bhargavkesavan

Travelogue, Nostalgic memories and more…


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Manhattanhenge, New York’s Stonehenge


I have seen photos of Manhattanhange (without knowing the name then!) several years ago. I was not aware of such event until last year when I discovered something like this happens twice a year. One in May & another during July. The dates are May 29 & July 12, also a day before the above dates as well.

When I was reading newspaper last year (2015) I saw the Sunset photo and the news referred it as Manhattanhenge, I then googled about it & got to know I’d just missed it by two days or so. The disappointment level will be very high when you realize you could have witnessed something that happens in the very street you walk every single day & it’s historic which happens just twice a year.

Immediately I checked the dates for 2016  Manhattanhenge, it was May 28, 29 & July 11, 12. After a year, on May 29th I’d visited New York to see this, unfortunately everyone was disappointed as it was cloudy! The crowd waited until the sunset but it happened behind the clouds! May be the sun was shy to look everyone as hundreds of people were looking at it at the same time after an year!

The last time of the year to witness this came! I totally forgot about it on 11th, on 12th I remembered it after I boarded bus to New Jersey! I couldn’t stop bus as they won’t stop it once it’s started from departure until the first stop arrives. I waited until the first stop & crossed the road & waited for the next bus to New York.

Arrived at Times Square at 7:50, the streets were already crowded. Both sides of road were crowded and none crossed the road for the walk sign! Some taxi’s lowered the window and asked what are people looking at? Some people got down from Taxis after knowing about it. Cops were on the fly & ensured people are not blocking the traffic, as center of the road is best spot to see.

Everyday there is sunrise and sunset, but how many days are we looking at it? When was the last time you saw the sunrise & sunset by standing in a position just to look at it? But there is a point here, it’s not just a sunset, it’s a sunset that aligns in center of the street. Just like the Stonehenge in England which was constructed somewhere around 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

At 8:10, like the curtain opens before play, Sun came out with glittering rays from behind the building it was hiding. It was so beautiful to see the Golden sun surrounded with reddish ring and orange and golden glittering rays! At this evening, Nature was the celebrity! People shouted out of happiness and I kept smiling 🙂 It was the moment everyone was so happy and some even clapped for the nature 🙂 I asked someone to take a picture of me instead of just taking a selfie, what’s the use of having hundreds of people when we don’t talk to them.

People kept looking at the spot for a while even after the sun was set. More than hundreds including may not get another chance to see it next year or in future! Next time when you’re in New York City around May or July, do not miss this! It’s for this 10 minutes I waited an year! 

Checkout the video below!

 

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A trip to Muthyala Madugu


Lakshmi Narayanan, a friend of mine introduced me to his friends Jagadeesh & Prabhakar in our usual meeting spot, Hosur Railway Station. Yes, It’s a wonderful place to meet up friends during weekend. A serene environment at evening as well during other time of the day as well. As less as 25 trains a day helps in keeping our station environment neat. It might sound unusual for those who are brought up in Cities, can railway station be a meeting spot?. Unlike other places, our railway station is a bridge for many people to meet up their friends.

A serene environment at evening as well during other time of the day as well. As less as 25 trains a day helps in keeping our station environment neat.

After I met my friend’s friends, We decided to go out the next day for a trip & was into discussion about the place. It was few minutes the discussion Prabhuram joined us in the spot. We’ve come up with two places Yoga Narasimmar temple in Denkanikkottai Muthyala Madugu in  Anekal. The prior was pointed out by Prabhuram & Lakshmi Narayanan the later.

It was already 21:45 and we chose Muthyala Madugu. Lakshmi Narayanan said We’ll start at 10:00 next morning, I paused him & told My wake up bell rings at 10:00! Then 11:30 was fixed to start and we left home.

We’ve come up with two places Yoga Narasimmar temple in Denkanikkottai Muthyala Madugu in  Anekal.

Exactly at 11:30 Prabhuram called me and said it’s 11:30 and all are waiting. It was a surprise for me! How can my  friends be ready On time! I hurried my mom for Breakfast (c) Lunch & started eating, couldn’t eat fast as I will not miss to taste my mom’s preparation, that too Vengaaya Saambaar with Vendaikkai vathakkal. Finished eating & was delayed 30 minutes to reach Lakshmi Narayanan’s house.

I was third to be there and two are yet to come! That was a fun call on 11:30..! After Prabhakar & Jagadeesh reached all of us started at 12:15  & filled air & petrol for some amount.

Climate was pleasing. Went on few kilometers and saw some banners with Illaya Thalabathi on the way which was diverting riders attention from road. Yes, Illaya Thalabathi was on his way to Hosur for his fan’s marriage. After crossing Dinnur stopped for some photos and took Anekal road. It’s a very good road, with trees on both sides of the road. You would have seen that kind of road 10 years back. Now not even in Thanjavur & Mannargudi you can find this kind of road.

Prabhakar asked me How many kilometers more to reach? When I told him Not more than 20 kms da we saw the Milestone showing Anekal 9 kms. After we reached Anekal it was further 5 kms for the destination. Stopped by a Bakery, bought some snacks & moved further. Asked localities  way to Muthyala Madugu, meanwhile other 2 scooters were 1 km ahead of us.

After knowing the proper route, chased other bike & scooter with a decent speed & told them the route is other side & made a U turn. Then after we took the proper road to the falls, again other 3 went ahead and missed few snaps on the way! Falls is now 3 kms ahead. Meanwhile when myself & prabhuram was taking snaps, 3 bikes on that muddy road went on like a World’s fastest bike! We started to move on further & saw our friends in the check post bought the tokens already for us & saw a cop removing keys from a bike while 2 guys were requesting him to give their keys back. Yes! That was the World’s fastest bike that I saw few minutes back.

Before even I locked my scooter, few monkeys were ready to take our snacks. Before even Monkey started to Screech, I made Monkey like hoots and dragged the snacks carry bag. With 4 others surrounding the snacks bag, we moved on further. There were several steps down to see the falls, not more than 50 – 70 steps. We were in a wonder if we are in proper place! We couldn’t hear any water sound.

Before even Monkey started to Screech, I made Monkey like hoots and dragged the snacks carry bag.

Finally reached down & to all our surprise we saw Muthyala Madugu with not more than a 100 liters water! It was a wonderful place with full of trees and rocks. It would have been still better if there was water in the falls. Moved down further and found a place for us to sit. Finished our snacks. Enjoyed the place & environment. Spent few hours and started back, took a different route to go on.

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After few kilometers stopped by a place. It was an Ashram. The entrance gate was locked. It was all covered by many trees, when we were in some discussion suddenly we heard some dogs barking, to all our surprise two well grown dogs chained each other was running as fast as possible and we didn’t had an idea on what to do, all of us started running in same direction and as it was a open place there was no place for us to hide. But to surprise us more, dogs ran ahead of us! Yes, they were escaping from it’s master! We came to know this when a old man came near the gate asking for us if we saw his dogs coming out.

After laughing out at what was happened it was already 16:30 & we left the place and moved towards Hosur. Yes, It was a memorable trip to Muthyala Madugu!


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Skandhagiri – Unforgettable Trip!


On a cold night, at 23:50 in Bangalore; a group of eight friends planned for a trekking.  Everyone was uncertain whether 15 minutes after will we all be out for trek!

As we knew it wouldn’t be a great success and as expected only 3 were able to make it as the rest were enemy for the climate.

We 3 started @ 00:10 in 2 bikes. Yamana RX for Vikky, Me & Libin on Passion with all the passion to reach our destination to start trekking.

Stopped twice for tea/’dhum/sutta’ break before we crossed the city limit.

When the speedometer showed 90 kmph it was merely a  hairbreadth ‘scape from a highway robbery gang!

Without even turning back, our bikes fled away from the Highway to an artery. For about 35 mins the bike went on in the same road without knowing whether we’re on the right path!

First stranger at around 01:40, with a great hope that he can help, I asked Skandhagiri ge yava route hogathe? (Which route leads to Skandhagiri), before I could finish the question he said Gotthilla (Dont know!), which we never expected from the localite!

Another 20 mins ride on the same road, looking at a mountain at a distant, was confused by another mountain at the other side!! Now on a conclusion either of this is going to be our destination, we headed towards…

There was a santro loaded with 4 bouncers holding some paper, stopped bike at a decent distance, I walked towards and about to speak, before which a guy asked me in english, Do you know the way to skandhagiri? I laughed and called my friends out there… Without a clue why I’m laughing, Why calling my friends… all of them looked puzzeled!

After knowing we too are looking for the same sacred place ‘for trekkers’ he showed up the map which he had… (Thinking without the map we’ve reached upto there! We just took a look at that, without understanding what the places are… returned it to’em.)

Then a localite in a Splendor approached us knowing we are looking for something… He asked us to follow him… without even thinking who he might be and is he really going to show the way, we followed him.

On the way following him, many thrilling old movie scenes were on mind about where are we going, whence the route we’re going to reach and Et Cetera.

Finally to the goodness he showed a route & appended some left and right to that. Thank god! We’re back ontrack on our own!

Yes! There is the hill that we were looking for!
It was at 02:25, experienced the actual darkness!
Just when the head lights are off, I couldn’t see either Vikky now Libin!
We were together just with our voice…

Puzzeled where to start, heard few other voices…

…kannada…

Do you need guide? We can take you up there in two and half hours… Without any idea we said not required! Headed up few steps away… The road was so smooth that could even skit us while walking… realising that we’re walking on Vaikol (Straw, an agricultural by-product), understood that we walking nearby fields.

Again some villagers, who calls themselves the guide to skanthagiri enquired do we need a guide till the top. It was a mutual decesion that we asked them to show the path where to start from, for which we’d to pay INR200. Agreed upon, he asked us to follow him, for which we just turned right and walked few steps… He paused by, said this is the way to start from!

It was unthinkable to reach th etop without a torch… And we knew it’s going to be a challenge as it was tough when we walked on the road without a torch!

And the replacement for the torch was vikky’s Nokia’s camera flash! Luckily the battery was more than 80% and we could manage for another 2.30 hours, post which we got the sunrise.

On our way up there, some more people started following us thinking we knew the route!

Without knowing we are at the brim we blindly moved ahead hoping we would reach the top to witness the eternal sunrise first handedly. Rested on a huge rock on the way up there.

Finally after four and half hours continues effort we are at the top now! Enjoyed the sunrise! Discussing among ourself that we never seen a sunrise when at home as our early morning was when the shadow doesn’t fall on anyside! Started taking snaps and some Et Cetras are on now!

On the way down we saw & wondered the hurdels we passed through easily at the early hours without knowing they are hurdles! Now wondered on each place where we rested and struggled to climb up.

After 2 hours we are on the road again! Now the natural scenary of the village were on our Cam!

On the way home, we not only took away the adventurous memory! But some management tasks that we learned too!

The required tools (skills) to achieve a task (destination) you should carry all along the (through out the project) map (application document) to the destination and you should get help from skilled associated from other project (the guy on Splendor, who showed us the path to Skandhagiri) though they might not complete your task, but can help on routing you to the proper way.

And the trainings required to keep you armed throughout the project (torch to be carried, to ignore the hassle) when the hurdels are not know/not seen as hurdles, that can be passed easily (realised that we were on brim of the hill at the sunlight when we came down!)

Every moment has something to teach us! And this trekking taught me some management basics!

Good Luck!