travel

Srirangam

The Rajagopuram at Srirangam
The Southern Rajagopuram

Srirangam lies nestled on an island in the middle of the mighty river Kaveri which runs through Trichy in Tamil Nadu. The temple itself occupies more than 150 acres. It is a Vaishnava temple devoted to Sri Ranganatha, who is the reclining form of Vishnu. The earliest mentions of the temple are in first century AD Tamil scriptures and poems.

It has a mixed history, having been rebuilt a few times over centuries due to Moguls invasions. The idol was removed and kept in the safety of the Tirumala hills for three hundred years in the middle of the last millennium. Because of its strategic position, the temple was vulnerable to frequent attacks and as a result during reconstructions seven parikramas with high walls were added around the temple over centuries.

Today the temple is revered as a holy Vaishnava site and admired for it’s architecture. Recently renovated by the Government, the temple’s famous 1000-Pillar Mandapam and various other mandapams are now easily accessible. The glorious beauty of many doors, windows and Gopurams have been restored. It is a visual treat to see.

The temple is built in a concentric pattern and surrounded by old homes owned traditionally by Iyengars. There are 21 splendid Towers or Gopurams around the temple. The tallest Gopuram is the Southern Gopuram or Rajagopuram at 239.5 feet. On a clear day you can see Sri Lanka from the top of this Gopuram!

The “Jeeyar” who is considered the head of the Vaishnavites in the South lives simply in a home close to the temple.

1000-pillar mandapam with a carving of an elephant at the entrance.
Another view of the 1000-Pillar Mandapam

Getting Here:

Getting to Trichy is fairly easy, you have train, bus and airport connections. You can drive from Chennai in about six hours, from Madurai the drive takes about two to three hours and from Coimbatore in four to five hours. The highways are pleasant to drive on with plenty of places to eat and take a break. Once in Trichy, you can find a lot of great hotels to stay in as well as fairly inexpensive ones near the bus stand and the temple area.

Remember that the temperatures can soar in Trichy in April/May so plan clothing and touring accordingly.

Shopping:

Looking for traditional iron pots and pans or wooden objects? This is the place to explore! Unusual items that you thought was lost with your grandma are available in Srirangam and Trichy. Bangles and color powders for rangoli and kolams in a rainbow of colors on display will tempt you to buy them all…

Other Places of Interest in Trichy:

Trichy Rock Fort – includes the Uchipillayar Temple. A steep climb awaits the adventurous!

Our Lady of Lourdes Church (1840) – the Gothic architecture will be of interest.

Kallanai – an ancient dam built by the Cholas in the second century fortified by the British

Samayapuram Mariamman (Maha Kali) Temple – 16 km outside Trichy.

This blog post is only a guide to places the writer loves. Please plan your trip well.

If you have any questions do write to me!

Looking for cool weather and a relaxing holiday? Why not try Coorg, the Scotland of India.

All rights to the photos and the blog post belong exclusively to the author. You may not copy or duplicate it in anyway without the written consent of the author.

Book Reviews

Book Review: How to Walk, Write and Garden for the Healthy Life You Want

Book cover with a tree-lined path in the background and title Walk, Write & Garden for the Healthy Life You Want
Wellness Secrets Series (Book 1)

Book Title:

How to Walk, Write and Garden for the Healthy Life You Want. Wellness Secrets Series (Book 1)

Author:

Dr. Amrita Basu

Price:

Rs. 212/-

Where to Buy:

Amazon.in

Genre:

Non-Fiction, Self-Help

Analysis:

Dr. Amrita Basu of HealthWealthBridge.com, has 700 blog posts to her credit. She has written many books on Wellness. This latest book on walking, writing and gardening for health and wellness is another one packed with information. The book is a bit autobiographical with Dr. Amrita talking about her formative years, life as a newlywed and connecting it all with wellness.

Wellness is very close to her heart says the author. By taking examples from her own life, the author has found a novel way to show the reader that this can be done.. No one can be as busy as this doctor but she manages to write despite it due to the fact that she found a solution. Read more about it in the book. No problem is too small she says, you can find a way around it.

Walking is one of the best exercises according to this author. And as a doctor she is able to give us sound reasons for the same. She also talks about finding time for walks. She uses her own example of living in a town where there is no walking path. The solution she finds makes interesting reading. You will be encouraged to find your own way to walk too.

If you always wanted to write but never have found the time to do it, then this book is definitely for you. How do you manage to make time and bring writing into your life? The author gives us some unusual but practical solutions to finding the time. Again, she uses her own example and explains how she overcame the lack of time. You may have great ideas but only by practicing your writing skills, will you be able to put down your thoughts on paper in an organized manner. Writing may not come naturally but the author says you must work on it daily.

You may live in an urban environment and greenery and Nature may seem far away. But being with Nature is a natural human tendency and keeps us healthy says the author. The author further explains how creativity and thinking are enhanced by a natural environment. Your wellness depends on it. Find out how you can bring greenery into your life despite living the big-city life.

Nature and loving family can go a long way in bolstering wellness.

Dr. Amrita Basu

The author talks about the desire to succeed and at the same time finding contentment in one’s life. How to find that balance to lead a peaceful but successful life? Read the book to know more.

Lastly i would suggest that the author find a professional Editor to take her books to the next level! There is so much good these books can do for the public and an experienced Editor is the next natural step to bring a much needed more professional look to them.

About the Author:

Dr. Amrits Basu wants to spread good health and mindfulness to everyone. This is why she started writing five years ago in her blog. She gives practical solutions to every day difficulties in her patients’ lives. She believes being healthy is not just medicines and diagnosis but holistic care for body and soul that leads one to health and success and ultimately happiness.

This book review is written as part of the:

#Blogchatter Book Review Program.

Disclosure: This reviewer received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Have you just had a baby? You may be wondering how to loose weight after a baby so read on to learn that it isn’t that hard!

Book Reviews

Book Review: From Stressed to Sorted: 11 Ultimate Life-changing Happiness Hacks for Millennials (SoulSpeak Book 1) #BlogChatterBookReview

Book cover of Stressed to Sorted by Sonam Chamaria- a self-help book for book review.

Book Title:

From Stressed to Sorted: 11 Ultimate Life-changing Happiness Hacks for Millennials (SoulSpeak Book 1) Kindle Edition

Price:

Rs. 199/-

Where to buy:

https://www.amazon.in/dp/B0826W77WL

Genre:

Non-Fiction, Self-Help

Blurb (Edited for space constraints):

Stress? No more.

Self-help without the Gyan. Written by a millennial.

For anyone trying to manage stress and adopt positive thinking. For anyone battling anxiety. For those who want to improve their lives to make it a fulfilling one, but simply have no time. ‘From Stressed to Sorted’ has the perfect remedy. Because:

‘Life is what you make of it.

If you think it’s tough, it will be.

If you think it’s easy, it will be.’……..

……There is a reason why you stumbled upon this book today. It was meant to be.

This last line in the description of “Stressed to Sorted….” about says it all. I felt like I was mean to read this book.


Analysis:

The book looks closely at different situations you face in your life and suggests how you can deal with these situations and come out a better person. To further elucidate on each topic, the author smoothly gives life-like samples of situations you could be in. The short samples themselves are wonderful to read and you find yourself wondering what will happen next! This author definitely has a career in fiction-writing waiting in the wings if she so pleases!

The author covers 11 topics which include everything from how to relax your grip on other people to how to not let other people control your thoughts and actions. She also writes about the importance of loving yourself. How important it is for your mental health and well-being for you to give yourself the attention and love you deserve. How to overcome hurdles and struggles in your life is another aspect she writes about. She advises you how to handle criticism in general and that which targets you. The author doesn’t stop here but also talks about troubled sleeping patterns and what to do about it. Forgiveness is another topic we all need to hear about. Its not just about yourself, but about how your reaction to other people can bring about a positive vibration around you and your environment. She also deals with grief and how to bounce back from it.

The author explains every topic lucidly and in easy to understand language. The words flow easily and I found myself sticking little post-its on my fridge, shelves and other places as she suggests in the chapter on loving yourself. I felt like the book was meant for me and have taken a lot of the suggestions seriously to make my life better. There are plenty of real-life samples to help you understand where she is going with a particular topic. At the end of every chapter you can find a few exercises to try at home to help with your self-improvement. The exercises are simple but very effective. You will be pleased with them and the ideas behind each action she suggests.

As a Tarot reader, the author has a deep understanding of how the world turns. Her ideas about letting the Universe help you and about letting go are important points to note and try for yourself. These “hacks” are actually quite sound and can be used by any person – Millennial or not; whatever age you are, you will definitely benefit from the wisdom in this book.

Only one suggestion is that the editing could be improved. A few punctuation errors and word usage could be corrected for a more professional-looking book. But in no way do these tiny errors take away from the reading or usefulness of this self-help book.

About the Author:

Sonam Chamaria is a spiritual person and finds a deep connection with the world we live in. She is a Tarot Reader, a Chakra-healer and practices Nichiren Buddhism. Being a voracious reader and fashion-conscious, Sonam cannot stop reading, buying books, clothes and accessories. She travels, shoots photos and has a Master’s Degree in Business  from the UK and is currently an investment banker in Bangalore.

How does she do all these things and write a book? Read the book to know how you can do it too and be stress-free!

This Book Review is written as part of the:

#Blogchatter Book Review Program.

This and That

A Small Matter of Courtesy…

the entrance to a movie theater with a sign saying MOVIE

A Small Matter of Courtesy to Your Fellow Citizens

So I went to the theater for a movie, Mission Impossible – Fallout, if you must know. And like the good girl I am, I was in plenty of time for the movie. Being jobless of course we went for the matinee show at 2PM. I settled into my seat, remembered I needed popcorn (what’s a movie without popcorn anyway) and urged my husband to go get me some. He was back before the movie started. Lights dimmed and the screen flashed some messages as I munched my popcorn.

Movie Time!

Tom Cruise’s handsome mug flashed on the screen and I started daydreaming about him. (Story for another day!) His famous self-destructing mission thingamajig started playing…

Then it started, fellow citizens coming in late. So okay you’re late that’s fine, just find your seat. But no, that wasn’t it at all. It was dark inside the theater and the latecomers very smartly turned on their mobile phone flashlights. Thank God for modern technology. Hurray!

Genius right?

Hi-Tech Flashlights

Yes, BUT dear citizen those hi-tech flashlights were flashing into our eyes. Pray tell me, my good man/woman/fellow citizen, what do you see in my face? Your future perhaps? Shouldn’t you flash the light onto the pathway?

And on it went, people kept coming in for the next fifteen minutes after the movie started (what did they understand so late into the movie with the thingamajig self-destructed!?) and every single one of them flashed their mobile lights into our faces. Sitting in the back row (ahem, always a backbencher) you get to see and be annoyed by all the latecomers.

Being Courteous

When will we learn to be courteous by being on time for the movie? So okay you have a valid excuse for that right – traffic, your boss pinned you down, the cat bit your leg, and so on. As I was saying, so you’re late, at least turn the mobile flashlight down so you can see where you are going. I don’t need to see the different types of bright lights modern mobile phones have, do I?

I guess next time I should take a mirror to reflect it back at these kind citizens. Sounds like a good idea, something to think about.

There! Rant Over!

Thanks for reading and being on time for the next movie. Oh, and don’t forget to bring a mirror with you!

And please, if you are late do the rest of us the courtesy of holding your mobile phone down on the path and out of our eyes.

Thank you.

PS: The movie was really good, but then I like every movie I watch in a movie theater! (Popcorn always makes them good)

food snack popcorn movie theater
What’s a movie without Popcorn!?