ROUTE: CRACOW – AMSTERDAM – BANGALORE – ARAKKONAM – KANCHIPURAM – CHENNAI (MADRAS) – CHENGALPATTU – MAMALLAPURAM (MAHABALIPURAM) – CHIDAMBARAM – KUMBAKONAM – THANJAVUR – KALLANAI – TRICHY (TIRUCHIRAPPALLI) – MADURAI – KOCHI (COCHIN) – BANGALORE – AMSTERDAM – CRACOW
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TRANSPORT

ALL PRICES OF RICKSHAWS, AUTO-RICKSHAWS, TAXI, ETC. ARE FOR 3 PEOPLE (UNLESS I PROVIDE OTHERWISE)

INDIAN RAILWAYS IS A STATE IN THE STATE. THE RESERVATION SYSTEM IS WIDELY DISTRIBUTED AND APPLIES TO ALL TRAINS EXCEPT THE SOME LOCAL ONES. THESE, IN TURN, ARE SUPER CHEAP, ALTHOUGH TRAVELLING IN THE CONDITIONS THEY PROPOSE IS NOT EASY. THE JAM AND RUBBISH TERRIFY.

ALL TRIPS COVERED BY THE RESERVATION REQUIRE PASSENGERS WANTING TO BUY A TICKET SOME FORM OF PERSONAL DATA VERIFICATION. IN THE CASE OF A TOURIST – A PASSPORT AND A VISA. IT’S ENOUGH TO BUY A TICKET AT THE CHECKOUT.

BOOKING THROUGH THE INTERNET FORCES YOU TO REGISTER ON THE INDIAN RAIL WEBSITE. NOTE: NO LONGER IS NECESSARY – AS USED TO BE – CREATING ACCOUNT ON OTHER PORTAL, THAT WILL ALLOW TO MAKE A PAYMENT BYPASSING THE NEED OF HAVING AN ACCOUNT AT LOCAL BANK. TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT ON THE RAILWAY WEBSITE WE WILL NEED: A PASSPORT SCAN, A VISA COPY (E-VISA) AND PASSPORT PHOTO. THE INDIAN MOBILE NUMBER IS NOT NEEDED ANY MORE. YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOUR OWN NUMBER. THE WEBSITE WILL THEN ASK YOU TO PAY APPROXIMATELY US$ 2 FOR FUTURE SMS (TEXT MESSAGE) COMMUNICATION

WE SEND ALL THIS DATA TO IRCTC AND WE WAIT PATIENTLY – SOMETIMES A FEW DAYS – FOR A REPLY LETTER TELLING US THAT WE HAVE BEEN GRANTED A LOGIN AND TWO PASSWORDS NEEDED FOR THE FIRST ENTRY TO THE WEBSITE OF THE COMPANY MENTIONED ABOVE. ONE PASSWORD IS FOR E-MAIL, THE OTHER FOR MOBILE

I WAITED FOR EVERYTHING AROUND THE WEEK, BUT I SAW THAT SOME OF THIS OPERATION TAKES 24 HOURS

HAVING ALL OF THE ABOVE-MENTIONED TOOLS, WE CAN START BOOKING. THE INDIAN RAILWAYS ENABLE THIS OPERATION FOR 4 MONTHS BEFORE THE PLANNED RIDE. THAT’S WHY IT’S GOOD TO HURRY UP, BECAUSE E-VISAS ARE ISSUED A MONTH BEFORE THE TRIP

A FEW ADDITIONAL INFO ABOUT TRAINS: FROM OUR EXPERIENCE TAKEN A FEW DAYS AGO, IT’S BETTER TO AVOID INTERNET PRE-SALES. PEOPLE WORKING IN TICKET OFFICES USUALLY KNOW ENGLISH VERY WELL, AND THEY TRY TO HELP TRAVELLERS A LOT. WITH TODAY’S TICKET PRICES FOR NON-INDIAN CITIZENS, IT OFTEN TURNS OUT THAT TRAVELLING BY TAXI, FOR EXAMPLE, WILL BE CHEAPER (SUCH A STORY WE HAD IN MAMALLAPURAM. ONE TICKET FOR A FOREIGNER TO CHIDAMBARAM COST ABOUT 1500 Rs. 3 X 1500 = 4500 Rs. WE PAID 3300 Rs FOR A TAXI). IN A FEW OTHER CASES, WE TRAVELLED CHEAPER THAN IF WE USED THE INTERNET.

IT IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE TO BUY A TICKET WITH A RETIREMENT DISCOUNT, OR ANY OTHER IF YOU ARE NOT AN INDIAN CITIZEN. AS WELL, IF YOU PAY FOR THE TRIP, AND THIS WILL NOT TAKE PLACE – EVEN IF IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT – IRCTC WILL GIVE YOU AN AMOUNT REDUCED BY SOME PERCENTAGE. SUMMARIZING. IT MAY HAPPEN THAT IT IS MORE PROFITABLE TO TRAVEL BY TAXI THAN BY TRAIN.

THE IMPORTANT THING YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN BOOKING A RIDE IS THE CLASS YOU WANT TO TRAVEL. THERE IS A LOT OF IT. WE’VE PRACTICES A FEW. CLASSLESS (GENERAL) – THE LOWEST FORM (FOR THE BRAVE ONES). PEOPLE ARE STANDING, SITTING OR LYING. EVEN ON THE LUGGAGE RACKS. SLEEPER – SOMETHING HIGHER. IT HAS A PLACE TO LIE DOWN LIKE IN A COUCHETTE, EXCEPT THAT WITHOUT BEDDING AND WITHOUT WALLS BETWEEN THE “COMPARTMENT” AND THE CORRIDOR. THERE ARE 6 PLACES, 3 ON EACH SIDE IN EACH “COMPARTMENT”. IN ADDITION, TWO FLOORS OF BEDS ARE ARRANGED ALONG THE CORRIDOR. AC 3 TIER IS THE EQUIVALENT OF THE COUCHES IN THE CONFIGURATION AS ABOVE + A COVER AND A PILLOW. AC 2 TIER IS LIKE ABOVE, BUT WITH 4 INSTEAD OF SIX LYING PLACES.

WHEN IT COMES TO PUNCTUALITY, IT’S PROBABLY NEVER ENDING STORY. WHAT’S THE WORST, MOST OFTEN THE TRAINS LEAVE FROM THE PLATFORM NO 1. BECAUSE TRAINS ARE OFTEN DELAYED – USUALLY FOR A CONSIDERABLE TIME INTERVAL – THERE IS NO NEED TO CHANGE THE PLATFORM NUMBER. AS A RESULT, EVERYTHING IS OK, BUT ONLY WHEN YOU KNOW ABOUT IT … WATCH OUT. DO NOT GET INTO THE WRONG TRAIN


CLEARTRIP I MAKEMYTRIPWEB PAGES MOST USEFUL FOR TRAVELS AROUND INDIA


ATTENTION: ALMOST ON EVERY STATION WE VISITED IN NORTHERN AND CENTRAL INDIA, WE FOUND A LUGGAGE ROOM. BUT ONLY IN BHOPAL THE LUGGAGE WAS LOCKED PERSONALLY BY THE TRAVELLER IN SPECIAL CAGES. TO LEAVE LUGGAGE IN SUCH A STORAGE ROOM, YOU MUST HAVE YOUR OWN PERSONAL PADLOCK. COMING TO INDIA, YOU SHOULD BUY TWO THINGS. SMALL PADLOCK AND SAFETY LOOP WITH ZIP. FEE FOR 24 HOURS IT IS SYMBOLIC AND VARIES BETWEEN 15 AND 30 Rs / 1 ITEM..


ARE YOU TRAVELLING BY TRAIN? WHEN USING INDIAN RAILWAYS (AND NOT ONLY), IT IS GOOD TO PLACE A PADLOCKED BAG UNDER THE OCCUPIED BENCH, AND STRAPPING IT WITH A STEEL CORD TO A SOME FRAME

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

︎︎

AMSTERDAM

  • AIRPORT – LUGGAGE STORAGE. YOU WILL FIND IT IN THE BASEMENT OF THE AIRPORT NEAR THE MAIN ENTRANCE. YOU CAN GO DOWN THE STAIRS OR TAKE THE ELEVATOR (ELEVATOR DUE TO THE RECONSTRUCTION DURING OUR STAY WAS UNAVAILABLE). WE WERE EXPECTING LOCKABLE METAL BOXES, AND WE SAW A COUNTER WITH TWO PERSONS, SERVING QUEUING CUSTOMERS UNHURRIEDLY. THE WORST PART IS, THAT YOU HAVE TO WAIT IN IT NOT ONLY TO HANDING OVER THE THE LUGGAGE, BUT ALSO TO TAKE IT AWAY. SO, YOU HAVE TO RESERVE AT LEAST 20 MINUTES FOR RECEIVING BAGGAGE. LOGISTIC NIGHTMARE.
4 € / p.
  • EASY ACCESS TO CITY CENTRE BY BUS FROM THE AIRPORT. KNOWING THE NUMBER OF THE LINE TO USE, YOU ENTER THE RIGHT VEHICLE. ATTENTION: TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE. IN THE CASE OF SCHIPHOL AIRPORT – AT SMALL BOOTH STANDING NEXT TO THE STOPS
 

CRACOW

ATTENTION: IN BALICE – ON CRACOW AIRPORT – YOU MAY HAVE PROBLEMS ACCEPTING THE ELECTRONIC INDIAN VISA. IN OUR CASE, THIS CONCERNED THE CHECK-IN COUNTER CREW OF THE KLM. AT THE CHECK-IN, OUR DOCUMENTS CONFIRMING THE POSSESSION OF VISAS WERE REGARDED INSUFFICIENT, AS THEY DID NOT HAVE ANY PHOTOGRAPHS OR BAR CODE. THE SCRAMBLE LASTED OVER 120 MINUTES. OUR NERVOUSNESS REACHED THE ZENITH. FOR HOW LONG CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW INDIAN VISA GETS DONE? FINALLY COMES THE MESSAGE: WE CAN FLY.

THE WORST THING HAPPENED AFTER OUR RETURN. WE WOULD LIKE TO PROTECT TRAVELLERS FROM SIMILAR TO OUR ADVENTURES DURING THE FLIGHT – READ HERE. WHEN WE WANTED TO PASS ON OUR REMARKS CONCERNING THE PROBLEM OF INDIAN VISAS TO THE KLM PERSONNEL, WE WERE TREATED LIKE MUCK. NOBODY COULD (OR DID NOT WANT TO) POINT OUT THE PLACE THAT USUALLY COLLECTS THIS TYPE OF INFO. BAD LUCK. WE WILL HAVE TO ARRANGE IT IN WRITING … APPARENTLY KLM DOESN’T GIVES A FUCK ABOUT ANY COMPENSATION THAT WILL HAVE TO BE PAID TO PASSENGERS WHO WERE NOT LET ON THE PLANE. REMEMBER – FIGHT TO THE END. ): ): ): ):

PS: IN AMSTERDAM AND BANGALORE, THIS SAME VISA PRINTS DID NOT TRIGGER ANY REACTIONS. PASSPORT CLEARANCE IN INDIA LASTED LESS THAN 10 MINUTES.

 

πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

ARAKKONAM

1500 Rs (US$23)c. 30 km / c. 2 h.

BANGALORE

  • THE OFFICIAL TAXI FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE KRISHNARAJAPURAM RAILWAY STATION IN BANGALORE. PRESUMABLY RIDE COULD BE CHEAPER, BUT AT 2 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING WE DID NOT WANT TO RISK UNCERTAIN TRANSPORT.
1500 Rs (US$23)38 km / c. 45 min.
  • TICKET (COUCHETTE) FOR SNESI CHENNAI EXPRESS – TRAIN 22602 (GOING ONLY ON SATURDAYS) THROUGH KRISHNARAJAPURAM TO CHENNAI (MADRAS) – PRACTICALLY NOT POSSIBLE TO GET ON THE DAY OF TRAVEL. WE DECIDED ON THE CHEAPEST TICKETS (SITTING OR STANDING IN THE LOWEST CLASS CARS) FROM KRISHNARAJAPURAM TO ARAKKONAM. OF COURSE WITHOUT THE SEAT RESERVATION. WE ENTERED THE SLEEPER (NOT AS THE TICKETS INDICATED) – PART OF THE TRAIN WITH PLACES TO LIE IN THE CLASS A LITTLE HIGHER, BECAUSE OF NUMBERED RESERVED SEATS. THEY ARE UPHOLSTERED WITH SOME LEATHERETTE OF THE TYPE COUCHETTE. AFTER A SHORT SEARCH WE FOUND FREE LYING PLACES TO US ALL …
110 Rs (US$ 1,7)4 h.
60 Rs (US$ 0,9)
  • LUGGAGE ROOM AT KSRTC TERMINAL 2. IT’S EASY TO FIND. TAKE THE CONNECTING LINK FROM THE SIDEWALK ON THE STREET SEPARATING TERMINALS 1 AND 2 FROM THE LOCAL MAJESTIC BUS STATION, TO THE BUILDINGS VISIBLE IN THE BACK. HAVING PASSED BY THE SMALL TOILET BUILDING ON THE LEFT (UNFORTUNATELY THEY DO NOT HAVE A SHOWER), YOU WILL SEE IN THE BACKGROUND STRAIGHT AHEAD, SLIGHTLY TO THE RIGHT, THE SO-CALLED CLOACK ROOM. NEXT, A LITTLE MORE TO THE RIGHT YOU WILL FIND THE BOOKING OFFICE.
30 Rs / item (US$ 0,5)24 h.??
  • THE MAJESTIC BUS STATION IS A COLOSSUS. PROBABLY IN MY LIFE I COULDN’T SEE THE BIGGER LOCAL TERMINAL. FOR AN HOUR WE TRIED TO FIND A TRANSFER TO THE SUMMER RESIDENCE OF THE SULTAN TIPU. WITHOUT SUCCESS, BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF ENGLISH SPEAKING CONTACT. NOT WANTING TO WASTE MORE TIME WE GOT INTO A TUK-TUK.
  • AIRPORT SHUTTLE SERVICE – VAYU VAJRA – DEPARTING FROM KEMPEGOWDA BUS STATION HAS ITS LAST STOP ABOUT 80 m FROM THE LUGGAGE ROOM. IT IS ALMOST IN FRONT OF THE LEFT LUGGAGE OFFICE (GOING FROM IT TO THE MAJESTIC STATION WITHOUT GOING UP TO THE ABOVEGROUND FOOTBRIDGE). IT CAN NOT BE OVERLOOKED. ALREADY FROM A DISTANCE YOU CAN SEE A LARGE, GREEN BOARD WITH DEPARTURE TIMES. THE JOURNEY TAKES APPROXIMATELY 75 MINUTES. BUSES LEAVE DIRECTLY FROM THIS STREET (NOT FROM TERMINALS PARKING). FIRST AT 1:05 a.m. LAST AT 00:35 a.m. BETWEEN 01:05 a.m. AND 04:05 a.m. EVERY ONE HOUR. THEN THE FREQUENCY INCREASES.
234 Rs (US$ 3,6)c. 75 min.

(35 km)

???
  • BANGALORE AIRPORT IS HUGE. NEVERTHELESS, ALL PASSPORT AND VISA-LUGGAGE FORMALITIES ARE VERY EFFICIENT. PERHAPS IT WAS RELATED TO THE LATE HOUR OF OUR DEPARTURE.

CHENGALPATTU

  • DISTANCE FROM RAILWAY STATION TO BUS STATION
300 m
  • BUS DO MAMALLAPURAM
60 min.

CHENNAI (MADRAS)

THE TUK-TUKERS ARE EMBARRASSED. IT’S VERY HARD TO NEGOTIATE PRICES WITH THEM

25 Rs (US$ 0,7)+2 h. / 94 km

CHIDAMBARAM

  • THE TRAIN STATION HAS NO LUGGAGE STORAGE
  • IN FRONT OF THE TRAIN STATION THERE IS A KIND OF TUK-TUK MAFIA. SEVERAL DOZEN METERS FROM THE STATION, THE PRICE DROPS BY AT LEAST 1/3
?
MAX 80 Rs (US$ 1,2)
61 Rs (US$ 0,9)c. 3 h.

KANCHIPURAM

ATTENTION: WE USED TUK-TUKS ALL THE TIME. THE DISTANCES BETWEEN OUR HOSTEL AND THE TEMPLES WORTH SPECIAL ATTENTION ARE NOT TO BIG. THE FARTHEST LIES 4 km AWAY. THE LOCAL TUK-TUK DRIVERS HERE ARE HAVING A VISUAL PROBLEM. THEY SEE A WHITEY, AND THEY THINK IT’S A LOST WALLET. MOST REQUESTED 100 Rs FOR A DISTANCE OF 2.5 km. SOMETIMES 80. A LOT, CONSIDERING THAT THE OFFICIAL PRICE OF THE FIRST KILOMETRE IS 25, AND THE NEXT 12 RS. THE PRICE IS PRINTED ON EVERY VEHICLE. THERE WERE ALSO THOSE WHO WANTED 200. DRIVING BETWEEN THE TEMPLES, RESTAURANTS AND HOTEL WE DID NOT PAY MORE THAN 40 PER COURSE.

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  • BUS STATION. CHAOS PREVAILS HERE. IN THE MIDDLE – NEXT TO THE CHAPEL, MANAGER STATION BOOTH – TICKET OFFICE. HERE YOU WILL GET QUITE SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT BUSES (THE INTERLOCUTOR IS HAVING A GOOD COMMAND OF ENGLISH, INTELLIGIBLE TO A TRAINED EAR). BUSES STARTS TO RIDE FROM 5:30 a.m.
  • RAILWAY STATION – KANCHIPURAM NEW RAILWAY STATION (THERE IS ALSO KANCHIPURAM EAST STATION). LARGE PLATFORM, TICKET OFFICE. LOCAL TRAINS LEAVE FOR NEARBY TOWNS WITHIN A RADIUS OF 70 km.
  • TRAIN KANCHIPURAM – CHENGALPATTU
10 Rs (US$ 0,15)35 – 45 min.

KOCHI (COCHIN & ERNAKULAM)

250 Rs (US$ 3,8 )10 km +
  • ADVANCE SALE OF RAILWAY TICKETS – JUST LIKE IN MADURAI – CASH REGISTERS IN A SEPARATE BUILDING OPPOSITE THE STATION
600 Rs (US$ 9,2)4,5 h.

c. 30 km

?
  • CHERAI BEACH – ACCESS FROM FORT KOCHI. AT FIRST YOU MUST GET TO A FERRY TERMINAL; TAKE A FEW MINUTES FOR THE WAY TO VYPIN ISLAND BY FERRY (3 Rs); FROM THE BUS STOP NEXT TO THE FERRY STATION TAKE A BUS 19 km / c. 60 min. TO CHERAI (19 Rs). NOW YOU HAVE 2 OPTIONS: 2 km ON FOOT OR BY TUK-TUK.
22 Rs + (US$ 0,34)22 km

c. 2 h.

230 Rs (US$ 3,5)
  • SLEEPER ERNAKULAM – BANGALORE – VEHICLE WITH PLACES FOR LYING. HERE, IN INDIA, FOR THE FIRST TIME WE MET WITH AN INNOVATION CONSISTING IN THE POSSIBILITY OF DIVIDING THE DOUBLE SLEEPING PLACE, BY ESPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR THIS PURPOSE PLATE, HIGH FOR c. 40 AND LONG FOR PLUS – MINUS 100 cm. THE LAMINATED SURFACE CAN BE INSERTED INTO A SPECIAL GAP GOING THROUGH THE CENTER OF THE DOUBLE BED. IN THIS WAY, TWO PARTIALLY SEPARATED SPACES ARE CREATED. PARTIALLY, BECAUSE AT LEAST 100 cm OF THE LOWER PART OF THE SLEEPING SPACE IS FREE OF ANY SEPARATORS, THUS ENABLING THE PERSON OCCUPYING THE WINDOW SPACE TO ACCESS THE CORRIDOR WALKING ALONG THE ENTIRE VEHICLE.

    THERE ARE 230 V SOCKETS IN SLEEPERS. THIS ALLOWS YOU TO RECHARGE PHONES AND OTHER ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT
    AFTER ABOUT 90 min., THE BUS WILL STOP NEXT TO THE VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT SRI MU SARAVANA BHAVAN FOR OVER 30 min. YOU CAN USE THE TOILETS, EAT SOMETHING, DRINK OR DO SMALL SHOPPING
1450 Rs (US$ 22)11 h. +?

KUMBAKONAM

  • IN FRONT OF THE BUS STATION TUK-TUK DRIVERS AS USUAL IN SUCH PLACES ARE WAITING FOR THE EASY MARKS. 200 m OUT OF THE STATION YOU WILL CATCH TRANSPORT FOR REASONABLE PRICE.
  • TUK-TUK TAKEN 200 m AWAY OF THE BUS STATION TO HOTEL ATHITYAA – 60 Rs – 50% OF THE PRICE REQUESTED BY THOSE WAITING ON BUS STATION TUK-TUK RANK.
60 Rs (US$ 0,9)
  • TUK-TUK. ROUTE: KUMBAKONAM – GANGAIKONDACHOLAPURAM TEMPLE – AIRAVATESVARA TEMPLE. TOTAL c. 6 h. GETTING TO GANGAIKONDACHOLAPURAM LASTED c. 2 h.
900 Rs (US$ 13,8)c. 6 h.???
  • TUK-TUK – HOTEL ATHITYAA – RAILWAY STATION
50 Rs (US$ 0,77)
10 Rs (US$ 0,15)1 h. / 40 km

MADURAI

  • SLEEPER KOCHI (ERNAKULAM) – COMFORTABLE DOUBLE BEDS. THERE WAS SO MUCH SPACE THAT LUGGAGE GOES TOGETHER WITH US. 230 V SOCKETS
    ATTENTION: YOU MAY FIND THAT YOUR BUS TO COCHIN WILL NOT BE DEPARTING FROM THE CENTRAL PERIYAR BUS STAND OR FROM COMPLEX BUS STAND, ONLY FROM A VERY STRANGE BUS STOP CALLED THE CRIME BRANCH BUS STOP ON THE S VELI ST. IT IS AN INTERMEDIATE FORM BETWEEN THE TERMINAL AND THE BUS STOP FOR LONG-DISTANCE BUSES. REMEMBER TO HOLDING ON HAND A PHONE. THE TRAVEL AGENCY OR SOMEBODY FROM THE BUS MIGHTY TO CALL WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THE DELAY.
1350 Rs (US$ 20,8)c. 9 h.

270 km

  • TRAIN STATION RESERVATION BUILDING – A MINE OF VALUABLE INFO
  • TRAVEL AGENCIES ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE STREET OPPOSITE THE TRAIN STATION – THEY ARE ALL VERY SIMILAR. A TRAVEL SPECIALIST FROM THE GOVERNMENT RECOGNISED, SURIYA TOURS & TRAVEL AGENCY IN A FEW MINUTES SOLVED ALL OUR COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS. IT HAPPENED SO QUICKLY AND IT CAME SO EASILY TO THE AGENT, THAT WE WATCHED THE TICKETS IN DISBELIEF.
????LOOK
  • YOU CAN GO TO KOCHI THROUGH KOLLAM BY TRAIN. FROM KOLLAM, YOU CAN GO FURTHER BY BUS OR TRAIN. TO BUY TRAIN TICKETS YOU MUST HAVE A PHOTOCOPY OF YOUR PASSPORT

MAMALLAPURAM (MAHABALIPURAM)

  • THE ROUTE TO CHIDAMBARAM CAN BE OVERCOME IN THREE WAYS: THE BUS-TRAIN COMBINATION, ONLY BY TRAIN OR BY TAXI CONNECTED TO THE BUS.
160 km
  • TRAIN TICKETS ARE EASIEST TO PURCHASE AT THE IRCTC BRANCH (OPEN UNTIL 14:00). THE COUCHETTE TO CHIDAMBARAM COSTS THE FOREIGNER ALMOST 1 330 Rs pp. PERSONALLY, I SUGGEST YOU BUY THE CHEAPEST TICKETS – GUARANTEEING ONLY THE FARE. IT IS NOT A LONG JOURNEY, AND IN THE WORST CASE SCENARIO YOU WILL PASS IT, BY SITTING ON THE LUGGAGE IN THE CORRIDOR
  • TAXI TO CHIDAMBARAM – ASKED CABBIES WANTED 4, THEN 3.500 Rs. I COULD GIVE 2.5 FOR A GOOD START. UNFORTUNATELY, WE DIDN’T REALIZE THE FACT, THAT EXCEEDING SOME INTERNAL BORDER IN THE SAME STATE, DRIVER HAVE TO PAY A TOLL. THIS IS WHAT MAKES THE FARE A LOT MORE DEARER.
3300 Rs (US$ 50,8)c. 160 km

THANJAVUR

5 Rs (US$ 0,08)
  • BUS FROM THIRUVAIYARU BUS STAND TO KALLANAI. THE BUS ALMOST REACHES THE DAM. IT STOPS ABOUT 100 m FROM ITS CENTRAL POINT.
28 Rs (US$ 0,43)50 km

c. 100 min.

10 Rs (US$ 0,15)50 km

TRICHY (TIRUCHIRAPPALLI)

60 Rs (US$ 0,9)c. 4 km
10 Rs (US$ 0,15)11 km / 40 min.
14 Rs (US$ 0,2)c. 15 km
7 Rs (US$ 0,1)4 km
100 Rs (US$ 15,3)
80 Rs (US$ 1,2)135 km / 2-3 h.
 

ACCOMMODATION

UNLESS SPECIFIED OTHERWISE, PRICES APPLY TO DOUBLE ROOMS WITH AIR-CONDITIONING AND BATHROOM

 

KANCHIPURAM

  • VASANTH VILLA IS LOCATED ON A BUSY STREET. MORNINGS HERE ARE STRONGLY VARIED ACOUSTICALLY BY SOME PROCESSIONS. THE SHARP, SLIGHTLY JAZZING MUSE IS ABLE TO MAKE THE DECEASED JUMP OUT OF THE BED. IT’S THE BIGGEST FAULT. THE HOTEL IS NEW. CLEAN. IT HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED – FOR EXAMPLE, AN ELEVATOR. BUT SEVERAL SOLUTIONS HAVE NOT BEEN THOUGHT OUT OR HAVE NOT YET BEEN FINISHED. ACCESS TO WI-FI ONLY AT THE RECEPTION DESK, IS A SMALL BUT TIRING PROBLEM, ESPECIALLY IF THE NETWORK IS NOT FAST. THE WET FLOOR IN THE BATHROOM IS BECOMING A SKATING RINK THREATENING WITH THE FALL. THIS MAY END BADLY SOMETIME. IN ADDITION, PROBABLY A BAD SYSTEM OF HEATING WATER WAS USED, INSTALLING SMALL 6-LITER BOILERS INSTEAD OF INSTANT WATER HEATERS. TAKING CARE OF LOW POWER CONSUMPTION, THE RECEPTION SWITCHES OFF THE POWER SUPPLY OF THESE DEVICES. THIS FORCES YOU TO GO DOWN TO INFORM THEM WHEN YOU WANT TO USE HOT WATER. ADMITTEDLY THERE ARE SWITCHES IN ROOMS, BUT APPARENTLY, CUSTOMERS DO NOT HAVE THE HABIT OF USING THEM, WHICH FORCES THE OWNERS TO SUCH ACTION.
1500 Rs (US$23)β˜…β˜…β˜…

KOCHI (COCHIN)

  • SOWPARNIKA HERMITAGE – IT IS NOT EASY TO GET HERE. DRIVING A KB JACOB RD FROM ERNAKULAM, YOU NEED TO SPOT A SMALL INFORMATION BOARD ON THE RIGHT CORNER WITH AN LITTLE OUTGOING STREET. THIS PANEL WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY TO THIS HIDDEN SPLENDID ACCOMMODATION. THE GUEST HOUSE IS LOCATED ABOUT 1 KM FROM THE CENTER OF FORT KOCHI AND EASY TO REACH BY FOOT OR TUK-TUK.

    DESPITE THE VERY EARLY TIME, WE QUICKLY SETTLE FORMALITIES PAYING FOR A ROOMS WITH BREAKFAST. ROOMS ARE CLEAN, EQUIPPED WITH DOUBLE OR SINGLE BEDS, WARDROBE, TABLE, CHAIRS AND BEDSIDE TABLES. WITH PRIVATE BATHROOM AND AIR CONDITIONING. A SMALL TERRACE (BALCONY) ON THE FIRST FLOOR CAN BE USED. ALL VERY COOL. THE DINING ROOM AND THE GENERALLY ACCESSIBLE KITCHEN WITH A REFRIGERATOR PROVIDE COMFORT TO THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE COOKING BY THEMSELVES. ON THE WALL A MAP OF THE AREA, INDICATING MORE INTERESTING PLACES AND EXPLAINING HOW TO FIND THEM.

    FOR BREAKFAST – ACCORDING TO OUR WISHES – A LOCAL FOOD WAS SERVED. SOME PANCAKES REPLACING BREAD AND VEGETARIAN ADDITIONS TO THEM. YUMMY.

    TIP: IF YOU WANT TO GET ANYWHERE IN THE CENTER OF FORT KOCHI AND YOU DO NOT WANT TO WALK, TRY TO STOP THE TUK-TUK AND ASK FOR A FREE RIDE IN EXCHANGE FOR ALLOWING HIM TO TAKE YOU TO ONE OR TWO OF THE LOCAL HANDICRAFT SHOPS ON THE WAY. MANY DRIVERS WILL BE HAPPY BECAUSE THEY WILL GET A FUEL VOUCHER FOR BRINGING THE CUSTOMER TO THE SHOP (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY ANYTHING!).

1500 Rs (US$23)β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

KUMBAKONAM

  • HOTEL ATHITYAA – LOCATED CENTRALLY, DECENT-SIZED, OUTDATED AND DEFINITELY REQUIRING RENEWAL. A LITTLE REMAINED OF HIS FORMER GLORY. ROOMS VERY LARGE AND NOT BADLY EQUIPPED. BIG SHELVES, STONE FLOORS, COMFORTABLE BEDS. GENERALLY CLEAN, HOWEVER SOME STAFF NEEDS PROFOUND CLEANING (E.G STONE FLOORS CORNERS). A COMPLETE LACK OF WI-FI IS DIFFICULT. THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE – THE PRICE. IN SAME BUILDING IS ALSO THE RESTAURANT “HOTEL NEW ARYAS” SERVING THROUGHOUT A VERY GOOD FOOD. YOU CAN EVEN GET SODA AT A NORMAL PRICE HERE.
800 Rs (US$ 12,3)β˜…

MADURAI

QUITE A LOT OF NIGHT SHELTERS DO NOT FIT INTO OUR BEDROOM PROFILE. MANY DIFFERENT OPTIONS CAN BE FOUND NEAR MADURAI JUNCTION STATION. I RECOMMEND THE STREETS: W MARRET St. AND MELA PERUMAL MESTRI VEETHI – THEY ARE QUIETER AND ABOUND IN RENOVATED OR NEW HOTELS WITH A GOOD – IN RELATION TO THE REST – PRICES. WE’RE NEGOTIATING EVERYWHERE, OF COURSE. MANY OF THE DORMITORIES BEING IN THE BLOCKS OF STREETS BETWEEN THE RAILWAY STATION AND THE MINAKSHI TEMPLE HAVE QUITE GOOD SLEEPING CONDITIONS, BUT BECAUSE ARE LOCATED ON LONG, NARROW BUILDING PLOTS, ARE LOOKING LIKE PRISONS. THEY POSSESSING SIMILAR TO TAPEWORMS, QUITE DARK CORRIDORS, AND ROOMS RESEMBLING CELLS, WITH SMALL WINDOWS OPENING ONTO THE WALL OF THE NEXT BUILDING. AS A RESULT, THE SLEEPING ROOMS ARE SMALL AND DARK. OF COURSE, THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR EVERYONE. HOWEVER, MOST OFTEN THE PRICES IN SUCH PLACES ARE NOT MUCH DIFFERENT FROM THOSE, THAT CAN BE NEGOTIATED IN MUCH BETTER ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE NEXT STREET.

  • HOTEL KATHIR PALACE – VERY CLOSE TO THE MAIN ATTRACTION OF THE CITY – THE MEENAKSHI TEMPLE. 950 m FROM THE STATION. AVERAGE. WE HAVE SERIOUS RESERVATIONS ABOUT THE PRICE AND SOME TO THE CLEANLINESS
  • MR INTERNATIONAL – HIGHER STANDARD. THE LOBBY LOOKS GREAT, OFFERED DISCOUNT MUCH LESS
  • HOTEL WEST TOWER DOES NOT HAVE WI-FI. IT LOOKS DIRTY, BUT YOU HAVE TO CHECK IT OUT. THERE WERE NO VACANT ROOMS WITH A / C
  • NEW HOTEL KEERTHI – NEWLY RENOVATED. EVERYTHING IS NEW. THE VIEW FROM THE WINDOW IS NOT INTERESTING (BUT NOT TO BAD). FOR ME PERSONALLY BOTH A ROOM AND A PRICE WAS GOOD. I RECOMMEND ALTHOUGH I DIDN’T SLEEP THERE
β˜…β˜…β˜…(+?)
  • HOTEL PREM NIVAS (West Perumal, 102 Mesthri St.) – JUST BEING RENOVATED. GOOD PRICES, DOUBLE ROOM LOOKS SURPRISINGLY GOOD. BIG AND BRIGHT WITH A LARGE BED. BEDDING CLEAN. PRICE FOR A ROOM WITHOUT A / C. THE ONE OF SINGLE-PERSON APARTMENT MAKES A BAD IMPRESSION.
    ATTENTION: AT PAYING THEY ATTEMPTED TO CHEAT US SLIGHTLY ROUNDING THE PRICE. THE DIFFERENCE WAS SMALL, BUT FOR SUCH AN AMOUNT YOU CAN EAT A GOOD DINNER. WE ALSO DID OTHER MISTAKE. AFTER RETURNING TO THE HOTEL WITH THE LUGGAGES WE DID NOT CHECK THE DETAILS OF THE ROOMS. AS A RESULT, WE GOT THEM WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING, BEING SURE WE PAID FOR THE AIR-CONDITIONED ROOMS. THE LACK OF A TOWEL AND TOILET PAPER WAS IMMEDIATELY RESOLVED BY THE SERVICE STAFF.
990 Rs (US$ 15,2)β˜…β˜…

MAMALLAPURAM (MAHABALIPURAM)

  • SILVER MOON GUEST HOUSE – A GREAT APPROACH TO THE CUSTOMER. A SMALL RESTAURANT ON THE ROOF SERVING, AMONG OTHERS, BEER (240 RS). 550 m FROM THE BUS STATION. CLEAN, ENOUGH FURNISHED ROOMS. COOL TERRACES ON THE FLOORS ALLOW EASY SOCIALIZING. SUPER LOCATION ON A NOT TOO BUSY STREET. FROM THE ROOF YOU CAN SEE THE OCEAN
1500 Rs (US$ 23)β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…?

THANJAVUR

NEXT TO THE STATION IN THANJAVUR THERE ARE MANY PLACES OFFERING ACCOMMODATION. PRICES ARE VERY DIFFERENT. ALREADY 150 M TO THE RIGHT OF THE STATION ARE THE FIRST LOCAL NIGHT SHELTERS. PRICES FROM 800 RS FOR A ROOM WITH A BATHROOM, IN A BUILDING WHOSE INTERIOR IS SLIGHTLY REMINISCENT OF AMERICAN STATE PRISONS. FOR SUCH MONEY OF COURSE WITHOUT INTERNET. THE FURTHER AWAY FROM THE STATION, THE MORE EXPENSIVE. THE LAST TWO HOTELS VISITED BY US WERE LARGE AND QUITE EXPENSIVE (PLA RESIDENCY AND ORIENTAL TOWERS). IN THE FIRST PRICES ARE ACCEPTABLE – C. 1 400 RS, BUT THE WINDOWS FACE THE TRACKS … THE SECOND HAS A LOBBY LIKE SHERATON AND LIKEWISE COSTS.

  • HOTEL VALLI – CLOSE TO THE STATION (400 M), NICE ROOMS, QUIET, BUT WI-FI ONLY IN THE LOBBY AT THE RECEPTION. SUPER SLEEPING. WITHOUT HONKING, WITHOUT NOISES. THERE IS ALSO A RESTAURANT. EUROPEAN ELEMENTS AND HINDU DISHES ARE SERVED IN THE BREAKFAST MENU. AFFORDABLE PRICES; EG. EGG 20 RS, TOAST WITH JAM AND SALTY BUTTER 45 RS, SOUP 60 RS. SERVICE, UNFORTUNATELY NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS SAID TO HIM IN SIMPLE ENGLISH. THE ROOM PRICES ARE NOT BAD. BUT IT IS POSSIBLE TO IMPROVE THEIR ATTRACTION. THE PROPOSAL OF REDUCING PRICE BY 20% (OBVIOUSLY AFTER WATCHING THE ROOMS) THE CREW ACCEPTS WITH STOIC CALMNESS. THEY CALLING HOTEL MANAGER. MY BRIEF CONVERSATION WITH HIM SOLVES THE MATTER. IT IS OUT OF SEASON AND WE WANT TWO ROOMS FOR THREE DAYS. WE GET THE KEYS IMMEDIATELY …
1400 Rs (US$ 21,5)β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

TRICHY (TIRUCHIRAPPALLI)

THERE IS QUITE A LOT OF NIGHT SHELTER OF DIFFERENT TYPES NEAR THE TIRUCHIRAPPALLI JUNCTION RAILWAY STATION. MAINLY VERY CHEAP. ESPECIALLY A LOT IS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF ROCKINS RD, RUNNING FROM THE LOCOMOTIVE STANDING AT THE BUSY INTERSECTION. THEIR APPEARANCE AND THE SURROUNDING NOISE RATHER PRECLUDE A GOOD REST.

  • ASHBY HOTEL – A LARGE PROPERTY. THE PRICE IS HIGH. HAVING SEEN THE OFFER WITH OUR OWN EYES, WE MOVED OUT OF IT FASTER, THAN WE ENTERED. IN ADDITION TO THE INTERESTING INTERIOR PATIO, EVERYTHING WE SAW DETERRED FROM USING IT: THE CONDITION OF THE ROOMS, LACK OF PRIVACY (WINDOWS OVERLOOKING THE CORRIDOR RUNNING ALONG THE BUILDING) AND THE PRICE. THEY OFFER A JAIL CELL-STYLE ROOM, WITH DIRTY BEDDING FOR 1800. WE ADVISE AGAINST.
1800 Rs (US$ 27,7)? ? ?
  • HOTEL SREE – CHEAPER, NO WI-FI …
  • HOTEL ABIRAMI – WI-FI, NICE ROOMS AT REASONABLE PRICES. THE SHORTCOMING IS THE LARGE TRAFFIC AROUND. IT IS POSSIBLE NOT TO GET ENOUGH SLEEP …
  • RAMYAS HOTEL – 3 STAR. IT LOOKS QUITE GOOD, ESPECIALLY INSIDE. HOWEVER, THE PRICE EVEN WITH THE PROMISED SMALL DISCOUNT DID NOT DELIGHT.
  • PLAZA HOTEL – 3 STAR. IT HAS EQUIVALENT PRICES AND SIMILAR EQUIPMENT. IT WAS STILL NOT OUR STORY. PARTICULARLY IN TERMS OF THE PRICE …
  • APPLE PARK INN HOTEL – NEW. A MODERN LUMP ON THE ONCE MAIN, NOT TOO BUSY ROAD. I ASSOCIATE THIS HOTEL A BIT WITH A BORDER POST OF THE CITY. IN FRONT YOU CAN SEE A RAPIDLY EXPANDING, VIBRANT CENTER. BEHIND IT LIES A PEACEFUL, QUIET VILLAGE. THE BUILDING HAS 5 FLOORS AND 38 ROOMS, HOWEVER THERE ARE ALL CONFIGURATIONS: FROM 1 TO 6 PEOPLE. THERE IS ALSO A PLACE FOR A SMALL DINING ROOM AND A QUITE LARGE CONFERENCE ROOM. OF COURSE, THE ROOMS HAVE PRIVATE BATHROOMS AND AIR CONDITIONING. OURS WERE NOT BIG, BUT WELL THOUGHT-OUT AND THANKS TO THAT COMFORTABLE. IT’S REALLY HARD TO FIND WEAK POINTS IN THEIR FURNISHING. PARTICULARLY IF WE WILL TAKE THE PRICE AND THE SERVICE INTO CONSIDERATION.
    FOR TOURISTS, THE BASE IN APPLE PARK INN HAS YET ANOTHER HUGE PLUS – IT IS DEFINITELY CLOSER TO ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT MONUMENTS OF THE CITY. SOME OF THEM CAN BE EASILY REACHED ON FOOT. YOU CAN GET TO THE OTHERS EITHER WITH A TUK-TUK (VERSION FOR THOSE IN WORSE CONDITION) OR BY BUS (YOU HAVE TO WALK UP A BIT). THE APPLE PARK INN’S RESTAURANT SERVES A DELICIOUS BREAKFASTS. THEY SERVING THEM IN TWO VERSIONS – INDIAN AND CONTINENTAL (EUROPEAN). LOCAL STYLE DISHES ARE SERVED Γ€ LA BUFFET. A CHOICE OF SEVERAL TYPES OF PANCAKES INSTEAD OF BREAD, SOME PROCESSED VEGETABLES AND PROBABLY TOFU. THOSE WHO DO NOT LIKE LOCAL FOOD WILL GET CROUTONS AND JAM. DRINKS: TEA, COFFEE AND FRESHLY SQUEEZED JUICE (LIMITED AMOUNT). WE STUFFED OURSELVES OBSCENELY. EVERYTHING WAS YUMMY. WE WERE SURPRISED NOT ONLY BY THE DELICIOUSNESS OF THE DISHES, BUT ALSO THEIR DIVERSITY AND QUANTITY. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PLACE. WASHING – 20 RS / PC.
    WARNING: T-SHIRT, SHAWL AND US$ 20 WERE LOST FROM OUR ROOMS … UNFORTUNATELY, WE DISCOVER IT TOO LATE. ON RAILWAY STATION WHEN WAITING FOR THE TRAIN TO THE NEXT CITY … I INFORMED THE MANAGER.
1300 Rs (US$ 20)β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

WORTH SEEING

IMPORTANT: IN THIS PART OF INDIA, TEMPLES ARE USUALLY OPEN FROM 6:00 TO 12:00 AND FROM 16:00 / 16:30 TO 21:00 / 22:00. OF COURSE, THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS.

I SUGGEST YOU DO NOT USE LOCAL GUIDES IF YOUR ENGLISH IS SO-SO.. ?

BANGALORE

  • TIPU SULTAN’S SUMMER PALACE – NOT REALLY BIG BUILDING BUILDING WITH A SMALL SQUARE-GARDEN. QUITE INTERESTING, BUT NOT STUNNING. IT IS AN EXAMPLE OF INDIAN-ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE AND WAS THE SUMMER RESIDENCE OF A MYSOREAN RULER – SULTAN TIPU. THE CONSTRUCTION WAS COMPLETED IN 1791 USING ONLY TEAK WOOD. THE PAINTING OF THE GREAT SULTAN’S THRONE, COVERED WITH GOLDEN SHEETS AND PRECIOUS EMERALD STONES, IS INTERESTING. THE RULER SWORE HE WOULD NOT USE IT UNTIL HE DEFEATED THE BRITISH ARMY. AFTER HIS DEATH THE BRITISH DISMANTLED THE THRONE AND SOLD IT IN PARTS, BECAUSE IT WAS TOO EXPENSIVE FOR ONE PERSON TO BUY THE WHOLE THING.
500 Rs (US$ 7,7)30 – 40 min.??
  • KOTE VENKATARAMANA SWAMY TEMPLE FROM 1689 – NEXT TO THE SULTAN TIPU PALACE. MUST-SEE. THERE ARE MANY SCULPTURES OF ANIMALS AND SCENES FROM ANCIENT HINDU MYTHOLOGICAL STORIES AND A VERY INTERESTING, LARGE SILVER ALTAR.
30 min.β˜…β˜…?
  • BANGALORE FORT – FORTIFICATIONS THAT LOOK SOLID AND POWERFUL FROM THE OUTSIDE, SEEN FROM THE INSIDE ARE VERY DISAPPOINTING. THERE IS ONLY A VERY SMALL PART TO WATCH. I SUPPOSE NOT MORE THAN 1/4. THE FRAGMENT PROVIDED IS ACTUALLY A KIND OF COURTYARD SURROUNDED BY HIGH WALLS WITH A VERY WELL-KEPT LAWN IN THE MIDDLE. I SUGGEST TO LET IT GO.
500 Rs (US$ 7,7)10 min.
  • NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART – NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART – ITS LOCATION IS THE MOST INTERESTING. SURROUNDED BY A LARGE NUMBER OF MAGNIFICENT TREES AND LUSH GREENERY THE MANIKYAVELU MANSION – THE FORMER RESIDENCE OF THE MINING BARON RAJA MANICKYAVELU MUDALIAR, BOUGHT BY HIM FROM THE WADIYAR FROM MYSURU – LIES IN A RICH NEIGHBOURHOOD. NEARBY, THERE ARE OTHER REMAINS OF THE COLONIAL ERA: VIDHAN SOUDHA, CUBBON PARK, GOLF COURSE CLUB – (THE OLDEST GOLF CLUB OUTSIDE THE BRITISH ISLANDS), CHINNASWAMY STADIUM, BALABROOIE GUEST HOUSE AND MANY OLD BUNGALOWS FROM THIS PERIOD. INSIDERS CAN USE THIS 3.5 HA PLACE FOR A PEACEFUL AFTERNOON GETAWAY OR A BREAK IN A BUSY SIGHTSEEING. GIVING A LOT OF SAVING SHADOW FLORA IS REFRESHED BY WATER STRINGS. GOOD COFFEE IN A SMALL SIDE CAFΓ‰.

    IN THE COLLECTION SCULPTURES, PAINTINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS FROM BEFORE, AFTER, AND COLONIAL TIMES. THEY SHOW THE CULTURAL ETHOS OF INDIA AND THE ROLE OF ART IN IT FROM THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY. PARTICULAR EMPHASIS WAS PLACED ON THE WORK OF COLONIAL ARTISTS (MANY OF THEM UNKNOWN), BENGALI AND POST-INDEPENDENCE. INCLUDING SUCH AS 
 RABINDRANATH TAGORE, RAJA RAVI VARMA, JAIMINI ROY AND AMRITA SHER

    FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, THE GAME IS NOT WORTH THE CANDLE. I DISADVISE YOU THIS PLACE. SHOCKING PRICE …

500 Rs (US$ 7,7)30 – 40 min.

CHIDAMBARAM

  • THILLAI NATARAJA TEMPLE IS VERY BIG. OPENED AT 6:00. FROM THE DISTANCE ONE CAN SEE LARGE, COLOURFUL GOPURAS. INSIDE: COURTYARDS; MANDAPAS; COLUMN CHAMBERS; MANY TEMPLES DEDICATED TO SHIVA, VISHNU, GANESHA, OTHER DEITIES, GODDESSES. DARK MANDAPAS WITH CARVED PILLARS AND BEAUTIFUL CEILINGS LEAD US TO THE CHAPEL, ABOVE WHICH A GOLDEN STATUE OF THE DANCING SIVA WAS PLACED. IT IS SHIVA AS A MASTER AND RULER OF DANCE IN THE CONCEPT OF THE COSMOS. IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME TO WALK AROUND THE WHOLE. YOU MUST COUNT AT LEAST 60 MINUTES. GALLOPING. REALLY WORTH IT. ADMISSION FREE. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
90 – 120 min.?????
  • LORD THILLAI KALI TEMPLE – CREATED DURING THE CHOLAS DYNASTY. THILLAI IS ANOTHER NAME FOR CHIDAMBARAM. SUPER INTERESTING, ALTHOUGH SMALL. IS PLENTY TO WATCHING AND TO EXPERIENCING … ADMISSION FREE.
    ATTENTION: THE BUTTER-FAT COVER FLOOR ON WHICH ONE CAN EASY TAKE A PRATFALL
20 – 30 min.?? ??
  • LORD ELAMAIYAKKINAR (ILAMAIYAKKINAR) TEMPLE. – PRACTICALLY DESERTED, APART OF A FEW BEGGARS IN THE ENTRANCE. ONE HAS UNEARTHLY GREEN EYES. IT LOOKS INCREDIBLE. IN THE INTERIOR OF THE BUILDING LITTLE HAPPENS. FREE ENTRANCE.
10 min.

CHENNAI (MADRAS)

GUIDES AND BLOGGERS ARE NOT DELIGHTED ABOUT CHENNAI. THE CITY IS DIFFICULT TO EXPLORE DUE TO THE HUGE TRAFFIC, SMOG AND STICKY HEAT.

  • FORT St GEORGE – TODAY’S CHENNAI FORT IS NOTHING, THAT IS EVEN SLIGHTLY SIMILAR TO THE FORTS OF NORTH INDIA. BRITS BUILT IT ACCORDING TO THEIR NEEDS. HOWEVER, FOR TODAY’S TOURISTS, THIS MATERIAL REMAINS OF BRITISH DOMINION ARE NOT WORTH MUCH, BECAUSE THEY ARE HEAVILY NEGLECTED. AT PRESENT – FROM THIS ONCE-ENORMOUS COMPLEX – ONLY THREE STRUCTURES REMAIN AVAILABLE FOR VISITORS.
    THE MOST IMPORTANT – DEFENSIVE WALLS – IN A FEW PLACES ARE FORCING THEIR WAY THROUGH THE WEEDS COVERING THEM. THEY ARE WELL SEEN FROM A DISTANCE. THEY USED TO BE SURROUNDED BY MOAT. CURRENTLY ONLY BY PARCHED, FULL OF GARBAGE CHANNEL.
    THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT (IF MORE INTERESTING, IT COULD BECOME THE FIRST) IS TODAY’S MUSEUM BUILDING. THE COLLECTIONS DO NOT IMPRESS. HUNTERS OF MILITARY CURIOSITIES WILL FIND HERE SOME INTERESTING SCRAP METAL. THERE ARE ALSO A FEW RARITIES FOR ENTHUSIASTS OF OLD, COLONIAL PORCELAIN; SEVERAL PORTRAITS OF DIGNITARIES OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, AND TWO IMPORTANT LOCAL RULERS. ENTRANCE IS DEFINITELY TOO EXPENSIVE, CONSIDERING WHAT’S INSIDE. I RECOMMEND ONLY TO ARTILLERY FANS.
    THE LAST, THE WORTH OF SEEING BUILDING IS THE CHURCH OF St. GEORGE. JUST SPEND 10 MINUTES ON IT, PLUS ANOTHER 10 TO GET TO IT (FROM THE MUSEUM). HOWEVER YOU WON’T LOSE A LOT IF YOU DON’T SEE IT
200 Rs (US$ 3,1)30 – 40 min.

+ 20 min.

?
  • GEORGE TOWN DISTRICT – RASAPPA CHETTY St GIVES THE IMPRESSION OF A PLACE, WHERE THE STARS ARE PARADING IN FRONT OF OUR EYES. EXCEPT, THAT THOSE STARS ARE NOT THE CELEBRITIES, BUT THE ORDINARY PEOPLE. WALKING DOWN THIS STREET WAS THE MOST FASCINATING THING WE DID IN CHENNAI. CROWDS GOING FROM TWO SIDES, RUSHING BY VARIOUS VEHICLES, TRYING TO BREAK THROUGH THEM, CREATE AN ENDLESS, COLORFUL STREAM EXCITING THE VIEWER BY EMERGING FROM IT EVERY COUPLE OF MINUTES INCREDIBLE FIGURES. ON THE INDIVIDUAL FACES YOU WILL SEE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO PAINT A GREAT PORTRAIT OR A GENRE PAINTING. JUST STAND SOMEWHERE ON THE SIDE AND MANIPULATE THE CAMERA LIKE A BRUSH TO SHOOT PICS. IT IS NECESSARY TO HAVE TIME TO DO IT, OF COURSE. UNFORTUNATELY, I RAN OUT OF TIME. I WOULD LIKE TO COME HERE FOR THE WHOLE DAY AND STROLLING ALONG THIS STREET CATCHING ITS TASTES
1 h. ++?????
10 min. +????

KANCHIPURAM

IN KANCHIPURAM THERE ARE REPORTEDLY THOUSANDS OF TEMPLES

  • SRI KAMAKSHI AMMAN TEMPLE – IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO ENTER THE INTERIOR OF THE LARGEST BUILDING – THIS IS INTENDED ONLY FOR THE FAITHFUL.
45 min.????
  • EKAMBARESHWARA TEMPLE – – ONE OF THE OLDEST TEMPLES IN INDIA. DATED ON THE 6th c., IT COVERS AN AREA OF 93,000 m.2 AT THE ENTRANCE THERE ARE TWO HALLS, VAHANA MANDAPAM AND SARABESA MANDAPAM (NAVARATRI ROOM). ON THE OUTSKIRTS, A CORRIDOR WITH A THOUSAND PILLARS. THE TEMPLE IS ONE OF THE PANCHA BHOOTA STALAM – 5 TEMPLES OF SHIVA REPRESENTING 5 ELEMENTS OF NATURE. HERE, SIVA IS WORSHIPPED AS EKAMBARESWARAR OR EKAMBARANATHAR, OR THE MASTER OF THE MANGO TREE, AND REPRESENTED BY THE LINGAM. MANGO TREES CAN BE SEEN IN THE TEMPLE WHILE LINGAM IS UNAVAILABLE TO THE INFIDELS. GOPURA IMPRESSES WITH THE SIZE AND CRAFTSMANSHIP OF THE WORK OF THE CREATORS. FROM TIME TO TIME THE MONKEYS RUN THROUGH IT.
    PAID ENTRANCE. SOMEHOW WE CAME IN WITHOUT PAYING, SO I’M NOT SURE HOW MUCH IT COSTS. USE OF THE CAMERA 20 Rs, CAMCORDER – INCLUDING TABLETS 100 Rs.
    DEFINITELY WORTH TO SEE.
?60 min. +????
  • KAILASANATHA TEMPLE – THE OLDEST TEMPLE OF THIS CITY, OPEN TILL 6 p.m.
    NOT BIG, BUT SUPER INTERESTING. BEAUTIFUL CARVINGS. LIES A BIT OUT OF THE WAY. MUST NOT BE OMITTED. ABSOLUTELY ONE OF THE MOST FASCINATING PLACES TO SEE ON THIS TRIP. BEHIND THE ALTAR A PASSAGE – RESERVED ONLY FOR THE FAITHFUL – IS A SYMBOLIZATION OF THE PROCESS FOR THE REINCARNATION.
30 -45 min.?????
  • SRI VAIGUNDA PERUMAL (TEMPLE) – SIGHTSEEING DOES NOT TAKE MUCH TIME. ADMISSION FREE. DEDICATED TO VISHNU IN THREE POSITIONS. STANDING, SITTING AND LYING. A DARK TEMPLE FULL OF COVERED PASSAGES. ONLY THE HINDU PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO THE MAIN PART. FROM THE DESCRIPTION IT SEEMED COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN IN REALITY. TO THE POINT, THAT WE ASKED LOCALS TWICE WHERE WE ARE.
15 min.????
  • KACHABESWARAR TEMPLE KACHABESWARAR TEMPLE DEDICATED TO SIVA. ON A RECTANGULAR AREA OF ABOUT 2 ARES, THERE ARE TEMPLE BUILDINGS AND A WATER RESERVOIR. IN THE CENTRAL TEMPLE, SIVA IS REPRESENTED BY THE LINGAM. THE STATUES DEPICTING THE NAGA SNAKE ARE STRIKING THE EYE. WOMEN ESPECIALLY WORSHIP THEM, SMOKING GHEE FOR THE WELFARE OF THE FAMILY. 25 – 30 min. ADMISSION FREE. I WOULD RECOMMEND.
25 – 30 min.????
  • KUMARA KOTTAM SUBRAMANYAR DEVOTED TO MURUGAN. THIS IS ONE OF THE FEW PLACES OF WORSHIP OF THIS GOD, WORSHIPPED ESPECIALLY IN THE SOUTH.THE ICONOGRAPHY DEPICTS THE SEATED SHIVA AND PARVATI, WITH MURUGAN BETWEEN THEM. THIS TEMPLE IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT FOR MURAGANA WORSHIP. AN ABSOLUTE BAN ON TAKING PICTURES
30 min.???
15 min.??
15 min.??

KOCHI & ERNAKULAM

KERALA IS A DEFINITE CONTRAST WITH THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. NOT ONLY IN TERMS OF CLEANLINESS, BUT ALSO OTHER BUILDINGS, OTHER STORES, RESTAURANTS, BUT ALSO RESIDENTS. THERE ARE NO SUCH A CHARACTERISTIC FOR INDIA, A COLOURFUL, CROWDED STREET WITH POOR PEOPLE, BEGGARS, STALLS. IN THE FORT ITSELF – AS OUR HOTEL-GUEST HOUSE MANAGER HAS TOLD US – THERE IS THIRTEEN RELIGIONS KEEPING IN A HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER.

15 min.
  • CHINESE FISHING NETS – THEIR UNUSUAL APPEARANCE AND WAY OF ACTION MAKES A GREAT IMPRESSION ON ALL KINDS OF TOURISTS. THESE NETS ARE OUTSPREAD ON VERY TALL BAMBOO SCAFFOLDING AND ARE USED FOR COASTAL TRAPPING. THEY OPERATE ON THE PRINCIPLE OF A CRANE. THE NETS SUSPENDED ON THE FRAME ARE LOWERED INTO THE WATER. THE FISHERMAN WAITS SOME TIME AND IN HIMSELF ONLY KNOWN MOMENT SUDDENLY PULLS UP THE WOK. OF COURSE, IT WILL BE SUFFICIENT ONLY TO APPROACH THE FISHING CONSTRUCTION AT ANY TIME CLOSE ENOUGH, IN ORDER TO BE CAUGHT BY THE FISHERMEN. IF YOU WANT TO SEE MORE ACCURATELY THE FUNCTIONING OF THE DEVICE AND THEIR WORK, YOU HAVE TO PAY.
    I DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH, BUT DO NOT FORGET HARD BARGAINING.
0 – ?15 – 45 min.
  • THE CITY’S CULTURAL CENTER AT K.B. JACOB Rd – TICKETS FOR FIGHTS SHOWS IN THE FAMOUS LOCAL STYLE – KALARIPPAYAT. ALMOST AN HOUR LONG SHOW AT GREENIX VILLAGE IS NOT VERY INTERESTING. THREE MEN TOOK PART IN IT. BUT ACTUALLY ONLY TWO OF THEM REALLY FOUGHT. THE DUELS WATCHED ON A SMALL ARENA RESEMBLE THE FIGHTS IN ZOORKHANEHS (HOUSES OF POWER) IN IRAN. APART FROM A FEW INTERESTING TYPES OF WEAPONS, DUDES DID NOT PRESENT ANYTHING REVEALING. FOR AMATEURS OF SIMULATED FIGHTS ON HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. GOOD FOR BOYS FROM 8 YEARS UP.AN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE-MENTIONED PERFORMANCES IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENTER A SMALL KIND OF MUSEUM – LIKE A GALLERY – WHERE YOU CAN SEE SOME DIFFERENT TRIBAL COSTUMES. DEFINITELY MORE INTERESTING THAN THE FIGHTING GUYS. FOR THIS 15 min. IS ENOUGH.
350 Rs (US$ 5,4)90 min.
  • VASCO DA GAMA’S HOUSE – CURRENTLY NOT FOR SIGHTSEEING. VIEWING ONLY FROM THE OUTSIDE
2 min.
  • THE CHURCH OF St. FRANCIS – WITH THE GRAVE STONE OF VASCO DA GAMA. THE TEMPLE ITSELF – THE FIRST CATHOLIC CHURCH IN INDIA IS COOL, HOWEVER WHAT’S ATTRACTS THE CROWDS ITS THE REMAINS AFTER ONE OF THE GREATEST EXPLORERS AND PIRATES IN HISTORY. INTERESTING.
15 min. +???
  • A TRIP AROUND THE BACKWATERS OF KERALA – MINIVAN TAKES YOU TO THE BOAT IN C 45 MIN. THERE IS A SMALL SHOP ON ITS LAST STOP. YOU CAN STOCK UP ON LIQUIDS HERE. THEY HAVE SODA WATER.WE ARE GETTING INTO LONG, NARROW WOODEN BOATS POWERED BY OARS AND LONG BAMBOO CANES. WE MOVE, SLOWLY PUSHED FORWARD FROM THE BOTTOM OF A LARGE RIVER BY CANES. AT ONE POINT WE LAND IN A SETTLEMENT LOST AMONGST THE WEED. DURING THE STOP, AMONG OTHERS AN ANCIENT WAY – STILL IN USE, HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED – THE PRODUCTION OF CORDS FROM THE COIR. VERY INTERESTING. WE’RE BOATING ON. A LITTLE LATER, WE’RE PUSHING TO THE SHORE AGAIN. THIS TIME FOR LUNCH. ON TABLES DEPLOYED UNDER THE ROOF THERE IS PREPARED THE FOOD. THE RICE, SOME SAUCES, PANCAKES, VEGES IS SERVED. SECONDS ARE POSSIBLE. YUM-YUM. AFTER EATING, WE MOVED ON, PASSING SEVERAL VILLAGES ALONG THE WAY. WE RETURNED TO THE POINT OF DEPARTURE AFTER 5 AND 1/2 HOUR. RETURN TO THE HOTEL BY MINIBUS.IN CONCLUSION: THE TRIP WAS QUITE AVERAGE. AT THE SAME TIME, THE PRICE SEEMS PERFECTLY ADEQUATE TO ME. THE MOST INTERESTING MOMENTS ARE A VISIT TO THE SETTLEMENT AND DEMONSTRATION OF AGE-OLD TECHNIQUES THAT ARE STILL IN USE. AND THE LUNCH.
750 Rs (US$ 11,5)5,5 h.???
  • THE TEMPLE OF THE JAINISTS, SREE VARDHMAN STHANAKVASI – A BIT OUT OF THE WAY. ENTRANCE ONLY FOR APPROPRIATELY DRESSED. GUYS HAVE TO BE WRAPPED IN DHOTI. AN ABSOLUTE BAN ON TAKING PHOTOS, ENFORCED BY A VERY UNPLEASANT WOMAN. THE TEMPLE IS NOT BIG. WHEN WE WERE THERE, THERE WERE FEW PEOPLE AROUND. A CURIOSITY ARE THE PIGEONS FLYING OUT FROM INSIDE OF TEMPLE AT A SPECIFIC TIME (EVERY HOUR?). THE WHOLE IS INTERESTING AND WORTH SEEING
30 min.???
  • OLD TOWN LAUNDRY – DHOBI KHANA. IN FACT, FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, IT IS THE ABSOLUTE MEGA HIT OF COCHIN. THE WHOLE CONSISTS OF THREE PARTS: THE IRONING ROOM, THE LAUNDRY AND THE DRYING ROOM. THE PEOPLE WORKING IN THIS COOPERATION ARE INSPIRING THE GREATEST INTEREST OF TOURISTS. MANY FAMILIES HAVE BEEN HERE FOR GENERATIONS. IF YOU LIKE PHOTOGRAPHING WORKING PEOPLE, YOU HAVE TO GO TO DHOBI KHAN FOR LONGER. PARTICULARLY COOL PHOTOS CAN BE SHOT BY THE WASHERMEN. APPROXIMATELY 60 MINUTES IS ENOUGH TO WATCH THE WHOLE INCLUDING A PHOTO SESSION.
60 min.?????
  • COCHIN THIRUMALA DEVASWOM TEMPLE. THE INFIDELS CAN NOT GO INSIDE. A LARGE WATER RESERVOIR SURROUNDED BY VEGETATION IN FRONT OF THE TEMPLE. NEXT TO IT GRAZEING TWO – I UNDERSTAND TEMPLE ELEPHANTS. DESPITE THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF GETTING INSIDE, IT’S WORTH SEEING THE ELEPHANTS EATING. MORE LUCKY DEVILS CAN ALSO COME ACROSS LOCAL FESTIVITY.
15 min.???
  • MATTANCHERRY PALACE – ERECTED BY THE PORTUGUESE AT C 1555. DARK INTERIORS AND A GUARDING SERVICE GREETED US. THE SECURITY MAKE SURE SOMEONE DID NOT SNAP THE PHOTO OF THE “TREASURES” HIDDEN IN THIS NEGLECTED PLACE. I SUPPOSE, THE SHOOTING PHOTO BAN IS INTENDED TO HIDE CLEARLY VISIBLE DEFICIENCIES AND PROBLEMS RESULTING FROM UNDERINVESTMENT. DESPITE THIS, ONE DEFINITELY SHOULD COME HERE AND TAKE A WALK THROUGH THIS SMALL MUSEUM. IT IS WORTH PAYING ATTENTION TO THE BEAUTIFULLY DECORATED WALLS AND CEILINGS. ON THE WALLS MURALS WITH SCENES FROM THE HINDU EPICS OF RAMAYANA, MAHABHARATA. INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE IS ALSO INTERESTING
5 Rs (US$ 0,07)30/45 min.???
  • THE JEWISH QUARTER – SHOPPING MECCA. MOSTLY VISITED BY TOURISTS PART OF THE FORT – ONE WILL FIND HERE A HUGE NUMBER OF INTERESTING SHOPS. ESPECIALLY: ANTIQUE SHOPS, BOUTIQUES, PLACES SPECIALISED IN THE SALE OF SPICES, COFFEE AND MANY OTHERS.
130 min.????
  • THE PARADESI SYNAGOGUE, BUILT IN 1567, STANDS AT THE VERY END OF THE NARROW CUL-DE-SAC. IN ORDER TO REACH IT, ONE HAVE TO BREAK THROUGH THE THRONGS OF TRADERS FROM STANDING ALONG THE STREET MAINLY CLOTHING STORES. WE WERE UNLUCKY. IT WAS CLOSED BECAUSE OF EASTER.
  • SREE JANARDHANA TEMPLE – WE SAW EVERYTHING HERE FOR A SMALL FEE. INCLUDING THE HOLIEST CORNERS INACCESSIBLE FOR THE DISSENTERS.
20 min.???
  • CHERAI BEACH – REPORTEDLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE AREA. NICE, LONG, BUT COMPLETELY UNDEVELOPED. WHEN WE LANDED THERE, ON A SEVERAL-KILOMETRE STRETCH, A LARGE CROWD OF PEOPLE MILLED AROUND. BUT NOTE: JUST GO 1 KM TOWARDS KOCHI AND THE BEACH GETS EMPTY. TAKE SOMETHING THAT WILL REPLACE THE BLANKET. THE OFFER OF RENTING BEACH CHAIRS CAN PARALYSE. THE SEA SHORE ROCK ON! I’M NOT SURPRISED EVERYONE RECOMMENDS THIS BEACH. THE SEA BED FALLS SLOWLY HERE, WITHOUT SUDDEN FAULTS. THE ONLY DRAWBACK IS THE DISTANCE FROM FORT KOCHI.
????
  • PUTHENTHODU BEACH IS SMALL – SUPER COOL, VERY CALM, SECLUDED BEACH WITHOUT BEACH-SELLERS. IT HAS THE SHAPE OF A LAGOON. THERE ARE SIGNS WARNING AGAINST BATHING. IT LOOKS LIKE ONE HAVE TO WATCH OUT FOR SHORT, STRONG WAVES AT CERTAIN TIMES. THERE IS NO RAPIDLY FALLING SEA BED. FOR ME – REVELATION. CLOSER TO THE FORT AND CALMER THAN ON CHERAI BEACH
????

KUMBAKONAM AND SURROUNDINGS

30 – 45 + min.????
  • NAGESWARASWAMY TEMPLE – SOMETIMES CALLED THE NAGESWARAN TEMPLE – IS THE PLACE OF WORSHIP OF VISHNU. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO EXIST ALREADY DURING THE PALLAVA PERIOD. CHOLA GAVE IT ITS CURRENT STRUCTURE. AND THE NAYAKS DEVELOPED THIS PLACE IN THE 13th AND 17th CENTURIES. THIS IS THE LARGEST VISHNU TEMPLE IN THIS CITY, AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT IN SOUTH INDIA. THE TEMPLE SANCTUARY IS A MASTERPIECE. IT HAS THE FORM OF A CHARIOT PULLED BY HORSES AND ELEPHANTS. ITS BEAUTY IS GOOD TO ADMIRE WHILE STANDING ON THE SIDE. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
30 – 45 + min.?????
  • SOMESWAR TEMPLE – TWO SIMILAR, ALTHOUGH MUCH MORE INTERESTING TEMPLES, ARE A FEW MINUTES’ WALK AWAY.
???
  • ADI KUMBESWARAR TEMPLE, CONSIDERED THE OLDEST TEMPLE IN THE CITY DEDICATED TO SHIVA. MOST PROBABLY FROM THE VII c. HIGHLY RECOMMEND
????
  • GANGAIKONDACHOLAPURAM TEMPLE – 36 km FROM THE CENTER OF KUMBAKONAM. ALSO KNOWN AS: BRIHADISVARA TEMPLE, GANGAIKONDA CHOLAPURAM TEMPLE, GANGAIKONDACHOLEESWARAM TEMPLE OR GAGAIKONDA-SOLAPURAM TEMPLE – PRESENTS BY FAR THE HIGHEST CLASS OF UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE. ADMISSION FREE OF CHARGE. VISITING – AS FAR AS THE INTERIOR OF THE MAIN TEMPLE IS CONCERNED – IS QUITE LIMITED FOR ALL OTHER THAN THE HINDU, AND COMES DOWN TO MARCHING THROUGH A LARGE CORRIDOR BOUNDED BY BARRIERS CLOSE TO THE ALTAR. HERE, IF YOU’RE NOT AN INDIAN, YOU HAVE TO GO OUT. THERE ARE SEVERAL BUILDINGS IN THE COMPLEX AROUND. IT IS WORTH BRINGING SOMETHING TO EAT AND TAKE A PICNIC IN THE SHADE OF THE TEMPLE ON GREEN GRASS, AWAY FROM THE URBAN NOISE.
 NOTE: IF YOU CAME HERE BY TUK-TUK, THE DRIVER WILL PROBABLY ASK YOU TO PAY FOR THE CAR PARK. WE PAID 20 RS, BUT YOU CAN DEFINITELY PAY LESS OR NOT AT ALL …
1 – 2 h. +?????
  • AIRAVATESVARA TEMPLE – 7 km FROM THE KUMBAKONAM CENTRE (IN DARASURAM). FREE ADMISSION.THE MOST INTERESTING FROM MY POINT OF VIEW – THERE ARE EASILY AVAILABLE IMAGES OF THE DEITIES AND GENERALLY WELL-VISIBLE, INTERESTINGLY BACKLIGHTED BAS-RELIEFS. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
45 min.? ? ? ?
c. 40 min.???
c. 40 min.???
c. 40 min.???

MADURAI

  • THE MEENAKSHI TEMPLE – A LARGE COMPLEX. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT IN SOUTHERN INDIA. IT IS A RELIGIOUS AND ECONOMIC CENTER DUE TO THE NUMEROUS PILGRIMS VISITING THIS PLACE . IT ALSO HAS A CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE. ACCORDING TO ANCIENT TAMIL LITERATURE THE TEMPLE WAS BUILT 2500 YEARS AGO. IN THE 14th CENTURY, AFTER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DELHI SULTANATE, THE MUSLIM ARMY ATTACKED AND CONQUERED THE MADURAI. THE TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED AND CLOSED. VIJAYANAGARA’S RULERS HAVE TAKEN BACK MADURAI, REBUILT AND RESTORED THE TEMPLE TO SPLENDOUR FOR A CONSTANTLY ACTIVE CULT. THE TEMPLE’S FINAL SHAPE WAS GIVEN BY THE NAYAKS IN THE 16th AND 17th CENTURIES.WONDERFUL MANDAPAS. HUGE ROOMS, FULL OF CARVED ENORMOUS PILLARS. ESPECIALLY SEEN FROM THE PERSPECTIVE, THEY PRESENT THEIR BEAUTY AND POWER. IN THE KAMBATHADI MANDAPA, THERE ARE BEAUTIFUL SCULPTURES OF EIGHT FORMS OF SHIVA. ASHTA SHAKTHI IS A MANDAPA WITH EIGHT FORMS OF THE GODDESS SHAKTI; KAMBATHADI MANDAPA WITH SITTING NANDIN; GOLU MANDAPA; IN PANCHA PANDAVA MANDAPA, YOU CAN SEE THE HEROES OF THE MAHABHARATA. TO THE LARGE PART OF COMPLEX, ONLY THE FOLLOWERS OF HINDUISM MAY ENTER.TO BE IN MADURAI AND NOT TO SEEING THE CEREMONY OF THE TRANSFERRING THE SHIVA FOR THE NIGHT INTO THE BEDROOM OF HIS WIFE, IS A BIG MISTAKE. THE SHOW TAKES PLACE AT C 9:00 p.m. EVERY EVENING IN THE MEENAKSHI TEMPLE. THE CEREMONY IS IMPRESSIVE. IT TAKES ABOUT 45 min.WHITEYS AND ALL NON-HINDUS, AND THOSE WITH SOMETHING BUT CLOTHES, TO THE TEMPLE OF MEENAKSHI CAN ONLY ENTER FROM THE NORTH, BECAUSE ONLY THERE IS A “LUGGAGE STORAGE”. ONE HAVE TO BE DRESSED APPROPRIATELY: WOMEN WELL “COCOONED”, WITHOUT SHORT TROUSERS; GUYS IN LONG PANTS (BERMUDA TYPE EXCLUDED). IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH CLOTHING, NEARBY STORES – INCLUDING THE BELOW-MENTIONED THE MUSEUM COMPANY – OFFER HELP IN SOLVING SUCH PROBLEMS. SOMETIMES FOR FREE …THIS IS NOT THE END. YOU LEAVE PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING IN THE PAYABLE STORAGE ROOM. BAGS, PHONES, CAMERAS, LARGER ITEMS AND SHOES. YOU MUST BE PREPARED FOR A TOTAL TEST IN SECURITY GATES. JUST LIKE AT THE AIRPORT, AND IN THE COUNTRY WHERE THE TERRORISTS ATTACKS ARE ON THE AGENDA. THE CONTROL CONSISTS OF PASSING THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC GATE AND SCREENING THE WHOLE PERSON BY THE BODYGUARD. IMAGINE HOW DETAILED THIS CONTROL HAD TO BE, SINCE I WAS RETREATED TWICE, BECAUSE OF FINDING SOME SMALL THINGS IN MY POCKETS. I DO NOT EVEN REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS …ATTENTION: TAKING PICTURES OR VIDEOS IS ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN. IN ADDITION TO A FINANCIAL PENALTY, THE SECURITY CAN ALSO TAKE YOUR EQUIPMENT AWAY (?)SUGGESTED VISITING TIME – 2 h. IN ADDITION, YOU CAN GET A CEREMONY, AND THEN IT’S GOOD TO HAVE 30 min. OF RESERVE. ADMISSION FREE. FEE FOR LEFT STUFF DEPENDS ON THEIR QUANTITY


5,7 ha

2 h. +

 

?????
  • KOODAL AZHAGAR TEMPLE (KOODAL ALAGAR TEMPLE) IS DEDICATED TO VISHNU. THIS IS ONE OF THE 108 DIVYA DESAM – TEMPLES MENTIONED IN THE WORKS OF THE TAMIL ALVARS. SIGHTSEEING INCLUDES ENTERING ON TOP OF THE ONE OF THE GOPURAS. IT COSTS 20 RS. GOING UP THE ROOF OF THE TEMPLE AND ON GOPURA IS THE BIGGEST ATTRACTION OF THIS PLACE. DO NOT MISS IT !!! TO GET HERE, YOU MUST FIRST GET ON THE SECOND, SLIGHTLY HIGHER LEVEL INSIDE THE TEMPLE. ON THE LEFT – LOOKING FROM THE MAIN ENTRANCE – BEHIND THE TWIST OF THE WALL, THERE IS A SMALL CUBBYHOLE WITH A TICKET COUNTER, AND A NARROW, STEEP STAIRCASE BY THE WALL. ENTRY ON GOPURA 20 Rs (US$ 0,3)
20 Rs (US$ 0,3)45 min.?????
  • PUDHU MANDAPAM – DECORATED WITH 124 PILLARS, THE MANDAPA IS UNDER RENOVATION. A SMALL OBJECT. AT PRESENT, IT IS POSSIBLE TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK ONLY AT THE BEAUTIFULLY CARVED COLUMNS AND OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE MANDAPA. WONDERFUL DECORATIONS OF COLUMNS LIFTING THE CEILING. A LOT CAN NOT BE SEEN, BUT STILL WHAT WE ARE SEEING ALLOWS US TO IMAGINE HOW THIS BUILDING LOOKS LIKE, WHEN NO FENCES SURROUND IT. I THINK THAT IT WILL TAKE 20 MINUTES TO SEE WHOLE PLACE (WHEN IT IS OPEN).
20 min.???
  • THIRUMALAI NAYAKKAR MAHAL – THERE WAS NOT MUCH LEFT OF THE PALACE ERECTED IN THE 17TH CENTURY. IT’S A PITY BECAUSE IT MUST HAVE BEEN COOL. HE HAD TWO MAIN PARTS – SWARGA (SVARGA) VILASAM (HEAVENLY PAVILION) AND RANGA VILASAM.
    TODAY FOR WATCHING ONLY A PART REMAINED FROM THESE MAGNIFICENCE. A HUGE LOBBY (AN AUDIENCE ROOM) MAKES AN AMAZING IMPRESSION. IT IS SURROUNDED ON ALL SIDES BY A THREE-ROW COLONNADE WITH A HEIGHT OF ABOUT 12 METERS AND AN AREA OF 3,700 mΒ².
    ARCHITECTURE IS A MIX OF INDIGENOUS AND ISLAMIC FORMS. THE PALACE IS FAMOUS FOR ITS GIGANTIC PILLARS. THE HEIGHT OF THE COLUMNS REACHES UP TO 25 m, AND THE WIDTH IS 5.8 m. TO WATCH OUTSIDE THE COURTYARD THERE ARE SEVERAL HALLS AND A SMALL GALLERY OF SCULPTURES IN THE OPEN AIR. THERE ARE ACTUALLY ONLY A STONE IMAGES OF VARIOUS HINDU DEITIES, HEAVILY DAMAGED BY EROSION. FROM THE ABOVE-MENTIONED PLACES, ONE IS AN OVAL, PRACTICALLY ALMOST EMPTY HALL, AND THE OTHER – A ROYAL AUDITORIUM (ALSO KNOWN AS A (“DANCE HALL”) – A VERY LARGE, BEAUTIFULLY LIT, SUN-DRENCHED WITH COLOURS FROM RICHLY STAINED-GLASS WINDOWS, CHAMBER.
    IT SEEMS THAT THERE WERE POOLS IN THE FLOOR HERE AT ONE TIME. IT IS WORTH PAYING ATTENTION TO THE WALLS AND CEILING FANTASTICALLY DECORATED WITH STUCCOS AND PAINTINGS.
    IT TAKES ABOUT 60 min. TO WATCH THE WHOLE. IT IS NECESSARY TO ENTER HERE.
100 Rs (US$ 1,53)60 + min.????
  • GANDHI MUSEUM – MORE THAN 3 km FROM THE RAILWAY STATION. IT LOOKS VERY INDIAN. IT RESEMBLES A SMALL PALACE. INSIDE NOT MUCH TO WATCH IN A LOT OF ROOMS. A FEW SOUVENIRS OF THE GREAT LEADER AND VAST QUANTITIES OF PHOTOGRAPHS WITH LONG DESCRIPTIONS. THERE IS PLENTY TO READ !!!
    IN THE NEXT BUILDING, A SMALL FOLKLORE MUSEUM, ALSO HAVING SMALL GEOLOGICAL AND NATURAL COLLECTIONS. NOTHING SPECIFICALLY INTERESTING.
    TO SEE THE EXHIBITION AT THE FOLKLORE MUSEUM WILL NOT TAKE MORE THAN 15 min. IF YOU KNOW ENGLISH AND WANT A GOOD DOSE OF CURIOSITIES FROM GANDHI’S LIFE, YOU NEED OVER 1 HOUR.
100 Rs (US$ 1,53)60 min. +??
  • MONEY EXCHANGE – ANTIQUE SHOP (THE MUSEUM COMPANY) – THE BEST RATES IN THE AREA. AN ADDITIONAL BONUS OF THIS PLACE IS THE “OBSERVATION DECK” LOCATED ON THE ROOF OF THE BUILDING, OVERLOOKING THE GOPURAS OF THE MEENAKSHI COMPLEX STICKING OUT OF GREENERY. I RECOMMEND. IT’S WORTH TAKING A LOOK HERE, JUST TO HAVE A FEW NICE SHOOT
30 min.???
  • THE STREET OF SELLERS OF ONION AND GARLIC – W MASI St. CURIOUS FOLKLORE
30 min.???
 

MAMALLAPURAM (MAHABALIPURAM)

  • SHORE TEMPLE – ON THE UNESCO LIST. BELONGS TO THE MAHABALIPURAM GROUP OF MONUMENTS. THE TICKET INCLUDES TWO COMPLEXES – THE ABOVE-MENTIONED TEMPLE AND PANCHA RATHAS – DISTANCED ALMOST 2 km. SHORE TEMPLE IS A LARGE GREEN SPACE SEPARATING THE FISHING BEACH FROM THE LOKALS BEACH. VISITING BOILS DOWN TO WALKING AMONG THE LAWNS ALONG PATHS THAT LEAD TO EXISTING, WELL-PRESERVED RUINS AND THEIR BYPASSES. AN HOUR WILL BE ENOUGH TO SEE EVERYTHING. A AREA THAT DEFINITELY DESERVES CAREFUL ATTENTION IS SMALL, HOWEVER FROM THE SPECTACULARLY POINT OF VIEW – HUGE. RESERVE YOUR TIME. YOU MUST SEE IT ?.
    FURTHER LYING – PANCHA RATHAS (5 CARTS), IS THE SECOND COMPLEX OF MONUMENTS FOR WHICH YOU HAVE TO PAY. BY PURCHASING A COMBO TICKET YOU SAVE (SEE ABOVE). VERY ATTRACTIVE. DO NOT MISS IT
500 Rs

(c. US$ 7)

1 h.

+

1 h. +

?????
  • GROUP OF MONUMENTS IN THE CENTER OF THE TOWN – A LARGE SIZE COMPLEX (IT CAN BE A BIT HARD TO PASS FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT LIKE CLIMBING EVEN ON SMALL ROCKS). MORE INTERESTING PLACES HERE INCLUDE A LARGE OVAL-SHAPED ROCK BLOCK CALLED THE SHIVA BUTTER BALL (KRISHNA’S BUTTER BALL); A HUGE BAS-RELIEF DEPICTING THE PENANCE OF ARJUNA (ARJUNA’S PENANCE); GROTTO (OR RATHER A NICHE) THIRUMOORTHI; VARAHA CAVE; MANDAPAM; THE OTHER MANDAPAM CARVED OUT IN ROCK (MAHISHAMARDINI ROCK CUT MANDAPA); THE CAVE TEMPLES – DHARMARAJA CAVE TEMPLE AND THE TEMPLE CALLED GANESHA RATHA. THE FIRST TWO CAN ALSO BE SEEN FROM THE ROAD WITHOUT GOING INSIDE. OF COURSE, THERE ARE DEFINITELY MORE TO WATCH, BUT THE OTHER OBJECTS ARE HARDER TO FIND, OR LESS INTERESTING. CROSSING THE AREA FROM ONE ENTRANCE TO THE OTHER, ONE CAN SEE – WHO WANTS TO, CAN COME IN – A TALL LIGHTHOUSE. ADMISSION TO THE COMPLEX IS FREE (IT’S INTERESTING FOR HOW LONG). THE AREA IS FENCED AND NEATLY KEPT.
    AT THE END OF THE TOUR: THE DESCENDING OF THE GANGES OR THE PENANCE OF ARJUNA. A HUGE BAS-RELIEF ON WHICH EVERYTHING IS. PEOPLE, ANIMALS, RIVER, STANDING ON ONE LEG ARJUNA, AND ALSO A CAT IMITATING HIM. BEAUTIFUL.
c.

120 – 150 min.

?????
15 min.??
  • TIGER’S CAVE LOCATED c. 5 km FROM THE TOWN CENTER. THE AREA HAS AN ALMOST RECTANGULAR SHAPE WITH DIMENSIONS MORE OR LESS 100 Γ— 250 m. THERE ARE THREE GROUPS OF STONES CLOSE TOGETHER, IN WHICH CENTURIES AGO SOME ARTISTS CHISELED OUT THE ROOMS AND ALTARS OF THE TEMPLES, DECORATING THEM ALSO.
    IS IT WORTHWHILE TO SEE? TRUTH BE TOLD I’M NOT SURE, BUT RATHER YES.
30 – 45 min.??
  • LOCAL PEOPLE BEACH (A BIT DIRTY. 200 m IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION FROM THE TOWN IS OK). SAND, DEFINITELY DARKER THAN THE BALTIC ONE! IT IS ALSO A LITTLE COARSER. GENERALLY NICE. THE WAVES OF THE BENGAL BAY CRASHING AGAINST THE SHORE ARE VERY SHORT AND STRONG. ON THIS BEACH WATER TO ABOUT 50 m OUT OF SHORE IS SHALLOW. HOWEVER, YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL OF WHIRLPOOLS, EXTREMELY DANGEROUS IN THIS AREA. BENGAL BAY WATERS CLAIMED A LOT OF PEOPLE.
    SITTING HERE, YOU CAN OBSERVE THE LUSH LIFE OF THE VILLAGE AROUND YOU. SEVERAL OWNERS OF BEAUTIFUL LOOKING MARES ARE TRYING ALL THE TIME TO FIND SOMEBODY TO THE RIDE. SURROUNDING PEOPLE ARE TALKING, SOMETIMES SUBMERGING IN LOW WAVES (OF COURSE COMPLETELY DRESSED). CHILDREN PLAY CRICKET. VERY BRIEF ATTENTION WAS PAID TO US.
???
  • FISHERMEN’S BEACH – IT IS SURROUNDED BY RESTAURANTS PRESUMABLY BELONGING TO FISHING FAMILIES, SERVING FRESHLY CAUGHT SEA DELICACIES. AT ITS RIGHT END, NEAR A HUGE BOULDER CALLED BY LOCAL MAHISHASURA, THERE IS 200 M OF BEAUTIFUL, CLEAN BEACH (EMPTY DURING OUR STAY). IT HAS ONLY ONE SMALL DRAWBACK – FROM TIME TO TIME SOMEONE WANTS TO SELL YOU SOMETHING.
    REACHING THE SHORE AT NOON THREATENS TO BURN YOUR FEET. IT’S GOOD TO HAVE SOME FOOTWEAR. COASTAL WATER IS NOT DEEP. THE SHALLOW OF 50 – 80 cm, REACHING AT LEAST 20 m FROM THE SHORELINE. THEN FOR QUITE LONG DISTANCE THE DEPTH IS WITHIN THE LIMITS OF UP TO 150 cm.ON BOTH BEACHES THE BOTTOM IS SANDY.
???

THANJAVUR AND KALLANAI

  • BRIHADEESWARA TEMPLE (BRIHADISVARA, ALSO CALLED RAJARAJESVARAM OR PERUVUDAIYAR KOVIL) – A GREAT TEMPLE NAMED BRIHADEESWARA WAS MADE OF GRANITE BY THE GREATEST KING OF THE CHOLA DYNASTY – RAJA RAJA IN THE YEARS 985-1014. AT THE TOP OF THE GIANT VIMANA, THERE IS A STONE WEIGHING 80 TONS IN THE SHAPE OF A LOTUS. THE ENTIRE TEMPLE COMPLEX IS 240.79 m LONG (FROM EAST TO WEST) AND 121.93 m LARGE (FROM NORTH TO SOUTH). A SANCTUARY, MUKHAMANDAPA (i.e. THE MAIN HALL), MAHAMANDAPA (A LARGE ASSEMBLY HALL) AND ARDHAMANADAPA – A PAVILION CONNECTING THE LARGE HALL WITH THE SANCTUARY ARE LOCATED ON THIS SPACE. IMPRESSIVE. ALREADY FROM A VERY LONG DISTANCE YOU CAN SEE TWO HUGE GOPURAS. AWESOME. AFTER PASSING THROUGH THE FIRST, EXTERNAL GATE, YOU HAVE TO TAKE OFF AND LEAVE YOUR SHOES IN THE LUGGAGE ROOM. FOR A FEE. IN THE NEXT GATE, THIS LEADING TO THE INTERIOR OF THE COMPLEX, REMAINS OF THE TICKET OFFICE ARE STANDING. WAS CLOSED DURING OUR VISIT. MAYBE IT IS OPEN FOR THE SEASON ONLY. AT NOON, THE ENTRANCE TO THE MAIN PART OF THE SANCTUARY IS CLOSED FOR 4 HOURS (UP TO THE 4 p.m.).
    THE COMPLEX CONSISTS OF SEVERAL BUILDINGS. IN FRONT OF THE CENTRAL BUILDING STANDS A LARGE PEDESTAL WITH A LARGE STATUE OF THE BULL NANDISWARA. ALONG THE WALLS COVERED CORRIDORS (OR RATHER GALLERIES), WITH VARIOUS KINDS OF PRODUCTS OF THE HUMAN IMAGINATION – INSCRIPTIONS, BAS-RELIEFS AND DRAWINGS. THERE IS PLENTY TO WATCH AND ADMIRE FOR A FEW HOURS.
    CAREFUL SIGHTSEEING WILL TAKE C. 150 min. STORING SHOES – 5 Rs / p. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.
    ATTENTION: THE HEAT MAKES BAREFOOT WALKING – EVEN ONLY ON BRIGHT STONE SLABS OF THE COURTYARD – THREATENING AT LEAST SCALDING. THE DARK ONES PIECES ARE PRACTICALLY INSURMOUNTABLE. SPECIAL COIR (COCONUT FIBRE) SIDEWALKS ARE DESIGNED TO PROTECT VISITORS FROM THE EFFECTS OF SOLAR MADNESS. UNFORTUNATELY, IT’S A PIPE DREAM. THEY ARE TOO SHORT. IT’S GOOD TO HAVE SOCKS ON YOUR FEET.
?150 min.?????
  • MARATHA PALACE – THE PALACE COMPLEX IN 1535 BEGAN TO BUILD THE NAYAKS, AND LATER MARATHA RULERS COMPLETED IT IN 1855. IT’S ACTUALLY A FORT. ITS ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS CAN BE SEEN AT EVERY STEP. NARROW STAIRCASES WITH SHARP BENDS AND LOW CEILINGS WERE TO PREVENT THE ENEMY FROM VIOLENT ATTACK. THERE WERE THREE SECRET CHAMBERS IN THE COMPLEX, USED AS TORTURE CHAMBERS OR FOR SECRET MEETINGS. THERE IS ALSO AN UNDERGROUND TUNNEL LINKING THE PALACE WITH A LARGE TEMPLE. THE PROPERTY IS SCREENED BY A HIGH WALL, SUGGESTING A LOT OF ATTRACTIONS WAITING FOR TOURISTS. BUT IT’S JUST A WIND-UP. AFTER CROSSING THE ENTRANCE GATE, IT TURNS OUT THAT THE WALL IT ALSO SURROUNDS MANY OTHER BUILDINGS, NOT DIRECTLY CONNECTED WITH THE PALACE.
    PLACES TO SEE:
    AN AUDIENCE HALL AND THE CHAMBER A MUCH MORE DENSELY CRAMMED WITH COLUMNS ON THE FLANK. NEXT TO IT IS A KIND OF HUGE PATIO WITH SEVERAL CENTURIES-OLD STONE WORKS. THIS IS THE MOST REPRESENTATIVE PART OF THE MUSEUM. MUST BE SEEN. FOR THIS PLACE 20 min. WILL BE ENOUGH;
    TWO SEPARATELY PAID SECTORS CALLED MUSEUMS. ADMISSION TO THE FIRST COSTS 35 Rs. NOT MUCH TO WATCH. IN FACT, THE INTERIORS ARE MORE INTERESTING THAN THE EXHIBITS. YOU NEED 10 TO 15 MINUTES. THE SECOND SECTOR – ADMISSION 2 Rs – ALTHOUGH MUCH SMALLER, OFFERS MUCH MORE. SOME URNS, EVERYDAY OBJECTS, ETC. WATCHING TIME 10 min.
    LIBRARY – INTERESTING. IT REQUIRES GOOD VISION FROM VISITORS, BECAUSE IT IS VERY DARK IN IT. SIGHTSEEING TIME – C. 20 min. NOTE: GETTING PHOTOS IS NOT ALLOWED HERE, AND WHAT’S VERY IMPORTANT: THEY HAVE A 60 MINUTE BREAK (LUNCH?) AT 1:00 p.m.
    ARSENAL (ARSENAL TOWER – GOODA GOPURAM) HAS SUCH ACOUSTICS THAT YOU CAN HEAR EVEN THE SMALLEST WHISPER FROM 3 FLOORS. THE ENTRANCE TO THE TOP WAS CLOSED DURING OUR TRIP, SO I DO NOT JUDGE AND I DO NOT SPECIFY THE TIME NEEDED FOR TOURING THIS PART.
    THE MOST INTERESTING IS THE LARGE DISPLAY OF STATUES AND FIGURES. FOR ENTHUSIASTS WHO LIKE DIFFERENT CURIOSITIES – NEARLY A CENTURY OLD SKELETON OF 28 m LONG WHALE. IT IS WORTH ALLOCATING 60 min. FOR THIS PART;
    A FILM ABOUT THE MONUMENTS OF TAMIL NADU IN THE WELL-AIR-CONDITIONED CINEMA ROOM. RETURNING TO THE CENTER YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT ANOTHER BUILDING BELONGING TO THE PALACE COMPLEX. THE ENTRANCE DIRECTLY FROM EAST MAIN ST. ON THE LEVEL OF THE BAKTHA HANUMAN KOVIL TEMPLE. TO SEE HIM YOU MUST HAVE A TICKET. THIS SAME, YOU HAVE ENTERED ALL MENTIONED ABOVE PARTS OF THE PALACE. DURING OUR VISIT, CLEANING WORK TOOK PLACE THERE, AND WE DID NOT SEE MUCH. WE BELIEVE, THAT AS LONG AS, THE MANAGEMENT DOS NOT DO SOME KIND OF EXHIBITION HERE, IT IS POSSIBLE TO MISS THESE CORNERS, ALTHOUGH HERE YOU ONLY NEED TO SPEND 20 MIN. VISITING THIS PART IS NOT VERY EXHAUSTIVE.
200 Rs (US$ 3)

`+

100 Rs (US$ 1,53)

CAMERA

4 h.???
  • KALLANAI DAM – A DAM BUILT BY CHOLA DYNASTY ON THE KAVERI RIVER, i.e. THE GREAT ANICUT, SLIGHTLY DISAPPOINTS. LITTLE IS LEFT OF THE SUPER INNOVATIVE DESIGN FROM THE SECOND CENTURY AD. OF COURSE, THE OUTLINES OF THE WORK OF KING KARIKALAN ARE VISIBLE AT EVERY STEP. HOWEVER, THE DAM HAS ALREADY UNDERGONE SO MANY MODIFICATIONS AND ALTERATIONS THAT THE ONLY THING YOU CAN SEE IS THE REMNANTS OF ENGLISH TECHNICAL THOUGHT. YOU CAN SEE IT IN A FEW PLACES VERY CLEARLY (INSCRIPTIONS AND BUST OF THE BRITISH ENGINEER ARTHUR COOTON), IN OTHERS LESS (THE SYSTEM OF OPENING THE BULKHEADS). TIME NEEDED – 2 h. A NICE TRIP BUT LONG JOURNEY.KARIKALA CHOLAN MANIMANDAPAM – A MEMORIAL PARK WITH A BUILDING DEDICATED TO KING KARIKALA. I THINK THE ENTRANCE IT’S FREE – WE WERE AROUND NOON AND NOBODY WAS GUARDING IT. INSIDE, A STATUE OF A COMMANDER ON A HORSE AND SOME INFORMATION RELATED TO HIM. ALL SUBTITLES IN DEVANAGARI. JUST 15 MINUTES WILL BE ENOUGH.
2 h.

15 min.

???

TRICHY (TIRUCHIRAPPALLI)

  • NEO-GOTHIC CHURCH DEDICATED TO OUR LADY OF LOURDES IS QUITE INTERESTING INSIDE. PERSONALLY, I LIKED THE BUILDING ITSELF AND ITS SURROUNDINGS MORE.
10 – 15 min..??
  • FORT ROCK – THE BIGGEST ATTRACTION HERE. A HUGE ROCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY HAS BEEN USED FOR CENTURIES MILITARILY AND SPIRITUALLY. THE ROCK FORMATION ON WHICH IT IS LOCATED IS SUPPOSEDLY 3.8 BILLION YEARS OLD. TODAY, ITS MILITARY SIGNIFICANCE IS NONE. ONES NEED TO TAKE 344 STAIRS TO GET TO THE TOP. IT’S EASY. INSIDE, ALONG THE INTERNAL STAIRS LEADING TO THE TOP THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT TEMPLES, MOSTLY HINDU: MAHAN SARAMA MUNIVAR JEEVA SAMADHI, THAYUMANAVAR SIVAN, ARULMIGHU MEENAKSHI SUNDARESHWAR, TRICHY UCHIPPILLAIYAR, ARULMIGU UCCHI PILLAIYAR, THAYUMANASWAMI, MALAIKOOTTAI SHIVA, LALITANKURA CAVE.
    ONE CAN NOT TO SEE EVERYONE, BUT CAN SEE A FEW. GETTING TO THE TOP IS NOT TOO TIRING. CERTAINLY BECAUSE WE HAVE TO GO TROUGH A FORM OF A COVERED TUNNEL WITH STAIRS, SO WE ARE SHUT OUT FROM THE SUN AND ADDITIONALLY COOLED BY THE FLOW OF AIR. AT THE TOP IS THE TEMPLE OF ARULMIGU UCCHI PILLAIYAR. THE INFIDEL ISN’T ALLOWED TO ENTER, BUT SINCE THE TEMPLE IS TINY, THE VISITORS WILL MANAGE TO SEE A LOT STANDING IN FRONT OF IT. ONE CAN WALK AROUND IT, ADMIRING THE VIEW OF THE CITY LYING FAR BELOW. I RECOMMEND TO BE HERE AT SUNSET. ESPECIALLY BEAUTIFUL IS A ROOF OF LYING SLIGHTLY BELOW THE THAYUMANASWAMI TEMPLE, TO WHICH ONLY THE INDIANS ARE ALLOWED TO ENTER. SEEING THE ENTIRE COMPLEX WILL TAKE FROM 120 MIN. UPWARDS. A LOT DEPENDS ON YOUR CURIOSITY AND HOW YOU CAN TALK TO PEOPLE. CAN YOU MANAGE TO ENTER ANY OF THE UNAVAILABLE PLACES??. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
90 min.?????
  • SRI RANGANATHASWAMY TEMPLE (SRI ARANGANATHA SWAMY TEMPLE) – HAS AN AREA OF 63 ha, ON WHICH THERE IS A 50 CHAPELS DEDICATED TO: VISHNU, ITS AVATARS, LAKSHMI, POETS, SCHOLARS; 21 TOWERS, 39 PAVILIONS, MANDAPAS AND WATER RESERVOIRS. IT IS ONE OF EIGHT TEMPLES THAT WERE NOT CREATED BY ANYONE – ROSE ALONE FROM THEMSELVES, AND THE FAITHFUL BELIEVE THAT THE GOD REALLY IS STAYING THERE. IT HAS A RICH HISTORY, AND IS MENTIONED IN THE EARLY MEDIAEVAL CANON OF TAMIL LITERATURE – “THE SACRED WRITINGS OF POETS”.
    THE TOUR INCLUDES SEVERAL SMALLER AND LARGER TEMPLES. SOME OF THEM ARE VERY LARGE. THERE ARE FEES FOR THE PHOTO CAMERA (50 Rs). SUPER INTERESTING. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
3 h.?????
  • JAMBUKESHWARA JAMBUKESHWARA COMPLEX BUILT c. 1800 YEARS AGO. VERY INTERESTING. ONE WILL FIND SEVERAL FASCINATING TEMPLES HERE. ONE OF THE FIVE MAIN SIVA TEMPLES REPRESENTING THE FIVE ELEMENTS. THIS SYMBOLIZES THE ELEMENT OF WATER. THE MAIN SANCTUARY – TO WHICH INFIDELS DON’T HAVE AN ADMISSION – HIDES THE LINGAM FROM WHICH THE WATER FLOWS CEASELESSLY. THE MOST IMPORTANT CURIOSITY IS PROBABLY GARUDA’S SANCTUARY.
90 – 120

min.

?????
  • THE TEMPLE OF ARULMIGU SAMAYAPURAM MARIAMMAN – TO THE INTERIOR OF THE SHRINE LEADS A NARROW BARRIER FENCED PASSAGE. THERE IS SO MANY WAITING WORSHIPPERS FOR THE ENTRY, THAT YOU CAN LOSE HOPE FOR EVEN A QUICK, CURSORY GLANCE TO THE INSIDE. ABOVE ONE OF THE ENTRANCES, A NAVY BLUE BOARD WITH INFO WRITTEN WITH LOCAL ALPHABET, SAYING THAT IF ONE WANT TO GET INSIDE WITHOUT A LONG WAIT, THEN HAVE TO STAND IN THIS QUEUE. IN FACT, AMONG THE INDIAN LETTERS YOU CAN SEE THE DISTINGUISHING NUMBERS – 250. WHEN ASKED WHETHER SUCH WHITES LIKE US HAVE A CHANCE TO REACH THE MAIN ALTAR, THE QUEUE ANSWERING WITH ASTONISHMENT: OF COURSE !!! WELL, WHO WOULD BAN THE RICHES … AFTER c. 20 m, WE REACH THE “LOCK” AND WE ARE BEING SMOOTHLY DIRECTED BETWEEN THE APPROPRIATE BARRIERS. A MOMENT LATER, THE SUCCESSIVE “SECURITY GUARDS” COLLECT 250 Rs (US $ 4) FROM EACH OF US, GIVING IN RETURN THREE ORANGE, ECOLOGICAL BAGS WITH VARIOUS USEFUL ITEMS FOR PILGRIMS.
    WE ARE ALREADY IN THE “NAVE” OF THE MAIN TEMPLE. WE GO TO A MUCH LOWER CHAMBER. AT THE ALTAR OF MARIAMMAN, THE PRIESTS RECEIVE GIFTS FROM WORSHIPPERS AND ANOINT THEM AT AN EXPRESS PACE. YOU CAN ALSO TOUCH THE LINGAM AND DOUSING IT WITH MILK. THERE IS NO TIME FOR CONVERSATIONS. IT IS A PITY, THAT YOU CAN NOT PHOTOGRAPH HERE. FOR BREAKING THE BAN THE SECURITY CAN TAKING BY FORCE ALL ONES EQUIPMENT AND THREATEN TO DESTROY IT.
    AT THE END WE COME TO A LARGE HALL. I HAVE THE IMPRESSION, THAT HERE COMES A RECOVERY AFTER MEETING WITH GOD.
    MARIAMMAN – THE GODDESS, WHO FROM THE MINOR VILLAGE GODDESS OF RAIN, LOCALLY KNOWN IN TAMIL NADU, BECAME A FIGURE PRESENT IN THE PANTHEON OF DEITIES NOT ONLY IN WHOLE INDIA, BUT ALSO OUTSIDE THEM, E.G. IN MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE, OR SOUTH AFRICA.
    THE MARIAMMAN TEMPLES ARE HUGELY SIZED SACRAL COMPLEXES, VISITED BY THOUSANDS OF BELIEVERS DAILY.
    HER CULT IS FOCUSED ON BRINGING THE RAIN AND TREATING DISEASES. DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE BODY ARE ENTRUSTED TO HER CARING. THE OFFERING TO A DEITY, STAMPED BY PRESS A SILVER ELEMENTS IN THE SHAPE OF ANY PART OF THE HUMAN BODY, IS TO PROTECT AGAINST ALL THE AILMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH IT. YOU CAN BUY THEM, FOR EXAMPLE, AT A ONE OF TEMPLE STALL.
    FOR A SIGHTSEEING OF THE ENTIRE FACILITY WITH THE OPTION TO ENTER INSIDE THE TEMPLE FOR A FEE – i.e. A TIME MUCH SHORTER – SECURE YOURSELF AT LEAST 120 MINUTES. IT IS GOOD TO HAVE 60 MINUTES IN RESERVE.
FAST

LINE

250 Rs (US$ 3,8)

2 – 3 h.?????
  • VEKKALIYAMMAN TEMPLE – A RELATIVELY SMALL BUILDING HAS SEVERAL CURIOSITIES INSIDE. THE MAIN FEATURE OF THE TEMPLE IS THE LACK OF ROOF OVER THE SANCTUARY. THE CENTRAL CHAPEL IS DISTINGUISHED BY THE IMAGE OF VEKKALI AMMAN SITTING IN THE YOGA PITHA POSITION. ABOVE ALL, HOWEVER, IT IS WORTH LOOKING AT THE GIGANTIC, HIGH ON 2.97 m, SILVER AND GOLD CHARIOT (ALTAR?) – MADE OF 10.5 kg OF GOLD AND 25 kg OF SILVER.
25 min.?????
  • ERUMBEESHWARAR (TEMPLE) IN MALAIKOIL STANDS ON A HIGH ROCK – CLOSED BETWEEN 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. YOU HAVE TO APPROACH IT 700 M FROM THE BUS STOP. THE ENTRANCE IS ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE MAIN ROAD. ONE CAN EASILY GET HERE. THE TEMPLE IS NOT BIG. THE ESSENCE OF THIS TEMPLE IS THE LIGAM IN THE FORM OF AN ANT. LEGEND SPEAKS OF ONE OF THE DEMONS WHO CONQUERED HEAVEN AND EARTH. THE GODS SOUGHT HELP FROM BRAHMA. HE ORDERED THEM TO WORSHIP SIVA. THE DEVAS TURNED INTO ANTS BUT WERE NOT ABLE TO CLIMB THE SLIPPERY LIGAM, SO SHIVA TRANSFORMED INTO AN ANTHILL AND PUT HIS HEAD DOWN, AFTER WHICH THE ANTS COULD CLIMB.
    IN THE TEMPLE WORSHIPPED IS SHIVA, AND ITS NAME IS A COMBINATION OF WORDS DESCRIBING SHIVA AND ANT. IT WAS BUILT AT THE TURN OF THE IX AND X C. IT IS LOCATED ON A ROCKY HILL, ABOUT WHICH IS SAID TO BE PART OF THE LEGENDARY MERU MOUNTAIN. THE COMPLEX HAS TWO EXTERNAL COURTYARDS AND A TWO-LEVEL GATE TOWER. NANDIN’S LYING BULLS CAN BE SEEN ON THE WALLS. AFTER ALL, IT’S AN INTERESTING PLACE AND I THINK IT’S WORTH SEEING. UNFORTUNATELY, INSIDE YOU CAN NOT TAKE PICTURES
15 min.???

FOOD

CHENNAI (MADRAS)

ATTENTION: ALCOHOL SEEKERS: THERE IS A LIQUOR STORE ON NYNIAPPA NAICKEN Str. IF YOU WANT TO BUY BEER AND OTHER DRINKS IN TAMILNADU, YOU HAVE TO ASK FOR TASKMAC. THERE ARE RUMORS THAT SOON THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT WILL LIQUIDATE ALL SUCH PLACES.

  • RESTAURANT KAKADA RAMPRASAD (348 MINT Str.) – HIGHER CLASS. EXPENSIVE. FOOD MODIFIED FOR WHITES CUSTOMERS. SOMOZY – BAD, COLD AND EXPENSIVE (28 Rs. NORMALLY COST 5): -x
?
  • LOIEE SWEETS & SNACKS RESTAURANT, 77 ELEPHANT GATE Str. HIGHER CLASS. THE FOOD SO-SO, BUT ON OUR INTUITION WILL SATISFY EVERY TOURIST WHO IS NOT FAMILIAR WITH COOKING..
?

KALLANAI

  • THE STAND WITH LOCAL FISH IN KALLANAI OLD PARK – FRESH AND HEAVILY GRILLED FISHES ARE COMPLETELY SAFE EVEN FOR THE MOST FASTIDIOUS FOOD EATERS. THE PORTION COSTS PENNIES. THE TASTE AND THE LOOK FANTASTIC. SERVED STILL SIZZLING ON THE NEWSPAPER ARE GIVING AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND
10 Rs / PP (US$ 0,15)?????
  • THE STALL WITH DEEP-FRIED VEGETABLES (@ 5 Rs) NEXT TO THE BUS STOP AT THE DAM OF KALLANAI. DELICIOUS AND CHEAP. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND
5 Rs / PP. (US$ 0,07)?????

KANCHIPURAM

  • BEER AT THE REGENCY HOTEL. THEY HAD NOTHING BUT TWO KINDS OF KINGFISHER AT COSMIC PRICES (3 BOTTLES COST ALMOST AS MUCH AS ONE NIGHT FOR TWO PEOPLE)
420 Rs / bot. (US$ 6,5)?
  • CAFFÈ RAMA’S. THE FOOD SERVED AND CONSUMED ON A BANANA LEAF HAD AN EXCELLENT TASTE AND A GOOD PRICE. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND
130 Rs / 2 p. (US$ 2)????
  • ARABBAT HOTAL (152 / 501C, Gandhi Rd Ennaikaran Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631501. ARABBAT HOTAL).
    NOTE: THIS IS A BRANCH OF THE SAME INSTITUTION LOCATED NEAR THE BUS STATION IN KANCHIPURAM) HERE THEY HAVE A WIDE SELECTION OF GREAT FOOD. MY QUAILS WERE GREAT. FOR TWO DISHES AND PAROTTA BREAD, WE PAID 320 Rs (SLIGHTLY BELOW US $ 5). WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.
?????
  • ROYAL BRIRIYANI (255C Gandhi Rd. Kanchipuram, kom. 9751045198). WE PASSED THIS PLACE THREE TIMES A DAY ON AVERAGE. LOOKS CLEAN, ALWAYS FULL, WHICH ALWAYS BODE WELL. THE MENU INCLUDES VARIOUS VERSIONS OF CHICKEN, RICE, PASTA. DELICIOUS CHICKEN WITH GARLIC. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.
?????
  • HOTEL SRI KUMARAN (68C Annai Indira Gandhi) ATTRACTS ATTENTION WITH A GOOD-LOOKING ENTRANCE WITH ADVERTISING OF A VEGETARIAN EATING. THE MENU SURPRISED US WITH UNKNOWN ITEMS. VERY GOOD FOOD, BUT FOR THE MORE SPICY DISHES, A SPICY SURCHARGE WAS DEMANDED (MORE BY 25%). IT IRRITATED US A LITTLE. WE SHOULD BE WARNED. IT SEEMS THAT THE PRICE ONLY INCREASED FOR US, WHITES. I DO NOT RECOMMEND, BECAUSE THEY SEEM TO LIKE CHEATING WHITES HERE. SERVICE ???
?????

KOCHI (KOCHIN) & ERNAKULAM

  • EATERY ON THE BEACH – SEA BREEZE CAFE. IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME TO PREPARE THE DISHES. THE SUNSET IS A GOOD BACKGROUND FOR A FISH DINNER. SERVED DISHES – AVERAGE. TASTY, BUT SOMETHING WAS MISSED. MAYBE REFRESHING VEGETABLES, LIKE CUCUMBER, ONION, PEPPER OR TOMATO.
500 Rs /pp. (US$ 7,7)??
630 Rs / 2 pp. (US$ 9,7)?????
  • GINGER HOUSE RESTAURANT – WORKS OF ART AND ANTIQUES ARE WELCOMING AND ACCOMPANYING THE GUESTS WHILE EATING. THE GIANT SNAKE-SHAPED BOAT ENJOYS THE GREATEST INTEREST. THE SURROUNDINGS LOOK GREAT. EXPENSIVE. WE DID NOT TRY
  • MARY’S KITCHEN RESTAURANT IN FRONT OF THE BASILICA. ALL ORDERED DISHES WERE MEGA COOL. FISH IN MANGO – EXTREMELY JAZZY. GREAT FOOD. ENJOY
285 Rs. / pp. (US$ 4,4)?????

KUMBAKONAM

  • THULASI PURE VEG RESTAURANT (Tanjore Main Rd) – ALMOST IN FRONT OF HOTEL ATHITYAA. ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE STREET. ABOUT 30 m FROM THE GATE OF THE ARULMIGU VYAZHA SOMESAR (TEMPLE). I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND
?????
  • HOTEL SHANMUGA RESTAURANT – WONDERFUL CHICKEN AND SALAD, MEGA COOL VEGGIE DISHES
????
  • HOTEL NEW ARYAS – A GREAT RESTAURANT WITH VERY GOOD PRICES AT THE ATHITYAA HOTEL. DEEP-FRIED BREAD – A CROSS BETWEEN CRISP AND CHIPS WITH A SLIGHT CUMIN FLAVOUR. EXCELLENT. WE ESPECIALLY RECOMMEND THE DELICIOUS GOBI MANCHURIAN.
?????
10 Rs (US$ 1,5)?????

MADURAI

  • COLLEGE HOUSE ANNA MEENAKSHI RESTAURANT – FAST SERVICE, CHOICE AND FOOD VERY GOOD, THOUGH NOT THE CHEAPEST.
    ATTENTION: WATER, WHICH AT ANY OTHER RESTAURANT COST A MAXIMUM OF 20 Rs / BOTTLE, HERE THEY WANTED 40 Rs. OF COURSE OUR BILL WAS REDUCED. STAFF CLAIMING, THAT THERE WAS A MISTAKE. FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, IT WAS HOWEVER A DEFINITELY ATTEMPT OF THE FRAUD, PARTICULARLY THAT IN MENU WATER WASN’T TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT
?????

 

  • AACHI CHETTINADU RESTAURANT – NEAR THE TRAIN STATION. A GOOD AND INTERESTING CHOICE ON THE MENU. COOL AND HELPFUL WAITER. GOOD FOOD. ALTHOUGH WITHOUT A FANFARE, IT IS WORTH RECOMMENDING
285 Rs / 3 p. (US$ 4,4)????
  • HOTELU MEENAKSHI RESTAURANT – BAKED DUMPLINGS, FRITTERS, CHILLI. EVERYTHING VERY GOOD, FRESH, JUST BAKED, HOT, CHEAP.
?????

MAMALLAPURAM (MAHABALIPURAM)

  • TASKMAC (LIQUOR STORE) c. 2 – 2.5 km FROM THE CENTER TOWARDS THE TIGER CAVE
  • CORNER LOCAL PUB (BEACH Rd. / THIRUKULA Str. IN THE FISHERMEN’S COLONY) IN FRONT OF THE WATER RESERVOIR – ON THE RIGHT, GOING FROM THE TOWN AND FACING THE ENTRANCE TO THE POOL AREA. VERY COOLISH
???
  • SEAROCK RESTAURANT – A FULLY ROASTED FISH (RED SNAPPER) WITH SALAD AND CHIPS FOR 3 PEOPLE COST 1500 Rs. SEASONED NOT BAD, HOWEVER SO-CALLED “SALAD” SERVED WITH FISH IS TOTALLY DISAPPOINTING. FOR THREE PEOPLE, EXACTLY SEVEN SLICES OF TOMATO AND TEN SLICES OF FRESH CUCUMBER WERE SERVED. THIS IS A SMALL PORTION EVEN FOR ONE PERSON, LET ALONE FOR THREE. FISH SOUP ALSO DOES NOT KNOCK DOWN. IT WAS NOT VERY ESSENTIAL. THE CHIPS LOOKED LIKE THEY HAD A STRONG ANEMIA. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND
?
  • HOTEL ABIRAMI BEANERY – A SMALL CANTEEN SERVED BY TWO PEOPLE WAS FULL OF INDIGENOUS. WE CHOSE THE LOCAL PIE-BREAD WITH SPICY SAUCES. THE TASTE HAS EXCEEDED OUR WILDEST EXPECTATIONS. VERY GOOD, INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL TO THE APPEARANCE. VALUE FOR MONEY TAKEN FROM SPACE. FOR THREE BIG DISHES FOR TWO GUYS AND A SMALL WOMAN, I PAID 117 Rs, WHICH IS LESS THAN US $ 2. EXTREMELY CHEAP. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT
117 Rs / 3 p.

(2 US$)

?????
  • SAABRA NORTH INDIAN FAST FOOD RESTAURANT – WE TRIED SEVERAL DISHES. VEGETARIAN AND NOT. ALL BRILLIANTLY SIMPLE AND GREAT. THE MUSHROOMS IN CHILLI, AND THE PRAWNS MANCHURIAN STYLE TURNED OUT TO BE UNFORGETTABLE. WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE “FAST FOOD” IN THE NAME OF THIS PLACE REFERS TO. EATING IN INDIA IS FAR FROM WHAT IS DETERMINED WITH THIS NAME IN OUR CULTURE. MAYBE IT’S ABOUT ATTRACTING TOURISTS.
    FAST OR NOT – FOOD AT SAABRA NORTH INDIAN FAST FOOD CAN BE EASILY RECOMMENDED, IT IS VERY GOOD. PRICE WITH TIP
700 Rs / 3 p.

(US$ 11)

?????
  • HOTEL DELUX RESTAURANT (OPPOSITE THE BUS STOP). ANOTHER NICE EATERY IN THIS LITTLE TOWN. ONE CAN COME HERE FOR BREAKFAST …
???
  • SEA LORD RESTAURANT RESTAURANT SURPRISES WITH CLEANLINESS AND ORDER. A SMALL, NEAT ROOM FOR ABOUT 20 PEOPLE IS SEPARATED FROM THE KITCHEN BY A LARGE COUNTER. BEHIND THE CLOSED DOORS THERE IS ONE MORE ROOM THAT SERVES AS AN ADDITIONAL DINING ROOM. THE OWNER BRINGS CONTAINERS WITH FRESH OCEAN GIFTS. WE CHOOSE SHRIMPS AND FISHES. WE SKIP THE SQUID. EVERYTHING IS VERY GOOD. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS VERY CLEAN AND TIDY LOOKING PLACE.
400 Rs / 2 p. (US$ 6,2)????

THANJAVUR

????
  • RESTAURANT HOTEL RANI IS A SMALL DINER WITH A GREAT GRUB AND PRICES, ALMOST DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE EXIT FROM THE STATION.
    ATTENTION: THE SODA WATER BROUGHT BY STAFF FROM THE STORE NEXT TO, COST TWICE AS MUCH AS NORMAL AT ANY RESTAURANT
????
  • VERY GOOD COFFEE NEXT TO THE LIQUOR STORE. THE BOOZ SHOP WE HAVE DISCOVERED, IS HIDDEN DEEPLY BETWEEN THE LOCAL “CAFΓ‰” AND SOME OTHER BUSINESSES. THERE IS A RELATIVELY LONG PATH LEADING TO IT. ONE HAS GO NEXT TO THE PISSING WALL, THEN PASSING INTO A LARGE, PARTIALLY ROOFED YARD, AT THE END OF WHICH THERE IS A SHOP THAT LOOKS A BIT LIKE A DAMAGED ARMOURED VEHICLE WITHOUT WHEELS USED TO TRANSPORT THE CASH
????

TRICHY (TIRUCHIRAPPALLI)

  • RESTAURANT ON NADU AGRAHARAM Str., JUST AFTER THE INTERSECTION WITH NADU Str. ON THE LEFT, WALKING TOWARDS THE RIVER. A NICE GREASY SPOON WITH A GOOD SELECTION OF MUCKAMUCK. I FINALLY GOT SOMETHING HOT AND SPICY. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND
???
  • THE RESTAURANT OF THE APPLE PARK INN HOTEL – DELICIOUS BREAKFAST IS SERVED IN TWO VERSIONS – INDIAN AND CONTINENTAL (EUROPEAN). INDIAN FOOD IS SERVED Γ€ LA BUFFET MEAL. A CHOICE OF SEVERAL TYPES OF PANCAKES REPLACING BREAD SOME PROCESSED VEGETABLES AND PROBABLY TOFU. THOSE NOT INTERESTED IN THE LOCAL FOOD CAN GET CROUTONS WITH JAM. DRINKS: TEA, COFFEE AND FRESHLY SQUEEZED JUICE (LIMITED AMOUNT). WE STUFFED OURSELVES INDECENTLY. EVERYTHING WAS DELICIOUS. WE WERE SURPRISED NOT ONLY BY THE DELICIOUSNESS OF THE DISHES BUT ALSO BY THEIR DIVERSITY AND QUANTITY.
????
  • FOOD STALLS ON THE MAIN NATIONAL ROAD NO. 81, LESS THAN A KILOMETRE FROM THE APPLE PARK INN. ON THE ROADSIDE, AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN GET, ONE CAN SEE A LOT OF SMALL EATERIES. AT THE STANDS MADE OF METAL ELEMENTS AND WOODEN BOXES, SPECIALIZED CHEFS AND THEIR HELPERS ARE BUSTLING ABOUT. CUSTOMERS SIT AT EXTEMPORALLY IMPROVISED TABLES, EATING SELECTED DISHES WITH A SMILE ON THEIR FACE. NOBODY PAYS ATTENTION TO THE PASSING BY THE LINE OF SMELLY VEHICLES, OR THE RUBBISH LYING AROUND. A REAL INDIAN FOLKLORE !!! WE WERE DELIGHTED WITH THE STAND WITH PIECES OF CHICKEN FRIED IN A DEEP FRY, AND THE OTHER ONE STANDING NEXT TO IT, SERVING – AMONG OTHERS – PAPER ROAST DOSA. THERE WAS NO POINT IN LOOKING FURTHER. FOR LESS THAN 80 Rs / pp ONE CAN FILL THE MOUTH WITH DELICIOUSNESS. WE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
80 Rs / pp?????
  • LIQUORS AND ALCOHOL: 900 m FROM THE APPLE PARK INN HOTEL – IS ON A TOTAL WASTELAND. THIS “TASMAC WINE SHOP” OFFERS BEVERAGES AT VERY AFFORDABLE PRICES. IT HAS ONE VERY RARE FEATURE. IT IS VISIBLE IN THE GOOGLE MAPS.
    THE OTHER ONE BOOZE SHOP IS A FEW METERS FROM THE BUS STOP ON THE LEFT – THAT IS, ON THE SAME SIDE YOU GET OFF THE BUS, COMING FROM THE CENTRE. IT LOOKS SO-SO, BUT IT’S EASY TO FIND. YOU CAN DRINK HERE QUITE COLD BEER
????

TIPPS

THROUGHOUT INDIA, IN MOST OF THE MONUMENTS, ALONG WITH THE TICKET YOU GET A FREE ELECTRONIC GUIDE IN SEVERAL LANGUAGES. I SUGGEST YOU DO NOT USE LOCAL GUIDES IF YOUR ENGLISH IS SO-SO.

MANY PRE-PACKAGED DRINKS IN INDIA HAVE A POORLY VISIBLE PRINT ON THE NECK WITH THE APPLICABLE PRICE – YOU CAN ALWAYS RELY ON IT.

THE LOCAL ALCOHOL STORES LOOK VERY SPECIFIC. IN FACT, THEY ARE ALL HIDDEN BEHIND NARROW, USUALLY HORRIBLY DIRTY AND REPULSIVELY LOOKING NARROW PASSAGES BETWEEN SOME WALLS OR SHEDS. ONLY TWO TIMES WE MET SUCH PLACES STANDING DIRECTLY ON THE STREET. THEY RESEMBLE SMALL FORTRESSES OR PRISON. THE FRONTS ARE SOLIDLY BARRED AND REINFORCED. THE CREW ISSUES THE GOODS THROUGH A SMALL WINDOW. AROUND IT IS USUALLY DIRTIER THAN NORMAL. SOMETIMES ONE CAN BE RECOGNIZED THEM BY THE INSCRIPTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF DRINKING ALCOHOL IN A PUBLIC PLACE. PRICES USUALLY (ALTHOUGH NOT ALWAYS) – AS IN MUSEUMS, HAVE TWO OPTIONS. LOWER FOR NATIVES, HIGHER BY c. 10% FOR WHITES.

PHONE CARDS FROM THE INDIAN OPERATORS. ONE-MONTH OPTION WITH A LIMIT OF 1 GB INTERNET ACCESS PER DAY FOR 300 Rs. NEEDED PHOTO AND COPY OF TWO SIDES OF THE PASSPORT – THIS ONES WITH THE PHOTO AND THE VISA. FILLING OUT THE FORM IS EASY AND TAKES ABOUT 5 MINUTES.

ATTENTION: PLEASE NOTE THAT ACTIVATION OF THE ASSIGNED NUMBER WILL TAKE AT LEAST 3 DAYS. TAKE THE PHONE NUMBER OF THE COMPANY FROM THE SELLER. MAY BE USEFUL AFTER VERIFYING YOUR DATA NEEDED TO ACTIVATE THE NUMBER. 3, (SOMETIMES 4) DAY AFTER THE PURCHASE OF THE CARD, RESTART YOUR PHONE AND CHECK IF THE LOGO OF YOUR INDIAN NEW OPERATOR IS VISIBLE. IF SO, DO WHAT THE STATEMENT SAYS.

BANGALORE

  • EXCHANGE OF MONEY AT THE AIRPORT IS COMPLETELY UNPROFITABLE
  • MANTRI SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER – GREAT SHOPPING IN EUROPEAN STYLE NEAR THE BUS STATION

KANCHIPURAM

  • GEM CURRENCY EXCHANGE. IT’S HARD TO FIND. THE RATE, COMPARED TO THE AIRPORT IN BANGALORE, WAS SUPER – WE RECEIVED OVER 1/5 MORE FOR US$ 100. THE ONLY ONE MONEY EXCHANGE IN THIS CITY. OPEN TILL LATE. THEY EXCHANGE ANY CURRENCY AT VERY ATTRACTIVE PRICES. EVEN SINGLE DOLLARS NOTES HAVE THE SAME PRICE AS US$ 100 NOTES. ADDRESS: GEM, 146 Gandhi Rd., Kanchipuram 1 (near Chandra Store, tel. 044-47201341, gemmc13kcp@gmail.com). WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
    ATTENTION: IF YOU WANT TO GO TO CHENNAI BY TRAIN, YOU SHOULD TAKE IT AT KANCHIPURAM STATION (NEW). THIS IS THE SECOND STOP ON THIS ROUTE, AND YOU HAVE A HUGE CHANCE TO WIN A SEAT. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE IN INDIA. EACH BENCH WILL ACCOMMODATE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ALLOCATED FOR IT + AT LEAST ONE MORE. ? IF, HOWEVER, YOU CAN NOT FIND A FREE SEAT ON THE BENCH, YOU STILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO SIT IN THE ENTRANCE CORRIDOR OF THE WAGON. IF YOU HAVE ANY BUNDLES, YOU CAN EASILY GO SITTING ON THEM. IF NOT, I SUGGEST TO PLONK DOWN ON THE FLOOR. IT IS GOOD THEN TO HAVE SOME PLASTIC BAG OR A PIECE OF NEWSPAPER WITH YOU. BUT IT’S NOT A PROBLEM. HELPFUL INDIANS WILL FIND AND WILL GIVE YOU SOME READ PAGE OF THEIR READING.
? ? ?

KOCHI AND ERNAKULAM

 

  • IN THE CENTER YOU CAN EASILY FIND EXCHANGE OFFICES. SOME TRAVEL AGENCIES ALSO MAKE EXCHANGES. OF COURSE, IT’S GOOD TO GO INTO A FEW OF THEM, AND TO GET WHO IS PAYING BEST.
  • THE NEIGHBOUR OF THE SOWPARNIKA HERMITAGE OWNER, IS MAKING THE SPLENDID WHITE SWEET WINE. BEST TO DRINK FROZEN. DELICIOUS – FOR 60 Rs BOTTLE. WE HAVE NAMED THEM THE BEST ALCOHOL WE’VE EVER HAD IN INDIA
  • IF YOU WANT TO GET ANYWHERE IN THE CENTER OF FORT KOCHI AND YOU DO NOT WANT TO WALK, TRY TO STOP THE TUK-TUK AND ASK FOR A FREE RIDE IN EXCHANGE FOR ALLOWING HIM TO TAKE YOU TO ONE OR TWO OF THE LOCAL HANDICRAFT SHOPS ON THE WAY. MANY DRIVERS WILL BE HAPPY BECAUSE THEY WILL GET A FUEL VOUCHER FOR BRINGING THE CUSTOMER TO THE SHOP (YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BUY ANYTHING!).

KUMBAKONAM

MADURAI

  • CURRENCY EXCHANGE AT ANTIQUE SHOP (THE MUSEUM COMPANY) – THE BEST RATES IN THE AREA. AN ADDITIONAL BONUS OF THIS PLACE IS THE “OBSERVATION DECK” LOCATED ON THE ROOF OF THE BUILDING, OVERLOOKING THE PROTRUDING FROM GREENERY GOPURAS OF THE MEENAKSHI COMPLEX. TAKE A LOOK HERE. JUST TO BE ABLE TO SHOOT A NICE PHOTO.
???

THANJAVUR

  • EXCHANGE OFFICE IN ELECTRONICS STORE – P MOHAN SHOPPING CENTRE. JUST GO TO THE CASH REGISTER AND ASK FOR MONEY EXCHANGE. ADDRESS: 55 New Burma Bazaar, Singapore Complex, Lal Badshaah Thaikal Lane, (Near GV Complex / Shanthi / Kamla Theater), Abraham Pandither Rd, Attar Mohalla, Thanjavur.
    NOTE: IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND AN EXCHANGE OFFICE IN THANJAVUR. YOU CAN OF COURSE EXCHANGE MONEY IN SOME HOTELS, RECEIVING 80% OF THE CURRENT PRICE – A DEFINITELY HIGHER RATE WAS OFFERED TO ME AT THE ABOVE-MENTIONED P MOHAN SHOPPING CENTRE.
???

SAMPLE PRICES

  • SODA WATER 0,5 l 15 – 20 Rs
  • PLANE WATER 1 L 19 Rs
  • COCA-COLA 0,5 l 25 Rs
  • COCA-COLA 0,6 l 35 Rs
  • PEPSI 0,6 l 35 Rs
  • MANGO DRINK 0,5 l 40 Rs
  • TONIC WATER – CAN 50 Rs
  • MIRINDA 0,6 l 37 Rs
  • COFFEE 8 -10 Rs
  • TEA 25 BAGS 138 Rs
  • WHISKEY TASKMAC 0,7 l 780 Rs
  • WHISKEY TASKMAC 1 l 500 Rs
  • BEER AT THE HOTEL 240 – 420 Rs
  • BEER AT TASKMAC 100 – 140 Rs
  • GOLD BRENDY AT TASKMAC 0,5 l 440 Rs
  • BRENDY AT TASKMAC 0,7 650 Rs
  • PORT AT TASKMAC 125 ml 115 Rs
  • HOTELS 800 – 1600 Rs / night
  • WASHING POWDER 10 BAGS 22,5 Rs
  • ICE CONE 65 Rs
  • TOILET PAPER ROLL 60 Rs
  • TEMPLE SHOES DEPOSITORY 3 – 5 Rs
  • SOMOSA 5 – 28 Rs
  • DURAN-DURAN – FEW PIECES 20 Rs
  • WATERMELON 4 kg 60 Rs
  • GRAPES kg 66 Rs
  • WC 4,5 Rs
  • BAG OF PEANUTS 20 Rs
  • SNEAKER 40 Rs
  • MEDICINES FOR THROAT INFECTION
  • FISH INDIAN MACKEREL 1.5 kg 350 Rs
  • SARI 360 Rs
  • WASHING 1 pcs. 20 Rs
  • LUGGAGE STORAGE 30 Rs / PCS
  • REXONA DEODORANT 95 Rs
  • SHAWL 80 Rs
  • MAGNET FOR REFRIGERATOR 100 Rs
  • PHOTOCOPY 1 PG 1 – 10 Rs
  • LENS HOOD 77 FOR CANON 300 Rs
  • SIM CARD WITH INTERNET WITHOUT LIMIT FOR 1 MONTH 300 Rs
  • SMARTPHONE SAMSUNG J7 PRIME 14 860 Rs.
  • SAMSUNG SMARTPHONE SILICONE COVER 150 Rs
  • SAMSUNG SMARTPHONE DISPLAY COVER 150 Rs
  • THE COST OF THE WHOLE TRIP pp. 3 830 PLN (US$ 1 128)