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Old 11th November 2010, 12:29   #1
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Thumbs up Travel week in God’s Own Country

A couple of weeks with just the routine work are sufficient to make you look out for an opportunity to get away from the concrete jungle. And it’s a boon to have likeminded people at your office itself. Great, now with the people ready, the next question that popped up was, where are we gonna go? My colleague/team mate’s home town is Kollam. So we it was an unanimous decision to head to Kollam. The dates were fixed 30th October 2010 to 4th November 2010.

Now everybody wanted to travel by train. I thought why not, because it is the cheapest mode of transport available in India. However, we did not get a direct train to Kollam. Instead we had a stopover at Jolarpet to board the train from Chennai to Trivandrum.

So the Journey was planned as departing from Bangalore on the 30th October 2010 in Brindavan Express (Train No – 2640) to Jolarpet and then board Trivandrum Express (Train No 2695) from Jolarpet to Kollam. Return journey would be in Kochuveli Bangalore Express (Train No 6315) on 4th November 2010.

Day 1: 30th October 2010

As usual, after all the last minute hiccups in packing the required things, we finally reached the station with only 15 mins in hand to the Departure of the Brindavan Express. Brindavan Express being its usual stopover at platform no 1, it was life very easy for everybody.

The journey was pretty usual with just a little over couple of hours to be seated to reach Jolarpet. Had masala dosa served by the IRCTC Catering service, but the masala dosa did not have masala in it ;-) (Tamil Nadu style masala dosa). Reached Jolarpet about 5 mins late.

Not many photos for day 1. Just a shot from the moving train.

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Had a good couple of hours to spend until our next train arrives from Chennai. In the meanwhile, explored the Jolarpet Junction Railway Station and shifted our entire luggage to Platform no 2 (proposed platform as per the station master for Train no – 6295). The announcement was made on the arrival of the Trivandrum express with about 15 mins before the actual arrival, but the train would not arrive on platform no 2, instead it will arrive in platform no 1. All the luggage shifting exercise again, we’re ready to board the train.

Had the IRCTC dinner (read Veg Biryani), oops forgot to mention that all the members of the group are pure veggies. Then it was time to hit the bed, sorry berth this time. It started to rain somewhere near Erode and it was raining all the way till Tiruvalla.



Day 2 coming up next.

Last edited by mobike008 : 11th November 2010 at 13:08.
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Old 11th November 2010, 12:50   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
The dates were fixed 30th November 2010 to 4th November 2010.
I am sure its from 30th October. Given a choice you may love to stay a year!

Who all in the trip? Looking forward for some good pics.
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Old 11th November 2010, 12:53   #3
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Oops. Its indeed 30th October 2010. Sorry about the error, will ask the mods to do the needful.

Why would I not wish to stay in the greens for a year.
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Old 11th November 2010, 14:12   #4
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Default Day 2 Continued.

Day 2: 31st October 2010
With the alarm ringing, I woke up everybody to be ready to get down at Kollam. Something in my mind was telling, something is wrong somewhere. That something was nothing but the usual delay of the Indian Railways by 45 mins.

Some shots from the train.

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Astamudi Lake

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Got down at Kollam, a couple autos were loaded with luggage and the group headed straight to my colleague’s house.

Some shots from the garden at Mahesh’s house.

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Pepper

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The day’s plan was to visit places near Kollam, later reach the beach by afternoon and stay there till sunset. However, this changed for a very valid reason as somebody come to Mahesh’s house with a marriage proposal for Mahesh. We had a blast teasing Mahesh all day.

We headed to Paravoor lake/lagoon. It was time to get ourselves wet. So we did just what was needed but not before clicking a few snaps.

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Fresh fish caught using fishing rod. Though we were not the ones who caught those

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Lagoon lake side

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Lagoon sea side

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We returned home and the plan of refreshing up before we reach the Kollam beach for sunset actually ensured we missed the sunset. With the darkness setting in, I had nothing much to click apart from the few shots.

Hotel Orchid (Kollam Beach)

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Olden days Lighting for the night

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Old 12th November 2010, 17:03   #5
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Default Day 3 continued

Day 3: 1st November 2010
One of our friends was to join us early in the day. He joined us bang on the scheduled time. Now we had planned to hire a self driven Innova for ourselves. The plan was to drive to Kumarakom near Kottayam. But we actually added another place, that is the Koratakkara temple, then afternoon we would spend in the boat house and then head to Vagamon for the night.

Our innova arrived at around 8 am (at least an hour later than we had planned). Packed the things that were required and off we went towards Koratakkara.

With the visit to the temple and our first mission accomplished we went ahead with our plan but not before clicking this good bit of work.

The Elephant statue outside the Temple.

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We reached Kottayam and my colleague hired a house boat for a couple of hours. We decided to pack our lunch from outside and have lunch in the house boat. Not a bad idea after all. We reached the house boat place. Parked the innova and headed to the house boat. While the lunch was being served, I had the chance to click away to glory on the DSLR. A few snaps

The resting bird

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The flying one

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Another one

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A painting inside the house boat

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Yours Truly

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The passage in the house boat

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Church at the lake resort

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Random shots

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Our steed for the next 3 days

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We drove back to Kottayam and stopped at the Indian Coffee house for a coffee. We lost almost 45 mins with the coffee break. It was already dark and we drove towards Vagamon via Pala. We packed dinner on the way as it was too late for us to place the request dinner at the place we would stay at Vagamon. Almost we lost an hour here. Reached the place at around 9:45 pm. It was time to get the camp fire on and get the dinner done.

The camp fire, a different view

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It was snooze time and we hit the bed on a pretty cold night.

Day 4 coming up
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Old 12th November 2010, 17:20   #6
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Oh man. That must be the most realistic statue I've ever seen in modern times. If one doesn't read what you've mentioned, they'd mistake it for a real elephant! Fantastic capture.
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Old 12th November 2010, 17:26   #7
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I thought it's real Elephant, amazing work there.

Nice Pics and TL, keep rolling
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Old 15th November 2010, 10:41   #8
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Default Day 4 continued

Day 4: 2nd November 2010
Late night camp fire and dinner the previous day ensured it was equal to laziness for the morning. We had decided to have an early morning walk in the tea plantations nearby. This did happen but at around 8 am, may not be the right time to call it as early. As usual a bit of photography here and there, a nice hot cup of tea, we’re back the home stay where the breakfast (Idly and Dosa) was ready. With the breakfast finished, it took some time for everybody to get ready and leave. Finally we’re out very close to noon.

Our home stay
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A plot for sale
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Distant windmill
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A month old calf
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Panorama
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Headed to the elephant ride nearby. The elephant that would give rides to people was named “Sundari”. Though a 26 year old elephant looked pretty out of shape. May be poor diet fed to the elephant, read as only palm leaves. Also they charge like 250-300 bucks for the hair on the elephant’s tail, though only if you need one.

Elephant on ice cream/candy diet
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Elephant’s eye
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We headed to the pine forest as it was our next stop. We had a good multi-cuisine restaurant and it was resort as well, sorry forgot the name. After our visit to the pine forest, we decided to have lunch at this restaurant, as it was already 2:30 pm.

Pine Forest

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At the place where we stopped for lunch
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After lunch we drove back to Kollam, stopping at a few places for photos.

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It started to rain heavily near Mundakkayam. So the click happy hour opportunity was lost. Drove back taking the route via Mundakkayam – Erumeli – Ranni – Pathanamthitta – Kotarakka – Kollam.
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Old 15th November 2010, 12:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
The plan was to drive to Kumarakom near Kottayam. But we actually added another place, that is the Koratakkara temple, then afternoon we would spend in the boat house and then head to Vagamon for the night.

Our innova arrived at around 8 am (at least an hour later than we had planned). Packed the things that were required and off we went towards Koratakkara.

With the visit to the temple and our first mission accomplished we went ahead with our plan but not before clicking this good bit of work.

The Elephant statue outside the Temple.
The place is Kottarakkara - not Koratakkara. The statue is of one of the famous elephants at the Mahaganapathi temple there - Kottarakkara Krishnankutty - and was installed on his centenary if I remember right. (He died at the age of 94)
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Old 16th November 2010, 14:18   #10
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Default Day 5 Continued.

Day 5: 3rd November 2010

The day’s plan was to visit the Padmanabha Swamy temple in Trivandrum, visit a few places around Trivandrum and then head to Kovalam for the evening. Dinner was planned at another colleague’s house and then head back to Kollam.

We started off by 8:45 am towards Trivandrum. It took a good 2 and half hours for us to reach the temple. Since the closing time for the temple was nearing, we rushed to visit the temple deity (Sri Ranganatha Swamy alias Padmanabha Swamy). There is a rule in the temple that the ladies should be wearing sarees and the gents should be wearing Dhotis. It was good to see the ladies in the traditional attire. After the temple visit, we headed to the Palace very close to the temple. The guide who took us around the palace was good at explaining things. As expected we were not supposed to click photos at the temple and the palace, so excuse me for the absence of any pictures.

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Done with the boating, I was very eager to head to Kovalam. Drove off to Kovalam and it was merry hour clicking for some time and then it was merry time playing in the water. The photos will do the talking.

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The 4 month old dog/pup at my colleague's house. He is named Rocky.

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Last edited by nkrishnap : 16th November 2010 at 14:20.
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Old 16th November 2010, 14:21   #11
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Default Day 6 Continued.

Day 6: 4th November 2010

The day started off by handing over the Innova back to their owners and spend some time near the light house and the break water in Kollam.

We started off after a heavy breakfast around 10 am and headed to the light house.

Near the Kollam Light house


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What next, shopping spree till the late afternoon. Sarees, handicrafts, all sorts of chips bought and we headed home. With the lunch being very delicious which was a routine now, had a real stomach full.

Packed the things and off we rushed to the railway station to board the Kochuveli Bangalore Express which did arrive bang on time. We bid good bye to our colleague and his family and the journey was nothing unusual except for the usual delays of the Indian Railways.

After a long gap, a vacation which we can relive for quite some time.
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Old 16th November 2010, 14:53   #12
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seems you had nice time krishna excellent photos. the bird pics are awesome
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Old 16th November 2010, 15:00   #13
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That was a very good travelogue and the photos are simply awesome. The elephant statue is too good and if not for the text, people would think it was real.
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Old 16th November 2010, 22:47   #14
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nkrishnap: Couple of questions - Do you have open reqs in your workplace? Can I apply? I will fit in your likeminded people group. Couple of weeks of work and taking a week off to Kerala. Wow.

Great pics! Looks like you had a great time.
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Old 17th November 2010, 08:54   #15
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Quote:
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nkrishnap: Couple of questions - Do you have open reqs in your workplace? Can I apply? I will fit in your likeminded people group. Couple of weeks of work and taking a week off to Kerala. Wow.

Great pics! Looks like you had a great time.
Email me your profile, it might just be possible to accommodate you

True our gang is growing at office by the day.
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