I have been visiting the temple complex in Meena Bazaar, Dubai for a long time, but I never had written about it till date. It is the only Hindu temple available for the whole of UAE and houses two temples - Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva. UAE is quite tolerant to other religions provided they doen't involve in conversion and propagating their religion into UAE. This temple complex was approved by the late Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Shamefully I didn't collect the details about the history of it, but somewhere I was made to understand that it was started around the year 2000 -2001. Will collect more details about it when I go there next weekend. This place is located in Bur Dubai, near to the creek. In this place you never feel that you aer away from India and heartening to see that people haven't forgot their roots and customs even after coming here.
The next day we wanted to spend sometime with lesser crowd. So we decided to go to Doddabetta on the morning as a early bird. Doddabetta lies at 8 kms from the Ooty town and on the way to Kothagiri. Immediately after our lunch we started to Doddabetta by the bike we retained for the second day. The upward journey was quite fine, calm and thrilling to travel amidst the dense jungles on one side and the cliff on the another side. The roads were the same as we saw few years ago and quite bumpy. By the time we reached Doddabetta, we were in for a major disappointment. May be the whole tourist crowd thought the same like us and there was a huge crowd in the peak of Doddabetta. Also the streetside vendors have shrunk the magnitude of the top and the roads.
Call it co-incidence or destiny, it took exactly 5 years to revisit Ooty since my last visit on 26 & 27th Dec 2003, when I was working in ABT Industries Coimbatore. But this time the visit was quite romantic - my honeymoon trip. No matter how much Ooty is exposed or commercialised, there lies an iner romantic beauty which attracts people towards it in hoardes. Why Ooty in December, especially this was the coldest winter in past 50 years? Once can enjoy Ooty's natural beauty with lesser crowd during the second season till mid January. Once I decided that Ooty is the place for my honey moon trip, I booked the tickets online via IRCTC and hotel bookings via Make My Trip. These plans made this trip quite breezier and relaxed to enjoy. But more than being a honeymoon trip, I enjoyed Ooty at its sizzling best. Welcome to my travelogue on Ooty this December.
The reasons that made me love Kerala are as follows - 1. Backwaters & Kayals, 2. Lush Greenery, 3. Beautiful girls, 4. Malayalee's sense of pride about their state, community and assertiveness. I have experienced the last three aspects of Kerala but kept missing the foremost reason for a while. Atlast with the long weekend (Oct 2nd) around the corner, I decided to take a plunge to Alappuzha / Kuttanad - the rice bowl of Kerala. Fortunately for me I had my Alappuzha native friend Girish to help me in exploring their town. So I got my tickets booked long back in June courtesy IRCTC (http://www.irctc.co.in). The D Day arrived, boarded the Chennai-Alleppey Express on Oct 1st... I was clearly excited that I was going to interiors of Kerala. The trip didn't turn out much I expected but it was a welcome change. Against my plan of staying at hotel, I had a nice stay at Girish's house for 3 days. Had a nice / long boat travel in the 'Kaayal' of Kuttanad to Kottayam. Some of the photos are here.