May 24th, 2007
It is the last school day for the year> My Montessori school commitment was over for the year. Packed clothes, put together things to be given to Arvind at Claremont. Packed extra set of saris for the wedding of Sundar’s IIt friend Ramakrishnan’s son on the 27th.
We left home by 9 am. We drove to Claremont and reached there by 4 pm. We stayed at Marriott for the night.
We left for the wedding by 3 pm. Myself and Ashwin were dropped off at the sirport by 9 Pm.
Malaysian airlines sets were narrower. Food was ok. It took 13 hrs flight time to Taipei.From there, it took 4 hrs. to Kuala Lumpur. We were guided to a hotel concierge where we booked a 3 1/s hrs package tour to go to Batu caves and some local places. It cost $90 per person. The taxi driver was a Tamilian. It took about an hour to reach Batu Caves. Enroute, the scenery was pretty with short palm trees and wide roads, almost no traffic. We reached Batu caves and started the climb. There were 272 steps and took almost 30 to 45 minutes. We saw a few monkeys. At the entrance, there is a 500 ft. Murugan statue made of gold. The driver explained that it was a recent addition and that it was built by sculptors from India. There was a huge iguana perched on a table, looking almost lifeless. There was a huge opening at the top of the caves. We spent almost an hour, a little longer than we should have. As we got down the steps, I saw a Shive temple. Being pradosham, I had a quick darshan.
Next, we went to Petronas towers. By then, it had gotten really late and we literally ran to the gate to check in.
June 2nd, 2007
We left early @7 am by car from Bangalore.We visited a Devi temple en route. Reached Kukke Subrahmanya temple by 11 am. We had to walk a little bit along the walkway. There was a long line, but they let us in quick in the seniors’ line because of amma. We had a darshan of Subrahmanya and the snake mound.
We had lunch at a restaurant and proceeded to Anandashram. By the time we reached, it was quite dark maybe 9 or 10 pm. We stayed and participated in the activities at the ashram till June 6th.
We left in the morning after breakfast to proceed to Udupi. En route we stopped at Malpo beach. Reached Udupi by 4 or 5 pm. There was a chariot festival. Due to that, there was a lot of gathering. We had darshan and ate a restaurant. We stayed at a modest hotel, one suggested by a priest at our local temple. It was not convenient. We had another darshan of the temple. Also saw Gita Mandir. It was very beautiful. Left Udupi to go to Horanad. On the way, saw a Birla Mandir. Reached Horanad by 8 pm. The driver found a lodge and we had dinner there at the Mahalakshmi temple. There was beautiful scenery on the way.
We had darshan in the morning. Gave a sari for the Amman pooja. We reached Sringeri from there. Reached there by noon. Had darshan and ate free lunch at the temple. The hall was very huge. The music mandapam was beautiful. Did the thoranam Ganapathi pooja. From there, left for Kollur Mookambika temple. When we reached there, it was @7 pm and raining hard. The driver found a hotel. We took some umbrellas and reached the temple. Ha darshan. There was a procession at the temple praharam. We were waiting for the Kashayam prasad. It was getting very late and raining. So we left to the hotel without getting the kashayam.While we were having dinner, the people at the next table gave us a little bit of the Kashayam. Mom was happy. We had another darshan in the morning. We saw Cashew trees. From there, we left to Mrudeshwar temple. There is a giant Shiva statue on the seashore. From there went to Jog falls by afternoon.There was no water in the falls. On the way back to Bangalore, the driver stopped at Shimoga animal sanctuary. We ate dinner at a place close to Bangalore. It was not good. Reached Bangalore by 12 30am.
June 13th and 14th
Samayapuram, Sri Rangam, Vaideeswaran koil and Tanjavur.
From Bangalore, we took Tanjavur express, an overnight train. It leaves Bangalore by 730 pm and reached Trichy by 430 am. Took a private taxi to Samayapuram, a 1 hr drive from Trichy. We stayed at Vijaya Manni’s house overnight. We offered flower garlands, silver body parts, lemon garland. sari/blouse. From there, we went to Tiruanaikaval temple and then to Srirangam. From Trichy, Lalgudi station is only 45 minutes. Edayathumangalam is another 45 minutes.We can also take a bus from Trichy to Tanjavur.
At Trichy, we visited a few shops. We passed climbing the Uchi Pillayar temple. We had darshan of Ganesha at the base.
We took a train from Trichy at 830 pm and reached Bangalore at 430 am. reached Sugavanam’s home by 530 am.
Amma, Ashwin and I left for Mysore. We stopped at Kadu Mane drive-in restaurant. Good dosas. We drove to Melkote temple.It is a beautiful village. We had to climb 252 steps to see the Yoga Nrusimhar statue. Amma did not climb.We came down and saw Thiru Narayanar and Thayar sannadhis.
Next, we went to Nimishamba temple. if one prays to this Devi, prayers will be answered in 1 minute. Next, we visited Ranganathaswamy temple at 1 50 pm. temple was closed. We ate lunch and proceeded to see the Palace. It is a beautiful Palace. And off to see Brindavan gardens. The lighting started at 7 pm. It started drizzling and we had to walk a bit to see the lighting. Hence decided to return. We stayed at Hotel Rroopashree, which was on par to Marriott.
In the morning, we left by 8 am and proceeded to Chamundi Hills and saw the giant Bull. it started drizzling again. We visited a Handicraft shop, sari shop etc. Went to Kushal Nagar and went to the ElephantParkk. There were a lot of bamboo trees.
Next to the elephant camp is a lake. People take a boat ride to see the elephants. We didn’t take it as it will take at least an hour.So proceeded to Madikeri ( Coorg). The route to Coorg is mountainous.We saw a lot of Coffee and pepper plants in Madikeri. We stopped at a railroad park called Raja’s seat. The scenery is beautiful with a lot of trails.
We visited Omkareshwar temple that was built in 1820.We had to go looking around for lodging. The driver took us to a bed and breakfast place. It turned out to be a good experience. The host, Anita fed us well. She gave us good akki rotis, vazhai thandu curry, rotis. She is a lawyer.
In the morning, we drove up to Talaicauvery. The route eas winding and mountainous for 48 kms. it was foggy and raining. We visited Taliacauvery origin and the Agastya temple. We could not do kumkum archana as it rained.
We came home and changed. The host gave us 2 pkts of Cardamom, 2 pkts of black pepper, 2 bottles of honey for Rs 500 only. She gave 1 kg of coffee powder and cut vazhai thandu for free. her family owned 6 acres of coffee estates.
We skipped going to Abe falls. We went to the Tibetan Golden temple. It was beautiful but had lots of flies. We bought two Shawls fro Rs 600 in the Tibetan store.On the way to Bangalore, we visiteGanapathihi Satchidananda swami ashram. It is a beautiful campus.
We returned to Bangalore by 9 pm.