Saturday, September 6, 2014

Trip to Kerala & Tamil Nadu: Discovering Mystery of the Time-Traveller...

Ganesh Chaturthi long weekend had an incredible tour in store for me where I got a chance to visit some temples, ethnic places and ethnic wedding! This journey took me from Bangalore to Trichy (350kms) to Trivandrum (6 hours from Trichy) to Kochi (3 hours from Trivandrum) and chance to travel in
Brihadeeswarar Temple
auto-rickshaw, local TN bus (8 km=4 INR), inter-state bus, car, train and finally, airplane! Listing down the places I visited, mostly in the order of visit-

#Namakkal Anjaneyar Temple had no roof! Tall Hanuman is the highlight here. Missed visiting ancient site, two cave temples, Adiyendra Visnugrha (Ranganatha swamy Temple) and Adiyanavaya Visnugrha (Narasimha swamy Temple) of 7th century. Falls in between Salem and Trichy.

#Brihadeeswarar Temple Thanjavur is the place that I visited twice in this trip and everytime I did, fell deeper in love. Built in 10th century by Cholas who ruled south-east Asia, the campus is covered by a canal of Kaveri river where crocodiles
Wedding Glitters
were bred to protect. Once you enter, you’ll see marvelous 2 gopuram’s marking victories of Rajaraja chola. Beautiful sculpture of Dwara palak(door keeper) curbing python that is eating elephant with one of his foot will remain in memory forever. First ever Capillary Barrier System and mysterious European man (time traveler?) with a hat in 10th century is the highlight of this temple. I strongly doubt that if 21st human beings can ever produce this kind of engineering and cultural marvel!

#Rock Fort is the highlight point of Trichy. Must must visit. 400 steps to climb inside the big rock and once you step out, you reach the top! Bird view of Trichy, beautiful Kaveri River, gopuram of Srirangam and mesmerizing winds that hit your
face are the best of part of this experience. Also, you’ll see tiny Ganesha temple at the top!

#Jumbukeshwara Temple, Trichy, is not so popular, not so crowded temple. It is one of Pancha Bhoota Stalam, meaning a Shiva place dedicated to one of 5 basic elements of nature, i.e., is water. You’ll see water oozing out continuously near the lord Shiva lingam that is inside a cave. Temple has a beautiful corridors and majestic rock pillars. Do visit!

#Srirangam temple, was over-crowded and 250 INR for fastest Darshan of 2 hours. Didn't work out. So was content looking around amazing build of this ancient temple. Avoiding weekends is the
Rock Fort Temple View
best thing to do here!

#Typical Tamil Wedding on a Sunday morning at 6am! Glitters and religious aspects marked the event of Vinci’s marriage to Ranjani! Happy married life guys!

#TNFood- Jigarthanda(amazing juice with some ice-cream like thing!), Veg Flow (Veg Pulav!), Spide Rice(Fired rice!), Gopi Manjurian (no price for guessing!), Cilli Barota (Chilli parota!), Bombal special Badam milk(Kebab main haddi!), Payasam with vada and pepper rasam! Full-filling!!

#Kanthari, Trivandrum, story will be up in soon!

#NISH, Trivandrum, National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) run by govt. of Kerala, set up
in 1997, amazes you with its environment that is set up. Now I believe that govt.’s can also do wonders!

#Shri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Trivandrum, was almost closed when I reached. But took a walk in the corridors and got a sight of spell-bounding Kerala architecture.

#Pazhavangadi Ganapathy Temple, Trivandrum, got a chance to watch the maha mangalaarathi(final puja to mark end of day) and definitely is a blissful place with calm Ganesha as the main deity.

#Computer training centre, Kochi, run in collaboration with Rotary Club Cochin Global & SRVC (Society for Rehabilitation of the Visually Challenged), got a chance to interact with brain behind, Sunil Mathews, and meet his blind trainees, and listen to their ambitions. Sunil’s experience with
Onam Sadhya
blind soccer is worth notable, wishing them luck for upcoming Asiad games. Surely, Blindness is just another Imagination!

#Marine Drive, Kochi, strolled around since I landed up at Kochi on a Kerala Bandh day. Temples to churches to mosques to synagogues to jetty to port- Kochi has it all and no doubt, Dutch to Portuguese to French to English were here! Understood how the Kerala state transport operates inter-island boat service!

#KeralaFood- Pazhampuri, Onam Sadhya, Sharjah juice, Kerala porota in Arya Nivas and late night show of movie Raja Natwarlal at SL cinemas!

[Thanks to Sridhar Sundaram, Sharath, Chikkappa, Chikkamma, Vinci, Ranjani, Ashwin, Ambi, Ikku, Basya, Ragi, Kachappa,Akshay, Suhas and Cheeni for making this trip memorable!]