• TV Show Review

    Our Great National Parks (2022)

    Our Great National Parks, a nature documentary blew my mind with its stunning 4K visuals, coverage of extremely hard-to-reach wildlife forests on land & water, and a well-written commentary.  Complimenting these was the majestic voice of the former American President, Barack Obama. If you have a Netflix subscription and even a faint amount of curiosity about our natural world, then don’t miss this series. Without any hesitation, this one gets a Ripe from Mangoidiots. The five-part miniseries travels to the most exquisite National Parts around the world: Africa’s beaches, Japan’s islands, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Chilean Patagonia, Kenya’s Tsavo Conservation Area, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Gunung Leuser…

  • Travel Review

    Farm visit near Pochampalli Town, Tamil Nadu

    When he came to know of my visit to Salem this week, Mr Selva Murali of Visual Media Technologies invited me to visit his hometown Pochampalli, near Krishnagiri. He enticed me by offering to show me, a city boy, to visit his organic farmlands, taste the native produce and enjoy the scenic views of the lake & greenery around. I readily agreed. I was expecting a small town, but I was surprised to find a buzzing township with several shops, eateries, and even industries nearby. From Salem, it is a two-hour drive-by National Highway 44 (new number) towards Krishnagiri, you need to take a right turn at Kariamangalam which comes…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Woolgathering

    Is it a leaf or an insect?

    It is super clear in the pictures. But when I saw this on the ground, I mistook it for a leaf with a twig and I was about to pick it to throw away. It was super-steady with absolutely no movement. A reverse search reveals the insect as ‘Praying Mantis’. Nature is the master of creation. #insects #insectsphotography #naturephotography #camouflauge

  • Chennai

    Chennai Rains 2021

    Last week Chennai city received record rains (five-and-a-half times more than normal) for the month of November. Since the cyclone “Vardah” in 2016 and the massive floods in 2015, we, the residents were rightfully scared and held our breath for the worst. Thankfully, the India Meteorological Department had given an accurate forecast about the intensity of the rains a few days in advance. The roads were flooded, subways below the railway lines were submerged, power was unavailable in many parts of the city, but things were restored quickly after the rains stopped. Below is a chronological list of my social media postings: 7th Nov 2021: Non-stop rains for over 12…

  • Lounge,  Travel Review

    A 500 metre tall coral reef discovered in over 120 years

    The picture you see on top of this page is me on an under-water walking trip in the Great Barrier Reef, off of the coast of cairns in Australia. This was during my vacation to Australia in June 2002, almost two decades ago! And it was one of the most breathtaking experiences in my life. Below is probably one of the happiest scientific news in this pandemic year. Scientist in Australia have discovered a 500-metre tall coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef, this is the first reef to be discovered in over 120 years. The reef was discovered by Australian scientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor. We…