Posts Tagged ‘india’

Blr-Pollachi-Anamalai-Top Slip, 100717 and part of 110717

July 20, 2017

Adnan and Sarrah, who are two of the most impressive young people, with unbounded talent only matched by their humility about those talent, invited me along on their trip to the places mentioned above, and I jumped at the offer…such great places to visit, and such great company to do the trip with!

I am choosing only a few photos from my Flickr albums of the trip, which are

1. Blr-Pollachi

here

2. Pollachi-Anamalai-Top Slip

here

3. Top Slip-Parambikulam-Top Slip (public bus route)

here

4. Top Slip-Valparai

here

5. Valparai, and my train journey back (that’s only the last 5 photos)

here

We started off from Bangalore rather late in the day, as they had to re-do their tickets to return to the US (18th August is their departure date). But though we did not take the “scenic” route, and travelled through Krishnagiri, veering away before Dharmapuri, on the Pollachi road, there was enough to keep us interested and excited all the way.

I told Sarrah I’d get her chai at one of the “copper boiler chai shops” on the way, and we stopped at Tiruppur, where Lily runs her chai shop. These copper boilers are slowly being replaced by more efficient,but less quaint, stainless steel ones.

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Lily’s mother lives with her, and she has two daughters. One is married and living in Coimbatore; the younger one works as a teacher in the school near the airport, just a few kilometres away.

Against the monsoon sky, these village guardian deities, called

Aiyanar

sit in conference…alas, the car hit a particularly bad pothole as I clicked!

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Saradha sat outside her biscuits/snacks stall, looking over her little daughter’s homework.

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We reached our hotel in Pollachi (Ratna Square, the building in the centre…the one on the left is a movie theatre called “Shanthi”, and don’t miss the amazing architecture of the bakery on the right!)

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The next morning, we had a superb brefus at Amutha Surabhi, just a few doors away,

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We stopped for a while at Aliyar on the outskirts,

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looked at the temples,

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the scenery,

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the fishes,

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the butterflies and flowers,

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the insects,

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Mating Damselflies

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and the people eking out their livelihoods

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at some cost to the environment

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We had to wait around until 9.30 am, when the Tamil Nadu Forest Dept office at Pollachi opened.

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We wanted to book accommodation at Top Slip, but could not book accommodation online, and had to wait to talk to the young lady in charge at the Forest Dept office. She did give us a lot of information, but did not even give us an acknowledgement slip; all she did was talk to the Forest Guest House in Top Slip. I do wish the booking could be streamlined…we found the morning enjoyable, but would have preferred spending it in the

Anamalai Tiger Reserve

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I’ll write about the trip through the Reserve and into Top Slip tomorrow…but will tease you with the largest butterfly in south India, which we sighted (amongst many other Interesting Things) on our drive!

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Kolkata, Jorhat, Kaziranga, 07-130517

May 19, 2017

We visited Kolkata

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had an evening admiring the Victoria Memorial,

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enjoying puchka

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jhaal mudi

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and visited the family who brought me up.

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We visited Pradeep and Sulakshana Barthakur at their home in Jorhat, where they run a centre for children. (Pokamura, 7km from Jorhat)

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The location is

here

Their home is a veritable garden of Eden which they share with all kinds of beings:

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Bronzeback Tree Snake

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Blue-throated Barbet

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We went to Kaziranga National Park, staying at Wild Grass resort.

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Hog Deer

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Red Jungle Fowl

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Elephants

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Rhinos

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Swamp Deer (bArAsinghA)

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Here’s K1’s beautiful depiction of the elephant safari,

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where we saw so much of wildlife.

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The Flickr albums are:

Blr-Kol and visit

Kol, Science City and Gariahat Mod

Kolkata-Jorhat

Jorhat, 100517

Wild Grass, Kaziranga, 11,120517

Jorhat, 130517 morning

Jorhat-Guwahati-Bangalore, 130517

It was a memorable trip and I enjoyed it very much, through my own experience and that of my family.

How food is cooked on a massive scale

March 28, 2017

Having seen for myself the deteriorating quality of food on trains on the Indian Railways, I watched this interesting documentary on IRCTC:

It’s rather long, watch only if you have the inclination and the time!

I couldn’t believe all the good food being prepared…why, I thought, do I never see phulkas or salads, even on the Rajdhani? And halfway through the film, the answer appeared. In response to complaints about the quality of food, the catering was take away from IRCTC itself (who then started concentrating on the corporate sector) and given to independent contractors who, I feel, are definitely running the catering service into the ground now. The video is still worth watching (as are several on how temple kitchens function) for the scale of food preparation.

Here’s one that’s also fascinating:

(Most temples in Karnataka provide food to the devotees who visit.)

Mukesh Ambani’s woes

November 6, 2016

YOU THINK MUKESH AMBANI DOESN’T HAVE PROBLEMS. ….

Mukesh bhai gets up from his bed room on 15th floor,
takes a swim in the swimming pool on 17th floor,
has breakfast on the 19th floor,
dresses up for office on 14th floor,
collects his files and office bag from his personal office on 21st floor,
wishes bye to wife Nita on 16th floor,
says ‘see you’ to his children on 13th floor & 19th floor,
and goes down on 3rd floor to self drive his 2.5 Crore BMW to office, but then he finds out that he has forgotten the car keys upstairs.
But on which floor? … 15th,17th,19th,14th,
21st,16th or 13th?

He phones all his servants, cooks, maids, secretaries, pool attendants, gymtrainers, lift attendants etc. on all the floors.

There is a hectic search and lot of running around on all the floors, but the key is not traceable.

Fed up, after half an hour of frantic search, Mukesh bhai leaves in a huff in a chauffeur driven Ikon car.

At 3.30 pm late in the afternoon, it is discovered that 4 days back, a temporary replacement maid had washed Mukesh bhai’s pant and hung it to dry on a string in the balcony of 16th floor, with car keys in the pant pocket.
The key was blown away somewhere by the high winds at 16th floorlevel and was never found.
This was detected because of Nita’s habit of checking clothes given for ironing personally.

Meanwhile, after 3 days of the incident, Nita Ambani with all irritation writ large on her face, complained to Mukesh bhai asking him where he was roaming till 3 am last night.

Mukesh replied that he was at home all night. “Then why did the helicopter land in the terrace at 3 am? I was so worried. I could not sleep whole night,” quizzed Nita.

“Oh that helicopter”.. That helicopter came from Germany, sent by guys from BMW to deliver the duplicate car key… “mumbled Mukesh.

Moral of The Story :
A two bed room flat is better. So guys, be happy in your tiny flat….
it saves lots of hassles!

The complete Indian National Anthem

September 10, 2014

Though not greatly impressed by the self-conscious “I am a star singing” rendition of the singers…it’s still a very beautiful poem, and very rarely does one hear all the stanzas sung (just like many other national anthems, I suspect!)

The translation is very good, too.

Now, if we could translated the emotion of pride that we feel into less corruption, lesser litter, less unkindness towards our fellow citizens(and less apathetic acceptance of all these)….that would make for a better India.

A walk in Linkoping, 170614

June 24, 2014

We started with the Linkoping Station.

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Where the trains went to and fro busily:

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where the amount of lumber being transported on one train was awe-inspiring:

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PC ( Prashanth Chengi) was getting ready to click, too!

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This sculpture looked as if Casper the Friendly Ghost and his friends were having a picnic there:

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Here;s PC with the station in the background:

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I clicked this

EURASIAN TREE SPARROW:

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and this

EURASIAN BLACKBIRD:

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But that was when the (European, not Eurasian!) buildings caught my eye:

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this is not a black-and-white photo!

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The same place, later in the dusk:

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Some smaller touches were lovely, too:

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What does this design mean?

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I don’t know the story behind this statue:

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I wish telephone manhole covers were always this interesting!

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Sometimes, the best fashion is no fashion at all:

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Magnet Madrass? 😀

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this funeral parlor was right next to the Income Tax office!

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I agree, bingo can be rotten, especially when you have ONE number left and everyone gets all the prizes before you:

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Cobblestones are quaint, but they ruined the wheels on one of my suitcases!

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Dusk falls only by about 10.30 pm:

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Prashanth treated me to dinner at “Yogi”:

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He had prawn Biryani, but the thought of the bill was apparently enough to prevent him from smiling:

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But he smiled when I reminded him that we were celebrating his successful completion of both Halv-vattern (150 km) and the full Vatternrundan (300 km) on successive weekends!

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We walked past this lovely seat on our way home:

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World Environment Day, 050614

June 5, 2014

Does it move?
Kill it!
Does it sting?
Squash it!
Does it grow?
Cut it down!
Done with it?
Throw it out of your window!
Need to go somewhere?
Take the car!
Have some money?
Consume more!

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Then, have plastic posters printed, saying, “World Environment Day”, with the photos of prominent pols, put it up in a public place, and feel happy that a praiseworthy effort has been taken.

The Purple-rumped Sunbird, Sundaghatta, 280114

March 5, 2014

In Sundghatta, we stopped the car to watch a few birds, and as usual, these beautiful little

PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRDS

caught our attention as they flitted to and fro on the Calatropis bushes.

Here’s the lady…

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and the gentleman….

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The Purple-rumped Sunbird(Leptocoma zeylonica) are endemic to the Indian Subcontinent. They usually feed on nectar from flowers, but can sometimes eat insects. Purple-rumped Sunbirds are tiny at less than 10 cm long. they have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding.I don’t know how they can eat insects with that!When the flowers are too deep to probe, they sometimes pierce the base of the flower and rob the nectar.

Their hanging pouch nests are made up of cobwebs, lichens and plant material. Imagine, collecting cobwebs and making nests out of that!

Male sunbirds can be very aggressive towards what they perceive to be rivalry.

here

is my post (July 23, 2010) about the way a male Sunbird attacked his own reflection, at JLR Bandipur, believing it to be a rival!

Udupi Temple Complex, Karnataka, 090214

February 13, 2014

Having participated in the Manipal Bird Day, my friends Prabhakar and Savita

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took me to the famous Sri Krishna temple at Udupi.

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The

Krishna Temple

is the one that most devotees go to visit, but the Sri Krishna Matha is one of the

Ashta Mathas

(mattha, or matt, or mutt…are different ways of spelling it), the eight monasteries, and their heads being:

Palimaru – Sri Hrishikesha Tirtha
Adamaru – Sri Narasimha Tirtha
Krishnapura – Sri Janardhana Tirtha
Puttige – Sri Upendra Tirtha
Shirur – Sri Vamana Tirtha
Sodhe – Sri Vishnu Tirtha
Kaniyooru – Sri Raama Tirtha
Pejavara – Sri Adhokshaja Tirtha

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The ashta mathas are named after the villages in which they were originally located. Today, the mathas are situated in the temple town of Udupi. The mathas work to propagate the Dvaita philosophy. They also administer the famous Udupi Krishna Temple by way of a formal rotation scheme called

Paryaya

There are many, extensive buildings:

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The Kaniyoor Matha

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has two colourful dwAra pAlakAs (entrance guards):

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Note the ornate pillars, too.

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It was surprising to see a mango tree already fruiting in February!

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The rathA (temple chariot) is majestic:

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The wheels are of wood:

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Here are some of views of the beautiful woodwork on the rathA:

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(in the centre is a drum, which I think is beaten during processions.)

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The ratna rathA (chariot of gems) was locked up, but one could peep in through a small window:

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One “rathA” is made of the wood, but is more like a gOpurA (temple tower) as it is not set on wheels.

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We went to the very first “udupi hotel”; today, Udupi cuisinee is one of the hallmarks of Karnataka cuisine, represented across the world.

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We had masAl dosAs:

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After the first assault, this became a “hol(e)y” masal dosa!

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There are shops all around the complex, but this young man was selling his wares independently:

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This is called an “appa kArai” in Tamizh; oil or ghee is poured into the little depressions, and sweet or savoury batter balls, called “appam”, are fried. My friend Shyama Priya tells me that the appa kArai pictured here are made of shale/claystone, and appams fried in them turn out golden!

My friends took the decision to move to Manipal from Bangalore, when their son Aditya studied there. It’s a move that they are very happy with; they are very involved with the student community in the university town, and are deeply involved with birding, theatre, music, and other activities.

They have a lovely “tree” bookshelf dividing their drawing and dining areas:

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In the middle of a busy, happy life, Prabhakar knows how to relax:

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Thank you to my dear friends for a very memorable visit! Will post about the Manipal Bird Day soon…

In a lighter vein: Top establishments in India

January 21, 2014

Top 13 establishments in India…

1.Gandhi Hair Saloon.

2.Mallika Textiles.

3.Kalmadi Constructions Pvt Ltd

4.Jayalalita Fitness Club.

5.Dharmendra Dance Academy.

6.Mayawati Beauty Parlour.

7.Yamraj Travels.

8.Surdas Opticals.

9.Inzamam English Classes.

10.Salman Marriage Bureau.

11.Rakhi Satsang Kendra.

12.Manmohan Public Speaking Training Course Institute.

13.Asharaam Bapu Girls’ High School.