Konkan Revisited - Changing Colours in Autumn

November 24, 2008

"For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. 
  For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."

Edwin Way Teale

A journey by the Konkan railway during any season is worth cherishing provided you traverse the region during day-time. The ecology and scenic beauty of the region along the railway track presents a pleasant and enjoyable experience for the passengers.

Last July I had an opportunity to travel by a much delayed ‘Matsygandha Express’ which provided me an opportunity not only to view the Konkan during monsoon season but also to click a number of pictures which I could share with the ‘Daijiworld’ readers through an exclusive article titled “Konkan in Monsoon: An Experience to Cherish”. At that time the entire Konkan coast seemed to have been drenched in green, the colour of peace and tranquility. I could see the agricultural activity in full swing with fields being prepared for transplantation and women engaged in transplanting rice saplings.

Once again, I had an opportunity to visit my native place during mid-October. On this occasion I looked forward to capture the changing colours of Konkan during the harvesting season, which coincides with the season of autumn in the West. Autumn is associated with the transition from warm to cold weather and is considered as the season of the primary harvest. In Western cultures, personifications of autumn are usually pretty, well-fed females adorned with fruits, vegetables, and grains that ripen at this time.

As the Konkan Railway was still  following the monsoon routine with regards to speed limit, on the day I traveled, ‘Matsyagandha Express’ was delayed by three hours and day broke at Honnavar. As the train rumbled through the lengthy bridge across the Sharavati river, I positioned myself by the window to see the blue waters of the river in the early morning sunlight.

As the train neared Murdeshwar, I craned my neck towards the west to get the glimpse of the magnificent statue of Lord Shiva and the tall temple tower bathed in morning golden sunlight visible from a distance. It had become a habit with me to make it a point to glance at the twin land marks of Murdeshwar, especially while going back to Mumbai. My attempt to click the pictures of the twin wonders could not succeed due to the distance.

As ‘Matsygandha express’ wound its way through bridges and tunnels, I could see a temple at Murdeshwar and a madrassa at Bhatkal and traditional tile-roofed houses as well as terraced concrete bungalows interspersed through golden coloured paddy fields. The sight of the extensive paddy fields in the morning sun with distinct golden colour was as pleasing and fulfilling as the green colour during the monsoon.  The morning chill wind blowing with the speeding train, especially while crossing the rivers was a unique experience by itself.

Viewing through the train window I could see that the harvesting season was in full swing.  While a number of paddy fields were cleared of the Karif crop and being prepared for the Rabi sowing or pulses, a vast area was still at different stages of harvesting. Lack of labour force has been one of the chief reasons for the delayed agricultural activities in the Konkan.

The harvesting season is also a festive occasion, especially ‘Diwali’, the festival of lights and colours. As the wet slushy fields are being prepared for Rabi crops, in certain places village sports such as buffalo race (Kamballa) are being organized. Clandestine cock-fights are other pastime that the more leisurely people indulge in. I could imagine the sight and smell of gradually drying wild grass on empty spaces mixed with the fragrance of wild flowers providing a typical rustic village aroma to the atmosphere. 

As the ‘Matsyagandha Express’ reached three hours late to Udupi, I alighted from the train with the satisfaction that I could re-visit Konkan during autumn and see the changing colours of the land that is blessed with nature’s bounty and inhabited by the people who are contented, happy and live in harmony with nature and fellow human beings.

Dr Eugene D`Souza - Archives:

Dr Eugene D’Souza, Mumbai
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Comment on this article

  • wilma vaz, UK

    Wed, Nov 26 2008

    Well done fantastic photography

  • John Pereira, Kulshekar, M'lore/Ghatkopar, Mumbai

    Wed, Nov 26 2008

    Dear Dr. D'Souza, I remember your article about Konkan Monsoon blues giving us the glimpses of the sowing season on the Konkan Coast on Karnataka side. You have now captured the scenes of post monsoon harvest season once again on Karnataka Konkan coast. Ms. Poorna seems to be mistaken, that Konkan coast ends at Goa border on Maharashtra side. According to me, the Konkan coast starts from Daman in Gujarat and ends at Cochin in Kerala where you will find Konkani speaking people. In Maharashtra, although the coast from Palghar to Sawantwadi is known as Konkan coast, it appears to be a misnomer as most of the people speak Marathi, apart from Konkani speaking people. However from Goa coast to Mangalore coast, one will find that most of the Konkani speaking people are residing there. In Daman, you will find a lot of Konkani Goans settled over there since the time it was a Portuguese colony and after liberation in 1961, Goa, Daman & Diu was a composite Union territory. My kudos to Eugnebab, for his wrap-up of the Monsoon with pictures of harvesting season during his yet another travail by Matsyagandha express which once again ran late to your luck and you could cap up the Monsoon scenario, so to say. I think this is a delightful commentary and pictures to savour by nature lovers, like me. I am sure we can look forward to more such articles in future, probably covering enchanting Konkan coast of Maharashtra for the satisfaction and happiness of of Poorna et al.

  • changing colors of autumn, mumbai

    Tue, Nov 25 2008

    beautiful colors

  • pinto, moodbirdi/Europe

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    oh such a beautiful pictures Dr Eugene D’Souza its reall fantastic i like it such much and i show it to my european friends, my fiends really like these pictures, thank you

  • A.D'Cunha Shenoy, Mangaluru

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    Dr. D'Souza, you are one of the unique nature lovers and your facination to the bountiful nature of DK is quite admirable. These are great satifying pictures indeed. Tulunadu seems like Gods own place.

  • sarfaraz, MANGLRE/DXB

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    Good pics, Thank You .

  • Stany Lobo, Bajal Mangalore/Bahrain

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    Wonderfull photograph Dr.Dsouza.This is nature and our konkan and thulunad culture..God bless this environment forever. MANU BAHRAIN.

  • mary,

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    beautiful countryside scene in india

  • Dr.Dinesh Rao, Mangalore/Udaipur

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    All the pictures are of high quality!Well done!Hope to enjoy few more pictures like this in future!

  • Dr.Dinesh Rao, Mangalore/Udaipur

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    All the pictures are of high quality!Well done!Hope to enjoy few more pictures like this in future!

  • Sourya Prakasha, Permude

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    Excellent D’Souza, Beautiful Sceneries

  • Sanjeev Kamath, Udupi / Kuwait

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    Nostalgia is thy name, Doctor. Incidentally, the island in the 7th photograph looks like the lower half of our India!! Great show, grand view.

  • Poorna, Oman

    Mon, Nov 24 2008

    The Konkan Coast ends at the Goa Border .The Karnataka Coast comprises of Coastal Karnataka and Tulunadu. Please stop reffering Coastal Karnataka as Konkan Coast.


    Sun, Nov 23 2008


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