Started this blog to share my experiences and opinions hoping that one day these may be useful for someone one this beautiful planet earth, or even beyond !!
My first date with the World Wide Web was sometime in high school when I mostly used it for chatting with friends and relatives. Since then, I have been using the net mostly to share my views (both from my mind and my camera!). In recent times got stormed with too many social networking sites. Al tough, client dashboards like TweetDeck and Hootsuite provided a single point interface for many of them, I was still not very happy with them. So, I decided to have a portal of my own and enter into the next level of content management and sharing on the web.
I wanted to write this blog the very next day after I came back from this trip in 2007. However, since I didn’t have a blog site running at that time, I kept this for later. It was less than a year since I bought a new Tata Indica Turbo, and I had already done about 30,000 Kms on it by now. It was three of us who decided to go for a south Indian road trip to reach the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, Kanyakumari. Rameshwaram was the other place we wanted to cover. We did not have any other plan. We had three people, one car, two SLR cameras and the spirit to explore. Three of us included Lalith who was my roommate at that time alias “7 up boy” because he looks like Fido from the 7 up ad. The second person was Raghu my cousin and last myself. Raghu and I were the “Drivers” while Lalith enjoyed the chauffeur ride as he was legally not entitled to drive at that time as he didn’t have a license yet.
It was almost noon by the time we left Bangalore. We didn’t know the exact time required to go till Kanyakumari, we just knew we had to drive all the way south on NH7 which will take us to the tip of the subcontinent. As expected, as soon as we crossed the Karnataka border, we could see the drastic improvement in the road, which was much wider, smoother and straighter. NH7 is a part of the North – South corridor project and at that time the construction was half way through and there were many places we had to switch from left side of the road to the right. But considering the traffic was pretty low and we were enjoying the ride. The turbocharger in my car made driving on the highway a real pleasure. Our first stop was somewhere after Krishnagiri where we saw some interesting landscape and the highway wrapping around a small hill which we felt was a good location for some photos.
We continued our journey and as we approached Salem, we had a flat tire. It was my mistake to miss a pot hole. I had a similar problem in my trip to Kerala on this car. The problem was that I had changed to allow wheels and not upgraded the tire size to match the alloys. So, when I run over a pot hole at a high speed, nothing happens to the alloys, but the tires get cut. I got a new tire fixed at Salem where we had something to eat and continued south on NH7.
Our next stop was a place which we had not heard much about, Dindigul. This is a small town just about 40 kms from Madurai. We saw a relatively big rock mountain and a temple on top of it and were eager to find out what it was. After enquiring from the locals we reached the base of the mountain, parked our car and started climbing the steps which were carved out of the rock. The steps are similar to what you find in Shravanabelagola in Karnataka. On top of the rock was a fort and we found that lot of Muslims were also climbing the rock. We found it strange because there was a temple on top and Muslims climbing the rock! Later we discovered that the temple was abandoned and there was no worship going on there. The fort on top of the rock was built by Tipu Sultan. We were not aware that that Tipu’s kingdom extended till Dindigul. Dindigul has been a sensitive town where there have been instances of communal violence between Hindu’s and Muslims. The evening sun gave us excellent lighting to take some of the most memorable pictures of the trip. It was clear skies and a crisp sunlight.
By nightfall we were in Madurai and it took us quite a lot of time to find a descent hotel to stay with descent food. The next day early in the morning we were out to see the world famous Meenakshi temple complex. As we entered the complex it was obvious to us that there was a time in Indian history, when the rulers showed off their power by building huge temples. Also, towns were growing around temples, i.e. temples were the fuel for growth of cities. The meenakshi temple is really huge and probably the biggest temple I had seen till date. There are 4 entrances and huge “Gopuras” at each entrance. In addition to the gopuras at the entrances, there are more gopuras inside the temple compounds for each smaller temples. The theertha or water tank inside the temple compound adds to the beauty. A 360 degree view of Madurai temple can be seen here http://www.view360.in/virtualtour/madurai/
We were done with the temple early in the day and left for the second stretch of our journey from Madurai to Kanyakumari. After about 50 kms from Madurai the landscape changed very drastically and so did the civilization. There were hardly any villages or towns in sight for very long stretches. There were probably stretches with 50 kms and no village. We realized that because we were looking for a tea shop by the side of the road and it took us very long to find one. The landscape was barren and only few palm trees scattered.
This barren land was very much like a desert until we were about 50 kms from Kanyakumari where things changed drastically. NH7 passes through a huge wind farm with hundreds or even thousands of windmills and at the horizon we could see the last few mountains of the subcontinent, behind the mountains we knew was God’s own country – Kerala. We took some time off from driving and took some good snaps here.
It was almost 5 pm by the time we reached Kanyakumari. However, we just had enough time to check in to a hotel with a view of the Vivekananda rock memorial and rush towards a place on the west coast where we could see a nice sunset. Kanyakumari is sandwiched between Arabian Sea and bay of Bengal. The Indian ocean lies to the south. This is the point where all three huge water bodies meet. We noticed that each sea had its own character to it. They have their own color, texture of waves and of course size. At the time we were there the Arabian sea and the Indian Ocean were more violent than the Bay of Bengal. Probably it is different in seasons due to change in wind directions.
After dark the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Thiruvalluvar Statue are lit up with very nice lights and are a feast for the eyes and also beautiful subjects for a photographer. The lights are up till about 9 pm and make sure you have a tripod if you want to take some good snaps. That was the end of a very long day.
It was about 5 a.m. when someone was knocking at our hotel door. It sounded like some fire and the hotel boys were trying to alert everyone in the room. In fact it was something really amazing. They were waking us up to see a spectacular sight which happens every morning in Kanyakumari before the sunrise. All the fishermen set out to sea in small boats and thousands of them. Each boat has a small lantern and the sight of thousands of boats setting off to sea is amazing and we could witness this from the balcony of our room. This is a sight one must see in Kanyakumari. We decided to spend an additional day in this place just to see the sight of boats the next morning for another time.
Later in the morning we went on the shuttle boats to check out the Rock memorial and the Statue which is the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent and the view from both these places is breathtaking. Looking back at the peninsula from these islands I realized what a great nation begins here. The afternoon, we set off towards Kerala and ended up in a strange place at a much unexplored beach which was really long, wide and very clean. Since, this was some place between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, we asked a local guy there, who served us some good herbal tea, if the name of the place is Keral Nadu and to our surprise it was called Kerala Nadu!! We were the only tourists in this place which is less known to public.
After spending another night in Kanyakumari we set off to Rameshwaram. We thought the best possible route was via Tuticorn, but this turned out to be a very bad road. The best way is to go back to Madurai and take the national highway. Finally, we were on the Pamban Bridge which is the second largest sea link in India and also the first sea link to be built in India.
This connects mainland India with Rameshwaram Island. The 2.3 Km Bridge is so long that we cannot see the other end of the bridge. After an hour’s photo shoot here we went to Rameshwaram and checked into hotel Tamil Nadu. A cheap hotel operated by the government.
The Rameshwaram Temple is known for its huge 1000 pillar corridors which is big enough for elephant procession to pass. Also, there are couple of dozen of ponds or Theertha’s or holy waters where Hindus cleanse themselves of all sins. The pillar corridors and Dhanushkodi are two must see places in Rameshwaram.
Dhanushkodi is a strange landscape carved by the Cyclone in 1964 that damaged the entire village. The only way to get to Dhanushkodi is by old rickety jeeps or tempos. You need to cross vast flat sand plains sandwiched by Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. You can appreciate the different character of the two water bodies here. The Indian ocean is very violent and deep and Bay of Bengal is shallow and calm.
After spending the day in Rameshwaram, we headed back towards Bangalore and visited a couple of places near Coimbatore the next day. One of them was called Thirumurthymalai, known for its Dattatreya temple in the valley between three hills and the other was Palani, known for its Subramanya / Shanmuga temple. The Palani temple is accessible by a rope way built on the hillside. The landscape from the hill is very scenic as you can see another hill with a temple on top. Anytime I am in Coimbatore I make sure I visit Annapoorna / Gourishankar restaurant which serves amazing south Indian food, especially Dosas. This hotel is locates opposite to Hoteal Tamil Nadu near the bus stand.
The route back from Coimbatore was via Sathyamangalam. The forests once ruled by the famous brigand Veerappan. We took this route as we wanted to stay in Mysore for a day before heading back to the grind in Bangalore.
Tanjavoor / Tanjore temple was not covered in this trip of ours, but I made a promise to myself that I will visit the Tanjore temple and the Golden temple at Vellore sometime. Without these, the temple tour of Tamil Nadu is incomplete. In 2011 I visited the Tanjore temple and was amazed by the size of the temple structure which was build thousands of years ago by the Chola King Raja Raja. The “Big” temple in Tanjore is surely the best maintained temple in Tamil Nadu; it is well preserved and also maintained well. Tanjore temple emphasizes on how important the temples were in that time and how they were the centre of the economy and the towns. Entire towns were designed around a temple at that time. Just like the way in which towns are designed around IT parks today.
Inspired by the above, I would like to use the phrase / hypothetical theory — Survival of the biggest — in the context that every day in 21st century the newspaper is filled with news of mergers and acquisitions.
All of us (in India) have seen lots of “petty” shops in our lives, and I predict that by the end of the 21st century there will be no more small enterprises. The mounting pressure on delivering quality goods and lowest prices will require so much infrastructure and automation (in both office and on the production floor) that the small shops will not be sustainable over an extended period of time.
There will be exceptions. The small firms which will be doing well will get taken over by larger companies.
So, if you are still alive in the 22nd century people will not be asking you about your nationality. They will ask you which company. According to my theory there will not be more than 500 companies in the world. So the fortune 500 list will be changed to Fortune 5 list.
Every company would have diversified to such a vast extent that there will be no term called Business-To-Business (B2B). Every company will have its own virtual world (intranet) on the cloud. Employee numbers will have portability between companies, so if you change companies your employee number will remain, so will your bank and Provident Fund accounts.
All the worlds consultants / freelancers will have grouped together to form a global consulting pool (another big company).
Operating systems and computers will be obsolete, all you will require is a display plugged on to the cloud – no OS no Applications.
Before I start writing about other people I thought it’s a nice idea to write a little bit more about myself. I know, you may be thinking that I am trying to glorify myself….. then so be it. I don’t mind 🙂
This is what my Orkut profile states and this was more apt in the earlier days of my career – I though it’s worth a mention here
Well… dinner in Bangalore, Lunch in Bangkok, coffee break in Taipei evening snacks in Seoul , supper in Ulsan … but yelle hodru… namma Mysoreeee great!!! sounds like some movie??? Well not too much…. I have done this several times by now. And got used to the changing place around me…… I sometimes feel that I am not going places… but the places are going around me… and I am playing musical chair with the world as the playground… and then… when I am at sea… for days together … nothing moves…. Water everywhere…. However fast you go …. There is nothing around… that’s when I realized that really a significant part of our earth is covered by water… and the amount of water…. You will only realize when you are in the middle of an ocean on a ship with nothing around you…
yes I always wanted to travel… seeing different places is everyone’s dream… Its been reality to me….. and I really don’t know whom to thank for this… is it just co- incidence.. is it just good luck? Is it bad luck?? Whatever it is… I am sure it is not hard work!!!! Ha ha.. u guys know what I am talking about.
Yes I have been one hell of a lucky guy… keep wondering if I should change my name to that … “Lucky” sounds a bit girlish tough…. .
Seeing many different parts of the world… I feel that we being Indians are biased about our self our country and our hometown. Not that I am criticizing that… but… I feel we have a lot to learn from outside… and try devote our lives to a purpose that will set an example for others back home. I have been looking for this purpose in life… and I know as long as we don’t change our way of thinking we cannot change our lifestyle. I have started to think big… and want to do something big…after all size does matter… (a cliché eh!)
Nothing is of too much interest in life these days when compared to “thinking” or is it day dreaming? Or is it imagination at work? Whatever you may call that… hope it turns out into an Idea, a vision some day… hope that day will come soon… ‘cos time is running faster than ever…. and the world is getting faster every moment…
I wrote the above when I used to travel a lot due to work outside India. Priorities seem to have changed these days, I do continue to enjoy travel, and however, I tend to devote more time to family and my camera than ever before.
When I say family I definitely want to boast about the kind and size of family I come from. My grandfather Hosamane Patel Devappa Hegde (Ajja) was a landlord and ruled thousands of acres of land in Sorab taluk, Shimoga district. I have always envied my grandfather’s lifestyle. My Ajja lived like a king and people often respect him for his humble nature. A snapshot at my family tree is worth a look. 20+ uncles and aunts 40+ first cousins… so if there is a family function you can guess how big it is.
Right from my formative days I have had a keen interest in Technology in form of toys, gadgets, cars, machines. This interest in me probably drove me to start a part time computer assembling business when I was in my pre-university days. It ran pretty well until the “Cheaters” took over. I call the computer vendors who sell at rock bottom prices by cheating their suppliers as “Cheaters”. Since I was not inclined to be a Cheater myself I had to stop this business although I made handful of money from it enough to afford a mobile phone when the call rates were like INR 4-5 for 1 min of incoming call and about INR 8-9 for a min of outgoing. I remember those days when if the landline at home rang once they used to call my cell phone and when it rang twice they used to call my dad’s cell phone. This was to save on the cell phone charges. Also, I used the profit from the computer assembling business to buy a computer for myself, fuel for my first car (a Maruti 800) and all other miscellaneous expenses during college.
My first camera I remember was a point and shoot film camera from Yashica. In the early 90’s a Yashica camera was like a luxury gadget which only people who had relatives abroad could get. If you bought one in India it was considered as duplicate! Those were the days before India’s Globalization. My first digital camera was a Canon A510 point and shoot which some people still use today. I gave away this camera to my relative who still uses this for his “studio” photography in a remote village near Sagar, Shimoga. Then came the Canon IXUS 70 à Sony Alpha 100 à Sony Alpha 230 and now a Nikon D5000. I will share my reviews of each one of these cameras in a separate blog.
You might be wondering why am I talking about my camera in a blog about myself. Well, I just have to say “I am incomplete without a camera”
As I stated to build my own website with a blog, my passion for technology continues. This was a pretty easy task when compared to complete automatic machines which I have built with sparing support from others. I was just chatting with my friend Subbu and asking him what it takes to have a website of my own with some galleries and a blog. Subbu gave me good links and I just started working on the website. It took me about a week to create a complete website and about a month to fill up the initial content.
For now I feel that’s all I have to say, keep watching for my latest blogs and photos.
In my first blog I will write about why I decided to have a blog and how I went about creating my blog site.
I had got fed up of updating status in Facebook, Twitter, Linked in and other social networking sites. I had put up a status update on these sites which read “Mahesh Hegdeis wondering how to generate revenue from the photos he has taken” I decided that I will first create a website, to showcase the photos I have taken. I am already sharing my photos on many other sites. Flickr is my favorite for the amazing slideshow interface they have. But that is something most people do these days.
I had a thought of an online photo gallery for a while. It was time I start doing something about it, so I decided to have an online photo gallery and a photo blog site to accompany the gallery and to share my views, both from my mind and from my camera. This statement eventually became the caption for my website.
I asked a couple of friends about the ways to start a website and have a gallery of my own. Subbu and Vybhav helped me out and gave me their suggestions. I went through lot of website links they sent me and understood that having a website has two layers:
1. The hosting service
2. Application or scripts that display the content
I selected hostmoster as a host and wordpress as my blogging application to start with. I am still figuring out how to create a photo gallery and an online store where you can buy the photos and use them. I am considering the Trendy Site builder that hostmoster provides and also Joomla Content Management for the gallery. I will update this blog as soon as I complete the gallery.
Ammedned: 18 Nov 2010
The trendy site builder was very flashy but not very flexible. Hence I tried and strongly recommend Concrete5 as a Content Management System (CMS) for your website. I also recommend WordPress for a blog which is feature rich and also user friendly.
Enjoy my views both from my mind and from my camera!