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Monday, June 04, 2018

Chidambaram & Kumbakonam

I Continue From Here 

Backpacking TN - Day-03


Satadal and I had decided to meet at the promenade to watch the sunrise. I was there by 5:45 AM, right on time to watch the sunrise. It felt great to be on the east coast and be able to watch the sunrise. Having grown up by the west coast, this was a welcoming change for me to watch the sunrise by the beach, which I had never done before. 




We took a walk up to the jetty and watched the fishermen fetch the crabs out of their nets.




At around 10 AM, I settled my bill at the hostel, said good bye to the South Korean girl who had just checked in and headed towards the Bus station. All buses have signboards written in Tamil so if you do not know how to read Tamil, a lot of 'asking the people' needs to be done while on the road. In my manageable knowledge of the language, I enquired about the bus to Chidambaram and was directed accordingly.  




As soon as I reached Chidambaram, the first thing I wanted to do was have my lunch.  I tried Sri Krishna Vilas and the food was great! Idada Sapad! I thought.



Next, I walked to the temple. I had carried a Panchey with me,  that I wrapped around my shorts and entered the Nataraja temple. The temple gopuras are beautiful. The main idol of Nataraja (In the form of Anadana Tandava - Dance of Delight) is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I was right on time to witness the last pooja before they close until evening. It was raining heavily and was closing time, so I could not explore the temple architecture. Inscribed on the pillars here are the 108 karanas from Natya Shastra which form the foundation of Indian dance form Bharatnatyam







I found the city very crowded and a bit unclean. And with nothing else to do, I decided to continue my journey to Kumbakonam. 

The moment I got off the bus at Kumbakonam, I liked something about this small town.  It was relatively clean, it was not very crowded and the town appeared very laid back. I found a descent hotel - Venkadaramana lodge, very close to the main bus stand. 

But the first thing I did there was to try the special Kumbakonam Degree Coffee. I am not really sure what is special about it but my friend had messaged me to try that. Reading a bit about it on the internet, I learn that its a filter coffee with a specific blend of chicory and pure (unadulterated) milk. Anyways, it really tasted good. 




I took a walk to the Mahamaham tank around which there are several temples. I visited a few temples and then sat on the steps around the tank. I have often noticed during my travels that in every town, there always exists at least one place, where the tired souls gather in the evening to find some peace. In the small town of Kumbakonam, that place is Mahamaham tank. I relaxed there for a while before heading back to the hotel. 






Continued Here 

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