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<Summary> YATB, Yet Another Technology Blog </Summary>

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bangalore Maduari Kodaikanal Road Trip

Good Friday is just about the most amazing day of the year. For one, it means no office for both me and my wifey. For two, Saturday and Sunday follow it making it awesome threesome! For three, a no excuse long holiday!

For more than a month we were waiting for this day, we shortlisted few places, but Kodaikanal was on top of both of our lists. Khyati wanted to club in Madurai also. More the merrier, I say.

The day before, Khyati starts off by cooking her signature chips. We already had printouts of maps, travelogues and hotel phone numbers, so packed them all up. For a change we decided not to do any advance hotel reservations so having a printout of hotel phone numbers came in handy. We finished off packing around 11PM. The plan is to get up at 4:30 and start off by 5, but my mind had other plans and no amount of convincing to my mind helped it go to sleep. I finally catch up with sleep around 1 AM.

The alarm starts to buzz at 4:30, and after dilly dallying we start off from our house at 5:45. The first stop was at newly opened Kamat Upachar, Kamandoddi which is part of the do-not-refuel-here Reliance petrol station. We leave from here around 7:10 and at 7:40 we were at Krisnagiri toll booth. The moment we reached here, it seemed we were not the only ones who were planning a vacation! There were just so many people who had weekend plans! We crossed our fingers hoping that we would still get rooms to stay!

Hereon, I decide to push the throttle a bit, and started clocking around 120-140 K’s and reached Thoppur toll gate at 8:30, there isn’t much rush over here, seems like we beat everybody! The tripmeter reads 154Km. Omalur [190] isn’t behind, we reach there at 9:05 We cross Rasamapalayam [256] at 9:55 and Velanchet [328] at 10:50. By 12:30 we are in Madurai [440] and we start looking around for hotels. But boy! The heat over here; reminded me of the hot, hot days in Chandigarh! We checked up the rooms at Hotel Empee and Hotel Tamilnadu, both the places were similar, except Empee had the rooms a bit cheaper, 1200, including service tax for a deluxe AC room.

We checked in around 1:30 and switch on the AC immediately, freshen up and go for lunch in the attached restaurant. I go for a North Indian Thali while Khyati goes for the only-thing-she-ever-orders-in-South-Indian-Restaurants, Masala dosa :). North Indian thalli was amazing, huge amount of rice, cold chapattis, sambhar, and yes, north Indian chole! Welcome to “Real” South India! But to give it to the folks over here, sambhar is amazing, so I soaked all my rice with sambhar and ate it.

We start off our holy trip at 4:30, but we are advised to cover up the Thirumalai Nayak Palace first, as it closes for public at 5:30. The artwork here is pretty amazing, a nice teaser for what awaits at Meenakshi temple. As most of the “palace” part no longer exists, I wonder why it should still be called a palace.

Next up on the list is Meenakshi temple, and the golden lotus greets us, we sit around the lotus for half an hour and soak ourselves with all the divinity around. Gopurams here have magnificent sculpture and paintings. I am bedazzled with the symmetry and attention to detail wherever I put my eyes. We leave from here around 7:00 and on our way back we find that the crowds waiting for security check line has increased tenfold! Thankfully, we were bang on time to enter the temple.

To be continued..

Here are the pictures: