Tamil Nadu

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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DakshinaChitra – A cross cultural living museum in Chennai, Tamilnadu

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We went to DakshinaChitra in the month of December 2010 by our car. The entry fee for DakshinaChitra is Rs 75/- (adult) and Rs 20/- (Children between 5 to 12 years) and Rs 30/- (student between 12-18 years). Although this place is located at the outskirts of Chennai (or to be precise 45 kms from the city) it is very well connected from city. Regular buses and taxis are available for going to this place. This place can be very well visited if you are visiting Mahabalipuram or Pondicherry and can spare 1-2 hours in between.

So after purchasing we entered inside the DakshinaChitra.On our left there were shops selling crafts item .Also at the entrance we found Jagannath Puri’s idols was kept in the courtyard area. We were then informed by the staff there that they were celebrating Orissa craft festival so craftsman’s from Orissa has come here to exhibit their art and culture.

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Valparai Series – Part 2

Valparai Series – Part 2

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The estates brought prosperity for the new settlers but ‘development’ also meant massive deforestation of once pristine forests with the attendant depletion of indigenous fauna and flora. In those days
of abundant natural wealth, this was not a matter of concern.

In recent times, the Nature Conservation Foundation – an NGO, has engaged the estates in a successful conservation programme to maintain wildlife corridors and regenerate the forest. Consequently, you never quite know who you might meet in and around those Valparai tea gardens!

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Valparai Series – Part 1: An Introduction

Valparai Series – Part 1: An Introduction

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Green Hills has a restaurant that is dingy and uninviting but their food is delicious.  Some of the home stays provide meals, some do not have this facility.  There are several restaurants, food stalls and messes along the one and only main road where you can enjoy a cheap and delicious meal.  Besides this there are umpteen bakeries serving hot snacks, cakes and locally grown tea.  The problem arises for strict vegetarians who will not eat vegetarian food in a non veg establishment, and as we all know there are many such good folk not just in Tamil Nadu but all over India.   I have seen only one place near the Gandhi Bus Stand – the Sabari Mess – which proclaims itself to be “Veg Only“.   No personal experience but you can not go too wrong with the local food.  We dined at the Plaza on the main road opposite the Police Station.  It was consistently good with excellent service and spotlessly clean.     For us, once we are on to a good thing, we are reluctant to experiment with something new so as with the home stay, the staff at Plaza now also treat us as long lost friends.  I did notice a Mary Matha Mess in the adjoining building on the first floor which seemed to be popular.  Mess in these parts  means restaurant or a place where meals are served.

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Rameswaram …My trip to Char-dham…

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After Darshan we returned to our room and planned to go around the temple.At around 1800 hrs we decided to go around for tea/ coffee and some snacks. Unfortunately when we went around we could not find any restaurant where we can get something to eat as all were preparing for Dinner. Generally around 1900 hrs Dinners are available at all the restaurant. We have taken route from East side to South side and then to West side. One important thing is that there are number of Lodges and Dharamshala at East and South side.

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One Day Trip to Ooty-Coonoor

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I explored the hill-sides along the road looking at flowers, trees and occasionally the habitations along the road,perched diligently on the sloping terrain.The panoramic views of the valley below enamoured me, though no Tourist Department had christened them with clichéd names.

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