Across the Nation

The last 3 months with the fourth month running has been one of travel. Not on holiday but on work. But work travel if planned and done well can be exciting as well. The first step is the choice of destinations. It helps if the destination is a) culturally rich b) as yet unseen i.e. one is traveling for the first time and c) has decent communications & transport services.

Last three months, I visited quite a few places around the country, many of them for the first time and some for a repeat visit but to look at things missed out earlier. Here’s a quick summary. I’ll have individual experiences posted as soon as I can.

Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad

The old man of the nation had this piece of property on the banks of the river in Ahmedabad which is quite well maintained. The room where MKG sat and spun his wheel or wrote his letters or discoursed to the general gathering around is kept in the same order. There is the usual feeling as one goes around but one particular image triggered more thought than the others. This was the room meant for Kasturba Gandhi. A stark unfurnished room with a single window, the view out of the window is what you see in the photograph below.

View from Kasturba Gandhi’s room at the Ashram.

Ayodhya

Have already blogged about it here. So won’t waste reading time. A disappointment for me really. The only highlight for me was to see a fully loaded river, a rarity in these dammed age.

Paithani Silk Weaver Community at Yeola

The Paithani Silk style is a 2000 year old art form much traded and valued over the years. Prices start at Rs. 5000 per piece and at the other end it goes up to 2-3 lakh rupees. But the weavers, the karigaars, live in hand to mouth condition, in serious debt. I shall blog about it separately.

Hogenakkal Water Falls

There were three main highlights of this trip – the 2 bus ride from Salem, the bamboo dinghy ride on the river and the short revival at the Hotel Tamil Nadu bar. More on this in a subsequent blog post.

Yercaud, the poor man’s Ooty

It’s like going upstairs from Salem. The key feature is the drive – the 20 hairpin bends that the road makes as one vertically lifts oneself up to 1900+ metres altitude.

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