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Archive for the ‘Kundapur’ Category

“Amra kothaye ghurte jacchi thik korli?” (where are we going for the vacation?), Maa asked yet again as I headed for office last Monday. All I knew at that time was we are heading to a beach. After putting a word at office for an extended weekend, I sat down “googling” and zeroed on Turtle Bay Resort, made reservations at the resort and then booked the tickets for Kundapur on my way home. Turtle Bay is where we are going Maa”, I said in the evening while I dropped my bag on the bed and settled with a bowl of popcorn.

However the next day, another round of “googling” made me come across the Tropical Isle Resort – Amgol. Therefore another change of mind was followed by a couple of calls to Vishwas, the resort owner who promptly warned me that rain could play spoil sport. The other four “adventurers” agreed on to this place and the resort booking was confirmed the next day! The bus booking was untouched since we had to reach Amgol through the sleepy village called Basrur located on the southern banks of Varahi River in the Kundapur District itself, 6 kms off the National Highway.

We reached Kundapur early Friday morning, 7 a.m. to be precise, and walked into Hotel Sharon where we had our breakfast. Vishwas accompanied us till the resort from here, as promised. The omni speeded through the muddy tracks to reach the river front where the resort boat was waiting to ferry us to the islet. On the way, Vishwas told us about the nearby village called Hattiangadi which is famous for the Siddhi Vinayaka Temple frequented by the celebrity icons of the likes Vijay Mallaya , Hema Malini , Dimple Kapadia et al. I could see the elder generation making a mental note of visiting the place already.

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At the “docking point” of Amgol Resort we were greeted by Ratna, our caretaker for the weekend.Her husband was incidentally our boatman, and also takes care of the resort plantations. The first day at Amgol was spent lazing around and getting used to the tranquility of the isle. We were the only inhabitants there other than Ratna and her family of four not to forget the five goats! The islet is stretched about a kilometer length vise and barely 400 meters across. We spent the rest of the day sitting in the balcony chatting while the clouds hovered over us causing intermittent spells of rain which never lasted for more than ten minutes. We bid the night off midst the croaking of frogs and the Sound of Varahi River lashing across the banks of the isle.

The ambience was both overwhelming and eerie at the same time!

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We woke up the next day as the rain battered against the tiled roof of our little villa while steaming hot appams, coconut halwa and tea awaited us in the verandah. We decided to visit Hattiangadi in the morning but by the time we were ready to go it was already past twelve. The plan was chucked till post lunch and we decided to explore the islet instead. Around 3 p.m., the Rain God permitted us to set off to the northern banks of Varahi River. Hattiangadi was an ancient Port town, a commercial centre and one of the earliest capitals of the Alupas, the earliest known rulers of this region. If Siddhi Vinayaka temple did not exist here, Hattiangadi would have joined the list of forgotten places centuries ago! The temple was more than a kilometer walk from the river bank crossing a muddy terrain full of slush, thanks to the rain! Paddy fields flanked both the sides where people were busy with their daily chores withstanding all climatic variations. Maa and Mao were so much taken over by the surrounding that they walked the way singing “Aaj dhaner khete roudra chhayay luko churi khela..”(today the sunshine and the shadow play the hide and seek game).

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By 5 p.m. in the evening we were done with offering of prayers and settled for a hot cup of coffee at a nearby shop before reaching the river bank just in time to “board” the boat. This time the boatman had quite a few passengers. With the high tide making the river swell, I realised that the rim of the boat was actually touching the water which was far beyond my comfort zone since I don’t know how to wim! I literally clutched on to Baba while the onlookers tried convincing me about the balance of the boat through the rest of the journey!

Plans for Sunday were made again on Vishwas’s recommendation. Othinene was our destination that day. We bid adieu to Ratna and her family in the afternoon and thus began our hour long drive from Basrur. The drive was pretty scenic and our first stop was at Trasi (though we did not enter the village) where the Arabian Sea on the west and the River Sowparnika on the East flanked NH17. The sea was ferocious and the sound of the waves crashing on to the rocks deafening while the river flowed placidly on the other side. Santosh, our driver then drove us to the Sunset Point at Othinene where we got a breathtaking view of the beach from the ghats sans the sun of course! Later, we drove down through another tiny village called Byndoor to reach the beach and spent some good time there before heading back to Kundapur KSRTC bus stand to start our return journey to Bangalore.

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For the prospective visitors of Amgol resort- don’t expect the service or the hospitality at par with the Jungle Resorts. The arrangements are pretty basic. If you want to spend a quite weekend without much ado I would certainly recommend this place however it’s definitely not a “home away from home” kind of an experience!

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