Happy Birthday Madras!

The streets of Chennai

It has been almost 4 years with this city. During school days many would have visited this place for short stints mostly for annual vacations year after year. Theme parks always give the feel ‘Once more polama’ in childhood days. For few, this place is ‘Porandham’ call it ‘Porandha veedu’. For few ‘Pukkam’ also known as ‘Pugundha veedu’ in literal sense. But for many of us it is the first ‘Office Veedu’ before anything. When it rains, yes drainage system is bad; traffic is mounting day by day for no particular reason. But the city is beautiful in many ways.

Starting with ECR, One of the awesome roads to ride all the way accompanied by the sea shore and trees from Pondy. Long back Pallavas seem to have given importance for sculptures and now slowly being replaced by resorts and villas but Mahabalipuram is always beautiful now and ever. Dakshin Chirta, Matsya Narayana Temple, ISKCON, Sai Baba temple, sea shores and what not to visit for calmness and serenity? Layer by layer, inch by inch the city is beautiful and springs into action every day.

Then OMR. If given a chance to write an English Exam with a question ‘Give an example for an oxymoron.’ It will be Old Mahabalipuram Road. You absolutely don’t give out secured vibrations despite all luxuries around. But you teach how to be alone without feeling lonely; by teaching through loneliness. You are absolutely an encyclopedia of it with few awesome Pani Puri stalls, petty Juice and tea shops. The insecurities of yours are really loud but the confidence you give is really silent but breathtaking.

The Air force base and the practice they do daily  in planes with twinkling lights is a treat to watch around 9 at night. So is their occasional paragliding. The Pallikaranai, Marshy lands perfect spot for photography and could be bountiful if nurtured well on both ‘Chennai one’ and ‘Medavakkam road’ side. So is Nanmangalam reserve area, IIT M campus, numerous lakes and small hills around the city. Awesome express ways, long connecting bridges to commute making the city well connected.

Many areas which are TRADITIONALLY TRENDY, just like the tag line of ‘Rangachari Cloth Store’. Be it Mylapore; with divine vibes on one side, Rose milk waiting on the other. One might even miss Navrathri back home but can be completely satisfied walking around the tank.

So is Nanganallur, the little Kanchi Puram, especially the 4th Main street Ardhanareshwarar temple premises and the liveliness the surroundings have. Not to forget Triplicane – the lord with white moustache, Besant Nagar temples, Eliot’s beach, Marina, Egmore Connemara Library, many museums, the awesome December music festival are to be treasured.

For shopping; T Nagar, Pondy Bazzar, Sowcarpet, Pantheon Road, etc and each of these places having special locations to treat taste buds like Mint street’s numerous chat shops, coffee shops, ‘New Woodlands – Rasa Idly’ (one in Dr. Radha Krishnan Salai).

Each street, each temple in the city tells beautiful and phenomenal stories. For each area there is a history to know, temples, memorials to visit, Sathyam Theater Popcorn, many other theaters, Nehru Stadium, The Chepauk, of course places to dine in. Well connected by MTC, MRTS, Metro, Electric trains. In short, all places on Google maps of Chennai has a story to tell and can be enjoyed thoroughly just to write essays on each place without leaving even a single bus route.

Single post is a speck of dust, absolutely doing injustice to the places, streets to be visited in Madras and places which are ‘Chennai ku miga arugil’.

Happy Birthday Madras!

#MadrasNallaMadras

Kateel, Dakshina Kannada

Travel: Western Ghats Diaries: 2


Preface: 


Posts under the category “Western Ghats Diaries” is about Picturesque locations, Spiritual places, few natural parks in this region of India. May not be end to end factual. Some analogies, Some mythological, Some soulful experiences that this beautiful place on this earth has been giving for decades.

If is really interesting can be taken as Travelogue. If boring, a scrap book. If anyone finds it useful; A big thanks. If the information given here is wrong, please leave your comments to provide more accurate information regarding a place. Same if one wants to add information, kindly leave a comment. Might be useful for anyone visiting this beautiful place. Thank you!

Kateel, Dakshina Kannada

The place is 26 kms from Mangaluru. Curvy, narrow roads accompanied by lush green terrain on both sides from NH17 take to this beautiful place. Etymology says that in Sanskrit, ‘Kati’ means ‘center’. Kateel is midway between Kanakagiri, the source of the river, and Pavanje, where the river joins the sea. ‘Ila’ means area (land), thus the place is called ‘Kati + lla’, Kateel. (Kati also means ‘Waist’)

Mythology tells that when the earth was in the grip of unprecedented drought, no food, no water, no food for humans, animals, and birds. The earth entirely looked deserted, corpses everywhere. Sage Jabali rose from his deep meditation and came out of it, just to see his fellow beings and dwellers starving and dying. The cave situated some ten kms from this place. He wanted to eradicate the famine for the goodness of world. He wanted to conduct a Yajna for the same. So appealed to Lord Indra to bless him and so he directed the Sage to Kamadenu’s daughter Nandhini.

Picture: Front entrance 

Sage Jabali with much reverence approached Nandhi to help him in his yajna. But Nandhi reacted from the point of disrespect and ignorance and Sage Jabali cursed her to be a river in the world. But felt bad for losing his temper when she prayed for a remedy. He asked Nandhini to meditate on Universal Mother at ‘Kanakachala’. The universal mother was pleased by her austerity and said that the curse will be removed the moment she is born in her. Nandhini started flowing as a river from the mountain Kanaka. Nandhini flowed and eradicated the drought.

Picture: The other side of the river from connecting bridge. 

Once upon a time there were two demon brothers called Shumbha and Nishumbha. They had stuck terrors and the universal mother slayed them to restore peace. But their Prime Minister Arunasura managed to escape and slip to nether worlds. Arunasura became powerful by his penance. He had two ministers Chanda and Prachanda.

 Picture: The connecting bridge near the entrance. 

He wanted to build a demon empire impregnable and invincible. Arunasura was advised that with divine grace he can achieve his goal. He did severe penance and got his boons to evade death by all possible means just like Hiranyakashipu. He was invincible and disturbed all worlds. With prayers the divine mother took form of a damsel to pay his due back which was left  in the time period of Shumbha and Nishumbha. He fell for the damsel and wanted to marry her but she disappeared mocking him.

Picture: A board inside temple.  

Arunasura’s arrogance and self emphasis clouded his lateral thinking of oneness and universal law of operation. He wanted to seek revenge on this play. He sent his army headed by his ministers but the divine mother took the form of ‘Raktheshwari’ and destroyed the entire army. Arunasura couldn’t take the defeat and with rage waited in the place where the damsel disappeared. He hit hard a rock out of rage and swarmed out of the rock myriad bees attacked Aruna. They dipped their stings into his flesh and sucked his blood.

Picture: The exit 


The six- footed bee is neither two-legged nor four-legged; and the bee is neither god, nor demon, nor man and the sting of a bee is no weapon of any kind. The Mother, thus, rid the world of a terror that was Arunasura without violating the terms and implications of the boon of Brahma. Sage Jabali rushed to the place and wanted Mother to attain a milder form and bless the devotees visiting the place. The battle happened nearby the place where River Nandhini had been flowing and the divine mother as  promised incarnated in the form of a Linga in the middle of the stream of Nandini, thus annihilating her curse. And is the end of the mythological story behind the place.

Picture below: River Nandhini joining together

The temple is situated in a panoramic back drop of western ghats surrounded by lush green scenery and the pilgrim can stand on the connecting bridges to have the view of gushing river on the either side of the temple.

As the water gushes and joins back after few meters from temple, divine vibes and visual treat congregate to give an all together different soulful experience to anyone visiting this picturesque island temple.

 

Reference:

Shree Kshetra Kateel, The legend of the holy shrine (Sthala Purana) 

To know more about the place: http://kateeldevi.in

Wikipedia

​Anegudde, Kumbhasi, Udupi district

Travel: Western Ghats Diaries: 1

Preface: 
Posts under the category “Western Ghats Diaries” is about Picturesque locations, Spiritual places, few natural parks in this region of India. May not be end to end factual. Some analogies, Some mythological, Some soulful experiences that this beautiful place on this earth has been giving for decades.

If is really interesting can be taken as Travelogue. If boring, a scrap book. If anyone finds it useful; A big thanks. If the information given here is wrong, please leave your comments to provide more accurate information regarding a place. Same if one wants to add information, kindly leave a comment. Might be useful for anyone visiting this beautiful place. Thank you!

Anegudde, Kumbhasi, Udupi district


Travel and Travelogues are famous from time immemorial. Even in Valmiki Ramayana descriptions about all caves and mountains in the country comes from the character ‘Sugriva‘. He had been constantly chased out of his residing place by his brother Vali when ever his brother voluntarily confronted him.

Every single time after the attack he finds some another cave and resides there till the next attack. Finally he found ‘Rishyamuka parvatha’ and as Vali was cursed that, if he enters the place he will die, Vali stayed at a distance. Sugriva was spared.

When Rama was searching Sita, Sugriva describes every cave he had stayed and says that Sita isn’t residing in India. So travelogues play a significant role in locating historical places and give a rough idea about a place so that people don’t miss any important spot while visiting.

To start with Lord Vinayaka. “Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryessu Sarvadaa“. Mythology tells that the great sage Gouthama had his hermitage at Kumbhasi and many sages like Agasthya did tapas here. There are two temples. At foot: Temple of Maha Lingeshwara, Gouthama theertham. At top: Sri Vinayaka temple.

Lord Vinayaka chose Gouthama’s hermitage as a suitable place for Mother Ganga to reside in south and bless people as wished by Universal Mother Parvathi. In series of events that followed Lord Vinayaka created an illusion of cow and a young novice and the cow died in his hermitage which left the Saint deeply disturbed. Gouthama prayed to Lord Shiva for Mother Ganga to reside in his Kamandalu and bring back cow’s life. Lord Shiva blessed the saint.

A kumbha shaped well is still present in Maha Lingeshwara temple which is believed to be Saint Gouthama’s Kamandalu and it’s water is blessed with the presence of river Ganga and is still used for Lord Vinayaka’s Abhishekam.

The place has close association with Dwapara yuga when Pandavas was in exile. There was a demon Kumbha tormenting sages residing in Gouthama’s hermitage, intoxicated by the boons from lord. Saint Gouthama appealed to Yudhisthira and he sent Bhima to confront Kumbha. He was Powerful and strengthened by acquired divine boons.

After long battle Bhima heard a voice from heaven that he would be killed only by an Asi from Lord Vinayaka. Bhima meditated to the lord and an elephant appeared before him and blessed with an Asi, with which he destroyed the demon Kumbha. Hence the place is Kumbhasi.

The hill in which Lord Vinayaka appeared as elephant, earlier known as Nagachala and later is known as Gajagiri in Sanskrit; Gaja – elephant and in Kannada called ‘Anegudde‘. The Vinayaka temple was constructed some 150 years back by Vishveshwara Upadhyaya. By divine orders he found Vinayaka in a rock and the main idol is untouched by hammer and chisel.

The place is 26 kms from Udupi and 5 kms from Kundapura on NH 17. One can either go to top to Vinayaka temple in vehicles or can take steps from Maha Lingeshwara temple. An arch welcomes people while entering by car or van directly to Sri Vinayaka temple.

The two most striking aspects of temples in and around western Ghats is, all temples are in some jaw dropping picturesque locations and the good food provided to devotees irrespective of caste, creed and sex. This temple is no exception and Vinayaka is called ‘Sarva Siddhi Pradhayaka’ and people go home satisfied, with a feeling that their prayers are listened.

Reference: 

Sri Vinayaka temple, Anegudde, Kumbhasi;

Book written by N.Prabakar Acharya, design by K.P.Rao. Published by K.Suryanarayana Upadhyaya on behalf of Anegudde Sri Vinayaka temple, Kumbhasi.

Travel: Western Ghats Diaries

​Preface: 
Posts under the category “Western Ghats Diaries” is about Picturesque locations, Spiritual places, few national parks in this region of India. May not be end to end factual. Some analogies, Some mythological, Some soulful experiences that this beautiful place on this earth has been giving for centuries.

If is really interesting can be taken as Travelogue. If boring, a scrapbook. If anyone finds it useful; A big thanks. If the information given here is wrong, please leave your comments to provide more accurate information regarding a place. Same if one wants to add information, kindly leave a comment. Might be useful for anyone visiting this beautiful place. Thank you! 

Western Ghats Diaries

For most of us the first experience with ‘Western Ghats’ dates to 3rd or 4th standard social studies book; the chapter that speaks about various regions of the Indian Subcontinent. Western Ghats is also known as ‘Sahyadri’, as per Wiki, means Benevolent mountains. It runs along the western coast of India. For people in Deccan region it is that mountain range that stops the south West monsoon winds, coming to Deccan plateau. While Eastern ghats is intruded by too many rivers to be cut and scattered across the plateau; western Ghats is continuous with just two major gaps. 

1. Goa gap between Maharashtra and Karnataka 

2. Palghat in Tamil nadu and Kerala border

Northern narrow part is called Konkan, Central region is called Kanara and southern part is called Malabar. 

Western Ghats is rich in natural vegetation as we all know. Fauna and Flora are present in abundance. With 12th standard botany and zoology it is difficult to identify the species of dwellers. It can help to identify the ‘Common names’ like plants, animals, birds, insects precisely the class, phylum of the species. But the ‘proper name’ is difficult to decipher. Never mind when eyes are lost, just in enjoying the beauty of nature! 

For ecologists one of the best places in this world to do extensive research on various dwellers of nature. And of course for Photographers! Even one with few Megapixel camera, one is likely to feel like one owning a DSLR and a FB page for nature photography. The kind of effect that western Ghats’ picturesque locations leave in mind is beyond description in words or in a picture. It is an ineffable bliss to be experienced!

So what does Western Ghats do? 

It makes anyone whole heartedly bow in gratitude to the mother nature for such a place. The gratitude journal will be bulged with too many ‘thank you’ notes. The thank you list seems endless. Starting from the senses in body that aide to enjoy the rich nature, the strenuous work done by people to lay roads, to give electricity connection, additional bonus is 4G network for instant check in status or a FB live video of a picturesque location, cosy place to stay and of course good water and food. 

As one travels across or through this range of mountains one can witness and realize the miracles of nature. Western Ghats has many rivers, falls, peaks, national parks, wild life sanctuaries, fitting into the travel checklist of any person. Western Ghats stays beyond the expectations of any enthusiast; be it a nature lover, photographer, environmental activist, one looking for spiritual growth, history, archeology, love birds, cinema shooting spots and what not! 

But all who step in this range is guaranteed to feel motionless and still! 

Western Ghats you bountiful! You Beauty!


Reference
: Wikipedia