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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Dancing Peacocks and Danish Bar!

15.11.2014, 5.30 AM:

Ola Cabs messages saying the cab I booked has arrived before schedule and I can leave early should I wish. They also compliment me with an upgrade to a sedan. Good Morning indeed!

15.11.2014, 6 AM:

A spic and span Coimbatore Junction anbudan welcomes me! Even the tracks are bereft of you know what we find on railway tracks in most Indian station early in the morning! This I am told is not an exception or a photo-op for Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.  Sorry to disappoint you Modiji, this is the hygiene workers earning their honest bread. Bravo Coimbatore!

Swachch Coimbatore Abhiyaan!

15.11.2014, 7 AM:

Unlike the Coimbatore Junction, the Coimbatore-Mayiladhuthurai Jan Shatabdi express presents a poor picture. Run down coaches, wet washrooms and the stink. The coach I travel in doesn’t have a garbage bin to boot, the place allotted instead to stock the stale and tepid breakfast parcels. Note: Please carry breakfast from home or buy a parcel from Annapurna before boarding the train. And skip the watery liquid masquerading as coffee!

15.11.2014, 1 PM:
The train is late. A growling stomach forces you to detrain at Kumbakonam instead. A full fledged saappadu later, SETC ride to Mayiladuthurai is undertaken. A 50 odd KMs ride for just Rs.21.00. Well done! The bus could have however seen a doctor before plying I felt. The other highlight is a single lane state highway. Single lane yes but as with most roads in Tamil Nadu well maintained. A sort of Single lane- toll free- expressway!

(For those who came in late: The entire stretch of coastal Tamilnadu from Chennai through Pondycherry- Cuddalore- Chidambaram- Mayiladuthurai- Kumbakonam- Thanjavur to Trichirapalli is a veritable treasure trove of ancient temples and architectural wonders. A detour from the highway every few kilometers on either side takes you to further more equally ancient and equally wonderful temples. The standing quip is that it takes two lifetimes to visit all the places of religious importance in this region. And while at it how can one be far away from the very Idea of India. Among the various pilgrimage routes is the one from Mayiladuthurai to Thirukadaiyur, a holy town for Hindus, to Nagore, the city of the famous Dargah built over the tomb of the Sufi Saint Hazrath Nagore Shahul Hamid. Also the birthplace of Singer Hanifa who sang Islamic devotional songs in Tamil, and right down to Velankanni, the city of the holy Catholic Church dedicated to Our Lady Of Good Health.  Yes! This is India! Despite the efforts of fundamentalist of various hues, we are like this only!)


16.11.2014, 9 AM:

One of the most expensive taxi rides takes me to Tranquebar! Not a bar literally but a Danish name for the lyrical Tamil name Tharangampadi! The site of the Danish landing and trading centre in India in early 17th century post an agreement between the Danes and the Maratha King Raghunatha Nayak, of Thanjavur. The highlight of Tranquebar is the majestic Danish Fort built right on the beach adjacent to the Masilamaninathar Temple. A part of the fort is now converted into an Indo-Danish Museum. I will stop the narrative and let the pictures speak instead.  

Danish Fort, Tharagampadi Aka Tranquebar!

16.11.2014, 1 PM:

Among the heart breaking sights is the so called renovation/restoration being done by the Archeological survey of Tamil Nadu and the Archeological Survey of India to the Masilamaninathar shore temple. I don’t know whom to credit this disaster but once again let the picture speak for themselves!

Yeppadi Irundha Naan..............

Ippadi ayittaen!!!!

16.11.2014, 8PM:

Why do all European town be it French, Portugese or Danish exude the same look? This could well be a street in Panjim, Pondicherry or Tranquebar!

Panjim, Pondicherry or..............!

16.11.2014, 10 PM:
Onwards Ho to Coimbatore with Rathi and Meena for company!

Rathi and Meena!


PS: Mayiladuthurai literally means Land of dancing peacocks! How is that for poetry in a name! Thanks @ndranandraj!


Anbudan: With love
Swachch Bharat Abhiyan : Clean India Campaign
Sappadu: Tamil Nadu Full Meals.
Yeppadi Irundha naan, ippadi ayittaen : How I was and what I have become!


  1. Well written. I think either you are visiting these places for the first time or after a long gap.i am never tired of visiting these places again and again.
    And I missed the details of your meeting with Lord Sani bagavan !

    1. Thank you Sir! Kumbai/Mayil many times. Thirukadaiyur/Tharangampadi first time. And I didn't plan any meeting with Shani Bhagwan on this trip! He was rather busy with Shani Peyarchi led devotees!

  2. Merry Christmas!

    The images are lovely and you have posted a nice travelogue.


    1. Dear Tammy,
      Merry Christmas to you too. Thanks for reading and comments.