Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I went on a trip yesterday visiting a couple of tourist spots just 120 kms away from Bangalore(Lot of photos to share!!!). Experienced something that I have always wanted to.

Traveling in a tonga :-) How funny we are, aren't we? When you have luxury, you want to go back to basics!! Well, at least with me, I have wanted to travel in a horse drawn carriage since I was a child. Spoilt after seeing the Mahabharat where elaborate and extravagant horse drawn carriages transported the prince and kings and those mushy romantic songs where the boy and girl ride a carriage pulled by milky white horses....

Well, so parked our car at the bus stand and took a tonga to roam around the town of Srirangapatna(capital of Mysore under Tipu Sultan. More about this later), which is not more than 100 kms away from Bangalore.

It seemed we traveled behind in time. The decorated lonely horse's name was Sultan. He had a brightly colored rich plummet over his head, noose around him and raring to go. The owner of the cart and the horse was a shabby looking guy who was talkative and full of energy. Aww!! I forgot to ask his name. He would have been mad at me I guess for having promptly asked the horse's name but not his. Oh!! But what would I do? I am partial towards animals and they are more important to me.

Alright, Sultan was pulling a neat tonga. He was smart and handsome. Obeyed his master and never threw any tantrums. And how he galloped across the town....Tak..tak..tak..tak..tak...in rhythm. A high-pitched "Hye!!!" meant run, a lower pitched "Ahhheeyyy" meant stop. Brushing the stick against the wheel of the tonga meant run faster. And the way he braked, pull both his fore limbs and balance with his hind limbs and brake!!

His master and Sultan had an unexplainable bonding. They made good company to each other. They never spoke to each other, but there would be no one else who could understand each other any better. Both were at peace with whatever little each had.

This mode of transport is long forgotten and ignored. I did feel sad with the thought that Sultan was being burdened. But that is what he is supposed to do!. And I know he did not complain. That was Sultan!


  1. Sultan is amazing isn't he? :) the ride - oh man, I wanna go I wanna go :D the photograph is excellent re :)

    now imagine - evening time, Mumbai city queen's necklace (google if if you have not seen it in the evening :P) is at its best, nice breeze, no traffic, a huge carriage with silver body, giving you a feel of a queen..and it drizzles - a bit - leaving first rain fragrance behind, next to you is your better half..

    before you block me, lemme sign off :P

  2. Beautiful and different shot!
    Nice description of Sultan. But one thing, I do not like the way their masters cross ropes around their nose. It is really disgusting! They feel so much of pain but they never say anything...:(

    I am being emotional...Well, then I must say nice post lastly! :)

  3. whatta post about Sultan...special lines...His master and Sultan had an unexplainable bonding. They made good company to each other. They never spoke to each other, but there would be no one else who could understand each other any better. Both were at peace with whatever little each had.

    I know it hurts to see animals being hit-but that's the mode of communication for them !

    I recently took a tonga ride back in Mumbai at Nariman Point..you're right...when we have luxuries we want to go back to basics..because then the basics are seldom available...and human beings run after what they don't have :)

  4. Tonga are interesting. You get to see quite many in Palani. The bonding between the animal and owner is usually good. But sometimes they can' afford good fodder and give horse too a snort or a diluted drink.

  5. Sultan sahi naam hain...you have made me feel nostalgic...sad here I rarely find any tongas :(

  6. I would love a ride on the tonga as well. Sultan sounds like a good horsie!

  7. I have been to Bangalore three times (to attend metal gigs) and i have found Bangalore to be the most livable city in India. Its so amazing. I just love the drive from the airport to the city....

    The pic look amazing

  8. Lovely post.Though the animals cant really speak, their language is understood by the master. All they need is love and care.
    Wonder if you have taken a ride at Marine Drive in Bombay?
    Ver soon, Tongas in old Delhi are being taken off the roads under Govt orders

  9. #Insignia

    You enjoyed...with sultan as well...didn't he say thing to you?

    # Megha

    in horse's case its a metal piece rod (li'l) in their mouth and not in nose.

    Keep Smiling.

  10. excellent post ya...i remembred the days when i used to travel in a tonga in my uncle's place..hey friend..sorry i dunno which tamil film mentioned that google punch joke ya...someone mentioned it to me and i shared in blog...thanks and cheers

  11. dont know what happened .. i wrote a comment and sent it dont know is it has come or no..

    will try to repeat whati wrote ..

    Did u sing the song chal mere ghode tik tik tik .. chal mere ghode...

    wish i cud have one of those rides tooo.. and as neha said in the comment .. to imagine the silver carriage and the queeen.. I guess i can imagine tooo.. being the king when i think of My TONGA ride... and ask Neha is it possibe to have the carriage in GOLD he hehehe

    lovely post.. I am glad you had fun .. the photos tooo have come out FAB...

  12. Nice photograhy. No outsiders around in this picture. Excellent composing. You are great, while riding the tonga, you have observed the language spoken by the owner to sultan Hye for run and Ahhheeyyy for stop. Good observation.

    You are right that once we used to luxury we won't go back to basics. However, using these tongas in the city life may not be possible due to congestions. If you happend to visit Udaipur side see those tongas also. They are majestic.

    Compliments to you for all the description.

  13. Sometimes such equations spook me ! But riding Sultan is much better than riding 'Bipasha' in Panchgani !

    The snap is awesome !

  14. Sultan ki sawari ki aapne! Wah wah!
    I know what you mean. 2 years ago, in Lucknow, we explored the old city on a tonga. And it was fun. The best is the kid simply loved it!!
    Cheers :)

  15. Neha,

    Oh yeah!! he was amazing!! Take a ride soon. Glad you liked the photo :-)
    And yes yes.... - evening time, Mumbai city queen's necklace (google if if you have not seen it in the evening :P) is at its best, nice breeze, no traffic, a huge carriage with silver body, giving you a feel of a queen..and it drizzles - a bit - leaving first rain fragrance behind, next to you is your better half..



  16. Megha,

    Thank you. Glad you liked the photo.
    Its for the cows that the rope is tied through the nostril, for the horse, its inside the mouth.

    Its disgusting, but thats when they come under control I guess. But sad.

  17. Nu,

    Thank you. Yes, thats the mode of communication and thats when they understand. True, we run after those that we dont have :-)

  18. Holy Lama,

    It was fun. Thats sad that they arent taken care properly.

  19. Gayathri,

    Thank you. Oh I am sorry, you might find some tongas elsewhere. :-)

  20. RGB,

    You should take a ride soon. Sultan was a good guy!

  21. A.K,

    Welcome to B Log. Thanks, I am happy that you liked Bangalore. Thank you.

  22. Chowla sir,

    Thank you. True, they just need care and love. I was born in Bombay but never have visited it yet :-)

    Tongas in Bangalore are also no more, very very rare!!

  23. Makk,

    I had fun. Thank you for the trivia.

  24. Ramesh,

    Thank you. Thats really good, you got reminded of old days. Oh thats fine. I was just curious about the tamil movie :-)
    Thank you

  25. Bik,

    I didnt sing any song, was busy asking about Sultan. Hahahaha, your dream is expensive. The way gold rate is shooting up, having a tonga made of GOLD...Phew!!

    Thanks, glad you liked the photos.

  26. Naidu sir,

    Thank you. I was waiting until there was no one or nothing else to capture the pic. True, tongas are thing of the past now. Its not feasible anymore in the city.

    Thank you, glad you liked the post.

  27. Kavi,

    Hehehehe, Bipasha?? Wow!! she should have been a sexy siren!!

    Thanks, glad you liked the snap.

  28. Shilpa,

    Yeah yeah!! :-) Bahut acha laga.
    It is fun to travel and explore that way. Thank you.

  29. Very beautiful..
    Love for animals should spread and what better way than this.
    Sultan is d real Sultan of roads.
    Ur description is just awesome.
    Wish I would have been dere..:)



  30. hi bindu,nice to see sultan and the master.we in search of happiness worldwide ,but it is at our next door wating for us.....good post .....incredible india.

  31. wonderful read.. Nice to find that old forgotten tonga .. :)

    Tonga rides are rare and its great to know u enjoyed the ride... :)

  32. Nipun,

    Thank you. Yes, he was the real Sultan :-)
    You should experience these once.


  33. Velu,

    Yes, it was amazing isnt it? Exactly!! We forget whats with us and go around searching for happiness. :-)

  34. sushobhan,

    Thanks. Yeah, its rare nowadays and so made best use of it

  35. you been tagged AGAIN SORRY.. Check it out on my blog ...

  36. Tonga ride ... haven;t seen any here :( now that I have read your expreince I so want to feel it :D
    would love a closer picture of Sultan :)

  37. Touching. Good way to describe. Liked it.

  38. Bik,

    Thank you. And why SORRY? :-)

  39. beautiful pics
    like the touching words

  40. Rajlakshmi,

    Yeah!!! You have to experience it, do it whenever you get a chance. Would put up a close up of Sultan sometime later :-)

  41. hey nanri yar...en iniya snegidiye..hahah..

  42. So my dear insignia - you would have felt like a princess riding in the tonga of Sultan

  43. chitra,

    Oh yes!! princess did I feel!! It was much more than that :-)

  44. I think I expect something when I read your blogs. Something that would make me feel different; change my current state of my mind. Something... that would provoke a deep thought into my mind. The last few lines gave me that some, and I think that's what I have subconsciously been expecting from your writings. Loved the post and the picture...

  45. Hey Gautam,

    I had a hectic schedule today but your comment just made me forget all that. You made my day. Thanks a lot, your comments always mean so much to me.

    And I am so glad that you get what you subconsciously expect from my writings. Hope it relaxed you dear.

    Take care.

    PS : Need to share lot more snaps with you :-)

  46. I love your photo .. I am still thinking whether I've traveled in a tonga..I think not! :-( Lucky U. I always loved Cinderalla b'cos of the carriage - pumpkins turn into horses :-))

  47. lostworld,

    Thank you. Oh oh!! Dont worry. Hop on to a tonga the next time you see it, anywhere!! Lucky me!! yeah!! :-D

  48. Hm I really thought I had posted a comment here last time I came. May be I didn't double check it.
    Anyways, you mostly speak about things I wish to do, but which I hardly get to do -_-. Very bad of you :P
    My close call to atleast seeing a horse in arm's distance was during my Mumbai tour, but then again, i never got a chance with the humps n bumps of a horse-cart-ride!

  49. et,

    Oh!! Oh!! Sorrryyyyyy!! I will give you a chance next time :-P

    Close miss that was. Next time whenever you get a chance, please do take the pleasure of humps n bumps :-)

  50. I too love tonga rides, or horse riding. Its fun and exciting and now i remember the same incidence, where i with my family went on a trip in Shimla, and asked the horse's name but forgot to ask the name of his master :D

  51. Shesha,

    :-) Hahahaha I wonder it happens with most of us. Query about the horse but forget to ask anything about the owner :-)

  52. Insignia, I would like to use this photo of Sultan in a video we are producing. If you will reply to me, I will tell you about it.

    Mike Smith


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!