Weekend-Chennai

Call for a Journey Inward

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A man’s journey starts with his birth and passes through various stages right from infancy, childhood, adolescence and old age. Another journey which is parallel to it, starts with it when he grows up and starts his career. When he reaches at the pinnacle of his career—a stage comes when he feels that to go beyond the concept of multiplying the wealth accumulated by him so far—a stage when he thinks that earning money is not the ultimate aim of his life. Then, he goes berserk

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Our Six Days Southern Sojourn

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Coimbatore also known as Kovai is a major developing smart city in the Tamil Nadu located on the banks of the Noyyal River amidst Western Ghats. It is often referred to as the ‘Manchester of South India’ due to its cotton production, garment and textile industries. Coimbatore is also called as the “Pump City” as it supplies country’s large requirements of motors and pumps.

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Kerala’s Green Treasures-Idukki Trip-Part 2

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Your troubles don’t end once you get the entrance tickets. Because the tickets to the actual boat ride will be issued only at the counters near the lake boating area which is another 2 kms away. From the gates of the sanctuary we left our car and took an auto to reach the boat house(auto drivers queue up at 3 am to book their place at the head of the queue). For the 2 kms, autos charge(robbed would be the right term)200 bucks to the inner gate of the sanctuary. From there, it is a sprint for another 500 metres to the ticket counter. After all these troubles, I just about managed to get the tickets just in the nick of time. I heard from the authorities that to avoid these troubles one can stay at the KTDC Aranya Nivas, inside the sanctuary which provides access to the boat rides.

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‘Rock’On Mahabalipuram!

‘Rock’On Mahabalipuram!

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The streets of Mahabalipuram are a photographer’s delight. The city is famous for stone sculptures. You can get your sculpture done within 3 months and get it delivered to your place just by giving your photograph and your measurements. The murals of deities, elephants, bhuddha’s are a very common sight. It is an eye feast to look at the workmen at work, carving intricate designs on the stones. I got to speak to one such person, Surya , who was diligently making a Ganesh idol. It took him 3 months so far to make the below idol and it would fetch him 35,000 INR. These idols are made  using the machinery as well as traditional hammer and chisel. It gives altogether a different experience to stand among numerous idols which are going to make it temples where we are not allowed to go even 5 steps nearer. After a brief visit to the workshops we headed to the Arjuna’s penance.

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On The Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka

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The high point of our yatra was the visit to Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sigiriya or Simha Giriya ( Lion Rock ) is a gigantic rock formation ( 660 ft high ) on top of which a complex capital city was built by one king Kashyap and which was said to have been later usurped by Ravana. Still later, it was used by Buddhists to promote their religion. The rock and its surroundings presents a unique concentration of urban planning, architecture, gardening, engineering, hydraulic technology and art.

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The Southern Sojourn – Kanyakumari

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It was close to 9.00 p.m. and with hunger cramps, I told Rajah to stop at a good eating place in the next town en-route. We landed at a small time restaurant – Shanti Bhawan (?) at Sayalgudi, a very small Panchayat town. The place looked clean, but the restaurant owner told us that the place was “full”. There were around 40 Ayappa Swami Devotees already seated and they were to be served first and our waiting time could be more than half an hour. While talking to the owner I was surprised to see the pictures of Kabaa, the holiest place for the Muslims along with some of the Hindu Gods. I asked him if it was a Hindu hotel. He said it was a Muslim Hotel. When I pointed to the wall hangings, he said “Sir, we worship all the Gods”. I was touched by his reply to the hilt and almost embraced him. I wish people all over the country had the similar feelings and then this divide between the religions would probably be non-existent. Thankfully the things appeared to be much better in Tamil Nadu as people of all the religions eat the same food, drink same toddy, speak Tamil and wear the same dress – lungi / dhoti and shirt.

Outside the restaurant, a group of Swamis (devotees of Lord Ayappa) were standing. I was told that they were coming from somewhere in North Tamil Nadu (after a couple of drinks, one tends to forget the names sometimes) and were heading for Kanyakumari,

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Alleppey Backwaters

Visit to God’s own country – Kerala

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Cochin is about 50 kms from Alleppey. After visiting Maritime Navy Museum, we headed for Fort Cochin area. Fort Cochin area consists of Churches, Dutch Palace and Jewish Synagogue. For history enthusiasts its a place for going back in the past and know about Jews, Portuguese and dutch reign in Cochin.

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