Author: Vishnu H. Prasad

Rathas of Udupi

Tryst with the famed Udupi

“Where can we find a good Udupi Hotel?” my dad innocently asked a rickshaw wallah. He looked at my father quizzically. I pinged my Dad and reminded him that we are in Udupi and all hotels here are Udupi hotels. You only had to ask which is a good hotel for vegetarians. Go to any corner in India and you will be able to find an Udupi restaruant. They are famous for the vegetarian cuisine that they serve and are supposed to be prepared in the Saatvik style, avoiding garlic and onion and at the same time not compromising in taste. Udupi Railway Station The credit for this goes to the Srikrishna Temple, which is the institution around which a sleepy little place started to develop. It is the cooks of this temple which was founded by Saint Madhava, leading proponent of the Dwaita philosophy, who later took the cuisine of the temple to around the world and made it famous. Sreekrishna Temple Gopura Udupi is no longer a sleepy town. With nearby Manipal and …

A visitor from far away: The story of Lonar Crater Lake

I stared at the starry sky from my hotel, roughly a kilometer away from where the meteor had struck. In this universe, endless and immaculate, we occupy such a minute place, I felt. Very often, this thought pops up in my mind when I stare at the night sky. However, tonight it filled me with a profound sense of humility. Lonar can do that to you. I decided on this trip with no prior planning. Vidarbh region, except for a few wildlife sancutaries sprinled here and there, is empty of interesting places compared to other regions of Maharashtra. For me, time is a luxury, given that training is a residential programme and wishing for more than three days at one shot is blasphemy. I wanted to venture out of the comfortable 250km radius ( because of the time factor) and just ride into the horizon. Thus Lonar manifested in my mind. Roadtrip! Without contemplating much, I packed my bags, kicked off my Bullet and rode away. I stopped in Amravati, the first night and then …

Sangeetha_Shankar

A Musical Night with Sangeetha Shankar in Nagpur

Famous Hindustani classical violinist Sangeetha Shankar happened to be in town. She was accompanied by her younger daughter Nandini Shankar on the violin and Pandita Anuradha Pal on the Tabla. It was a delight seeing three women musicians together on stage. It was also a rare sight. I, for one, have never seen a classical stage performance where every artist was a woman .The programme which was conducted in Suresh Bhatt Auditorium, Mahal, Nagpur was organised by Kalidas Samaroh and the theme of the programme was Naree Shakthi. I was not able to figure out the first raga which she played. Nevertheless it was beautiful. I slowly closed my eyes and within some time was transported to some other serene place. She followed this with a Dadra in Khamaj and then a Natiya. A Classic Case Study of Outliers Ms. Sankar’s family tree is a good case study of what Malcolm Gladwell calls outliers. Her daughters Ragini and Nandini are renowned violinists while Ms. Shankar herself is the daughter of legendary violinist N. Rajam. N …

Mominpura

Mominpura: Where the Night is young in Nagpur

I should be frank with you. Nightlife in Nagpur is woeful. The city goes to slumber by 11 PM. You will be hard pressed to find a hotel or shop that is open. As a nightowl who loves roaming around during the wee hours of the dark, this was something that I couldn’t at all digest about Nagpur. The only respite from this is Mominpura. Mominpura during the Eid Night Mominpura is a muslim neighbourhood. The whole street is full of shops selling Athar, Shurma clothing, Pan, Biriyani and meat items. I would not say that it is the most hygenic place out there, but if you find eating in Chandni Chowk or Girgaum Chowpatty okay, then Mominpura also will not fail you. Even at 3 in the night, you can find biriyani or a kathi roll here. My favorite places here are Baba Tea and the small shops that sell chicken fry. The amount of oil that is present in each item can make you cringe. However, the food being tasty makes it a …