Friday, May 17, 2013

Taboo Destinations @ Hometown Holidays

I have been going to Hubli in Karnataka for 37 years without fail. It is where the rest of my family is settled. In a way you can say that I 'belong to' Hubli. It is also the gateway to one of the most visited UNESCO Heritage sites of India - The ruins of Hampi.

It takes precisely 3 hours for us to drive down from Hubli to Hospet (where Hampi is). But we never did even once in 36 years.

The reason?
We are the natives!

There is something about spending holidays at hometowns.
You are invariably under house arrest every time you visit !
Year after year.
Every year.

Because people are supposed to matter more to you than the places, we end up in a routine - we visit, we remain holed up inside the house with the relatives and finally go back to our work land never once exploring our native place.

On way to Bailakuppe
Last year I decided that just because I belonged to Karnataka didn't mean that I was never going to be able to see it. So I took an extended holiday. Asked my father, brother and sister-in-law to take some time off too. And we did a road trip. From Hubli in Northern Karnataka to Coorg in Southern Karnataka, covering almost everything that came on the way.

It was an effort. To explain to others why we needed to do this. Why we wanted to take 9 days off, away from the rest of the family so that we could see our own state. The sheer lacework
in stone at Belur & Halebeedu sites is something I wasn't even aware of till then. Changing faces of the villages was a revelation too. The Shiggaon rock garden, rice bowl of Gangavati plains, Bhadravati steel plant, Dubare elephant camp, Mysore palace, Madhikeri (Coorg), Talcauvery (origin of Cauvery river), Bailakuppe monastery, Tungabhadra river Chakratirtha (where King Krishnadev Raya used to throw prisoners into the whirlpool as their capital punishment), Pampa sarover (Kishikindha of Ramayana fame), rock cut 6th & 7th CE Badami caves, ruins of the 14th CE Vijayanagara empire at Hampi, Pattadkal & Aihole - we were on a roll!!!

To see what you have been reading in books all these years gives you a great sense of fulfillment. A sense of history, geography and an idea of your own being about where you come from. I also felt that if you are searching for environs that simulate your childhood, just visit a neighbouring area. It is a trickle down effect. Today's next-door town is just like the city of your younger days.

I understand it isn't always easy. Especially as our country is not fully equipped to be a disabled/child/elderly/pet friendly travel destination yet.

There are many who will also tell you not to 'treat your hometown like a tourist spot' but trust me you need to get out there and explore. It is our own native land that most often gets left behind in our 'log in' race and globe-trotting jaunts.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog. Enriched by pictures. Keep it up.Ravinder Kumar, IRPS, Chief Personnel Officer, South Central Railway HQ


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