Day 123 | 14 May 2015 | Sankeshwar to Nipani | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Villagers await to receive the Padayatra shortly after flag-off from Nav Nath Mandir, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • Scenes of deep devotion, Honnihalli, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • Sri Sivalingeswara Mahaswami of Nidasoshi Mutt showers flower petals onSri M, Honnihalli, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • A stand-alone house in the midst of fields, Kanagala, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • Waiting in eager anticipation, Kanagala, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • Junior says it all with a flower, Kanagala, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • A smile cannot conceal years and years of toil, Chikkodi, Belgavi, Karnataka
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  • Along a rainswept service road, Chikkodi, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • At breakfast time, Chikkodi, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • The unique pleasure of being received by a supremely fit nonagenarian farmer and family, Tavandi, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • Overcast skies once again shielded us from the Summer Sun,-Chikkodi, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • Ascending the Tavandi Ghat, Belgavi, Karnataka
  • Another stretch of the Tavandi Ghat, Belgavi, KarnatakA
  • We could be honorary members of this club, the Nipani Walkers' Club !, Nipani, KarnatakA
  • Mayor of Nipani Ms Namrata Kamte joins the walk, Nipani, Karnataka
  • A short Satsang inside the Sri Ram Mandir, Nipani, Karnataka
  • Sporting a unique design on the forehead and chest is this textile shop owner in Nipani, Karnataka
  • WOH enters Nipani town, Karnataka
  • Tempting, tasty tidbits on the wayside in Nipani, Karnataka
  • Being blessed at a wayside Dargah at Tavandi, Belgaum, Karnataka
  • At the Dargah at Tavandi, Belgaum, Karnataka
The walk from Sankeshwar to Nipani started early with the walkers being transported to the starting point.They were joined at the start by the pontiff of Nidasoshi Math, Sri Shivalingeshwar Swamiji. He accompanied Sri M and the walkers for about two hours.

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The early morning air had a nip to it. Overall, the weather today was quite agreeable with the padayatris. The whole day was grey with rain clouds looming over them. The sun was completely hidden and did not peek out once during the entire walk. In some areas, however, it was a bit musty and humid. Till now, the rains have followed them, usually a day or two behind the walk. Now, the game seems to be even with the rains catching up with them; it drizzled today - this was the first time they actually walked in the rain while on the padayatra. The walk was unhurried, as it has been for the last few days. The yatris passed through rocky terrain—scaling many small hillocks. Fantastic views awaited them when they reached each summit. Miles and miles of greens until the horizon, a smattering of houses, more hills in the distance and the faraway land shrouded in mist. Every roadside eatery seemed to have a view to die for!! Sri M was welcomed with deep devotion at many a place. Some of the heart touching highlights of the day: A nonagenarian farmer and his family received Sri M with sweets and milk at Tavandi; a small boy offered a rose at Kanagala; a priest at a wayside dargah blessed Sri M with peacock feathers; villagers prostrated at his feet alongside a rangoli drawing on the road that said, ‘WELCOME’ which was accompanied by designs to welcome him. Walk of Hope covered 20 kilometers today and reached Nipani after a long 7-hour walk. Nipani is a small town in the middle of many agricultural villages. This area is one of the most fertile lands in India. This belt is known for it’s tobacco fields. The historic and wildly popular '30' and 'Ganesha' brands of bidis of Karnataka hail from these areas. The land is flush with farms in a million shades of green. With recent and ongoing rains, the plants and trees are in full bloom. The brightly painted, old stone-and-mud homes set against a backdrop of trees heavily laden with flowers of many hues - red, blue, yellow, orange and white are a very agreeable sight to the tired yatri’s eyes. The factories too look well kept with white walls. For the larger part of the day, the yatris walked through tobacco plantations and the air is constantly laden with the scent of tobacco. To be honest, it was thoroughly enjoyable walking down the village roads. Unlike what was perceived, and probably secretly wished for by some, one does not get affected in any way whatsoever by the satisfying tobacco fragrance. The leaves have to be dried, crushed, cured and burnt for that! Sri M and the yatris were warmly welcomed into Nipani. The Mayor of Nipani, Smt. Namrate Kamte was present and accompanied them into town. At two different points in Nipani, there were large groups of people waiting for the padyatra. A group of 150 people at a Ram Temple,where they had a short break and offered prayers; Sri M had an impromptu small Satsang in the hall here; and another group of about 100 people waited at KLE Arts College. Today was a market day in Nipani and people were out shopping and trading. The walk passed through the most populated areas of the city and needless to say, the yatra attracted a lot of attention as they walked by. On and off, random groups of people joined them, and at places, the numbers swelled, inadvertently creating traffic snags.  The walk concluded at 12.30 pm at Nipani and they were then taken back to the HIT College Hostel, where they relaxed for the rest of the day. The college is set in the middle of a vast farmland. The day was quite beautiful under the cloudy skies and some of the yatris just lay on the grass looking up at the sky in the quiet ambience. Today is the last day in Karnataka and many things are set to change yet again for the walkers. The catering group from Karnataka is leaving today after having fed them for over a month and a half; many a time in the middle of nowhere. The walkers saw them off with gratitude. The Karnataka coordinators, who made the yatra possible, also leave soon. A few of them have reserved banner-time before the walk concludes its Karnataka leg! The Walk of Hope bus too played an important role in Karnataka as the walkers had to be transported to and fro to places of stay at many points. The bus is a sleeper bus with rows of beds—a single row on one side and double beds on another. The centrally air-conditioned bus has plush seats and seems a little intimidating with a full-bodied look; it accompanies the padayatra everyday! Walk of Hope is set to enter the fourth state now. After Kerala, people thought it would difficult in Karnataka, due to the heat and expanses of unpopulated land. However, the experience was a very different one, with most of the stays in Maths or lodges or hotels. The padayatris look back with gratitude to the fact that, in places where even water was scarce to find, they were fed hot food thrice a day! Yes, the heat was sweltering and sometimes unbearable, but the rains at the fag end of the walk in Karnataka seem to have sung a fitting finale!

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva… Jai Maheshwarnath… Jai Kriya Babaji…Jai Sarva Santajana…

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