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South India Kerala and Karnataka

After traveling the roads of Tamil Nadu , the time has come to cross the mountains, the Western Ghats through the Palni Hills before reaching Kerala and its backwaters, then back through Karnataka to Hampi . A ticket shaped impressions here and there to whet your appetite for this region. Notes interspersed with a few mechanical rides, because we are still in India. And as I thought of you, you will even have right at the end of this post to some suggestions of itineraries for South India. No doubt, after this healthy reading, your karma goes … I do not tell you more.

So we continue the little adventure in South India. Two articles in a row on the same country, which is the same region and in addition, please, chronologically, this is a first. But sorry for the addicts of space-time coherence, I fear that it does not last. But since it’s the program of the day, let’s go.

Kerala is probably more touristy than Tamil Nadu. He has for him, it must be said, the beaches of Kovalam and Varkala where I have not even set foot. I was probably wrong, a little rest would not have hurt me, but it was a time when I had scratched the word beach from my vocabulary. It has since reappeared, but still very discreet and sporadic.

But before arriving in Kerala, I have to cross some mountains. Obviously, it’s not really the Himalayas, but there are the same mountain resorts as in the foothills of the Himalayas. Of the different stations, I chose Kodaikanal , why, I do not know anymore. Still, it was not really a success. The place is probably beautiful, but it’s just not the right season. It’s late October, and the northeast monsoon has arrived in Kodai. It’s quite complicated monsoons in India. Most of the country suffers the southwestern monsoon from mid-June to mid-September, but southeast India is affected by the north-east monsoon (okay, not too much of a whirlwind?). mid-October to the end of December. In short, I’m in the clouds and it’s raining. To enjoy the mountains, it’s not necessarily the best.

So I continue my journey to Kerala and its famous backwaters . Have you ever heard of Kerala backwaters? It is a network of navigable canals and lakes along the coast of Kerala through lush vegetation and it is an opportunity to experience a mode of transport a little less hectic than the Indian buses, namely the boat. .

Then came Kochi , a real treat. If you want to stock up on red peppers to get angry with guests once you get home, you’re in the right place. Kochi also has a few Chinese squares. What is it? Well a plaice is a wooden structure that supports a big fishing net. So instead of throwing your net into the sea, you take it down and rebuild it with this structure and ropes.

And hop hop hop, we continue north. Bus trips to India can be a bit hectic. And the one to go to Sravanabelagola kept all his promises. The bus is equipped with two horns and the driver plays us a real symphony with these two tones to make their way on these sometimes congested roads. But the symphony is a little dissonant and ends up getting on my nerves because I’m sitting in front, right next to the driver. And then suddenly there is a bridge in front of us full of sheep. The code of the Indian road stipulating that the biggest is always right, our good knight of the road takes again its symphony of more beautiful to open a passage. Obviously, it does not slow down , what’s the point! Except that there are too many sheep on this bridge to pass. At the last minute, he crushes the brake and stops in a squeak of tires just in time. Although I was at this stage rather used to Indian driving, I almost screamed at him a “but fucking, you’re too stupid, you did not see that it could ever pass” . Because yes, on that one, I really was scared. He, sure of his right, he shouted the shepherd!

Sravanabelagola is the holy city of Jainism . You do not know Jainism? I did not know either. It’s close to Hinduism, but it’s still another religion. I am not going to give you a theology class, but the most surprising aspect of Jainism is the cult of non-violence, which has reached its climax. A jain must therefore normally sweep in front of him when walking or wearing a kind of veil in front of his mouth, and this to be certain that he will not accidentally crush or swallow a small animal. It can be assumed that jains are rarely bus drivers, otherwise you might be late for your destination!

In the Jain temple of Sravanabelagola, there is an 18 m tall statue of Bahubali, who is the son of the founder of Jainism. And indeed, he looks very “peace and love” Bahubali.

On the way to Hampi, take a short break in Belur to admire one of the temples of South India with the most refined statuary. Note also the elegance of these Indian sari. I’m not sure, however, that the one in yellow is very impressed by my elegance to me