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Travel back in time - East coast trip of TN

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by Mabams1826, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Mabams1826

    Mabams1826 Amatore

    Fiat Enthusiast
    20141227212136.jpg Finally after spending the entire afternoon we left for Chidambaram, the route was mainly through NH45A.
    After few Kilometres, the four way lane becomes two way and as were in the East cost it was dark very soon.
    The drive was quite tedious as the on coming traffic was hectic. Literally a vehicle passed us every second and there was no way for overtaking if you are caught behind some slow moving convoy.
    Most of the drivers drive like hell and its better to be safe than be sorry, so I was in no mood to rush things. We were also caught up in a traficc jam which took close to half an hour to clear.
    Finally we made it after almost 3 hrs of driving to cover 70 km. What was in store for us at the hotel was another ordeal.
    As I had booked most of the bookings a month before, I had called all the places to confirm our booking to avoid any last minute surprise.
    I had booked at hotel Akashya in Chidambaram, which was situated close to the temple.It is a quite old establishment but offers decent rooms.The management runs antique statute stores and I think makes more money from it than the hotel.
    When we went to the hotel for checking in, the person in charge was very nervous, because the people who are supposed to vacate the rooms which I had booked have not done so and have gone to a near by temple town.
    They were also not answering the mobile.
    As it was a peak holiday season, the temple town was overflowing and no way for us to find alternate accommodation.
    We were suggested another alternate place run by the same people, we went and had a look and as it was very ordinary I immediately refused to accept it.
    So we were stuck at the reception with kids and elders and our self for almost an hour without any solution. We stood our ground not to move any other place, finally after lot of heated exchange we were offered a four beded room instead of two double rooms and at least it was neat clean and quite big.
    We had dinner at the hotel itself, which was OK and before hitting the bed,I just went to the roof top to see the temple towers, it was windy and drizzling..... a sign that there is a depression some where on Bay of Bengal...
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 11, 2015, Original Post Date: Jan 11, 2015 ---
    28/12/14 Day 3
    Most of you would have received the msg about Chidambaram temple in WhatsApp if are very active.If you haven't you can go through the following most of it is true.


    After 8 years of R & D, Western scientists have proved that at Lord
    Nataraja 's big toe is the Centre Point of World 's Magnetic Equator.

    Our ancient Tamil Scholar Thirumoolar has proved this Five thousand years ago! His treatise
    Thirumandiram is a wonderful Scientific guide for the whole world.

    To understand his studies, it may need a 100 years for us.

    Chidambaram temple embodies the following characteristics :

    1) This temple is located at the Center Point of world 's Magnetic Equator.

    2) Of the "Pancha bootha" i.e. 5 temples, Chidambaram denotes the Skies or Space. Kalahasthi denotes Wind. Kanchi Ekambareswar denotes land. All these 3 temples are located in a straight line at 79 degrees 41 minutes Longitude. This can be verified using Google. An amazing fact & astronomical miracle !

    3) Chidambaram temple is based on the Human Body having 9 Entrances denoting 9 Entrances or Openings of the body.

    4) Temple roof is made of 21600 gold sheets which denotes the 21600 breaths taken by a human being every day (15 x 60 x 24 = 21600)

    5) These 21600 gold sheets are fixed on the Gopuram using 72000 gold nails which denote the total no. of Nadis (Nerves) in the human body. These transfer energy to certain body parts that are invisible.

    6) Thirumoolar states that man represents the shape of Shivalingam, which represents Chidambaram which represents Sadashivam which represents HIS dance !

    7) "Ponnambalam " is placed slightly tilted towards the left. This represents our Heart. To reach this, we need to climb 5 steps called "Panchatshara padi "
    "Si, Va, Ya, Na, Ma " are the 5 Panchatshara mantras.

    There are 4 pillars holding the Kanagasabha representing the 4 Vedas.

    8) Ponnambalam has 28 pillars denoting the 28 "Ahamas "as well as the 28 methods to worship Lord Shiva. These 28 pillars support 64 +64 Roof Beams which denote the 64 Arts. The cross beams represent the Blood Vessels running across the Human body.

    9) 9 Kalasas on the Golden Roof represent the 9 types of Sakthi or Energies.

    The 6 pillars at the Artha Mantapa represent the 6 types of Sashtras.

    The 18 pillars in the adjacant Mantapa represents 18 Puranams.

    10) The dance of Lord Nataraja is described as Cosmic Dance by Western Scientists.

    Whatever Science is propounding now has been stated by Hinduism thousands of years ago !

    The golden leafs on the roof was done during the 10 th Century by a series of Chola Kings.
    For more detailed history and information one can go through Wikipedia which has depiction of the Sanctum and illustration of the ," Chidambaram Raghasiyam".

  2. Ganges

    Ganges Esperto

    Driver Seat _/
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Nice Pics and Lovely narration Mabams.Keep coming.
  3. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Great going. Enjoyed reading your travel. :)

    Alternately, you have Auroville Beach and Paradise Beach. The later is very good as you will be taken in a boat to an island. You may have to do this in your next visit to Pondicherry.
  4. Mabams1826

    Mabams1826 Amatore

    Fiat Enthusiast
    Thankks@ Ganges and Thanks ramjn for your encouragement and information will try to visit those places next time.....,In fact I read about Pradaise beach.
    I thought the access is only for people who stay in Paradise resort.....
  5. Mabams1826

    Mabams1826 Amatore

    Fiat Enthusiast
    Since the plan for the day was to visit as many places as possible before reaching Vellankanni for halt,we were up by 5 and got ready at 6:30.
    The weather was bad, with the depression in the bay stubborn, it was more than a steady drizzle now.
    This is exactly what I feared when I planned for the trip.But normally at the fag end of Dec, we have chances of less rain in Tamilnadu,but Nature told me who was the boss here!
    The temple was crowded ,we went through Paid Darshan and were able to have a really moving and spiritual Darshan.
    After offering our Darshan, we bought some tamarind rice which is a popular prashad across TN and my daughter and my better half are sworn addicts of this spicytreat , so no way I can skip it.
    After a quick snack, we went around the temple and spoted this huge bell. In fact the tone of it can be heard from our hotel.
    When I found out that its from a German devotee and is made from Bell foundry, my wife immediately added that ,that's way she found the tone of the bell was more like a Cathedral one, rather than what we hear in our country.
    Temple bells are normally made of ," Venkalam"( Bronze) in TN.
    This one is a different metal and probably if there are some metallurgy and acoustic expert in our forum they can explain the difference in the note.
    On the way to hotel we spotted the temple car painted and ready for the upcoming festival.



    cliffhanger and ramjn like this.
  6. Mabams1826

    Mabams1826 Amatore

    Fiat Enthusiast
    We had nice and tasty break fast at the hotel( which is complimentary) and were in a hurry to move on.As I had mentioned earlier that the hotel owner was running an antique shop, We found these two statues kept in his front yard of his home where I had parked the vehicle, as parking was full previous night.



    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 14, 2015 ---
    My navigator suggested NH227 is the route we have follow to teach Gangaikonda Cholapuram. Its around 42 Km and it runs through mainly paddy fields and a lot of water bodies. A canal runs parallel almost throughout the distance. With drizzle very steady and roads wet and curvy, we took our own sweet time in reaching our next destination.



    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 14, 2015, Original Post Date: Jan 14, 2015 ---
    The main reason for naming this thread as ," Travel back in time " is most of the people who are of my generation and born in TN would have read and revered, " Ponnien Selvan" a historical Novel written by Kalki. Even though the novel was written some 20 yrs before our generation was born, even to day in any book festival held across TN, this will be the highest selling historical fiction.
    The novel in fact has lot of fact then fiction and all the places which I had planned in our trip features in this novel. Even small hamlets which we passed during our trip has a mention in this book.
    Such was the research done by the author.
    It mainly talks about the glory of Chola empire especially Raja Raja and his son Rajendra and the conquest of Srilanka.
    In fact most of our generation and the generations after us fell in love with Chola empire after reading this novel and not through our history text books which we had in school.
    As kid because of the exposure to various literature and novels on great Chola empire ,I have always personally some how liked Rajendra Chola then Raja Raja and wanted to know more about his exploits and deeds. I have no logical reason for this.
    The Chola dynasty reined for over 250 yrs from 1000 to 1250 and without doubt Rajendra Chola was major force in it.
    He was instrumental in winning numerous battles for his father Raja Raja and later when the King had devoted his entire time during the construction of Big temple 1003 to 1010 AD, it was Rajendra who had taken care of the empire.
    Gangaikonda Cholapuram, means the conquerer of Ganga. When Rajendra after coming to power defeated King Pala, of Pala dynasty which is modern west Bengal, to mark the victory the Chola army carried water of river Ganga in golden vessels and this place was built to commemorate the victory.
    In fact there is a well inside the temple premises in which Ganges water is poured.
    The water was used during consecration of the temple and still the practice is followed every 12 years.
    After Raja Raja, Rajendra made Gangaikonda Cholapuram as administrative capital and all the successive kings were cornated here.
    At its Zenith, The Chola empire had its boundaries from Kadaram which Kedah now in Malaysia to kalinga( Orissa). This can be attributed mainly due to the strong Naval fleet the Chola's had much before The British.
    The temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram is exact replica of the Tanjore Big temple, with the Linga standing 2 feet taller(14.5) than the one at Tanjore. The construction is such that the sun's ray directly falls on to the Lingam and you don't need any illumination in the sanctum.
    Similarly the shadow of the temple tower also is never cast on the ground.

    It was raining quite steadily when we reached the place and not much of crowd.
    Eventhough the temple is an UNESCO site and is under ASI you can feel the desolation around it.
    Its just off the highway and its suddenly upon you when you drive and when go back in time and think what kind of ambience this place would have had, its difficult to comprehend.
    On the positive side less crowd and less popularity means less litter and more peace.






    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
    asimpleson, pabhishek, ramjn and 2 others like this.
  7. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Beautiful pictures and great piece of information. BTW, I am a big fan of Kalki and his Ponniyin Selvan.
  8. Mabams1826

    Mabams1826 Amatore

    Fiat Enthusiast
    Thanks ramjn for your appreciation,I am sure that Classics like Ponniyin Selvan will transcend time boundaries and remain immortal.
    Coming to the snaps I really feel great for your apprection and I think you you are a professional photographer ( just a guess from your DP).
    In fact I do not own a SLR and had Kodak Z740, which now has some issues.
    But my better half has Lenovo K900 .
    Its almost an year since she bought it and ever since we have not felt any need for some other camera.
    It has its limitations,still if the light is right and if you are bit imaginative it more than meets our needs.
    So I do not have additional burden of another expensive equipment to take care, especially given the weather we felt vindicated that we made the right decision.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 15, 2015 ---
    So after getting ourselves immersed in Chola Architecture and physically by the rain we proceeded for our next destination
    Our Initial plan was Poompuhar an ancient port which was lost because of ravages of time.
    But as we selected NH 150 which leads us to "Vaitheeswaran Kovil" a very famous Shiva temple.
    Its around 40 km from Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the road was a mixed bag with some good stretches and very bad in some places.
    We have to cross "Anaikattu Dam" built on river Kollidam.
    In fact you have drive through the road built on the dam and vehicles are allowed in one direction only.
    Two Police personnel with wireless are stationed on both ends to regulate the vehicular movement.
    Driving on the dam road, which is actually the dam wall is a Scarry experience with water level to the brim and dark rain clouds in the back ground.



    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 15, 2015, Original Post Date: Jan 15, 2015 ---
    Vaitheeswaran Kovil is a very old temple and ,it means temple of healing.
    Its believed that ,'Jadayu' who was slain by Ravana is cremated here by Rama and Lakshmana.
    The temple pond is believed to contain water which can heal any disease and this temple is one of the ,Navagraha temple where its believed that Raghu( Mars) got cured of Leporasy by having a bath in temple pond.



    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 15, 2015 ---
    Vaitheeswaran Kovil is a very old temple and ,it means temple of healing.
    Its believed that ,'Jadayu' who was slain by Ravana is cremated here by Rama and Lakshmana.
    The temple pond is believed to contain water which can heal any disease and this temple is one of the ,Navagraha temple where its believed that Raghu( Mars) got cured of Leporasy by having a bath in temple pond.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 15, 2015 ---
    Yet another thing that Vaitheeswaran Kovil is renound for is , ' Naadi Joysiam' , which means palm manuscript astrology.
    The following information is from TN tourism website and is bit lengthy but interesting to read.
    There are divided opinion whether this astrology is true or not.
    Some even well read people swear by it and some don't believe.
    None the less if want to try your hand, the advice given by person with know how is go to someone who does not have fancy name flahy website and looks ultra modern.
    Chose the simple one with some tradition.
    Just like how Harrison ford does in your,"Indiana Jones- The last Crusader".
    Naadi Shashtra or Palm leaf Astrology is an ancient Indian method of recording data. It is believed that by reading through the writings on these leaves one can learn about one's past, identify the present and predict the future.
    It is said that thousands of years ago, the great sages of India had the power to look into the past and future of the entire universe. It is believed that they done this and recorded the life of each human being who has lived, is living and of some one who is yet to be born.These predictions were written on palm leaves in an ancient Tamil script, which can now only be deciphered by expert Nadi astrologers.

    Naadi in Tamil means in search of.
    It is believed that an individual goes in search of his details of his past and seeks to know more of the unknown future. Hence it is a search. These palm leaf inscriptions are scattered throughout India. Some of these inscriptions can be found in Tamil Nadu.

    These ancient scripts were standardized, ordered and classified in Tamil Nadu nearly 1000 years ago during the reign of the Cholas in South India. There are a number of Nadis who are named after the rishis. They are the Agasthiya Naadi, Suka Naadi, Brahma Naadi, Kaushika Naadi and others. There are only a few Naadi readers available who can interpret the inscriptions that are written in in poetic Tamil.

    Each Naadi or set of leaves is made up of ola or palm leaf, written in Vatta ezhuthu, a Tamil script, with a sharp, nail-like instrument called ezhuthani. Rubbing peacock oil on auspicious occasions preserves the palm leaves.

    These palm leaves are still preserved in the Saraswati Mahal Library in Thanjavur. The primary centre for Naadi Shastra is in Vaitheeswaran Koil.

    The palm leaf inscription of an individual can be identified as being meant for the person by lifting a copy of one’s thumb impression.
    It is well known that the whirls and loops of the fingers of people on the earth are unique and they cannot be replicated.
    It is believed that these prints are classified into 108 types. The Naadi palm leaves are arranged according to these types. The Nadi readers identify the particular types of lines on the thumb and finding the corresponding set of palm leaves are taken.
    The time duration to pick up your leaf depends upon the identification of the thumb impression. Some impressions are identified easily and the corresponding leaves are found soon, there are others that may take months or even years to locate.

    The leaves are not just records for Indian nationals but also for people of other nationalities, religions and creeds. It is also stated that about 40% of the people in the world are likely to get these results. The other leaves might have been damaged or may have been lost in the course of time.

    ::: History :::

    The origin of the Naadi inscriptions can be traced back to approximately 2000 years ago. It is said that the ancient Indian rishis or sages had written the life patterns of each person on palm leaves using their yogic and intuitive powers.

    During the British Rule, the British sold these leaves to the locals who were interested in getting them. People belonging to the Valluvar community in Tamil Nadu and were specialized in astrology bought most of these leaves. The astrology families in Vaitheeswaran Koil also acquired some of these. The leaves were found in Vaitheeswaran Koil around the 13th century. Those interested in Astrology realised their values and copied the contents on palm leaves and made exact replicas. These leaves have been handed down over generations to make predictions about the future. They earned their livelihood through Naadi Shashtra. They got trained by their elders to do the reading.

    The then Mahratta king Sarabhoji and Chola Kings patronized this form of astrology and translations. It is said that the Naadis had originally written on animal skins and it was later copied on palm leaves.

    The primary centre for Naadi Shastra is in Vaitheeswarankoil, near Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, a state in South India. Here Lord Shiva is said to have assumed the role of a vaidhya or doctor, who alleviated the miseries of his devotees.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
    asimpleson, pabhishek and ramjn like this.
  9. pabhishek

    pabhishek Esperto

    Linea T-Jet
    That second last pic , i guess covered everybody :) . Nice selfie :shamefullyembarrased:

    Beautiful pics and good use of Linea @Mabams1826
  10. Mabams1826

    Mabams1826 Amatore

    Fiat Enthusiast
    Thanks Pabhisek,yes its a selfie.
    In fact when we were trying to get a perfect spot for a group ,we came across this ceiling mural and hence the shot.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 17, 2015 ---
    We had lunch at hotel," Sathabisakem" after great difficulty.
    The hotel staff were overwhelmed with crowd and meals was not available. We managed to get one meals and Chappathi for rest.
    Hats off to the staff who tried to feed all the tourist crowd with whatever they can prepare in short time.
    They were humble enough not to fleece the holiday crowd.
    The hotel is in fact is like a resort with great ambience and attached cottages for people who would like to stay.

    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 17, 2015, Original Post Date: Jan 17, 2015 ---
    Our next destination was,"Pompuhar" an ancient horbour town on the East coast.
    Puhar in Tamil means estuary.
    It's here that Cauvery finally enters the sea after nourishing, feeding, creating and sustaining many kingdoms and cultures across her path.
    The thriving harbour which probably was the only one ,two millennium before in TN, was believed to be submerged in a Tsunami during 300- 500 BC.
    The drive to Pumpuhar was pleasant and the distance is just 20 km
    It was pouring steadily with icy wind.
    So we were not able to visit the harbour and estuary.
    Managed to get into the ," Silapathikara Mandapam" which is built based on one of the great Tamil classic ," Silapathikaram"



    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 17, 2015 ---
    After some refreshing hot tea and hot groundnut sundal we hoped into Linea for a flyby visit to Danish fort at Tharangambadi.
    It was 4:30 and getting dark by the minute.
    We have to visit Thirunallaru before our final halt which is Vellankanni, with good 80 to 90 km still for the day.
    For a brief moment we contemplated about skipping Tharangabadi, but decided against it as it was a great place and was part of our original plan and diversion we have to make was also not very significant.
    The route was NH45A, and my navigator with the help of Google took was through a shortcut to join the highway which was very pleasant and the previous snap was in that road.
    Reached the Danish fort in about 45 mins as the distance was just 24 km.
    The fort is located on a slightly elevated place by the beach.
    We experienced bone chilling winds and jogged to the museum inside the fort for some wamrth.



    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 17, 2015 ---
    Our Son, " Aadhavan" which means Sun was curious to have this snap along with this statue which is of Sungod.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 17, 2015 ---
    Some more snaps..



    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 17, 2015 ---
    With another round of hot ," Sukkumalli coffee"( dry ginger with dried coriander) we left for ,Thirunallaru.
    The route was through NH45A and just 18 km.
    Thirunallaru is a very famous temple for ," Shani bagavan" ( Saturn) and just a week before the transition of the Shani baghavan had taken place.
    Close to 10 lakh people had visited during that time.
    But it was drizzling when we went so less crowd and it was also around 7pm.
    We offered our prayers peacefully and left the place after one hour to culminate what was a hectic but satisfying leg of our trip.
    The rout was via East coast road and is about 35 km
    This took us more than an hour as it was raining and I really could not see clearly, because of surprisingly poor illumination of Linea.
    I do not know whether it was because of rain.

    In fact my better half and without doubt my best half;) has a better eye sight than me and we were driving with two pair of eyes.

    Especially on our last stretch where the road is very wide with no trees or building and no external light, except a rare on coming vehicle
    I felt as if, I was driving into a black hole with no reflection of the light,which just got lost in the rain and vast open darkness.
    In fact ,I might need some assistance from Ramjn for upgrading to projector lights as I happened to find a thread in which he had also expressed dissatisfaction regarding the headlights.
    Finally we safely reached Hotel Picnic which was just OK and just managed to move our luggage before the sky opened out.
    Had a hot bath and ordered for Dosa and all of us had dinner in the room and hit the bed like a stone .
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
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