It is been exactly a year since I travelled, never have I imagined that 2020 will veto me from my business trips. I really miss my last minute packing, vegetarian anxiety, cribbing about airport traffic, relaxing at premium lounges, getting lost alone with my phone and most of all that loving hug from my kid after 4/5 days of separation. Ah…. I miss that damn attention.
While the snow covered mountains, long green meadows and deep blue sea kept calling me all through the summer. I just played a deaf game, although the anticipation itself gave a thrill. But this whole lockdown episode has opened up a new tradition at home-weekend drive to nearby places. Trust me, you don’t always need to plan & pack to enjoy nature’s beauty, sometimes it is just right under your nose.
Last week we planned a perfect retreat to head off from our four walls, and also to give that flavor of hiking to my son. We went to Suvarnamukhi Hills, a place affluent in its natural beauty and historical significance, untouched by crowd. I always used to wonder why every Indian hill has a temple, who took all the pains to go up and build it. But that serene beauty and incredible silence possess a subtle divinity. Right in front of the temple, there is an ancient pond (Pushkarani/Kalyani) with some curative powers. There is an Anjaneya idol immersed in the water. It gets attention every year during Hanuman Jayanthi.
With its canopy of shady and sturdy trees, this place is in an elephant corridor. Though we only saw fresh dung, but apparently herds of elephant could be seen during nighttime. This place is under forest department and we have restricted time to visit.
We had company to enthrall us throughout our trail. A cordial dog was silently (unlike GPS girl) navigating us and a junk eater monkey (she ditched a fully ripe banana and picked up a juice carton looking for left over juice)
What adds to this exquisiteness is the pile of stones or cairns in all rocky areas. Suddenly it felt like we dived back to prehistoric era to see all those neatly stacked stones. The belief in this region is those who make cairn with stones available there, will be blessed with own houses.
Cairns dates back to beginning of humanity, mostly to set marks to not get lost in nature. The sight of these stacked rocks clearly proves it to be either landmark or place of worship/memorials. A structure built with irregular shaped rocks laid in a pattern similar to that of a labyrinth looked mysterious. The immediate look of it reminded me of “ball in a maze” puzzle. The end of the circle comprises of heap of stones with a small opening for worship. The age of the structure is unclear neither did it look like a recent build, but it was definitely intriguing.
Cairn, to me looked more like a pointless hobby. I have played seven stones all through my child hood, but once I started stacking the small rocks, it proved to be more challenging and needs undivided focus. No wonder it is linked to Zen way of meditation!!!
Rock/Stones are stacked and naturally balanced in various patterns without any wires/adhesives but only with the support of gravity.
I picked an interest after seeing cairns everywhere, and explored more about Michael Grab and his art on nature (www.gravityglue.com).
Michael Grab is prominent and has done amazing balancing structures around the world with variety of rocks. He is just a click away in YouTube and google.
As much as this looks like a fun art, conservationists and environmentalists are worried about the aesthetical intrusion to natural landscape, expose to soil erosion and also possible misdirection to hikers. Here goes some natural rock balancing in incredible India – astounding Krishna’s butter ball in Mahabalipuram and balancing rock in Jabalpur.
Overall, it was a well spent day, this place offers every visitor a quiet resting spot and an opportunity to be in complete serenity and in stark harmony with the nature. Besides, to me it gave an opportunity to know about yoga of balancing stone technique.
Happy Hiking !!