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Old 4th February 2010, 16:38   #46
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I didn't look at this trip as going places where I've not been and doing things I've not done and taking photos of unseen. I wanted this to be an experience of India. An India that we all belong to but seldom realise as our eyes are marred by the routine mundane.
+ to that . Well said friend.
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Old 4th February 2010, 22:10   #47
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Photos of my walk around Sringeri on the 2nd of Jan.

The river once flowed all the way till here.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-1.jpg

Receding rivers are a sign of a grim future.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-2.jpg

Steps for ablution.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-3.jpg

Trees fast joining the endangered species list.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-4.jpg

Though wooded, I bow to thee.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-5.jpg

To fell a mighty tree.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-6.jpg

Some more years, we might not need a bridge.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-7.jpg

A Serene Tunga.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-8.jpg

Daily walk for daily incentives.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-elephants-1.jpg

Elephants having their offerings.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-elephants-2.jpg

Yaga Shala
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-yaaga-shala.jpg

Another day comes to a close. For the first time in the trip a day went without me driving. We walked around the temple. Our Ikon had a complete rest on the banks of Tunga.
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Old 4th February 2010, 22:45   #48
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This is where my plans came crashed. Initially we'd planned to leave Sringeri early on 3rd. I'd planned on pitstops in Belur and Halebidu, followed with a night halt in Mysore. On the 4th, I'd planned a picnic to brindavan gardens. We intended to cross the border on 5th and have a night halt at Tanjore. I wanted to take our baby to Brihaddeeshwara temple and Thiruvaiyaru. Thiruvaiyaru was a dream for me, and I'd kept it as a surprise/ secret from my family. It was even more special because 6th was the last day of Thiyagaraja Aaradhana. We planned on reaching Tirunelveli on 6th Night and leave for chennai the next noon.
However all this crashed because on the 2nd my daughter developed heavy cold and high temperature. With 102F, because of change in temperature and climate, from a cold pune to a hot udupi and back to a cold sringeri, we couldn't leave as planned. I decided to rest till she gets better. My worried family wanted me to scrap the trip, leave out tirunelveli and if possible send back wife and kid to pune by flight.
We started from pune on a friday morning in a car. We shall go back in the same car. This was my steely resolve. We had to stay back in Sringeri till 5th. The only time I opened my car on 2nd was in the night to get the car seat. Car seat offers babies best posture when their nose is blocked. It also recreates the shape they were in in the womb. Car seat is a blessing inside the car as well as outside. We'd packed all her medicines as precaution. She had a swing of paracetamol and slept peacefully in her car seat. Nasal drops helped ease congestion. We left out Belur, Halebid, Brindavan and Thiruvaiyaru. Three days were spent in Sringeri waiting for her to get well.
Coming up next. CM's visit cleans up Sringeri!
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Old 5th February 2010, 22:48   #49
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Jan 3rd. I was up again by 5:30. After a quick shower in cold water, I ventured out to take photos of the temple before dawn.

Surprisingly people already started coming in even at 6 am.
The western sky was blue in colour even before the sun came up. The pre-dawn light or, Usha as they call it had a magical effect on the place. The eastern sky was just opening up with the sun popping out. There was moon as well on the other end.

Some more photos of the temple on the morning of 3rd Jan.

Sharada Temple at 6 am
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-sharada-temple.jpg

More photos of Vidyashankar temple between 6 and 6:30 am
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-vidyashankar-temple.jpg

Can you spot the moon on the right?
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-vidyashankar-temple-2.jpg
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-vidyashankar-temple-4.jpg
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-vidyashankar-temple-3.jpg

Sunrise over Tunga river
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-sunrise-over-thunga-1.jpg
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-sunrise-over-tunga-2.jpg
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-sunrise.jpg
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-sunrise-over-tunga-3.jpg
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-sunrise-over-tunga-4.jpg

After an early morning stroll, I went back to be with our daughter. Luckily the fever had subsided. However she was having a very bad cough.

All of a sudden we were asked to move out vehicles out of the parking lot.
They were going to make an Helipad for the visiting CM. The police however gave us no specific place where we can park. We were asked to move the car out and probably move it out of Sringeri.
Incidentally they asked vehicles to be moved from Bharathi street as well. They were not aware whether the CM is landing in Gandhi Maidan or will be driving down from Shimoga. Also shops were asked to be shut after 12 noon.
All the buses and cars were cleared from Gandhi Maidan and we had to scourge the whole town in search of what seemed a safe parking place.

Then began the massive clean up. Next set of photos show the transformation.
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Old 5th February 2010, 23:11   #50
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Great photos there MX6. Thanks for taking us to some beautiful unexplored places. Waiting for more pics!
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Old 6th February 2010, 01:04   #51
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A photostory of a whirlwind clean up. Recollect the earlier parking lot photo I uploaded showing all plastic and puddles.

Here goes. Mods. I hope this is not a problem having the below photos.

All filth gets on to the truck
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-1.jpg

Buses and vans have vanished. Every one has to evacuate. Slowly the cars are driven out, one after the other.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-2.jpg

It's not clean. Almost.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-3.jpg

As the a truck load of filth moves out, there's one car that's in trouble. They owner still hasn't come to drive it out.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-4.jpg

Is this the same tunga I saw 2 hours before?
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-5.jpg

Tow vehicle in place. Let me try a key says a cop.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-6.jpg

The duplicate key goes in.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-7.jpg

Hey. Look. I got a scale to shove in between the padding and the window pane, says another cop.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-8.jpg

All attempts to force open the car fails. If cops can't break in, then no theif can. Good safe car! But what's the tow vehicle doing behind the car? Aren't they supposed to tow from front?
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-9.jpg

The owner was found. He comes running. Got abuses for not coming earlier. His car escaped being towed.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-10.jpg

Rest of the cleaning continues.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-11.jpg

Helipad is ready. Everything is spotless.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-12.jpg

People managed to park their vehicles on Bharathi street for 2 hours. We had to move out of Sringeri after that. Look, shops are closed. Roads are gleaming.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-13.jpg

I managed to park in the small gap. Kept the gap in front for quicker exit in case the cops ask us to move the vehicles out of Bharathi street. Gumption helped, I could quickly pull out once they announced and scramble for a place outside Sringeri ahead of others. Look how clean the road is!
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-14.jpg

The road to parking lot is filled, levelled and patched.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-15.jpg

Now, that's what I call a major clean up!
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-16.jpg

No visitors. No. Not even cows. It was hilarious seeing cops chasing away cows.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-17.jpg

Didn't bother chasing criminals. Now have to chase this.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-18.jpg

Here comes the chopper.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-19.jpg

2 mins, it took to land. 2 hours it took to clean.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-clean-up-20.jpg

More photos of this epic drama in the offing. What really was a shame was the fact that it clearly showed double standards. The civic authorities woke up as the visitor was the CM. What debris lay for years was cleared in 2 hours. The whole place looked completely different. Now why don't the authorities do this as a regular excercise?

And once again, Indians don't deserve this. This place was clean till the 4th afternoon. The moment they opened the place for public parking, plastics started making their way back.
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Old 6th February 2010, 05:40   #52
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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hopefully when your daughter grows up, she would read this travelogue and understand the efforts taken by you to keep her comfortable even on a road trip.
Well said.

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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
All attempts to force open the car fails. If cops can't break in, then no theif can. Good safe car!


Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
What really was a shame was the fact that it clearly showed double standards. The civic authorities woke up as the visitor was the CM. What debris lay for years was cleared in 2 hours. The whole place looked completely different. Now why don't the authorities do this as a regular excercise?

And once again, Indians don't deserve this. This place was clean till the 4th afternoon. The moment they opened the place for public parking, plastics started making their way back.
It is also a reflection of our civic sense. We, Indians, have no qualms in dumping garbage on public places.
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Old 6th February 2010, 07:56   #53
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I wanted this to be an experience of India. An India that we all belong to but seldom realise as our eyes are marred by the routine mundane.
And you've experienced the real India due to CM's visit
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Old 6th February 2010, 09:42   #54
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This is really an excellent travelogue.Keep it up.I really enjoy going through your travelogue.
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Old 6th February 2010, 14:27   #55
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Originally Posted by roadracer View Post
This is really an excellent travelogue.Keep it up.I really enjoy going through your travelogue.
Thanks Roadracer for your words of encouragement.

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
And you've experienced the real India due to CM's visit
Ha ha Aargee. But this excercise showed that it's just 2 hours to turn around from crap to gold.
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Well said.





It is also a reflection of our civic sense. We, Indians, have no qualms in dumping garbage on public places.
True Sbraj. We as T-BHP can and are making a difference. All India needs is more awareness and accountability.
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Old 6th February 2010, 15:37   #56
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True Sbraj. We as T-BHP can and are making a difference. All India needs is more awareness and accountability.
+1 to that. This again is well said.
It was hilarious to go through that pictorial expression of cleanliness drive. Bring in more.
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Old 6th February 2010, 20:14   #57
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Ha ha Aargee. But this excercise showed that it's just 2 hours to turn around from crap to gold.
Well said. Couldn't agree more. After 2 hours, its all back to "normal" again. But keep up your travelogue coming soon
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Old 7th February 2010, 09:46   #58
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Mother Sharadamba might be wishing and praying that CM visits her everyday so that she is not required to keep breathing the bad smell from that flith on a daily basis.

I hope her prayer comes true.. May there be 100s of CMs visiting arround everywhere so that the flith get cleaned everyday.
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Old 8th February 2010, 23:54   #59
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Sorry to keep you waiting folks. Was busy shopping over the weekend and had a hectic monday.

Here's the continuation on Sringeri.

Compared to all the cleaning at frenetic pace, the CM's visit was subdued and low key. He came. He saw. He left.

The door opens
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-cm-1.jpg

First glimpse of the CM along with the reception committee
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-cm-2.jpg

CM taking the guard of honour
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-cm-3.jpg

That's the car the CM goes in to the Adi Chunchanagiri mutt that's being inaugurated in Sringeri.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-cm-4.jpg

He came on the 3rd Jan. His departure from Sringeri was even more low key.
CM getting off the podium
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-cm-5.jpg

CM walking over to his chopper to leave
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-cm-6.jpg

However, we had to keep our cars outside Sringeri till he left on 4th. After that the cars came back. Then the pilgrims. Then the plastics came back too.

We had to give complete rest to our baby. She got better. Her fever subsided on the morning of 4th. She still had cold that was giving her loads of discomfort. I decided to take her around the temple on 4th and take some random shots and also take a special ablution in Tunga.

Here are some random shots taken on the 4th.

Look. I'm not afraid of Elephants as well.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-elephant-1.jpg

I know who you are. You are Col. Haathi from the jungle book.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-elephant-2.jpg

Hansa. The insignia of the Sringeri Mutt.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-hansa.jpg

Random Pics
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-random.jpg
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-random-1.jpg
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-random-2.jpg
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-random-3.jpg

The Pictorial Story of Shankara. In a way, it's his travelogue up there, with each photo showing his travels all around India spreading Sanathana Dharma!
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-story-shankara.jpg

My mother was worried about the bath in Tunga. 4 days, my daughter had a fever and cold. Only today the fever subsided. I was clear. I told her that the only thing that comes close to a Ganga Snan is a Tunga Snan.
So my daughter and I had a nice 30 min ablution, washing away our weariness, and me my sins as well!

Look, I'm not afraid of fishes as well.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-snanam-1.jpg

Such a big bath tub! I'm happy, and I'm swimming!
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tunga-snanam-2.jpg

It's faith that takes you there. Call it what you may. My daughter slept well that night. And her cold and fever just vanished after that night!

We returned back to our room to take a nice long rest. After 5 full days in Sringeri, and 4 lost days of our trip, we were ready to move on. The next morning was going to be very eventful. We finished all our packing the night before. As I closed my eyes, the sight that filled my eyes which I enjoyed for 5 days are captured and posted below.

Framed in my heart!
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-framed.jpg

The magnificence that refuses to fade from my sight!
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-random-4.jpg

Jan 5th - Onwards from Sringeri. Keep watching this space.
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Old 9th February 2010, 10:49   #60
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Photographing a VVIP clandestinely?

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The Pictorial Story of Shankara. In a way, it's his travelogue up there, with each photo showing his travels all around India spreading Sanathana Dharma!
True, Shankara was a great traveler. A traveler with a purpose I suppose.
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