fun along with us.

The hailstones and the pathway carpetted by them.

We called up Sumeet and Panu and they too were enjoying the ice shower from the balcony of the room. It had been a hot day and this icy surprise was going to be stuff for memories in the future. Only after the ice showers stopped and there was more rain pouring but still navigable for us to go back to our rooms. We went back and ordered Chili paneer and Fried Rice and Noodles. Finally snuggling into bed recounting the exciting day.
After the hailstorm... The river was swollen with storm water. The environs looked greener and cleaner.

It was a bright morning the next day promising us another exciting day ahead. We began by bird spotting in the balcony as we got ready to start our drive to Coorg.


Sharmila said...

Hi Anjali! Am following you on this trip and enjoying it just as I have enjoyed your other trips. Looking forward to the posts on Coorg and the tree houses. :-)

Anjali said...

Sharmila hope this reading is some positive energy for you. Hope you feel better.

Sonia said...

Very nice Anjali, I also feel like packing my bags and accompanying you for this trip...for now, virtually tari :)

One thing, tuzhya adhichya post madhey pan ani ithey pan, khup kami gardi distey at the locations, I was surprised. Is it becoz you were traveling on a weekday?

Anjali said...

Sonia yes it was weekdays as well as its exam times here in Karnataka. So every where we went we met travelers from Maharashtra and Kerala where kids have finished exams. Some trends for the tourism industry:)Hope you are enjoying it.