(Baruva , a serene beach of Andhra Pradesh near Orissa border)
On a sultry evening, while helping my son to get prepared for his upcoming block test, I found myself restless.
" Such a hectic schedule!! his exam, my school, preparing questions for my students then helping my son to get prepared for his exam!! uffgg.... please, dear, plan something " I urged to my husband.
Busy in watching cricket match on TV, my hubby nonchalantly replied, " Planning for what?"
---- For a minimum two days recluse, dear.
-- "WHAT!!!! now? impossible. I have too much work pressure now."
----" Really!! but you know I have got a serious physical problem."
---- What's that?
----" first, low down the volume of the TV"
---- "Mute. Done. Tell me"
----- " You know, I'm suffering from the symptoms of hyperacusis"
He looked baffled.
The room was full of silence.
This is the solution, this is the thing that I want. Silence is a bliss for me.
"Is that curable?" my hubby seemed confused.
----yes, of course.
----- a short trip to Baruva.
Facial expression became mellowed, heaving a sigh of relief, hubby got back his tone of badinage.
------ Well, got it. Baruva will hopefully cure me of Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia.
Well, there is google for googly.
So, we decided to run off to Baruva to find out the bliss of silence and the loneliness of the long stretch of yellow sandy beach.
On the way to Baruva
Baruva is a more or less 12-hour journey from Howrah (West Bengal). We got down at Sompet (Andhra Pradesh) around 11 am, hired an auto (another option is local bus) and reached Baruva within 12 noon. As it was monsoon, the sky was impregnated with heavy carbon black clouds and occasional rain on the Eastern Ghats was like a welcome call from the sea. We did not mind the bad road as we were not in a mood of complaining.
Haritha Resort, Baruva
Haritha resort at Baruva impressed us with its aristocratic appearance. Our AC suit was neither less impressive at first sight. The balcony was overlooking the sea at 200 ft distance. A beckoning call from the sea compelled us to order a lunch first then we took the road towards sea.
I have never ever seen any lonely beach except in movies. This is the first time I found a beach of long stretch without any human being. Our joy knows no bound. Playing hide and seek with the rolling waves is something which reminds you --- there is a child-you within us.
Riblu found a dead sea turtle with utmost wonder.We provided it with a sand tomb and marched forward. The brine breeze took away our tiredness.
Clicks on the Sand Dunes
But the thing that hurt me much was the probable presence of the local weekenders. Plastic bottles, thermocol plates, broken beer bottles even injection syringes pained my conscience: we are never too good to maintain the abundance of what nature happily gives us. We are the inventors of destruction.
First --the old ticket counter covered under the bushes and the next pic--the British Style ceiling of that building
Destruction is the historical destiny of Baruva. It was the oldest port of south India in the earliest of 20th century. Ships went on long voyage to Andaman from this port. But in 1917 a cargo ship got on fire while nearing the port and it sank near the shore. This was the last day of Baruva as a port. The old light house was once there but now it has dilapidated totally. The memorial pillar was built on the memory of the sunken ship. It is still there among the Cashew bushes, behind a sand dune. When we discovered it, we felt ourselves no less than Colossal Columbus.
The sunken mast of the ill-fated ship
The present light house is built within a walled area which is very well maintained. The garden within is beautiful. A 360-degree view of the beach, the surrounding jungle, the Mahendra Tanaya river and the estuary at the Bay of Bengal will suffice your strain of alighting 150 steps to reach the top of the light house. The wind speed didn't allow us to stand straight there.
A view from the Light House, Mahendra Tanaya River meeting at the Bay of Bengal
However, rain was too much fond of us and it showered its benevolence over us and we rushed back to our resort. Lunch was the famous Chicken Fried Rice and Boneless Chilli Chicken with gravy with a bowl of light raita. This is the signature menu of this resort and an item of sheer gastronomical delight. The present cook is very good at Phulka, Potato curry, Home style chicken curry, Egg curry even toast-omelette breakfast is neither bad. As there was a cyclone alert, we did not get any fish from the sea, just took the picture of the fishing boats to reassure the fishy urge.
Sinful Chicken fried rice
Cashew Curry, a must try
So, two days we spent in enjoying the dance of the waves, exploring the historical monuments, drenching in occasional rains and devouring the sinful chicken fried rice.
An Indian Roller, the state bird of undivided Andhra Pradesh
On the third morning we spent some lazy hours, packed our bags and finally left the resort after 3 pm. A Maruti omni with very good condition was arranged from our resort for us. We started for Palasa station but took a deviation on the way and dropped at Mandasa.
I wanted to go to the Mahendra Giri Hills to visit the temple built by the mythical Pancha Pandavas during their 12-years camouflaged life. But due to shortage of time we went to visit the Vasudeva Temple beside the Mahendra Tanaya river.
The drive was through the foot hills of the Eastern Ghats, and the road surrounded by verdurous greens filled my heart with absolute romanticism about nature.
The temple opens at 5pm, so we had to wait outside. While sitting under the Ashwattha tree (Ficus religiosa) beside the Mahendra Tanaya river bordered with Eastern Ghats and waiting for the gates to open, I’ll tell you a very brief history of this temple.
Mahendra Tanaya River beside the temple
The village Mandasa was built by Raja Vaman Singh Deo of the North in 1206 AD.The Mandasa Vasudeva Perumal Temple was probably built by him. But the temple gained its religious importance in 1744 AD by Raja Hari Hara Rajamani and was reconstructed in 2003. The outside of the temple is used as a ceremonial hall. At the back of it is the beautiful architectural monument. I shall explain more about this temple in my later post. Oh! The gate of the temple is opening, let me take some snaps to show you how beautifully it is decorated.
The Mandasa Vasudeva Perumal Temple
We were offered rice bhog (prasad) from the temple. We savoured it and paid our respect to the lord and started towards Palasa.
On the way we visited the cashew production factory area, saw how cashew is being roasted and prepared. All the workers here are women. The reasons behind it are --.1. Women workers are more responsible. 2. Their daily wages are lower than the male workers. Women are probably never paid their right share [ Kangana Ranaut should start a movement with this issue].
Women workers at Cashew Processing factory
Palasa station area has some good cashew shops, couldn't resist myself from buying some. Palasa has the highest number of cashew processing factories in India and the quality is truly very good. It is also known as the “White Gold City” for its cashew processing industry.
So, this is my experience of Baruva tour. Yes, now I am cured of my hyperacusis. I can even hear smiles of my readers as you finish this article.
with love, from Baruva
How to go:
· Train from Howrah going through Andhra Pradesh, if possible get down at Sompet (it is nearer to Baruva) or else get down at Palasa.
· Auto from Sompet will take Rs.300/- to take to the Haritha resort
Where to stay:
· At Haritha Resort, Baruva, Srikakulam. (online booking available)
What else to see:
· Mandasa fort (5 mins from the temple, we missed it)
· Trekking freaks can trek to the peak of Mahendragiri Hill to see the serene beauty of nature and five Pandava temples.