On one April morning in 2016, Aditi Hosabettu personally invited me to her house warming ceremony at Gundmi, a town on the highway connecting Udupi to Mangalore. And so I set out to attend the ceremony along with Anuj Duggal (Yes, the Anuj Duggal from the Inside Out posters and Intel Software Innovator Summit and GDG events).
For the journey we decided to board the bus at Yeshwanthpur KSRTC bus stop which is a 15 minute walk from my home. And since we planned to be on time, we reached my home early, freshened up and roamed around Mahalakshmi Layout which is popular for its wide variety of temples. I have been living in Mahalakshmi Layout for all my life and I had never visited the museum located in the Srinivasa temple, the bus stand where I caught bus every-day. It looked like a good opportunity to take Anuj there and look at the place myself, and so it was (^_^)
That night we boarded the bus as planned and then got engaged in nostalgic conversations till we reached the destination, Shastri Circle (Named after the late Lal Bahadur Shastri).
Aditi had booked a grand hotel room at Sharon Hotel, for our stay where the breakfast was complementary. She also arranged for a car to take us where-ever we wanted and assigned Mr. Ratnakar to take us to the tourist spots nearby. In his demeanor, Mr. Ratnakar was very friendly, jovial and told us the story of Kollur Mookambika and explained the different characteristics of all the places where he took us.
The functions was scheduled on Friday evening and since we had time in the morning, we had time to go to some local tourist spots. And so we went to 4 places namely:
- Hatti Angadi (Vinayaka Temple)
- Baindoor Beach
- Kollur Mookambika Temple
- Maravanthe beach
After having taken the blessings from Hatti Angadi, we were surprised to see the Baindoor beach all for ourselves. Me and Anuj were literally the only 2 people at the sea-shore and collected lot of sea shells and coral formations for the memory of the journey.
At Mookambika temple, we got to spend time with the temple elephant that was blessing temple visitors with its huge trunk. It was a treat to see the goddess especially after listening to the stories from Mr. Ratnakar.
From there on, we set out to our hotel, and as we passed by Maravanthe beach, we decided to walk around and lay down at the stone pedestal facing the sea. After a good nap, we both decided to go back to the hotel. Even-though this beach is famous for its mesmerizing road separating the sea from the river, some fly-over construction was going on due to which, we could hardly see the river. Regardless of this, we spent a good afternoon listening to the sea roar.
When we returned back to the hotel, there was still time before the function, so we took rest at our rooms till our cab arrived at the venue.
Upon reaching the ceremonial house (“Parvathi Krupa”), Aditi showed us around her new house, explaining each room with respect to what was to be done in the room and why certain rooms were designed the way they were. We sat out chit-chatting and occasionally talking to some of her family members who were at the event. We left the function after having grand food and arrived at the hotel to take a grand nap.
Next day morning was the auspicious house warming ceremony. Narhar Dev Sharma, one of our Intel colleague joined us at our room and accompanied us for the rest of the day. En route, we decided to go to Aditi’s current house, for which she drove us in her Alto, where we met her mother and cousin Sandeep, who gave us a drop to the celebration house. At their house we saw peacocks roaming around and everyone in the house was busy getting ready for the event.
Upon reaching the new home, we were greeted by Hatwar uncle who welcomed all of us. The celebration included boiling a pot traditionally in the kitchen, till it overflowed. Which was accompanied by several traditional South Indian songs.
Later the family sat in the room where the God was worshiped, and chanted Rama Raksha Stothra followed by Vishnu Sahasra naama followed by beginning verses of Bhagavad Gita. The ritual continued till lunch time where we sat for lunch in the traditional South Indian style sitting along with other invitees and had lunch over banana leaf. By now, we had gotten acquainted with a lot of Aditi’s relatives and felt much welcomed.
Our plan was to visit the Udupi Sri Krishna temple in the evening, so we had checked out from our hotel and brought our luggage to the event. We set out from there at 2:45 and reached Udupi by 3:15. At the temple, we were accompanied by Rashmi and her mother who were big devotees and wanted to have Lord Krishna’s blessings. Later on that day, we went around the temple premise and came upon the spot where Madhwacharya was prophesized to have disappeared.
Having completed all the temple’s in our list we then set out to Malpe Beach, where my mother had asked us to join her. We took the local bus to Malpe beach which seemed to take a long time to reach the venue. After having played in the beach till 6:40, we decided to leave back to Udupi Bus Stand where Rashmi set out to meet her relatives, while I and Anuj decided to go to Mangalore to spend our next day exploring something different.
We enquired for good rooms that were close to the KSRTC Bus Stand in Bejai area of Mangalore. After zeroing down on staying at Hotel Panchami, we went out for lunch and ate Butter Nan for dinner while planning what to do on the next day.
We came to know about “Pilikula Nisargadhama”. It was a nature reserve that had a botanical garden integrated with a zoo. Next to that was a park with an aquarium and a lake which had boating; additionally it had a few more tourist attractions which we decided to skip due to the intense heat. The place had its own restaurant where we found the food to be delicious. The park also had lot of ducks which moved around us on floor as well as while boating. It was especially a treat to see a pair of boys feed ducks with popcorn for the first time and enjoy the experience.
We had heard a lot about Panambur beach and left as soon as we finished going through the zoo. It was at panambur beach that I ate my first Ice-gola and it was really yummy.
We got back to our rooms, packed up all our belongings and then called KSRTC about our change in boarding point. The Conductor was very friendly and pointed us the exact time at which the bus would reach our boarding point. We boarded the bus that brought us back to Bangalore, with lots of memories of fun and joy which we had experienced during our little journey to Kundapur and back.