Kumta: Main Street


The Vegetable market sits on one end of main street also called “paent” in Kumta. The stores are tiny and carry whatever you would need. Nothing fancy here, just life's essentials. Several temples are on this street, thus flower sellers everywhere.

Notice the reddish tinged road. That comes from the red Laterite rock this entire Konkan region sits atop. In the konkan, everything is made from laterite: buildings, fence walls, bus-stop shelters, stores and even road side gutters. Crushed laterite gravel is used on the shoulders of all roads. Even the dust has a reddish tinge and so does the normally black asphalt road. After a few days here white clothes include a tinge of red.

A stroll down Main Street
The Venkateshwara Devasthan/Muth is in the center of town. I love exploring the inside of this beautiful, old temple. Piles of sand and gravel outside point to imminent construction; pray nothing gaudy.

Nearby is the Shanteri Kamakshi Temple. A thread-ceremony was going on inside and these girls, dressed in new clothes, were welcoming guests. Women received flower strands for their hair, men (and women) got sprinkled with perfumed water. Note the girl in red reaching for the chrome sprinkler.

After walking in the hot sun, my cousin and I decided to gate-crash this ceremony for some cool lemonade and mithai. We smiled at the girls, got doused in perfumed water and smiled our way to the back of the temple where the lemonade was still being mixed. There as we waited, the assistant picked up a block of ice sitting on the bare floor and tossed it in the giant pot” I had no intention of getting an upset stomach at the start of my holidays. Mithai too was nowhere to be seen. After bowing my head at the shrine, we departed.

Right outside the temple I tried taking a pic of the squatting flower-seller, and this women walked right into my field. Her expression suggests she was carrying a huge burden on her already drooping shoulders.

Parched throats had us dash to the corner shop with the red and white awning (Nayak's Cold drinks). Note the women selling an assortment of flowers, vegetables or fruits. Generally whatever grows on their plot.

On the back table as we waited to order Limbu-soda, a local person still sitting there was sipping, what looked like a glass of cold-coffee. Raagi Neeru (Nanchane udak) he noted. I remembered my grandmother making Raagi Neeru for us kids playing in the hot summer sun. Apparently the owner's wife makes it at home – delicious. They also served Teela Udak (white sesame water). Had to try that as well. After a few glasses of each, we were well prepared to brave the midday sun. Note empty glasses on table.

Apparently a very simple recipe for these cool-drinks. Roasted Nanchane or white sesame seeds are ground with some coconut gratings, jaggery and water. Thats it. Ayurveda experts would swear at how it would 'cool' the body from the inside. Amen!


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40 thoughts on “Kumta: Main Street

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  1. hi ARUN mam
    am Narasimha pai from muscat…am also born n bought up in kumta ..

    Really kumta s jewl among konkni GSB community…

    am proud 2 b frm kumta..

      1. After going through your blog on KUMTA.,I am very much tempted to visit Kumta and see the different temples. I want to know which temples are near Kumta station.i also want to know if they have lodging facility for a fmly for 2 to 3 days..Plz let me know. THANKS.
        Ramnath Prabhu, MUMBAI. (prabhuramnath@rocketmail.com )
        mob:09967836097

        1. Thank you Ramnath,
          There are several temple right in the main kumta market area: Shanteri Kamakshi; Venkatraman Muth; Mahalsa Narayani and another Devi temple.
          The Narayani Temple has a couple of AC rooms to let, and the other temples have basic rooms.
          There is Hotel Vaibhav, walking distance which has regular and ac rooms – I have stayed here with M&m. Its convenient.
          Also there are several hotels near the highway, but you will need an Auto to come to kumta market and the temples.

          BTW, there is a beautiful beach about 6 mms from town in the village of Baad!
          Best Wishes
          A

          PS, you should visit the Shanbhag School and the other schools of the Konkan Education Trust. I can put you in touch with the people there.

          1. Dear Mr Arun Shanbhag,
            THANKS a lot for your prompt reply to my query.I have planned to visit KUMTA in April and will surely visit the places you have mentioned.
            Once again THANKS A LOT.. Ramnath Prabhu

  2. Dear Arun,

    Photos are very good. You are missed headbunder / alvekodi Photos. secondly,

    I would like to know Kumta Uttar Kanara GSB community receipes including Breakfast and Meals. Will you suggest any good sites or are you going to load on site in short span.

    Pls confirm

    Rgds/Vikrant Tamse

  3. Hi Arun,
    I happened on your website after a very long time (thank God for iGoogle) – you have done a great job & continue to do.
    It reminds us mature adults of the comforts of the motherland–in the words of Walter Scott
    “breathes there a man with soul so dead
    Who never to himself has said
    this is my home my motherland’

    I cant vouch for the accuracy of the quote

    Your photos of Kumta look like scenes from any suburban village in the Northeast here

    Regards
    Parshu

    1. Thank you Parshu:
      And a fabulous quote – how true.
      If you tell me I will never be able to go back home, I don’t know what meaning life will hold.

      Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts.

      Btw, I have “email notification” on the top right of the blog. Enter your address and you will receive an email every time I write a new post. You can easily unsubscribe as well. Give it a try.

      Best Wishes
      Arun

  4. Wow Arun, Thumhi aajun mumbaith ahain ka? good for you.
    Enjoy your time with M&M.
    The indigenous lady with the necklaces and that outfit looks like something off the runways of Milan or NYC.
    Very chic.
    Have fun.

    1. Ha ha! Yes, awesome outfit on that lady, no? And that is the regular road scene! ;-P
      … and back in Boston. Thank fully it is getting a bit warmer and thus less depression from leaving meera in mumbai 😦

      Hope all is going well with you.
      Arun

  5. Sorry, Bhatia:

    Haven’t been to Kumta during the Teru! Must fix that and make it a point to visit. Teru is soon after ugadi in April and I’m never in India at that time. Lets see how things go.

    Thanks for visiting!

  6. Lokendra:
    Kumta and the surroundings are indeed a blessedly beautiful place. Glad you got the opportunity to enjoy this beauty. What makes this place, particularly special are the poor, but heart rich and wonderfully content folks.

    I just got back from a trip there and let me assure me. It is still pristine.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    And God willing, I will continue to share the joys of the Konkan.
    Arun

  7. hi,shanbag, I am basically from Rajesthan, the bless of natural beauty always attracted me to travel all the way from bangalore to Costal Karnataka. The snaps which you had taken and the blog which you are used are really co-related, it reminded me my previous visit. I wouldnt capture those images unfortunately but your snaps triggered me to visit once again to kumta and its surrounding. I cannot forgot those days, Some times I feel that I had something special their…..god bless u…..post such beautiful blogs.

  8. Hi Girish:
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts;
    yes, Kumta is still the same. Ws there in December 07 and am going back in July! Yaay!

    May I ask you to post your pics directly at the Konkani Community I have started on Live Journal (another blogging site).

    Follow this link:
    http://community.livejournal.com/konkanis/profile

    I will then showcase your pics on my blog!
    Looking forward to hosad and the surrounding areas. That is beautiful!

    Arun

  9. Very nice pics. Not much has changed since my last visit in May 2007. Please keep it up.

    I have some pics taken in Hosad / Koodla near Honnavar. Inform me if you require them.

    Regards
    Girish

  10. Really Nice.It brings up the glory of Kumta which is historical in whole of North Kanara Dist. of Karnataka State

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