Day 112 | 3 May 2015 | Hubli to Dharwad | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Sri M at the Darga of Mohammed Shahwali, Bhairidevarakoppa, Hubli, Karnataka
  • 'Pranam, Gurudev',-Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Empowered women storming a male bastion' the all woman drums ensemble, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • The Padayatra on arrival at halting point in Dharwad on Day 112, Karnataka
  • Sri M is affection personified - Dharward, Karnataka
  • Mahadev's vehicle Nandi subjected to close scrutiny by Sri M at Unakal Siddhappa Mutt during a short break, Unakal, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • The magnificent statue of Swami Vivekananda in Unakal Lake, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Everyone is smiles as the blessed baby hollers- Hubli, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Sri M being welcomed at the SDM Medical College, Sattur, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • WOH entering Dharwad from Hubli, on Day 112, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Baskets & baskets of one of Sri M's favourite fruits,-the-'MANGO'-lined the way from Hubli to Dharwad, Dharwad, Karnataka
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  • 'Chandeliers, anyone?' - the wayside supermarket - Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Sri M showers flower petals on Kittur Rani Chennamma's statue, Hubli, Dharwad, Karnatataka
  • The Sunday crowd joined the regular padayatris adding colour on Day 112, Hubli, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • A sporty greeting to the Padayatra as it left Hubli, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • The Sunday morn saw WOH take the Hubli streets by storm, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • This Padayatri thoughtfully sips a cup of tea as he holds aloft a placard with the WOH motto, Dharwad,-Karnataka
  • "Cheer up! " Sri M seems to tell this girl during a break, Dharwad, Karnataka
Today’s walk was between the twin cities, Hubli to Dharwad. Though the actual distance works out to only 17 kms, the walkers traversed 21 kms, stretching to over 6 hours. After a cup of hot coffee, they leftSri Siddharoodha Math and walked towards the main streets of Hubli.

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The first stop was at Kittur Rani Chennamma Circle. They were welcomed by a group of 150 people whohad congregated there. Sri M, along with Sri Raghuvirananda Swamiji of the Ramakrishna VivekanandaAshrama,paid respects and showered flower petals on the statue of Kittur Chennamma. Kittur RaniChennamma was the Queen of Kittur, a princely state in South India. She was best known for leading anarmed rebellion against the British East India Company in 1824. The resistance ended with her arrest and she became a symbol of the Independence Movement in India. Sri M and the walkers visited the Sri Siddeshwara Temple and offered prayers there. Before that, theywere greeted by a group of about 80 school children that joined the walk later. At the Sri SiddeshwaraTemple, more than 70 people greeted them and they also joined in. They had a short break here. In terms of participation today, the walk was second only to that of Bangalore. Apart from the corewalkers group of 100, there were about 150 or so more at the starting point. As they started under a dark sky, more people streamed in and the ranks swelled up to about 400 by the time they reached Kittur RaniChennamma Circle, half an hour into the walk. The area around Kittur Rani Chennamma Circle is perhaps the most congested in Hubli. It is here thatmany major highways meet. This is also the center of the city. However, being early morning, thepadayatra was able to leave these parts of the city quite quickly. The city was still waking up as they left and by 7.30 or 8.00 in the morning, the onslaught of traffic began. From 8.00 am till 12.00 noon, the walk progressed very slowly. Many stretches of the Hubli-Dharwad highway were under construction and the traffic policy had to stop the traffic to let the padayatra proceed. The procession from Kittur Rani Chennamma Circle was led by local folk artists – an all-women drummer group in their Hubballi sarees and another one by men, in their bright traditional attire, rolling spherical light drums and also playing on them simultaneously. The men’s folk art, belonging to the Hubli-Dharwad region is called ‘Jaggalige’. It essentially uses a percussion instrument made of a bullock cart wheel with buffalo hide wrapped around it. They roll out the instruments and march in procession. A chief choreographer leads the group with a smaller percussion instrument called ‘Kanhihalgi’, made of clay and covered with calf hide. By the time the padayatra was out of Hubli city, there were at least 700 people in the procession. Attimes, the numbers were even greater as groups of people joined the padayatra, walked for some distance, and left soon. Unlike how it has been for the last two weeks, the yatris walked through heavily populated areas and came across many settlements even after they moved out of the Hubli. But again,the distance from Hubli to Dharwad is only about 17 kilometres and with urbanisation, the two cities are growing towards each other and may even merge, sooner or later. It is worth mentioning that the reception has been exceptionally warm at every place today. Every kilometer or so, there was some kind of refreshment - the padayatris were given refreshments 20 times today! On days like these, when one wonders if he or she will ever be hungry or thirsty on this walk, one also wonders if this really is a pilgrimage! There are days when faith in oneself is tested but definitely not today. People thronged to have a glimpse of Sri M to the extent that a protective ring had to be formed around him. However, this was not of much use and those who wanted to shake his hand did so anyway. The police on this stretch too have been exceptionally supportive. Not only have they walked with thepadayatra, they have helped manage traffic even on highways to ensure that the walk goes on uninterrupted.They form a line on the outer edge of the procession to protect the padayatris from vehicles whizzing by. They volunteer at refreshment stops to serve drinks and sometimes themselves organise them. It is indeed a revelation to many of the yatris how the policemen are like ‘you and me’ and not apart from the common citizen. What the walkers have seen is their most ‘humane’ face. Perhaps,these policemen make up the quiet, honest majority that no one talks about. Walking on, Sri M and the walkers stopped at the Dargah of Mohammed Shahwali Bhairidevarakoppa,where he offered prayers and was ritually blessed by the priest. Sri Aravind Bellad, Member of LegislativeAssembly (MLA), Hubli – Dharwad West, Sri Prasad Abbayya, MLA of Hubli – Dharwad East and Sri Srinivas Mane, MLC, Karnataka Assembly joined the walk at various points and walked with Sri M. Another stop was at The Dr. R.B. Patil Cancer Hospital where a group of 40 people welcomed them andthey also joined the walk. SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital was a major stop on the outskirts of Dharwad. Here, Sri M addressed a gathering of doctors, students, nurses and other staff members. He told them about Walk of Hope and its mission and requested them to support him and support Walk of Hope in whatever way possible - either through walking with him or through praying for the mission's success. SDM College of Medical Sciences is a premier educational medical institution and it offers studies in medicine and surgery. The college has a well equipped hospital attached to it. The College also hosted the walkers in their hostels at Dharwad. The last 6-kilometer stretch from SDM Medical College to Dharwad was the most taxing. The sun was upin all its might, the roads were radiating heat, cars and buses whizzed past and the air was heavy withdust and vehicle fumes. Reaching the halting point on the outskirts of Dharwad, the padayatris were transported back to SDM Medical College hostel. . The SDM Medical College hostels are a luxury for the padayatris—especially the men as most of them were assigned a room without having to share, for the first time in the padayatra. On a lighter factual note, it is also the first time that the accommodation for men has been a degree better than those for women! There was no Satsang scheduled in the evening and, after reaching SDM Medical College, the padayatris happily rested for the day. Tomorrow also being a rest day, after what seemed to be a long time, the padayatris were visibly relaxed.

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva… Jai Kriya Babaji…

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