Sometimes you travel to places which were never in your radar. One such place for me is Udupi. This small coastal town on the Western Ghats in South Karnataka is known to most of us for the famous Udupi Restaurants and cuisines. Udupi is equally famous in that part of the world for its temples, specially the centuries old Krishna temple, known as the Udupi Sri Krishna Matha. The educational hub of Manipal is also attached to this town.
It was Nov, 2009 when I got a chance to visit the small costal town of Mangalore in Karnataka. I was on an official trip to the Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) which is a subsidiary of my parent company ONGC. Many of you might not know that MRPL was a Birla Group Company which went sick around year 2000. ONGC acquired this sick company and turned it around in few years. This was unprecedented in Indian corporate history – a PSU acquiring a sick private company and turned it around. It is considered as a masterstroke of the then ONGC Chairman, late Subir Raha.
As there was no direct flight from Delhi, we had an overnight stopover at Mumbai. As options were very limited, we took the early morning Jet Konnect flight from Mumbai. There is a small but international airport at Mangalore, called the Bajpe airport. Located on the Western Ghats, the landscape is full of hillocks. The airport is located on one of the hillocks. We crossed several hillocks on our 16 km journey to the MRPL plant, which again is located on another hillock.