Tamil Nadu

Nilgiri Mountain Railway & Ooty

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Incidentally it is owned by Mithun Chakravarthy. After freshening up we went for a little sightseeing. There are usual points like any other hill station. First one was Doddabetta peak which is highest point of Ooty. One can see far and wide from this point but only if the sky is clear which sadly was not the case for us.

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Hogenakkal Falls – Water falls through Graphite Rocks.

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There was a 3 days off as 26th Jan 2009 was on Monday and I thought of utilizing this time to going out to Chikmagalur, kuuke subramanyam however due to unavailability of reservations in resorts and last minutes commitments I along with my friend and his family, have opted for one day trip to Hogenakkal Falls on Sunday the 25th so that we can relax on 26th.

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The Southern Sojourn – Rameswaram

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It takes around an hour to take bath in all the 22 wells. The modus operandi is simple. There is a person standing by the side of the well ready to pour water on you with a small bucket. Some of the pilgrims make a small donation at each of the wells. We preferred to have holy water sprinkled over us and move to the next well.Despite the fact that thousands of pilgrims are visiting the temple every day and having a bath at these theerthams, it is believed that the tanks around the temple have a perennial source of water.

Having finished the ritual of purifying ourselves at the holy wells, we once again passed through the magnificent corridors, passed by the Nandi and reached the exit gate. I do not know if my sins were washed away, but one thing is certain that the experience of visiting the temple will remain etched in my memory all through my life.

It was around 6.30 in the evening. Still in a trance, I reached the hotel room, ordered a steaming hot cup of tea and thereafter met Rajah, the cabbie whom we had hired for taking us to Kaniyakumari, the southernmost tip of the country, where Swami Vivekanana meditated before proceeding for America and which is the confluence of two great seas – Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea and the great Indian Ocean, about which I would write in my forthcoming post.

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Very Well Unplanned – A trip to Ooty

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During our sound sleep around 4am in between our journey to Pune we heard a loud bang and suddenly got out of our sleeps. We realised that our bus met with an accident with another bus and the other bus went into divider and got the front damaged causing human casualties. Sight of an old lady lying on road with blood dripping on the road from her head and many other injured people at 4am in the morning was a horrifying and depressing sight. The driver had few arguments with the people outside and took us to the bus stand where we realised that we have reached Nasik. The driver decided to end the journey there only due to damaged windshield of the bus and refunded us our remaining amount. Then we took another Maharashtra roadways bus to Pune and reached Pune after a long , tiring , scary and adventurous  journey of  almost forty hours.

We decided to get freshen up at a friend’s flat in Pune and got the tickets booked for the volvo in evening to Bangalore from where we will have to take another bus to Ooty. After taking rest in Pune we boarded the volvo to Bangalore in the evening.

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Chennai Wildlife

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2. Chennai Snake Park: The Chennai Snake Park Trust is a not-for-profit NGO constituted in 1972 by herpetologist Romulus Whitaker and is India’s first reptile park. Located on the former home of the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, the park is home to a wide range of snakes such as adders, pythons, vipers, cobras and other reptiles. The park gained statutory recognition as a medium zoo from the Central Zoo Authority in 1995.

Chennai Snake Park is next to the Guindy National Park .It is located on Sardar Patel road in Guindy OR the best landmark for this park is that it is just next to IIT Madras. This is one of the eco friendly and environment friendly biological parks that attract many tourists. This park is highly recommended from my side to visit. I always find this park interesting.

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Chennai’s Art,Culture,food and Shopping

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This time on the first day of Remembering Rukmini Devi festival we watched drama based on Devi Meenakshi. The dance drama name was “Meenakshi Vijayam”. I was very well aware that photography was not allowed inside the auditorium, but I couldn’t resist myself and just for sharing picture of such a wonderful place I clicked one picture only for the sake of sharing at Ghumakkar.

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Mahabalipuram – Chennai Weekend Gateway

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This temple is considered in a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was built in 7th century. It is one of the oldest South Indian temples built in Dravidian style. The complex spreads out over a square platform, and comprises three temples, of which two are east and west facing Shiva temples, and the third a Vishnu shrine in the center. The temple has vast open are at the western side. Rows of Nandi form the perimeter wall for this temple. The Shore temple is the lone survivor out of seven such temples , the rest having fallen to the ravages of sea.

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Chennai Temples Part 2

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This temple is a very old temple of 8th century. It is famous for its Pallavan Architecture. According to legend, the temple is located on the spot where Brahma, one of the Hindu trinities, installed a Shiva lingam. It is said that the creator or the Hindu Trinity Brahma , originally had five heads, one of which Lord Shiva cut off to arrest his pride. Following which Lord Brahma installed a Shiva lingam to do penance and that is where the temple stands today. This Shiva lingam is known as Kapaleeshwar and is the main nucleus of the temple.

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Chennai Temples

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It is a very beautiful temple with numerous fixed glass windows permitting maximum sunlight thus saving lot of energy. All windows are nicely painted with mythological pictures. Beautiful wall painting, pillars and a huge darshan hall makes this temple very attractive. I really like the wooden doors of the enclosures where deities reside. It is a huge wooden door with beautiful carvings. Every Sunday , a special programme is held in this temple which includes bhajan, Bhagwat Gita course, Aarti and at 1315 hrs lunch Prasadam for everyone.

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Valparai Series – Part 4

Valparai Series – Part 4

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To reach the Nalla Mudi view point, one has to walk through where else but the Nalla Mudi tea estate. A rather stern looking Forest guard stopped us with a Sorry, No Entry, Elephant problem. He was not however as fierce as he looked and easily succumbed to our pleading that we had come so far from the distant planet of Bombay, so how could we go home without seeing this place?

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Valparai Series – Part 3

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Though elephantine in appearance, the Valparai bisons (Indian Gaur) are usually mild creatures who mind their own business. But which fool would proceed further ‘where angels fear to tread’? After taking our fair share of pics, we did an about turn.

Sometimes the wildlife comes out on the main road, much to their detriment. Wildlife killings by overspeeding F1 drivers is unfortunately all too common despite the many caution signs. This huge deer was standing barely 1 foot away at twilight. I realised he was next to me only when some bikers stopped to stare.

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