Just back from a 4-day trip to ‘native place’ – that being Udupi and thereabouts in coastal Karnataka. I didn’t carry my Mac around and didn’t bother to check my mails – was just too busy going through the motions of family functions and tolerating the heat. The names of places I visited don’t really feature in Wikipedia: Kuttetur, Inna, Mundkur, Palimar and such. Much time was spent between temples and commuting to temples. Driving through Mangalore, en route to Udupi, I noticed a hoarding for Dollar underwear with the headline, ‘The healthy underwear’ or some such. Another signboard in a mall greets you: ‘Parking for complex customers only’. So if you have split personality syndrome, are seeing a psychiatrist or just plain picky when choosing an outfit you are welcome to park. Welcome to small town India.
What struck me about the trip was the huge gap between the potential and performance of this district (Dakshina Kannada). It is very much like Kerala in terms of topography and climate, but has far less buzz when it comes to tourism. It has virtually everything: it’s people are by and large hardworking and enterprising (you ask: what happened to you then?), it has great scenery, natural resources, several educational institutions and great places for tourism.
The bummers: road & rail links and the summer weather. The bus cartel is so strong in this district that they have successfully prevented decent rail links to Mangalore and other cities. The roads linking in to Mangalore, up until recently, were supposed to be national highways but were a shame. The locals feel that they get a step-motherly treatment from the state government, when it comes to developmental projects. And about the summer weather – it would give fresh material for Jay Leno’s ‘It’s so hot…’ one liners. Much as I liked the getaway, I am glad I am back to the big city. And catching up on blogs, tweets, mails and er…work.
A set of photos from the trip is here.