• Homepage,  Travel Review

    Alamparai Fort

    Driving from Chennai to Puducherry on the East Coast Road, about 50 kilometres from Mamallapuram I noticed a small board on the left that reads “Alamparai Fort” with an arrow. I have never heard about this fort, so I got curious and took the turn to a small road towards the shoreline. I had to drive through a local market for about two kilometres to cross a wide bridge and then reach a dilapidated wall. A big blue board in front announced this was the fort. The entry was free, there were no gates or tickets to buy. There were no crowds or tourist buses to bother the visitors. Remember,…

  • Faith,  Travel Review,  தமிழ்

    Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval, Tiruchirapalli

    திருவானைக்காவல் அருள்மிகு ஜம்புகேசுவரர் கோயில், திருச்சி.  திருவரங்கம் அரங்கநாத ஸ்வாமி கோயிலைப் போல, இதுவும் ஓர் அழகான கோயில். விசாலமான இடம். உயர்ந்த மதில் சுவர்கள். கருணை வடிவான அகிலாண்டேஸ்வரி தாயார். தரைக்கு சில அடிகள் கீழே இருக்கும் சந்நிதியில் மூலவர் திரு ஜம்புகேஸ்வரர் – மிக சிறிய இடம் என்பதால் ஆறு/ஏழு பேர்கள் என்கிற எண்ணிக்கையில் குழு, குழுவாக உள்ளே அனுமதிக்கிறார்கள். நாங்கள் போனது ஞாயிறு மதிய வேளை, கூட்டம் இல்லை, ஒரு இருபது பேர் தான் இருந்திருப்பார்கள், அதனால் விரைவான சேவை. திருவானைக்காவல் கோயிலுக்குப் போகும் முன் அதன் பெருமைகள் தெரிந்திருக்கவில்லை. உள்ளே போனவுடன் நுணுக்கமான வேலைப்பாடுகளோடு செதுக்கிய பல தூண்கள், அற்புதமான சிற்பங்கள் கண்ணில் பட்டது, ஒரே ஒரு படம் தான் எடுத்திருக்கிறேன். வெளியில் மழை வேறு தொடங்கியிருந்தது, அதனால் விரைவில் திரும்பி விட்டோம். அடுத்த முறை நிதானமாக பார்க்க, பல படங்கள் எடுக்க உத்தேசம். என் தாய் வழி தாத்தாவின் ஊர் ஸ்ரீரங்கம் அம்மா மண்டபம். அதனால் பள்ளிக்குப் போன…

  • Travel Review

    Statue of Equality – Sri Ramanuja big statue

    Sri Ramanuja was a great proponent of equality of all in front of the almighty. It felt great to see this gigantic statue of the Vaishnavaite saint, called Statue of Equality installed a few kilometres from Hyderabad Airport. Reminded me of the Big Buddha (Mount of Tian Tan) in Hong Kong. Statue of equality has this giant Sri Ramanuja image, a smaller golden replica of the large statue for prayers and recreation of all the 108 Vaishnavaite Divya Desams (Holy temples) of Lord Vishnu. Recreating these many garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorums) with individual Moolavar (main deity) and Utsavar (festival deity) idols is not easy, though they were not close to the divinity…

  • Venkatarangan Thirumalai visiting the Salar Jung museum on the 3rd of April 2022
    Travel Review

    Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

    Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad exceeded my expectations with the variety and the nature of its collections. Everyone visiting the city should spend a minimum of half-a-day here. While the other two important museums in India I had visited earlier, the National Museum in Janpath, New Delhi and the Indian Museum, Kolkata (Imperial Museum at Calcutta) were established or benefitted with the collections of Indian Government (and earlier by British India), the Salar Jung museum owes its founding and breathtaking artefacts to a private (aristocratic) family, mainly the Prime Minister of Hyderabad during the Nizam’s rule, Mr Mir Yousuf Ali Khan aka Salar Jung III (1889–1949). The present-day building was…

  • Travel Review

    The Charminar, Hyderabad

    The Charminar is always a beauty. Seeing it in real, it was more impressive than I had imagined. On an evening during the Ramadan festival, it gets more colourful and buzzing with activity. When I visited a few days ago (Sunday, 3rd April 2022) the area was heavily crowded, which reminded me of Ranganathan Street, Chennai. There were hawkers selling everything imaginable. From Bangles, Necklaces, Ladies’ wear, Kidswear, Footwear, Handbags, Suitcases, Household items and more. The Charminar (‘four minarets’) constructed in 1591, is the landmark of Hyderabad, Telangana, India.

  • Travel Review

    Visit to Golconda Fort, Hyderabad

    As I walked down from the top of the fort, half-way-down, a young man in his late twenties, wearing a smart jean and sports t-shirt who was climbing up, approached me. Drenched in sweat and gasping, he asked “Excuse me sir, do you have water?”. Luckily, I had half-a-bottle of water left with me, which I gladly gave, grabbing it, he drank it at once, thanked me profoundly and continued his climb. I stood there for a few minutes trying to understand what had just happened! The above incident happened last week, during my visit to the Golconda fort. 💎The present fort was built by the Qutb Shahi dynasty (c.…

  • Travel Review

    Gandhi Memorial Museum, Madurai

    After my brief visit to Rameswaram, I am staying for two days in Madurai. Today, I went to Gandhi Memorial Museum in Madurai. This follows my trip to the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, the residence of Mahatma Gandhi, and the Raj Ghat in Delhi, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi Memorial Museum, Madurai was established in 1959, in memory of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi. The museum preserves and exhibits the blood-stained garment worn by Gandhi when he was assassinated. The museum is on a campus called Tamukkam, which in Telugu means a sports pavilion. The museum is free for entry and is open on all days…

  • Lounge,  Travel Review

    Pudukkottai Government Museum

    Today while driving to Rameswaram from Chennai (Madras), I stopped for an hour at the Government Museum, Pudukkottai (அரசு அருங்காட்சியகம், புதுக்கோட்டை). Surprisingly, they had a sizeable number of artefacts. Unfortunately, due to the extensive renovation of the building, which had been stalled for two years due to the pandemic, the items on display are all cramped in the few available display windows – for example, marine animals and ancient musical instruments share a display and so on. If you are in the region, then spending an hour or two here will be a welcome break in your journey. Thanks to Subashini THF whose post about this place a few years…