Saturday, October 4, 2014

An Evening in Trichy

It was a business training in Trichy, in late of September. With a three hours flight I reached to Trichy airport which is very small. The week long training was in WRI Welding Research Institute, which is not very far from the city but still outside of it. Hardly I could get time to explore the city in first few days. I with three of my colleagues were stayed in hotel Grand Gardenia. Hotel is located on a very good point which is easily accessible from everywhere still it is out of city's busy places. Stay here was very comfortable. Room was very clean and nicely maintained. Room service was very good and good thing was there were no additional charges for room service. Two restaurants and one bar is there. Food in their Kannapa restaurant has lot of varieties and very helpful in the long stay. Though there are not much amenities but still stay there was very good and recommended.

After four days of stay, we could get some time on Thursday evening. We were able to leave early from WRI and so we directly went to the downtown. The first place we went was Rangnathswamy temple which is more than thousand years old. This is the best example of exquisitely sculpted Dravidian temple. Next stop was Rock fort temple which was at a quite good height. Number of small rock-cut cave temples were accommodated at different elevations in monolithic rocks. Reaching at the top was the tiresome effort. From the top, seeing the panoramic view of city is well rewarding for this effort. Once we came down we were exhausted and so we went to a shop to have very famous milk-shikanji. It was cold and tasty. As it was festival time, market was crowded and busy. I also went to the famous Saratha's Saree Shop and bought two Saree for my mother and wife. That shop was a market in itself with minimum two hundred salesmen. After these four packed hours, we moved back to our hotel. This evening completed my Trichy trip.

Next day we could also visit the big temple in Thanjavur. It was my second visit to this place. Every time you go there you will appreciate it's magnitude and gracefulness. On Saturday, after completion of training, we directly went to the airport to catch the flight. Late in night I reached to my home in Bangalore but I am sure that evening will be in my mind for long time.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Drive to Kaiwara

It was first Sunday of September, when we had a short drive to Kaiwara which is around sixty kms from Whitefield, Bangalore. This place is mostly known for the religious purpose and its historical and mythological tales of Mahabharata. It took us two hours of driving as most of the road after Hoskote was under construction. After a drive of thirty-five kms on Chintamni road or SH35, we reached to Kaiwara cross. We took a lunch here before we started again. After merely there kms, we reached to Kaiwara town. First stop we had was at Sri yogi narayana Matth. It was a well maintained ashram with a beautiful white painted temple. Look like Ashram was usually utilized for marriage ceremonies. After having a short walk, we moved towards Bhimlengeshwara temple but it was a deserted view there and was not in very good state. Then we moved to Viakuntha temple or Thathya cave which is on a small hill, little outside of town. This temple has a nice view with its rocky landscape and paddy fields side-by. This place must be good for hiking. In front of the cave there was a national park or zoo maintained by forest department but it was mostly having empty look and suggested only for a big group.

Though there was not much thing to do or see in Kaiwara but I loved to drive to this place for its natural beauty and quietness. It again took two hour drive to reach back to our home.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vellore fort temple

Last month I went for a long car drive to Vellore, a city in state of Tamilnadu. It was a 200km drive oneway from Bangalore and the longest for me by car.  I with my family started on early Sunday morning and it took four hours to reach there. In between we had a short break. This four hours drive was fun for me. We had to meet a relative there. While returning we thought of checking out the Vellore fort.

Vellore fort which is in the midst of the city is more kind of a temple rather than a fort. Temple is surrounded by a small water channel, which tells that it may be a small fort sometime but is dried now. It was just before the temple closing time and so we entered the premises quickly. There was a small crowd.   We had darshan inside and then we had a walk in the premises and had a close look at its architecture.

While returning my son was not filling well so it was not a very good drive but I could make the return journey safely and in next four hours.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A short drive to Kotilingeshwara

On last weekend I went for a short drive to Kotilingeshwara temple which is not very far from Bangalore. Though it was a short drive but the longest one for me after owning a car. We started late in morning at around nine and we took the Malur village road rather than Kolar highway. Driving on village road is always soothing. It was a single lane road but driving was still easy as there was very minimal traffic. We passed the towns of Malur and Bangarpet. The distance of 75 kms was covered in two hours without taking any break. This place is very near to famous Kolar gold field mines which is closed now.

The temple premises has good shaded parking area where we parked our Grand i10. We took the entrance ticket to enter the temple. Ticket for camera including mobiles was costly as hundred bucks and no-one was buying it.  Temple authority should reduce the cost.

In Kannada, and Hindi too; koti means crore so Kotilingeshwara means one crore Shivalingas. The priest claimed that there are ninety lakhs shivalingas in the temple premises but I guess it was in few lakhs only. I am not very religious person and always want to avoid very crowded places but entered in main temple where there was a long queue of devotees. After the darshan, we took some photos while kids were busy playing in midst of shivalingas. After coming out of temple we sat at a small eatery and had our lunch which we brought from home. Then we started back for Bangalore and in next three hours we were back to our home. In between we stopped our car to a village haat to buy vegetables and few other stuffs. Driving was fun as usual. This short drive was just the beginning of many long drives in near future !

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Getaway to Pondicherry

After a long time I was out for a travel and this time it was the small beach town Pondicherry. It was the end of February and weather was perfect to visit here with family. We started little late in morning at around eight. Quickly we could hit the Chennai highway. We stopped in between at a roadside eatery to have breakfast. After sometime we left Chennai highway for Pondicherry road. Road from here to up-to Pondicherry was not in the good state. Construction work was going on and the road was severely damaged. It was good that we had Innova cab, which still provided much comfort in endless series of potholes. After a more than seven hour journey we entered into Pondicherry state. It was almost four of evening when we reached there. After so long journey, a short rest was much needed. Fortunately hotel booked was quite comfortable. Hotel Lotus Pondi, where I had booking was very near to beach. Hotel rooms were clean and all the facilities required were available but bed was of small size. Hotel reception is adorable and staff is courteous. Given the cost of stay it was a well find and a great value for money. Overall staying in Lotus Pondy hotel was very much comfortable and highly recommended for budget travelers.

After a very short break we went to the beach which was just at walking distance. Reaching to beach was very mesmerizing particularly after the long travel. We saw the French memorial and had some good photos. Breeze coming from sea was very soothing. It was evening time so there was a decent crowd. We had a walk along sea shore called as MG road. We saw Gandhi statue, secretariat and old light house; and had a good cup of tea before turning back to our hotel. That two hours on beach took off our tiredness. After some time in hotel, we went for a walk outside which is called as French colony. Seeing the old buildings in french architecture and House-names in French was great. We got a small north Indian dhaba where we got our dinner packed. After a simple but tasty dinner we went for the sleep.

Next morning we woke up early. After getting ready we went to Sri Vinayagar temple, which is one of the oldest and renowned temple of Pondy. From there we went to Sir Aurobindo Ashram, which is a must for a traveller coming to Pondicherry. Then we went to beach side restaurant and had great breakfast and tea. We went back to our hotel and packed our stuffs. Now we moved to Auroville which is founded as global spiritual city. It was a drive to outskirts of Pondicherry. At the entrance we got a video introduction session and then we moved to the view point by walk. We saw the sacred Banyan tree on the way. After a long walk we reached to the view point to witness a great architectural monument. From Auroville we started back for Bangalore. We thought of visiting Tiruvannamalai temple which is one of the oldest temple of Tamilnadu but it was closing time when we reached there and could not go inside. After taking short breaks for lunch and tea we reached to our home by seven with some good memories of Pondicherry.