Rameswaram

It was a hot afternoon on April 27 while I was returning home after my semester exam. I had written SPM on April 25 and SQA on April 27 which means I had completed my 8th semester exams and that officially means I had completed engineering 😀 People at home had already planned for a one day trip and I suggested that we visit Rameswaram ( I longed to visit this place for a long time) . My mum was not ok with that as visiting Rameswaram will take more than a day. So, I left it to their choice. There were lot of discussions about the place to visit, whether to go on a trip blah blah..Finally, everyone settled on visiting Thiruchendur as my dad had work at the Tuticorin harbor. Nah !!! I wasn’t interested and so I didn’t wake up early the next morning. “Alright, everything and everyone is ready for the trip, you cannot just stay in your bed”said my mind and woke me up. My parents had planned to start by 8 but we left the home by 9:15 😛 En route to Thiruchendur via Satur, again there were talks about the place we are visiting (blah…blha…not this….not that place…blah..blah). I kept my mouth shut while everyone else was discussing. Finally, my dad told the driver “Rameswaram ku porom….andha road la pogalam la”…wth??? My mind voice – “Idha dhana nan nethe sonen..”

So it was Rameswaram. It is a city that features in the Hindu epic “Ramayanam”. Hindu mythology suggests that Rameshwaram is the place from where Lord Rama started building the bridge to Sri Lanka to save his wife from Ravana who had kidnapped her. This town in the Ramanathapuram district is famous for its Lord Shiva temple.

Coming back to my trip….the journey was quite long. By 1 at noon, we reached Rameswaram and stopped by the sea to enjoy the waves. That place was made into a park with the slide, swing, ice cream shop and benches to refresh. That place was perfect for so many selfies and family pics and we clicked as many pics as possible. Then we stopped to have a look at the ‘Pamban Bridge’. This bridge connects Rameswaram on Pamban island to the Indian mainland. Pamban bridge refers to the road bridge and railway bridge together. The uniqueness of the railway bridge is that it can open when a big ship has to pass.

Pamban railway Bridge opening for the ship

And there is a board on the Pamban road that tells “Maintain the speed” which scientifically means stopping at the road for a long time to view the railway bridge or to click the pictures will increase the ‘tension’ (physical term) of the road and hence it may collapse.

 

Pamban road bridge

After lunch, we went to see the Ramar Padham aka Gandamadana Parvatham. Scripts say that Lord Rama came here to get the view of the island and find a way to Sri Lanka to rescue Sita. Just like the scripts say, the view of the island from here is complete from here. You need to climb 40 steps to see the Ramar Padham and since we went on a sunny day, we couldn’t enjoy the place as much as it is reviewed.

Ramar Patham
Ramar Patham

Then it was the holy Shiva temple, Ramanathaswamy temple. It is one of the twelve Jyothirlinga temples in India. According to mythology, this temple was built by Lord Rama to absolve his sins that he might have committed while waging a war against Ravana. Tulsidas version of the epic says that Lord Rama ordered Hanuman to bring the largest shivalinga from Himalayas to pray in Rameshwaram. Meanwhile, Sita had already built a small lingam there for prayers which will be found in the Shiva temple. So there are two lingams in the temple’s sanctum. The ‘theerthams’ (holy water bodies) in the temple are considered sacred and you can get tickets to shower the theertham on your body.

Ramanathaswamy temple

On the way, we also saw the grave of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Ex-President of India.

It was a very big temple and hence it took us a lot of time to move around. By the time we came out, it was around 6. So after tea and snacks in the nearby shop, we went to the “Temple of Floating Stone (Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple)”. Here, you can find the large stones floating on the water rather thank sinking. These stones are believed to be used by Lord Rama to build the floating bridge to Sri Lanka with the help of Hanuman.

 

Floating stone

It is not a big temple and in minutes we were back in the car. And back to Sivakasi by 11 !!! That was one awesome journey to be remembered for ever 🙂

 

Rameshwaram is a must visit place for all pilgrimage lovers and all pious Hindus. And it would be better if you plan a trip for two or three days so that you can visit all the nearby places like Dhanushkodi. But the hotels and food are average and hence I recommend that you preplan about the accommodation prior to your trip.

 

A fortnight at The Garden City (The Holidays Fun)

Bangalore !!! Aka “The Garden City”, “The Silicon Valley of India”, “The Electronic City” etc.

But, for me, Bangalore is more like a second home. It is just because I have always been visiting this busy city during my holidays. Be it Quarterly holidays, annual holidays or even semester holidays, I pay a visit to Bangalore. The visit would rarely be pre-planned, but usually it would be a suddenly planned trip. The same happened earlier this year during my 6th-semester holidays. I had exactly 1 month of semester hols from May 15 to June 14 and I had no idea what I was going to do, apart from watching IPL 😀 !! My sister, Rashmi had then come home for a week from Madurai. The first 3 days went in a jiffy mostly because I was unwell and had no clue what happened to the RCB vs SRH match and CSK vs KXIP match 😦 . When I felt a bit better after my fever, I was infected by a viral infection and was again forced to rest. I spent most of the time updating statuses in Facebook about the IPL matches, posting comments, discussing match stats with friends and trolling all the less favourite teams. Then my eldest sissie, Sangeetha came to Sivakasi on a Friday as she had to attend an old friends get together that Sunday. You never know how lively my lonely home turns when sisters meet (although Vidhyaa Sree was missing) !! We spent time together by playing the conventional “7,8,9”, “5,3,2” and Chinese Checkers (Sangeetha made me play that again and again 😦 ). Then we baked a cake together and that came out really well. By Monday morning, both left to their respective cities 😦 . Sangi insisted that we visit Bangalore that week. My home and I felt lonely again. That evening I had to go for a final dressing of my wound that my viral infection gave me.

On Tuesday, I had nothing much to do as there was a 9-5 power cut in my place. So reluctantly, I decided to read. I was reluctant not because I had to read (I love reading) but because I had to read a PDF. So I re-read the book “How I braved Anu Aunty and co-founded a million dollar company” by Varun Agarwal ❤ !! And the evening passed by as I kept blogging busily in my other blog “letzdance.in”.

On Wednesday, I had to meet my dermatologist and hence time passed by. Then I checked tickets to Bangalore just like that and found that most of the tickets had been booked. Only a few seats were available for Thursday and Friday. So, my daddy booked the upper berth tickets in Royal Travels, Sleeper for Friday. So, here it is….the unplanned trip coming alive in just a day.

I don’t remember what I did on Thursday 😛

Friday !! I woke only by afternoon and the day was like any other normal day. There was no “packing” and “leaving the town” mood in the house. ( I seriously doubted if we were travelling that day !! ) By 5, the packing and other stuff followed, thank goodness. By 8, we left the house and boarded the bus. I didn’t get any sleep that night till 2 and hence kept track of the driving regularly. All I found was that the driver was 1.5 hours behind the schedule. That continued till the end of the travel. The travel that was supposed to end in Madiwala, Bangalore by 6:30 AM ended only by 8 AM 😦 .

We were picked up by my brother-in-law, Rajkumar (Senior Manager, Citrix) and we reached Sangi’s home at Thipasandra by 8:30 AM. My nieces were already awake. Then there was brushing, coffee, breakfast, chit chatting and all fun stuff. Sangi had already booked a buffet at The Peacock restaurant and tickets for evening show of Massu (Tamil movie starring Surya). The lunch at Peacock was just awesome. 😀 ❤ 🙂

The food that we had that day,

Starters: chicken wings, prawns, fish Manchurian, coriander chicken, malai chicken, chicken pizza, kachori, harabara kebab, baby corn Manchurian, veg pizzaa
Main course: We didn’t have much place in tummy
Desserts: lava cakes, strawberry pastry, bread pudding, caramel custard, watermelon, mango mousse, starfruit tart, Gulabjamun…and finally, after fingerbowl, had ice cream 😛

We came home by 4:30 and had to leave home by 6 for the movie which was at Gopalan Cinemas. After reaching home, I spent time commenting about all the fun time we had in Peacock to irritate Vidhya, who lives in the other part of Bangalore (she lives in Hoodi, near Whitefield). Then after a power nap, I refreshed and got ready for the movie. I knew the movie was a damn flop, yet had to go just because my sis had already booked tickets. All through the movie, me and my dad kept on insulting “Massu” and Surya 😛 On the way back too, we kept on laughing about the damn logics in the movie. I did not fail to update the review of the movie on Facebook.

Sunday was dormant. After a yummy lunch that had fish, we all laid down for a nap yet none slept. The climate slowly changed, and there were thunders and lightnings. Yet, there was no rain 😛 . We kept on talking about various topics. After and tea, we played XBOX 360. Dhithi, my niece was so angry on me that I had won in the game. Then, by 7 we went around for local shopping.

On Monday morning, we went to Indranagar to purchase shirts for my daddy. As my daddy would be leaving that night, Vidhyaa came a long way from Hoodi (about 1.5 hours of travel) to see him and left when my daddy left. The entire day was spent with Suchu, Dhithu, Achu and Dew (Dhiya, the youngest in the SaRaViNa family).

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday !! Local Shopping !! Dresses, bags, curtains, mobile cases, snacks at Adayar Ananda Bhavan and what not ?? The mornings would be spent in shopping and the evenings would be spent before the TV. Suchu would be doing her school work but I, my mom, Sangi and Dhithu would be seeing all kinds of serials, right from “Deivam Thandha Veedu” to “Diya Aur Baati Hum” to “Best of Luck Nikki” 😛

On Friday afternoon, Vidhyaa (“Paapu” is what we call her) came to Sangi’s home for the weekend. The afternoon and the evening were spent in useless chit chats. By late evening, I played XBOX 360 again with Dhithu and Achu (I don’t have a problem in playing with kids 😛 ).

On Saturday, we had already planned to visit the Venkatappa Art Gallery where they had exhibited the paintings of the winners of the Nazariya Painting Competition. And so, Suchu’s and Dhithi’s paintings were also put up. Immediately after lunch, we started and reached the gallery. Finding a parking lot was highly irritating and so we had to park inside Cubbon Park and walk till the gallery. Then we made an analysis of the paintings of all kids as if we were Ravi Varma and Leonardo Da Vinci :P. You get an aerial view of the biggest luxury commercial property project in Bangalore, UBCITY. We did not miss to click a picture thus bringing the UBCITY logo into our picture.

UBCITY

Staring around the entire place, I found the hoarding of Alma Mater :D. Now why am I laughing ?? It is because “Alma Mater” is owned by Varun Agarwal :D. I explained to the entire family about the founding of Alma Mater and Varun.

Varun Agarwal

It was about 6 when we reached home. We had actually planned to visit Phoenix Market City and finally drop at Hoodi. But the entire plan turned topsy-turvy :P.

I finally made one last local shopping and thus got a chance to drive in Bangalore roads :D. When we reached home, Paapu had left for her own local shopping and we joined her later. Sisters’ shopping !! ❤ ❤

By 9, we finished dinner and was ready to move to the other part of Bengaluru. After dropping us at Splendid Eternity, Sangi and family left. Here comes the next new set of holidays :P. Life at Hoodi is miserable as my sister lives far away from the city. Still, I enjoyed to the maximum extent I could. Outing to City Bazar was the ultimate where Achu kept on chanting “Ma….Toys !!! Ma….Toys !!” 😛 Achu had just started her schooling and every morning would be noisy in Paapu’s home. Noisy enough to wake me up 😛 One fine night, we had to cover up Achu’s school books. I and Paapu spent an hour doing those and recollected all nostalgic memories about our school days ❤ ❤ ❤ Paapu, who is a very bad cook (sorry Paapu 😛 ) didn’t know how butter forms. Our ma, a gold medalist in the B.Sc Chemistry major explained the physics applied there. Did you people know it is because of centripetal force?? :O Vidhyaa, then gave an explanation to my bro-in-law as if she was giving a TED video 😛 Then we used the Indoor Games and Gym in the apartment to the maximum extent we could. Fortunately, the parlour to which my sister took me gave me a satisfactory threading and that gave me one additional day in Bangalore ;).

Till then, the plan was that I and amma would leave B’lore by Friday night. All of a sudden, on Wednesday, we cancelled the tickets as my daddy was coming to pick us. (No, he was actually coming to complete his work 😛 ). So the new plan was put forth. Sangi would join us on Friday, we would have a check-in at Phoenix Market City, my daddy would arrive on Saturday morning and we would leave to Sivakasi by Saturday night. Such a sweet plan !! 😀

So, that was how the final weekend at Bangalore went. We had to board the bus at 9:45 pm. Just before my bro-in-law, Rajandran (owner of http://www.marketcalls.in) could buy us dinner, it started raining heavily. One set of clouds said “Oh Nartana, you are leaving B’lore and hence we couldn’t control our tears” :p. The other gang of clouds said “Nartana, thank god, you are leaving. These are tears of joy” :P. Whatever, I didn’t want to leave Bangalore, sisters, nieces and fun. After so many years, a strange feeling was born while leaving the city.

All is well that ends well. And there was the Bangalore trip that gave me an awesome ending to my semester holidays. By Sunday morning, we reached Sivakasi and from Monday, I was back to the same 9 to 5 routine :(.

IV to Infosys

As I had mentioned in my previous blog, the best part of engineering is you get an IV every year. The first long IV was to FL Technologies in Coimbatore. After a successful first IV, we had much expectations for the second IV. As the first IV came true after a looooong time of planning, we wanted to go for an IV as early as possible this year. The planning was started by the last week of July and this time it was fixed that we are visiting the Infosys Campus in Chennai. (Oh yeah!! FIXED and no more changes :p) The Placement Cell of our college helped us in getting the confirmation from Infosys. But the Infys agreed on one condition that we had to be in their campus by 11 AM. I had to book the bus and my friend, Gowri helped me through it. Thank you sooo much yaar 🙂 🙂 !! This IV was planned with an over night stay. So, we students came up with two different hotels. But they were so far from the Infosys campus and our staff suggested that we book the hotel that our passed out seniors had booked. I managed to get the hotel details from the senior and had to look up the internet for the contact details. Then me and my friend gave the details to a geek ( commonly called so among everyone :P) in the class to inquire about the stay. Reluctantly, the geek accepted and made some moves to contact the people in the hotel. Alright, received the confirmation, booked the bus, booked the hotel. The IV was so close. We made a plan that we would start by 6 PM on August 22, refresh in the hotel and start our formal IV. The previous day I went to the Travel Agency to pay the advance and there came the shock. Ms.J.Jayalalithaa, the former CM of Tamil Nadu was holding a meeting in three districts of Tamil Nadu. including Madurai. So the Travel Agency owner said that we would be getting the recently bought bus with 32″ LED TV (wow 😀 😀 ) but the bus would arrive late to the college campus 😦 (No, how could you!! ) After a lot of deep thoughts that night, I went to the college the next morning and disclosed the news. OMG!!! There was a lot of commotion among the CSEians discussing whether we would go on an IV or not. the accompanying staff feared that if the bus comes late, the time to go to the Infosys Campus would be delayed and that may create a bad impression on the college. There were a lot of phone calls, discussions, but ya, finally “WE WERE GOING” 😀 Somehow, the bus arrived on time and all went smoothly. Again, the bus journey. As usual it included all songs, dance, games. By 5, we lodged and by 7 we were asked to be ready. I still remember the guys taking a lot of time than the gals to get ready!! 😛 😛 Finally, oh yeah, finally, the boys were ready. (Thank God!!) Time for breakfast!! Again, the guys kept on, kept on, and kept on eating (The food was not so good even) !! After breakfast, straight to Infosys.

Infosys
Infosys

We received a warm welcome and were engaged by people over there, giving chalk talks on various aspects like “Learning is fun”, “Big data analytics” and “Mobile Apps”. “Learning is fun” was actually fun by Aishwarya (not only to me but to many :P). Then we got to meet our just-passed-out senior over there who explained his stay in Mysore for the training. Then, there were group pics. Lunch was at Infosys food court. The next halt was put as a poll. And the final decision was made based on the majority and we made our move to EA (some were really happy and some were hanging back). We were given some 1 hour of time. Just like any other day, we went for window shopping and then straight to the food court. The most hilarious part for me was Vaishnavi, me and Priyanga going into the Big Bazaar. Poor Vaishu, picked a cute top, went to the billing counter and only then realized it was damaged. Trying so hard to find another piece in the same color, she became devastated. Knowingly or unknowingly, we were strolling around Big Bazaar for a long time. We were the last to catch up with our lot. Fortunately, our staff were busy talking with our senior who came there unexpectedly, they didn’t notice us. I think around 5 or 5:30 we came out. Lastly, time for return journey 😦 !! This time we played “Guess the song” where a lyric line would be given and you have to guess the song. As this long IV was quite tiresome, everyone went into their dreams immediately after dinner.

PS: There were some misunderstandings and issues between us, the besties, which were immediately resolved after the IV. This is my blog and I have chosen to write only the best moments!! 🙂

Industrial Visit to Coimbatore

“Engineering”, as people say, could get the hell out of you. All you get to do is study for internals, write record, take notes and repeat the same for 6 days a week. Even after hearing these, I wanted to join engineering, and only  engineering 😛 ( you gotta appreciate my brave act :P) !! Huh…the first semester was so boring that I even regretted choosing “engineering”. But days get better!! The second semester went so smoothly that we managed to form a gang. There came the splitting of sections at the end of the finals. CSE-B…3rd semester…I managed to get new friends and so quickly we were able to form a gang. The gang was me, Vaishnavi, Iswarya, Priyanga, Jeyashree and Bhagavathy. The best part of engineering life is, you get an IV every year. Though IV stands for Industrial Visit, most likely it is an informal tour. The guys of CSE-B planned to go to CTS in Coimbatore for the IV and we gals readily accepted. We were waiting for the acceptance letter from CTS and all we did was “kept on waiting” 😦 !! A month passed. Then the planned changed to visit Rober Bosch in Coimbatore and it was fixed. The plans for the IV started by the last week of August but the IV was scheduled on October 8. The lazy me got up at 4 AM to get ready as we had to reach college by 5 from where the bus would start. To my dismay, all the seats were filled and I found myself seated between two geeks :O 😦 :p !! The much expected journey started. Just like any other tour, there were songs playing in the bus. We didn’t chatter much till Madurai. The guys of my class, so surprisingly, burst crackers before the bus and even cut cake for the accompanying staff, as it was her b’day 🙂 . When we got down for breakfast, my staff, who is an alumni of the same college made fun of us, that we didn’t know how to enjoy. There came the spirit among us. The first thing I did was to change my place 🙂 From Madurai, till Coimbatore, there was all dancing, shouting, “hip hip hurraying”, making fun of the other sex in the bus. We, the gang of 6, along with the lovingly called “Bhai” (Sabira :P) enjoyed to the core. Coimbatore…Finally reached Coimabtore by 11 (I guess..). As of then, we thought we were going to Robert Bosch. OMG!!! there came the shock !! We were actually going to “FL technologies”, as the people of the former company were busy with auditing. Wow!! We planned for one, got confirmation from another and we are visiting another!! :p 😀 Yep..It was FL technologies finally !! There were three people explaining about the work they do in FL Technologies. We, 47 were packed in a small room and the AC…was it even running?? One girl almost fainted. Then we had a chit chat about blogging 😀 and the man over there even got my blog address and promised to visit it (how sweet!!) It was just 45 minutes we stayed in FL technologies. That was the formal end to our IV. The best part was yet to come. After an awesome lunch with Priyanka, we went to the only mall in Coimbatore, Brookfields.

Brookfields
Brookfields

Malls are fun and when with friends, it is still funnier. Pradeepa updated a check-in status in Facebook and tagged us all. As like any other, we, Vaish, Priyanga, Ishu and me headed towards the food court. After the pizzas, crushers, “cotton candy” from BR and sweet corn, we went for a window shopping in all the floors. Finally, everyone gathered at the common spot and our mam was so sweet that even she got us ice-creams as her b’day treat 😉 🙂 After all the nostalgic group pictures, we started the return journey. Again, the most loved  bus journey. There were Antaksharis, dancing and the most hilarious part “Truth or Dare” between the guys and gals. Some danced after choosing dare and some were questioned stupidly for a truth. It was around 2 when I came home. All I did was going to bed straight away. Next day morning, my mum tried so hard to wake me up, but the lazy me woke up only by 7:50 for the 8:20 bus :O Bus….missed….Only in the next stop I boarded the bus. The next day, 9th October, Wednesday, was spent sleeping and chit-chatting. The first long IV, the best IV, and the most loved IV !! Thank you people of CSE-B for making it a wonderful day 🙂 🙂

A voyage to the Garden City-Mysore

I have been visiting Bangalore ever since my sister got settled there after her wedding.  During my summer hols in 2007, my mummyma (that is how I call my grandma) accompanied us to Bangalore. As always, we spent the first week in local shopping. Since it was the first season of IPL, all the evenings were used up watching Sony Max!!  But finally, my sissy came up with the idea of visiting Mysore. Apart from my mom no one in my family had ever visited Mysore and so the idea sounded quite exciting. Finally, one Saturday, the folks in my home were ready for a wonderful weekend. We started very early in the morning, planning to have breakfast on the way.  The first halt was at a Krishna temple(I don’t remember the name) and then at a bird sanctuary. The next halt was at Chamundeshwari temple. This Durga temple is located at the top of Chamundi hills. OMG!! It was a hot Saturday and there was an unanticipated crowd there. But what’s the point of not visiting Goddess Durga after reaching the temple?? So we decided to line up. Huh!! It was really scorching. But yeah, the monkeys were fun to watch. After about an hour of waiting, we made our way to the prayers.

The Chamundeshwari temple

One hour of waiting made every one of us very hungry. And ya, there was a wonderful lunch but the worst thing was me spilling the yummy choco milkshake. Next, we headed to the Great Mysore Palace also known as ‘The Ambavilas palace’. It is the residence of the Mysore Maharajas. To my dismay, there was a long queue here also. Yet, I was so eager to visit this historical place. I was awestruck by the magnificence of the so big Ambavilas palace.  I learnt later that the architect was a Britain resident, Henry Irwin. There was a big audience chamber, a large arena for the Maharajas to practise armory and three temples. Clicking snaps inside the palace is strictly prohibited and so there is no way of looking back at the memories 😦 :(. It took us more than an hour to stroll around the entire palace.

The Mysore palace
The Shveta Varaha Swami temple in the Palace complex

After visiting the nook and cranny of the palace, we came out close to sunset. We missed seeing the Brindavan Gardens since it was too late already.

The Brindavan Gardens

Back to Bangalore for dinner!! All that I needed was a good shower to get rid of the milkshake odour. Bobs served us the the best phulkas at doorsteps and ya we were so tired that we went to bed immediately after dinner unlike the other days where we sisters would play cards with our amma and mummyma till midnight!! 🙂 🙂 This long vacation in Bangalore finally ended with the birthday celebrations of my one year old niece and the finals of IPL on the same day (CSK were the runners in 2007 )!!

A journey to Thiruchendur

This journey was during the month of May in 2010 while was relaxing after my 10th board exams. This planned travel was a kind of pilgrimage walk. We had decided to visit Thiruchendur and if time permits, to Tirunelveli as well. So everything was planned the previous night, like from the starting time to the voyage route. As always, I slept late but woke up early… :D. Since me and my dad were all set before everyone, we rode to the nearby temple around 5:30 (I guess!!!). And everyone including the infants in my home stuck to the time and ya, we were ready by close to 6. This time we were ready with all the songs to be played in the car but regrettably the driver was late 😦 😦 . The trip which was scheduled to start by 6 was late by an hour.  Finally by 7, the planned trip started happily. We drove without any break and halted only at Thiruchendur for breakfast at Mani Iyer restaurant. And then, as intended we went to the temple and waited for my ma to finish her already planned rituals in the temple which actually was giving “poomudi”, i.e, cutting some hair for the Almighty hoping for some good events to happen.  After having done with the customs, we moved on for prayers.

Thiruchendur, one of the “aarupadaiveedu” of Lord Muruga is known for the killing of the Asuran Surapadma by Murugan. It is famously known as “Surasamharam”.

The vibhuti given here in a holy leaf is believed to heal all dangerous epidemics, as praised by Sri Adi Shankaracharya .  As always there is a big queue for the rituals in Thiruchendur as it is considered to be one of the holiest places in Tamil Nadu. So we had to wait for quite a long time. It did take a lot of time to worship “Lord Muruga” as we had gone for on a government hoilday. But yeah I did have a lot of patience that day (surprisingly), since I was kept engaged with my dad’s and sis’s funny talks. Finally the prayers were over and we came out of the temple.

Thiruchendur is a coastal area near the Bay of Bengal.  So we decided to spend some time in the sea water. It is so much fun when the waves hit our feet. I had the best of time with my family.  We were told by the natives that, by the grace of Lord Muruga, the temple was least affected by Tsunami.

It was noon and we headed to Mani Iyer (again!!!) for lunch. Now it was time for Tirunelveli, (yipee!!! it was time for shopping 😛 :D). RMKV and Pothys are really untiring. Finally after about 2 hours, the billing ended. What my mum loved the most about the 2 hours of shopping was, to create the awareness about afforestation, 2 saplings were given to the customers and mom got her share. OMG!!! It was already time to go back. Dinner was at Tirunelveli. having finished it, we were on our return journey to Sivakasi.

A trip to the Southern end..(Kanyakumari)

My house becomes so noisy by the month of April and May, (sometimes even by October) as my sisters,nieces and nephew are at home. And it is a practice in our home that my daddy takes us on a one day trip during the summer holidays.For the first time it was Tirunelveli and the next year it was Thiruchendur. Then after a break of 2 years, we went on a small picnic to Nagercoil and Kanyakumari, although my elder sister was absent. This was an unplanned trip and so I almost forgot about getting up early. Alright…after about an hour my mom got ready, I was ready and the other people who woke up before me, got ready only after an hour I was dressed.(Huh!! The most irritating thing is to wait for someone to get ready after you have dressed the best..). Finally, by 7 we started driving towards the southern end. Only after travelling through a small distance, i realized that I had forgotten my pen drive. OMG!! How did I??  But thanks to Radio Mirchi and RJ Ramana that I heard all the songs in my playlist. Then there was a  yummy breakfast served in a small dhaba. By 11, we were at Thovalai, a place that comes before Nagercoil. My dad had a work there and so we were waiting for my dad’s work-related people to arrive there. While waiting there, I learnt something from my dad that the flowers for the pooja in Aiyappan temple at Guruvayoor goes from Thovalai. While my dad was working, I was chatting with my sis and mum. Later on, with my dad, we continued driving to Nagercoil with the idea of visiting Suseendram Temple where there is a big statue of Lord Anjaneya. Unfortunately, by the time we went there it was 2 PM and the temple was closed. So we made a plan to move to Kanyakumari, have lunch and go for sight-seeing. To my dismay, this southern tip of India was too crowded as it was a Saturday. We had to wait to get a seat in the hotel. On contrary to my expectation, the lunch was quite bad but I was damn hungry. Having eaten to the contentment of my tummy, I was the first among my folks to go for hand wash. After everyone  completed the food in their plates, we went through the jam-packed queue to do some shopping in the roadside shops. Considering the sunny weather and the patience of my kith and kin, my dad and mum suggested that we could have a distant view of the Thiruvalluvar statue and Vivekananda rock. (Yeah, that seems to be a good idea!!) And yes, we went to an almost abandoned place and got a very good view of both the monuments. The construction of the Thiruvalluvar statue was initiated by Kalaignar Karunanidhi, Ex-CM of Tamil Nadu. The statue stands 133 feet tall, to signify the number of “Adhigarams” in Thirukural, authored by Thiruvalluvar. This tall statue was almost destroyed in the 2006 Tsunami and it was restructured later.

Thiruvalluvar statue
Thiruvalluvar statue

Nearer to it is the Vivekananda rock. It is said that Swami Vivekanada, a religious leader started his penance here. There is a facility of navigation through boats to reach these landmarks. Having wondered at these monuments and clicking some good photographs for about half an hour, we made a move back to the car.

Vivekanada Rock

But my dad suggested that we could visit the Devi Kanyakumari (Bhagavathy Devi) temple. Huh!! It was closed by the time we went there. It is said that the shine from the diamond nose ring of Bhagavathy Amman served as the lighthouse to many travellers in early days. As we couldn’t get the chance of entering the temple, we decided to take a walk around the temple. To my astonishment, the tourists were either North Indians or foreigners. There were only negligible number  of Tamilians. I guess it was because the people in and around Kanyakumari knew that the place would be crowded in weekends.

Bhagavathy Amman Temple Arch

We kept on walking for a long time to reach the car. In mid-way, we had evening snacks. As planned earlier, we drove to the Suseendram temple in Nagercoil. It took us almost 45 minutes to tour the entire temple. Coming back to the car, we made our minds to return to our hometown. By 8 PM, we had our dinner in the same dhaba. The food was yummy again. By 9:15 PM we reached home…(Yipee!! I was on time to watch Nach Baliye..). After unpacking and refreshing, everyone started enjoying their sweet dreams by 11.

Around the western ghats

 

DSC00062

This post “Around the Western ghats” is a kind of travelogue, where I share my personal experience. My family had planned for a trip to Allapuzha to my grandma’s home by the last week of July. W e decided to go on road by car so that we can enjoy the nature’s beauty. I was quite irritated by this fact because I would become nauseous while travelling. But my dad’s decision is always the final in our home and so we started the trip by 10 am. As always, I dozed off after a few minutes. The car halted after a very few hours and I woke up thinking “Wow!!the driver is so quick”.  Huh!!I was wrong. My mum and sis who are the worst gardening geeks I have ever seen had stopped the car near a nursery. OMG!! Why can’t they buy these plants in a local shop??Well, after almost half an hour later they came out of the nursery (reluctantly). And again,we started. The second halt was at Coutrallam.

DSC00046

I always hated this place because it is crowded and nasty. We got down for a short walk around the place and bought some fruits for snack. So the drive started again and this time  I was wide awake. The greenery of Western ghats is worth a watch.I did see a stream of milky white water every now and then.And wow,I came across the best place I have seen till then. OMG!!Such a huge waterfall (better than any of the waterfalls in Coutrallam).This eco-friendly palce is known as “PALARUVI” (pal-milk,aruvi-waterfall).

DSC00072

We have travelled in this same route for almost 3-4 times but we have never noticed this magical palce. We got off the car to have a better view and click some good snaps. Me and my mum couldn’t resist our desire to have a shower. The place was so clean that we immediately jumped into the water. Wow,it was just awesome but still my dad and sis were reluctant to get into the water. We stood under the waterfall for 15 min. We were shivering as we didn’t have extra clothes to change. Then there were rocky steps to a view point. And while climbing, we noticed few leeches. After photographing these places, we decided to make a move. While trying to trace the car, we saw a woman guard who was sending off the people who were trying to dirty the place. We were taken off by her sincerity to keep the place clean. I would suggest this place for every tourist who likes nature,cleanliness and calmness.

 

the view point

My ratings for Palaruvi would be 4.8 out of 5.

A travelogue to make your travel easy