Showing posts from April, 2008

Chennai Chronicles - Of Hills and Vales

A trotting we will go
A trotting we will go
Heigh Ho the Cherry Ho
A trotting we will go

This time to Ooty from Coimbatore. Ooty the celebrated hill station has always been in the backyard of my hometown. However it never held as much as charm as when I moved away from home. For years now I have been longing to spend a few days in Ooty, and the chance came this time! Ooty has just a handful of sights to see and the trip was over as soon as it began! Also the place was blazing hot and people were walking around with jackets and sweaters much to our amusement! However we had a great time.
The Ooty lake is so small boating in it gets boring in about 10 minutes. But not for Nantu. He wanted to go in the mini train which went on a rockety-rickety trip and back along a straight track. We tried to spruce it up a bit by hooting when we went through a tunnel. But everyone kept a straight face and ignored us! I remember doing this in the Smokeys once on the tram, Nantu and I hooted when the tram je…

Chennai Chronicles - Change!

I am a nomad as already has been established. But I am very fond of my home land India and the lure has always appealed to me. Yet to satisfy my travel urges I continue to live outside India. However, I have no doubts or misgivings about India's growth and progress. And this fact is re-instated to me every time I return back to India. This time again I can see the changes. Chennai seems to have expanded in all dimensions - become bigger, taller and broader to say the least!!
Every time I come back, a whole metamorphism has conspired in my absence!! This time too there are many such things I have just begun exploring. Years ago one rainy season I remember traversing the Old Mahabalipuram Road and wishing I had a boat instead of a car. The potholed road held sudden surprises for us besides the flooding of the road itself!
Today Old Mahabalipuram Road is a sight to see. The road has become broad and smooth. All the erstwhile potholes are long gone and the road is being beautified to ha…

Chennai Chronicles - Panguni Thirunal

The highlight of the trip to the village was the Panguni Utsavam. Every Panguni (Tamil calendar month - Last month in the tamil year - March 15th through April 15th), in the temple of Mahara Nedun Kuzhai Kadhar at Thenthiruperai a small village on the banks of Tamarabrani river, a festival is celebrated in full splendor. The festival starts on Panguni Uthram (tamil star) and goes on for the next 10 days.
Among all Vaishnava temples, the most celebrated are 106 Thirupathis (108 in all, 2 of which are believed to be in/on the way to Heaven) across the Indian Peninsular. One among these these is Thenthiruperai. The God there is MaharaNedunKuzhai Kadhar (The one with the ornamental Maharam on his Ear).
During the Panguni Utsavam, Lord Kuzhai Kadhar appears on the streets in a different vahanam every night. It ends with a trip on the Theru (Chariot). We were at Thenthiruperai for 5 of these days. Starting from the second day. Here are some pictures!(Simha Vahanam - Lion)(Hanuman Vahanam)(Th…