Arasikere on Bangalore-Shimoga Highway

This name means trains to me; and great suffering. It is a railway junction. When our family took trains in my childhood days, Arasikere was the town we had to cross: but the trains were reluctant to reach the city, arriving hours late; once in town, they would refuse to leave.

For the first time, this week, I passed through Arasikere by road. It has an extraordinary location. Coming in from Bangalore, a large lake comes up first. The road runs by the lake and slopes very gently up into town. Then the lake curves off to the left, with small buildings continuous on the rim. On the right is a spectacular set of hills; it runs east to west, with a serrated front and a neat white temple on top. The sun catches the serration and the white temple and enhances them, giving the hills a dramatic appearance.

On the return journey (in the afternoon), the hills have the same look, with the sun giving them contrasting light and dark strips, running top to bottom, all across. When the lake comes up, from the west this time, the road is on top of a great view and it forks, the right running along the lake, leading to Bangalore and the left leading down into an old section of town. It all looks very beautiful, but I cannot help thinking how this topography would have been exploited by European town planners. When wealth comes into this town (if the trickle-down works), they may re-do it, putting nice homes, clean places of worship, lakeside restaurants, neoclassical government buildings, cute narrow backstreets with boarding houses, and cafes with canopies on the streets. Who knows? Anything can happen. When it happens, this town would be the most picturesque in Karnataka.