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November 14, 2012
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Karnataka- the painted sign proclaims (in three languages).The train grinds to a halt. The smell of metal is in the air. It's been a grimy journey. But eagerness and anticipation fills Josh Hartlett as he has reached Bangalore (Bengalooru)-all cosmopolitan. The itinerary says it was known as the pensioner's paradise a few years ago. However urbanity has hit it and made it more urban than most other cities. It is inhabited by a few foreigners. It was easy for Josh to see why. Its temperature was more pleasant than other cities.

It is also known as the garden city. It has plenty of greenery. But it was sad as he realized that pollutants are taking their toll. There were the green, cool gardens- Lal Bagh, Cubbon Park-to name a few. He found decent food in Bangalore- Pizzerias, McDonalds, and KFC… Quaint British villas hobnobbed with huge skyscrapers.

He found most people speaking good English, Hindi and Kannada.

This is known as the Silicon Valley. He found colossal IT parks with delegates from all over the world. Every other corner had call centers- with a/c and huge glass windows. The word "Bangalore" strikes fear in most Americans' hearts. It is a word that has found its way into the dictionary meaning…the land of outsourcing. 'You've been Bangalored' means-you are being replaced by an Indian, faraway in India.

There is this folklore that explains why "Bengalooru"-the name of the city came into being…

Apparently, a rich landlord, called Kempegowda, saw an old lady cooking some beans here. She offered him some. Delighted by her hospitality, he named the place "Bendakaluooru" (lit. meaning the land of cooked beans).It was then clipped crisply by the British to Bangalore and then recently renamed as 'Bengalooru'…

As Josh moved in to the interiors of Karnataka, he saw Shravanabelagola (the giant statue of Mahavira Jain, Bahubali)

He saw cataracts like the Jog falls. (A feast for the eyes).He saw the lush dales of coffee plantations at Mangalore and Coorg.

He traversed through to Mysore-city of palaces. There is the Tipu Sultan palace maintained as it was-with swords, gilded mirrors, furniture and paintings.

There are the Brindavan Gardens. With its dancing, scintillating, iridescent fountains. It was breathtaking. KRS dams. Mysore. Ancient. Contemporary.

He visited the Chamundi hills, Hampi, Belur, Halebidu (temples of

unequalled, peerless beauty).

This land is that of Udupi and MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Room).This land is celebrated for Rava Idlis(Semolina flour, steamed cakes) and Mysorepak(sweets made of sugar and lentil flour)…

The rurals eat something known as Ragi balls with a generous spattering of ghee (clarified butter) and coconut gravy with vegetables/meat and a kind of legumes. This was the land that bore PurandaraDasa, KanakaDasa and Kuvempu (noted saints and classical musicians)
Continuation of Indian trek