The CSers on TOI
  • Celebrating the spirit of Writing

    Experience from the daily life that I felt like sharing through blogging

Harrowing Experience with our Indian Railways


It was a happy as well as sorrowful day for me as I was moving out from Bangalore, the city of my heart and coming back to Kolkata my lovely home town. Leaving Bangalore and the friends, who made the city so special for me was heart breaking…while Kolkata is my hometown, the City of … Continue reading

Sakleshpur – Cullerhully Estate


Marked by its tranquility and greenery, the town of Sakleshpur lies in the Western Ghats on NH 48 (Bangalore- Mangalore). The town is connected by rail too; however buses are more convenient, vis-à-vis timings. The name of the town (which was
called Munzerabad earlier) is derived from a broken Shivalinga that was found in the town and named Sakaleshwara. It has a climate that suits coffee, pepper, cardamom, orange and ginger growing. The region enjoys heavy rains during the monsoons, creating an ideal setting for a variety of flora and fauna to thrive, thus having a diverse ecosystem. It is ideal for plantation visits, camping, trekking, off-road driving in hilly terrain, bird-watching etc. Attractions around Sakleshpur
include Munzerabad Fort, constructed by Tippu Sultan and Bisle Ghat. Activities used to include a trek on the railway track from Sakleshpur to the Subramanya Road which is about 56 km and dotted by 58 tunnels, 109 bridges and about 25 waterfalls.
However with regular train services now functional and problems with people on the tracks, it is reported that the Railways have now prohibited use of the track by trekkers.

Cullerhully Estate, our destination, is owned by one of our friends. It is a little away from the main town of Sakleshpur and we visited the same with the purpose of witnessing the once in a year phenomenon of the coffee plant: the blossom. And that we did….the branches of the coffee plants were laden with bunches of white flowers giving an appearance of snow on the branches and the fragrance that permeated the air was simply heavenly! I was so happy at that point – I can’t explain in words.

Land of Chalukyan Architechture: Badami – Aihole – Pattadakal


A trip to the land of Chalukyan architecture and painting.

Aihole was the first capital of the early Chalukyas, and is situated to the west of Badami, along the Malaprabha river, while Pattadakal is to the east. King Pulakeshi -I, one of the greatest rulers of this dynasty, moved the capital to Badami. Badami was then known as Vatapi.

Badami is located at a distance of about 500 km from Bangalore, a town in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. The town dates back to 540 A.D. Dravidian architecture is said to have seen its best during the Chalukyan dynasty. The Chalukyas also encouraged an experimental blend of older South Indian temple architecture and the nagara style of North India. These three places are thus home to to a synthesis of styles and an important part of our architectural history.

Realizing my Passion for Travel – What CouchSurfing did to me!!!


Traveling changes your point of view towards life. And couchsurfing changed my view towards traveling.

There are more than a million members worldwide on this network, and lots of people I came to know through the site have used this network in their travels. Till last year I was staying as a paying guest, so only recently I started offering couch to travelers. Though it’s just a mattress that I could offer, yet for many travelers I realized that would be a lot of help and it would lead to a culture exchange between my guest and me.

The other way one can use CS is for finding travel companions and getting to know about the place you are traveling to by asking the localites in the local CS groups.

Snake Boat Race, Alleppey


Each year, on the second Saturday of August, the Nehru Cup Snake Boat Race is organized at the Punnamada lake, marking the festive season of Onam. Though this is not the only boat race held in Alleppey/Alappuzha, Nehru Cup Trophy boat race is the most popular. This race dates back to 1952, when the enthusiastic boatmen invited Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, while he was visiting Allapuzza / Alleppey. Enchanted with the speed and grace of the boats, Nehru donated a trophy with the inscription “To the winner of the boat-race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore-Cochin”.

A trip to Hampi, Karnataka


Hampi, is the capital city of Vijaynagar Empire and flourished during Krishna Dev Raya (associated with the legendary Tenali Ram). The capital was one major trading center. Anything from horses to gems was traded in Hampi. Art and architecture found its special place in Hampi. The rulers were great patrons of art and religion. Most of the kings associated names of their favorite gods with their names. Some of the kings were renowned for their ambitious projects.

King Krishnadeva Raya (1509-1529 AD) of the Tuluva Dynasty stands tall among the rest. During his regime the empire saw its peak.

The CSers on TOI

Welcome to BenGAYLuru – The Bangalore Pride Parade


In one of the threads on bangalore  couchsurfing group, Vidya mentioned about some Bengaluru Pride parade that was held last year and will be organized this year as well. People started talking about it. I was absolutely clueless as to what they were writing about, thought it to be a parade to make the Bangloreans … Continue reading

The Buccaneer of Modern Times


Piracy is no more just about hijacking on the high seas to loot and take over the ship, it now also means duplication of original documents without the owner’s consent.