Brahmavar youngster walks 2,800km to Kashmir to promote Tulu language, culture | Mangaluru News – Times of India


UDUPI: An undying passion for his native Tulu culture fuelled this 22-year-old’s 2,800-kilometre-long walk from Brahmavar in Udupi district to Kashmir. Harshendra, a native of Mundikinjeddu in Cherkady village in Brahmavar, said that he was inspired to undertake his epic voyage across the country by Civin KP of Kerala, who walked from his home state all the way to Kashmir. In fact, Harshendra spoke to Civin about the latter’s experience – an exchange that proved quite beneficial for the Brahmavar lad.
Harshendra, who holds a diploma in civil engineering, said that, prior to starting his expedition, he practised by walking 10 to 15 kilometres each day for six months. “I finally started my journey to Kashmir on September 19. I passed through Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, before finally reaching Kashmir. I reached Lakhanpur on November 15. Throughout my journey, at every prominent place I visited, I tried to make people of other states aware of Tulunadu culture and language,” Harshendra told TOI.
The most memorable part of his extraordinary adventure was his performance of ‘Pilivesha’ or tiger dance. Harshendra painted himself like a tiger, and enthralled the people of Lakhanpur. “I met Sabir, a Mangalurean, and Faizal from Kerala, when I was in Jaipur, and told them about my plans to reach Kashmir and perform the Pilivesha. They promised to help me, should they be in Kashmir then. Fortunately, they were in Kashmir at the same time I was, and they helped paint my body. The local officials in Kashmir were very appreciative of my dedication and commitment to walk this far. They were pleased with my performance of the tiger dance,” he added.
To ensure that the journey was not too punishing on his body, Harshendra ensured that he slept at least eight hours a day. “I made it a point to walk at least 12 hours daily, and covered, on average, 50 to 55 kilometres. I grew accustomed to the physical agony. The bag I was carrying weighed roughly 15kg, and contained clothes, power banks, medicines and other essential items,” he added.
Harshendra had to work within financial constraints, and to save money, he slept at railway stations, temples, police stations, gurdwars, and private establishments such as dhabas, if the owners were obliging. “I made sure I ate well, and got at least eight hours of sleep. I documented my entire journey on my YouTube channel. In all, I spent Rs 50,000 on this adventure, which included funds given by my family, friends and a few clubs as well,” said Harshendra.
He said that he had to shell out considerably more for food in Maharashtra than elsewhere, while the cold weather in Jaipur he found hard to bear for more than three days, at the end of which Harshendra bought a jacket for warmth. “I did not undertake this journey to script records, but to live my dream,” Harshendra added.
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Sagar Biswas

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