Wednesday, April 04, 2012

God's own country

Last weekend I had been to the capital of God's own country and may I suggest that if you have any plans to go to just Trivandrum, you rethink it. They have many museums and palaces but even the guides there seem to lack interest in them. We went to this museum called Napier Museum and its attached to a zoo. Enter at your peril. It was a HOTTTTT day and they would not let us take water inside since we had it in plastic non-biodegradable bottles. The whole place had one measly tap right at the middle and each huge enclosure had one very very very bored looking animal, except for the hippos. There were 5 of them and they were so ashamed of being in there that they hid themselves in the water. Did I tell you it takes about 2 hours to go around the whole zoo, by which time you are ready to expire (or kill) thanks to dehydration. The museum was just one huge room. Sri Chitra art gallery was ok. They had some very good paintings especially by Raja Ravi Varma. For a chennaite the beaches do not really hold any allure. sigh!
Napier Museum in the BG on a HOT HOT day
 The Macau monkey wondering who the fool behind the camera is
 The Hippos hiding in their water
The totally bored Rhino doing his thing
The one thing you cannot see in the East facing Chennai - Sun setting in the beach

Second Day: Rather disappointed with the first day, we started on the second day and Wow!!!! 65 KM from TVM is Padmanabhapuram with its ancient palace (The movie Manichitrathazhu was shot here, the original movie from which Chandramukhi, Aptamitra, Bhool bhulaiya etc were taken) It was absolutely awesome and a must see place.  Then we went to the Thiruparappu falls. Had a good time in the water until we went up and saw the source.. Dirty! but still fun. And we ended the day with Neyyar dam. A damn good place (hehe couldn't resist!)

The King's bed made out of 64 different Ayurvedic woods.

This is where Shobana dances for "Oru murai vandhu" the equivalent of "Ra ra". Photo taken from a secret lookout from which the queen mother can see the Navarathiri Mandapam

This interesting piece is in the adjacent archaeological museum. Men sentenced to capital punishment were stuffed into this device and hung
Entrance to Padmanabhapuram palace
King's court

         The Thiruparrapu falls, fun to bathe until you get to see the source :-) 

                                 Water gushing out of a small opening in Neyyar dam

On the final day we didnt have much time for anything, except Sri Ananthapadmanabha swamy temple. It was the day before a 5 day utsavam was to start and the Tantric was doing some special poojas inside and there was also sahasra swarna kalasaabhishekam (Abishekam with 1000 gold pots). So the whole lot of us had to wait outside for over 2 hours feeling just like sardines in a tin can. There must have been almost a 1000 folks and in less than 20 minutes, the temple guys pushed all of us in and out for darshan. By the time I finished a pradhakshina, they had again closed the entrance :-). The black God inside is now golden and it makes my heart feel good to seem Him glitter, even if we could only get a quick glimpse.
The Metha mani found on the edge of the Temple pool,has two lambs kissing a man's face on either side, on the hour. But it has not been working for a few years now.

The Main entrance to the Temple

Oh! and we went to see the house where my dad and his siblings were born and more than 60 years later, the house still stands and even the entrance has not changed. Is that cool or what?

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