Day 109 | 30 April 2015 | Bankapura to Kadahalli | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • The Padayatris silhouetted against the rising sun, on Day 109, Bankapur, Haveri, Karnataka
  • The day's first break - Bankapur, Haveri, Karnataka
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  • The Swamiji of Muruga Mutt, Dharwad receives the Padayatra near Kamanahalli, Haveri,-Karnataka
  • When great minds meet, Sri M with the Swamiji of Muruga Mutt, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • The haystack and bullock cart, for most of us, vestiges of a bygone-era, Shiggaon, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Ubiquitous cellphone ad does not spare even this village home ! -Shiggaon, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Panoramic view of the Haveri countryside -Day 109, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Short breaks bring up- such lovely interactions with simple village folk, Kadahalli, Karnataka
  • 'How dare you run away'- wannabe shepherd,-Gottagodi, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Warm welcome on arrival at endpoint- Kadahalli, Haveri, Karnataka
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  • Sri M offers prayers at the Dargah at Kadirlinga, Sishunala, Haveri, Karnataka
  • Sri M receives blessings at the Samadhi of Sishunala Sheriff,-Sishunala, Haveri, Karnataka
The padayatra started at 5.30 am from Bankapura. The yatris had been transported in a bus earlier from their place of stay to the starting point. Starting under the cover of darkness from Bankapura and crisscrossing narrow empty village streets, the padayatris were soon walking on the highway. In Bankapura, they visited an interesting Narasimha temple; the temple is believed to be 1700 years old and is situated in a small underground complex.

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Today’s walk covered 22 kilometers and reached Kadahalli around 11.30 am. They went through places like Munavalli, Kursapur, Shiggaon, Kamanahalli, Gotagodi and Shayadambi before reaching their destination point.Shiggaon was the only town the padayatra touched; while all others were small villages. The first break was at dawn when the walkers were provided with their second coffee/tea for the day. And from then on, most of the breaks saw people from the villages coming to pay their respects to Sri M. Breakfast was at The Sai Temple in Shiggaon, hosted by the local community. Once on the highway, the day was spent walking through vast farmlands. The cool breeze made the sun feel less blazing. However, towards the end, the sun did exhibit its fieriest avatar once the breeze died down! Stopping every hour or so, the padayatra reached Kadahalli village. Before that, at Kamanahalli, the pontiff of the Dharwad Muruga Mutt came to greet Sri and spend some time with him. At Kadahalli. Kailash Mandap Swamiji greeted Sri M and the padayatris and walked a short distance with them to the halting point. He also accompanied the padayatra during the evening visits. From the halting point, the padayatris were transported to Gayatri Tapo Bhoomi Temple at Ramanakoppa. This temple is run by the Gayatri Parivar, which has its headquarters in Haridwar. This organization aims at revival of spirituality and creative integration of the modern and ancient sciences and religion—deemed relevant in the challenging circumstances of the present times. It was founded by Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya. There was no Satsang scheduled today. The padayatris gathered again in the evening to visit two prominent nearby places. First, they visited the Dargah of Hajresh Khadri Sufi, in Hugloor. Little is known about the life of this Sufi Saint, except that he lived in the19th century. He was known as a champion of religious unity and treated people from different religions as One.He was also a champion of the downtrodden. He blessed Shishunala Sharifa's parents who were childless when they came to him for succour. As a result of the Sufi saint's blessing, Shishunala Sharifa was born. Here at the Dargah, Sri M and the padayatris spent some time in prayers. Next, they visited Shishunala Sharifa’s Samadhi. Shishunala Sharifa was a saint poet, philosopher and social reformer. Sharifa is recognized as the first-ever Muslim poet in Kannada literature. He found a guru in Shri Kalasada Guru Govinda Bhatta - a Brahmin. Though a Muslim by birth, Shishunala Sharifa believed in the tenets of Hinduism and helped bring communal harmony. At his birthplace in Shishuvinahala, both Hindus and Muslims revere him as a saint at the same temple, even today. Shishunala Sharifa was known to compose poems as per the context and sing them to spread his message. Though he never wrote down his compositions, many of these have been passed down by word of mouth tothe future generations. He is known as the 'Kabir of Karnataka'. His poems, known as 'tattvapadas',contain the essence of true spirituality, in the language of the common man. These poems cut across all barriers and have now become part of Karnataka’s folklore. The padayatris also visited an Art Gallery with pictorial depiction of the Saint's life. Following this, there was an informal interaction between the padayatris and a few locals. The venue was home to many langurs that sat quietly at a distance witnessing everything. A local singer sang the compositions of Shishunala Sharifa and everyone listened in rapt attention. Later, the padayatris were served some refreshments and soon, they were on their way back to the Gayatri Temple. After a dinner at the temple, they retired for the day. The day was long and tiring but rewarding!

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