Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

The Vellore Diaries-2

Then we returned to Vellore town and went to the the Vellore Fort. The fort is home to the famous Jalagandeeswarar Temple. The temple is pretty old but well maintained and had a number devotees visiting it that day. The consort of the presiding deity is Goddess Akhilandeshwari.

There was a Shivalinga to which one could perform an abhishekham by paying Rs 10. There was also a wishing well in which one could drop coins and make a wish. Somehow I did not go near the well and decided to convey my wishes to Lord Shiva through my prayers. I got a book about the temple’s history and a Navagraha yantra.

I took some snaps of the temple. Then we proceeded to the outer walls of the fort and sat for some time at the top of the hill and got a magnificent view of the town from the top of the hill.

Then we went to Saravana Bhavan and had lunch. At the restaurant a group of school students from some international school, some Bangalore school(bus registration number:) had KA on it) created absolute mayhem and the poor waiters had a tough time managing them. Madhu joked and Said that Srini would make a perfect teacher and manage the students brilliantly! Srini gave a glare and continued to eat in silence.

Ratnagiri Murugan Temple

Then we visited the Ratnagiri Murugan Temple. Ratnagiri is around forty minutes by bus from Vellore en route to Arcot. The temple on a hillock is beautiful and the sculptures and paintings are an art lover’s dream come true. We climbed hundred plus steps to reach the top of the temple. Both Srini and me felt tired but Madhu kept climbing without any signs of fatigue and beat both of us to reach the summit first. The temple is clean and well maintained; a factor that was common to all the temples that I visited in Vellore.

We got the darshan of Lord Muruga and then sat on the marble steps enjoying the cool breeze and got some excellent snapshots of the view from the temple. While returning we chose to use the road, then Madhu said lets climb on the rocks and take some pictures. Both Srini and me got really worried when Madhu climbed on to the rocks, then she proceeded downhill searching for a shortcut to reach the road below. We tried to stop her, but as adventurous as ever Madhu completed the trip, found that the path had been barricaded and returned to the top.

We climbed down and had tender coconuts. Then we purchased prasadam-Panchamritham and Ladoos.

By 18:00 hours we were at Srini’s place. En route we also visited a small Ayappa and Anjaneyar temple.

We were really tired after all the traveling. We had dinner at a restaurant and it was time to bid adieu to Madhu. It had been more than a year since we had met and it was a wonderful experience to meet her after such a long time. I gave her a birthday gift and was really happy when I too got a birthday present- a beautiful pen stand from her.

I returned to Srini’s place and got an early morning bus to Chennai the next day.

So the Vellore Diaries officially end here , these lines describe one of the happiest days of my life. I really thank Madhu and Srini for being such caring friends and making my trip such a pleasant and memorable experience.

Hopefully I will be making one trip to Vellore in May and visit Sholingar and Amriti.

So till then…. Until we meet again.

Read Full Post »

The Vellore Diaries-2

Then we returned to Vellore town and went to the the Vellore Fort. The fort is home to the famous Jalagandeeswarar Temple. The temple is pretty old but well maintained and had a number devotees visiting it that day. The consort of the presiding deity is Goddess Akhilandeshwari.

There was a Shivalinga to which one could perform an abhishekham by paying Rs 10. There was also a wishing well in which one could drop coins and make a wish. Somehow I did not go near the well and decided to convey my wishes to Lord Shiva through my prayers. I got a book about the temple’s history and a Navagraha yantra.

I took some snaps of the temple. Then we proceeded to the outer walls of the fort and sat for some time at the top of the hill and got a magnificent view of the town from the top of the hill.

Then we went to Saravana Bhavan and had lunch. At the restaurant a group of school students from some international school, some Bangalore school(bus registration number:) had KA on it) created absolute mayhem and the poor waiters had a tough time managing them. Madhu joked and Said that Srini would make a perfect teacher and manage the students brilliantly! Srini gave a glare and continued to eat in silence.

Ratnagiri Murugan Temple

Then we visited the Ratnagiri Murugan Temple. Ratnagiri is around forty minutes by bus from Vellore en route to Arcot. The temple on a hillock is beautiful and the sculptures and paintings are an art lover’s dream come true. We climbed hundred plus steps to reach the top of the temple. Both Srini and me felt tired but Madhu kept climbing without any signs of fatigue and beat both of us to reach the summit first. The temple is clean and well maintained; a factor that was common to all the temples that I visited in Vellore.

We got the darshan of Lord Muruga and then sat on the marble steps enjoying the cool breeze and got some excellent snapshots of the view from the temple. While returning we chose to use the road, then Madhu said lets climb on the rocks and take some pictures. Both Srini and me got really worried when Madhu climbed on to the rocks, then she proceeded downhill searching for a shortcut to reach the road below. We tried to stop her, but as adventurous as ever Madhu completed the trip, found that the path had been barricaded and returned to the top.

We climbed down and had tender coconuts. Then we purchased prasadam-Panchamritham and Ladoos.

By 18:00 hours we were at Srini’s place. En route we also visited a small Ayappa and Anjaneyar temple.

We were really tired after all the traveling. We had dinner at a restaurant and it was time to bid adieu to Madhu. It had been more than a year since we had met and it was a wonderful experience to meet her after such a long time. I gave her a birthday gift and was really happy when I too got a birthday present- a beautiful pen stand from her.

I returned to Srini’s place and got an early morning bus to Chennai the next day.

So the Vellore Diaries officially end here , these lines describe one of the happiest days of my life. I really thank Madhu and Srini for being such caring friends and making my trip such a pleasant and memorable experience.

Hopefully I will be making one trip to Vellore in May and visit Sholingar and Amriti.

So till then…. Until we meet again.

Read Full Post »


THE VELLORE DIARIES-March 7-9, 2008.

It was a trip that had been postponed nearly thrice because of work, so finally when I boarded the bus to go to Vellore I was elated. I got an Ultra-Deluxe bus that was going to Hosur. The seats were comfortable and the fare was Rs 80. The bus left Koyambedu bus terminus at 16:50 hours and went via Poonamallee, Sri Perumbudur, Wallajah, Arcot to finally reach Vellore at 19:20 hours.

I met Madhu at the bus stand, from there we took an auto to Madhu’s friend’s house, his name is Srini. A real nice chap, friendly and helpful. I stayed at his place for two nights.

March 8, 2008

I got up at around 6:45 in the morning, and took a bath in the icy cold water. Srini and I finished breakfast and took a bus to the old Vellore bus stand. Enroute Madhu too joined us. On reaching the bus stand, we took another bus to Sripuram. The bus reached Sripuram in about 30 minutes.

The Sripuram Golden Temple

The temple is run by the Shakti Amma Trust. More than two tons of gold, four tons of copper and the hard work of artisans and sculptors for six years at a huge cost enabled in the completion of this architectural marvel. Security measures are very strict and no cameras or mobile phones are allowed within the temple. One has to pass through a metal detector test, a body search and a scan before entering the temple.

We walked through a corridor, a long winding one set in manicured lawns with music being played on stereos, to reach the main sanctum which was set apart from the corridor by a moat. The presiding deity is Goddess Lakshmi Narayani.

Somehow it struck me odd that I did not experience any sense of divinity in the temple. The temple is well maintained and is managed in a professional manner. To get the darshan by going close to the idol one has to buy a special darshan ticket. A sense of familiarity or The Tirupathi Effect as I call it struck me when the temple staff asked us to move quickly.

As we walked out through another corridor we noticed many counters with the staff manning them soliciting donations for various welfare activities. Then we were surprised to find glass windowed shops selling stuff ranging from temple souvenirs to sarees and T-shirts.
Somehow all the gold and marble and the brilliant architecture left me disillusioned.

Is it possible to find divinity where so much wealth and extravagance exists? More than a temple the place looked like a huge film studio.

Whatever may be the answers to one’s questions on faith and spirituality the place is definitely worth visiting.

(To be continued)

Read Full Post »


THE VELLORE DIARIES-March 7-9, 2008.

It was a trip that had been postponed nearly thrice because of work, so finally when I boarded the bus to go to Vellore I was elated. I got an Ultra-Deluxe bus that was going to Hosur. The seats were comfortable and the fare was Rs 80. The bus left Koyambedu bus terminus at 16:50 hours and went via Poonamallee, Sri Perumbudur, Wallajah, Arcot to finally reach Vellore at 19:20 hours.

I met Madhu at the bus stand, from there we took an auto to Madhu’s friend’s house, his name is Srini. A real nice chap, friendly and helpful. I stayed at his place for two nights.

March 8, 2008

I got up at around 6:45 in the morning, and took a bath in the icy cold water. Srini and I finished breakfast and took a bus to the old Vellore bus stand. Enroute Madhu too joined us. On reaching the bus stand, we took another bus to Sripuram. The bus reached Sripuram in about 30 minutes.

The Sripuram Golden Temple

The temple is run by the Shakti Amma Trust. More than two tons of gold, four tons of copper and the hard work of artisans and sculptors for six years at a huge cost enabled in the completion of this architectural marvel. Security measures are very strict and no cameras or mobile phones are allowed within the temple. One has to pass through a metal detector test, a body search and a scan before entering the temple.

We walked through a corridor, a long winding one set in manicured lawns with music being played on stereos, to reach the main sanctum which was set apart from the corridor by a moat. The presiding deity is Goddess Lakshmi Narayani.

Somehow it struck me odd that I did not experience any sense of divinity in the temple. The temple is well maintained and is managed in a professional manner. To get the darshan by going close to the idol one has to buy a special darshan ticket. A sense of familiarity or The Tirupathi Effect as I call it struck me when the temple staff asked us to move quickly.

As we walked out through another corridor we noticed many counters with the staff manning them soliciting donations for various welfare activities. Then we were surprised to find glass windowed shops selling stuff ranging from temple souvenirs to sarees and T-shirts.
Somehow all the gold and marble and the brilliant architecture left me disillusioned.

Is it possible to find divinity where so much wealth and extravagance exists? More than a temple the place looked like a huge film studio.

Whatever may be the answers to one’s questions on faith and spirituality the place is definitely worth visiting.

(To be continued)

Read Full Post »

Twenty Five years on Planet Earth

February 23, I woke up a bit stiff and bitten by mosquitoes in twenty different places, don’t know if it was a single mosquito or a troop of mosquitoes. Got up had my bath and bought chocolates to distribute in office.

It was fun and I got a greeting card and a chart paper full of birthday wishes. In the evening went to a really expensive boutique cum restaurant called Anoki and met some of my former colleagues. They bought me a chocolate cake and a pair of dolls as a birthday gift. I think this is the first birthday when I did not get a book as a gift. Usually someone gifts me a book or I buy a book for myself. May be this will be a year of new experiences and new joys.

The restaurant was a high-class high cost one, but the bloody fellows did not even give a class of water free of cost, you need to buy a bottle of Himalayan mineral water to quench your thirst. My friends ordered some variety of coffee and some Mexican-Spanish dishes. I ordered a non-alcoholic pinea-colada, I loved it and I think I am going to be a regular of Anoki just for that one item.

The bill was presented I paid for it close to Rs 750(birthday treat) and left for my room. It was good to have a reunion with my colleagues. It is nice to know that you have friends who care for you and are there to lend you a helping hand in times of need. I thank God to have given me such good friends and I wish that all of us remain good friends all through this life. Such good friends are priceless and the time that we share together inspite of our respective hectic schedules is invaluable.

I received a lot of phone calls from friends and relatives wishing me on my birthday, but I was expecting one call and was getting worried that the person had forgoten me or was angry with me, but late in the afternoon, the call finally came and I was relieved that the person remembered the date. Thanks God thanks for that too.

So I have completed twenty five years on Planet Earth, have evolved from a toddler to a man, passed out of school, college and have secured a decent job. I have had my fair share of frustrations, depressions, fights, friendships, enemities, crushes, disappointments, joys, failures, successes. I guess that is what life is all about, and life is all about living life kingsize.

Let me see what happens this year and what I blog post 23/2/2008.

Cheers.

Read Full Post »

Twenty Five years on Planet Earth

February 23, I woke up a bit stiff and bitten by mosquitoes in twenty different places, don’t know if it was a single mosquito or a troop of mosquitoes. Got up had my bath and bought chocolates to distribute in office.

It was fun and I got a greeting card and a chart paper full of birthday wishes. In the evening went to a really expensive boutique cum restaurant called Anoki and met some of my former colleagues. They bought me a chocolate cake and a pair of dolls as a birthday gift. I think this is the first birthday when I did not get a book as a gift. Usually someone gifts me a book or I buy a book for myself. May be this will be a year of new experiences and new joys.

The restaurant was a high-class high cost one, but the bloody fellows did not even give a class of water free of cost, you need to buy a bottle of Himalayan mineral water to quench your thirst. My friends ordered some variety of coffee and some Mexican-Spanish dishes. I ordered a non-alcoholic pinea-colada, I loved it and I think I am going to be a regular of Anoki just for that one item.

The bill was presented I paid for it close to Rs 750(birthday treat) and left for my room. It was good to have a reunion with my colleagues. It is nice to know that you have friends who care for you and are there to lend you a helping hand in times of need. I thank God to have given me such good friends and I wish that all of us remain good friends all through this life. Such good friends are priceless and the time that we share together inspite of our respective hectic schedules is invaluable.

I received a lot of phone calls from friends and relatives wishing me on my birthday, but I was expecting one call and was getting worried that the person had forgoten me or was angry with me, but late in the afternoon, the call finally came and I was relieved that the person remembered the date. Thanks God thanks for that too.

So I have completed twenty five years on Planet Earth, have evolved from a toddler to a man, passed out of school, college and have secured a decent job. I have had my fair share of frustrations, depressions, fights, friendships, enemities, crushes, disappointments, joys, failures, successes. I guess that is what life is all about, and life is all about living life kingsize.

Let me see what happens this year and what I blog post 23/2/2008.

Cheers.

Read Full Post »