This week’s Indispire prompt of Indiblogger is unique in the sense that usually you know a place is interesting or not after visiting it. You know whether food is tasty or not only after you have tasted it. But the prompt asks you to write about an interesting place you are yet to visit.
An interesting place you are yet to visit implies you think the place is interesting hearing about it from other sources. And if you want to write about that place it will not be from your own experience but it will be a compilation of others’ experiences and your own expectations.
Coming to expectations, first let me tell you about such a ‘heard from others interesting place’ that I visited last year and after visiting found that it did not live up to the hype created around the place.
You must have heard about this place called Mattur in Karnataka which has become famous as the Sanskrit speaking village. It has been featured in a number of documentaries including OMG Yeh Meri India on History TV. Even its wikipedia page says that it is a Sanskrit village. If you go through the documentaries and other published material about the place you get the impression that every one in the village uses Sanskrit in their day to day conversation. According to Wikipedia :
Mattur (or Mathur) is a village in Shimoga district near the city of Shivamogga in Karnataka state, India, known for the usage of Sanskrit for day-to-day communication, although the general language of the state is Kannada.
Being a lover of Sanskrit langauage though not a master, it was one of my must see places when we planned a trip to Shimoga last year. According to Wikipedia Sanskrit is the main language of a majority of the 5,000 residents of this village. But on reaching the village we found out that this was not the case. Only 10 to 12 houses of this big village are dedicated to the task of preserving and propagating Sanskrit and most of the villagers did not use Sanskrit in day to day conversation. I feel the majority of the villagers may not be knowing Sanskrit. Of course there is a Sanskrit Vidyapeeth where people from different parts of the globe come to learn Sanskrit under expert guidance.
For a Sanskrit lover like me I found the reality not as interesting as the impression I got from various sources which are considered reliable.
But I think that one yet-to-be-visited place I am going to mention must be interesting. I know it must be interesting because I have visited a similar place.
Last year during our Coorg tour we visited Bylakuppe a village with large Tibetan settlements in Karnataka on the way form Mysore to Medikeri.
There is a similar Tibetan Settlement in Jiranga which is about 90 kms from my hometown Berhampur in Odisha. I am yet to visit Jiranga and the nearby places that have been on my to visit place for a long time. My interest was further intensified when some days back I came to know that my college mates – Sri Ranjan Kumar Panda, who is a college lecturer, is posted at a place near Jiranga.
It is not only the Tibetan settlement at Jirange but also many other interesting places in the proximity of my home town that I am yet to visit even though I have visited most of the prominent places of India. The tribal districts of Odisha contains many treasure troves which do not fall in main tourist circuit of Odisha and such places largely remain unexplored even by the travel enthusiasts of Odisha. In my blog post – A meal to remember and the journey – I have written about my experience of travelling by train through the scenic district Koraput way back when I was in High School. Even after 30 years such places wait for a revisit.
The beauty of such places remain immune to time. In remote Odisha still there are places where you may feel you have travelled a thousand years back in time. Parts of my early childhood were spent in such areas.
Hope to go back to such places one day in addition to visiting the Tibetan Monastery at Jiranga.