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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Madras, Tamil Nadu, India

Mar 1, 2007 - Mamallapuram

Had a nice lay in. Got up at 10am, packed, met Tino and went to find breakfast. That was an expensive experience. You could say the rupee is well and truly in my head now. Breakfast cost a whopping 1 pound 20, that is expensive!!. Whilst on the way to find our food I caused a little accident. I crossed a t-junction, some woman was riding towards me on her bike and a motor bike coming up on my right. Think I must have blinded the cyclist as when I moved out the way she hit the side of the motorbike. The guy riding was really impressed and...

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Trip Journal


On another jaunt...

Feb 19, 2007 - Farewell India

Hello, Well our time in India is over and I have been thinking lots about the last eight weeks. It's hard to sum up India in one word. I think 'crazy' is probably the one that comes to mind first. There seem to be so many different and contradicting things in this country. You don't expect to see a man pulling a cart load of wood past a giant bill board advertising the latest Blackberry or modern glass office buildings towering over sprawling slums. Indian people can come accross as very aggressive, impatient and rude when they are bundle...

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Jan 27, 2007 - Chennai - Tamil Nadu

It was our last long train journey in India from Alleppey to Chennai, so we decided to go 1st class for the experience. We were hoping to be in a 2 berth cabin again by ourselves, but got put in to a 4 berth as it was already fully booked up. As it turned out we had the full 4 berth room to ourselves for the whole journey. It was one of the most cosy and comfortable nights sleep we've had in ages. The night before floating on water then last night gently rocking as we slept peacefully after scoffing our meal on the train served to us in...

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Jan 9, 2007 - Chennai, Capital Of Tamil Nadu

We flew on yet another airline, IndiGO - what a clever name! It was a short hop from Hyderabad to Chennai (formerly known as Madras) and we took a prepaid taxi from the airport to our hotel, the Himalaya. We found the hotel listed in the mid-range section of the Lonely Planet, but after the homey atmosphere of the guest house, we were rather disappointed with our room. There isn't much of historic interest here in Chennai and there is no city center as such. Chennai grew more as a consolidation of several smaller communities but there is an...

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Dec 2, 2006 - Mahabalapuram (Mamallapuram)

Trying saying those names ten times fast. We are now in Mahaba... here. Today on the way here we visited Auroville - an experiment of international living / meditation center / cult started by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Mira Alafassa. At the center of Auroville is a massive golden sphere called the Matri Mandir in which meditators sit in front of a crystal sphere which is illuminated by the sun streaming in from a hole in the roof of the sphere. It was closed for renovation. Here is a nice place on the edge of the Bay of Bengal. We...

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Nov 24, 2006 - The Beautiful Maldives.....

G'day all, well an update quickly before we catch the train to Kochi on the West Coast....we had to visit Chennai again before flying to the Maldives and the sun so we took a walk along Marina Beach - "the second best beach in the world" acording to the locals...a claim you can decide for yourself after viewing the photos...vdo's will be added latere and we refrained from vdoing the 3 dead dogs we saw - though I'm sure they were available at the food stands later in the night ;-))) We both got very burnt so I played the beached whale on...

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Get It INDIA!

May 31, 2006 - (A Very Hot) Indian Summer

The tourist board promotes it as "Incredible India" and we for one certainly don't disagree. Cows, dogs, prostrate citizens, bricks, monkeys, camels, goats, dust, dirt, elephants, ponies - and that's just the road into Delhi! And if this sensory overload wasn't enough, as with China, India is a horny country. Indeed, seemingly every truck carries the prettily painted sign on its rear encouraging followers to "Sound Horn Please". But we couldn't say we hadn't be warned. Way back in serene New Zealand we met a couple who had already 'done'...

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May 26, 2006 - Kerala

HB: Two words to describe Kerala mmmm... and lovely! OK so mmm isn't technically a word but you get my drift. Crossing from Karnataka into Kerala is like exchanging a manual car for an automatic. Its not like we have had a particularly hectic experience so far but all Indian towns of a certain size have the same dusty, frenetic feel to them and whilst Kerala is not immune to this it seems to have more than its fair share of tranquil pockets what with its tropical heat, blissed out beaches and quaint old towns without any of the Costa del...

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May 9, 2006 - Madras, India

Mamallapuram is located on a seaside village in Bay of Bengal with five stone temples , and an impressive relief-carved large stone-face. The Five Rathas are full-size models of different styles of temples known to Dravidian builders of the 7th century A.D. Each wall is cut from a single rock and contains images from Hindu mythology , along with clowns and dancers. Arjuna's Penance is the world's largest bas-relief. The carved scene depicts Arjuna, a mythical Indian hero, doing penance to the Lord Shiva. Surrounding Arjuna is a multitude...

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Apr 28, 2006 - Goodbyes and The Return

Saturday, 22 April I negotiated with Neela to go to the Adoption Centre this morning for my last visit. I had bought some little bags for the three toddlers and filled them with small presents, bought a musical instrument for Aru and took birthday cake and some fruit for the staff. Failed to find anything to buy for the babies - new nappies would have been nice. They did get some whilst I was there but they still leaked! Three of the four members of staff who I had got to know best were there and they were genuinely sorry that I was...

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Olivia in India 2006

Mar 24, 2006 - Culture Shock

Well I'm here and I certainly don't feel at home! Have yet to see another western face since I left the airport on Mon morning. Have been keeping a detailed daily written diary and decided to put extracts on here - too hot to sit in Internet Cafe for long! 20 March After reasonable but late flight was met by Mannimutu from TPA at Chennai airport and by taxi into centre of town. His English was not great and communication patchy but seemed fascinated by my age and knew my DOB by heart! Had the decency to say that I did not look it. 3.00 a.m....

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Trip Journal


Olivia in India 2006

Mar 21, 2006 - Mahabalipuram: The Sites

**NOTE: Most of this text is NEW; in error I published the first two paras two day ago.** ON THE ROAD TO CHENNAI: HARDLY WORTH GOING TO BED It was an early start to get to Chennai (formerly Madras) from where we were to travel to Mahabalipuram (formerly Mamallapuram). We were up at 04:50 and on the road by 05:25 to Bangalore City Station to catch the 06:25. We travel in luxury this time, with air conditioning and seats that would not be out of place in an airline's business class, fold down tables in the backs and all. Even the tea is...

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