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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Tamil Nadu, India

Jan 28, 2015 - Chennai

December 21, 2014 In Chennai. The first bit I saw of Christmas was in the lobby of the hotel. The hotel is named, Hotel Grand Palace. Names of dabhas and hotels no longer amaze me. But this is a nicer one. Suukyi has to sleep outside without a cover. I have to duct tape her sleeping bag. The only thing I did not perform for her the other day was duct tape it up. My previous repair to it is also in need of re-repair. I had the peon at the hotel get me a copy of the Deccon Chronical this morning. I wanted to see if the article made it to...

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Jan 28, 2015 - Thanjavur Rajarajeswaram [The Big Temple]

January 12, 2015 Cara has left me to my own devices. These are not mechanical devices. They are hydraulic. We went to a few mandirs today. The best being in Thanjavur located 35kms from here in a village, town, city, metropolis. For me it’s a village I am sure to others it’s a city. The Big Temple [Rajarajeswaram Temple] in Thanjavur is the greatest Indian structure I have seen next to the Taj. The size and precision of cuts reminded me of Egypt and Peru. No man, at the time could produce such work. Even today I have not seen such...

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Jan 28, 2015 - Kumbakonam

January 9, 2015 The computer is still running fine. We are now in Kumbakonam. We are staying a Paradise Resort. It’s located about five km’s from the center of town. There are so fantastic Mandirs here. Today we did some exploring. Hired an autorickshaw. I wasn’t into taking Suukyi into town. We’d get lost. People would be touching her when I wasn’t around. Some shit grates on me after a while. There is a really nice pool here. The humidity is not nearly as bad as the coast. Not as hot either. Maybe three or four degrees cooler. Huge...

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Jan 28, 2015 - Mamallapuram

December 26, 2014 Cara is here. We are now about 70 KM’s from Chennai. The town is called Mamallpuram. There are lots of foreign tourists here. I have not seen so much white skin since Canada. It doesn’t bother me none. It’s a small village. 20,000. The village has a lot of very old mandirs. We should visit a few. There are so many Indian tourists. The pace is saturated. Christmas was on Friday thus it’s a big long weekend for everyone. Being such great importance and close proximity to Chennai anyone with a car and money is here. I wanted...

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Jan 28, 2015 - Kanchipuram

December 24, 2014 Kanchipuram was the first place Cara and I visited after leaving Chennai. Kanchi is India renown for wedding saries. Anything silk actually. I bought a camal hair scarf. I am going to us it for backing on a 24" x 36" photo. I don't know which one yet.

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May 31, 2014 - Brahmagiri Trek

BRAHMAGIRI TREK After a small trek through the Nilgiri Biosphere reserve, in and around of Mukurthi, Avalanche hills, Emerald and Kodanadu, this is trekzone’s second attempt to be in close to nature. And here it is, to the peak of Brahmagiri hills. 9 enthusiastic nature freaks gathered from three southern states. Anish etan, one of the trekzoner’s chalked out a plan before two weeks and finally decided to move on our way to Brahmagiri hills in the Kerala Karnataka border. Trekzoners gathered at Gudalur, The Niligiris, the previous night on...

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Trip Journal


Trekzone

Feb 13, 2014 - Chilling out in Mamalla

After 4 days in India the cold, rainy weather in the UK is now just a distant memory. The trip started with an argument outside the Ibis Heathrow. The bus driver of the Hoppa shuttle to the terminals refused to let me on because he didn't have any change for a tenner. So, on a freezing cold February morning I had to run with my luggage to the normal bus stop. However, this turned out to be free. Twelve hours later I was landing at Chennai airport at 5am and, feeling tired and jet-lagged, forgot Rule Number One, which is: Do Not sit up front...

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Trip Journal


Six months in Asia

Nov 1, 2013 - around the town

As crowds continued to clog the streets shopping for Diwali, our bus inched along bringing us ever close to Sri Meenakshi Temple. We almost knocked down some fireworks vendors along the way. From a distance we could see the traditional pyramid shaped temple tower festooned with all manner of gods and riff raft, but this temple is so big, it has thirteen towers of similar size. Because it is a significant temple in southern India and relations with Pakistan are always worrisome, security was extra tight. We were not allowed to bring cameras,...

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Oct 31, 2013 - drive to Madurai

It was hard to get to sleep last night. It's almost Diwali, which seems to be as big a deal here as Christmas is to us. People are madly shopping and stringing colored lights, severely straining the electrical grid which limps along in the best of times. But what kept us up was the fireworks, some rattling the glass in our windows. If Charles hadn't kept us well informed, we would have thought a war was beginning. Charles was rather cagey about what we would be doing on our drive today. I suspect that he knows lots of possibilities and...

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Oct 30, 2013 - head and heart

When we visited the Brihadisvara Temple, this gave Charles the opportunity to explain the basic concepts of Hinduism to us. I listened hard, but it all left me feeling like I should have bought a “Hindu for Dummies” book. Any religion that has thirty million gods is not easily mastered. It’s all so metaphorical, fanciful, and symbolic. But I did learn that when I see a human figure with four arms or three heads, it is a god not a person. The extra appendages account for the extra powers that gods have. As we entered the temple complex the...

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Oct 29, 2013 - drive to Tanjore

The published itinerary left us with the impression that today was a mostly driving day. We did do a lot of driving, but every so often Charles gave the secret signal to the driver and we pulled off the road for an adventure. Our first stop was in a village totally off the tourist trail. Charles had brought some tourist groups here before so they were not totally astonished to see our white faces, but we still had enough celebrity to bring people out of their houses to gawk at us as we gawked at them. People are just so darn friendly here....

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Oct 27, 2013 - on the back of the truck

This was a day best told in photographs. Today’s tour was optional; we weren’t sure why. Perhaps some folks who just flew in might prefer to spend the day lazing by the pool in the spectacular resort. The tour went to the town of a thousand temples, which actually has a little over a hundred. We know that many more temples are in our future. That pool looked tempting. But more experienced OAT travelers advised us that such tours always end up including much more. How right they were. For us the highlight was a truck ride through a small...

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