Category Archives: Traveller’s diary

Temples Of Madurai

This summer, I had been to Tamil Nadu state of southern India.
I visited two of the temples in the Madurai city.

1. Azhakar Kovil (Thirumaliruncholai or Azhakar temple), is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu situated 21 kilo meters from the city of Madurai, which lies in the Tamil Nadu state of India.
2. Meenakshi Amman Temple (also called: Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Tiru-aalavaai and Meenakshi Amman Kovil) is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Parvati, known as Menakshi, and her consort, Shiva, here named Sundareswarar.


Continuation of ‘A Dry Beach!’

This is the continuation post of ‘A dry beach!’ posted on March 13, 2015. If you have not seen that post of mine, please go and check it out. You’ll be surely amazed.

I happened to visit it again today.
A bit of spy work? Yes, to see if water has returned from its vacation.
And it did.

The beach is now full of life. Right from the baby sculptors to the food stalls, everything has returned back. Here are a few snaps. Sadly, I couldn’t capture the sunset today.

Silchar to Guwahati- An adventure

Some adventure in your summer trip is like a topping on your pizza, right?

It seems like I had an overloaded topping. We didn’t do paragliding, rock climbing or bungee jumping.. We just travelled from Silchar to Guwahati in Assam (state)via Meghalaya (state) as a part of our north east tour. The route was so much dangerous, we didn’t realize it completely until we started travelling. We could have chosen a clearer route, but for the sake of adventure and fun we selected this.

We hired a vehicle that could bear the rough and tough route. The best part of this journey was the driver. He had such a peculiar laugh that he cracks a joke and he laughs and we laugh on his laughter.

3 sure shot things you’ll get for free after that trip.

  • Thrilling experience
  • Back pain
  • Belief in god if you’re an atheist

The roads are too narrow. It is actually a path that can be covered within a span of 2 hours. But with the traffic, landslides, diversions, road blocks and the narrow roads it took us 10 hours. In between, we halted at the Meghalaya view point and a lake. That took us 1 and a half hour.

The experience-

In the start we thought it’d be okay, but as the journey progressed, we could barely find any roads. It was just a random cleared rough path. It took us so long because every half an hour we had to halt due to traffic jams. Other times it was a block because of the breakdowns of random vehicles.

The funniest part of the journey for me was—

We were stuck up in a place for more than an hour, in a very sharp turn actually. That is when my mom and aunts started chanting the hymns of god out of fear.

No offense, but it seemed way too funny to me. They were scared if we’ll reach Guwahati alive.


The scenes—

We saw the India-Bangladesh border on the way. On the way we found a few cyclists too, taking an adventurous trip. And once we reached Meghalaya, it was heaven. The name’s literal meaning was proved to be real. We were in between the clouds and enjoyed that a lot. It was amazing to see people clad in the traditional dresses carrying conical cane and bamboo baskets. One cannot simply ignore the houses there. Its architecture is seriously STUPENDOUS. (We even thought to stay there instead of coming back) Sadly, I couldn’t photograph any of the houses because the camera’s battery was too low. Those brightly coloured independent houses with a wide balcony on the top floor which had plants with brightly coloured flowers were a visual treat. I was jaw-dropped throughout.

Overall, we reached Guwahati safely bringing a bag full of thrilling stories. That was memorable.


P.S- The quality of most of the photos is bad as the camera’s battery was too low. Apologies!

red, Red, RED.

I never thought that today’s evening walk would end up so beautifully! It’s my every day’s route but I spotted many things in red today. In the start I accidentally spotted things of red shades. Flowers, fruits, seeds…As I walked, I started searching for things in red. I bring those beautiful sights for you all, here.

A dry beach!

One fine evening, we decided to go to a beach. We haven’t been there before, but we managed to get the directions right and reached there! We were excited. Something was waiting for us, we never knew!

I and my uncle started walking on the sands that seemed like cemented floor. What do you expect to find in a beach? If you’re expecting for water, then that’s too much I say!

Because this beach is dry! We were shocked. We literally walked in search of water on a beach! Too much ironical, isn’t it? The gentle breeze didn’t fail to give the feel, but ‘water, water, where are you?!’ – This was our condition. The panorama was lovely. The serene land wasn’t obscured by water. We kept walking and walking towards the sea for nearly a kilometer and still in vain. In more half a kilometer we might have reached the water, we could actually see from there, but already the sun set was on and we had to be back to the shore before dark. In the night during high tides, the water comes to the shore and by next morning it returns back. To be honest, we were scared that the levels may start rising anytime, so we returned back safely! The floor was designed like a half melted chocolate, but mind it, it was not sticky at all. I walked barefooted throughout. And once you reach the middle of the beach and look up, you’ll be mesmerized – ‘Is it a land of fairy tale?’

Beach floor near the shore
The floor as we move inside. It looks and feels like a chocolate, but not sticky.
Sand on the shore looks cemented.

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It was a breathtakingly amazing experience!
The beach was dry during the month of January but I don’t know about its present condition. I’ll surely post whenever I visit the beach again!

A little about ‘the city of joy’

It was during last summer when I had been to the east of India. It was an amazing experience, travelling places at a stretch with my relatives.

The first spot we covered up was ‘The City of Joy’, named after the novel by Dominique Lapierre. It’s Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal located on the east bank of Hooghly river.

The main attractions of the capital are the Victoria Memorial, Kalighat Kali Temple, Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, Eden Gardens, Birla Planetarium, Birla mandir and the list goes on…

Oh yes, New Market and Gariahat makes you wonder ‘Such things really does exist?’ and are an ultimate shoppers’ stop. Quite different from the trendy malls but one can’t afford to miss these.

If you get a good vehicle along, it’s possible to take a quick view of the city but mind it, right from sunrise till midnight it takes. Too hectic, but worth it. Early morning we visited Dakshineshwar temple. The temple compound, apart from the nine-spired main temple, contains a large courtyard surrounding the temple, with rooms along the boundary walls. There are twelve shrines dedicated to Shiva—Kali’s companion—along the riverfront, a temple to Radha-Krishna, a bathing ghat on the river, a shrine dedicated to Rani Rashmoni. ‘Nahavat-Khana‘, the chamber in the northwestern corner just beyond the last of the Shiva temples, is where Ramakrishna spent a considerable part of his life.
The positive energy circulating in and around the Temple is passed on to us, binding us to the spiritual world. (nothing superstitious)

Our second visit was to Victoria Memorial. It is a large marble building which was built between 1906 and 1921. It is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria (1819–1901) and is now a museum and tourist destination under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture. The Memorial lies on the Maidan (grounds) by the bank of the Hooghly river, near Jawaharlal Nehru road.

Front view- Victoria Memorial
Front view- Victoria Memorial
A chariot outside the memorial. Chariot rides are common over there.
A chariot outside the memorial. Chariot rides are common over there.

You get into the centre of the hall and stare up— that makes you stand jaw-dropped! Cheers to the architecture: the dome looks lovely! (I was quite like this) Then, grabbing a view of the photos put up there swallows up a lot of time, but a quick glance would work (or else it’d take a whole day).

Then the engine pulls off. Capturing Eden Gardens (biggest cricket stadium of India), Writers’ building (secretariat of West Bengal) which has an AMAZING view, all the beautiful old streets of Kolkata, the age-old trams, Howrah Bridge ( it’s almost every Indian’s dream to travel on this) in our hearts and cameras, we head towards the Kalighat temple. With all the happiness we enter the temple for more of happiness but returning with a pint of disappointment that it has turned into a business hub; we sigh and get on the cars again. Kalighat has goddess Kali, having long protruded tongue made of gold. This is a different appearance from the other visualizations of goddess Kali.

Writer's building
Writers’ building
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Writers’ building

By this time, it was evening when we headed forward to shop. The busy narrow lanes, lit up by the dim yellow lights— Gariahat is a superb place. Purses emptied and bags filled with stuff – ‘from useful material to fascinating crappy tit-bits’. Still not satisfied, we sigh as usual and say “Out of time, remaining shopping in the next visit”. (practically no space in our car left). After that exhausting walk, we set off to a famous chai-wala(tea vendor) who offers strong and flavoursome tea in a very small earthen pot and samosas to eat. Our minds now stay refreshed, filled bellies (I didn’t have tea though, I hate it)

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Travelling on Howrah bridge
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Gariahat- Shoppers’ stop
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Birla Mandir (Temple) Photography is prohibited inside- photographed from the roadside.

On the way back, a halt at Birla Mandir (temple) was a visual treat. The marble building, the architecture, the majestic and exotic chandeliers, artsy sculptures of deities Krishna and Radha mesmerized us.

We bundled up heaps of peace from there and left, to our place.

We covered up almost everything. A day full of excitement and happiness! True that it’s ‘City of Joy’.

To be continued…

A little about train journey- 2

A beginning note- Happy International Women’s Day to all the beautiful soul bearers out there!

And now, the continuation of the train journey…

In the previous post, I had dotted down about the express train travel.

This one is about the local trains. When I say local trains, the first thing that comes to my mind is, ‘I’m being squeezed, save me!’ That is how it goes..

The scene appears quite as this—The more boisterous platforms, where the college going guys and office going people with their light-weight bags, stand there, waiting for the trains they everyday step in. The young lads chit-chat standing and sitting, few home- less men and women sitting in the corners, wearing rags, few changing the platforms using the railway tracks, the vendors shouting to make sales, and few of them stand clueless as if they are not sure about their lives! Amidst all the chaos, the train approaches, as if not caring about any of these, and makes a halt.
Wait…. Diamonds inside the compartments? People rush in like that. Pushing, kicking, hitting, making way, they manage to put their foot in the train and never care about others. Once they enter, their attitudes hit the opposite pole, as if they’re the calmest of the calm on the earth.
Few get places to fit in themselves, few of them stand!

It’s not always like this; mostly it is. Sometimes, on the holidays, it’s very easy and not at all crowded as the working and college going chaps get cleared out.

I personally need a fresh life every time I travel in the locals and by the end of the day, I fall on the bed like a corpse— tiredness!

Every day’s experience is different. Something interesting might happen one day, something funny the other day or even something terrifying or scary! One of my friends had a very funny experience (it was embarrassing for her, that’s a different story). As usual she fit in the ladies’ compartment and it was time for her to step down as her destination was just a minute away. The main problem while stepping down is, people get in and get out at the same time, leading to many clashes and mostly no one compromises and they fight to get in and get out!

My friend has a problem, once she starts coughing, it takes a lot of time to stop. And unfortunately, she started to cough badly! Her stop arrived, she was coughing, closed her eyes tightly, and she bravely stepped down as people behind her were pushing her out! OKAY. Stepped down. But, down on what? She unluckily stepped on a fat lady who was just going to get it in. The lady too didn’t stop as she didn’t realize and lifted her leg to keep it inside. And, that’s it. THUDDD…!!!
This is what others heard. Here the fat lady, lies flat on the platform and on her, my friend, still coughing. They managed to get up, coughing on that lady’s face, and literally she ran away without even apologizing! She was embarrassed to the core. And when she tells it to anyone, what people do is to laugh out loud, including me!

Even I’ve had a lot of such experiences. Should I embarrass myself? Not now certainly. Anyway, more than the local train journey, the express train travel is peaceful – I feel!