Monday, February 11, 2008

My Most Nostalgic,Pious and Exotic Trip ever

When the Konark Express left from the Lokmanya tilak Station,I knew that this would be a long journey(I have travelled in that train for like 20-25 times in my whole life till now,no kidding)So I knew what was coming ....But I was more worried about the journey that ensued from here which would take us from the Jagganath temple in Puri to a small little place called Changanacherry in Cochin which lies in the western coast of the Arabian Sea.20 Days frankly did'nt look a long vacation when I was in School but it felt like 20 months when we came back here.I guess partly it was because of the fact that we had'nt been on such a long vacation for a long time...So brace yourselves ppl coz here comes a looooong Account of my experience in those 20 days ........

13'th Jan:
We reached Bhubaneswar early in the morning ...something like 4.30 and made sure every soul had a early rise.The place had already started giving me a haunting welcome just before sunrise.I made sure that I had my share of 2 hour sleep that I did not have in the hustling noise and coldish wind that the train brought about.The short nap rejuvenated me completely and I thought why not get into business straight away .Called up my good ol' friend Jyoti(yes,he is a guy).Dude do the needful will you ?...With No question asked,within a minute he brought his Pulsor and we were off to Vineet's place.After Few laughs from the past and then viewing his Girlfriend's pic on his P.C(cheezie but cool :P) ,we were off to see my good ol' Tution sir.Well he is the same ...has'nt changed..He too made sure to show his new lenovo laptop and all the gadgets that he had....I did meet up with many others as well ..Bless jyoti people for that ...Guess he screwed up his own holidays for me ..(He's doing his engg frm manipal and was on a holiday himself) Before meeting some more people I went to a town called Jajpur which was my cousin's place.I stayed there for like 2 days.Nothing much to mention here but I had tremondous fun with my nephew :D..Then the day I came back I met with my school girl pals ....I thought it would be just a "Hi Hello kind of a Meeting ...but hang onn...These girls wanted to go to a cake shop with me...I thought that could not get better.....After a good 20-25 minutes with them,recollecting all the school gup-shups, I came back ....and Guess how one of the girl's scooty :P...Must say this was one of the better ride's I have had in my life :D....Purpose of my visit to bhubaneswar was my cousin brother's thread ceremony.It was farely private affair.Nothing frankly to mention here as well .Younger Cousin Bro cried coz he could not see himself getting bald but guess that was all part of the rituals...Rounded up my Bhubaneswar Trip with a visit to the World Famous Jagannath Temple..I had almost turned something like an atheist actually in my engg life but going there I felt there's nothing wrong in being religious..Infact I felt Pious and had Peace with myself.

21'st Jan:The Howrah-Kanniyakumari Expess was on it's way and I thought yet another tiring journey for a whole 2 days but I was wrong....The journey was great :D
23'rd Jan:
A man in his dhoti (90%people were in their dhoti's here)welcomed us...Hotel chorne ka hain saheb???..He asked in his tamilian accent :D...Booked a hotel quickly and got a Sea Viewing room as well....Kanniyakumari people is frankly a Place as little as my hometown Vashi....(No kidding)...It's not a big Place....
1'st Site:Devi Kumari temple:Note:All men have to remove their shirts and banniyan's before going !!!!....Did I read that right ????....Yup I did...I did not go in....Later I realised I made the wrong decision ......But there were young women for god sake's .....I was petrified initially .....Later we made our way to the gandhi memorial and reached in time to see the sunset point.....
2'nd Site:Vivekanda Rock Memorial:An absolutely Stunning Place to See....If you love your history ,this will be a wonderful place.Vivekanada statue and everything pious to be found ....This was really cool....
Just 10 feet away was the Thiruvallavur Statue which is nothing really ......It's just 75 foot statue .....nothing special.........
We also toured the Surrounding regions of Kanniyakumari as well but these were the only things there really to see coz as I said it's a very small place.....but a beautiful place non the less...and yes the three water bodies :Arabian Sea,Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal do Collide here but it was not really visible to me thanxs to the low tide .....The water bodies surrounding the place really make it beautiful and the reason for it to be so famous............

The Kerala Journey
We Booked a Car from a local tours and travels guy to tour kerela which was just a 2 hour journey from kanniyakumari.....
First Stop:Kovalam Beach:->Did I once say that Colva Beach in Goa was the Best Beach I saw .....Well this Beach comes very very Close to that actually.....This is one of the most cleanest,safest,and scenic beaches you are ever gonna find.The Trees and Vegetation overshadowing the Beach make for a Breathtaking site.

Next Stop:Trivandrum:

It's the capital and nothing really in this place except a Zoo,an art and culture musuem but yes...there's a nice temple called the padmanabhan temple ......Now even if u are not a temple guy or girl especially a "guy" here ....One has to be half naked and wear a dhoti to go inside ....Inside it feels Great ...Temples in the south are completely different ......Temples are like these caves and gods are kept kind of into the caves ...So even if you are not a temples person .....Just Try it once ...

Next Stop:The 8 Hour Boat Ride From Kollam To Allaphuzha(Alleppy)

Now This is what I would call as "Exotic"....The Boat had some 30-40 People out of which only 5 were Indians including us....Rest were all Europeans....I thought I had seen enough of P.D.A ...but wait there was more on display here .....But frankly this boat ride was great .....Back waters in Kerala are not famous just like that....Back waters and the exotic greenary around with superb view from the lower deck make for a
"Breathtaking watch".....Ohh 8 hours were not boring at all if you ask me ....A guy frm Charni Road who had come on a honeymoon and was only one of the 5 Indians on board said Life had become so slow and boring on the boat but I could Understand him ....He was on a Honeymoon :P....It came to a halt finally in the evening .....This ride was ....*undescribable*
Allepy also has a Beach ......Yeah the beach is good .....may be Great but had enough of it already in life as far as beaches went ....But the Beach was nice :P

Next Stop:Thekkedi
We were in the "REAL GOD OWN'S COUNTRY" now...I recalled that the tours and travels guy had said to us in his tamilian accent"AGAR KERALA DEKHNA HAIN TOH MUNNAR DEKHO AUR TEKKHADI DEKHO"
Tekkhadi welcomed us with the first stop being the
SPICE GARDEN: You will find different trees of different spices here .....COFFEE,CARDAMOM,TAMARIND etc etc.......WAS OK NOTHING GREAT
Next Site:The Kathakali Dance
Yup ...I did catch some kathakali too in tekkhadi.....A one hour show where dancing is done through the face and various postures are made ....AGAIN OK ....17'th Century Tradition is being maintained Nice to See
Next Site:Periyar Tiger Reserve :
It was some 6.45 In the Morning ...We were on a boat was damn cold....Here there was no tiger no lion ......Nothing ....Just a pig to show for ......and that too the noobhish foreigners kept onn taking pictures of that pig for some reason (*silly*)
Tekkhadi was disappointing actually .....I am sure it had a lot to offer ...but probably we did'nt explore a lot........

Next Stop:MUNNAR
MUNNAR was the best place in kerela ......I wonder why people speak more highly of OOTY and never speak of munnar.....A hill station which has probably 100000 acres of tea garden all around the place....It provides a Breath-taking site of "MOTHER NATURE" and it's a pity that we could not spend more time here :( ....but did manage to go to the TEA FACTORY",ECHO POINT AND 2 OR 3 DAMS .....but this place is GREAT ..."A MUST VISIT" :)

cochin is a nice port city .....had the third boat ride here after having a boat ride in periyar .......This was also great....again a place to be visited is Jew town in changanacherry .....It felt as if I have come to European City or something .......A jewish kind of a town with a jewish Temple and a Dutch palace.There's also A church in that place ...Nice,That place too also feels pious with arabian sea cozing up all around you.......City of ernakulam is for "Shopaaholics":P......
We were back to Alleppy or Alaphuzza coz we had to catch our nethravati from there.....After Some more Shopping there and ofcourse a walk near the back waters ....we were ready to leave .......I won't say that we did'nt want to go from that place....But it truly had left a mark on all of us ....One which we would never ever Forget.Period.

P.S1:Travelling with my Parents was a great experience ....Yeah there were plenty of shortcomings but we made sure that the 3 of us should have "BALL OF A TIME " and we did :D
P.S2:No Pics Guys Sorry ...I got that traditional Camera and I have'nt Scanned them as well ...I wanted to write this Blog flaunting all the pics ....But that was'nt possible....... :(