Archives for category: travel

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Ghutiari Sharif is a nondescript village in the South-24 Parganas district of West Bengal. It is where the notable medieval Islamic ascetic’s – Pir Ghazi Mubarak Shah – mazar is situated. Yesterday (03.08.2007), marked the death anniversary of this ascetic and there were over a lac of visitors who came to offer prayers. Legend has it that the ascetic possessed spiritual powers, and it was he who had once brought rainfall ending a long period of drought back in the days, providing relief for the suffering mass. It was through intensive meditation carried out in this very mazar (which now draws lacs of visitors) that this ascetic was believed to have made this possible. But it cost him his life. It was both tragic and miraculous at the same time. No wonder then that the mood of the place was marked by both a sense of fervent celebrations and also that of gratitude towards the almighty. People from all walks of life, traveling great distances had come to be a part of this holy event.

A word of caution for travelers: Ghutiari Sharif is otherwise quite notoriously renowned for being a hub of criminals, and there is also a huge presence of red light areas here. IF you are planning to visit this place you must be cautious about your belongings and not carry any expensive materials with you. I heard that all pick pockets that operate in the cities are trained here!!


 

 

I knew little about Hampi when I boarded the bus leaving from Hospet’s bus terminus. Seated in the bus among chirpy young school students in their starched white shirts and dark green shorts I was beginning to draw a picture of the shape of things to come. Cognitively drawing upon the information in my guidebook, the photographs in it. Relieved at one level of having made this bus at the very last moment, on the run. At another level my senses were on high alert, my eyes scanning everything around me. Taking it all in. The landscape on both side of the road was starting to change into a fascinating display of prcariously positioned boulders and the odd prehistoric structure which looked like temples. And then it was getting obvious, these boulders were everywhere as far as the eye could see, the ancient structures started appearing more frequently. It was indeed getting interesting. Felt like I was entering into an unreal world of a forgotten era.

The apprehension and doubt started to fade away. The effort I put to make it here was going to be worth it…I mean eight hours of bus journey from Bangalore city, my Granta and the occasional blurry windmill smeared terrain on the outside for company and the feeling of being forever lost…