Even though I visited Mahabalipuram last year, an impromptu visit there yesterday with Vaidhees had some surprises in store for me. May be because I travelled with a person of strong literary / history intrest & keen observation, there was a remarked difference in this trip. We all tend to believe that whatever works available in Mahabalipuram are of the Pallava sculpturers' best capabilities, but I realised yesterday that they are actually the thwarted attempts and incomplete works. There are many strong indications that the sculptural works have been abruptly stopped, may be because of the war by Pulikesi & Chalukkiyas. The speciality of these Mahabalipuram temples is that they are made out of single rock, in other words "single piece". In lot of places the material removal had just started (they had a standard pattern of removing the excess material in blocks and using the same for pavements and other foundation works) and the work stopped abruptly. Why I feel that the works are incomplete one can be seen in pictures. Take a peek!!!
Yesterday I, Madhu (my niece) and Manikandan (nephew) went to Kiliyur falls in Yercaud to make the dull and otherwise boring weekend to make it interesting. We started early around 7.00 am by Kinetic scooter. Since I and Madhu are loners & we knew that Kiliyur falls will be bombarded with Salem guys along with beer bottles, we decided to make Kiliyur falls as our first destination. Reached there by 8.00 a.m, there was a considerable amount of scantily cladded male tourists, so to make Madhu feel comfortable, I took her and Manikandan to a remote corner where it was a nice waterfall and also deserted. Also Madhu is coming there for the first time, so she had a couple of slips on the steep path. Since we didn't plan to take a bath, we just came with camera alone. We kept chatting and teasing Manikandan. All went well till I started taking photographs.
Again it started in an impulse.... While I was going through an old album when I went to Madurai once in 2003, there was the photo of paintings being renovated. Then I thought why shouldn't I visit Madurai again so that there must have been more finished paintings. I booked the ticket via www.irctc.com, along with my friend Ram Prasad. This happened about 3 months before the actual travel date. Even though I had been to Madurai when I was in 4th standard and once when I was in ABT, I had no "feel" of that city. So I decided that I must stay for a couple of days to get a feel of it. On Thursday Hindu paper I read that the temples in Madurai are being renovated in a full swing. I knew I am going to miss many things, but postponing / cancelling the trip... Nah!The journey started on a fun note with Ram and me from Chennai Egmore on 19th Sep '08.. Needless to say, I enjoyed the warmth of the city, thanks to Ramprasad and his friends... Also I got to see enough of the sculpture marvels of Pandiyas and also the nature at its best in the Pazhamudhircholai.
I have told many times that Coimbatore is my most favourite place in my life, then What comes the next?... Nagercoil. Even though I have been to Nagercoil many times earlier, the geography is still an amazon jungle to me even today. But it is so close to my heart because I have two little darlings there - Viggi and Vini. I am going there since year 2000, but all the time I just end up staying ONLY in their house at Parambai. All these years the kids were too young that I couldn't loiter outside with them, but last time I really wanted to take them out to Thirparappu falls, but couldn't. When I decided to spend the long weekend of Independence Day, I chose Nagercoil over Coimbatore with one condition - I will take the kids to Thirparappu falls. As proposed I enjoyed four full days with those kids visiting some interesting places like Thottippalayam, Thirparappu falls, Padmanabhapuram palace and Kanyakumari. So this trip is overwhelming, memorable and above all blissful. I am just sharing few photos of this happy journey. The photos are seggregated under the tabs on the name of the places visited.