Day 2, Evening: Windmills of my mind
Talakaveri was never part of the plan. But then again, the WWR has never been about plans. As I paid my respects inside the Bhagandeshwara temple upon the thriveni sangama, Shenaz was busy discussing with local shopkeepers about the road ahead. ‘Sangeet, we can either make a dash for it and try to reach Bekal fort just in time for sunset. Or we could catch it from up above, at Talakaveri and ride through the jungle at night.’ I wasn’t comfortable with night rides, but my previous experiences had taught me better. It was decided that we make a quick stop at Talakaveri so that we try and reach Bekal before 9. As we ascended the ghats, the evening had begun to set in and the temperature had begun to drop. The sky, blue while we entered Bhagmandala, now had turned a shade of orange. Talakaveri is considered as the source of the river Kaveri. Legend has it that water from a fallen container that was used by sage Agasthya, who was meditating on the Bhramagiri hill, trickled down to being the river Kaveri. A tank has been constructed at the spot where the container supposedly fell.
On top, we parked our motorcycles outside the huge temple gates. There were more people than I had expected. Inside, were wide stairs that led to a sprawling courtyard that had a tank at its corner. This was the origin of the Kaveri. Further up ahead was an arch with stairs leading to the top. Although we were tired, we followed enthusiastic school children who were climbing the stairs with much haste. Only a minute had passed, since I began the climb, when I thought my hamstrings might rupture and break under the weight of my heavy bag, my camera, my leather jacket and of course myself. With each step that I climbed, I cursed my gym membership. The air was lighter and the steps didn’t seem to end. As I neared the end of my climb, I saw people celebrating and running around a metal staff. Cursing our decision to visit the spot, I continued until I was on top.
As, I climbed the final staircase, I felt overwhelmed. Perhaps it was the altitude and the strong winds. Perhaps it was the fatigue in my body or the sheer beauty of the vast hills that laid out like green waves. Although, It was nearly six in the evening, there still was a lot of sunlight around me. Tired and awe-struck at the same time, I dropped the bags and my jacket to the ground. Ahead of me, laid lush green hills with windmills erected on top of them. The blades moved in unison slicing out the strong winds and the rays of sunlight onto vast green expanses that laid below. The earlier sense of calmness began to prevail over me as I sat cross-legged, upon a rock, facing the hills that now basked in the evening sun, humbled by the sheer beauty of God’s creation. As the strong winds lashed against my face, I closed my eyes and sat quietly, in peace.