Nayabagam Varudhe - 1
The thunderbird, folks is a kick-ass bike (except that on a long journey the pilion rider may get his ass really kicked :-) ask Sathish in case you have doubts!). Having it is equivalent to having complete freedom :-)
So this weekend i decided that a trip down the memory lane was the best way to spend a worthwhile weekend. What better place that Tanjore ? The place where i spent almost two or three months of summer vacation every year for ten years. The place where i have seen the entire town by just cycling. All the roads that i had cycled were now ready to be motor-cycled :-)
So off we went, sathish and myself to see the big temple and have a look at the place and our grandparents house. We decided that we would also have a look into REC (or NIT trichy ) and so we booked into hotel vignesh in trichy and decided to commute to tanjore from there. When you have the bird, why fret about travelling ? :-)
The hotel was pretty decent with a single room costing about 160rs. But what took the cake was the parota and kurma we had near dindugal. But more in terms of food was yet to come ! The egg dosa and onion chutney I had in a roadside shop in trichy bus-stand definitely put to shame any kind of chutney's i have had in bangalore. I tell you, if you need good food in bangalore better catch a bus and go to hosur. The roadside shops will give you better food than most star hotels in bangalore.
The next day morning we started pretty early to reach tanjore. Coz once the day gets hot, walking in temple bare-foot can be a real pain.
Tanjore is a place where from 1988 to 1998 i have visited every year without fail for my summer vacation. However the best part was the the entrance gopuram of the temple has stairs which i have not noticed even during those years.
This is a shot of the nandhi and gopuram taken from the "first floor" of the main gopuram.
And this is the main gopuram itself !
There is a lot of renovation happening in the temple. I was indeed surprised to see some stones bearing inscriptions in sanskrit !
They definitely are not hindi coz i am pretty sure hindi did not even exist in the times when this temple was built!. The museum inside the temple also had some intresting details of how they extracted the early 7th century paintings from under the temple columns. The question is, why were the paintings put there ? :-)
This is my ambitious attempt to conver the entire wall of the temple in a single shot. I think i almost suceeded :-)
Again for the first time, i saw something intresting. A stone lizard carved into the temple roof !
The best part was that the temple priest after seeing the jeans and water bottle (FYI these bottles did not have mineral water, just plain sweet tasting water from trichy hotel! ) asking us "Do you want to do archana?". Well yes i could have, as my friend was saying replied back with "who is archana ? and where is she ? :-) ;-)", but being the decent (?) fellow that i am, refrained from doing so.
Once the temple visit was done with, we then proceeded to the house. We did not visit the sivagangai poonga and few other places like palace etc, but they are for a future trip say in another year or so :-)
This is the grand anaicut canal where we have taken bath many a days (yes there used to be water even in the month of may in those days, but now it is bone dry!)
The saddest part was that the river bank was so wide that even lorries used to pass through, but now it has space for just a bike :-(. Most of the people have sold off their cows and hence people dont use the river bank any more for taking their cows to bath them. Hence probably the bank has shrunk ! Whatever it was, it was pretty sad to see the size being reduced so drastically!
The portion of the river bank where we used to get down and take bath. Many a times i have seen the temple elephant get down in that small opening !
The actual place where we used to take bath. Pretty sad to see it bone dry. Funnily enough, i still have not yet learnt swimming. Must do it someday.
It was in 1989 i think when i learnt how to cycle ! This is the place where i learnt. It was just a walkway with lots of mud and an ocassional person walking across. Now it is a tarred road and there are lots of cars. Well that is development i guess !
Once we had our fill of nostalgic moments we headed to the bus stand via tanjore market. The market is where many a days i had spent along with my grandmother learning how to bargain for stuff and how to identify good vegetables from the bad. The best part was that some of the grocerers were still there ! The shop where me and my grandmother used to have nice and spicy buttermilk after a day of purchase was still there !! I however did not hazard to talk to them coz they may not even remember me :-(
Lunch was at Vasantha Bhavan opposite to old busstand. Special meals for 35rs with proper solid ghee :-) not the liquid dalda mixed ghee that you get in many places. The rasam rocked big time ! Next time you are anywhere there, do not miss it :-) And oh dont even think about buying mineral water. The plain water tastes so very sweet.
Once lunch was done we went to beerengi medai (canon plateau). There is this huge looking canon there which i guess not many would have seen.I still dont know why this canon was there at this particular place ! This was kind of away from the palace.
So having filled ourselves with some real great memories we went off to REC where to be more precise i have spent the best 2.5 years of my life. Nothing comes even close to it. Not even the IISc hostel life ! More of it in the next post !
Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 1:49 PM