Friday, 22 December 2017

Belgaum the Smart City

Belgaum renamed Belgavi- was founded in late 12th century AD. It has seen many dynasties. Located in north Karnataka it came under British rule in 1818. It played a key role in the liberation of Goa in 1961. Apart from military units, Belgaum has a fort, a lake, number of temples, churches, mosques, schools and colleges. 
It is famous for a unique sweet dish or 'mithai' मिठाई called 'kunda' कुंदा . Made of milk, it is a delicacy. It is semi-solid when sold. Once cooled, it gets solidified as in the picture.




Ghumakkad visited Belgaum in December. Here is a short picture story.

Located on the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka, it is a gateway to Goa for those travelling by road from Hyderabad. Although the road journey takes lesser time, but we took the train from Hyderabad. It was a comfortable journey where I met Varun Khanna, a former student of IBS who had hiked with me to the Gunrock in Secunderabad in December 2015. Varun and his friends from Deloitte gave us good company till Hospet where they alighted for going to Hampi. 
Belgaum's location on the border of two states had led to some unrest in the past. The government of Karnataka has constructed a new State Assembly in Belgaum in 2012. See the picture.


For those not familiar with the geography of the southern region of India, see the maps below.




Belgaum fort is 500 years old and is a living fort meaning people are actually living inside the fort. Like Jaisalmer, Chittorgarh and Bidar forts in India.






Despite the litter seen in earlier picture, Belgaum has been selected as one of the first 20 smart cities in India. As part of Smart Cities Mission, it has received a face lift. See the solar powered pedestrian lighting in the pictures below.


We stayed at the Maratha Light Infantry (MLI) Officers' Mess. It was a home away from home with well kept garden, walkways and sit out. Pictures:






While in our guest room we observed an excellent example of empowerment. Let picture do the talking.




The all round view from the gazebo was simply superb. A short video clip for you.



Shivaji Maharaj is held in high esteem. The Maratha Officers' Mess has a nice statue of Shivaji which is illuminated at night.

The MLI Regimental Museum called 'Hall of Valour' is a must-see place. Very inspiring and humbling experience for the visitors. 
The dome of the Hall of Valour has a panoramic painting. A 30-second video clip for you.

The  picture below shows some of the Commandants of the MLI Centre. At bottom left is then Brig CD Sawant Sena Medal, a close friend and an illustrious Maratha General.

What did the prisoners of war do in 1940s to keep their morale and maintain focus? Some of them took to writing and some others to painting/sketching. Here are pictures of original sketches made by a British Colonel of his Subedar Major.


Golf courses keep the environment clean and green. Is Golf similar to Yoga? Browse Ghumakkad's earlier story to find out. Ghumakkad managed to squeeze in a round of golf at Belgaum. Few pictures of a misty morning of golf.









Due to shortage of time, we could not visit Dandeli-- a place where you can do white water rafting. May be some other time.

Our stay at Belgaum was made so homely and comfortable courtesy Maj Gen Krishna N Mirji. He had to be away on an overseas visit. But he made sure everything was arranged meticulously. May God give friends like him to everybody.
Krish: Thanks a ton!

Here is saying Goodbye to Belgaum.
Thanks for browsing.

    -   Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 22nd Dec 2017