South Indian Saga Part II [Into God's own country]

By @Prashant |

South Indian Saga

Day # 2: Into God’s own country

“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.�

~Hellen Kellar

We started off the day with nice a breakfast and tea at Ullal. Ullal beach, to our dismay was perfect place to tenting but I said ‘Never mind, I will again get a chance like this’. We visited Someshwar Temple on the seashore about a kilometer from Ullal beach, after spending some time in the temple we moved to our next destination Bekal Fort. It’s a largest fort in Kerala. An important feature of this fort is the water-tank with its flight of steps, the tunnel opening towards the south, the magazine for keeping ammunition and the broad and wide steps leading to the Observation Tower which is a rarity.  I reached the fort and called up my friend Aparna, told her I am in ‘God’s own country’, she hails from Aluva, Kerala. It was amazing to watch Arabian Sea wide across, such an exquisite view of the sea and the fort. I was thinking to halt the day at Kappad beach and if lucky I could again get a chance to put my tent in the beach, it’s one of Kerala’s beautiful beaches. We reached Kannur, one of the ten best cities to live in India [Source: Wikipedia]. We had our lunch in a Kannada restaurant which was discovered accidently, we entered hotel hearing yesteryears golden Kannada songs. After ordering the food, I spoke to waiter about the place, something which I do apart from my knowledge of the places I visit. He spoke about few places of interest and said he is living here for past few years and earlier lived in Tharihal[Karnataka], it’s few kilometers from Hubli city. Well I said ‘we two are from  Hubli city’.

I wanted to visit a Mappila beach but was also aware of reaching Kappad early; Mappila beach is often crowded as it is near the city & also most visited beach, so set to visit other beach which I read about, Muzhuppilangad Beach, this is a drive in beach. We entered the beach on our bikes and I could see Pavan was in full enthusiasm to drive the bike in the beach. We drove our bike crazily, posing stunts one after other, dragging foot on the sand, standing on the foot rest which made few people in the beach to look and appreciate. Next was Mahe, a union territory; first thing we did is to stop by a petrol bunk. We set the tanks full also filled an extra bottle which we were carrying, reason, petrol price in Mahe is 56 rupees almost around 9 rupees lesser compared to other places. I could also see many liquor shops which sell tax free liquors, but we could just fill our petrol tanks.

Quilandi is the place which falls on the way to Kappad beach and maintains the age old tradition of Hookah making. On reaching Quilandi I came to know by a local stationary shop owner that the profession of hookah making is almost obsolete and only couple of families are involved in this profession. He directed us to one of the house nearby. We entered the house and enquired about it. Owner of the house was cordial in welcoming us and telling about the Hookah making history in Quilandi. We missed out to see the hooking making; the manufacturing unit was closed for two days, but managed to grab a look at the hookah in his house. Most of the Arab countries order for these hookahs which cost starting from 3k. Now set to hit Vasco Da Gama’s memorial stone, I planned to reach there by daylight and enjoy the evening beach side walk. We reached the memorial stone where Vasco Da Gama first landed in India in 1498 with his three vessels of ships. Now it’s hardly been maintained by local authority but I was feeling great on reaching there. After few snaps, I was eager to find a place for tenting; went to the beach side and enquired about if any permission is needed for it. I spoke to local shop guy, who understood Kannada language not proficiently but yes it did help. He said tenting is allowed, but nearby there was police tent. I spoke to the policemen and asked if the tent can be put on the beach, policeman said yes. This time I was lucky. 

We had our dinner in the resort on the beach side with light guitar music played by a guitarist Mr Chandran. I requested him to play one of my all time favorite ‘Hotel California’ it was most exciting and fantastic dinner I had in my life, listening to one of the greatest  rock bands with bear mug in my hand. I thanked him for playing the song, to my surprise he requested me to sing a song. I had a long standing wish of singing on the floor in front of the audience; I gave a thought and said yes. I decided to sing a hindi song, with only one person in the audience who knew Hindi apart from my friend Pavan, rest of the people on the floor where foreigners. I sang pretty decently and managed to please the middle aged guy who applauded after my singing. I thanked him and Mr Chandran and finished the beer in my mug. We placed our tent on the beach. I walked on the beach shore and enjoyed every moment of it. I took my time to hit the tent.

Day 2 Travel:
Ullal — Bekal Fort --- Kannur --- Muzhuppilangad Drive in Beach— Quilandi — Kappad Beach

Distance Travelled: 260kms

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