Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Karwar Calling - Sitting on the lap of Western Ghats

Western Ghats
In that cool Friday night, we boarded a train to Hubli from Yeshwantpur station. Train was supposed to reach Hubli by 4.30 in the morning, so after getting in, one of the first things we did was checking for our seats. For our bad luck or our fellow traveller's good luck, they occupied the seats (my favourite side-lower). They requested us to shift to upper berth (not in my good list), as he was travelling with family, small kids, some of their tickets are still in RAC status etc... Finally we gave up.
There was a Tibetan family (one guy and his mother) in our compartment. I thought of starting the communication first, but hesitated as they were having dinner. After some time breaking the deadlock, he started; soon we were discussing about Mundgod Tibetan settlement, Rinpoche etc. Some three years back I went to ‘Mundgod’ settlement and Buddhist temples had chocolate prasadam and veg momos from there. They were coming back after visiting Dalai Lama; and corrected my pronunciation of 'Rinpoche'. Well, it’s time to sleep, and so we climbed to our cave in the upper berth.

Unfortunately, ‘Don’ came in the mid night. It came so many times that; the entire boggy lost their sleep. The irony is, owner of the phone was not able to hear Don's sound. It seems like he didn't even care about the person, catching whom is impossible for police from 11 countries. For the person sleeping in lower birth, don was intolerable. He finally woke up from his seat and started shaking the owner of ‘Don’. He suddenly woke up, took his mobile, turned it off and got down at the station.


At 4.05 am we reached Hubli. For first time in my life, train reached station before its time; that too, 25 minutes early. From Hubli, we got an auto to new KSRTC bus stand and started waiting (another one hour) for the take off our bus to Karwar. Finally, around 5.30am we (Me, Gokul and Aldrine) started our majestic journey. After crossing 'Kittur Rani Chennamma Circle' bus took a U turn and went back to old KSRTC station, 10-15 minutes here. Close to breaking dawn, we logged in to NH 67.

Western ghats

After leaving the city limits there were not much traffic, or homes in road sides. I slept for some time; but when woke up were were about to enter ‘Anshi National park’. The famous tourist destinations like Dandeli and Kali River basin forests are located here.

Finally we were on the Western Ghats, crossing the mighty mountains from east to west. Small hills were there in both sides of the road, in between some inhabited were there - like pictures we see in the canvas of a talented painter; time seems to be constant and we were in perpetual motion. Cold wind was blowing in through the partially opened side glass window. It was not a dense forest; there were so much gaps in between trees.

Trucks with number plates from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka etc were coming in from the opposite direction. Except some stops here and there, we were moving without any disturbance. Close to breakfast time, driver stopped the machine in front of a hotel. There was a well close to the hotel, water level was so high that, if rain persists people can take water from it without the help of pulley or thread. After having Poori- Sabbjji and tea we continued our Odyssey.


Accompanied with sizzling rain, we reached ‘Ankola’ after spending some time in a bus stand there we joined the famous NH 66 (Kanyakumari - Panvel Road). There were small but beautiful waterfalls on the sides. We were on our descent and saw the outlines of Karwar port (this is one of the best natural harbours in India, with a small mountain range sheltering it from the sea waves) from a distance. Within a short period of time, we reached Karwar through the sides of Karwar Naval Base (INS Kadamba - Project Seabird). It was not looking like a bus stand. On one side of the junction there was a temple, with architecture different from other temples in Karnataka.

Rabindranath Tagore Beach

Close to Arabian Sea, there is a warship museum (INS Chapel). When we reached the ship, there was no current. So we moved on to Tagore beach which is very close. Don't expect much, this beach required serious clean up. Anyway we walked through the beach for some time. Within a short distance you can see Karwar Port, islands etc.

Warship museum

INS Chapel
 Finally we went back to the museum. The status of ‘Major Rama Raghoba Rane PVC’ stands close to the ship. Major Rana was awarded ‘Param veer Chakra’ for his courage and gallantry during the war against Pakistan (Operations in J & K - 1947).

After buying tickets we went inside. It was indeed an interesting thing to understand the life of sailors in sea. Especially, in ships, where space is a luxury commodity. By the time we reached engine room, current gone once again. However, using my torch we saw the rest of the engine room and climbed to the deck. There was a TV show for the visitors, about Indian Navy in general and its capabilities. After the show we walked back to the city centre.

Bus to Kaiga Nuclear Power plant is available from here. For some time, I lost in nuclear energy. However, call of stomach woke us up and we marched towards a local hotel. Next destination - Canancona (Goa). Within some time we again hit Kanyakumari - Panvel road.

Kali River Estuary
 Kali River Estuary

It is here, the Kali River joins Arabian Sea. From the bridge, Kali River estuary looked magnificent. Good bye Karwar...


Me @ Chapal
Major Rane
View from Tagore beach

Inside Chapal




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