Written by ushakiran on 23 Mar, 2012
Masinagudi is the stretch between Bandipur national reserve forest and Madhumalai forest range, all of which is situated in the Western Ghats.Masinagudi can be reached by road from bangalore or Mysore.The road is good most of the way but once you enter the forest…Read More
Masinagudi is the stretch between Bandipur national reserve forest and Madhumalai forest range, all of which is situated in the Western Ghats.Masinagudi can be reached by road from bangalore or Mysore.The road is good most of the way but once you enter the forest range there are a few potholes and one has to be very careful while driving at night. But once you enter the forest range one is least bothered about other things like bad roads because there is so much to see and absorb.One can see animals ,birds,wild squirrels, even snakes on the road. As we entered the reserve forest we were advised by the forest range personnel at the gates to drive very carefully taking care not to hurt or scare the animals away.We were fortnate enough to see a couple of Panthers in their natural setting, and the endangered species of barking deer.It was also great to see an elephant family bathing and cooling off in a stream.Masinagudi itself is a lovely place with an abundance of raw wild nature where one can go for long walks and generally relax amidst the wonderful bounty of nature.The place is simply amazing and most visitors tend to come back to the place again and again.We met a gentleman who has been visiting the place since 18 years.He was saying that after the initial few visits with family and friends , now he is much happier coming there alone, since he gets do what he wants without any interference from others.It is that kind of a place , complete in itself mesmerising you !Most mornings in masinagudi are Cold, filled with mist , which slowly clears away.One can spend hours together watching this and also listening to the birds.Many people come to watch birds since there are many species of migratory birds coming there during different time of the year.It is advisable to carry a sturdy pair of walking shoes and a small umbrella or a rain coat since it rains without any warning .The best time to vist Masinagudi is from May to November after which the Eastern Monsoons set in and it becomes difficult to move about because of torrential rains.We were told that there were a few tourists who came at that time of the year just to watch the rain from the resort and it must be quite a spectacle.There are quite a few jungle lodges and guest houses in masinagudi , most of which are filled to capacity.So, one needs to book in advance.We stayed at one such place called Blue Valley Jungle Resort. The scenic Blue Valley Jungle Resort where we stayed for the weekend is situated on the slopes of Nilgiri hills also known as the Blue Mountains , which also has the famous hill resort Ooty nestling amidst the mountain range.There is also a jungle resort run by the governement authorities situated close to Blue Valley Jungle Resort.The place can boast of one of the most breathtaking sceneries that is bound to stun the visitors.We were definitely more than impressed. One can hear the trumpet of elephants,tigers roaring and see plenty of deers and other wild life around the place since it is situated close to the Madhumalai forest range.As we took a walk through the jungle we got to see some amazing variety of wild orchids and other wild flowers some of which are not found anywhere in the world..The facilities that the resort provided was inclusive of all meals, trekking and camping with the help of a guide and campfire at night with some entertainment for the guests.All in all it was excellent value for money . Close
Written by phileasfogg on 05 Feb, 2010
The evening before I went to Tranquebar, I was puzzling over a question: "What on earth were the Danes doing in this part of the world?" A friend of mine, a German writer with a brilliantly dry sense of humour, said, "Looking for Norway."Um, no,…Read More
The evening before I went to Tranquebar, I was puzzling over a question: "What on earth were the Danes doing in this part of the world?" A friend of mine, a German writer with a brilliantly dry sense of humour, said, "Looking for Norway."
Um, no, Stephan. They weren’t looking for Norway. In fact, they were looking for anyone who’d allow them to settle down and buy a few spices. The Dansk Ostindisk Kompagni—the Danish East India Company—had dispatched its first ships from Copenhagen in 1618. By 1620, they were hovering around the south-western coast of India, having already been disappointed in their quest to set up a trading post in Sri Lanka, where the Portuguese had managed to win the race. The Danes, fortunately, found refuge in a small coastal town in India.
The town (more a fishing village then) was called Tharangambadi—‘the place of the singing waves’—and the local ruler, the Nayak, was willing to enter into an agreement with the Danes. So, in 1620, the Danes, led by Admiral Ove Gjedde, set up shop in Tharangambadi (which, since it was too convoluted a name for their Western tongues to pronounce, they shortened and simplified to Trankebar, or Tranqeubar). They established a fort, laid out a main street (Kongensgade, or King Street) and flung themselves into the spice trade in a big way.
In the early 1700’s, another important Western force arrived in Tranquebar: the missionaries. Bartholomaus Ziegenbalg and Heinrich Plutschau, evangelical Lutheran missionaries, came, began learning Tamil, and eventually set up India’s first printing press, which printed the Bibles they translated into Tamil. Simultaneously, churches were built in Tranquebar: the Zion Church was built in 1702, and the New Jerusalem Church (where Ziegenbalg was later to be buried) was built in 1718. The first five converts of the Lutheran mission were baptised in the Zion Church in 1707.
Tranquebar grew. At one time, it had a population of 3,000, which made it Denmark’s sixth largest city. It was also the only place outside mainland Denmark where Danish coins were minted. But by the early 1800’s, the sheen began wearing off. The Great Northern War (1700-1721) adversely affected the country’s economy, and the Napoleonic Wars, from 1799 to 1814, made matters worse. By the 1800’s, Denmark could no longer afford to maintain overseas colonies. There were, fortunately for them, people who were willing to buy over the colonies and factories the Danes wanted to abandon: in 1845, the British East India Company bought Tranquebar (along with two other Danish colonies, in Serampore and Balasore) and the Danes went back home.
Today, Tranquebar is a quiet, sleepy little town by the seaside—so small, in fact, that it doesn’t even have roadside eateries where you can stop for a plate of idli and sambhar. If you’re driving in from Pondicherry, this looks like any other small Tamil fishing village. But then, suddenly, you find yourself going through an arched gateway, white-plastered, decorated with the coat of arms of the Danish royal family, and with the words Anno 1792 emblazoned across the top. This gate is the landporten—the gate between the port and the inland. Through it, and you’re in a different time, a different world. The main road leading from the landporten to the sea is King Street, and this is where all of colonial Tranquebar’s biggest and most famous buildings are concentrated. There’s the heritage hotel known as The Bungalow on the Beach, once the house of the Governor of Tranquebar. There are two churches—the Zion Church and the New Jerusalem Church. There is the Ziegenbalg Spiritual Centre, which was once the house of Ziegenbalg himself. There are rounded columns and arches, balconies and shuttered windows that are architectural imports, not home-grown. There is even, next to the New Jerusalem Church, a Teachers’ Training Institute for Men, the arched gate of which is flanked by two figures made of plaster and dressed in distinctly 17th (or is it 18th?) century Danish fashions!
Looking out over the seafront is the Dansborg, the Danish fort that is now partly a museum. There is a sea wall, and the small, ruined stone structure known as the Masilamani Nathar Temple. There are rocks covered with dried, bright green lichen. There are seashells, half-ground by the relentless pounding of the sea. And there are the waves, singing gently as they wash over the rocks that fringe Tranquebar.
Written by TanyaJPaulMunshi on 02 Sep, 2006
Trichy is known for its temples, while Thanjavore is popular for its temple architecture and silk saris. In Trichy you have to climb 400 steps to receive the blessings of Lord Ganesha in the Rock Fort Temple, which is said to be almost 35 billion…Read More
Trichy is known for its temples, while Thanjavore is popular for its temple architecture and silk saris. In Trichy you have to climb 400 steps to receive the blessings of Lord Ganesha in the Rock Fort Temple, which is said to be almost 35 billion years old. Apart from the prayers, the view from the temple all across Trichy is breathtaking. In Thanjavore visit the famous Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple (or Bragatheeswarar). It is said that the great Chola King, Rajarajan Cholan donated this temple to the dalits or untouchables, so that they too can have access to the gods and prayers. This was probably one of the first steps taken to eradicate untouchability from Indian society. This temple is worthwhile and less commercial than other monumental temples across the country.
The several temples inside this Thanjavore Temple premises are clean and brings a sense of calm as you walk in. All you have to do is simply walk into the temple and explore the serenity with your minds and hearts. It is said that the Sri Brahadeeswarar Temple has no shadow falling on the ground and it makes us wonder how ahead of time people were in history. This Thanjavore temple has been declared as a World Heritage Monument and is a must see. If you look at the ceilings; you’ll be amazed to see the precision in which they have been painted using natural colours from the past. Finally, visit the Thanjavur Palace, which has now been converted into a museum. A part of the palace is still retained and lived by the royal Thanjavore family. One of the souvenirs that you can pick up from the Palace Museum Store is the reverse glass painting or the typical Thanjavore painting in gold plating.