Sunday, October 07, 2018

Siruvanthadu Poovarasankuppam Visit

Trip planned for Poovarasankuppam and Siruvanthadau, This time my friend Ravi also agreed to join for the trip.

Main aim of the trip was to spend the Saturday, visit the temple, purchase saree for Deepavali.

As usual trip started from home by 7.00 am picked up my friend from Chromepet, First halt was the customary Eraniamman at Vnadalur. Worshipped from outside the temple as there was screen put for the idol.

GST road was with normal traffic for 7.30 am, neither dense nor a freeway.

Previous day recharged Axis fastag with Axis bank net pay, amount deducted from bank but not added to the fastag, strange ways Axis fastag works, it doesn't have a complaint page, so nobody can find out what happened to the payment. Strange ways axis bank works.

To raise a complaint one needs a service request number, to get a service request number one should register a complaint. If it is a person who designed the website, i think he/she  has never encountered a cyclical reference in excel in his life. Anyways they are paid to design that way so what else to say. Only wish, improve  axis bank improve.

Reached Paranur queue length was 3 vehicles, but it didn't move for some strange reason, cleared and moved out by 8.20am. Tollbooth counter person told to move, on moving another staff jumped in front signalling to stop, understood the axis magic was working, but luckily fastag was scanned with a gunreader and allowed to go.

As usual Axis fastag didn't care to send a SMS, not sure whether toll was double deducted, or balance is available. Strange are the ways of Axis fastag working.

My friend told he has booked a Celerio and awaiting delivery on Oct 13, and told paid 2000 for a fastag, Advised him to get any Fatag of his choice but clearly stay away from Axis fastag at any cost. He asked me if the dealer gets  Axis fastag what to do, my reply cancel the car booking. He was looking awestruck. I told in that way you will have a joyful ownership.

Started searching for a restaurant for breakfast and usual there was not a favourite one, more of the Kumbakonam coffee type, moved on and on with a roving eye for a breakfast stop.

At Melmaruvathur found Balajee bhavan and halted for a breakfast. Food was tasty service was good, washrooms were ok. Completed the favourite dosa , poori  took a pitstop snap. and moved on.

Next toll Athur was crossed at 9.40 here cleared without issues as many lanes were fastag enabled.

Entered Tindivanam town and looked for Lakshmi narasimha temple, Google map has strange ways of direction, directed me to the bus stand, which was blocked by buses at the exit, reversed came out and reached the temple through narrow street where only two two wheelers can go.

Friend completed darshan and proceeded towards Vikravandi, again google map took us to the railway station dead end, found the way and touched GST road to reach Vikravandi by 10.56. Fastag was free of vehicles crossed out and no sms for transaction came.

Took vikravandi to kumbakonam road, 4 lane widening was going on, no sign of progress, in an embankment formation 5 excavators were standing in a row idle. not sure for how many days.

The road condition was horrible, it is a nice way to explain, because other words will add adjectives to the road.

Cursed again for choosing this road, reached Koliyanur took a left turn to proceed on Pondicherry road towards Valavanur, rushing to reach Poovarasankuppam before the temple closes.

Took the turn at Valavanur bus stand and reached Poovarasankuppam by 11.10 am . Finished the darshan in twenty minutes, took some photos, and started towards Siruvanthadu.

By 12 pm reached the famous silk shops town and entered one shop to purchase the silk sarees. spent about 3 hours in two shops and came out with a heavy purchase. Good thing now many shops started accepting credit cards, when visited previous time had to look out for ATM to get cash for payment.

Feeling hungry started towards Vikravandi, as there were no restaurants worth mentioning, Doubtful of lunch reached Vikravandi Vasantha Bhavan by 3.30 pm, ordered 4 Lunch, as expected Lunch was available only for 3, took whatever was available and started by 3.50 pm from Vikravandi.

Road was relatively free for a saturday afternoon ride, reached Athur by 4.25pm and Paranur by 5.10 pm and Home by 5.40 pm.

Still the time of Publishing this blog 7th Oct 3.30 pm no fastag sms received.

Day well spent

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Trip to Ooty

On Independence Day 15-08-2018 planned a trip to Ooty,
Started from Chennai home at 6.30 am, it was raining, filled petrol in Shell pump and started towards ooty, traffic was sparse, did a prayer at Eraniamman temple vandalur. rain continued till paranur.

Next halt was at paranur, as usual queue of 15 vehicles, waited cleared then  crossed Tindivanam, a friend was supposed to come at Villupuram, sent a message to him, but he was at his office for Independence day celebration and didn't turn up, hence rushed villupuram reached ulundurpet,.

It was time for breakfast and thought of taking breakfast here but Aryaniwas was crossed and all restaurants were on the other side, moved and took right turn in to salem road and continued there was no sign of any restaurant, tea shop or habitation, reached veercholapuram toll plaza and stopped at the only restaurant available it was a small shack, but hunger took precedence, ordered Dosai and tea finished it within 20 minutes and started to Ooty.

Ulundurpet Salem road is a mix of 2 lane and 4 lane, 7 bypasses of 2 lane configuration come at every 10 to 12 kkm distance, for every 15 minutes road will change from 4 lane to 2 lane and it is a pain to travel on this road, no proper indication of 4 lane and 2 lane changes, few information boards are there, added to it so many barricades on the road, it has become a trend to place barricades on the road for no reason.

Reached Salem, sankagiri round about and took a left turn to take sangakiri road, this road is 4 lane continued towards chithode and made a stop at Texvalley,  the place advertises 1200 shops are there, in the rear complex many branded showrooms are there. Front house a low price version shops which also sell all textile goods but there is no known names. Spent 1 hour at texvalley did some purchase and left by 2.30 pm.

Reached perundurai junior kuppanna for Lunch, ordered Mutton biriyani and chicken pallipalayam, Biryani was satisfying, pallipalayam chicken was their signature item but that day the signature was a scribble i think.

After lunch started stopped at bhavani river to see the furious flow of water released from Mettur, it was 2 lakh cusec release on that day so river was flowing to  the brim, a delight to watch, soon police came and asked us to disburse.

Next halt was at Avinasi, as usual another friend was supposed to come here, but he also didnt turn up due to other work, so continued to Annur next halt.

A relative was to come from Coimbatore to annur to meet us, as they were running late filled petrol, reached Annur by 3.30 and waited, finally met the relative and started by 4 pm.

Rain started from mettupalayam onwards and continued the climb to Ooty, two govt buses were proceeding ahead without giving space to move followed them for 30 minutes and finally overtook at katteri, crossed coonor ketti and reached the place where the resort was located.

WIth the help of google and local enquiry took a wrong route and headed towards thalaikundah, after few minutes realised that it is a wrong route took a turn and came back to the start point, again enquired with the local, luckily the resort security accompanied to guide us.

The road, was it there, took a dirt road, filled with craters and water filled potholes deep enough to scratch the underbody, cursed the roads, the place and 20 minutes of struggle left us at the resort. with heavy rain welcoming us almost drenched us the luggage and all the surroundings. Weathermen had warned very heavy rainfall and it was there pouring heavily.

Checked in to the room and settled, dinner at the restaurant was not good in taste there was a buffet spread of many items but none of them were tasting good.

Next day 16-08-2018, went to the Ooty market and made purchase of bakery items, spices, home made chocolates,  again rain started pouring so returned to the room. Night dinner was also the same type.

The road, the location, the climate, the food all made us to wonder why at all to come to this place.
Quickly decided to check out the next day and started from the resort by 8.30 am. Previous day rain had caused tree fall and traffic was blocked fore many hours, fearing road block started from ooty, as usual rain accompanied us.

Reached coonoor and it was glorious sunshine after so many days, climbed and came down to mettupalayam and decided to visit Karamadai. there was no well marked sign boards to indicate the karamdai road, added to it due to some bridge work the road had a diversion and it went in to many bylanes.

After enquiring at so many places reached karamadai aranganathan temple, no rush was there the priests never cared or offered pooja, visited the temple prayed and came out.

Started back, at bhavani river there was a huge crowd, gathered to see the river flow, had to wait for 10 minutes to cross the bridge, reached salem by 2 pm and had Lunch at selvi mess, mutton biriyani was ordered, but only one was available, took one mutton one chicken biriyani the taste was okay.

Started from Salem by 2.30 pm and crossed ulundurpet by 4 pm, at last all the 2 lane 4 lane mix n match got over and entered NH 45 and oh what a relief, quickly crossed vikravandi, tinidvanam and paranaur.
Tinidivanam was crowded and took 20 minutes to come out. Next bottleneck was paranur with huge queue and bumper to bumper traffic made slow progress till tambaram and reached home by 7 pm.

Al toll plazas fastag  was working

Trip to Nellore

On July 8, 2018 visited Nellore, One of my friends  had asked me to visit Nellore, one or other made the visit postponed, finally on 8-07-2018 morning 6 am left from home for Nellore, had breakfast at Periyapalayam and reached Nellore by 10 am.

Visited temple on the banks of penna and had lunch at Muralikrishna, Had biriyani, sea food, and the famous ice cream Tall girl and MK 70 it was yummy and delicious, then went tot he central mall at Nellore, return started by 6 pm, stopped at Thirumala dairy, took lassi and near sulurpet took tasty pickle reached home by 10 pm

Friday, March 02, 2018

Trip to Kanakampatti 24-02-2018

One of my friends Gopal asked me to come and witness their family deity consecration at Kanakampatti on 25-02-2018.

So started from Chromepet on 24-02-18 morning 08.20  along with my classmate Mahaprabhu, Son Nishanth and Santhi Home minister.

Reached Eraniamman temple vandalur for a pooja.

Paranur toll was reached at 9.05, as usual the fastag was scanned with a hand held scanner, it seems that the scanners are calibrated for a particular direction of usage, on 10-02-18, there was a huge rush at the paranur toll plaza and for one direction as many as 8 lanes were opened, the lane 7 handheld scanner read my fastag, and return also i had to use the same direction lane, so the fastag software was deducting two times single fare instead of return fare, had to take up with NPCI, IHMCL, Fastag Axis, Chennai PIU and after a lengthy email exchange finally got my refund.

So on the 24-02-2018 while crossing the toll asked the person why they are using the same direction hand held scanner for both the directions, as usual he didn't have any answers.

Athur toll was crossed by 9.45, as usual there was a queue, navigated and exited.

Vikravandi was crossed at 10.25

Reached villupuram arya nivas for a tea break by 10.45am, previous day went to change the car battery as the battery shop was closed couldn't get it changed, after the tea break the car refused to start. After much pushing and cajoling car did start and continued our journey, traffic was there since weekend there were many cars on the road, Now this has become a regular feature the weekends are always crowded.

Sengurichi was crossed at 11.10, Thirumandurai at 11.42 then stopped at the Chakra milk parlour for a break, had samosas and veg roll, Milk was not there and the flavoured milk was also not to be found.

Samyapuram was crossed at 12.25.

After samayapuram the next stop was michael's ice cream at Thiruvanaikaval, crossed the kollidam and took the diversion to thiruvanaikaval at around 12.35 pm, went to the ice cream parlour and about to order the delights, just then checked with the parlour person whether temple is  open, as the parlour was next to the temple entrance, for which he told saturday and sundays the temple is open throughout the day, so cancelled the order and went to the temple 10 rs ticket for the darshan stood for 25 minutes and entered the temple had a nice darshan, circumambulated the temple, wondered at the stone sculptures, took photographs of the newly repainted temple towers, a good soul helped us to take photographs, thanked her and came to  relish the delightful ice cream at the Michael's.

It was awesome in taste, couldn't stop with one cup and one flavour, first vanilla, then fruit salad, then again vanilla, chocolate and butter scotch flavours were tried to leave a taste in the mouth which lingered for a long time. Worth visiting and worth spending, only regret the famous rose milk was not available, the parlour person was also so helping, he insisted us to visit the teppakulam branch to taste their entire collection, thanked him and told will note down in the next visit.

Started by 1.30 pm, Exited thiruvanaikaval to NH 45 / 32 through narrow bylanes of the temple town and touched the highway, reached Mannarpuram flyover to take the aristo roundabout to proceed to the Dindigul road.

The Aristo roundabout is still not complete, however temporary service road in shambles exist to navigate to Dindugul, no sign posts are there to guide, the aristo roundabout rmajinagar road is now with a divider but the road in not laid to proper camber it was undulating ride, reached the 4 lane Dindigul road and  rushed towards manaparai next halt for the Muruku,

Reached Manaparai by 2.25pm bought the famous murukku and was looking for a restaurant as it was past lunch time, luckily found a restaurant at the thuvanrankurichi road had meals and continued towards puthanatham, reached by 3.10pm had some readymade dress purchase and continued towards Vadamadurai.

Puthanatham Dindigul road is narrow and traffic has increased now, earlier it used to be with almost nil traffic but now many LCV, bikes are utilising the road, proof a new Essar petrol pump has opened.

Came to the national Highway and took the vadamadurai Eriyodu Diversion as there was a news that Dindigul, Oddanchatram, Palni road construction  was on and there was too many diversions and mismatched culvert to  road merging.

Reached Vedasandur had a good tasting Sugarcane juice, by now the thighs muscles stiffened  due to continuous run, had to wait and relax for about 20 minutes, but stiffness was there continued to oddanchatram.

Meanwhile friend called and asked to visit Kanakampatti temple today itself as it was an auspicious day, the temple idol were taken out, so reached reached Oddancharam by 4.55 pm and Kanakampatti by 5.30 pm.

The road Oddanchatram to Palani was bad in few patches but not so bad as told by my friend.

Went to the temple enjoyed the festivities and continued to palani, enroute at Ayakudi purchased the famous guava at the Market.

Guava being transported by the farmers in a TVS XL

Reached Palani and checked in to New Tirupur Lodge by 6.10 pm.

At palani had a tonsure for Nishanth, bathed and went to visit Palani murugan temple by 7.30 pm, the climb was by yanai pathai, reached temple top by 8.30 pm had the darshan after jostling and shoving with many people and shouting at a few.

Descended and reached 9.45 pm, had Siddhanathan panchamirutham and retired for the day, Dinner was not worth mentioning here.

Gopal's Hospitality

Grand pandal for meet and greet

Akkamar Eswari story narrateed through Models

On 25-02-18, morning visited Thiruavinankudi had a nice darshan, proceeded to  Kanakampatti village, the whole  village wore a festival look and each house was filled with friends and relatives, went to Gopal's home had a sumptuous breakfast, Ravadosai, Poori, Rava Kichadi, Idly, Mushroom kuruma, Chutney, sambhar, Sweet, Coffee.

Then the meeting with family members happened and they explained the significance of the Akkamar Eswari temple and the relevance of the function, was extremely carried over by the nature of observing festivities and welcoming of  the friends and relatives, totally a new experience.

Gopal's uncle took me to other Pandals of  famous decoration and celebration, stunned to see the lavish and graceful grandeur which was reflected at all places.

The small village was abuzz with activity which was swarming with people and cars.

When made a tour around the village almost all the roads were blocked jammed with vehicles, now understood it will be difficult to get out of the village, huge posse of policemen were now present.

Took leave of them as the feast was getting ready, i couldn't wait for any longer.

Palani Oddanchatram road was in complete traffic  jam at kanakampatti, somehow managed to get out of the road block by 10.55 am  and continued the journey same via Oddanchatram, vedasandur vadamadurai Ponnambalapatti (12.20) to reach Inamkulathur (12.50) to have the famous biriyani.

At Inamkulathur the biriyani is made availabel only on sundays and that to for a first come first serve basis, so raced  and reached Inamkulathur to locate the Biriyani shop Sevathakani Buhari Biriyani, it was marked by a queue of cars, inspite of the rush managed to get the Biriyani and tasted it under a highway tree.

Biriyani was made of seeraga samba, the mutton is cooked well and it is not spicy, but the authentic taste or aroma was missing to my observation.

Started from inamkulathur by 1.25, Trichy Crossed by 1.40, Samayapuram by 1.55 pm, Thirumandurai toll by 2.40, Ulundurprt Sengurichi by 3.10 pm, got good tasting Jack fruit,  Vikravandi by 3.40, from Vikravandi onwards could feel the traffic build up, at Athur tindivana, toll the queue lasted for 10 minutes crossed at 4.15pm.

Thought if Athur is crowded then Paranur toll will be flooded with vehicles, so made a decision to take the Kanchipuram Palur Ezichhur Oragadam road to reach Tambaram and Reached Home by 6.15 pm safely. A trip which will be remembered forever

Km covered 467.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Singapore Visit

Visited Singapore on 12 Aug 2017, for 4 days, visited Night safari, Jurong Park, Sentosa, Universal Studios and Mustafa.

HIghlight of the tour met my four friends, Manjula, Sudarsan, Arul Leslie and Srikanth.

It was a memorable trip which will be cherished.