Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Balamurugan Temple, Thandikudi (Fairly equivalent to Palani)

Situated atop a hill, shouldering with mountains overlooking the village, the Balamurugan Temple in Thandikudi is devoted to Lord Murugan and it is believed that only from here that Lord Muruga cross jumped to reach Palani, while he was anger with his parents over the contest between the siblings, to who own the Gnanapalam (wisdom fruit) by coming around the world. It is also believed that Lord Muruga stayed at this hill for some time, defeated the monster Idumban to convert him as his devotee before make Palani (one of the two hillocks which Idumban carried as Kavadi from Kailash) as one of his abode.

Balamurugan Temple, Thandikudi
Sri Balamurugan Temple
The Balamurugan Temple is said to be 2,000 years old, but the temple that exists today is built on the belief that Lord Muruga appeared in the dreams of Sri La Sri Pandrimalai Swamigal (a Siddhar or saint) and ordered him to build a temple for him on the Thandikudi hill, from where he cross jump to Palani.  He is also believed to show the exact place – where the temple is built – by lighting some torch on the hill, and the people who went there were surprise to see a footprint (which is believed to be Lord Muruga’s) on the rock and image of peacock gripping a snake on the adjacent.  Thus believed that Lord Muruga has went to Palani only from Thandikudi and the benefit of visiting Palani is said to be fulfilled only if they appear at Balamurugan Temple.

Green corridor of Balamurugan Temple
Quite tranquil environs of the temple
The road to the temple, that begins at the Regional Coffee Research Station passes through coffee and cardamom plantations. The temple situated at a height of 500 feet above the Thandikudi village, has pretty good road to reach by car or take a leisure walk. The slightly showered weather was refreshing while we drew on the newly tar road. It was also exciting to know that we passed a prehistoric site where megaliths were found, which we actually unaware until someone explained at the village. But later at home checking the photos, I find that we have shot some pictures on the site that lay beside the road, without knowing what it was.

Fabulous view from the temple
The Balamurugan temple is also a wonderful panoramic viewpoint that overlooks the village of Thandikudi and surrounding mountains. The drizzling weather put me at hesitate, initially, whether to climb down or not the car to explore the place, but glad I did so and went around the pretty green and quite calm environment,  despite the voices of boys playing cricket outside the temple premises. There’s a small Ganesha shrine in front of the temple and it is a four pillared hall with idol enclosed in gate. The prime temple is also a hall based structure which was extended by curved sheet roofing and a small temple tower adorn with colorful idols and Kalasam (bass pot).

Shrine of Ganesha
Enclosed Ganesha shrining
The hilltop provides amazing photo opportunity to capture the village and cloud passing mounting from the side of temple, where the torch is believed to drag the attention of people to build the temple there. They have also built a room for the torch, which seems to light on special occasions and to give company to events, the temple has a gold coated chariot for procession. The rocks beside the temple said to have ever flowing natural spring, which revered as scared water. And sand found at a height of 75 feet from the temple is offered as Prasad to devotees. Just like Palani, devotees to Balamurugan temple also carry Kavadies during the festival of Panguni Uthiram.

Driving down the valley!
Driving down the valley (the road leads from the temple
Note on info:

Balamurugan Temple is situated at a height of 1500 meter in the Western Ghats of Palani Hills. Thandikudi is 40 km from Kodaikanal and Vathalagundu is 45 km and Palani about 92 km. The temple is open to public from morning to evening.  ( click location below for Google map on the place)

Friday, September 26, 2014

A pretty dry flower

Pretty dry flower

A button rose, that gone dry at the flower pot… result of having no mind the pluck the flower. Since it’s a rose plant bought from a nursery, it couldn't thrive after certain level and only the buds that were left while bough the plant bloomed. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ai (I) Audio

The hypes are something normal when it comes to big personalities in film and music industries. But many a time it doesn’t stand up to its faith. And anticipations are high normal when an enormous budget film is on news, comprising people renowned for their grandeur in filmdom. “Ai” has been in progress for a long time in filmmaking, under a budget which is ever so high in Tamil film industry. Don’t anyone will wonder, what would there be in a film to cost so much?  Yet, the film hadn’t released (but I hope it suppose to be terrific), the audio is out last week, witnessing the Hollywood and Kollywood superstars – Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rajini Kanth. 

The film has actors in best, Vikram, and Emy Jackson of Madrasapattinam; and directed by ace director Shanker and music by Oscar winner AR. Rahman. Shanker films always spoke for songs and his way of shooting is something unique and quite impressive. With ARR music they transport us to a difference world! Though the audio of Ai is released, I couldn’t go completely denying the album despite being disappointed with the songs composed which perhaps could go well on movie front or the film needed so, but I don’t feel content with the way it was loaded. It was an album blended with various genre of music. 

Let me go first with my favorite in the album, Pookkalae Sattru Oyivedungal. The song is penned very simple, yet rendered beautiful in the soothing voices of Haricharan and Shreya Ghoshal. The lyric by Karky has really done justice to the song by relating the title Ai so well. Simply love the song.

On the line of melody, following Pookkalae, Ennodu Nee Irundhaal is a song with romantic feels thought it sounds like singing on path of pain and craving to unite. Among the two versions of the same, the reprise sung by Chinmayi and Sid Sriram was very pleasant and moderate at flow rather the other version that feels lag between the rhyme and rhythm.

Ladio is very stylish song defines the beauty of a perfect lady, and according to Karky’s lyrics the number 32 22 32 seems to be perfect.  The song sounds like an intro to the gorgeous Emy in the film.  Initially it felt like listening to a pop number from a popular English album, but slowly feels familiar as I find it sound similar to Irumbile oru Idhaiyam from Enthiran. Nikita Gandhi has a sexy tone and she emits words like delicate tidbits.

Mersalayitten is a fast track and in company of Neeti Mohan, the soup boy Anirudh has given voice a man who seems mesmerized (what “Meral” sounds like) meeting a most beautiful woman (of course who other than Emy) and sings a song with words he was familiar. Kabilan has written lyrics (in fun mode) giving emphasis to the local madras Tamil, which sure to strike across chennaities. I find my bro have this song as his ringtone.

Aila Aila sounds like a sort of stage play and Natalie Di Luccio gives a rustic voice, which seems to provoke agitation, as well something unpredictable astonishment. This is something offbeat to Tamil audience.  But great attempt by ARR, which isn’t new for him. 

Ai (I) Trailor: 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

முத்தம் / Kiss

தித்திக்கும் ஓர்  தமிழ் வார்த்தை
சொல்லும்பொழுதே உதடுகள் ஒட்டிக்கொள்ளும்
இதைவிட உதாரணம் வேறென்ன வேண்டும்!

காதலுக்கு அழுத்தம் சேர்க்கும் சொல்
கரு முதல் கல்லறை வரை
முத்தம், அன்புக்குரிய முத்திரை! 

A yummy word in Tamil
spelling itself adhere the lips
what example could be higher than this.

A word that adds emphasis to love;
from the womb to the grave
kissing, a label of beloved. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Photo: A shepherd

A shepherd

Shot from the  slow moving car on the way to Avalanche Dam, near Ooty

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Life along with Maya

Though she is seven years old, Maya remains to be a child for every one of us and even for those visitors. Maya, our pet dog, has undergone a hysterectomy surgery a day before yesterday as she suffered from serious infection in uterus, we decided to let her some relief and remedy to lead further ease. We had two options then: one was to let her deliver some pups or go for a surgical removal of uterus. Though we had space outside the living home to let her breed, taking care of things mattered much and been (she) ever stayed out of certain seemed practically impossible.  So we went for the other, and she is showing very positive note on recovery within a day of surgery and   hope to see her back in normal attitude at a week’s end.

She never stayed away from us in the last seven years, and we had left her at home at only fewer occasions of traveling that too in charge of my brother. She spent two days and a night at the veterinary clinic and we heard that she was very quiet throughout the process and responded so well post surgery. We were so surprise towards her behavior, which perhaps because of fear and the new environment with other dogs (barking) around she couldn’t do anything rather accept whatever happens. Though it is not our intention to threaten her like this, certainly it gives a guilty feeling as we well know her attitude; it perhaps could have got her hell feeling. That’s what could be the reason for her to show dull feeling toward us and not responding quickly like before.

Maya is a very sensitive dog and allows no one to touch her unless she’s familiar with that person.  Being an untrained dog (and coming from a branch of wolf family), she is very aggressive toward strangers but once she smelt there fragrance she won’t do anything unless they take advantage and will also behave friendly if she likes them.  And if not, she maintain a distance and also ignore them rather inquire like other. Although she shows affection and love, she is very protective on family members, esp. she has a special care for me and allows no unfamiliar person to touch me or thing related to me in front of her.

Lhasa Apso is the name of her breed, which originate to Tibet and so has the name of the capital city of Tibet, Lahasa, and Apso is a word meaning bearded or long-haired in their language. Maya too would have flourishing hair if we allowed her to grow, but due to maintenance and hair falling we make certain cutting her hair after a period of time. Actually it is a dog not belong to hot weather conditions like Chennai, since inherent an ability to withstand bitterly cold winter of the Himalayas they have trouble with summer heat. We had no idea of rearing a dog, but it’s my brother who brought her home against all our wishes and being adamant to give up, made her life into ours.

Rearing dogs are not a bad intention and I have no different thought on it, but not everyone could afford a pup. There are certain things that need to give hand and rearing dogs is a burden for people who are already exercising enough. For a person’s desire, is it right to leave a whole family to suffer? If someone loves to have a pet, they have to be certain about their adequate and should never ignore their responsibility just because they brought it to home and things will happen on its own. Apart sparing time to take care on their (dogs) needs, the most difficult thing about rearing pets was if anything goes wrong with them we can’t tolerate easily. I think just having a kind heart isn’t enough to accept a pet, but need a very brave heart to withstand vibrations that went wrong with them. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A lighthearted moment with DI

Usually we go to a destination, but will you believe me if I say a destination came in search of me? J But you have to, because, it happened to me. Such incredible will happen only with people like us, who are challenged or differently abled. Hehehe… But one small correction in this term is, the destination is not a place but a person called Destination Infinity! Shortly referred as DI, is the identity of this blogger in blogosphere. 

Usually we invite someone into our house from being inside. But for a change, he invited me with a charming smile sitting inside our home, as I came little late while back on a ride on ECR. Though coming back from the same, with a different destination, he was on time at home. But well knowing about his visit, I decided to make a quick hop on and off on ECR. Glad I didn't miss the opportunity as I assured our meeting and it was a moment I could cherish for very long time.

I wasn’t certain will I meet him in person until that day. But I was quite amazed when I saw his mail that enquires the opportunity of meeting me at home that evening. I would have easily missed this chance if I haven’t login my Gmail on Sunday and went on my way leisure on ECR. I know Rajesh for a long time and came to visit his pages through fellow blogger Rakesh’s blog. Initially I showed interest on his posts on places of interest, but gradually stared to follow his every post as I find it simple yet interesting. Though it a personal blog, his way of writing sounds professional… perhaps because he also make blogging as his profession with another blog.

Apart scrolling back his personal diaries, he is a brilliant writer on short stories and reviewing books and movies. He also lately established himself as a published (self) novelist. The Archers Revenge (his book) is a very interesting crime fiction set in India. He is a wonderful event manager, as he covers many events happening in and around Chennai through his blog. We share a similar passion for blogging, which I think made us quite travel by blogosphere.

I was happy meeting him and it was a lighthearted moment, and I think he also felt the same. Our conversation was almost around blogging, places of interest and traveling. I too learn something about him and the meeting was a great transformation on the perception I got on him. To be frank, I thought he must be someone uncertain talking about, but I saw an amusement guy in him, who giggles and shows great conscious about things. More than happiness it was a feel pride moment meeting you DI! Thank you so much J

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A glance @ Kasimedu Fishing Harbor

A boat arrives @ Kasimedu Fishing harbor
A fishing boat arrives at harbor
Few Sundays back I had been to Kasimedu in north Chennai, but I couldn't make into the fishing harbor (one of the major fishing grounds for catching fishes in Chennai) which I have done twice long back. The Ennore High Road was pretty much busy even being Sunday, the containers kept moving in and out of the Chennai Port (which seems active 24/7), forced us to take U-turn at the entry level of the harbor since we don’t want to take risk of getting struck with those heavy duty trucks.

A ship anchored at mid-sea, seen beyond the pretty  neat harbor pier
When I was back in 2004 (a month ahead to Tsunami attack, which sent great destruction towards the fishing harbor) the road had been so empty and we managed to drive till the end of Ennore High Rd that leads up to Thazankuppam, a fishing hamlet. The road travels almost close to sea, experience wonderful splashes of water as waves crash the rocks and concrete blocks that make seawall. It was great excitement then, when we were allowed driving into the concrete fishing pier that surrounds the harbor, and got the opportunity to see boats enter and exit as we come to halt at the mouth of the harbor.

Boat building and mending yard
Boat Number
A boat number

The Kasimedu fishing harbor located north of Chennai Port (under the administrative of same) is also facilitate of building fishing boats, and the harbor has a capacity to handle about 575 fishing craft, is used by over 1300 boats. Renowned as a retail fish market, Kasimedu has 90 stalls located within the fishing harbor complex adjacent to the auction shed. On the day of our visit, and due to some work going within the harbor pier couldn't make us drive into and the police had also made some block preventing vehicles.  But somehow managed to get some pictures shot from the Ennore High Rd, which u see here.

Crane @ Chennai Port
This photo was shot from the Royapuram flyover, overlooking the Chennai Port (container terminal) and what you see there was one of the huge cranes that transfer containers. Actually it was on the move while shot this picture and it makes siren sound as it progress. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thandikudi – A place where I felt quite tranquil!

Nestle amid the mountains of Palani Hills, at a range of about 1500m on the Western Ghats; Thandikudi is a pretty small village encompassed by coffee plantations, dense forest and mountain peaks keep it always cool and comfort weather to stay forever. I was so glad exploring this place last summer in June (2013) and the most fascinating thing I find there was bird watching. Though, Thandikudi is famous for Murugan Temple, coffee plantations and archaeological significant site, where Pre-Iron age burials are found. The pleasant weather and quite calm environment (where melodies of birds resonate) was something I never used before and deserves peace at best.

Panoramic view on the Thandikudi village
Thandikudi is about 45 km northeast of Vathalagundu in the lower Palani Hills in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. The village is on half the mountains of Kodakanal, hence named as half Kodai, was reached partially driving on the Kodaikanal Ghat Rd and then take right near Ooothu and drive past Pannaikadu. Thandikudi is about 10 km from there. Though there are also alternate routes via Palani and Oddanchatram, apart Pattiveeranpatti which I preferred during my course of travel, since I sought for a change, this road comes as an isolate, fresh and traffic free unlike Kodaikanal Rd. It’s a pleasure on its own driving past dense forest and coffee plantations with few mountain villages making mild voices amid the chirping of birds.

Thandikudi,  a close-up at the village
Close-up on the village residence 
We reached Thandikudi in the evening, since began to climb the hill between 4-5pm driving all the way from Chennai. It started to drizzle slightly as soon we are on the narrow mountain road, and looking down the plains was then a sight of active rainstorms playing on the ground. Past Dindigul, the weather has been stormy making it only more exciting. We made a leisure drive across the winding ghats, just being cautious at the occasional opponents since the road is sufficient only for a vehicle to pass at a moment. The slightly wet condition then made pretty cool as the elevation rises slowly, we stop at the Mangalamkombu, a small village near Thandikudi, to pick a person who booked rooms for us at the Panchayat Kudils (concrete huts) for accommodation. 

Mountains of Palani
Derived from the belief of people here that during the fight with monster Idumban, Lord Muruga jumped over the hill to reach Palani and thus obtained the name “Thandikudi”, which is a two, conjoined Tamil words meaning “cross-jump”. According to an archaeological survey, there’s one more reason to call it Thandikudi. The Kulasekhara Pandya inscription issued during the 12th regnal year (1280 AD) records this village as Tanrikudi. Where “Tanri” is a variety of tree (termenalia bellarica) famous for its medicinal value and found in abundance in this region and “Kudi” means a clan based settlement. The archaeological survey also suggests that the site lies in a perfect ecological background, which helped to occupy continuously for more than 3,500 years.

Green Coffee Beans
Coffee beans at Thandikudi
Thandikudi is a coffee hub, where the famous Leo Coffee brought their base there. The central government has also established a Regional Coffee Research Station (the sole kind across the state) there in aim of evolving suitable practices for the cultivation of coffee, since this areas come under the North-East monsoon influence with low rainfall and hence require set of package for cultivation. The Panchayat run cottages or huts (made of concrete) had also built their premises among the coffee plantations and canopy of trees provides quiet environment and enrich with birds sighting. Black pepper, orange and jack-fruits where also among the plantations thrive aside coffee in Thandikudi, the silver oaks too rooted strong base abundantly across the mountains.

A screen of silver oaks
Thought Thandikudi is not a tourist destination, it too has places at receiving end. Except for the Balamurugan temple and certain view points (that come along roadsides) which we covered during our sightseeing, most of the places are pedestrian based or hiking. Although we managed to cover the area within a day, I still believe there’s much to experience and enjoy through personal exist. The Thandikudi chapter doesn't end here, but there will be more come into the blog through some other pretty posts. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sunday Photos: Bowl of Flowers

Being Onam today, I thought of sharing some photos on our flowers bowl… since Onam is a festival related with floral designs, called Pookalam, here is my mom’s arrangement of flowers on the bronze bowl filled with water.

Bowl of Flowers @ Home
These pictures where shot last year, while staying at our apartment house.  

Bronze Bowl of Flowers

Friday, September 05, 2014

Reflection of lights

image courtesy: google
A serial light-effect on my windshield;
expose to sodium lights
the droplets glitter and gleam in front of me.

The vibration of the vehicle, recreates
various designs as we cruise,
turn, overtake and drove on potholes.

There’s an artistic effect on every move;
 with constant drizzle all the way
a lightshow performed lively on my windshield. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Irumbu Kuthirai – Unfit to Run

It was another thunderstorm rain in Chennai last evening and night. I was almost out got ready to visit drive-in for a Tamil feature film Irumbu Kuthirai (Iron Horse) and looked at the sky and it was almost pretty dark with clouds glooming around. As expected it performed so well, and interrupted greatly on movie watching. Though it doesn't matter literally, the real disappointment was already waited for us abundantly being a damn blunt movie. The lightning was spectacular, as we watching the screen fluorescent cracks flashed across the sky were striking much than the flicker.

The AGS entertainment has produced number of quality films in past, but this is something out with great disappointment. I wonder how they decided to produce a film with nothing worthwhile to watch and quite boring rather being really racy apt to the title – iron horse – the film can’t even fit into a wood or paper horse. It lost to felt majestic! An effective camera work has gone nil due to lack of on-screen present and emotions. Having a super martial artist (Dong Lee alias Johnny Tri Nguyen) and reality bike racer (Alisha Abdhullah, India’s only female bike racer), the film couldn't live up to its action genre.

Atharvaa is a young bike racer, who stopped driving bikes after he lost his father in a bike accident but due to her mother’s (Devadarshini) force, he took job as a part-time pizza delivery boy so that she thought he regains inspiration for biking. Being a strictly follower of rules, he always makes free delivery as he couldn't be on time but things chance once he met his girlfriend (Priya Anand), who has been so passion about bikes put him back on track (I mean a jolly ride on ECR). Thus he encounters speed bikers who kick him out of bike and took away his girlfriend as hostage. Now standing at an intersection, how he reclaims his girlfriend and what their intention, remains. But there’s nothing to anticipate different!

Atharvaa looks handsome and perfect in physique attaining six-packs, doesn't have much chance to exhibit his ability, though being an action movie it was very limited.  Priya Anand is a lovely lady to romance; though Atharvaa come closer there is something miss fell. Lakshmi Rai acted as his friend. But a report says both the heroines were at conflict whose photo should appear on the ads, for a movie where there part wasn't interesting. The films greatest speed brakes are the songs, dragging along the surface. Wished the film was quite action, but it lags romance and superficial. The film could turn into a messenger if they let the hero die at the climax with a footnote: speed thrills but kills!  

Monday, September 01, 2014

A cute teaser

I frequently come across the teaser of the Tamil film Megha in television recently and I couldn’t avoid looking at it every time flashed on the screen. Though it seems like a romantic film, since the picture has a handsome hero and pretty cute heroine… the title (a female name) itself reveals the film perhaps centers a girl called Megha. But I couldn’t stop watching the ad, as it makes glimpses out of beautiful shots and romance between the pair esp. the girl’s presence admire watching. Not to forget the film’s music was composed by Maestro Ilaiyaraja enhances the beauty so well in the teaser.

From a small Google search I come to know the heroin’s name was Srushti Dange and she’s a model turned actress. I also realized that I have admired her already through an ad which I couldn’t recollect well now, but her cute dimple and sweet smile has something magic to captivate. Isn’t it?  She is someone so pretty and lovely, to become a dream girl ;)