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    • Day 143

      Mangalore, India

      May 3, 2023 in India ⋅ ☁️ 84 °F

      New-to-us port #39.

      Technically, we stopped in Mangalore on RTW2017. But we had some urgent business to take care of, so we took the shuttle to town, got an all-day wi-fi pass at the Ocean Pearl Hotel, and spent the day there. No sightseeing. No exploring. Therefore, I am unilaterally declaring this port of call new-to-us.

      Our tour today actually took us out of Mangalore to Karkala and Moodabidri. But before we could go anywhere … yes, you guessed it. Another stamp on our landing cards, which we then had to show at two different checkpoints before our guide could whisk us away.

      Karkala, which means black rock in the Tulu language — in reference to the black granite that is found in the area — is about a 1.5-hour drive from Mangalore … and also the farthest point on our tour, for which we were joined once again by Sonia & Boris and Pat & Norm.

      The town dates back to the 10th century and was, at one point, ruled by the Jain. (An interesting culture/religion that is very complex … if interested, you can Google it.). Our purpose for going to Karkala was to see the 42-foot tall Gommateshwhara statue of the Jain idol, Bahubali.

      Installed in 1432 as the second tallest Bahubali statue in India, it was carved out of a single piece of granite. To say that the statue was quite impressive would be an understatement. Behind it are sculptures of Tirthankaras … what the Jain consider “supreme preachers” … the oldest of which is a couple million years old!

      Next, we turned back the way we came and went to the town of Moodabidri … the name of which is also from the Tulu language and means east bamboo … in reference to all the bamboo that is grown in the region.

      Our first stop was at Soans Farms … a 100-acre property that grows everything from pineapple and vanilla, to pepper and cocoa, to exotic fruits such as mangostein, rambutan, durian … and of course mango. In fact, after our tour of the farm, we picked up some mangos to add to our in-cabin-consumption stash.

      From the farm, we continued a short distance to the Jain temple of Saavira Kambada Basadi … aka Temple of Thousand Pillars. Constructed in the 15th century, this temple is said to be the most prominent of the 18 Jain temples in Moodabidri. What makes it quite unique is that no two pillars are identical, each with different stone carvings. In the inner sanctum, behind a locked wooden gate, is an idol of the 8th Jain Thirthankara.

      A quick stop at the local market in Moodabidri wrapped up our tour. Shortly after 2:00p, we were at the port gate showing our landing cards. Then, a scan of the cards inside the terminal and we were cleared to re-embark Insignia.

      Tomorrow … another day … another port in India.
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    • Day 110

      Mangalore, India

      May 3, 2023 in India ⋅ ☁️ 84 °F

      This is our second time in Mangalore. We did temples and city on our first visit, so today our tour took us away from Mangalore. The city we visited is Karkala. It’s located 60km from Mangalore which took us 1.5 hours. Not too far, but driving in India is let’s say challenging,
      Today’s tour was organized by Erin. We joined them and Pat and Norm. All friends from 2017.

      Karkala dates to ten century. Our first stop was to see 42 foot tall statue from 15th century, curved from one piece of granite. It is a religious site for Jain worshipers. That is the religion from this area.
      That was the furthers point from the port we would go. On our way back to the ship, we stopped in Moodabidri town. We visited Soans Farm.

      It is a farm/botanical farm with lots of tropical exotic fruit trees and plants. We had a chance to try some of them and also purchase more mangos.

      Then after that, we went to the the Jain Temple. Another worship site of Jain religion. It was also build in 15tg century and know as 1000 pillars. All pillars are different. The temple is considered an architectural wonder and is a major attraction of Moodabidri.

      Our last stop was a market. No purchases made there.
      Nice shower after hot day and dinner in the Main Dinning Room
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    • Day 3

      At the butterfly park

      October 15, 2023 in India ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

      We’re well past peak activity time for butterflies as per the caretaker, but we did see a bunch of pretty colourful butterflies. Captured only one photo because the butterflies were dancing too fast to capture.Read more

    • Day 109

      Mangalore, India - 2 of 2 Fruit&Spice

      May 3, 2023 in India ⋅ ☁️ 90 °F

      We visited the Soans farm which started in 1926 as an experiment in irrigation and now has over 30 crops like coconut, pineapple, cashew nut, mango, sapota, vanilla, arcca, bread fruit, banana , jack fruit, cocoa. They also started macadamia, langsat, mangosteen, dragon fruit, abiu and jaboticaba which came from other parts of the world. It also grows many spices including pepper, nutmeg, clove, allspice and cinnamon.

      We saw all these fruits, spices and more (I stopped counting at 20). Some great varieties of bamboo are grown here, and we walked among them learning how some grow as fast as a foot a day. They also produce medicines and experiment in and energy healing using dowsing, pyramids, medicine wheel and labyrinths (note: the earth’s magnetic force helps them decide where to plant and what!) There are now over 170 plant types on the property. Along with a very educated guide, we walked around the property to take in the sights of all these trees, bushes, plants and to experience all the smells and beauty. Oh yes, we also had the best fresh made pineapple juice anywhere. Fun experience.
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    • Day 12

      Mangalore, India

      December 8, 2023 in India ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Friday December 8, Mangalore, India.
      Guides name today is ROSHIN

      This morning at 8.00am, the ship docked in Mangalore, India. Mangalore is a small town with a population of around 1 million people. The religious breakdown is 70% Hindu, 14% Christian,15% Muslims and one percent belonging to a mix of other religions.
      Mangalore is known as the hub of education, having 3 universities, 16 engineering colleges, 5 medical colleges and a number of colleges offering paramedic courses. English is taught in all junior schools, in addition to their choice of two other languages so many students will be adept at speaking 3 languages.
      Occupations are farming, and fishing with 300 varieties of fish caught off the coast but surprisingly, we were told there was virtually no egg or meat production.

      Our 5 hour tour today is Karkala and Moodbidri Temple. The tour was supposed to start at 8:30 but there was quite a delay waiting for the ship to clear customs. Looking out from our verandah, we could see a large welcoming committee on the pier, including some bare-chested drummers, and two ladies dressed in elaborate ceremonial costumes. A beautiful walk-through canopy led us to the customs area.
      Mangalore is quite a modern city with an almost 100% literacy rate. It was slightly cleaner than our previous stops in India and in some locations, it was very much cleaner.

      Our first stop, after a 1 hour drive, was to the state of Karkala to visit a religious statue of Lord Gomateshwara. The tallest monolithic statue in India, Gomateshwara is dedicated to Lord Bahubali who is said to have meditated motionless for 12 years in a standing posture (kayotsarga) and that during this time, climbing plants grew around his legs. After his 12 years of meditation, Bahubali is said to have attained omniscience. Carved out of a single block of granite, the statue, situated at the very top of a hill, depicts Lord Gomateshwara a Jain saint and stands 60 feet tall. But first, we had to climb a fairly strenuous 212 stairs to get there, in 32C heat, but all of us did fine as well as coming back down. Peter and I agreed that it was a lot of work to see a dirty statue!
      After that we visited Sloan Farm, a spice plantation and were led on a tour by the male owner.
      Next another Hindu temple called the Thousand Pillar Moodbidi Temple . And just to show you how complicated things are in India, it is also known as Sri Rudreshwara Temple. The temple was built in 1163, badly damaged in 1397-1399 by the Tughlag Dynasty invasion. As usual, we were required to remove our shoes, but they weren’t as strict as in previous temples so men in shorts and women without head covers where allowed in. The temple is remarkable, in part, because each of the 1000 pillars are carved with different designs and characters such that none of them are the same. The Temple is like others, enormous in size but we were able to only visit the relatively small area where the pillars are. Areas we didn't see consisted of a large monolith of Nandi, (Lord Shiva's sacred bull), and the the three deities of Lord Visnu, Shiva and Surya Deva. I told you it was complicated!
      The trip back to the ship was rather quiet because we were all tired tourists.
      It is remarkable that there aren’t more accidents or deaths. In fact, we hadn’t seen any accidents to this point. As close as I can figure out, the rule seems to be that everything is ok, regardless of which direction you’re going, what you are driving or what lane you are in, so long as you don’t hit anything. It’s very scary.

      Our trip today ended a little earlier than most and we had an opportunity to relax and have a swim on the pool deck. As the ship departed, there was an exuberant farewell performance on the pier with dancing, drum beating, and lots of local people waving us goodbye.
      Dinner tonight was at the meatball place a.k.a, the Italian restaurant Sette Marie, and the entertainment which we said we wouldn’t go to, but did, was two brothers tap dancing to a wide variety of music. It was surprisingly very enjoyable.
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    • Day 281

      Mangalore - Kudroli Tempel

      March 12, 2019 in India ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      For the first time we are in India now. We took a Tuk-Tuk and visited the Kudroli Temple and the central market. Mangalore is a very, very dirty and for sure not a nice city.

      Nun sind wir zum ersten Mal in Indien. Per Tuk Tuk ging es zum Kudroli Tempel. Der Tempel war ganz nett, aber Mangalore an sich ist definitiv keine Reise wert. Es ist eine sehr sehr dreckige Stadt die an sich nicht wirklich viel zu bieten hat.Read more

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