Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ramakkalmedu, Unwinding the windiest paradise


Quick Facts given at the end of this post

"Blistering Bernacles!! What am I doing? The vehicle is just going sideways when I am pressing the accelerator". It was a spurt of the moment decision and it seemed to be turning bad. I am struck". 

The journey had started early in the morning for attending a friend's wedding, which was happening at a beautiful hamlet in the Western Ghats, lying between the popular tourist destinations Thekkady and Munnar. Beautifully maintained roads made the journey to Nedumkandam from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, a breeze. It was surprising to note that how neat roads can make the travel less tiresome and one feels like the roadside scenaries just got a touch up to enhance the beauty.

The travel upto Changanacherry was through the Main central road, from where an eastward deviation was taken to take the Kumily road. From Mundakkayam, the real upward climb with lots of twisties happen. In between Mundakkayam and kuttikkanam as we were unwinding the twisties, we had a quick stop when we saw a sea of white animals standing amidst the picturesque mountains. It was a cattle market.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vismaya Water Theme Park, Truly magical, BUT .....


(This travelogue is based on a trip to Vismaya water theme park, Kannur, Kerala, India on Oct 2011)

Onam, a festival which all Malayalees celebrate, irrespective of the religion, caste or creed is truely an occassion for families to get together and to have a fun filled times amidst the chaotic lifestyle of today.
Come another Onam, and we found ourselves at my Wife's native place at Calicut, in the central part of Kerala. This time our joy knew no bounds when the pookkalam (a flower arrangement) made by us looked really good and all the strain, our legs and backs suffered during the making of this pookkalam went to oblivion when we saw this.


Frankly speaking it looked more good on photos than in real.

The pookalam thing and the grand feast for lunch and gossip sessions kept us entertained during the first day of vacation.

At this time a plan was charted out to visit a water theme park at Kannur owned and managed by one of the leading political parties in Kerala, which is currently in the news for all the wrong reasons.

The gang comprising of 8 people including 2 kids started the journey pretty early, Kannur being distant from Calicut by about 90km, we expected to reach their in one and half hours time. But all our hopes were laid to rest, when we took around 1 hr to reach the outskirts of Calicut.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

UB City, Bangalore: A Hangout for good times


In India there are n number of religions, caste, creed etc. Each set having their own customs, cultures and traditions. Most, if not all the groups have been formed on the basis of whom they worship. The subcastes were originally created based on the nature of the work people did, which does not have any relevance as on today, since none of them is currently doing what each subcaste originally did. Another religion is slowly evolving based on their work and it is high time that we accept that as a caste or religion whatever it may be. No, I am not a fundamentalist, trying to create a new religion.

The new religion is 'IT' (Information Technology), the God can be a "Computer", (ENIAC seems a better choice) and the human gods can be Bill Gates, Richard stallman etc under whom subcastes can also be formed.

There is a place in India whose culture, traditions etc has been completely transformed over a period of a decade or two by the invasion of people from all over India, with different backgrounds, but united only to do the same kind of work. This happened in the IT capital of India, Bengaluru (erstwhile Bangalore).

Just visit Bengaluru and you can understand what I mean. The Bengaluru localites are no where to be seen. Only tie clad gentlemen and formally dressed up ladies are seen during day times. Cabs ferrying IT workforce zooming around as if there is no tomorrow.

Stay and work in Bengaluru and you will also start to look like one among them, whatever be your previous cultural, religious or territorial background. The good thing is that the people who live here loves this place just as much they love their homeland. Here people are not conservative anymore. Ladies can move around during night with no fear (This is not possible in most of the places in India, thanks to the great respect for woman).

All this has resulted in propping up of lot of avenues for entertainment too. Pubs, malls, multiplexes, eateries and other hang outs are seen everywhere. Resort people saw a business oppurtunity and many new ones sprang up with lot of aritificial landscaping and wave pools in an attempt to make up for the lost landscape and the absence of coast line. Club Cabana, Confident cascade (Click here to make an virtual tour), Guhanthara etc being the favorite among the techies. Then there is the film city (Click here to make an virtual tour), wonderla etc to make your day full of fun and enjoyment.

The beautiful Leela Palace Hotel also has a hang out place with gaming malls, antique shopping centre etc and is open to public. (Click here to make an virtual tour).

During one of my visits I chanced upon to see a beautiful building, standing out from the rest of cult. It was structurally marvellous, innovatively engineered and was really standing tall.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dukes Forest Lodge - In the Lap of Nature !!


Fog clad mountains, beautiful stream with crystal clear waters, lovely woods spread over green veiled valleys, modern amenities with isolated - traditional cottages, virgin forest, if all these provides you ecstasy, then here is a gem of a place which offers all this and much more. The addicitive quotient is scaling new heights after a visit to this destination - " The dukes forest lodge" located at the foot of Ponmudi (Golden peak), one of the highest peaks in Western Ghats.

Come new year 2012 and a dilemma starts on how to kickstart the new year. Last new year it was pure bliss, in the company of like minded friends and their families, the effect of which had an impact through out a joyful 2011. The dilemma paved way for some excitement when my wife's cousin invited us for an overnight stay at the little known Dukes forest lodge on the way to Ponmudi.

The ponmudi hills already owes a special place in my heart and when ever I visit this place I feel grateful to be living in a city very close to this pristine hill station (Watch my earlier blog on the beautiful hills here). I have lost count on how many times I passed through the winding roads, on two wheels and four wheels, with the former mode being my favourite. Some hectic work at office and some last minute shoppings ensured that we started pretty late than the scheduled check in time at the forest lodge.
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