My first family trip came to an end today. It was one of the most memorable trips ever.
We landed in Mangalore airport on Sunday. A very small airport, it is located on a hill and the rains had ensured that the airport was green as it could get. From Mangalore we went to Mulki and then to Karkala to pay obesiance to family deities. Karkala is known for its Jain temples and is most famous for the Gomateshwara statue. The tranquility of the place was unbelievable. From Karkala we went to Sagara which is my mother's hometown. The place is changing rapidly with commercial complexes replacing old houses. These complexes are multi storeyed and even have elevators in them. These are places which are going to experience exponential growth rates and will be engines of India's growth.
I also happened to visit my ancestoral farm. Ten acres of the farm was lush green with paddy. Only one crop is grown in a year. There is no rabi crop. The most surprising aspect was that there was no need for electricity as the entire farm was rain fed through canals. There was no need of pump sets. Also no pesticides or fertilisers were used. Only cow dung was used as manure. The only problem was the high labour wages prevailing in that area. Agricultural labour cost Rs 100 plus food for one day. Women were paid Rs 80 and food per day.
I also happened to visit a farm where the farmer generated his own electricity by installing his own hydro electric system. His monthly bill by using the state electricity board's electricity was a mere Rs 30. All his agricultural produce was organic and was sold to ISKCON. He never bought vegetables as he grew them in his farm. I had lunch at his home and realised what "fresh" meant in the real sense of the term.
His backyard had two streams whose water he harnessed for hydro electricity and for consumption purpose. A sight to marvel for city dwellers like us who install artificial water streams in our houses for tranquility.
Some other trips were to Jog falls, gudvi bird sanctuary and Harnemallu which is known for its adventure sports like kayaking, camping, trekking etc.
This trip made me realise that India has the potential to be a global tourist hub as it caters to every need and taste. If only the authorities act on the abysmal state of infrastructure and involve the local community in managing these places, we will earn billions of dollars in foreign exchange from foreign tourists.