Thursday, December 23, 2010

Braille stamps and forgotten eras ..

They say a picture can say a thousand words!

Start with the first if you are unable to see . . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sunny day visitors!

After a battered night of rains, the morning was full of Sun Shine. The neighborhood looked bright and was chirpy with sounds of birds in front of the Balcony. This naughty little Squirrel fella was upto mischief. Am guessing he was teasing the Humming bird by plucking off all the flowers on the tree before it could suck nectar out of it:) This has been a routine every morning. The fella, jumps from one branch to the other and plucks every flower there and throws them on the ground. There are other visitors who come by and watch the fun. But for today, I just got the Red whiskered Bulbul!

The naughty little squirrel.

The Humming Bird.

At work!

The red whiskered bulbul - watchful of the events.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Badrinath, is one among the Char Dham, a must visit hindu piligrimage centers and the abode of Lord Vishnu. The idol here is made of a solid black Saligram stone. A self manifested statues of lod Vishnu. Strangely the idol depicts Vishnu sitting in meditative posture, rather than the usual reclined posture. Legend has it that Vishnu was chastised by a sage who saw Vishnu's consort Lakshmi massaging his feet. Vishnu then went to Badrinath to perform austerity, meditating in the padmasana for along period.
Badrinath, village - In winter the temple is closed due to heavy snowfall and the idol is shifted to Joshimath at a lower altitude. Badrinath was enshrined a piligrimage center by Adi Shankaracharya in the ninth century

View of the snow cap mountain just above our tent in Mana.

Following the great Mahabharata, the king Dhritarastra, queen Ghandhari and Kunti (he mother of the pandavas) lived the life of asceticism in the forest and died in a forest fire. Krishna Vasudeva and his unruly clan slaughtered eac other in a drunken brwal 36 years after the war and Krishnas soul went back into the supreme Vishnu. When the Pandavas learnt of this (wonder if they got an sms then !), they decided it was time for them to leave this world as well and they embarked on the great journey to heaven. They walked towards the polar mountains, towards the heavenly worlds, until one's body dropped dead. One by one Draupadi and the younger pandavas died along the way until Yudisthira was left with his companion, a dog that had followed him on his walk all along. Yudi made it to heavens gate, but was ordered to send the dog back but refused! Eventually the dog turns out to be god Dharma (Yudi's actual father), who was there to test his virtue. Once in heaven, Yudi realises that his brothers are in hell and insists on being sent back to hell to join his brothers.... This was hte final test fo rhim! It is revealed that the brothers were really in heaven. So ends the story!

The way to Heavens gate! Somewhere along the path is the Vasundhara falls, the gushing waters of this cascade falls down with a roaring sound from an elevation of 400 feet. It carries an amazing legend with it - People believe that the water falls turns away from those visitors who are not pure and clean at heart. Though a difficult destination to reach, the falls allures the visitors with its exciting charm and cool ambience. I was not to risk the test!

Draupadi Mandir - The place where Draupadi died.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The heavenly Uttarakhand holds many mysteries and interesting stories . . . one such place of interest is the Mana Village, the last village on the Indian side.

The last tea shop on this side of India too..

Vyas Gufa
From Mana village, climb up the steps and you will reach Rishi Vyas gufa. It is sitting in this cave and on the rocks that Vyasa rishi wrote Mahabarata. It is said that Vyasa rishi wanted an assistant to write so fast that he did not have to repeat a single word again. So he hired Ganesh for the job. Ganesh put forth a condition that he would only scribe it if the entire Mahabharat was said in one go. But nearby, river Saraswati flowed and was terribly noisy.
So he cursed the noisy Saraswati to vanish into Paataal (deep into earth). It is unbelivable but the river just vanishes into earth and does not flow onto the other side of the stream!

Inside the gufa
Below is the noisy river just about 100 meters away from the Vyasa gufa. Play it to believe it! The other side of the bridge is absolutely dry and quiet. The Saraswati river flows underground from here ..

Saraswati vanishes from this point

The Bhim Pul on the way to Heavens door (Swarg ka Dwar). . . . . COMING SOON!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bangalore to Thalaserry (Kannur)

The road to god's own Thalaserry is now open to public after a wait of over two long years. The roads are fantastic now. Hope they remain that way for the rest
of the monsoon (if there is any). The forest cover is the same. Misty and full of forest cover.
After so many years, it was easy to mistake the road to Thalaserry from the Hunsur junction. We followed the Orange County board to Kushalnagar instead of taking the Hunsur road onto Gonnikopal. The route for the benefit of fellow travellers is - Bangalore - Chennapatna - Mandya - before Srirangapatna - take a right to deviate to the bypass road (look for Orange country board) - onto Hunsur - Stick to SH 90 (if you follow the orange county board here you will land up in Medikeri) - follow SH 90 to Gonnikopal - at the fork where it shows Virajpet and Thalaserry - take the Thalaserry road on to the Forest checkpost (its a narrow road but motorable - no pot holes)
The Lake by the checkpost.

Continue on to the end of the ghat section will take you to Maakutta and then on to the historical bridge that separates Kerala and Karnataka on this part of the world. The Thodupuzha flows beneath with all its charm . .

The bridge separating Karnataka and Kerala.

Its always nostalgic to be back in Kerala. But this time there was no home . .

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Home town blues ..

In the boat ferry .... from the boat jetty of Ernakulam.

the boat jetty dockyard..

"Vinoda Yatra" .. marine drive.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


A whirlwind visit to this lovely city in the middle of summer was not that bad after all. From the chilled vestibule of the Shatabdi, where I was literally shivering, was out in the burning furnace like weather in Chennai at 11.00 am in the morning. Drove straight to New Woodlands at Maylapore. The evening was spent at the iyer's engagement ceremony. Food was yummy and finger licking good. And the couple was made for each other...

The City is clean! The traffic is just like in any metro. In the midst of all, got to witness the motorcade of the CM pass by. Pity I cud not take pictures...

The night was spent on the second largest beach in the world. Or so they claim .. the beach is swarming with people who have come out in the evening to seek the warmth of the sea breeze :)
The beach is a busy place with stalls, games, horse rides and kids flying kites all around.

The next morning surprisingly a rainy day. Though we spotted rain clouds in the evening, the locals ignored them to be just passing clouds. But it rained cats and dogs.. it cooled the morning .. as though to let us enjoy and explore Chennai much better.

A morning bite at the famous Saravana Bhavan in Mylapore.. (Sorry, no patience to wait. So had to eat and then shoot :P )

The rest of the morning was spent at the gully's and by lanes, at pondy bazaar, at the Spencers mall, a Tellicherry Biriyani at the Tattukada, and then the evening at the beach again. Calm seas.. cool breeze!

Beach stalls :
American is famous too!
Mumbai chat in Chennai ? Dont miss the PEAL POORI...
MGR and Anna ... at the parrot astrologer. RAT!

The Gandhi Statue at the Marina Road.

The Ashok Stambh!

So long 'Chenni' . . . .

Thursday, April 15, 2010

For the non-believers!

(Not for the weak at heart!)

Here is video proof of the rain god unleashing his fury! For all you people in the dry states, here is a video of climate change in Bangalore. All in one - Dust Storm, Gusty winds and rain.

Keep an eye and an ear on the flying debris hitting the car, then the wind blowing away the hoarding on the right and dust storm towards the right of the video. The airport underpass, and then the rain lashed out like as though it was the end of the world....

I survived!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why do EMU's eat Charcoal ?

So finally the EMU bird flew in from across Australia. The Ostrich's cousin, this half ton bird is now being bred across India for their meat, oil and leather! The oil sells at 400 bucks for 100ml !!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chitra Sunday (read Santhe')

Just another Sunday where Bangaloreans got out on a picnic and swamped the Chitrakala Parishath roads . .