Thursday, 1 December 2011

Yercaud - Day 2

After a fun filled first day in Yercaud, we were all awaiting for an activity packed second day of stay :)

The misty mornings in Yercaud are so blissful and the monkeys that visited us in our balcony added more fun and was the only factor that made me get up that morning. I am so used to sleeping and never getting up when the weather is cold and the place is nice and cozy. I have been doing this for right form the time I was 2 years old when I visited Kodaikanal for the first time, and it continues even after two decades ...

The guys wanted to take a dip in the pool and the rest of us wanted to visit the touristy places in Yercaud. After, a bit of discussing about who does what.. we all finally landed in the restaurant to have breakfast and we totally gorged it all .. burrp! The one thing about buffets in GRT is there is a lot of variety, the food is good and with good company, there isn't anything else that one could ask more.

We started with an english breakfast and gradually moved to Indian and ended with some breakfast desserts, that is how elaborate and sumptuous our day began. The guys went to the pool after a failed attempt in trying to cycle around the place and the rest of us got ready to tour around yercaud..

Our first stop was at the lake which was about 2km from our resort. Around the lake were numerous places of interest and activities .. after visiting the garden, the kids park which had some pets and after finding that the Shevaroyan temple was closed we finally ventured into boating .. Five of us in one boat and it starts drizzling, it was beautiful :) :)

On the way back to our resort we visited the Pagoda point where I got to view the beauty of the hills as the mist settled, nothing can beat the beauty nature creates :)

After finding out that the places to see in Yercaud were the same as any hillstation in Tamilnadu and as it was time for lunch we decided to head back to our resort to join with D and H for lunch. It also happened to be friend D's dad's bday.. We had planned a surprise cake cutting in the room for uncle that evening, the staff in the resort were really friend and ever so willing to help :)

We had a relatively easy lunch as we had plans to go around Yercaud after lunch as well. We visited the nursery that was a stone throw away from our resort and got couple of dozens of plants and when we loaded it all in our Tempo traveller, there were more plants than people in the vehicle.

The adventure started when we decided to visit a waterfall, it started becoming cloudy and by the time we reached the waterfall, heavy drizzling had started.. rain did not dampen our spirits and we started walking under umbrellas towards the waterfall, which we were told was couple of 100 meters away from where we were but it actually was about 4km away and the path to the water fall turned out to be very slippery due to rains .. after having a fun walk in the rian for about 500 meter we decided to return back to the vehicle to get back to the hotel..

The best part of going around Yercaud was when we got on to a viewing tower when it was raining like crazy and the wind was so chill and we spotted our resort. It is one of the bad photos that I have taken, but every time I look at this it makes me smile thinking about the experience we had while clicking this pic :) :)

The image with a lot of lights is our resort

The evening fun of Day 2 .. coming soon !!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Yercaud - Day 1

It was time I had a break form our regular going to work schedule and have some time off for ourselves and with family and friends. Gladly things fell in place when I took couple of days off and had a looooong LEAVE of 9 days during Diwali .. (luxury !! )

After continued efforts on planning a trip to Chikmangalur, and then to Kumarakom we were finally on our way to Yercaud, the jewel of the South (It truly was, and I didn't know it until we were there .. ). Part of the Sheavroy hill range in the Eastern Ghats, Yercaud is at an altitude of around 1500 m from the sea level and 20 hair pin bends to reach the hill town of Yercaud.

It was a 6 hour drive through a picturesque highway from Chennai along NH 45 and NH68.

We had a stop over in Salem for lunch and co-incidentally we stopped to lunch at GRT Grand Estancia, Salem. Co-incidentally because we had planned our stay in Yercaud at GRT Nature Trails.

It looked like GRT Grand Estancia was a relatively new property and they had only one restaurant functioning at that point. After a sumptuous lunch and with less than an hour long trip, we saw the majestic mountains that we our home for the next couple of days.

We were received with heavy rains as we reached our hotel in Yercaud at the 20th hair pin bend. The rains gave us sometime to settle down and enjoy the coziness of our rooms before we could make further plans.

After about an hour of exploring our room and enjoying the endless view from our balcony, my friends D, H and me went around the resort, through the gardens, coffee plantations, guava plantations and walking over a glass floor over a valley on a rainy day made the walk more slippery. It was a very beautiful place with very friendly service. Since the rain played spoilt sport, we did not make any further plans for the day and spent the rest of the evening playing Snooker and foosball.

The best part of the entire trip was there was no internet connectivity and mobile connectivity was very low and was subjective to where we were. We finally decided to go outdoors when time came calling for dinner. We decided to visit the Lake Forest resort for dinner, as suggested by a colleague who loved his stay and experience at Lake Forest.

This place was around 3 kms from GRT Nature trails. However, travelling in the hills after dusk seemed quite a bit of a challenge especially while it was raining. Lake Forest looked beautiful, the place was antique and very interesting with its history and the history of things that gave the place the antique look. It was one of a kind place and I totally loved the look and feel of the restaurant in Lake Forest. We reached the place much before the dinner time, which gave us some time to go around the place.

The rooms in Lake forest were quiet spacious with its antique look. However, I liked the rooms in GRT Nature trail a lot better. After clicking some funny pics around the place, we settled in for dinner. The buffet spread was simple and neat and the food tasted yummy.

After a day of long road trip .. games .. good food .. beautiful views and fun times. It was time for us to hit the neatly made up bed in our rooms and get ready for an activity packed tomorrow ..

A quick peek from our balcony..

Twinkling lights of Salem

View from our balcony on a bright evening

Yercaud is one of the most beautiful hill stations I have been to, with pristine nature that is unspoiled and not flooded with tourists. It was a great beginning to a good holiday !

Sunday, 28 August 2011

My last day of the Puttaparthi, Bangalore trip - Day 3 of 3

After the first day in Bangalore and the second day in Puttaparthi, we returned to Bangalore before starting on our journey back home to Chennai.

This time over it was full time shopping in Bangalore at the Garuda Mall and the Bangalore central mall, with a short visit to the Lalbagh garden just before we started to Chennai.

My favourite in Bangalore is the buffet breakfast at Woodland's hotel and this time again we didn't miss it either. A seperate post on that in my food blog.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

On a spiritual route (Puttaparthi Bangalore & Puttaparthi) - Part 2 of 3

I am glad we made this trip then .. Six months after the trips as I make this blog post now .. Sri Sathya Sai baba is no more .. !

After spending the first day in Bangalore, we headed to Puttaparthi the next morning.

After a sumptuous buffet breakfast at Woodlands, we started on our drive to Puttaparthi from Bangalore which was for about 3 hours, along vineyards in the roller coaster like highway ..

It has been for many years that my parents and grand parents wanted to make a visit to Puttaparthi .. It was my first visit to the place and it was totally different from what I thought it to be like .. The first look of the place was neat, calm and uncluttered with every essential facility one could possibly think of from a full fledged hospital to educational institution to entertainment centres to a private airport .. it was all part of the Sathya sai trust.

Unbelievable but true, I saw people from all over the globe, there were volunteers as well as visitors .. There is an Aarthi being held every evening for which Baba pays visit to, for which thousands of devotees gather for many hours in the Prashanthi Nilayam to have a sight of him.

I have never been fond of Bhajans or large pilgrim gatherings but it was totally very different case in Prashanthi Nilayam .. the atmosphere was Vibrant .. I was more curious in wondering what makes so many people from around the globe come here ..

The Bhajans lasted for around three hours, before Baba came in for the Arathi. Gladly we got a glimpse of him thou' me and my mom had moved out of the place before he arrived.

The streets around Prashanthi Nilayam are filled with hotels and small shops selling curios. We spent another hour shopping for stuff before we reached our hotel for dinner.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Kerala Tales

When your flight lands in the runway admist cocunut grooves and banana plantations, when your drive to the hotel is along the Arabian coast line, you know for sure your in God's own country. This is my first visit to Trivandrum, the place is serene, relaxed and you sure don't want to come here on an official trip and miss doing all the touristy stuff.

Though my stay is for quite long, there is very little that I am going to get to know of the place this time, which is only wanting me to make a long holiday trip to this part of the country.

The walk into the techno park in itself feels more like walking into a serene college campus than into an IT park space. Thanks to the wonderful landscaping and lots of greens as far as my vision goes.

Even as I sip tea from the cafeteria in the fourth floor of the building, it feels more like sneaking a peek while climbing a mountain.

Beautiful sunsets, long stretches of beach, friendly people and most of all the slow paced lifestyle is few of the many things that add to the charm of this little town in the south west of India.

As I draft this post I see the first thunder showers of the south west monsoon setting in from my room window.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

On a spiritual route - (Bangalore & Puttaparthi) Part 1 of 3

Anticipating an extended weekend, we (my family) decided to visit puttaparthi (a small town in the Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh border) brought to fame by Baba's Prashanthi nilayam ashram.

We did a four day road trip from Chennai to Puttaparthi via Bangalore and back. Seven of us in a tempo traveller, it was a very comfortable trip sans the mis-adventures.

Enjoying a steady drive on the NH 4, with a couple of breaks in between we reached Woodlands hotel in Bangalore by 1pm and headed straight to Sunheri, their South Indian restaurant for a sumptuous banana leaf meal ..

All this while from Chennai to Bangalore to the point of finding the route to Woodlands, we used Nokia ovi maps from my phone. This happened to be the first time I used GPS this extensively and fell in love with technology.

We checked into our rooms and after resting for a while, decided to visit the bull temple and Garuda mall.

We reached close to the bull temple around 5 pm, there were two temples in the vicinity. In front of one of the temple was a cow and the locals were busy feeding the cow, asuming that to be the bull temple we entered it only to realize we were misguided by the cow .. eventually we visited both the temples. While leaving the temple we bought a bag full of ground nuts that was being sold outside the place, as we were told it was custom for p
eople to buy these ground nuts back after visiting the bull temple.

After which we decided to visit Garuda mall, do a bit of shopping, get done with the dinner and head back to our hotel. Garudal mall was hardly 2 kms away from the bull temple and it took us more than an hour to reach that place (Let me warn you, it is a very bad idea to travel inside Bangalore city in a tempo traveller or in the likes of it ), our route was diverted thrice, met couple of cops and we were finally at Garuda for our dinner .. I had some yummy waffles from crepe connection that made my evening to compensate for my failed shopping plans ..

You probably know how a girl should be feeling when her shopping plans are flopped, with such a mood I hit the bed to get up early the next morning ..