Good Morning Belagavi

By Swatee Jog

Bella Vista Belagavi

Every city has a distinctive morning. The morning in Belagavi is steeped in the purifying scent of spirituality. It has a lazy but endearing feel to it. All of you who have had morning classes or those traveling for any purpose, must have witnessed the beautiful mornings of Belgaum. And every time one does, he/she has rediscovered the charm of Belgaum!

The crazy madness of the day is nowhere in sight at dawn as Belagavi folks go about their morning chores at a pace that would invite the envy of metro people. Here, we have the luxury of time, as we don’t have to rush to catch the 6.43 local or the need to leave home at 6 to travel miles and reach our offices since the city’s radius is barely 5-6 kms.

There are areas in the city that still remind one of the dawn at such temple towns as Gokarna , in Uttar Kannada, where temple bells ring, every courtyard is decorated by lovely rangolis and the heavenly smell of dhoop and incense emanating from every household.

Belagavi is a temple town by daybreak. Have a look at the area surrounding Samadevi temple and also CBT with hordes of flower vendors crowding the premises, accompanied by newspaper vendors.

The steps of the Bombay Dyeing shop or the corner near Salgaonkars(Bogarves) is bustling with vendors sorting their newspapers and inserting supplements. If you’ve been to Shahapur during this time, Vitthaldev Galli is a paradise with freshly bathed men and women slowly pacing towards the temples, where bells keep ringing to the tune of melodious aartis and a strange but heavenly mix of aromas filling the air. The loud shrieks of “Maalwale”….by men on bicycles with a round flat cane fixture selling garlands of mogra, kunda and aboli have become synonymous with a Belagavi Morning! Buy an arms – length for a few rupees.

A morning in Camp. Photo: Vickram Purohit

Recent years have witnessed modern health trends seeping into the city, Laughter Clubs being one of them. The first club started perhaps around a decade ago at the Shivaji Garden, where in the first few days while I strolled on the walkways, I just couldn’t resist my chuckles. But now we have gotten used to this pleasant start of the day, with loud peals of laughter filling up the Nath Pai garden. The corporation has even installed speaker systems that dole out Bhakti Sangeet every morning, much to my initial amusement! Every street corner has some person sitting on a makeshift stool selling packets of milk of various brands and huge trucks offloading their day’s supply of milk screeching at every corner right from 4 a.m.

Morning in Belagavi
Morning in Belagavi on Club Road Photo :Arun Yallurkar

Even today, the city boasts of its homes sporting beautiful Rangolis made by the womenfolk, even if it means a small square right on the road, cleaned using a broom and meticulously sprinkled water, just enough to wet the area but not flood the same. Exchanging of pleasantries begins since then amongst the neighbours. You may spot kids standing at the door and rubbing their eyes, quite in awe of a new day and still reeling under the influence of sleep, just keeping company to their moms. Many houses still switch on the radios with the familiar voices of the newsreaders and the sweet songs on Vividhbharati or Akashwani Sangli Kendra giving a nice lift!

Morning in Belagavi
Morning in Belagavi Photo :Arun Yallurkar

Shopkeepers slowly open their doors and the dusting – cleaning – sweeping regime begins. Vegetable vendors cart their wares on pushcarts while they follow briskly on foot behind. The retail vendors of veggies start sprinkling water on the day’s supply, in defense of the harsh sunrays that would be following. Roads are almost empty, except for the morning walkers in utility sneakers. It is quite a sight to see some women in their night gowns donning a sweater or sometimes pulling over a mismatched dupatta, and with walking shoes on, walking down the sparsely crowded roads! I still fail to understand how that dupatta or sweater morphs the nightwear into sportswear! Older men and women also sport Reeboks and Nikes and it’s such a lovely sight to watch these sprightly fellas huffing and puffing as they talk while they walk. If you are passing by Camp area in the early hours then one should see a lot of men going for the Namaz and also the Christian folk going to the church for the services. The Camp area in the mornings is always full of people walking and jogging. Camp is a paradise for the morning walkers and even Nanawadi area is another favorite along with Race course & Vaccine Depot also.

You must have spotted ladies in the garden who whine and nit-pick their daughters-in-law as they take rounds in the garden, much to the amusement of those following them. Pleasant aromas of fresh tadkas waft through many a window and the smell of breakfast whips up your appetite. Many gardens have vendors offering fresh fruit juices, coupled with those of Aamla, Jamun or Karela for the health conscious. A morning in Belagavi is incomplete without noticing the tiny tots in their red-blue-white uniforms waiting for their Rikshamamas, with school bags slumped over their backs and a water-bottle in tow. Bus stops witness a riot of colourful uniforms as crowds of students gather to catch their buses. As the rikshas vroom past the roads and the dads bring out their bikes to head to work, a new day begins. The hustle-bustle of the streets increases and the city wakes up to a boisterous start.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Very nice article and realistic i felt each and every word throughout the reading.. Even the places like Hanuman circle and indalaga ganpthi were heaven to walk early in the morning, missing so much Belgaum

  2. Oh! my lovey Belgaum/Shahapur here I come. Thank you Swati and AAB for bringing the Belgaum charm to me sitting so far away. I try to mimmic some of the things we did by putting Venkatesh Suprabhata but don’t even come close. I guess I need to take that risk and return to my home town.

  3. So wonderfully written! Makes every Belgaumite to go back to their share share of memories! That scent of Belgaum like you said is just enchanting! Re-lived my childhood through your words! Kudos to your writing.

  4. Remembering those days in belagavi………….. after reading the article….. feeling like visiting belagavi..

  5. got mesmerized reading the article, I totally agree….morning charm of BGM is totally heavenly(yet subtle)…….article beautifully sums-up charm and the carefully intact multi- cultural fabric of city.
    This article just made me miss my city more…….

  6. Swatee,
    Agree, this is a good article.Surely should have touched everyone's heart. You have really captured every aspect of Belgaum morning. Thank you for bring back good memories. Also the "maalwala and cane basket" was just as if someone pressed the rewind button in my brain. It just followed with all beautiful flashbacks.
    Good writing, keep it up.
    Regards
    Jimy

  7. Excellent article swatee……you are improving your style and content with each article…..good observation and use of words…..Good luck!!

  8. For the whole time, while I was reading the article, I got mesmerized as though in a dream. And I could see all the "characters" (doodhwala, bhajiwala, etc.) coming to life right in front of me. I could smell that tadka and mogra flowers. I could hear the "Koooo" of the maina bird at intervals of time and, also smell the fragrant flowers and feel the chill of the morning dew in the air. You are so right about Camp and Nanawadi being jogger's paradise. I'm unfortunate enough to experience all that! The best part I liked is "I still fail to understand how that dupatta or sweater morphs the nightwear into sportswear! " lol! It was an enchanting feeling till I got to the end of the article! 🙁 🙂

    Very good…Superb!! Excellent job Swati!!

    Your fan
    Savita

  9. Beautifully woven…Swati Gr8 job…Enjoyed reading your article….You actually feel the smells with which we have grown..

  10. The mornings at Belgaum have been so nicely explained that it should have carried a statutory warning: If someone leaves his overseas job & returns back to his hometown Belgaum it is at his/her risk – ha ha.

    • Exactly… its da same feeling I’m getting right now after reading this wonderful awesome article. ..feel lik comin to Belgaum right away… I luv ma belgaum n miss it the most. It’s the best place for me on earth. Feels lik Paradise 🙂

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