Showing posts from August, 2010

Dimbam Ghats.. on a Volvo

Dimbam Ghats lies along the Tamilnadu-Karnataka border, on the route from Mysore to Coimbatore via Chamrajnagar and Sathyamangalam. This route is also known as the "Sathyamangalam Ghats" and is infamous for the forest brigand Veerappan. This ghat section is about 11 kilometres in length and has about 27 hair-pin bends. It was my long standing dream to travel through this section in a bus for long - I had driven through and traveled in a car through this route many times. Finally, the chance to travel through this section dawned on Independence day! After a mesmerizing trip with fellow railfans up and down the ghat section between Subrahmanya Road and  Sakleshpur (on the Hassan-Mangalore Railway line), I landed up at Mysore around 4 in the morning. A short nap and a round of freshening up, I headed to a restaurant for breakfast - around 0700 or so. After breakfast, walked into the disoriented Mysore mofussil bus station - it was cold and I wasn't carrying any protectant

Kerala welcomes Mahabali

Yet another Onam has arrived! Kerala is in full force celebrating this harvest festival. Onam is celebrated in the month of Chingam , which happens to be the first month in the Malayalam Calender. Onam is historically considered to be a festival when the mythical ruler of Kerala, Mahabali, returns to the land on an annual visit of his old subjects. All Keralites celebrate onam irrespective of their caste or religion, with equal spirit. Every household would have floral design made near the door step to welcome the mythical ruler to their home. Lunch is usually marked with a sumptuous meal, punctuated with a variety of dishes suiting every taste - from sweet to sour to spicy. I have written about Onam many times in the past, and would not like to repeat the same. Quoting my own post last year (read it here ): Onam is celebrated to mark the Harvest season, and also to welcome the mythical king Mahabali is regarded as the best ruler the state has ever seen. History has it that Maha

The good ol' Glo-bus

After a stomach filling three days in Bangalore, I was all set to head back home. It was cold in Bangalore, and I had a few apprehensions about the effect of the climate on me. I searched for tickets, and the 2200 Bangalore-Thrissur AC bus was a "no-brainer" decision. I zeroed in on this bus quickly and reserved tickets through the Kerala SRTC Online Booking. The online booking facility is one huge leap for KeSRTC given their overall way of functioning. The interface is kind-of amateurish. After a payment is made (sadly, they allow only credit/debit cards, no online banking, yet), the ticket does not appear on itself. One has to go to "booked tickets" and then print out - overall an amateur feel. On the day of journey (July 26, 2010), I called up the bus station around 9.30 pm or so to get the conductor's number. I was quickly given the number. The bus starts from Mysore Road Satellite Bus Terminus at 2200 and take the weary route via Corporation Circle and Lal