100 things to do in Chennai

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This is one old post that has been lying in my drafts for a very very very long time. Atlast, I decided to dust it out.

I have been in Chennai for a long time now. But I was not much of a roamer or explorer.. its not that I dint want to but situations like being stuck in atypical “strict Chennai engineering college” plus financial dependence restricted me.

The past year and half three years I have been working in our Singara Chennai, now that I am financially independent, I visit place here and there. Then I thought why not have a list.. so as I was googling through a lot of sites (reallly a loooot) .. I finally choose a list (link) I came across a Random blog. I found it easy and doable and short. Compared to 1000 things lists for a person who hasn’t roamed much.

So here is my 100. I have edit them to my preferences too. For example.. I don’t find Tibbs Frankie that great that to be on the list. I had added in a few hearing a lot of hype too like the Sandy’s Chocolate Laboratory, That Madras Place… but they utterly disappointed me.

My 100 things to do in Chennai.

  1. The Island grounds trade fair!
  2. Shopping in PONDY BAZAR is a must experience.
  3. A rickshaw ride in the streets of chennai
  4. A visit to Theosophical society
  5. Eat thalapakatti biryani in Dindugul Thalapakati
  6. Visit Birla Planetarium
  7. St.Thomas mount church
  8. Eat Sandwich Outside Alsa Mall (BALAJI SANDWICH)
  9. An early morning Jog on Beach road.
  10. Kili Josiyam
  11. Haunted House, Valmiki Nagar
  12. BROKEN BRIDGE
  13. Watch a movie at sathyam cinemas.
  14. Chettinad Palace
  15. Idly sambar and vadai from Rathna cafe.
  16. MAHABALIPURAM
  17. Express Avenue
  18. Phoenix Market City
  19. Watching first day first show of a mass movie.
  20. The breadth taking view from thalankuppam pier
  21. Elliot’s Beach
  22. MARINA BEACH
  23. 41 Royal Sandwich stall
  24. Visit the Anna Centennary Library
  25. Peaceful walk on the roads of IIT MADRAS
  26. Spend a day watching Movie / Movie marathon
  27. Mudaliyar Kuppam
  28. Kovalam Beach
  29. Playing volleyball early morning beach
  30. Puri Jagannath Temple
  31. MGM Dizee World
  32. Drinking Panner soda, Vasu brand in Mylapore.
  33. Having ATHO (Burmese food)
  34. Vadapalani Murugan Koyil
  35. Anna Nagar Tower Park
  36. Ranganathan Street
  37. Water sport facility on the East Coast Road
  38. Amethyst cafe, Royapettah
  39. Travel in MTC bus
  40. Pulicat lake
  41. Ubbalamadugu Falls (Tada Falls)
  42. Have Samosas @ The Samosa Factory
  43. Eating a crispy molaga in beach
  44. Attending TECHOFES @ Anna University
  45. Burma Bazzaar
  46. Shopping At Spencer Plaza
  47. Visit Vandalur zoo
  48. Visit Crocodile Bank
  49. Italian cuisine @ CUP O’ CAFE
  50. Shopping at Chennai City Center
  51. Visiting Anna Square
  52. Get ADVENTUROUS and SPORTY at OFF ROAD SPORTS
  53. Visit Mayajaal
  54. Bird Watch @ Vedanthankal Lake Bird Sanctuary
  55. Watch a CSK match in Chepauk stadium
  56. Trek,Swim and relax at Kone falls
  57. Besant nagar church(Annai Velankanni Church)
  58. Visit Royapuram Fishing Harbour
  59. Koyembedu flower market
  60. CATAMARAN RIDE
  61. Moore market
  62. Visit Connemara library
  63. Eating in titanic fastfood @marina
  64. Relaxing at semmozhi poonga garden
  65. HOTEL SARAVANA BHAVAN
  66. Have Biriyani @Amirunnisa Biryani
  67. Visit chembarambakkam lake
  68. Go to the annual Chennai Book Fair
  69. Electronics shopping Ritchie street
  70. Photoshoot @ ALAMPARAI FORT
  71. Visit Chokhi Dhani
  72. Travelling chennai through train
  73. Have a unique flavored icecream at AMADORA
  74. HALF COOKED GHANA/JIVARA CAKE at Ecstasy
  75. Visit Valluvar Kottam
  76. New year celebration in marina beach
  77. Visit Egmore museum. Especially take pics with T-Rex
  78. Cafe Chokolade @ Egmore
  79. Have Biryani @Charminar Biryani Centre
  80. Sip a drink @ Fruit Shop on Greams Road.
  81. Participate in Turtle Walk at Chennai Beach
  82. Old Curiosity Shop
  83. Listening to RJBalaji
  84. Flying kites In Marina Beach. It’s banned as of now.
  85. 96 Go-Kart !
  86. Bowling @ DownUnder
  87. Visiting the Haunted De Monte Colony
  88. Alwar Book Stall
  89. Attend Madras music season
  90. Dinner @ KAILASH PARBAT
  91. Visit Cotton street at Pantheon road
  92. The Chocolate Room, Velachery. One over hyped place
  93. Visit Santhome Church
  94. Watch movie @ PRARTHANA BEACH DRIVE-IN THEATRE
  95. Visit HigginBothams – Mount Road
  96. Ultimate Fun in ECR !!
  97. Going to the top of light house
  98. Visit Chennai’s ISKON TEMPLE
  99. Travelling in “Anna Durai’s auto” !
  100. Sandwich from a stall in Nungambakkam High Road and Jaganathan street.

Is there anything you think I should add? Tell me 🙂 

 

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Malaysia :4C11D Trip

Malaysia was part of my four country in 11 days trip. The first country was Malaysia.

To read on the ‘4 country in 11 days’ trip plan, click here.

Malaysia
Day 1:
My flatmate and I stayed up all night chatting after finishing up some last minute shopping, I hadn’t packed yet(!) and as I did I was excited, it was my second trip away from my country…how exciting!
I started from Chennai on Friday early morning. Considering Air Asia’s syndrome of forgetting people taller that 5 feet 9″ do exist, I had a crampy flight. And as expected an expensive breakfast.

Still, it din’t stop me from admiring the blue sky adorned with pebbly clouds.
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I landed in Malaysia in the afternoon (Malaysia time is 2 and half hour ahead of India). After getting a Malaysian SIM and exploring ways to reach the city, I decided to try their bus.

Awesome organisation: The counters in Airport, where you have various options of transport in a single place.
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It takes one and half hour to reach the city center by bus and then a cab transits us to the exact building where we want to go! Which is awesome. I wanted to go to the Imperial Sheraton, so it was another half hour drive.
Scenes while on the way to the city.

I was greeted by my other travel mates who were already in Malaysia, once freshening up we set out to the mall to grab some lunch. The Quill City Mall, right opposite to the Sheraton has a lighted roof, a beautiful sight to admire in the night. It was fun watching people and noticing their buying behavior. A ‘5RM store’ anything you take is for~85Rs was the best find of the day, there were interesting items at a very affordable price. I plan to visit again when I go to Malayasia next.

For lunch I tried a Malaysian fish noodles, I dint like it very much and I managed to eat just the noodles. The day went by as a relaxed and restful day, catching up on some TV, ordering the Malaysian Dominos Pizza(the pineapple pizza tasted quite funny) and KFC. Yes.. I do kinda feel bad for not venturing out much that day.

Day 2:
Batu Caves… ufff climbing those steps.
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Atlast got Murugar dharisanam in person after watching the temple in a lot of tamil movies. Murugar was truly humongous.
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Knowing the history was truly scintillating, it is amazing how a civilization could migrate and become a majority. Tamizhan da! was my feeling though I am technically not a Tamizhachi. I would recommend anyone who love history to have a read on it.

There is also an interesting educational tour of the caves. Our tour guide was so much fun and very knowledgeable. For people who love to wander into the imagination of evolution, it is a must go!!

For lunch, we headed to Pj area. We were recommmended the Lotus restaurant by the locals. The restaurant looks lile a typical non ac Saravana bhavan, not hifi, fully crowded but the food was sooo yum! We tried their Mutton biriyani, meals and finished our lunch with their watermelon juice, with a full tummy we headed back to my travel-mates’ relatives home to get ready for a wedding reception.

It was beautiful to see the closeness of the families and the cousins. An amazing multi-cultured wedding, where the groom was a Punjabi-Malaysian and the bride a Tamil-Singaporean..Wah!

Day 3:
Heading to Petronas Towers. It was splendid to look at the petronas. There are two levels of elevator and the technology they have to explain the construction is awesome.
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You just have to wave your ticket to the camera mounted on top of the TV screen, the QR code gets scanned and soon the building levels and the details starts displaying.
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The Skyline bridge was nice to walk through, reminded me of the twin towers.

Taking a break to try the Malaysian dessert!
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A scene at the metro station.
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It was soon time for us to depart to Vietnam. To go to airport we took the super fast KLIA express. We boarded the mid-evening, one hour flight to Vietnam, the country where we spent the most part of our trip.

Biggest miss of KL Trip: KL Tower and night view of Patronas. Anyway there is always a next time.

On my trip to Angkor, click here.
On my night at the party Street- the Khao San Road, click here.

Soon to follow: On my next destination Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

The Plan: Backpacking through 4 Countries in 11 Days!

In Short 4C11D Trip Part 1

If you had read my author section, you must have noticed I love to travel. My love for travel has been there for a long time. So, as soon as I was independent I decided to save and set off to explore places.

This was one such travel I did last March and sorry about the late post.

The Plan

I was in the company of three other friends. We squared in on the locations based on cost, location of two others (they were already visiting Singapore) and the best route to exit/enter India efficiently and cost effectively.

So, Southeast Asia was the best and the cheapest for travel. We slowly started narrowing down on the countries, letting go of Burma, Indonesia, Singapore, and Laos as we would land up wasting a lot of time in travel alone.

The final Four: Malaysia-Vietnam-Cambodia-Thailand.
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We decided to enter through Malaysia, as it was the cheapest entry and exit via Bangkok, the next cheapest option. I suggest anyone to do vice-versa; Although, what better than ending the trip partying in Bankgok! ;). The feasible other countries to cover was south Vietnam(not North.because of the time constraint), Cambodia and Thailand.

Malaysia: Kaula Lumpur.
Vietnam: Ho chi Minh(Old name Saigon-Capital City) and Mekong Delta.
Cambodia: Phnom Penh-the Capital City and Siem Reap-the place of Angkor temple complex(Angkor Archaeological Park).
Thailand: Bangkok.

Places missed due to lack of time: Genting Highlands in Malaysia and Pattaya.

On my trip to Malaysia, click here.
On my trip to Angkor, click here.
On my night at the party Street- the Khao San Road, click here.

Soon to follow: On my destinations Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

Must do’s and don’ts in Khao San Road, Bangkok, Thailand

When you are just back from a happening place in Thailand, and you come back to see Wikipedia naming it the location of the month… That’s icing on the cake!
Yup that’s right I have been to one of the most happening places in Asia..the Khao San Road.

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For newbies, Khao San road is a one kilometre stretch street where you shop, party, eat and drop. The party goes on all night. Whether you are an introvert traveller who likes to just watch people or a party animal, it has something to offer everyone and is a must go. This is a street in central Bangkok where drinking and dancing happens on the street, literally. Plus, a lot more that can’t be said.

What you must do there!

  • Randomly join a group and start dancing. The most inviting crowd you can see and what best .. The pubs compete to play the loudest music.

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  • Try your choice of poison, esp. the local beer from the alcohol carts. I loved how amusing the sign boards were. Guys calling out holding huge placards to buy from their carts and pubs.

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I remember, one sign board that put me in splits, it read ‘No bad food, no weak alcohol, no bad service here!’.

  • Buy the most nonsensical t-shirts you have see. The tees’ and boxers are the funniest.

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  • Street food. From eating scorpions to posing to eat a scorpion, you can!

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A wide choice of grilled food that can walk, swim and fly, oops..that did.

  • Get a Tattoo/henna of your travelled countries, or simply buy flags of countries for your backpack.

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  • Braid your hair. True hippie style 🙂

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* Funky accessories. If you are a fan of bands, rings and neckchains this is your place for everything colourful!

  • Laughing Gas from balloons!

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I did try this one.. It din’t have any effect on me. But my friend did seem to have, I was told you need to know to smoke to inhale it properly. However I do have my doubts.

  • What better after a lot of dancing… drop and get a foot massage.

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However there are things you can avoid and not do in khao San Road.

  1. Do not buy anything that cost more than 100 Bhat. Being a active tourist area, the hawkers find every opportunity to rip you off.

  2. Though many say Khao San as an affordable place, I would beg to differ. The adjacent Ramabuttri street has the most affordable backpacker hostels and they are just amazing with a lot of amenities. Not only that, if you want a peaceful sleep after a long day of hustle, Khao San is not your place. The party goes on the entire night and the noise is pretty much audible in the hotels.

  3. Not the place for a quite dinner. Head to the restaurants of the nearby streets, try the yummiest of food and snacks, from amazing varieties.

  4. The most important thing, stay safe and get set for more than just cultural shock if you are not used to freaky party scenes.

  5. Men, if you are asked on a date by a stranger..dont be fooled, just make sure she is not a prostitute. A flourishing business in Cambodia and Bangkok. I must say…I was shocked how prevalent it was.

To read on the ‘4 country in 11 days’ trip plan, click here.
On my trip to Malaysia, click here.
On my trip to Angkor, click here.

Soon to follow: On my destinations Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

The monuments of the Angkor

My first day entry for the AtoZ Challenge. So here it is A for Angkor Temple Complex.

Last year March, I went on a south east Asia Trip and Cambodia was one of the countries. My travelogues are still lying in my draft, yet to be completed or published. So to get myself to blog more frequently I decide to take this challenge. I am hoping to finish it successfully.

To read on the ‘4 country in 11 days’ trip plan, click here.

Ok. Let me start by breaking a myth and tell few interesting trivias along the way.

Number one Myth: Unlike the wide belief, Angkor Wat is not the entire complex but just the center temple, and the first in the capital city of the Khmer Empire. The entire campus of the monuments including Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm,etc is called the Angkor Complex. Unlike our Kings who built in different towns even though they belonged to the same dynasty, the Kings of the Khmer built their state temples and monuments in and around the Angkor to mark their rule; thus Angkor Complex becoming the biggest Hindu Temple monument.

The journey: Couple of friends and I started from the city to Angkor complex at 5 30am, for the Angkor Sunrise. We took a one day Pass which costs 20$, while you do have an option to take for three days or a week, 40$ and 60$ respectively. Angkor is open from morning 5 to evening 6. So, you can enjoy the sunset and get back to the city.

Trivia: Angkor means the ‘Capital City’, the Khmer Kingdom was established with Angkor as its Capital, and Wat means ‘Temple’, So the first ‘Capital Temple’ was built by Suryavarman as a supposedly dedication to himself as ‘God-King’, which I personally think could be a false assumptions.

On the way to Angkor, lake view. The water system of the ancient city of Angkor still remains a puzzle to many. The reasons range from humongous reservoirs and lakes which had the capacity to support a population of 1 million, which brings to the question did that many live already there the during the 12-19 century??; The water system did not have an outlet, bringing to question was it a form of protection or irrigation? Almost all of the monuments have a water body around them, doesnt that remind our forts back home, where the water body were filled with crocodiles to prevent invasion and attack, so the logic I presume was for protection.

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The best way to commute is to hire a tuk-tuk for the entire day at 30-35$, which can easily fit in 4 people. And most of the drivers, guide you around the place and give you a dozen drinking bottle, trust me even that wont be enough. Get ready to get dehydrated, especially during the summer the temperature can be at its peak and the climbing of those steep steps, long corridors and hoping from one temple to another can drain you out, we might have drank a liter of water minimum every two hours. We recharged ourselves with loads of water, bananas and coconut water which are all available inside the complex.

 

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The first stop is the Angkor Wat for the sunrise. Once we reached, we found a nice place and settled in to admire the beauty. It was quite shocking to see the crowd already set in for the sunrise.
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The SUNRISE!!

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Walking through the Angkor Wat, a temple/mausoleum built by Suryavarman in the 12 Century for Lord Vishnu, a practice different from that of the Kings of that century and Dynasty, wherein most were for Lord Shiva

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One of the Hindu temples with longest corridors.Ankgor wat -Corridors-wannabehumane

The walls on the East and West are built to resemble a mirror image of each other.

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The temple Shrine which once had a Lingam replaced by Buddha after Jayavarman.Ankgor wat -hindu budha shrine-wannabehumane

Thousands of Buddha statues lie faceless, such were the extent of loot. It was and still believed a head of a Buddha is lucky for the House.

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The side wing of the Angkor Wat
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The ornamentation of the corridors are same like that of our temples and our tamil houses. These walls once had mirrors adorned on them!.
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Just like our Hindu temples almost every entrance to a monument had inscriptions, usually that of the guarding demi-God,for the Supreme God aboding the Shrine.

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The End of the Tail of the Naga. The temple has a construction of a huge Naga around the premise, a symbol of the protector.
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Angkor Wat is adorned by beautiful carvings of the Apsaras- The celestial nymphs. The sculptures of the Apsaras supposedly have more than 35 different hairstyles.

Angkor Thom.
Angkor Thom became the state City of the Khmer after the Successor of Suryavarman, Jayavarman VII, considered the most successful ruler of the Khmer dynasty.

To the Angkor Thom, you are welcomed by the Gate of Angkor Thom and the State temple of Jayavarman, Bayon.

Gate of the Angkor Thom. Typically, it is a wall that runs through the entire premise of the Angkor Thom.
Angor Thom-Gate

In the entrance of the gate is the huge sculpture depicting the Kurukshetra War, the churning of the Amirtham by the Devas and the Rakshasas.
Churning

Bayon
The monument of the 216 gigantic faces of happy, serene and ever-smiling Buddhas, constructed by Jayavarman II.
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The many faces


Bas Relief in the Bayon, depicting war of the Khmer Empire.
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The Bayon is typically of three stages of construction, the circular foundation, rectangular walls and the Buddha faces placed on top.

The interiors of the temple.
Bayon though built as a dedication to Buddhism, was later modified as per Hindu tradition.

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This was an intriguing pillar in Bayon. The structure looked strong, but shook easily just on slight pressure, it also had a gap between itself and the floor. Also, when I rested my ears on the pillar, there was this beautiful sound of water flowing.
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The roofs’ had a natural sunlight entry. Not only that, any sign of an agni gundam(Vedi) there was this outlet.
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Lintel of the Bayon, A Buddha temple with Hindu inscriptions? I am sure this was built after Jayavarman VII

Mind-blowing inscriptions of the civilisation and cultural practices of the Khmer Empire.

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Angor Thom. The once thrived and feared upon and the most safe-guarded cities of the Khmer.

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The Elephant Terrace was a wall for the city of Angkor Thom. The Terrace was position of supervision for Jayavarman when his troops returned victorious.

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The Leper King Terrace
A monument dedicated to one of the Kings of Khmer who had leprosy.
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 Baphuon
The state temple in dedication to Lord Shiva by the Khmer King Jayavarman VIII, who believed in Hinduism and converted many of the monuments back to Hindu traditions from Buddhism. However, in the 15th century it was again converted to a Buddhist temple.

If you had noticed, this very act of the monuments being balled between the religious believes of the Hindu and Buddhist Kings is a great history in itself to read and have a little laugh.
Baphuon

The steps of the monuments are really steep, the reason for the Kings to do so was that they were believed to be supreme and thus Supreme shouldn’t be easily accessible.

Ta Som
A less famous temple dedicated by King Jayavarman VII to his father, the temple is known for its Buddha face as the Gopuram and the strangler fig entrance.

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Pre Rup
The state temple of the King Rajendravarman dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is a depiction of the funeral system in Cambodia, where the funeral happens in the temple, and the ash is rotated in different directions as the rituals are done.

Preah Khan
Another temple built by Jayavarman in dedication to his father. The place is where Jayavarman won his battle against an invasion by the Chams Clan.


Neak Pean

One of the monuments of the Angkor that intrigued me. The construction has a Buddha temple in the center of a man-made Pond. And the temple is abode two entwined serpents.

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History:

Neak Pean was originally designed for medical purposes (the ancients believed that going into these pools would balance the elements in the bather, thus curing disease); it is one of the many hospitals that Jayavarman VII built. It is based on the ancient Hindu belief of balance. Four connected pools represent Water, Earth, Fire and Wind. Each is connected to the central water source, the main tank, by a stone conduit “presided over by one of Four Great Animals (maha ajaneya pasu) namely Elephant, Bull, Horse, and Lion, corresponding to the north, east, south, and west quarters….The stone conduits in the little pavilions are fashioned to represent the heads of the Four Great Animals…the only exception being that on the east, which represents a human head instead of a bull’s.” Originally, four sculptures stood on the floor of the lake. The only remaining statue is that of the horse Balaha, a form of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, saving sailors from the ogresses of Tamradvipa. The temple on the lake was originally dedicated to Avalokitesvara. Willetts believed that “this is Jayavarman as he would have wished to have appeared to his people”

Ta Prohm
Last but not the least, is Ta Prohm a favourite of many. You see, as I was hoping from one monument to another, it was noticeable that each monument is being restored and taken care of APSARA(the Cambodian Archaeology body) and an Archaeology body of another country, while I did notice Japan, China and USA, it was dejecting to not see India, until the best was saved for the last! The Tomb Raider temples scene, the famous picture associated with the Angkor Wat was that of Ta Prohm, and was being restored by our very own Archaeology Survey of India!! And those few minutes were just awesome!

Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm though made famous by the Angelina Jolie starer movie, remains a favourite among many for its beauty, the trees grow entwined with the walls of the temple.
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The interesting History (!): In 1186 A.D., Jayavarman VII embarked on a massive program of construction and public works. Rajavihara (“monastery of the king”), today known as Ta Prohm (“ancestor Brahma”), was one of the first temples founded pursuant to that program. The stele commemorating the foundation gives a date of 1186 A.D

Jayavarman VII constructed Rajavihara in honour of his family. The temple’s main image, representing Prajnaparamita, the personification of wisdom, was modelled on the king’s mother. The northern and southern satellite temples in the third enclosure were dedicated to the king’s guru, Jayamangalartha, and his elder brother respectively.

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The temple’s stele records that the site was home to more than 12,500 people (including 18 high priests and 615 dancers), with an additional 800,000 souls in the surrounding villages working to provide services and supplies. The stele also notes that the temple amassed considerable riches, including gold, pearls and silks. Expansions and additions to Ta Prohm continued as late as the rule of Srindravarman at the end of the 15th century.

We ended the tour with the sunset at Phnom Bakheng. The mountain temple of Hindhus and Buddhists.There are lot many many monuments in and around Angkor for which just a day or a post wouldn’t do justice.

Few Clicks of the people in Angkor

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P.S: I have tried my best to give a glimpse of the beauty of the Angkor and I hope you did enjoy it. I do wish I had a DSLR to take even more captivating pictures. But the rich history shall always be etched in the curious part of my brain and would read on!

On my trip to Malaysia, click here.
On my night at the party Street- the Khao San Road, click here.

Soon to follow: On my destinations Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

My Bucket List

  • Experience culture of all countries (Do the Haka dance, drink sake, wear clothing of various cultures, and do all with the natives).Too many to add individually.
  • Travel..Atleast one Nadodi style with a loved one.
  • French kiss on top of Eiffel tower.
  • Camp on hill top under stars.
  • Meet Bill Watterson.
  • Kiss Disney style(pop one leg up…uhm… make sure there is no bubble gum on the floor) with the love of my life.
  • Swim in Niagara
  • Go horse riding
  • Water raft
  • Bungee jump
  • Skydive
  • Paragliding
  • Walk on the ocean sea floor
  • Jump off a cliff
    Typically..experience all adventure sports.
  • Kiss, hug, swim with dolphin.
  • Kiss a baby monkey.
    I am guessing the above two points are going to be my invitation to a never ending burlesque.  
  • Do atleast one crossword puzzle, without any help (I suck at it, big time).
  • Finish the IMDB top 250 movies.
  • Stop quarreling with  _______.
  • Finish the must read 100 books.
  • Be called ‘The best Mother’, truly.

THOUGHT CARD #17

For 2015.

17

May 2016 be Splendid with more travels! Happy new year guys!

 

4*4 Off-roading with ‘The Palar Challenge’ Team

So, what did I do on a hot and humid Sunday instead of sleeping through the afternoon and wake up for a nice brunch! I did something way better…I went Off-road Driving! And it was so good to be my ‘activity of the month’ (In a month, do one activity which I have never done before; about other activities over the months,later)!

Where? Palar River Bed. 100 kms past Chennai on the ECR, in vayalur.

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Land Cruiser climbing a mound. Pc: Karuna Karan

Time spent? The whole day! How was it? Just tremendous!

With? The Terra Tigers.

Who are they? A group of chennaites who share the enthusiasm for 4*4 off-road driving!

 

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Terra Tigers Team. PC: Karuna Karan

The team: 28 of the Terra Tigers Team, and 60 member group of drivers. Terra Tigers have been at this off-road sport for 10 years now.

How did they get into off-roading? Pure love for machines and unconventional driving. While, chatting with the jolly bunch, I got to know some din’t even have a Jeep or SUV while getting started, their love for off-roading kept them coming and now as pros, they are open to training newbies. Arka, the team Head, says ‘You don’t decide to join us, We determine if you are up for it or not’. Reason being, you got to be physically fit, to withstand the cruel Chennai heat and still enjoy riding and not all can commit to letting go off their weekends. Fair enough, you see off-roading comes with a package of stupendous thrill and requirement for efforts; it needs another vehicle to pull out a stuck one, so when they head out, minimum of two vehicles need to pair up. Also, the maintenance can be quite heavy on the pocket, the repairs or replacements are not easily available. They do wish more Indian made parts were available, unfortunately there aren’t many players in the market.

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First step in off-roading: deflate tyres

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Lined up to get started

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Sneering Up! Pc: Karuna Karan

The Drives

The terrain was favorably muddy, as it was a river basin. I took every opportunity to jump in and experience as much as I can. Arka generously showed me amazing moves on his Jeep, it was well evident why he is called a pro. He maneuvered with so much ease, turning and climbing up and down the terrain.

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Slashing through the mud. pc: Karuna Karan

Another long ride was with Saravanan, who enthusiastically educated me on the technicalities of the vehicles, the different types of tyres (long, mid, small), the protective equipments used and why they were used, the gears and how you can maneuver them and on how the driver is guided by the team by various spokes placed at various points. Did you know? The jeeps have two gearsticks, One is for 2wd/4wd mode(cool…huh), other is for manual transmission. Also did you know? Only 4 gear shifts are possible in a Jeep.

Saravanan has tried to keep his Jeep as original as possible, including deciding not to change his engine and other parts. He sure loves his Jeep, amusingly calls it ‘Karupu Siruthai’.

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Retaining Original Dashboard in Saravanan’s Jeep

Arun’s Land Cruiser(first pic) was awesome, he is sure a cheery guy who keeps pepping the drivers to take different routes.

Like me, many might wonder what could be the difference between the SUVs and Jeeps, you see the SUVs give you the power to do the climb, while for Jeeps you give the power, more skill, more maneuvering. What I liked best you ask? Both! It is just tough to choose, to witness a SUVs ‘Hulky’ power is amazing and the Jeeps ‘roaring’ climb is to gawk at :D.

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Fortuner and Jeep doing the Climb! Whoohoo!

A Beautiful thing you notice about the Terra Tigers is that they do not abuse the sport or their machines, they say ‘you just have to guide them(the vehicle), and it will follow you wherever you lead’ and commendably their strictness for safety, be it seat belts or driving, ‘safety comes first’ is what every member would echo.

To Experience this off-road sport

‘THE PALAR CHALLENGE 2015’! THIS IS A MUST GO! The teams from various parts of the country compete against each other. You can catch the action on the second week of August. For more info and for stunning images and videos to ogle, click links below(hyperlinked).

Terra Tigers Website

Terra Tigers Fb Page

Terra Tigers Media Team

For competition and audience participation: The Palar Challenge Page

SUVs fall under a separate category. SUV Excursions , SUV Extreme

An Enthusiast? Wanna try off-roading? Owner of a jeep or an SUV? Join them at events conducted just for it!

Renault Duster Offroad Excursions Khivraj Motors Initiative

Toyota Off Road Club

Mahindra Live Young Live Free Off-Road Drive

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From TPC 2014

Enjoy Off-roading!!! Chao!

A walk around the Goubert Market in Pondicherry

As they say, you never know the importance of a place when you stay by the place. So this market, huddled between the J.N street and M.G.Road, amused me greatly, only recently when I decided to stroll around.

The vibrancy of colours, vivid vendors, yelling meenkara ammas (lady fish sellers) were a sight to beckon.

Who knew hidden easily by the shopping streets, was this huge area in the center of the city, which had almost everything, from garments to groceries, fish to metal items.
I recommend to people visiting Pondicherry, to wander into the place, especially in the late evenings, for some amazing shots(mine was taken in an ordinary camera) and stuffs at great price!.
Few Pics below.

On the way to the market.
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Fresh fresh Veggies!!
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Price boards of the day’s sale.

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Pulled in by the most aromatic side…

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Be ready to get funny poses and awkward stares!

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This guy came running and stood wherever I pointed out my cam. 😛

THOUGHT CARD #13

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