Month: February 2013

Yelagiri Hills

Posted on

The Yelagiri hills / sometimes also known as Elagiri hills – is one of the quickest get away to a hill station if you reside in Chennai. A 3 hour drive on a National Highway and you are at your destination away from congested traffic jams, wifi, and mall experiences.

The temperature here is cool NOT very cold, making it ideal to just relax from the four summers of Chennai, especially if you are the kind of person who misses the slow pace of life, like I did. So Yelagiri it was after I decided I needed a break from everday routine, where it was ok to be slow, walk slow, eat slow and not run towards a goal/ target/ or deadline.

We made reservations at a resort just near the lake – there are many of them and at quite affordable rates. Most of them serve absolutely fresh food as per your choice, only after you confirm you are going to dine with them. There is a no plastic rule which prevails in yelagiri. Another point in its favor. Beautful skies, the sun and the trees, simple flowers and the water and wind. Sometimes the simplest things that are ever present are the best things.

The sun and its rays piercing through the green leaves - a great sight to behold!
The sun and its rays piercing through the green leaves – a great sight to behold!

 

Still blue waters, wonderfully calm sky, and a smidgen of green here and there...
Still blue waters, wonderfully calm sky, and a smidgen of green here and there…

 

En route to the lake.. short walk over the bridge...
En route to the lake.. short walk over the bridge…

People do complain about the lack of “entertainment” options at yelagiri. Well if you are looking for adventure options,or touristy fun stuff, maybe this is not the place for you. This is ideal for people who want to slow down, be aimless for a couple of days, or just follow a minimal routine with lots of Β time to just lie down, sit and observe people and take refuge in minimalism..

 

Giant size custard apples...
Giant size custard apples…

This tree with its brilliant orange flowers against a royal blue background captured my heart each morning during my stay at yelagiri...

This tree with its brilliant orange flowers against a royal blue background captured my heart each morning during my stay at yelagiri…

The lake at Yelagiri, is the main place where almost all tourists head to after their morning breakfast or for their evening walk. Entry to the park surrounding the lake is an abysmal Rs 10, with an extra Rs. 10 you have to throw in for your camera. A short walk around the lake with some broad footpaths, a bridge and through the park will bring you to the boating area and “snack” counters. Most families indulge in both and many did sing the praises of the Β fried fish.

Botanical gardens
Botanical gardens

Besides the lake, the only other place where you probably could spend some time is the Botanical Gardens. A walk through the garden would take you about one and a half hours. But if you did it the way we did… that is …

SONY DSC

sit in this quaint thatched roof hut for a good forty-five minutes, the walk around the park would take you much longer. Though I would have liked to see more varieties of flowers and trees – the park is well maintained and well cared for.

Branches reaching to the blue sky...
Branches reaching to the blue sky…
Brilliant colours of the bougainvillea - shot in natural light. No editing required for this one...
Brilliant colours of the bougainvillea – shot in natural light. No editing required for this one…
These small red and white flowers looked like an arrangement of little bulbs and so caught my eye!
These small red and white flowers looked like an arrangement of little bulbs and so caught my eye!
Dark violet on the inside but radiating into a pure white...
Dark violet on the inside but radiating into a pure white…
Bright and yellow...
Bright and yellow…

 

 

Dancing Fountains...
Dancing Fountains…

The park / botanical gardens ” boast” of a light show and the dancing fountains. The novelty wears of quite soon unless you are a kid within the age of 10 who would burst into peals of laughter when the fountains spray some water on you while they “dance” πŸ™‚

Solitary rock... ideal for the book lover
Solitary rock… ideal for the book lover

But me – I would rather comfortably perch on this rock, by the lake with a book , maybe a cuppa and lose myself with the passage of time…

Advertisements

The Madras Market…

Posted on

The Madras Market is finally here! After days, nay weeks of constant reminders, vendor verifications and just the eager anticipation of the event – it has finally materialised! Yes , yes… click and portal to brick and mortar and all that jargon… but come take a virtual tour on day 1 of the Madras Market (initiative of the Chennai Shopping group – a group that has helped narrow the gap between many a shopper and vendor along with some good relations to boot )

Ample car parking.. thank god!
Ample car parking.. thank god!

Anyone who tries to venture into a mall or any other popular hangout over the weekend will shudder at the thought of parking. Definitely a point in favour of Madras Market.

SONY DSCGet your ticket and some gift vouchers at the counter too…

Safety and security :) what if your heart couldn't take the variety of goodies on sale :)
Safety and security πŸ™‚ what if your heart couldn’t take the variety of goodies on sale πŸ™‚
SONY DSC
I am entering the Market first paying obeisance to the remover of obstacles… help me find some good deals πŸ™‚ No obstacles there please!

The common theme at the Madras market was of course … errr… Madras / Chennai..duh! Chumbak, Chennai Gaga, and many more stalls which had souvenirs – read bags, stationery, T-shirts, magnets of ‘namma’ Chennai seemed to be popular with both the local crowd and the expats too!

You know you are Indian if...some witty stuff here
You know you are Indian if…some witty stuff here
T Shirts with an element of the local flavour
T Shirts with an element of the local flavour
Loved these quaint kettles...absolute old world charm
Loved these quaint kettles…absolute old world charm
Moving from clothes to more functional items... these woven muli utility baskets were a big hit with many
Moving to more functional items… these woven muli utility baskets were a big hit with many
SONY DSC
Functional.. yea.. but what is that? Absolutely gorgeous jewellery up for grabs at many stalls.. and worth its price too πŸ™‚ I loved these jhumkas a lot!
SONY DSC
Well if you got to look into your jewels in peace.. make sure junior is occupied! Board games and stalls for different hobbies galore…
SONY DSC
Angry birds and Chota Bheem were the next theme in rage… bags, stationery and even a suitcase!
SONY DSC
If just the souvenirs did not appeal to you – you could actually play the game live with the catapulting birds… no crazy sound effects though!
SONY DSC
For the more adventurous at heart – venture into the world of Zorbing!
SONY DSC
When it is glucose run down time – stick one of these kandy swirls to raise the energy levels πŸ™‚
or if you're looking to move away from the exotic and to something that has survived the test of time - fluorescent pink clouds of cotton candy... who could surpass that temptation!?
or if you’re looking to move away from the exotic and to something that has survived the test of time – fluorescent pink clouds of cotton candy… who could surpass that temptation!?
SONY DSC
Kids and adults give in to them equally and wind up on a sweet note…

I have to mention the patient artists who were doing their own creative thing by way of caricatures and mehndi – putting a smile on the face of many. Plus the stage that was being set up for the evening’s concert. The food court had a variety of items that would satiate your sweet tooth as well as your continental and spicy one too… What was lacking was maybe a juice stall… With the sun beating down the way it did today – even the humble lime soda would have made top biz… people who were thirsty gave in to ice golas or regular mineral water…As a stall had mentioned on its merchandise – Chennai “land of four summers”

Hopefully same time next year too! See ya…

 

Back after 8 months…

Posted on

A bad experience is enough to stifle your creative juices… and that is pretty much what happened to me for the past half year and more.

There were times when I had an idea about a post, took pictures meaning to put it up on my blog, felt strongly enough about a conversation / topic/ discussion – but somehow just did not have the intention of converting all these thoughts to words…

Starting now with a small post .. hope you like it… and I hope to be back as a regular πŸ™‚

Wishing me luck and consistent efforts!