Posts Tagged ‘Tamilnadu’

மதுரை – Maduari – `The Athens of the East`:


Madurai was always in my list of must visit places. Unfortunately this was very short trip to the Pandian dynasty couple of weeks back. Few clicks which I clicked on my visit.


The Athens of the East

Madurai, one among the ancient cities in India is situated in the banks of river Vaigai in Tamil Nadu. Madurai city, the capital of Pandya rulers is an important commercial and religious center till today and the history of Madurai dates back to 6th century BC.

The Guard

Madurai means sweetness. There is a puranic story of how the name was derived. Dhananjayan, a merchant found a Sivalinga in the forest of Kadamba Trees. He mentioned this to king Kula Sekhara Pandya. The king destroyed the forest, built a temple and established a city around it. As nector was found to drip near the Sivalinga its sweetness was taken as the basis for the derivation of the term Madura(m)

Madurai is one of the important cities in South India. The seventh largest city in Tamil Nadu, it is situated in the banks of river Vaigai. Endowed with a rich cultural heritage and glorious tradition, Madurai is grouped among the antique cities of the India.

The history of Madurai dates back to 6th century B.C. During that period, the city was the much-acclaimed capital of the Pandya kings. Then, it functioned as an important commercial center of South India. It held sway over many small towns in the South.

Temples, monuments and ancient cultural wonders abound in Madurai. It is even called `The Athens of the East`. Madurai`s Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple is one of the greatest architectural marvels of India. Built by Pandya King `Kulasekara` and reconstructed later by Ruler Thirumalai Nayak, the temple has patronized literature, art, music and dance ever since its inception. The entire city is built around the Meenakshi Amman temple. Madurai Meenakshi temple attracts six thousand visitors a day.

ஆயிரம் கால் மண்டபம் –  Thousand Pillar Hall :

The “Aayiram Kaal Mandapam” or Thousand Pillar Hall actually contains only 985 carved pillars. The hall was built by Ariyanatha Mudaliar in 1569 and it is a structure where the engineering skill and artistic vision are blended.[21] Ariyanatha Mudaliar was the prime minister and general of Viswanatha Nayak. Each pillar in the hall is a carved monument of the Dravidian sculpture. There is a Temple Art Museum in the hall where icons, photographs, drawings, and other exhibits of the 1200 years old history of the temple is displayed.

Sculptures in the pillars of Thousand Pillar Hall:

Madurai is also known as “Thunganagaram”, city which doesnt sleeps. The entire road of wholesale onion market is open round the clock. Its said only at Madurai, one can get hot Idli sambar even at 1 am at mid-night.

I will not do justice to this post, if I don’t mention about Jigarthanda, the Indian Milkshake. wowwww best of the best I have had before and Briyani we had at Amsavalli Bhavan, Melpet. They are mouth watering…….. Thanks a tonne to my friend to guided me to Amsavalli Bhavan  🙂

Never miss these two If you haapen to be at the Pandias.

Few of my works from Madurai:





Nayakar Mahal


Good or Bad, Your thinking makes it so...

Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple.
A shot from my recent trip.

Kids, they are gifted to earth. Its always intresting to watch their expressions and activities, sometimes it even gets difficult to handle them 🙂

Recently did a shot for a family friend of mine, sharing few of them here.
Master. Prasanna, 2.8 years old from Nicobar island.
His creativity is from north pole to south pole and ofcourse a big chatterbox.

The Mahabalipu​ram Shore temple
The Mahabalipu​ram Shore temple

Though Being a Chennaite, staying a bit close, I had never visited the magnificent place. My friend Shivaram arranged a trip with his friends on a week end.

Shore temple at dawn

Shore temple at dawn

Alone I Stand

Our bikes roared through the Chennai East Coast road, we reached by 6.30. But it was late, we couldn’t be there for sun rise. The climate was so cool initially but showed no mercy later 😦 the sky was simply awesome blue with wonderful cloud formations everywhere. It has been a very long time since I have shot under such beautiful sky.

To my surprise the entry fee for shore temple was Rs. 10 and there was no entry for our cameras, however tripods weren’t allowed inside so had to leave them at the counter. Also the same ticket can be used to enter FIVE RATHAS as well. We came to know this from a hawker, selling butter milk. Lucky our friend had those tickets in his pocket.

About Mahabalipuram:

Mahabalipuram (as called today) was variably known as Mallai, Kadal Mallai and Mamallai in ancient history of 6th – 8th Centuary A.D. This was one of the Pallavs ports. A majority of these monuments seems to belong to Narasimha Varma and his successors. Many minor carbings lie scattered in the place shows witness or the pallavas architecture, art & religion patronage.

Alike my last to Gangaikonda Cholapuram, I could see this place is also maintained so neat and clean by the archaeological survey of india.

Butter Ball:
Teh Localites call it as butter ball, where a huge rocks stands still on a slopy hill. Its all the theory of center of gravity 🙂

Butter Ball

Butter Ball

Butter Ball - side view

Thirumurthy temple/cave:

There is a small temple next to it is a small cave like structure known as thiru-murthy, that is Shiva, Brahma abd Vishnu the 3 hindu gods. This place is also called as Bheema’s Adupu (3 stones kept together to balance a vessel for cooking). Bheema being a gaint in hindu mythology, its believed he used these rocks for cooking. I over heard this from a tourist guide explaing about this place.

Thirumurthy temple

Break fast at a road side shop, Not as taste as a usual road side, it as jsut sort of okie.

It was alomost going to be midday and the sun was at its peak. We settled under a shady tree next to a woman selling buttermilk. Its was super cool for such a hot climate. when we ask how mcuh she said 30 bucks, but we had only 5 buttermilk and its only 25 bucks. she said okie then take mangoes for balance. haaaa her intention was to get Rs. 30 form us some how.

Next was the five rathas,

Panch is a Hindi world which means ‘Five’. These fine rock temples are located in a sandy compound. These five Rathas are the perfect examples of the evolution of Dravidian style architecture. There are built in the shaper of pagodas and they look similar to that of the Buddhist shrines and monasteries. Rathas in English means chariots. There chariots are constructed with Towers, The cars of gods, multipillared halls, and sculptured walls which are chissled out minutely.

The Rathas have an association to the great epic Mahabharata which describes the heroes of Mahabharata with their wife Draupadi which is termed as pancha pandava rathas. The five rathas are

(i) Draupadi’s Ratha
(ii) Arjuna’s Rath
(iii) Nakul – Sahadev’s Rath
(iv) Bhima Rath and
(v) Dharamraja Yudhistar’s Rath

Five Rathas

Getting there:

Mahabalipuram is hardly 2 hours drive from chennai alond the ECR road.
From CMBT, Koyembedu: 568C (AC MTC bus) or any bus going to Puducherry, Kalpakkam, Cuddalore or Chidambaram (Look for the “ECR” sticker on the windscreen; these buses aren’t AC but they reach faster)
From T Nagar: 599 (AC MTC bus)
Hop ON Hop Off bus service:
Tamil nadu tourism has recently launch Hop ON Hop Off bus service which starts from tamilnadu tourism office at Walajah Road, Chepauk (near cheapuk cricket stadium). Service starts from 9AM. It cost Rs 250 AC and 24 hrs validity. Advantage of this service is you can get down at any spot along ECR and once you are done, board the next bus with the same ticket. Its worth you can check out diffrent tourist spot along ECR.

Spots to check along East Coast Road:

MGM dizze world
Dakshin Chitra
Crocodile Bank
Nithya Kalyana Perumal temple
Tiger Cave
Muttukadu Boat house
Cholamandal Artist Village

Few creations from Mahabs:

Mahab, a wider view

A self catch
A self catch

இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!!!

அனைவருக்கும் இனிய சர்வதாரி தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள்!!!!!

ஜேசன் படைப்புகள்

Sri Neervana Swamy Temple, Thiruneermalai, Pallavaram, Chennai

Thiruneermalai is a panchayat town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Its about 8 kms from Pallavaram Bus stop. The temple at the top of the hill is famous for filming.

The temple:
The base Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama also known as Neervanan in a standing posture and the temple up the hill has four shrines for Lord Ranganatha (Kidanthaan – in reclining posture), Animamalarmangai Thayaar, Trivikrama (Nadanthaan – in standing posture) and Lord Narasimha (Irundhaan – sitting posture). It is a double prakaram temple. The Garuda shrine faces the Lord. The view from the top of the hill is wonderful.

The legend is that when Valmiki prayed to Lord Ranganatha and Goddess Ranganayaki in the base temple, they took the form of Lord Rama and Sita, Sesha, Conch, Chakra as Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatruguna and Garuda as Hanuman. Sage Valmiki could view Lord Ranganatha, Lord Trivikrama and Lord Narasimha in the top temple.

Getting there:
Its hardly 15-20 mins drive from pallavaram or you could board M55A which starts from Broadway and goes through Thiruneermalai till Pazhanthandalam.

In & around Thiruneermalai:

Your life is a piece of clay, dont let anyone else mold it for you.

Pottery and faming seems to be the main works of people there, but its vanishing slowly and very few familys are involved in this told this gentlemen, who closed the business for the day to visit his new born grand daughter. But he himslef came forward and did 2 pot for us to click. hats off to him.

Temple Tank @ Thiruneermalai

Temple at the base of hill

Mandapam at the entrance

Temple Entrance to climb the hill

Temple Entrance to climb the hill

Entrance of Main temple

Entrance of Main temple

A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it ~ Jean de La Fontaine

Whats fun for us..... is life for others.

Supermoons and elections doesnt come every fortnight.

Supermoons and elections doesnt come every fortnight.

Its the orbital mechanics that brings the moon closer to Earth than that it has been in more than 18 years, the biggest full moon occured on March 19th 2011, Saturday. It was as much as 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser full Moons.

Its wasnt visbile completely everywhere due to bad weather, But we Indians we lucky enough to enjoy the Super moon.

I tried to shot, but ended up in nothing with my 18-55 mm lens, after a couple of days got a chance to use canon 70-300 mm lens of my friend. This time I didn’t want to miss the chance but it had already melted half way.

Tamil Nadu State Election:

On April 13 2011, people of tamil nadu has the “right to vote” for a canditate of their choice. Each one has their own reason to chose a party/canditate.

What may…what go…
Do not miss the chance to exercise your franchise

This offer came to me all of a sudden, There was last minute drop out in my friend’s outing plan and I made use of the chance. Chennai to my friend’s home at Tutucorin and visiting places in and around.

Chennai to kovilpatti by Guruvayur Express, I always hate this so-called express. It can be renamed as passenger. Took a bus from kovil patti to tutucorin and it was almost 10PM when we reached home.

Started to Papanasam next day morning. It’s almost 4 hrs drive. Breakfast on the way and reached around noon. We were in the neighbouring district – Thirunelveli.

It’s about 2000+ m from sea level on a hilly region, Our first stop was at Agasthiyar falls. Pathaneer to start off with, the sort of juice extracted from the palm tree in summer.

Pathaneer on a hot summer day

Agasthiar Falls

This falls wasn’t a very big one, it had small branches on the other sides, which we managed to reach climbing small boulders. Lots of school children and localites spending their week end. One best thing about this place is vendors there have been banned to use plastic carry bags, but still people who visit pollute the place.

Branches near to the main falls

What a pleasure when you stand under the down pouring water.

These local terrorist grab eatables from the visitor, You can never escape from them.

Local terrorist

Our next stop was at the Kariyar Dam, which is about 30-45 minutes drive up the hill. This is a reserve forest, spread across a massive area marked as a reserve for tiger rehabilitation programme. At the check post you need to pay Rs 15/per individual, car and camera.

This official peeped into our car for inspection 🙂

At the checkpost

Vehicles aren’t allowed after a point, got to walk about 1.5 km, which was bit steep. It was almost 4 pm, all of us were hungry without lunch, so thought of taking some snacks with us. Forest officer seeing this shouted at us… “If you take this up, our people with collect it from you”. I thought eatables aren’t allowed inside like the ZOO in Chennai. Then he added up saying with a smile, if you harm them you will pay a fine of 25000.

Then realised he is talking about the local terrorist. so decided to leave the bag in our car. By the time my friend’s mom could reach the car, she lost 2 chips packets.

Walk for 15 min from car parking - Kariyar Dam

This dam is being used for generating hydro-electric power and then using for irrigating and other purposes. This spot is being maintained by Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and not Tamil Nadu Tourism.

The main office of TNEB, hydro power station. Photo prohibited, people shouted when i pointed my camera against this building. I somehow managed to get one 🙂

TNEB hydro power station

Couldn’t figure our why it mentioned as Thambraparni Dam 1938-1943, Probably it was the old name. The river which starts from here is still being called as “Thamaraparani”.

Talking to a guard, I came to know this was constructed during british period and not maintained by TNEB.

You got a take a motor boat which cost Rs 20/head, need to wait until the boat is filled with it capacity of 15 or you can hire it completely for Rs. 300.

Need to get down about 50-100 meters down as the water level as decreased.

I have been boating very frequently past few months, but this one was something very different. This boat will take you to the other side of dam to Vanateertham Falls and it’s not possible to go by walk.

Boating and water outlet at the dam

Getting down at the other side of dam, again need to climb a bit steep rocks. These Rocks aren’t usually visible and will be covered full with water ever the place from where I shot this.

Other side of Dam


Walking about 15-20 mins from the boat, a big falls called vanateertham falls.

Vanateertham Falls

Totally exhausted after a bath at falls, back to boat and entry of dam. Luckily we got a share auto from the Dam till car parking avoiding 15 mins walk.

Back to tutucorin, on the way back, Yummy yummy egg parota and jigarthanda. If you havent tasted “jigarthanda” please do when you get a chance. In Chennai you get it in all outlet of Murugan Idli Shop.
Probably it can be termed as “Indian Falluda”

I knew tutucorin is famous for its harbour, it adds a huge income in overseas trade. It’s also well known for “Dry Fish” its cheap and good.

Apart from these, Tutucorin is also famous for “Macroons”, wow wow wow.. it just melts in mouth. the one we get in our super markets sucks. My friend said it’s quite costly, but didn’t knew it was costlier than home-made chocolates, Yes, it cost Rs 500 per kilo. But trust me.. worth it 🙂

It needs to be stored in an air tight container, if not it becomes like cotton candy. Never miss a tutucorin dry fish and macroons if you get a chance.

Getting to Papanasam from Chennai:
Board a train from Chennai Egmore to Thirunelveli, you get frequent buses from there to Amba Samudram, from Amba Samudram hiring a car will be fine to go up the hill and visit places near by, as there are only 2 buses which run in this route.

Few of my work from this trip:

Little Lady drying her hair

Success doesnt come without hurdles, its your choice to move ahead or stay back

Faithful Friends

Good Or Bad, each journey has a reason!

Its Summerrr

The world is so big with diffrent characters and each character is very much unique. You may feel pity for someone, you may want to help them at time its out of our hands. Each character I came across this week end, had their own worries inside still they showed a smiling face with a warm welcome.

Its sort of happiness even when you think of an upcoming week end. wake up late, no need to work, have a good time with friends and family and regain all energy to run the coming week. I didn’t expect mush for this week end, but it turned out to be a great week end for me.
Joined a CWC photo walk after a very long time. It’s always happy moments being with Chennai Weekend Clickers right from idli vadai to clicking and the mocka jokes.. pulling each other. Though it was very hard to wake up by 4:30 am and thinking I need to ride about 30-40 km, I really wanted to go to bed again, But today i really wanted to shot with CWC cheered me up.

Our work begins for the day

Riding all alone along the GST road, pammal – kundrathur road reached poonamalle around 5:45. Was damn hungry by this time, though a tea would make me better. Spotted a tea shop and there was Ashok, MRK and Irfan {going for a walk, If you can spot a tea shop with vadai and Bonda, you can always find CWCians there 😉 }

Thanks for that OC tea Ashokji 😉

Soon joined by Guru, Nirmal, Arun, 1more Ashok, and a new CWCian (sorry dont remember his name) and the team was eagerly awaiting the arrival of out “THALAIVAR”. Once Barani joined us and upon his order to “FIRE” we are all set with our machines. Our first spot was at a waste landed, which I later discovered there is big business going on. every where you turn, you can pick a subject of your own. A brick making place.. (athanbaa sengal sula). While talking with a worker, he said their daily work starts at 1 am in the morning, OMG.

Value your own work


Dirty legs.. but clean heart

81st CWC Walk

Then next was a green spot, in middle of a cultivation farm, where we also took a group pic. then happen to me my first walk with Ashok, I asked him for a portfolio pic. he “DID”. Thanks for that too ji 😉

Filling our stomach with hot idlis and vadi from a small shop where hardly 4-5 and sit. We were about 8-9 and the owner was really happy to server us.  The old granny at the shop was a greta model and patiently posed for me – to be uploaded soon…..Now its time for the next chapter “THE STREET”, WOW…

This place had more of houses in the old style with a cycle infront and kids playing around. one gentle man man forward and took me inside his friends house, where they do hand weaving. It was an very old house and so dark, a man was busy work under a light of big bright bulb. Tried few shot but most of them didnt come out well as it was so dark.

Busy man at work

Unfortunately my display read “Change Battery Pack”, Shame on me… 😦 had to return back home half hearted.

ARUN: stay with us till the end man.
ME: yethuku nenga click pandratha pathu na vaithu yeruchal padaaa… poyaaa poyaa…

Trust me… this walk really made my “DAY”. Though I had to retuen back half way, I was really happy with my shots and to be with my own home team 🙂 Small weekend shopping with a collegue of mine and play with him new camera on the pallavaram bye-pass bridge late night. shiva took to me to a place for panipuri, never knew we do get pani puri so late night.

I was completely exhausted, and the India Vs SA worldcup cricket match 😦

Wished to go to fishing harbour sunday morning, its a place where you find the real “Indian Street”, but had to go out with a friend. But I will be there again sometime very soon.

Few works from this week end walk:

These kids were playing near to the brick factory, they were great models for us 🙂

Joy of childhood

Unloved flower

This happened to be my first photo trip with Photologic after joining Logica.  Wow this happened to be an unforgettable trip I have been so far. This write-up is for people who thought of joining us but couldn’t make it up.

Our stylish Chevy beat starting from Guindy, early morning on Saturday, escaping city traffic and before the sun could shed its love on us.  It was a pleasant and smooth drive through the East Coast Road. Stopped in Pondy for breakfast @ Royal Restaurant, OMG one masala dosa was costlier than a large vodka J. We started again and reached the City of Dance – Chidambaram.

Though it was difficult to get a room, we managed to get a pretty decent  one at last. After refreshing and lunch, the actually adventure begins

Pichavaram is home to the second largest Mangrove forest in the world, I never knew this before J it was more than what I expected. We hired a boat, Sampath, the rower, who accompanied us was very much familiar with the botanical name of different species there, which was all greek and Latin for us. Hiring a motor boat is on not great excitement, as it doesn’t go deep inside the forest. So it’s always better to take a normal hand rowing one.  We came to know lot many movies were shot in this palce including the opening song of “Dasavatharam”. For us it was like a crocodile hunting mission which we usually see in animal planet J.  Fully covered with trees on either sides, hardly sunlight peeps inside and a small way through which only one small ferry could make it.

(Sampath, man who accompanied us and Prasanna)Friend Umanath in Action

We were back to the shore around 5 PM. We also shot few people weeding and villagers passing by. Hot bajies  and tea at a road side shop.  Very much yummy indeed 🙂

 Now back to Chidambaram, Nataraja (Shiva) temple. The uniqueness of this one is  it depicts the Lord Shiva as the Lord of the dance Bharatanatyam and is one of the few temples where Shiva is represented by an anthropomorphic murthi rather than the classic, anionic lingam. After darshan, though we were tired we took few night shot at the temple. Back to room after a simple veggie dinner near the temple.

As per plan we are leave pondy next day morning, a sudden change in  plan, thanks a tonne to google maps and Prasanna, he found there is a place nearby called “PORTO NOVO” port of Portuguese once.  We departed to Porto Novo, where a big surprise awaiting for us.

all set for the water ride

 We clicked few shots of sun rise and people around the fishing harbor. Umanath checked if we could take a ferry and go to the nearby island. Though I stopped him initially I did node my head and didn’t want to miss the adventure of riding in a boat into the sea J. Millions of thanks, Uma. U rock J. Couple of fisher man took us in their ferry, it was awesome and bit scary too. They took us bit away from the shore where few bigger fishing boats were anchored, then to a small island nearby. It was awesome. The feel was like a desert surrounded by water everywhere around.

At the island, Porto Novo

Prasanna in Action

Back to the shore after almost one and half hours, the place which was totally deserted was fully crowded by the time we came back to the shore, it was a local wholesale fish market, similar to the one at kasimedu @ Chennai. Everyone was very much hungry and all we need was only food. Stopped for an heavy breakfast in a dhaba along Chidambaram-Pondicherry highway.  We all ate so much probably our’s might have been the highest bill for him the whole day 🙂

Selvam & his friend, who drove us to the island

We still had some more energy left over for the saraku city (Pondy). Drove straight to Auroville a silent peaceful place with citizens of the world all around. Spending few hours there started our trip back to Chennai. We were much more excited on seeing a petrol pump reading petrol @ 56rs/ lit. We didn’t wana miss this bumper offer.

 Again an awesome lunch in ECR dabha, with yummy yummy fish. Stopped at muttukadu for a water scooter ride, the saddest part was we aren’t allowed to ride the scooter. Played with Umanath’s 70-300 lens while they were enjoying the scooter ride. The light was too harsh so could manage only to get a average picture of them.

@ Muttukadu

Finally our wk end came to an end at tiruvanmiyur. Overall it was an amazing extraordinary trip with team PhotoLogic.  Thank you so much team.

Only 2 in action, spot it!!

 Few of my works from the trip:

What does the world got for you!

You can't row a boat in two directions at the same time

From the pirates deck

A man's children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season ~ Author Unknown


மிட்டாய் மிட்டாய் பஞ்சுமிட்டாய்

Seems like you choose your own path, but its already fixed by someone up there - Own Composition

கங்கைகொண்ட சோழபுரம்

Shiva temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram

Unlike others I never had chance to travel to home town or any villages during summer holidays. Most of my relative stayed within the city, I have hardly been out of Chennai. I wish to travel across latitude and longitudes. Recently had a chance to visit Gangaikondacholapuram, which was half an hour drive from my friend’s town, where we went for a wedding.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram,  a temple for lord Shiva built by the cholas marking marking their victory over Pala Dynasty. Rajendra Chola-I son of the Great Rajaraja-I, established this temple after his great victorious march to river Ganges on Northern India. This temple looks exactly similar to the shiva temple at Tanjore. there are many stories which revolve for the origin of this temple. We guys spoke with one of the person in charge there, he told us the entire temple is one foot less in all aspects when compared to the Tanjore temple.

To my surprise this temple was maintained so green and clean. Later we found that this is under the maintenance of UNESCO as a part of world heritage. Probably that’s the reason for it.

Nandhi* @ Gangaikondan, Nandhi is the bull which Shiva rides and the gate keeper of Shiva and Parvati in Hindu mythology.

Another version of Gangaikondan