Sunday, April 24, 2011

Off to Blue Mountains

Hoping for less traveled western catchment areas and exploring more destinations of the endless nature and beauty of the Nilgiris. Here some pictures captured from my previous visit to Blue Mountains.

blue mountains
blue Mountains
lovely landscape
lovely landscape
green valley
green valley
pretty pansies
Blue delphinium
blue delphinium

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tirumala Tirupathi Trip II

Getting darshan at Tirumala Tirupati temple had been tough for our family who went to stand in queue at night for free darshan could not get vision even after morning, whom were shut in rooms the whole night are released only in morning after devotees got furious to open the gate, the temple authority took a photo and gave everyone a timing card to bring back after couple of hours refreshing at room. The dad who was taking care of me at night was supposed to go for darshan after grandma, mom and cousins return, was anticipating the whole night for their arrival, but they came at last after our breakfast with an intense stress and sorrowful face of not getting vision.
Free chariot
(A free bus service in tirumala, operated for the benefit of pilgrims.)
I was expecting them to be soon so that I can visit other places nearby and on way back to home; it was disappointing the time took for them to receive the vision of lord and the cousin who spent the whole night in the rooms refused to go back thinking it might delay again. After lunch, gandma, mom and a cousin went again with their card to return in 2 hours only come out by 5 and the hotel we book in for a day was suppose to vacate by 3 pm so before they say we vacated the room and parked within their premises among the Woodside waiting for them.

In meantime we checked the Silathoranam, which is a Natural Arch located 1km from the Tirumala temple is a wonderful archeological site considering enormous value to the department’s point of view. Silathoranam, which means is a rock garland stung over a threshold, is an arch… measuring 8m in width and 3m in height is a natural formation dates back to a billion and a half years old.
This is a place elevated from the temple town towards left is surrounded by trees and rocks replacing a sight of forest, attract many visitors who come to tirumala and almost the Jeeps take control the need of bringing people to this natural arch. Following the arch, steps lead down to more rock formations and the view from this point is evergreen and gray rocks which are quite opposite to the temple town valley that rose in bricks and cements.

The arch is one of a few natural arches or bridges in Asia withstood to intensify weathering and erosion of steam action is found during the excavation that take place in this area in 1980s. The nature rock arch has two dissimilar set of rocks with a connecting thin link. We then drive toward another place called as sri padam, but we withdraw it rather after going somewhat through this forest road, which was quiet and visible of some anthill, thinking it might take much time, we get back to our parking area and waited till we receive a call from cousin.
It was dusk surrounded while we decide to climb down and it was quite dark half the way down hill, the tirupati city has began to twinkle away. It was wonderful seeing those colorful lights spread down and the multi hairpin bends and wild animal’s news of late are something bothers me as it was even dark. It was night as we drive home and nothing to observe like arriving, I missed the opportunity of visiting some places en route and it was dark everywhere giving company in the light of Lories and trucks that passes us. We had our dinner in Tiruvallur as a last customer to close the hotel since it was nearly 10pm and reached home at 11.
City of Tirupati
City of Tirupati

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Post poll occupation

Avoiding the morning hour’s rush and crowd to stand in line, we decide to poll our right in the state election afternoon and it was my second time to vote after parliament election and it was lacking crowd when we reached the polling booth. There’s a rule that vehicles should not allowed within 200 meters of polling booth, but for me they give excuse to land near the entrance of the govt. school to then move in wheels into the allotted room for our area voters.

We moved five years ago from the area in Adyar to Thiruvanmiyur and our voting continue from our former native residential address and there no need a change since both areas come into one constituency and only the ward council is different. After completing the simple formalities of proving we are and let ink on finger, I enter the booth and pressed the blue button on EVM. It’s wonderful and content feel that I did my basic right and thus the chance provide by democracy and prior given to us as being special.

We moved out of the booth to know it’s an hour to go for evening and unwilling to go home we decide to roam around and went to our home in Adyar and to a cafĂ© in Besant Nagar to have bonda and coffee. The cousin who is spending his vacation with me want to know to whom I voted and he keep on urge me with same question and not alone he many ask me at certain after return from polling but I managed by smiling saying myself why should I say even I don’t fear to say.

I don’t know what is there for them to do by knowing to whom did I vote and it’s none of their business and right to ask question, though they are open about their poll on vote there isn’t that I should be. I hate this questions and contempt people who haven’t vote saying that no one is correct and who would vote at. It feels stupidity to see when the vote percentage is at high unlike ever there are people still avoid voting and make their vote insignificant. In Chennai, the vote percentage is 60 and coming second, at least, made me wonder where gone the 40% avoiding those out of city on various reason.

I wonder what doing the election commission which has applied strict restrictions unlike ever when the media persons go and surround the polling booth when celebrates or a VIP is poll a vote. Is it the propriety? Don’t the media guys have a sense, how secure is ones vote should be and aren’t there act disturb and disclose their private decision. I also contemn the behavior of some actors, who wanted to poll directly without standing on the line and whoever could be them, everyone is equal while voting except they aren’t special person and elders who can’t stand long to get prior.
Cute movement
A cute candid shot that turn motion blur…
The talk on poll also continue as we visit the beach in evening, the grandparents joins us later got to chat more on election and being pubic holiday there was unusual crowd in beach which look unlike a weekday. I love taking my grandparents out since they always stay at home, the beach platform provide a better pathway for my grandpa to take leisure walk. It was lovable to see kids take over our sight in there pretty action and movement, one was striking a ball with plastic bat thrown by his father and another kid was very cute come after to take cool breeze in baby trolley was much smiling at me, may be attracted by my wheels. It was wonderful moment I would cheer every time to come and sit for such chitchat and relaxation that quite clam and bring please to mind.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Well decide to poll

At last the month long propaganda for the state legislative election for April 13th has come to conclusion today and what it provides these days was an irritating entertainment, and showcasing personal hatred against each other was the most aspect of this in name of election. Not like to mention some ones particularly, on one is clear about their intention this time and highlighting the party was there most important thing provide by both the candidates and expected voters.

I wish whom to lead the government and don’t know will it happen or not but sooner or later, hopefully he will be the next CM if the party continues to power. If we seek the political background of most of candidates, there is something more or less disgrace occupies there past rather in person or public in no man’s perfect attitude; there is a chance for everyone to change or retain to serve the people.

I don’t take serious the people promote the candidates in fame, since it’s their job of acting in reality for money they disappear as soon there work is finished, but what we hear from candidate is important unless they weed out their silence which rarely take place only to highlight the party and leaders. I decided whom to vote this election and every candidate expresses similar thoughts in different volume and size, and selecting one among them is little hard so I derived someone in general who could support the leader I wish to lead the government in order.

People could not forget his planning and wide thinking about Chennai as a Mayor has impressed me from then to today, the way he receives people and to give importance to their need and planning projects are amazing. I believe such attitude would continue and take greater stages if we give him a change to rule the government and climbing to this post he deserves a lot in both as a party and public functionary.

Hope everyone poll there right and bring a bright future for our state and self.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Tirumala Tirupati Trip

Last week went to Tirumala Tirupati on a two day trip along with grandparents, parents and cousin, the same as the team on journey to Palani in previous post. We begin leisurely after sunrise than the usual early morning drive; it was though Tiruvallur, Thiruthani and Tirupati which was a two way national highways with some better views of hills, passing lengthy goods train which could be nearly 2km long in two pulling engines and the road lead has many curves and bends.
Nagari Nose
As nearing Nagari we get to see a peak from distance which I later come to know as Nagari Nose – as it resembles the shape of nose, the peak is a cliff off Chittoor district of Andhra is used as a light house in olden days as a signal to Bay of Bengal. The day was very hot indeed and getting near and climbing the hill was much heater. After getting checked in the tollgate at foothill Tirupati, we are diverted to take the downhill road which took some more time and difficult in reaching the Tirumala by noon.

The downhill road has more the 40 hairpin bends and taking the same road to climb up and down got vehicles disturbed wherever to stop and leave way for either vehicles. It took 14 years for me, mom and grandpa to visit the Tirupati-Tirumala – which remark the epic story of Rama return from forest after 14 years, the last time we visited was along with our late uncle and it was grandpa’s wish to visit tirumala at least for once. As a travels driver then, my grandpa had visited Tirumala-Tirupati immense times and often regularly, he’s familiar about this place and even due to old age he could recall certain about his travels.
Tirumala hills
After enquiring at the administrative office knowing that taking a room under the temple authority would need an hour to stand in queue, we hire a broker who led us to a private cottage with needed facilities, we settled for Hotel Woodside, run by Karnataka govt. We are well content by the comfort room in ground floor and attached restaurant helped us in reduce weariness, and after our lunch we decided to go for Papavinasam knowing that the next darshan (vision) time was by 6pm.
Gogarbham Dam
Papavinasam is about 10km from temple town towards north, which lead through thick bushes is a must passage for enjoying pleasant nature and clean air. On the way we stopped at Gogarbham Dam for a best nature viewing lake and forest behind and the windmills on the other side of the hill is visible clearly and nearly from here. Adjacent to the dam has a small garden and not to mention about, it has a statue of Krishna on the five header snake and it’s a place to relax sometime watching the windmills rotate.
The Papavinasam is a dam come artificial waterfall constructed beside a wall to provide holy water to devotees always after dismissing the diminish nature holy waterfall here. Beside the steps, a ramp lead to the water fall helped me to go on wheels to the gate of the dam and lookdown the water fall where grand-parents took the water and sprinkled on the head. On the way it was interesting to see two very little monkeys which behaviors are similar to kids and a real kid visiting the falls was so excited seeing the monkeys but sadly it was chained to a man’s hand who beg for money showing the monkeys.
Papavinasam Teertham
The way back we passed the Aakasa Ganga waterfall and a temple, leads stairways to destination want us to avoid both the place and back to room. The sun was shining brightly way back peeking through the trees and it was by 6pm parents left us (me, grandpa and cousins) at room and went for checking with special queue to be back in couple of hours after darshan, but the chance has been dismissed for them as the special counters where closed to open only next day, parents back to room to later go for free darshan at night.
Peeking sun

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Travel to Palani II

After sometime in room, we leave to Palani Murugan Temple by early evening guided by a guy name Raja, who works in the temple arranged by our caretaker in Palani, who booked our rooms. Actually I wasn’t interested to visit the Temple and it was dad’s wish to visit Palani for long time and want to take me to Hill temple which I once climbed on my bare foot. The parents who listen to Raja believed to take me to Hill temple in winch along wheels and I just nod to go with their decision as no option and also got ticket and wait to board the winch.
Hill view, Palani
After sometime the winch climbed down and at first sight itself I felt it’s impossible to board the winch, which stands in a slanting platform and position and has small doorway to enter. Somehow my grandfather managed to climb inside and I quite denied taking the risk and refusing parents request, l stayed back leaving them to go ahead and confine in care of cousin Logesh and friend in driver Jagan as company.

The winch roped away in despite anxious parents whose thought where on me and gladly with the assist of cousin and Jagan I shifted to Scorpio (SUV car) from wheelchair and was ready for our trail which was our actually plan to check the places around Palani in meantime parents temple visit. With no idea where to go and mom taking away the camera to hill temple, we come around the hill and checked with a person who directed us to a dam in 12kms at the foothills of Kodaikanal on the Western Ghats.
western valley palani
I was interested to take this route to Kodaikanal which I haven’t done so far and it was very cool as we nearing the foothills and it was a small dam built partially on the nature made rocks called Varadhamanadhi Dam. The dam is told to flow anytime and since the gate was closed we couldn’t drive inside the dam, but the dam was almost visible from the gate and could hear the stream flowing aside.

We stayed sometime there and the weather was very pleasant and cold since evening, we decided to drive some more on this stretch till foothill and was excited when come across the warning boards of elephant crossing in this area. The road to foothill was so chill and dense by coconut and mango groves on either side is fenced by electric wires to protect from wild animals and the more eager Jagan stopped a man and asked where we could see elephants. The man’s answer was funny and in fade told ‘that he didn’t see elephants for last 10 days and they were shifted to another area’ and he’s very sad about it to say unsteadily.
Top station
It was awesome feel to see the cloud capped hills so close and the coldness in air cause refreshing and kept me inhaling the fresh air deep into the lungs and experiencing the cold wind and moisture while return back. On way back dad called to arrive soon as their vision has been completed and waiting for us, the darkness has already surrounded and when I told mom about the dam and weather, she was surprise to say that they were seeing that dam from hilltop and captured the views which are sure to have us somewhere there hidden!

My parents had already planned for an Amman temple in Palani and it was festival time in that temple and was tented around and the time we checked, the idol was brought in an elephant as a procession. The elephant belong to the Palani Murugan Temple was tied by Nettipattam – a elephant ornament tied to its forehead – cause a glorious look and been moving along couldn’t get a good frame out of shaking pictures.
Night view - Palani Malai
Unwilling to go to room, we went around the Palani hill again for parents who haven’t gone and went to the newly build children’s park on the outside of the town and behind the hillock. As it was closing time we parked the car outside the park and had our tea beside the cool breeze blowing off while the rope cars exchange view and the twinkling lights on the hillock was a wonderful sight! Again after our dinner in Nalapakam, we head to room and tried slumber in a strange comfort.