• Thanjavur doll is a type of traditional Indian bobblehead
    Faith,  Travel Review

    Touring Tanjore

    After seeing Chettinad Palace and Kanadukathan on Monday, on Tuesday we went around Tanjore. I have written earlier detailed posts on my visit in 2012 to Thanjavur Palace and Big Temple, so I will keep this post brief. First stop was தஞ்சை பெரிய கோயில் (Tanjore Big Temple): Tanjore Art museum aka Palace: In the evening we went to Salangai Natham, an exhibition of dance from around India. The next day we went to Trichy and there I saw this vedaranyam march remembrance stone.

  • Travel Review

    Chettinad Palace & Karaikudi

    After seeing Thirumayam fort (detailed blog) we went to Kanadukathan (கானாடுகாத்தான்) to see Chettinad palace, the palatial house of Sri MAM Ramaswamy and family. Chettiyars hail from the Chettinad region is a prosperous banking and business community who travelled across South East Asia doing trade, especially during Cholas and later the British empire. To go inside the Chettinad Palace you need to get prior permission from the family which we were lucky to get through a friend in Tanjore. After Kanadukathan we went to Athangudi to see the Big House (ஆத்தன்குடி பெரிய வீடு), this too is a palatial house slightly on a smaller scale compared to Chettinad Palace but matching in the…

  • Chennai,  Faith,  Lounge

    Mylai Kapaleeshwarar Temple

    It’s Sunday evening! “Where do we go”, asked my wife. Not to Marina Beach. No to malls. Definitely not to the parks. I had to think fast and suggest a place that both of us will like. We are not devout, we go to temples only when we had to. For a change I suggested Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple. We decided to go there to see around  and praying was just an excuse. Glad we did that. There was so much happening there – a dance program here, a tour for visiting foreigners there and so on. When we went repair work and painting was going around in the towers and places inside. I was glad…

  • Chennai,  Lounge

    Old buildings still in modern chennai

    For about 200 years if it was shopping in Chennai (Madras) it would have been a trip to Parry’s corner aka Town Area which was near to Sowcarpet, Broadway, Mint street & Burma Bazaar. In the 1990s trend changed and the popular shopping destination in Chennai was T.Nagar area which included Ranganathan Street, Panagal Park and Pondy Bazaar. Nowadays there are many malls around the city, but still T.Nagar remains as the go to place for shopping. Today I had to accompany wife to a shopping trip to Pondy Bazaar, while she was hopping from shop to shop, I decided to walk around. One of the surviving old buildings caught…

  • Chennai

    In an empty Chepauk Cricket Stadium

    No crowd, no traffic, no queue, no players, no match!!! Chennai chepauk cricket stadium, all to myself. The M. A. Chidambaram Stadium or Chepauk Stadium is a cricket stadium in Chennai. The stadium was established in 1916 and it the oldest continuously used cricket stadium in the country. Named after M. A. Chidambaram, former President of BCCI, it’s the home ground of Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings.  

  • Travel Review

    Bhubaneswar and Konark Sun Temple

    Last weekend, I had travelled with extended family to Bhubaneswar for a 4-day vacation – my first time to the state of Odisha (Orissa).  Unlike, other state capitals in India, Bhubaneswar felt calmer and less crowded – I liked it. On Day 1, we arrived from Chennai by flight and checked-in to Mayfair Lagoon, Bhubaneswar. The resort was huge, had many water bodies, plenty of tree cover and long walkways – from the beginning the property felt welcoming and serene. Mayfair Lagoon had four restaurants serving different cuisines – Oriya, North Indian, Mexican/Italian and Oriental; apart from two coffee shops and bars. When we stayed we ate in all the…

  • Lounge

    Beauty of Libraries

    In my view, libraries are sacred places of the human civilization worthy of spending most of our waking hours. Prior to digital revolution library buildings have got lot of bulk share of funds from library corpus, sometimes more than the books they hold within them. If you have seen some of these exquisite libraries around the world, the artwork on their walls, the wood carvings you will see that they are work of great human art, worthy of spending and preserving. Unfortunately, most of these libraries are not open to the general public, their access is limited to those in power and scholars (how do I become a scholar without…

  • Chennai

    Old Madras still in pockets

    Today after a scrumptious lunch at Woodlands Dosa restaurant at EA Mall, I glanced out of their large glass windows overlooking the road below. I noticed something that took me by surprise, it was the existence of few old buildings in this busy area (where property prices are comparable to New York streets) that are still in use. Some of them could nearly a century old, constructed on the old madras style. These buildings typically have a single floor or two, constructed by Madras terrace roofs (Wooden beams). The picture below shows two adjacent buildings in Whites Road overlooking the mighty EA Mall. If you look carefully in the bottom…