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Mangalore city's own yellow-stone picnic spot

Anisha Sheth
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‘Manjalpaade' flows by the Moodushedde railway level crossing

Serene: The Manjalpaade stream near Moodshedde railway level crossing in Mangalore. — Photo: R. Eswarraj
Serene: The Manjalpaade stream near Moodshedde railway level crossing in Mangalore. — Photo: R. Eswarraj

For all its lack of grandeur, there is a charm in the simplicity of Manjalpaade, a quaint stream that flows by the Moodushedde railway level crossing here.

A narrow road from near the Government Women's Polytechnic in Bondel winds down the edge of the hillside leading to a bridge under which the stream flows. Gaps in the wild jungle afford an impressive view of the surrounding low hills – a sight that is more alluring during the monsoon. The stream is just ahead of the railway level crossing.

Black rocks – called paade in Tulu or bande-kallu in Kannada – line the edges of the flowing water and some of them have enough space to sit on. To one side of the flowing stream is a large lake-like water body, where this correspondent saw a man try his luck with a fishing rod. The fishing rod was however, nothing but a stick with a string and bait attached to it. Whether or not he managed to bait a fish is anybody's guess.

On a typical Sunday, small groups of men and boys were to be found at the spot, some of them having come to wash a vehicle. Like many such picnic spots in the city, the stream too is closed to women due to its isolation and inaccessibility.

Inspiration

The quiet place, however, has the distinction of having inspired a song written by a local band for the victims of the Mangalore air crash. Lead dinger of Shifting Scales Austyn Goveas said that when the band was hanging out at the waterfall last July, they wrote the song, aided, if not exactly inspired by the serenity of the place. They played “Live the Day”, dedicated to the victims of the crash, once in Mangalore and at the Freedom Jam in Bangalore.

‘Manjal'

A phone call to the president of the Tulu Sahitya Academy Palthady Ramakrishna Achar asking about the meaning of the name “Manjalpaade” turned up many interesting stories about the word manjal.

He said that there is a place called Manjalpade in Panja, a village in Sullia taluk. Villagers had narrated a story about folk heroes Koti and Chennayya, who had hunted a pig in the area. They had used turmeric as a means to clean the meat, because of which the rock turned yellow.

A place called Manjalpadpu just outside Puttur town was named so because turmeric used to be grown there in a field, he said.

In folk traditions, the word manjal is an indication of sadness, Mr. Achar said, as it is linked to nature: when plants die, they turn yellow.

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