All posts by murali

A cultural journey – DakshinaChitra

Muttam - open to sky area in the middle of the houseThinnai or the place to sit in front of the houseVaasapadi or the main doorjust another view of the pillarsVeettuvaasal with kolamsmoothly floored Thinnai
a straw hutpathway to the housesa tiled roof houseThulasi plant in the Muttam areainteriorsfor the visitors
Kerala Syrian Christian houseKerala tiled housea complete view of another Kerala housenice symmetryLeaves in the foregroundnot exactly a modular kitchen ;)
village house in KarnatakaEntrance door hardly 4 feet highLady cookingopen to skykitchen utensilsgarden

This is my second visit to this place, mainly to click some photos. I’ve been here earlier with my family. This time it was just me and my camera. Continue reading

Eden

After an evening at the Chennai Trade Fair, we were headed back to Velachery and since it was already about 09:45 in the night, we decided to have our dinner here.

The place is easy to miss as the name board is not that catchy. As we entered close to 10PM, the first sight surprised me – All tables were occupied ! 🙂 The restaurant was packed !!
We had to wait for about 5 mins and then managed to get a table. It was a small, but nice place. They had a kid’s chair and that was comfortable.

The continental choices were good. Cottage cheese steak, Lasagne, and Chef’s baked bowl were all very tasty, however, I felt the portions were a little small.
Close to 10:45, we were informed that it was time for the last order. The only tandoori choice available was paneer Tikka and we ordered that. It was a letdown totally ! Either it was not cooked enough or probably was removed from the tandoor because it was closing time. It was hard and not cooked enough. They could have said they didnt have it. 🙂
Almost full, so just one dessert for all four of us – Choclate Sundae and it was yummy !

Overall, a nice place to eat vegetarian food. But no reservations and you may have to wait for a while to get a table.

Visited February 2013

Suttrulaa porutkaatchi

Giant Wheel - a must when you visit the exhibitionThe Big picture"love"ly KeychainPanju MittaaiAnother Giant Wheel !Just another ride
a view from the topAfter a ride, dizzy :)Rajasthani PicklesMasala pori and kadalae

Suttrulaa porutkaatchi, a set on Flickr.

Exhibition at Island Grounds ! Have lot of memories visiting this place as kids..the appalam, molaga bajji and giant wheel and a must-try when you visit this place. Small pleasures, still so very same 🙂

AnyTime, GRT Grand Days

Visited with family on Valentine’s Day 2013 for Dinner.

Right from entering the restaurant, we were attended to very well. Got seated in less than a minute. Attentive waiters, nice service, no complaints at all. While we were finishing, at least two people, (one of them was a manager) enquired if we enjoyed our food.
The ambience was very good, decorations were not overdone for Valentine’s Day, it was just apt. Seating was comfortable.
Now food 🙂 – The spread was excellent with a lot of choices in Veg and Non-Veg. Starters were tasty. The desserts in particular, were very yummy !
Overall, we had a wonderful evening and a nice Dinner. Would definitely recommend this place and visit again.

Visited February 2013.

Birds and Animals

PelicanTime for some restlost in thoughtspotted a spotted deer :)Rose-ringed parakeetdeer
a small fightPaintedStork3PaintedStork2PelicanPaintedStork1Stork
egret in flightpelican in flightPelicanSunbathinglonelyTake-off
busy day

BirdsAndAnimals, a set on Flickr.

Wanted to try clicking birds and animals. Loved the clicks as I managed some decent ones. A visit to the local zoo is long pending and hopefully better photos are in store 🙂

Sri Padmavathi Ammavaari Temple, Tirupati

It is believed that after a visit to Lord Balaji at Tirumala, one has to visit Sri Padmavathy Ammavari Temple.
After darshan at Tirumala, we had lunch and then proceeded to this temple around 04:00 PM.
I was told that the temple is open all day with a break between 06:00PM and 07:00PM. So we planned accordingly.
We took the Rs100 ticket and it was less crowded compared to the other lines. Since we had a car journey back to Chennai ahead of us, we were short of time and we managed to finish darshan in about 30 minutes. We also got a laddu free with that ticket. 🙂
Volunteers here are even more high-handed and I personally did not like either the pujaris or the officials in the temple. The priests eye money even before giving the prasadam by explicitly indicating with the rupee notes in their hand. It was like “If you want prasadam, give money”. Pathetic !
What mattered in the end was I had a glimpse of Ammavaaru and it was enough !!

Visited January 2013

Tirumala Temple

It is a wonderful feeling when you see Lord Balaji which cant be described in words !

However, it doesnt come easy – be prepared for long queues, madness of the devotees, constant pushing in the queue, and overall the way the volunteers hurry you up within the 5 seconds that you get to see the Lord.
After reading on the internet, and asking around, we took the ticket for Sheegra darshan @ INR300 per person. “Sheegra” means quick and that took us 5 hours to finish the darshan. Probably if you stand in the queue at 05:00AM, you have a chance for a quicker darshan. We were there at 06:15 AM and by that time, a lot of people were already in line. We managed to come out around 11:30 AM.

Some good things –
Overall, didnt find too many instances of people jumping and bypassing queues. It was well-controlled with one or two exceptions.
The place was very well-maintained and clean, much better than many places I have visited in spite of the crowd it handles.
After 2-3 hours in the queue, they served Upma in paper plates and not all, but a lot of them got that. It was really welcoming when the kids began to feel hungry. We were hungry too when the biscuits do not help beyond a point.
In general, toilets also were clean and well-maintained and there are access to toilets in the queue now and then.
Volunteers were less pushy this time without the ususal “jaragandi” shouts (meaning move in telugu).

Tips for the first-timers – For those who are planning to visit for the first time, this might just help –
Keep away from touts and middle men.
Do not carry mobiles, camera and other electronic items.
Have a small backpack with just water and some eatables like biscuits, etc etc. That is allowed.
A wallet/purse is allowed.
Wear full-pants, dhoti, pyjamas, etc. Shorts are NOT allowed for adults. I saw a few people being asked to go out of the queue because of this.
If you want to buy something, buy it from the shops @ the shopping complex, or beside it, not from people trying to sell them on roads.
After the darshan, buy a cover for laddus first for Rs 2 and then go to the laddu counter 🙂 Or you will end up struggling to buy a cover with the laddus in hand 🙂
If you have a car, make sure you know the name of the place where it is parked. The place where you enter the queue and the place where you come out after darshan are not the same. You have to find your way by asking unless you know the place well. Experience 🙂
You can have a glimpse of the counting of rupee notes and you will know why He is called rich God.

Overall, It is a feeling which has to be experienced to be believed !

Visited January 2013