note: (bear me for the long post... hope u like my travelogue)
We planned to check my dad’s friend daughter marriage on Sunday (28/10/12) in Vettavalam near Thiruvannamalai and so we wake up early as 4am and got ready by 5 and head the road half an hour later for the 9-10.30am Mukurtham (auspicious time of wedding). Accompanying my uncle and cousin – who drive the car, we also gave lift to one of our uncle’s workshop employ and his little niece whom were suppose to go by bus to Thiruvannamalai, decided to come along with since we have much space in our SUV leftover by my wheelchair at rear.
|(click pictures for enlarge)|
I always love and enjoy beginning travel at early morning and this time too I had a wonderful drive through the chillness of the morning and even it’s not cold like winter, the clouded sky and dampness and tender sunshine were kissing the skin towards entice. This is the only time I could check the sunrise awake between the clouds or rise behind the mountains or buildings; it’s more cheerful than any other day since my wakeup time is usually not less than 8 o’clock. :)
The first time I visited Thiruvannamalai was 3 years back on the same month of October, and the ride were through Tindivanam and Gingee; which was partially a state highways passes through the countryside accompany by tress esp. tamarind on both sides of the road. The road also cut across the fortified wall of the Gingee Fort which is one of the famous forts in Tamil Nadu holding a strong historical background.
Gingee fort is also called as "Troy of the East" by the British
We reach the wedding hall by 10 am, few minutes before the bridegroom tie the knot, but I didn’t check the marriage as it was happening on first floor I stayed in the car along with my cousin. Vettavalm is a small town 23km from Thiruvannamalai on the Villupuram road and thanks to my Samsung Player with GPS navigation that traced the route for Vettavalam without going to Thiruvannamalai, even thought we en route to this place about 15km by dropping the employ and his niece at Kilpennathur.
My dad and the father of the bride had been friends for more than 40 years, since their college days at Presidency and we couldn’t avoid attending the wedding as family though he had added my dad’s name in the invitation. He’s someone always be on traveling and he had traveled all over India and has friends at various level and he’s basically a farmer but only his wife takes care of everything since he keep on traveling. His bad time he suffers from health issue now and discovers a bad sight and hearing lately which I guess must be because of his immense use of Cell Phone; and he almost addicted to phone and could not stop dialing someone anytime.
After spending more than an hour in the wedding hall, we had nothing to do then but I had a plan already which was waiting for dad’s approval and it was to check the Sathanur Dam that was about 55km from Vettavalam and 31km from Thiruvannamalai. It was less than 12pm then and we had no work to return home immediately, so proceed with the plan and the weather was still pleasant even there was a mild sunshine that day.
Last time when I visit Sathanur Dam there was no one and we also couldn’t spend much time since we visited during late hours of evening, but this time being a Sunday many people gathered around the dam and mostly youngsters were vrooming in bikes, creating great annoy to public. The police were checking thoroughly every vehicle entering the dam complex and a special search operation had been held on youngster for liquor bottles, because during our last visit we get to see lot of broken bottles and plastic tumblers thrown at the end of dam.
The dam complex had been newly painted now and gardens were developed into much better and colorful sculptures were quite neatly maintained and a pool, restaurant and lotus pond seems added lately to attract more visitors. There isn’t much water in the vast dam reservoir and even less compared to my early visit and the dam bridges were locked by gates allowing only people through a small walk way which my wheel chair could not enter, but I spent some time on the garden taking pictures.
By 3pm we took our back home journey through Thiruvannamalai and it was a day beginning of full moon night, so the roads were blocked inside the town to leave us to go around the Arunachaleswarar Temple to reach the Tindivanam road. Thiruvannamalai is famous for the full moon stroll around the sacred hill here, receiving thousands of people every month who take a walk about 14km on the foothill road that come around the hill.
|(backside tower of Arunachaleswarar temple)|
When we nearing Gingee, the gray clouds formed to shower heavily and the road being a two lane and work on widening taking place alongside, we forced to retard at progress until catch-up with national highways. The ride further was smooth and interesting but as we nearing Chennai the traffic began to grow steadily before got trapped into a traffic congestion near Vandalur moving at a very slow pace for more than an hour. We reach the home by 9pm, almost taking 6 hours to come across a 210km of travel but when knowing the traffic jam near Vandalur last for 5 hours, I felt glad we escaped with an hour.