• Restaurant Review,  Travel Review

    Hotel Lakshmi Prakash, Salem

    I am in Salem this week, and a friend recommended I visit the famous vegetarian restaurant, the Hotel Lakshmi Prakash (லக்ஷ்மி பிரகாஷ், சேலம்) in Brindavan Rd, Fairlands, Salem. Today we went to the hotel for dinner, which is in the busy market area of Salem for dinner and it was buzzing with customers, so we got a parcel and left to avoid the crowd. The ghee roast (முறுகல் நெய் தோசை) and the Rawa dosa (ரவா தோசை) were yummy, well worth the trip and the wait. The price was reasonable. Remember, when coming from the bypass to take the road below the bridge and not get on the flyover that goes…

  • Travel Review

    TexValley, a large Textile Mall in Erode

    After our trip to Sankagiri Fort and then our Lunch, a friend recommended we visit one of the largest Textile Malls in the state before we go back to the hotel in Salem where we were staying. Called TexValley the malls are in Erode (Google map), about 75 minutes from Salem City and is on the National Highway 544 (Salem to Kochi). TexValley is an initiative of the local entrepreneurs in the region and supported by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu. The region comprises Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode – they form the Textile Valley of Tamil Nadu, hence the name for the mall.…

  • Faith,  Travel Review

    Sri Ardhanareeswarar Temple, Tiruchengode, Tamil Nadu

    We had a good darshan at Arulmigu Ardhanareeswarar Temple at Tiruchengode Hills (திருச்செங்கோடு அர்த்தநாரீசுவரர் கோயில்). The sacred hill is about 650 feet high, the drive by car is short, about ten minutes and by foot it will be a climb of 1156 steps.  From Namakkal where we had offered our prayers earlier, Tiruchengode was a 45-minutes’ drive by Salem-Trichy (Tamil Nadu State Highway 94), from Salem city it will be about an hour. Since we went early on a weekday (Wednesday) there was no crowd in the temple, only a dozen other devotees. Tamil Wikipedia says the foot path to the hills is considered sacred, and a promise made in…

  • Faith,  Travel Review

    Namakkal Anjaneyar and Narasimhaswamy Temple, Tamil Nadu

    I feel blessed to have gotten a good darshan at Namakkal Sri Anjaneyar Temple [அருள்மிகு ஆஞ்சநேயர் சன்னதி, நாமக்கல்] and at Namakkal Sri Narasimhaswamy Temple [அருள்மிகு நாமகிரி தாயார், நரசிம்மர் திருக்கோயில், நாமக்கல்]. Namakkal Sri Anjaneyar Namakkal Sri Anjaneyar is one of the famous temples for Lord Hanuman in the state and is over a millennium old. The 18-feet idol is composed of a single stone and is believed to be growing slowly in height every year, as a result, there is no roof for the holy idol. Namakkal Sri Narasimha Temple The Sri Narasimha Temple is in the foothill of a small fort, the main Sanctum Santorum is carved out of the…

  • Travel Review

    Sankagiri Fort in Erode, Tamil Nadu

    Today I felt wonderful as if I have accomplished something significant – feeling this way after a long time. This was after I completed the trek/climb to the top of the Sankagiri Fort in Salem District. It took me about 75 minutes to reach the top – a height of 2300 feet.  Since it is a pandemic out there, and we had gone on an afternoon on a weekday I saw only a few others inside the fort – a group of young college students, a couple and a solo traveller. The fort is open for all and has no entry fee, which translates to having no security guards around…

  • Restaurant Review,  Travel Review

    Tasty South Indian food I had near Tiruchengode area

    When you are travelling, you get tastiest food at unexpected places. Today we experienced that at two places on our travel to Salem (Tamil Nadu) and surrounding region. Outside the cities it is safe and wise to always eat the local cuisine and to avoid eateries where you don’t find any locals but only tourists. Breakfast in Tiruchengode town, Tamil Nadu Today early morning after our darshan at Namakkal temple, we were on our way to Tiruchengode temple when we were looking for a good enough restaurant for our breakfast. There were many bakeries along the Attur-Rasipuram-Erode highway (Tamil Nadu State Highway 76) but cakes, puff (stuffed spicy pastry) and…

  • Restaurant Review,  Travel Review

    Highway Vegetarian Restaurants from Chennai to Salem

    Today I travelled with a friend to Salem for a few days trip, we wanted to visit Gingee Fort ( செங்கிக் கோட்டை) on the way, so we opted for GST Road towards Ulundurpet, instead of the Bengaluru Highway via Krishnagiri. This post is about the few restaurants where we had food during the trip. Highway public facilities in India are better in recent years During my childhood days, travelling long distances by road meant preparing food in advance, packing them in banana leaves, and stopping under the shade of highway trees with mats spread out for the meal.  The food had to remain good for many hours even during the…

  • Travel Review

    Gingee Fort or Senji Fort in Tamil Nadu

    Though it is only 150 kilometres from my city, Chennai, I have never visited Gingee fort aka Senji fort (செங்கிக் கோட்டை). Today I got the chance during a trip this week with a friend to Salem for a few days. We opted to travel by the GST Road towards Ulundurpet, instead of the Bengaluru Highway via Krishnagiri. We started from Chennai at 8 AM and reached Gingee town in three hours (at 11 AM). To the west of Gingee town is Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu at 30 km, and the same distance to the east is Tindivanam, Tamil Nadu. History of Gingee aka Senji Fort: Wikipedia says Gingee fort was ranked…