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Old 15th August 2013, 09:35   #1
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Default Bangalore to Velankanni. And everything in between

I got a huge promotion at work :-)

So leaving today to Velankanni to thank Mother Mary

Nothing is planned, playing it by the ear

The tentative plan is reach Trichy by night-fall and do some Temple hopping tomorrow, then Thanjavur and it's Big Temple before reaching Velankanni by tomorrow afternoon

Coming back on Sunday, touching Arunachaleshwara Temple in Thiruvannamalai

All let for a 'live' travelogue, uploading pictures and giving information as and when it happens

Trying out a new driving style, staying in the turbo-band till I reach fifth gear and then cruising at a little over 2,000 rpm

The Safari, all fluids topped up and ready to go
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Last edited by Rudra Sen : 27th August 2013 at 08:21.
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Old 15th August 2013, 21:48   #2
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Leaving behind Karnataka
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We made an unscheduled stop after Hosur at Mother Mary Church




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Managed to click one of the Ashok Leykand factory

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The Safari standing out amidst a line of hatchbacks
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Old 16th August 2013, 07:05   #3
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The Trichy 'Malai kotai' meaning Fort on the hill, what the Opera house is to Sydney and the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, this one is to Trichy

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Old 16th August 2013, 07:10   #4
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The Trichy municipal bus stand, a veritable bus lovers paradise

Unlike Karnatka, every city, town and village in Tamil Nadu have a municipal bus stand, all busses stop there, in Karnataka only the KSRTC have their own bus stands, all other busses are 'care of footpath'
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Old 16th August 2013, 08:34   #5
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Visited the Srirangam Temple, moral of the story, you cannot do justice in a few hours, you have to set aside a day

The greatness about Jayalalithaas constituency is that it's not just another place, it's an ecosystem!



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One of the many Gopurams



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One of the many shops selling antiques and musical instruments



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An imported buggy inside the temple



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Old 19th August 2013, 09:14   #6
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The Thanjavur Big Temple, nothing in Tamil Nadu beats it. No paint on the whole Temple


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One of the shops selling the famous Thanjavur thalai aati bommai, the dancing doll of Thanjavur
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Old 19th August 2013, 09:33   #7
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Vailankanni Church at night. The entire Church is covered with scaffoldings since its being white-washed before the feast that begins this month-end
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Old 19th August 2013, 09:40   #8
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The Hotel parking lot



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The Safari, having earned two days of rest



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One of the many mini busses of Tamil Nadu. Very funny thing, they are all registered as 12+1 maxi-cabs, but have 21 push back seats, with a berth behind the Driver, built on 407 chassis at Annamalai Coach Karur. Almost all of them have the same template and saw tens of them on the roads everywhere and in their taxi stands at every major town. Unlike Karnataka, none of them were carrying passengers illegally on routes, they were all being used like contract carriages

Also saw many VOLVO B7R and 9100 that were hired by huge contingents from Kerala for the weekend trip to Velankanni
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Old 19th August 2013, 18:24   #9
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Stayed at Hotel Golden Sand

They have added huge capacity, so getting a room should not be a problem. It's average Rs.1,500 per day and yes, they accept cards
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Old 19th August 2013, 18:38   #10
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Welcome to Vailankanni

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The Vailankanni bus stand

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The Nadithittu Chapel, the place where Mother Mary appeared to the lame boy

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The Blessed Sacraments, depicted with statues

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The huge open area next to the Church that is used for Christmas and Easter time mass, wonder is the Priests will shift it to the Morning Star Church from this year

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The Bascilica

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Our Lady's tank chapel, the place where Mother Mary appeared to the boy carrying milk

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Devotees treading the holy path on their knees

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Old 20th August 2013, 09:29   #11
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The area around our Lady's tank where girls tie mangalsutras around tree branches, praying for a 'good husband'

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The area where holy water is distributed


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What was believed to be a tank when Mother Mary appeared is now a well, fully covered up

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Old 22nd August 2013, 07:23   #12
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The future, the Morning Start Church, its still under construction and I reckon should be ready for Christmas, won't be surprised it they hurry and get it ready by September 8th the feast of Mother Mary

Its one of the most acclaimed structures in India, heard that Engineers from all over come here to take a look, it does not have any pillars and stands on half circled beams

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Old 22nd August 2013, 07:25   #13
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The meditation center
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The latest attraction in Vailankanni

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The mini bird park, good thing that humans are not allowed inside

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The row of paintings depicting scenes from the Bible

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Old 22nd August 2013, 07:27   #14
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The shops that sell goods on the way to the beach, similar to what you have in Chennai near the Marina Beach, nothing important here, you have a few photo studios that give you copies in 15 minutes for 100 rupees a click, there are juice centers that sell really good lemonade for 10 rupees and rose milk for 15 rupees. There are also the 10 rupee shops where anything you buy costs 10 rupees. The entrance from the beach has two fish stalls which I have seen since childhood, the turnover is good there so you can be assured of fresh fish

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The Vailankanni Beach, what I love about this beach is that it is very shallow, you can wade in for more than 100 meters into the water and the water will still be waist deep, the thing to do is take a dip in the clothes you are wearing, what I noticed was that the others did not appreciate me jumping in wearing my swimming trunks!

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The procession that happens around the Church every Saturday evening. Keralites love this, they come in droves for this on Saturday morning and leave by Sunday noon, the best one happens on second Saturdays at our Lady's Tank

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The Church owned blessed oil, and other religious article shops, I like to buy all my stuff here since the money is assured of going to the Church, there are many private shops too that sell religious articles
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Old 22nd August 2013, 07:28   #15
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The Neyvelli Lignite Corporation. It was in the news recently, the Central Government wanted to privatise it but Jayalalitha got the state owned Companies to pick up shares in it and it is still a Government company now. There is a huge township behind this edifice, on the next trip hoping to probe deeper, this is easily one of the most prestigious companies in Tamil Nadu to be working for. Has busses running to all towns in Tamil Nadu and is a veritable mini Tamil Nadu in itself. The thing to watch for is workers arriving in their thousands for their shifts, though they all live in Company provided accommodation, all of them ride to work on their two wheelers, the parking stand here rivals the stockyard of TVS Motos

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