Archive for the ‘Trips & Tours – India’ Category

                                We wanted to visit Tirupathi as a family.March being exams month, the crowd would be very less in temple.We wanted to make use of the oppurtunity.My dad was pushing me and my brother to take leave thus avoiding weekend rush.

We had only booked train tickets.We reached Tirupathi by Sapthagiri express at 9:30 am and were not able to get 50Rs Dharshan tickets.It was closed.We reached sudharshanam complex for accomodation.We did not get accomodation.This started to bother us no tickets and no accomodation.We decided to reach Tirumala, atop the hill.

We took tickets and boarded the bus to Tirumala from Tirupathi.It was burning hot and we were boiling inside bus under sun.Actually there are different routes for going up the hill and coming down.But due to repair work both were taking same road causing traffic.We reached Tirumala, comparitively cool place.

We went in search of accomodation.We finally got our accomodation in Sapthagiri Guest House.We checked in after some signatures.The room was pretty ordinary but clean.We cannot expect much for 150Rs.We went to shave our head in the same guest house.We had to pay just 10Rs for tonsuring and another 10Rs for the barber.

We got ready after bath and had meals.We took the Seegra Dharshan queue paying 300Rs/-.Sometimes few of them have stood even 6-8 Hrs in queue even after paying 300Rs/-.We had dharshan within one hour that too peacefully instead of crowd pushing us to and fro.

We actually did not expect such a quick Dharshan after we were left in dismay in the morning.We collected Ladoos.Nextday we vacated, came down to Tirupathi, visited Tiruchanoor Alamelu Mangapuram and Govindaraja Swamy temple.

We also visited Gajalakshmi Amuma who lives in Bairagi Patteda Colony.We took train and reached Chennai.

Climate was good atop hill and cleanliness is appreciable.

How to Reach Tirupathi:-

Frequent trains are there from Chennai.Tirupathi Aiport is there with very few flights coming.

Use the website to book accomodation,seva and Dharshan tickets.Buses ply from Tirupathi to Tirumala.

                               We booked  a taxi and set to Bannerghatta National Park .We got tickets for Zoo as well as Safari.The safari started in a caged van.The visit to Bangalore would not be complete without visiting this park and Lal Bagh Gardens.First we entered the area of Sambar Deers, then gated forest area of beers,Tigers and Lions.My camera betrayed me as I did not charge batteries.Tiger was walking near our van in a pretty cool fashion.

                               We saw snakes,cheetah and few other animals.It was lunchtime.We were hungry enough to give rest of the zoo a miss.We had Rotis at a nearby restaurant.We came to Lalbagh.Greenary everywhere.How nice!!!!!!

                                We got to see very less flowers as they have planted fresh ones for Jan 26th.We took few snaps.To add our bad luck, Flower clock had gone for service.We then went to Nandi Temple and Dodda Ganesh temple.From the morning we were witnessing all majestic idols of god.We eneded our day at Garuda mall.They have kept models of famous wonders like Taj Mahal,Leaning Tower of Pisa and Eiffel Tower.

                                It was festive season and that reflected on mall surroundings and on people faces.There were n number of shops,INOX screens and 4D Shows.We had food at Shiv Sagar.I could see lot of foreign faces all over Bangalore.This is also famous workcity for many.We enjoyed the day.

                             Next day we had very good Non-Veg cooked by aunt and left the home overwhelmed by the love,affection and generous reception.We boarded the Brindavabn Expresss AC Chair Car to reach Chennai.Our entire family were there to pick us.                       

                                 We planned for Bangalore Trip during Muhurram Weekend.We left chennia by Bangalore Mail.This train started at 11:15 PM.That was quite late.We managed to catch some sleep admidst cold.We got down at Bangalore Cant Station.My Brother-in law Dinesh came to pick us.

                                 There house was at Ullsoor.We reached home had a small sleep.We got up and visited Kempfort Shiva temple first.It was beautiful and a commercial temple.We took snaps and then left to ISKCON (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness).There were long queues and special darshans in most of the temples due to Vaigunda Ekadasi.

                                The temple was nicely built on hill top.The management was nice keeping the place clean.Krishna,Radha and Balrama idols were there.The place was more like a mall.All sorts of foods were available.From Dokla to Rasagulla, Gobi Manchurian to Puliogare.We tasted few items and moved to shopping area.

                               Idols,Photo Frames are common in temples.Here they were selling bags,dolls and what not…..They were also screening Krishna animation movies in an attempt to make Krishna a global ICON.We left to Cubbon Park and Vidhan Soudha.Vidhan Soudha was admist dust due to namma Metro Construction.

                               Cubbon Park was huge.We were exhausted and hardly covered the park.We left to Commercial Street near Shivaji Nagar.It was area filled with shops.They got us clothes as a token of love.So kind enough..We had food and left to home.

                               We booked tickets few weeks back to Guruvayur to attend Dakshayani Marriage.Being Sabarimala season we had to book till shoranur only.Sriram,Viji,Shankar,me and Lavanya were going to marriage.

We boarded the Mangalore mail where Reserved compartments looking unreserved.To add to our headache two people were occupying our seats and were demading us to adjust till Arakkonam.Crazy na……Even TTE did not bother to ask ticket from them.

                               Our coupey was the first one in the compartment so one could imagine the disturbance and smell.We had our dinner and slept after chatting and rewinding some memories.We got down at Shoranur and enquired a person from stall on methods of reaching Guruvayur.

                              We took an auto to near by highways, KOLLAPPALLY.We boarded Guruvayur bus from here.The journey was nothing less than a roller coaster ride.Imagine One and Half hour of roller coaster ride.Viji and Lavnya started feeling dizzy.We were completely shaken off by the road and reckless driving.

                               We reached hotel Mayura residency.We had completely useless buffet breakfast for 90 Rs/-.We got ready and reached Hotel Horizon International where marriage ceremony was happenning.We all walked with Bride & Groom to Guruvayur temple.The marriage was done in few minutes.We then went inside temple visited God and returned to Hotel.

                               We wished Daksh, took snaps, had good kerala food.We played cards for some time and took bus again for a bumpy ride to reach Shoranur.After taking dinner we boarded the train.One day and too much of journey was tiresome but refreshing too,

All my cousins wanted to go together for Tirupathi.After postponing many times we finally decide to Start on Oct 1st.September Month (Purattasi) is special for Lord Venkateswara.That too we are going for dharshan on Saturday.You expect the crowd to be unimaginable.If we could have booked the dharshan before it would have been much easier.I booked the return tickets thro Tatkal hoping it to get confirmed.

We got seats while going as my cousins came early and occupied the seats in Unreserved compartment of the 4:30 PM Sapatagiri Express.All the way we were chatting,munching snacks and pulling each other’s leg.We reached Tirupathi before we could realise.The crowd was trying to get in before we could get out.

We went to a lodge near station which was not appealing to me but had to settle with that.We slept and woke up early to get 50Rs tickets.Since that had a big queue we all decided to walk.This was  a difficult decision for my uncle ,aunt and Lavanya.Since there is a separate queue for people walking uphill we started walking after depositing our Luggages.

We started walking slowly from Allipiri.Being first time, Lavanya was exhausted half the way.With help of glucose and water we climbed till Gali Gopuram.Till this point it was very hectic.There was previously news about cheetah and bear attacking footpath pilgrims.But huge crowd were walking leaving no space around stairs free.At Gali Gopuram we got our free tickets and had our breakfast.We decided to eat light as still we have to walk.

We kept on walking and got completely exhausted by the time we reached Tirumala.We got our luggages back and deposited them in Lockers, had quick tiffin and went to stand in queue.We were not able to see originating point of the queue, it was that long.we got into the queue.Then everyone started squeezing and pushing,This is the difficult part of Dharshan.We had to wait long between some of them trying to jump into the queue which irritated others.This continued till Dharshan.

In a narrow point we were completely squeezed, pushed and reached height of frustration.After more than 6 Hours of waiting we got Lord Dharshan.We felt happy as we had Dharshan on Purattasi Saturday.We immediately got Laddus, took our bags and boarded jeep to reach Tirupathi.We got rooms ina  better Lodge and slept nicely.

Next day we took TTD Local Temple Bus and visited sacred waterfall called Kapila Teertham or Alwar Teertham.Then we visited Alamelu Mangapuram.This is a famous temple so again pushing and pulling in queue.we got down from the TTD Bus and took share auto to reach Lodge.After relaxing we left to board train and luckily our seats got confirmed.We reached chennai in three hours having fun all the way.

                                 We reached Alleppy Boat jetty directly.We took a shikara boat.The Boat was nice and water and trees more scenic.The boat wended thro the water.We witnessed greenary all around even water covered with the reflection of trees.The ride was for 2hours and the boat was moving slowly to while away the time.
                               We saw Kuttanad(Under Sea level Farming), restaurants,shops and Vembanad lake.The boat went underneath the small bridges.We were taking snaps and chatting.The boat was shaking when a motorboat passed by.We completed our boat ride and reached Alleppy beach.I was able to shoot some of the silhouetted pictures.

                              We then drove for more than a hour to reach Travancore Palace .This hotel was amazing with keralan architecture.It looked more like a palace than a hotel.We checked in the hotel.Lav’s uncle and sister were awesome who sponsored the trip and provided the car with a driver.They were so loving and caring that we should enjoy the trip.

                               We were walking deep inside to find our room.The route was dark and lonely.The room was very good with woodwork everywhere.The room also had a LCD TV with excellent lighting.We ordered Kerala food with ice cream to our room.Next day we got up took some pictures around hotel had breakfast in a traditionally designed restaurant.

Travancore Palace


                                 We had breakfast and reached Mall road.From there we took the Shuttle jeep to Zoo.The shuttle costed 30Rs per head.The path was awesome completely inclined.It was impossible to ride bikes.But they were running sumos that too up and down.If you pause for a second without accelerating the vehicle you would end up reaching the ground.Oh Man!!!!!.

                                We reached the mountain top to visit High Altitude zoo.We got tickets and entered the zoo.The zoo had fifty free ranging bird species such as Babblers, Tits, Magpies, Jays, Barbets, Woodpeckers and phesants.We also saw Siberian Tiger, Snow Leopard,Japanese Macaque,Himalayan Black Bear,Goral,Deer and Sambar.

                                We took snaps and the view of lake and surroundings were picturesque.We followed the numbers on the way and completed the zoo trip.We returned and walked along Mall road,had food,bought many things and reached Hotel.We decided to take rest the next day as we would board train in the night.

                               We woke up in the morning and breakfast came to our room as the Hotel was not fully occupied.We packed our things,had lunch and checked out.The driver came late creating tense moments for me.It started raining and after one and half hours journey we reached Kathgodam station.

                             We got into our Ac First Class Coupey.The coupey was awesome which doesn’t give you a train feel.We reached Old Delhi station early morning on time.Veera had arranged for cab.The cab driver dropped us at Indira Gandhi International Airport.
                            Delhi on the whole was fantastic with well built roads and good public transport network.We reached the first terminal to board Jet Flight to Chennai.The airport was world class and superb.We collected boarding passes,had breakfast and completed security checkin.We had to wait for few hours before we could board our flight.
                            In three hours, we landed in Chennai where parents were waiting to welcome.Chennai airport was small and dull when compared to Delhi.It was amazing trip.I was scared whether Nainital is apt choice and trip should go well as I had arranged it myself without travel agents.We like the place very much and enjoyed the trip.