Sunday, April 3, 2016

Vedaranyam Salt Pans

On day 2 at Nagapattinam our plan was to drive past Vedaranyam to Point Calimere - a bird sanctuary as well as wild life sanctuary.Unfortunately no birds could be sighted.We were informed by locals that the birds had all flown of during early January owing to some cyclonic disturbance of their habitat. Disappointed we turned towards the Kodikkarai wild life sanctuary. We bought entry ticket for the car and were informed that we could drive 6 kms into the sanctuary, see wild animals en`route and finally reach the sea shore and see the remains of the historic Chola lighthouse, destroyed in the tsunami of 2004. .But after driving for about a kilometre we were forced to turn back as the road was badly damaged and I ran the risk of a tire puncture.
On our return journey we stopped briefly at Vedaranyam to click pictures of the salt pans.
The Vedaranyam March or Vedaranyam Satyagraha was organised to protest the salt tax imposed by theBritish Raj in in India. The march took place in April 1930 and was the second of its kind following the Dandi March organised by Mahatma Gandhi both in the framework of the Civil Disobedience Movement. The march was led by a group of 100 volunteers from the Indian National Congress under the leadership of C.Rajagopalachari often referred to as "Rajaji". It began at Tiruchirappalli and ended in Vedaranyam a small coastal town in Thanjavur district. Rajaji later went on to become the first Indian Governor General of Independent India.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sikkal Murugan Temple, Nagapattinam

After Pichavaram Mangroves & Tranquebar we reached Nagapattinam around 3.30 noon and checked into the magnificent State Circuit House there as guests of the Nagapattinam Collector.We were the sole occupants that night and were given an exclusive air-conditioned suite. We visited Tirunallar & Sikkal in the evening. Tirunallar is one of the important Navagraha Sthalas and is located in Karaikal which is a territory of Pondicherry. Here are some beautiful pictures clicked during visit to Sikkal Murugan Temple Nagapattinam.
The Circuit House at Nagapattinam
The Temple Teertham or Holy Water Tank at Sikkal
Saw some adorable little lambs prancing around the temple campus at Sikkal

Friday, April 1, 2016


From Pichavaram Mangroves we visited Chdambaram township and worshipped at the famous Nataraja Temple. After spending close to 90 minutes there we had lunch at "Saradarams" and proceeded towards the quaint and ancient villae of Tranquebar  or Tharagampadi as it is know to locals. It was an ancient Danish settlement.
The allure of Tranquebar is a wonderful yet seamless cultural concoction that has been brewing over hundreds of years - a beautiful mix of languages, cultures, races and religions. Two centuries of Danish heritage has left important cultural and architectural imprints which can be seen in colonial houses, churches, cemeteries, and most particularly, the Dansborg military fort.
Tranquebar was gravely affected by the devastation caused by the Tsunami in 2004. Private organisations and the government came together for restoration, developmental and social revival, and today this demure town is in the spotlight again.
The renovated Danish Fort which was severely damaged during the Tsunami of 2004. The fort also houses a museum and the jail where criminals and offenders were kept captive.
Beautiful colonial building and scenic landscape by the sea
The Ter Centenary Memorial
Ziegenbalg's achievements

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Innovative Waste Segregation

Mechanized house to house garbage collection at G.V.Residency Coimbatore:
Palani, the association's garbage man, collects garbage in segregated buckets fom all the houses in G.V.Residency (around 250 plus houses) and same is deposited in a central location. The association deals with the garbage suitably - bio degradeable garbage is converted to compost, while plastics, paper, glass & e-waste are independently disposed off to recyclers.
Earlier Palani was pushing a hand cart. Now he has been provided with an e-vehicle (battery operated) for faster and easier collection.Palani is a happy man now.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pichavaram Mangroves

After spending a restful night at Cuddalore we left next morning for Chidambaram.Around 10 Kms before Chidambaram we veered to the left and travelled towards the Bay of Benal and reached Pichavaram Mangroves around 11,00 am. The place was looking deserted barring us and a small group of foreign tourists. We decided to take a one hour boat ride to view the mangrove at close quarters, The ride was spell binding and enchanting and we were treated to some of the most spectacular landscape we have ever witnessed.As we traveled through the mangroves we felt a bit eerie as there was complete silence and it was a bit frightening. Mangroves act as storm barriers and protect the coast line from devastation.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Matrimandir Auroville (Pondicherry)

Early February 2016 we traveled to Chennai by road - a distance of 500 kms and a world class multi-lane highway. After spending a few days in Chennai we left for Auroville in Podicherry and spent a while there.The major spectacle there is the Matrimandir - a massive spherical domed structure constructed primarily for meditation. We had pizza`and fruit juice at a French managed eatery named Tanto. We drove on to Cuddalore and spent the night at the Circuit House.
Pizza at Tanto
The Magnificent Matrimandir Dome- Above and below

The Matrimandir Dome peeping through the shrubbery


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