Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Memorable Jaunt..!!

We took off one day or rather night; on a trip at around 2:30 in the AM. We, as in Me, G and B. For certain “can’t-be-put-into-words reasons” the names are withheld…! :)

It all started with Glen wanting to do something wild. And then my boss suggested going to Sri Sailam which is about 250kms from where we stay… A cool 5 hrs drive through half-highway half-wilderness…

They had gone out earlier in the day to the Sanghi temple (G&B). And then Madame G started feeling restless and wanted to do something totally wild..! And so this trip was decided upon… they called up and asked me if I was game and I so was… :-)… the plans were made in a hurry; we decided we would leave at 2:30 sharp so that we would get there max by 8 and we can leave the place by around 4 in the evening..
So we got set, B told us he would come and pick us up at 2:30 and asked us to be ready… we were too excited to be asleep but still had to get some of those 40 winks and so we slept by around 12:30-1:00 AM. Both of us got ready by 2:30, had a cup of tea while waiting for B. By then it was pouring heavily outside..! B called promptly at 2:45 and we went downstairs got into the Scorpio and left…

It’s a great drive to Sri Sailam… the roads are pretty smooth and not all that bumpy… we had to pass a hilly stretch called the Nallamalla hills and a forest reserve; supposedly a tiger reserve! :-)
Srisailam boasts of a huge temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati. It’s one of the 12 shrines in India which is a Jyotirlinga (A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam is a shrine where Lord Shiva, an aspect of God in Hinduism is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam or "Lingam of light." - wikipedia) shrine… Shiva's sacred bull Vrishabha is said to have performed penance at the Mahakali temple till Shiva and Parvati appeared before him as Mallikarjuna and Brahmaramba. Heroic legends from the Mahabharata and Ramayana are sculpted in stone on the temple walls and the Mahabharata epic refers to Srisailam as Sri Parvata - the blessed hill. You can hear the buzzing of a bee through a tiny hole in the Brahmaramba temple, where Parvati, in the form of a bee, slew the demon Mahisasura. It is one of the holiest places that India has to offer.

We booked into a hotel near the temple; had breakfast; freshened up and then went to the temple… it was really crowded but B knew someone who was part of the temple committee and therefore we managed to move ahead of the major crowds; had a really good darshan of God and then we moved out. B went to get “prasadam” from the counters and then we went to meet B’s friend who had gained us entry into the temple away from the crowds. We went into the “laddu-making unit of the temple”… the laddu was amazing… Enriched in ghee and dry fruits..!! Yummy!!!

We came back to the hotel; had lunch and then rested for a while… We were really tired out by then.. Especially B who was driving the entire stretch… we got up at around 3:30 in the evening… and left Srisailam…!
And by then somehow when we left we took a wrong turn somewhere and well lost our way and went on a detour of about 40 kms…! Then it struck B that we were going the wrong way and we turned back…
The drive back through the Ghats was at breakneck speed… me and G dozed off which was a good thing or we’d have been shit scared of the way B was driving..!! There was one time that I opened my eyes and my glance happened to fall on the speedometer; it was touching 140 which kinda made me pass out..!! 140 on the Ghats is not a safe thing..!!

We soon crossed that part and reached the forest reserve part where we stopped for tea at one of the tumble-down huts by the roadside..!! B and G were talking nineteen to dozen about cars and stuff which I was not interested in.. I chatted up the lady in the shop – Andalamma – her name was and I was soon chatting to her; me in Hindi, she in Telugu..! :-)… we had hot tea and mirchi bhajjis there… Then we were on the way again…
By the time we touched Hyderabad outskirts it was close to 9:00… stopped at a nice hotel on the way back; had food; by that time I had a splitting headache and all 3 of us were dead tired..!! it was 11:00 PM by the time we got back home… B dropped us and was soon on his way back…

We just crashed as soon as we got back.. !!!
All in all it was a great trip and a great day out...!! :-) Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves to the hilt..!

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