Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane - North Karnataka

This road trip is not a recent one. It happened in July-August 2009 - a time when I was in midst of a change in career. [change is the only constant. and history, however insignificant it may seem, tends to repeat... that's why we learn history in the first place... to anticipate our future from the past...]

We started out on the evening of 25th July, Friday and were back on 2nd August. Just 9 days was too short for this trip, but it probably made the trip a bit more exciting. [like espresso... like a short story... the essentials delivered in one hefty punch... take it in, then ruminate on it to get the message...]

But you can also take this route leisurely, spend a bit more time at each of the places and cover a few more interesting places we left out. I'll mention all those possibilities as I narrate along.

Here is the gist of our road trip:
Vehicle: Mariti Swift ZXI
Distance covered: ~ 2500 kms (total)
Days: 9
Route: Bangalore -> Hyderabad -> Bidar -> Gulbarga -> Bijapur -> Bagalkot -> Hospet -> Bellary -> Chitradurga -> Bangalore

Route map below...

View Trip Down Memory Lane in a larger map

All the places in our route have historical significance for southern India. Hampi (Hospet) is quite popular and widely recognized, but the other places are amazing as well. I had been to Hampi and Hyderabad earlier, vaguely remembered having read about the Vijaynagar empire and Nizams in school, but somehow I never had formed a picture (or rather a coherent story) in my mind. This trip was a trip down memory lane for me in that sense as well.

One of the reasons could be that I frankly had never found history interesting before. In school history felt like just a bunch of information to be remembered without any reason. I never understood why one should remember dates in history when it can be easily looked up in the book. Teachers (and many other adults in my time) then probably failed to induce the right interest for history in me. What would have interested me (and I'm sure many others like me then and now) was the whys' and what ifs' and why nots' of history. That is what is worth understanding... not just facts and dates... the facts and dates are just there to assist in understanding. Remembering them comes only second in the priority, so that are at your fingertips whenever you need to make some analysis or judgment.

I'd suggest this route to any one who is interested in history, or wants their kids to 'see, feel, and understand' this bit of Indian history. I'll cover each leg of my trip in more detail in future posts with whatever little understanding I gained and the exciting moments we had. Watch this page...

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