1st November is celebrated both in Kerala and Karnataka as their respective foundation day. Another very visible point of commonality between the two neighbouring states is that the state bus transport division in both states carry the same acronym KSTRC – Kerala/ Karnataka Road Transport Corporation. Everytime we see this bus in Bangalore, we are reminded of home. Settling down in Bangalore, it was a pleasant surprise to note that 1st Nov is declared as a holiday by the state government; but back in Kerala, it’s a regular working day.
In Karnataka, on 1st Nov, its a common sight to see the yellow and red flag – an unofficial representation of the state – tied to autorickshaws, bikes, hoisted outside shops and buildings. This year, the day falls on a Friday, giving another long weekend for the people😃.
Karnataka is the seventh largest state in India, in terms of geographical area. In daily life, we are restricted to the Bangalore city where traffic crawls – 4 kms in 30 minutes🙄. Real estate is expensive, there is some form of construction in every nook and corner. It is good to drive out occasionally to see the vast tracts of land – red earth and greenery, reminding you that there is more Karnataka outside Bangalore.
There are so many historic places to see in Karnataka and in our 3 years of residence here, we have merely scratched the surface. Road travel is the best way to explore this state; public transport is lacking so touring in a private vehicle is the ideal way. So far from Bangalore we have travelled to Mysore, Chitradurga, Coorg. Mysore called the cultural capital of Karnataka; Chitradurga has the most amazing fort and Coorg with its coffee plantations is the perfect weekend getaway.
I discovered a short-cut way to travel across the state – a book by R K Narayan called “The Emerald Route”. It’s a small book, 177 pages, but it takes you on a whirlwind tour of the entire state. The author explains the charming and little known historic tales about each district.
It’s in this book that I learned how Bangalore got it’s name. As the story goes – A hunter was separated from his friends; soon it became night and he found himself in front of a small hut. An old lady came out; the hunter asked her for some food. The lady sensing him to be a nobleman said she didn’t have anything to serve nobility.
The hunter said that he was very hungry and anything would do. She had a good crop of beans from the bean field behind her house and served the hunter a plate of cooked beans. The hunter relished his dinner. Next day at at dawn he set off. It was learnt later that the man was the king Vira Ballala himself and the village came to be known as the Town of Boiled Beans – Benda Kaal Ooru and later Bangalore. The city was established in the 16th century by Kempe Gowda.
I would love to go see all the fascinating places described by the author – Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal in the historic Bijapur district – the imposing capital of the Adil Shah dynasty; Hampi – the capital of the Vijayanagar empire; Halebid – the capital of the Hoysala kingdom – to name a few for those craving history and monuments; there are places of interest such as Jog Falls in the Shimoga district for the nature enthusiasts and still more for the adventurers. The places are far away and require at least a day of travel, so one day trips are not feasible. Waiting for the next bunch of holidays📆.
Meanwhile, we are almost through the boxes of sweets we received last weekend for Diwali. Still addicted to the sweet cravings, it’s difficult to stop.
Not travelling anywhere this weekend, will garb another doughnut🍩 and bury myself in a good book📖.
Have a great weekend.