Listening to Indian Beats

Every journey is an escape that leads one to an experience.

After completion of my graduation I was constantly facing the question of what now? Overcome by pressure I thought it was high time to take a break and decided to go on a tour. Many tourist websites were surfed , pages of numerous travel magazines were flipped over . But the question of finance wasnt one we could settle in all the tour packages I came across.

One day father called me to suggest a tour package offered by the Indian Railway known as ‘Bharat Darshan’. It offered a journey by train of ten days to visit four important places in India: Agra ,Delhi, Jaipur and Ajmer. The tour package seemed feasible as it demanded only eight thousand per head including food and accommodation. So this package was finalised and I set out for the trip.

Unlike others my excitement at first was not over the trip but as I could escape from the ever haunting question at least for a while. But soon it turned out to be a journey of experience…a once in a life time experience!

 

Glimpses from the journey

 

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Spread across like a sea

Yet charmingly flowing river

Kaveri River

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Holy Ganga in ruins

Ganga River

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Goods trains from the mines of Madhya Pradesh

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Apparitions that come and go by…

Glimpses from the Railway Station

Madhya Pradesh

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Watching the Sun set is joyous

No matter if it’s in the Sea or on mere barren land

Setting Sun ending the day

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Thousand calls have I had to lay on your lap

Under the shades of  Father,

  O Mother Earth

Premises of Qutub Minar

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Yes I eat your land 

And breath out fumes.

Factories in Gujarat

I thought of not including the pictures of Tajmahal or the four main places that I visited , as most of you are quite familiar with it and as my focus is not on them but rather on the few glances my eyes caught on the way.

Few sights were there which no camera could capture and which created in me an urge to jot it down. One such was the sight in Gujarat station where men, women along with children were relieving in open spaces near railway tracks in wide view of all passengers. They had only a mug of water in their hands. I could not find any feeling of shame on their faces, not even in the face of women maybe as they had no other way. At first it was embarrassing, later I felt sympathy which ended up in a sense of resentment towards those in power. Those were the sights that one would least expect even in their nightmares.

Another troubling sight was to see the widespread use of tobacco both by men and women in equal measure. Happy that the use of liquor is comparatively less but still these addicts are forgetting the fact that smoking really can kill.

Gujarat doesn’t offer any sight of lush green but is abundantly rich in factories, big and small , in all possible corners . One can not find a single river that hasn’t either dried up or isn’t highly polluted.

The last sight that struck me the most was the tribal way of using vehicle the people without a tinch of concern for the fellow travellers or for the passengers. Horns with piercing sound breaks through the ear drums making us a real dumb in all sense. In the morning by no time urban roads turns to a mess especially in Agra with the traffic rules being defied in all possible way by the masses.

It is true, what our Father of Nation once said, “To know the real India travel through its villages”. For me it was possible to grasp a portion of what rural India is only because of the train journey I could undertake. Though my destinations were quite eye capturing , it was certain other sights that I mentioned above that actually captured my heart! Though they weren’t pleasant in the least possible way, they finally gave way to experiences.

And now I’m back to face the same old question for yet another course of time. I guess one needs to travel for a while when questions raised by life makes you too weary and in such journeys destinations are least important. Just remember to  keep your eyes and ears wide open. Who knows, the journey itself turns into destination at times!

Trip story

This Xmas, I and my family spent touring in a few places in Tamil Nadu: Madurai – the temple city, Yercaud – a hill station and Hogenakkal – known for the Hogenakkal falls.

Our first destination was Madurai,  which is almost a 6h drive. The drive itself  is something to look out for with the beautiful mountain views and big industrial centres all along the way.image

The roads are excellent and well kept which makes up an enjoyable ride. Anyway you may get tired paying the tolls which are plenty in number 😅 imageYou can also see lot of wind farms on the way. Tamil Nadu is the leading wind power generator of the country with a wind power capacity around 29% of India’s total. They had set up a separate agency for this purpose even as a early as 1985.

Madurai is a major city and cultural headquarters of the state. Also known as the temple city, it is famous for the historical monuments Meenakshi Amman Temple and Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal. The temple located on the southern bank of Vaigai river is a monument of the 6th century. imageIt has 14 gopurams, each adorned with intricate sculptures and having a height of 45-50metres. As per the estimate there are about 33000 sculptures in the temple. It was on the list of top 30 nominees for the “New seven wonders of the world”.The temple is the most visited tourist place in the city.

Another remarkable feature in the temple is the thousand pillar structure inside the temple. It has thousand pillars each adorned with Dravidian sculptures. It will surely leave you awed at the kind of effort and talent of the people of that era.

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