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Old 15th July 2010, 11:04   #31
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Default Day 2 - Karaikal

We wake up at 9:30 AM the next morning. We had planned to start to Velankanni by 10:00 AM, but now knew that was not going to happen. We spend some more time chatting and finish our breakfast by 10:30 AM.

We came to know about the Sunday market at Karaikal and headed there. We bought 5 kgs of mangoes to take back to Chennai. My daughter is very fond of mangoes. Mangoes here cost less than half of what you pay for them in Chennai. Vegetables also come cheap here, and its very cheap if its during the season. Most of the produce in the Sunday market comes from Sirkazhi. We return home after our Sunday purchase and get ready to go to Velankanni.

There is a new port coming up just outside Karaikal city. The economy of this place should improve a lot once the port is up and running. Unfortunately I haven’t taken any snaps at Karaikal.
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Old 15th July 2010, 13:55   #32
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Default Day 2 - Velankanni Church

It was a 30 minute drive from Karaikal to Velankanni church. The roads are in okay condition, except for the last few kms to Velankanni which were in excellent shape (at par with the ECR). We are very happy to be able to visit Velankanni church after a long time.

We offer our prayers and buy the Holy Oil and some souvenirs from the shops inside the church compound. From the church we go to the beach which is very near to the church. We spend some time at the beach. From here we go to Our Lady’s Tank church which is walkable distance from the Velankanni church. We offer our prayers here as well and drink the Holy Water given to the visitors here. We are very satisified at being able to visit Velankanni and return to Karaikal very content.

Ritzy takes in a full tank from a COCO BP pump in Karaikal and we then head to wifey’s grandma’s relative’s house for lunch.

Pictures of the Velankanni church follow.
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A LongHorn™ Travelogue - Weekend getaway to Pondicherry, Karaikal and Velankanni.-dsc641.jpg  

A LongHorn™ Travelogue - Weekend getaway to Pondicherry, Karaikal and Velankanni.-dsc642.jpg  

A LongHorn™ Travelogue - Weekend getaway to Pondicherry, Karaikal and Velankanni.-dsc643.jpg  

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Old 15th July 2010, 14:08   #33
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Karaikal and Mangoes means I need to say another story.
Karaikal is famous for a lady called punithavathy. She was born in Karaikal to a very affluent business man in 6th century AD. Karaikal was a great port of trade during chola reign. She was very pious and was a great shaivaite. She was married to another rich businessman called Paramadattan.Punithavaty used to feed all the Shivanadiyars (the worshippers of shiva) who come to Karaikal. Once a Shivayogi came home and Punithavathy didn't have anything ready, so she gave him one of the two mangoes her husband had given her. The yogi relished the mango and left. Shortly when her husband came home, he asked her for a mango to eat. So Punithavathy gave him the other mango. Loving the taste, Paramadattan asked her for the other mango. Not knowing what to tell him, she prayed to lord shiva to help her out of the predicament and surprisingly found another mango in the closet. Paramadattan upon tasting this divine fruit was amazed and asked Punithavathy the secret behind it. Punithavathy said that she had given the original mango bought by him to a yogi. This was Shiva's blessing to her prayers. Paramadattan didn't believe it and asked her to prove by producing one more mango.
She prayed to Shiva and got blessed with yet another mango which disappeared from Paramadattan's hand. He realised the greatness of his wife. Feeling unworthy of her, he left her, as she was divine and his arrogance was subdued.
Everyone came to worship Punithavathy who later came to be known as Karaikkal ammaiyar (the mother, great lady of karaikal). She is one of the few ladies present amongst the 63 nayanmars (the great followers of shiva of whom the quartet of Appar, Sundarar, Thirugnanasambandar and Manickavachagar are the greatest).
In Brihaddeshwara temple in Tanjore, on the tower's south wall, there's a Nataraja. on the left side of Nataraja, there's a female figure, who is supposed to be that of Karaikkal ammaiyar. She is supposed to have composed many songs on Shiva in Sanga-tamil.
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Old 15th July 2010, 14:22   #34
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I guess this is the story behind the mango festival at a temple in Karaikal where we were visiting there. Uncle offered to take us to see the festival, but I was too tired from the journey so we decided to give it a miss. I remember him mentioning throwing of mangoes during the procession of this festival.
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Old 15th July 2010, 15:01   #35
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Karaikal is a place of communal harmony beyond description! You have the Nagore Dargah a few kms away, like the Velankanni church which is also 20 odd kms away.
Then you have the Saneeswaran temple, thirunallaru which is probably the only other shani temple along with shanisingnapur.
We'd have loved to see photos of the mango festival. Guess I will ask Chevy_lover to grab them. He keeps driving there often.
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Old 16th July 2010, 10:34   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Karaikal is a place of communal harmony beyond description! You have the Nagore Dargah a few kms away, like the Velankanni church which is also 20 odd kms away.
Then you have the Saneeswaran temple, thirunallaru which is probably the only other shani temple along with shanisingnapur.
We'd have loved to see photos of the mango festival. Guess I will ask Chevy_lover to grab them. He keeps driving there often.
Like I mentioned earlier, we were totally tired after the Pondy - Karaikal leg of the journey. We just wanted to take a shower and hit the bed. I can't imagine how I kept myself awake till dinner, but after reading you post I feel that I should have put that extra effort and gone for the festival.
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Old 16th July 2010, 11:28   #37
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Default Day2 - Karaikal to Pondy

After the heavy lunch, we spend some time chit chatting. We head to the Sunday market once again but most items are sold off by the time we get there. We go back with a few last minute purchases. We finally start our return journey at 5:30 PM. As the sun was about to go down, temperatures had dropped considerably from the day time highs. This made our journey more comfortable.

We return via the same route we had come. This time we take the byepass instead of entering Chidambaram city. We reach Pondicherry by 9:00 PM with a half and hour break in between. In Pondicherry, I could not locate the Ashram BP bunk, hence tanked up at a HP pump en route to the ECR. The car took in 8.262 litres of petrol with a trip reading of 142.5 kms. That translates to an FE of 17.2 kmpl for the Karaikal to Pondicherry leg of the journey.
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Old 16th July 2010, 14:23   #38
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Default Day 2 - The ECR gets Ritz'd

After a 15 minute break at Pondicherry, we start to Chennai at 9:15 PM. We return via the ECR. Night driving on the ECR was a cake walk. The roads were almost completely devoid of traffic. The total number of vehicles we crossed while on the ECR would not exceed 30.

Once we enter the ECR, we have a taxi Tavera and a Lancer for company, both headed towards Chennai. The driver of the Tavera was very sensible unlike the retards we normally find in Chennai. This guy drove extremely well and it seemed that he knew the ECR pretty well. I decided to stick behind him at a safe distance.

Following the Tavera gave us two distinct advantages. We could know the condition of the road ahead of us by reading the ’behaviour’ of the vehicle in front of us. On a night drive, its much more easy to follow than to lead as all the hard work is done by the driver of the vehicle in front of you. I am able to maintain a steady 90 kmph for most of this stretch, with occasional bursts to 110 kmph at straights, as I follow the Tavera, which is doing similar speeds. I fail to understand why the speed barriers are not removed at night, as it is difficult for drivers to judge distances properly especially if they are approaching at a fast clip.

We reach home by 11:05 PM, covering 145 kms in the process. We unload the stuff from the car and hit the bed. The return journey was far more comfortable than the onward one, probably due the dip in temperatures.

Readers queries, if any, are most welcome !
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