Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

The day was special and I was lying on my bed reading newspapers at 9 am. There were so many things in the paper about the special day and how people gonna celebrate the day. It was indeed last digits visible on the calendar in all our living souls’ lifetime. I was wondering what I should do today to make our day special. My mind ran in to various things like watching a movie, going out for a lunch or dinner, shopping e.t.c. Finally made up my mind at going out on a short trip. The place was finalized “Bhoram Dev”.  The place is located 135 kms from my location Bilaspur.

I thought it was a piece of cake, good place, going out with family and a good picnic on a very special day but I was not aware of the surprises which were waiting for us. Yup lots of them and the day turned out quite an adventurous one for all of us.

Let me start with a brief about the place first.

The place is known as Bhoramdev. It’s a very old temple of Lord Shiva. It situated 135 kms from Raipur (Capital of Chattisgarh). Situated in the Maikal mountain range amidst the dense forest in Chattisgarh. The temple was built in the 11th century A.D. by King Devrai. The Bhoramdeo temple has a resemblance with the Sun temple of Konark and The Khajuraho temple and that is why it is also called the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh.

The erogenous idols of this temple are also extremely beautiful. On the outer walls there are as many as 54 erotic sculptures in different poses. These asanas from the “Kam sutra”, are truly an epitome of eternal love and beauty. They are artistically significant too. The Nagwanshi  Kings were believed to be  the practitioners of ‘Trantra’ as their contemporaries in Khajuraho.

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I finished up an official telecon of an hour and got ready immediately. It was already 11 am. We all had quick bite and quickly left for the location of our choice “Bhoram Dev”. It was a nice start with a fabulous weather and lush green countryside surroundings on either side of the road.  We crossed lots of villages on our way discussing about my parent’s childhood memories, our son and lot many other things. It was after about 120 kms, I asked somebody for the route. He explained me 2 routes, one shortcut and one long one. I went forward and saw the sign boards put up by the government of Chattisgarh after which I never turned back and also ignored the short and long routes explained to me by the person few minutes back. We started enjoying the route as it was a hilly terrain with lush green dense forest on either side of the road.

After about 15 km the sign boards were still there but the target location was unknown and no sign of people in the area. There was nobody who could tell us where to go. Suddenly we came across 2 guys in bike who told us that we are in the wrong route. The route where you are heading is still not ready and is closed. It was around 3:30 pm and was beginning to get dark in the forest, although its always dark in these forests. We thought why go back 30 km, lets try out that closed route. May be its ready and we can go as there was a chance. We headed for the route and came across 2 guys again on bike coming towards us from that route. They confirmed the route is okay enough for the car to pass. We entered in to that road, a hilly road, had sharp turns and one of the most narrow one I have ever come across in my life, which can carry one 4 wheeler at a time.

It was a 12 km stretch. We went on. It was really a dense forest with no one on the road for around 5 kms. After 5 kms we located some people working on the road and my breathing went a bit slow after beating so fast for the last 5 kms.

We asked again and got a positive reply that road is ok for us to pass but it has sharp turns and has lots of steep ups and downs. Went on but had a peace of mind on the road and also the distance. After crossing beautiful scenes consisting of hills, forests and ponds we reached our destination. It was cold outside but beautiful setting. One side had a large pond with a hilly background, middle a temple and one side, a beautiful park.

It was around 4:30 pm and we quickly went on to see the temple and garden. It was a beautiful temple with lots of beautiful sculptures. The ambience was so peaceful that we forgot our long and adventurous journey.

It was already 6 pm by the time we left the place after our temple visit and late lunch. It was dark already. We took a different route now and were confident of hassle free travel but due to some villagers advice we took a short cut and we were in a pathetic village road with lots of bumps and potholes. There was no road visible, I looked at the speedometer and it was at 30 km/hr sometimes 20 km/hr. This was a 15 km road with nobody was visible on the way. There were paddy fields around. In-between we came across some villagers for confirmation on route. Some people won’t believe we crossed the 15 km stretch in 45 minutes. It was almost 7 pm and it was dark with empty streets but only thing which was comforting was that we were on highway and it will take us to our base location. My 2 year kid was bored like hell and was getting irritated, my wife was angry at me for making a plan like this but thankfully my parents were with me and backing me up.

We were cruising at a speed of 90 to 100 km/hr and accidentally I took a wrong turn and went on to “Lormi” instead of “Mungeli” and went on to travel 27 kms.Mungeli route is under highway and lorni is like a village road.

The map will clear this as below,

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After these 27 km distance I realized the road is not familiar and asked for directions in a shop which was getting closed. There were five guys and I guess all were pretty heavily drunk and were giving me ridiculous directions and distances. One guy came and told me bluntly “ Sir don’t fall in to bullshit of these people and go straight you will reach your base location and gave me the names of towns which will come in between but told me that the route is bad to worse for around 20 kms and is getting repaired. With a heavy heart I came back and discussed with all the shareholders of my family. We decided we will not go back and went on trying our luck, hoping for an adventure. It was 8:30 pm and in villages here in India you will not find a single person on the streets. It was all dark and empty with few loaded trucks in between on a single 10 feet road. I went on trying to cover the distance as quickly as possible but due to road conditions and our ignorance of route made us to travel catiously. Finally we reached a place and my dad quickly recognized the same as he had worked on that area in the beginning of his career. We were pleased to hear that and traveled now with much more confidence. Reached Kota, a place I also recognize and felt like we are home finally. It was 9 pm at night and now it was all lightened up and filled with people all over the places. After traveling few more kms the problem with traffic came and once in my life I felt good to stuck in traffic and thanked to god. Finally we reached our destination at 10 pm. It was indeed a special day as we wanted it to be but turned out to be more than special for all of us.

By Air :– Raipur(134 kms) is the nearest airport connected with Delhi, Mumbai , Magpur, Bhuneshwar, Kolkata , Ranchi , Viskhapatnam and Chennai.

By Rail :- Raipur is the nearest Railway station on the Bombay-Howarah main line.

By Road:- Taxis are available from Kawardha(18 Kms). Regular Buses ply from Raipur(116 Kms.), Rajnandgaon(133 Kms.) and Jabalpur(220 Kms.) to Kawardha.

It happens only in India

Posted: December 2, 2012 in General
Tags: , , , ,

howrah bridge

howrah

It was after Diwali (Festival in India), I left my hometown for my work place Kolkata, India. It’s a 12 hour journey and it was a usual one for me as before this I had traveled almost 10-12 times in the same route. I was in my comfort zone, settled after dinner, listening to music and relaxing.

In between the songs, I heard people chatting that there might be a “Bandh” in Kolkata.  Let me tell you what “Bandh” is all about in India, especially at this part of the country, Kolkata.

Bandh, originally a Hindi word meaning “closed”, is a form of protest used by political activists in South Asian countries such as India and Nepal. During a bandh, a political party or a community declares a general strike. A bharat bandh is a call for a bandh across the whole of India, and a bandh can also be called for an individual state or municipality.

Often, the community or political party declaring a bandh expects the general public to stay in at home and not report to work. Most affected are shopkeepers who are expected to keep their shops closed, as well as public transport operators of buses and cabs who are expected to stay off the road and not carry passengers. There have been instances when large metro cities have been brought to a standstill.

A bandh is a powerful means of civil disobedience. Because of the huge impact of a bandh on the local community, it is a much-feared tool of protest.

So I heard it right and after talking to my colleagues in Kolkata, It was confirmed. News came as a hammer in my head as I knew what “Bandh” means in Kolkata. Anyway I thought we will see what happens and slept in my cozy bed after ten IST. I woke up at around 6 am IST and found the AC coach of the train was relatively warm than usual. People seemed restless and worrisome, kids were crying and women cursing somebody.

It was a morning to remember and I still do after five years passed today. I came out of my bed and also from the coach and learnt that train has been stopped by the political activists for the next two days. I said to myself WTF 2 days?? Initially I didn’t believe how it can happen and that too with me. It was a nightmare come true, moreover I was left with just 300 to 400 INR which is nothing in this country (courtesy our ticket inspector who took most of my money for the seat as I didn’t had a confirmed reservation). I was young, probably smart, advised myself forget everything and cool down. Think of the options you have and try on it. Had a smoke with the likeminded ones and immediately I could saw a spark of friendship growing with 3 other guys and ideas of survival coming out. There is a great saying that “Cigarette makes good and quick friends besides its harmful for health”.  I am good with people and this helped me as they were not only helping me emotionally but financially as well. It was a small village around 100 kms before Kolkata. I tried for a cab but nobody came from the city due to bandh. Believe me taking out your car in a band means suicide. People will throw stones at you and somewhere they can even burn it.

It was 8 hours already after the halt of that train. People were leaving for a nearby resort for a room. The resort guy was a good businessman and immediately doubled rates after seeing people pouring in; room rates went out of our reach. I was down and out of nowhere my college senior came in front of me. It was luck and it made my day as after that there was no shortage of cigarettes, food and humor. We started to like it as some kind of holiday for few hours but soon exhaustion came in. We took our bags and headed for that resort for beer and some rest as now it was under our reach, thanks to the teamwork. It was a half hour walk but may be after 25 minutes we heard people shouting of lifting Bandh for the night. Immediately we started running towards our train and boarded the same excited and in anticipation of reaching home soon now. After an hour the train started moving and people cheered with claps and loud chanting.

So finally we reached Kolkata in two more excruciating hours after being halted for more than 16 hours in a small village. Those 16 hours taught me lots of things, made me few more friends, gave me courage, filled up lot of happiness and above all gave me “adventure”.

I along with one of my train friend came out of train as we had to go to one direction. We started to look for a cab but couldn’t find one.  Tried with lots of cabbies but no one was ready to go to our location as it was a sensitive place. After about fifteen minutes of walk we located a taxi and paid 3 times the regular amount for a ride near our location. Somehow after leaving that taxi and walking for an hour I reached my home.

My room-mates asked what happened you look tired. I didn’t had any answer and smiled, said yes dear I am tired, need my bed and went for hibernation for the next 2 days.

I still don’t understand why people call bandh? It serves no purpose except putting common man in to series of problems. These political parties for their own selfishness do all these bullshit things and harass people.

I would say this can happen only at India but I still love my country.