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Old 17th February 2010, 23:03   #91
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No trip to Nellai is complete without a bath in Thamirabarani river.
The water was inviting and we had a mandatory ablution there.

Inviting waters.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-thamirabarani-2.jpg

Second river bath for my daughter.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-thamirabarani-1.jpg

We proceeded to my wife's grandma's place. It was a meeting of sorts. My daughter was turning 1 and she was 96. They met for the first time. It was for this reason, that against all odds and bad health, I drove.

Momentuous meeting.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-generations.jpg

There were many who were amused and surprised to see a MH reg car in Nellai. Here it stands majestic on those village roads.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-tirunelveli.jpg

We stayed there for 5 hours and decided to pack up and leave by 5 pm. Target was to reach Madurai and stay there for the night after a small detour to a non-descripit village called Palayampatti near Aruppukottai.

As we drove out of Nellai, this thought crept in to my mind. Will the great grand daughter ever get another chance to spend time with her great grand ma? Every moment of life is glorious like a pearl. But how frail a pearl necklace is? I quickly recollected a Kannada movie Mutthina hara starring Dr. Vishnuvardhan. Incidentally, Vishnuwardhan passed away just 1 week back, on the 30th of Dec.
But mission accomplised. The meet was successful. Maybe another time, another trip. Who knows?

Coming up next: Palayampatti and the temple town of Madurai!
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Old 18th February 2010, 08:15   #92
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WOW, 1 meeting 96 huh? I can understand that, must be like 1 & 4th generation meets

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Originally Posted by Torqy View Post
True. It was just to remind that an online forum is just that. An online forum. You don't have much control on it.
True. Agreed.

Last edited by aargee : 18th February 2010 at 08:17.
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Old 18th February 2010, 09:32   #93
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MX6, Great travelogue, excellent pictures. I have a daughter who is 7 months old and we are planning a trip to my native place near Mannargudi and my wife was very apprehensive in travelling by car from Chennai. The distance is hardly 350 kms. I showed this travelogue and she read it in one stretch and she has no words now.... We have made up our minds that we are going to be going in car. Thanks for a great Inspiration. Congratulations.
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Old 18th February 2010, 09:59   #94
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Hi MX,

Now i understand the title of your thread.. A trip close to heart
a very apt title. the one year old can not express her feelings about meeting her great grand mother (GGM). But what was the expression of the GGM meeting GGD ?

I still remember my wife's Grand Mother (my wife's father's mother) she was 88 at that time had comedown from Mumbai to Pune for meeting her GGD when my daughter was born. I have a snap of how happy she was holding the child.

After few months, we had travelled from Mumbai to a small village near Sirsi to meet my wife's grand father (her mother's father), he was 85 at that time. The GGF had taken the GGD to the attic to show his gun collection. My wife told me that even she did not had access to the attic.

that is effect of GGD on GGF or GGM. Probably at that age, we truely understand the meaning of relationships.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 18th February 2010 at 10:00.
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Old 18th February 2010, 11:09   #95
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
We proceeded to my wife's grandma's place. It was a meeting of sorts. My daughter was turning 1 and she was 96. They met for the first time. It was for this reason, that against all odds and bad health, I drove.
Wow! My parents were not no more when my only daughter was born, but at least my grandparents were there. But none of the preceding generation were there.

It is nice to see multiple generations in the same frame.

I hope you don't mind, what village would be your native?

My father was from a village called Samugarengapuram, near Valliyoor, but we had a house (now sold by my father's brother) at Nellai Jn.
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Old 18th February 2010, 16:21   #96
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MX6 just read the complete travelouge which is very beautifully written capturing what our great country is all about

Hats off to you and many thanks for sharing your experiences on this forum.
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Old 20th February 2010, 21:55   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
WOW, 1 meeting 96 huh? I can understand that, must be like 1 & 4th generation meets

True. Agreed.
Yes. 1 meeting 96. Also my daughter had a nice time with my grandparents as well. These moments are the one's you cherish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
MX6, Great travelogue, excellent pictures. I have a daughter who is 7 months old and we are planning a trip to my native place near Mannargudi and my wife was very apprehensive in travelling by car from Chennai. The distance is hardly 350 kms. I showed this travelogue and she read it in one stretch and she has no words now.... We have made up our minds that we are going to be going in car. Thanks for a great Inspiration. Congratulations.
You are welcome venki. Have a great trip! I always have this opinion that own car is the best for babies. You can pace your trip the way you want. Any emergencies, you can break and change your journey anyway you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hi MX,

Now i understand the title of your thread.. A trip close to heart
a very apt title. the one year old can not express her feelings about meeting her great grand mother (GGM). But what was the expression of the GGM meeting GGD ?

I still remember my wife's Grand Mother (my wife's father's mother) she was 88 at that time had comedown from Mumbai to Pune for meeting her GGD when my daughter was born. I have a snap of how happy she was holding the child.

After few months, we had travelled from Mumbai to a small village near Sirsi to meet my wife's grand father (her mother's father), he was 85 at that time. The GGF had taken the GGD to the attic to show his gun collection. My wife told me that even she did not had access to the attic.

that is effect of GGD on GGF or GGM. Probably at that age, we truely understand the meaning of relationships.
True Star. I'm sure every member in this forum would have such stories to tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trrk View Post
Hi,



Wow! My parents were not no more when my only daughter was born, but at least my grandparents were there. But none of the preceding generation were there.

It is nice to see multiple generations in the same frame.

I hope you don't mind, what village would be your native?

My father was from a village called Samugarengapuram, near Valliyoor, but we had a house (now sold by my father's brother) at Nellai Jn.
Hi Trrk. Our native is near Nellai. However, I've been all around. So now I'm a universal citizen!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramsnavy View Post
MX6 just read the complete travelouge which is very beautifully written capturing what our great country is all about

Hats off to you and many thanks for sharing your experiences on this forum.
Thanks Ramsnavy. There's more to come.
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Old 20th February 2010, 23:39   #98
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We vacated our hotel in Nellai by 5 pm and proceeded to Palayampatti. It's a quaint little town 3 kms from Aruppukottai on the way to Madurai.
I decided to hit NH7 again till Virudhunagar and then move over to Aruppukottai from there. I wanted to reach Madurai by night.
NH7 till Virudhunagar was a breeze. However, this time I stuck to my 100 - 110 limit and didn't blaze around as I did Karur to Tiruneveli earlier.
The mistake was entering virudhunagar. I lost 1 hour going though a small market place, crossing the temple, getting on to the bridge to take the road to aruppukottai.
We finally reached Palayampatti by 9 pm due to the delays.
It was the first visit to the Venugopalakrishna temple with our baby.
File photo. The Sannadhi Street viewed from inside the temple
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-palayampatti-1.jpg

File photo. WIP. The pujari is championing rebuilding the temple to past glory
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-palayampatti-2.jpg

File photo. The main Kodi Maram (as in Tamil) or stambha.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-palayampatti-3.jpg

File Photo. Gopura above the Sanctum Sanctorum.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-palayampatti-4.jpg

Main Prahara.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-temple-1.jpg

Daughter getting blessing of Venugopalakrishna.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-blessings.jpg

The pujari was so smitten by my daughter that to our surprise, he just carried her inside the sanctum sanctorum and fed her with Butter kept near Krishna!
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-sanctum.jpg

It was a terrible drive from Palayampatti to Madurai. Thanks to the Pujari, he called people at Hotel Aarthy in Madurai and booked hotel rooms for us. There's quadrupling work going on, so every 2 kms we had to take diversions. The roads were excellent except for the take diversions.
We left Palayampatti (3 kms north of Aruppukottai) around 10 pm and reached Madurai by 11:30 pm. Heavy truck traffic and too many diversions made us take double the normal time.

As we unwinded for the night, my daughter climbed up her suitcase and was jumping gleefully. That expression was enough for us. We had travelled almost 3000 kms from home. 13 days later, she's as excited and energetic as ever. She meant to say, let's pack up. Let's go.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-madurai-hotel.jpg

The next morning we planned to go to Meenakshi temple in Madurai. I enjoyed an 8 hour sleep for the first time in my trip.
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Old 21st February 2010, 07:02   #99
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Terrific snaps of the Pujari and teh Kid inside the sannidi ! These kids do have a way to get stuff, which adults are refused in the first step ! Also the GGM snap with GCD was very nice.

Hotel Aarthy is one place where I loved having food, though never stayed though.

Last edited by ampere : 21st February 2010 at 07:03.
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Old 21st February 2010, 18:49   #100
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Simply divine!
An enchanting travalogue Mx6, beautiful pics, meticulous preparation, the love, care and concern for your family, especially for your lil angel not to mention the highlight of the GGM tenderly holding the GGD was tearly a tear jerker for me.

I remembered my own very dear grandma who passed away a few years back at the ripe age of 91. Truly such precious moments do fill one's life and strengthen the bonds of love so crucial to keep us going and growing lifelong.

Lovely darshans of various temples along the way, your progressive narration and the way it has touched others there speak volumes. It appears that you are aware of our underlying spiritual dimension with your lifestyle. Your adorable lil angel seems to have a vedic face (know a bit about face reading - which isn't saying much) and a penchant for a vedic lifestyle. Not surprised at her ability to charm the socks off people who want to take her snap. It is also encouraging to see how you want to bring her up in accordance to sanathan dharma - All the very best for that.

Eagerly awaiting the remainder of this pan national adventure. It isn't yet a breeze that it could be had all our NH and SHs been up to speed on technology, construction and maintenance.

We have the older Ikon 1.6 at home with the Rocam engine and it still feels solid with nary a rattle and picks up like a dream even on an hill climb. Suitable for longer drives except that she sits down on her haunches if fully loaded with weekend luggage and 5 souls in the car. This means underbody scrapes over not too high speed breakers too...

Is your Ikon a 1.3 or a 1.6 petrol or the 1.8 diesel? You did mention the fuel economy but dont remember the juice that goes in...
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Old 22nd February 2010, 22:12   #101
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@ ampere. Thanks for your comments.
@r.k.ramesh. Mine's a 1.3 petrol. It's a flair. And thanks for your face reading comments.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 00:36   #102
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Aarthy was a good place to stay. Unfortunately, by the time we unwound, the restaurant had closed. Hence We'd asked for parcel of Idly's. I found that a safe bet too. It's been almost 3 days since I had an upset stomach.
The morning we woke up at leisurely pace. Normally temples in TN close in the afternoon and re-open in the evening. As we stepped out at 10 am, it struck us. It's what they call Marghazhi (the month as per tamil calendar). Temples open very early in the mornings, so they close sooner.
We quickly got in to two Rickshaws and headed to the temple.
While I work on the story and pics of Madurai during current pic, fellow members can have a look at some of my file photos, taken by me during an earlier trip. Yes. I used my DSLR then.

Melagopuram during night
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-1.jpg

Potramarai Kulam (Golden lotus tank). Legend has it that during Sanga period, there was a golden lotus that bloomed in this tank.
Name:  File Madurai 2.jpg
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The walkway and the fresco on the bottom side of the ceiling. Heard that the A/C is now spoiling these frescoes. This is where Dharumi is supposed to have run screaming Chokka. He stops near the Vinayaka momentarily before proceeding.
Name:  File Madurai 3.jpg
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The golden lotus. Now a replica. Ofcourse not real gold.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-4.jpg

The steps dot with people who rest here for a while reflecting on god.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-5.jpg

Tanjore painting depicting Marriage of Meenakshi and Sundareswarar
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-6.jpg

More to come.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 04:36   #103
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Hence We'd asked for parcel of Idly's. I found that a safe bet too.
I always like carrying food. Reason - you find a hotel, then park your car (not to mention maniacs like me always want a covered parking & a view where I can see my car); sit in the crowded place & keep watching if some stranger comes to share the table; Parcel avoids everything; just park the car at the road side & sit in it, so that you can always move or make way, send someone to get the food, carry away the food, find some good place, probably near or after the tolls or a shade under the tree, sit in the car & have the food peacefully

Now if you get into a hotel that has covered parking, only after you order the food, they go to fields to harvest; hope you got the point.

So IMO, its safe bet to jump on a busy hotel, where you get away with the food soon.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 12:02   #104
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Ha ha - go to the fields to harvest. That was funny - I get your sentiments entirely aargee. At least it would then mean fresh food - how about those places where they make you wait only to serve you stuff harvested from the previous crop.

I too at times get all protective of my car - Park in a shady spot to avoid paint fading and internal plastics aging, would prefer it if I knew it was in a safe spot etc. All this used to make me a bit tense at times when passing through smaller towns and villages. Nowadays I do my best given the stituation and then let go - feel more free from tension then.

After a number of outstation trips the pitfall to eating in the car is many of the family members especially the very old and young are not so careful when they eat sometimes drop food on the mats - worse even on the seats with all the attendant issues and effort.

So spreading a rug on a quiet, shady, scenic if possible road side spot helps here - familiar restaurants/ branded eateries are the next option. - but if one is in a hurry - packed food is certainly preferrable.
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Old 24th February 2010, 00:19   #105
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More of the file photos of Madurai temple. The temple is a city in itself. For one to fully explore this temple, one needs atleast a week. Every statue in this temple has a story behind it. The stories which I used to hear when I grew up.
The most famous of those stories were compiled and made in to a blockbuster Tamil movie called Thiruvilayadal, starring Sivaji Ganesan. It's a cult movie till this date.
There's also a very famous movie song starring Padmini, starting Aadal Kaaneero, to which she choreographs many of Shivas great leelas in one song. That's a cult song too. MLV's mellifluous voice and Padmini's dance elevates it to a different level.
Coming back to the temple, here are some file photos.

A Scale model of the temple. I waited for people to move. But this persistant guy refused to move till and even after I clicked the pic.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-8.jpg

Rarely you find the temple so empty. The path that leads to the Dhyan Mantap or meditation hall.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-9.jpg

An exhibit in the 1000 pillar hall (Aayiram kaal mantapam)
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-10.jpg

Ganesha in the 1000 pillar hall
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-11.jpg

Aayiram kaal mantapam (1000 pillar hall). It's supposed to have a 1000 pillars that form a symmetry from which every angle you view it. But it has only 985 in reality.
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-12.jpg

Sivakami and Nataraja in Aayiram kaal mandapam
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-13.jpg

Sivakami and Nataraja
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-14.jpg

Exhibit of Meenakshi woven on cloth (jamakkalam as they call in tamil)
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-15.jpg

Majestic Nandi that looks so realistic
A trip close to heart - Pune to Tirunelveli-file-madurai-16.jpg

There's a separate fee for this aayiram kaal mandapam. It's worth shelling out!
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