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Manvi – A Travel Bricolage!

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Gramsci once said, every discourse is a bricolage! And so is this article (which doesn't quite naturally fall under the tag 'discourse'). Borrowing ideas from the postcolonial discourse of the role of the intellectual and from the not so post-colonial concern of cultural hegemony, I try to script a travel-based article about a dear place called Manvi.

Manvi, the birthplace of the great saint-poet Sri Jagannatha Dasa, is situated in the Raichur district of Karnataka. Sri Jagannatha Dasa was a scholar in Sanskrit literature who wrote various complex texts in Kannada. He was a rational thinker-philosopher belonging to the Haridasa movement dedicated to the Dwaita school of thought as proposed by Sri Madhwacharya.

We put in so much thought into rational thinking that we often overlook the other side of the binary. Whereas Sri Jagannatha Dasa was an embodiment of strange binaries. His works also have a tender blend of devotion and knowledge - both in its extreme form. He beautifully discharges the duty of being a responsible intellectual. What about cultural hegemony you ask? That is for today's academic scholars to answer. What has hegemony got to do with anything as pure as devotion and knowledge I wonder! However, it does play a key role in society and travel.

It is places like Manvi, in many parts of India, that you see no board that says "All are Welcome"! Travel discourse borrows largely from historical, cultural, religious, societal, and communal discourses. Overruling the hegemonic practices, Manvi is a place where one comes to a realisation of how crude a translation devotion is to the word 'bhakti'.

With a quiet surrounding and a very relaxed sense of time, Manvi is a must visit especially during the annual aradhana of Sri Jagannatha Dasa. His famed works including harikathamrutasara and tattva suvvali are chanted in a melody that connects to all people alike. Do not miss your chance to visit Manvi that looks like a fragment of the other world. Enjoy the positive bricolage it provides. After all, Sri Jagannatha Dasa represents something beyond mere intellect, something closer to the divine.

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