Across the nation – 2

I discovered the meaning of “jet-setting” albeit with an Indian touch. Or is it called “living out of a backpack”? (Well, I don’t really use a suitcase). Consider this:

Sunday, Day 1: Leave Mumbai around 5pm by cab to Nashik (around 150 kms drive). Reach Nashik by 9pm..

Monday, Day 2: Full day workshop with client in Nashik; finish by 3 pm; set off for Mumbai; reach Mumbai and home by 7 pm.

Tuesday, Day 3: 10.30 a.m. flight to Bhubaneshwar; land at 1.30 pm; head to client’s office for conference till 7 pm.

Wednesday, Day 4: Morning is free, went to Dhauli and Udaygiri; Flight to Bangalore at 1.40 pm; land at Bangalore at 3:20 pm; wait for chartered car to pick up (arrives at 7 pm); reach Hosur at 10 pm (2 hours driving through Bangalore); The original plan was to go to Salem but with rain and the late hour, decided to halt at Hosur.

Thursday, Day 5: From Hosur drive to a TN Agri University research station near Palacode / Kaveripatnam for a field visit; 2.30 pm reach Salem for lunch; 4 pm reach Attur, a large town 50 kms from Salem for another field visit; return to Salem by 7 pm.

Friday, Day 6: Spend day in Salem interacting with client project teams, reviewing their work; Free by lunch time; relax by going up to Yercaud; take 21:00 hours Salem-Chennai Express to Chennai.

Saturday, Day 7:  Reach Chennai Egmore at 4.50 a.m.; sleep at client guest house till 8 a.m.; whole day client workshop; 7 pm flight back to Mumbai; 10.30 pm enter home.

7 days, 3 metros, 4 large towns, 1 historic site, 2 rural field visits, 7 different beds (one of them in the train), three different modes of transport. I know there are people who may pwn me on this front but for me this week was as close to “jet setting” as I can get.  (And did a 3 day version again last week).

New places seen since the last post Across The Nation


The largest brackish water lake in Asia, this ecological wonder off the coast of Orissa is one of the most beautiful locations I have come across. While I came here on work, to study the fishing communities on the banks of the lake, one cannot not spend a few minutes of leisure staring out. Visiting in the third week of September, the wintering of the Siberian Crane had still not started. The locals did say that the number of birds in the area were coming down over the years.

Dhauli, Following Ashoka

Have already blogged about it, the key experience being of how the local population, even the supposedly knowledgeable tourist taxi driver, simply have no idea about the rock edicts in Dhauli and instead divert tourists to the ugly white pagoda.

Following Ashoka: The Daya river where the Kalinga war was fought


An industrial town on the border of TN and Bangalore, over the last ten years, this place has simply boomed. But the civic infrastructure is poor and has simply not kept pace with the boom. The result is that instead of giving the appearance of a prosperous town, it looks like an overcrowded chaotic market.

A few experiences from the above places, especially Chilka, will be shared in subsequent blog posts.

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