Friday, August 31, 2012


A trip to this Holy place was being planned for some weeks. I am not sure why, but very depe in my heart, i had this strong urge to travel to this place. I started with some research on the logistics, travel plan, best path.

I had been to three temples in and around Mandya in the last few years. This time I wanted to combine it into a day trip. This, of course needed some planning given that all these places housed temples, and the temples had different worship times. nevertheless, some googling helped.

The plan was charted. We go to  Four places and  maybe visit 10 temples in a day.
1. Melkote - Selvanaraynar and Yoga narasimhar
2. Tonnur (Thondanur) - Nambi Narayanar, Gopala swamy, Narsimhar+ Shri Ramanujar
3. Sathyagalam - Kote vardharajaswamy temple , swami desikran & Madhya Rangam
4. Dodda Mallur - Aprameyer.

Instead of keeping this be an entirely religious trip, i added Tonnur lake and Shivasamudram falls also to the agenda.

We planned to pack some idlis for breakfast and start by 6.30 a.m.

The team : Prema, our little one Advaith, My Sis-in-law Sumithra, My Mom-in-law and My friend Mr. Netta boss.

We pretty much started on time.... like 7.20 a.m!. Drive thru the city on a saturday morning was certainly less painful. Nevertheless, the bad roads and metro work made it a difficult drive. we reached Maddur @ Gobbled up some idlis and stopped over at Kasturi for some Coffee. The place was decent, the service pathtic though, was manageable. The washrooms were just okay. I think they need to make betther facilities for the crowd they see on weekends.

I was doubting if we would be able to reach Melukote, our prime destination for the day, on time. So I decided to do a nonstop 100 kms next. Drove past Mandya and enquired someone on the road for the route to Melkote. Thankfully we had not crossed the diversion. Although I prefer to take a look at the Google maps for direction, Prema just cursed me for using that gadget instead of enquiring with someone on the road. The road from mandya to melukote is not so great. its a small road with lots of speedbreakers and pot holes. It took close to an hour to finsih that leg of the journey and reach the hillock. Up the hill and I was so glad to know that the temple remained open till 12.30 on saturdays and the Yoga Narasimhar temple remained open till 2 p.m. We had a very good Darshan of the main deity and utsavar Chella pillai.

The pattachariyar explained us the history of Shri Ramanuja and ThiruNarayana Perumal and I was quite moved. The History goes like this:

Shri Ramanujar moved out of Srirangam (Exile) and was in Tonnur ~about 18-20 kms from melukote. Thiru Narayana appeared in the dream of Shri Ramanujar saying that the deity /temple are deformed for several years/centuries and are buried. He was traced to this hillock. Shri Ramanujar reinstated the temple in melkote and resided there for 14 years. A lot of his disciples were with him.
Then Sri Ranaganathar commanded that Shri Ramanujar returns to Srirangam as the troubling Chola king had left. Just when Shri Ramanujar decided to leave Melkote, the residents of Melkote and his disciples were sorrowed. They requested Shri Ramanujur to stay back which Ramanujar could not refuse either. caught in sucha situation, Shri Ramanujar then decided to make a deity (vigraham) of himself and leave it in melukote while he goes to Srirangam.
The deity is Thanugarnda meni.(Or Thanana meni?). And the Moolavar in Gnana Muthirai in his right hand.

the exact words of the pattacharya who narrated this goes liek this, in Tamil, " Lord Ranganathar Shri Ramanujaroda kanuila vandu, "Chola mannan poittan, Ramanuja, nee inga vandudu da." I was very much touched by the annonyam of Shri Ramanujar and Lord Ranganathar! It is believed Shri Ramanjur considered Lord Ranganathar as his Father and ThiruNarayanar as his son... thats the name, "Chella Pillai" to Thiru Narayanar.

After such an enriching experience in the temple, we moved out just to be given a token for annadanam! Wat a day has this been uptil now. At the stoke of 12 noon, right after the darshan... a permit to free food.... i love this. We took about 10 minutes to go around the temple. I liked the structure of the temple.. the long but not so high, walk-ways within and outside the temple.

Just behind the temple, the Mutt was offering thathiardhanai (free food - annadanam). We offered prayers to the deity within the Mutt and at 12.45 we began the attack. Rice, sambar, Cabbage poriyal and then some nice tasty buttermilk. The food was served quickly to accomodate the next batch of devotees waiting outside the hall. I relished the food. Then the girls gand (Wifey, SIL, MIL) left to climb the yoga narsimhar temple. Mr. Netta heading the boys gang instructed that iw was important for the boys gang to complete the ceremonial afternoon nap. Under our leaders able guidance, the boys gang resorted to the age old practice of parking the car under a tamarind tree and playing some ilayaraja melodies and enjoyed the slumber.

The girls gang returned and it was about 14.30 hours. I have thoroughly been enjoying the trip. But I knew, we were behind our schedule by more than 2 hours. Anyways.. we headed to Tonnur. About 20 kms from Melkote. Netta boss was at the wheel. he has the ultimate knack of driving the car with no distraction or inconvenience to the passengers inside. With a pleasant 60kmph  I was only wanting to get the sticker in the Xylo  as "thanga ratham" or "kadal pura"inscribed!

We reached Tonnur with not much difficulty. This road from Melkote to Srirangapatna via Pandavapura and TOnnur is much better than the road from Mandya to Melukote. It was about 3.30 p.m and I was still doubting if all temples would be open. And to our pleasant surprise, the temples were all indeed open. Is this Praptham!?

The Nmabi Narayanar temple has a huge front lawn. The local boys were found playing cricket in the lawn. Two young boys maybe 12-13 years offered to be our tourist guide hoping to get some money in exchange. I was very particular to not hand them any money but  provided som efood that we were carrying. They were happy but not excited with this deal. They proceeded to narrate some story fo the place.

Here Shri Ramanujar reinstated the Nambi narayanar temple and venu gopalaswamy temple as well.
It is pity though thatthe Nambi narayanar temple had no lights inside the main sanctum. I could hardly see anything despite the little lamp there. But as I walked closer to the main deity the image grew clearer. I somehow began to enjoy the view of this Moolavar with no diturbing light and it looked as though the light was radiating from the deity!

The Venu Goplaswamy temple is right across the road and has an ancient architecture. It happens to be a protected monument too. The Darshan was fulfilling. The Moolavar is Parthsarathy and the utsavar VenuGopalasamy.

Subsequently we were lead to the temple of Lord narasimha in a small hillock behind the main temple.
This temple houses a sannidi for Shri Rmanaujar in Seshaavatar. It is an amazoing experience to have darshan of this Shri Ramanujar. His eyes look like that of a snake.... like a small marble.
The Hoysala kings offical emlem is on the temple (a lion) and also is there a glass box with the leaf (olai) basket that Shri Ramajuar had used. This temple needs you to climb about 40 steps. Not so difficult when you know what you would witness. The Lord Narsimha too has prominence as this has conenction the Prahlada story.

At 4 o clock, our little master wakes up in the car and we driving our way to the Tonnur lake  jsut 5 mins drive from this temple. But Netta boss drives through a narrow path and the rear right wheel of the xylo drops into a deep pit to our shock.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nalliravil en Ninaivil...oru ottam.

Expressing solidarity - i literally experienced this feeling yesternight.
Yes. I am talking about the Midnight marathon that happened here in Bangalore on Dec 11, 2010.

Feeling sad and glad the same time - sad because I could not run and glad because I was there... there to support my fellow runners.
None of them expected me there... the runners would have continued to run just as they did when i was there, or maybe better, if I was not there, but that I made it there, made a difference, not to them but to me!
there I made it. I mumbled to myself... psycho super da....

But That I was there.... there to see it for myself. to see the interest kindled in again to run. How I felt sad I could not run yesterday was made up by seeing my fellow runners run past me. There I was screaming..."Running well folks, Keep running." and again and again... with each passerby.... now not anymore in general, but staring directly at each of the runners eyes, my earnest effort to make an eye contact, and let them feel my genuine reason to cheer up. The sight of the runners run by was dragging me in.I almost took off on my feet, but blame it on my right ankle that had gotten twisted on thursday while playing basketball in the office, it was still swollen, swollen big that I was managing only to drag my feet, reminding me why i was not one of those hitting the roads but there on the sidewalk, to get close to the runners, the young, old, grey, black, white haired, some even bald, the men and the women alike, everyone was running, sweating their heart out and I felt I was running in them. The restless energy in me, more than feeling sad for my inability to run, was pushing me to clap louder, look sharper and make a steady eye-contact and communicate. I was there to express solidarity. It felt so great.

Satish(Thalaivar) and Karthik(Kutty) were two runners whom I knew personally. We are a part of the SAP Roadies  - the runners and cyclist interest group in SAP Labs(SLI). We have run and cycled together in the last few months. Kutty was (to my knowledge) doing his first HM. That I could witness this feat of my fellow Roadie was a terrific feel. Agreat feel to complete a HM. I have had the high in KTM this year.

Thalaivar finished it well under 1 hour 45 minutes. the last lap was probably his best. giving a strong finish is a dream of any runner. and Thalaivar did it again :)

Did manage to see Bhaskar and Ashok and some other familiar faces from the running fraternity.
I am very new to this, honestly not even a year old and have done just one HM - KTM. I am a novice.

Keep Running...Run Run Run.

Thanks to Nettayan  for driving me to the venue and waiting for me till I decided to return back home at 3 a.m.

of course to Namrata for her patience: ) - reading this blog may give you a reason as to why I was what I was when you saw me yesterday night screaming relentlessly

P.S: The title of this blog is in tamil and is aimed at capturing the essence of what i felt yesterday being in the mid night marathon

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Naatyam ... | Avial

I have provided the link to the blog written by fellow kalpakkamite after viewing the performance of Ms. Prema.

Naatyam ... | Avial

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My entry to the world long distance running

I would like to dedicate my new found passion for long distance running and hence this post to my akka. (Sister). I love you Akka and I truly thank you for being with me.... now and always....

I wanted to do long distance running and decided to start with a half marathon as a natural graduation after completing my 10K in 1 hour and 3 minutes in this sunfeast 2010.

Me and running partner (MJ) chose the KTM. At this time, I had no clue how far is running 21km (i know it is 21km far.. but to know how far is running 21km , one needs to run 21km.. nothing less and nothing more!!) . But we were determined (MJV more than I was)
I was also not aware that this was a trail run and the exact venue where it was happening.

Just two days before the day of the run (sept19, 2010), when I was taking a look at the map, did i realise that the venue is Pakshimavahni, near Ranganthittu, Srirangapatna. I was there on Dec 6, 2009 taking the ashes of my sister....

I firmly do believe and continue to believe... she is with me always.. whatever I do... and I start my serious running there at the same place.. My first ever Half marathon.


The place is an absolute nature trail. Lush green fields, farmlands, nice little stream of river cauvery running by, cattles and farmers up early in the morning beginning to till the land..
The place honestly is a source of energy and reminded me of prosperity.

With very less hungama, the race HM, started 1 minute before the scheduled start. and i came to know, this time, KTM had the timing technologies to help time the run and hence there was no fuss about the sudden urge to rush to the start to not lose time. i do not know wat differnece it makes for a not so serious runner with a 1 minute extra time in the personal record....hmmm..

I intentionally delayed my start by a minute or two.. i had not run more than 14 kms in my practice runs earlier and was very sure, completing the run successfully was my only MOTTO and I was least bothered about the timings. I was not wanting to be blocking the way for the others.

And then as I crossed the line, it really felt good... after many weeks of training, some months of anxiety building up, I was finally there and doing what I had planned to do. it was happening. the Half marathon. wow!

I was only reminding myself that i should not get carried away by fellow runners and increase my pace, because with an increased pace, I was not trained to sustain for over 7-8 kms...

I was doing 7.5 mins per KM and felt good to cross the 2k mark in just under 15 minutes. I did not stop in the aid station as I did not intend to break the rhythm although i was reminded by my fellow runners to keep myself hydrated enough, as the canal by the side, creates a micro climate with high humidity in the trail. I was comfortable to cross the 4k mark and then the 5K mark too. Wow! felt good. Usually I feel trapped at about the 20 minutes mark (around 2.5 - 3k). The climate was very pleasant... at 7 a.m it was slightly nippy and chill.

And then I happened to cling on to my fellow runner .. Mr. Suresh. We had a very nice conversation going till about 8.5kms. I had planned for a break after 8kms and then 15kms just to stretch a bit and to not hit the wall.. and so i slowed down and let Mr. Suresh run by.

I continued to run after eating a couple of small elakki bananas and I was keeping myself hydrated by taking two cups of water in the aid station after the 8k mark. It worked well.

there was a little ascent after the 9k mark bending towards the last lap of the our one way route to 10.5 ... the practice runs in the campus did come handy then (or leggy, should i say;).

I was able to negotiate the uphill with almost no problem and then .. wow... i was there at half of the half marathon.

Till this place I had no problems at all running... no niggles, no pains, no breathlesness... and I was so glad. I just stopped for a minute to take time out to see the beauty of the place.. I felt energised by the sight. and then i started off again... The first half was quite pleasant and i had completed it in 1 hour and 10 minutes.

On my way back, I saw several other runners on the opposite direction and felt very enthusiastic to signal to them that they were running good and to keep myself motivated by talking and waving and keeping my own mind distracted and also stay pepped up. And It did help.

I realised the effect of a running partner who could run comfortably with you and strike a unintense but still an engaging conversation. It was Mr. Rajagopal - the fellow runner who, after seeing the SAP ROADIES, in my t-shirt, asked if I was from SAP.

It turned out that he was also from SAP and then we started our conversation. It was a good 30 minutes of chatting.. from about the 7km mark till well almost near the 1km to the finish line. He was doing a Full marathon. and I was really amused to be accompanying him because he confessed he has not done one before and it was his first FM. we exchanged our opinions about why long distance running has not taken off to be a big sport and my reasons were that In India, we do play together and implicitly team games are encouraged. And cricket wins hands down!

And that we are more social and so we do play team sports and an event like running does not occur to us a sport!!.

I started to feel hungry with 5K left... and so I hogged on some peanut butter sandwich pieces, some more bananas and then lot of water plus tried lucazode for first time...

At this point, my right knee was giving some cranky signals.. i felt my knee cap was about to be thrown out of the ball-socket knee joint.. wierd feeling crept... i continured running, talking and jus bent down to touch and feel if the cap on the knee was still there... really wierd feel.. it was intact... Mr. Raj stopped at the next aid station, he was having some complications in his knee as well. I suggested he stop for a minute and stretch and maybe take some water and bananas... then i was investigating my ball-socket joint.. there was nothing wrong with it, after all... Illusion!

It was then good to see Amol on the other side doing his loop for the FM. And then SAtish (ottakran) and Pappu (the officail cameraman for the ROADIES this event) standing to cheer us up. and satish told me that it was the last 1k left and i bid a bye to Mr. Raj and tried to do wat professionals do... pace up the last 1k. And to myu surprise.... i was able to up my pace... reasonable well and in the last few 100 mts.. i took to taking long strides and felt as though I was gliding by... and as i was approaching the finish line.. the sound of the RFL mate.. "here we have Raghav completing his half marathon taking the long strides" still echoing in my mind and zoom... i went past the finish line....

what a feel.... ohhha! I was greeted by a boy handing me the medal.. FINSIHER KTM 2010.

and of course MJV with sweat dripping was there to give a big Hi-fi... i was proud and happy to see him there.. for all the hardwork perseverance and determination to run.. and to run Faster.

We took some customary fotos next to the podium.. and as i was walking back to the hotel.. we had some very tasty tender coconuts...

The RFL guys had a organised this event very well. Fully stocked up aid stations, nice choice of venue... and the food was good too.

And I wish to thank all my fellow roadies....mainly Amol, Sathish for their constant support and motivation to keep me running....

And this would not have been possible without MJV!!!. Thank you mate....

and walking back to the lodge.....there i passed by the pakshmivahini.. telling to myself.. i did it because of u.. and i will conitnue to do it for you .. Akka...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

MNIK - a movie review

My Name is Khan.


The movie starts off with a scene where SRK is being questioned by the police and he mentions to them that he wants to meet the President and that he wishes to tell him that " My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist".

This one line says it all.

The protagonist (by SRK) is diagonised with ASD [Autism spectrum disorder - Asperger's syndrome]

MNIK - SRK, the small boy as SRK,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

a short trip to Chennai - reminisence

amidst the so called busy schelude( read as - inertia due to laziness), i had not been travelling to Chennai, or for that matter anywhere out of Bangalore for a long time now.

This was a sudden trip - quite unplanned - and me and leka left Bangalore by bike - his 'tuned up' yamaha Rx 135. He wanted to do pilot trip to check the readiness of his bike .. as a preperation to the dream trip to Leh!

The trip was quite tiring, unlike our earlier experiences riding bike on the smooth highway. DOnt know really why?

Arriving at chennai gives me a very 'good' feel always! The 'energetic' early morning have been the special feature of chennai... Bnaglore somehow misses that flavour.

The key differntiator of course is the traffic management in Chennai - I am not sure if it was a weekend and so the traffic was less or in general it is well managed. But somehow there are better broader main roads and pretty consistent pace of traffic movement.

The weather is the first 'noticable' disturbing factor for a person whise jus come from Bangalore. Although I flt slight discomfort initially, I think , my liking to the city dictated the 'body and mind' that I think i got adapted to this sooner!

I had a chance to meet few of my college friends after a few years. Someof them married and few still looking out to get married. Typical conversations of the life has been progressing and if sopmeone has bought a new house or car or accumulated some 'assets' (for the married men.. in the form of a visble paunch!)

I would have loved to go to WCB building and meet the chai shop friend, T nagar T shop maybe a movie in Satyam cinemas and a strol no beasnt nagar or Marina beach would have set the nostalgia feel rolling in me more.... Owing to my other personal work I had come here for, I did not have time to go to these places... still I feel good. There is an inherent feel good I get when I visit chennai.

I think I simply have to come to Chennai for a vacation ~ spend some good week or so redoing all things I used to do then!

A strong desire to get back here only getting stronger - I will get back here soon mate!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Trip to KP- Part II

The bus seemed comfortable. ample leg space. the rajahamsa executive seems reasonabale for the price.

I felt quite good to feel intrigued by the sheer fact that the journey had commenced without hassles. The road wasnt great... there were intermittent bumps and potholes... Still i wastired and was in deep sleep in no time.

at about 2 a.m in the morning... there suddenly was a restless feel and i realised the bus had stopped. reason : PUncture. Woof. had to happen. i told myself. It took about an hour for the driver-Conducctor Duo to replace the puntured tyre with the stepney ( It did not help us for long. We stopped and C.R.PATNA and were shifted to a differnt bus. This had no leg room. But I still continued to sleep :)

We reached Somwarpet at 7 a.m. 1 Hour delayed. SO that emant, we had very short time to refres ourselves and get food packed. We got to know that the mini bus to PUSHPAGIRI was leaving in another 4 minsutes. yeah. thats right. 4 minutes. We pleaded to the conductor to hold the bus for a little longer by when we got some hot puttus and sambar packed. got some boomers and water bottles. I had very less clue that these were to be the 'saviours' during our climb uphill today.

We boarded the 'slow moving' mini bus 5 mins past it scheduled time. There were some verbal accuses on us for delayin the bus by the fellow passengers and the women, being the kinder, by nature, jus managed to frown hard at us.

I was thoroughly impressed by this place somvarpet. A quiet small town. THe climate resmebled that of a propoer hill station... i remember Ooty.... but with just no commersialisation and crowd.

The weather, people somehow was very inviting and had an absolutely soothing effect. The winding roads, cleanly washed by the overnight rains were thick dark tar colour. I liked this. we crossed some smaller villages, hamlets and were heading to pushpagiri. The driver negotiated the curves with a great precision and a knack that only expereince teaches! This driver will make Button run for his money. Awesome driving. I was observign the driver quite closely. He used to honk at some specific spots along the way, stop for a split second at some stops and exchange some goodies...which i realised were milk packets, newspaper, magazines, flowers and some medicine boxes too! There were a lot of children taking to this bus to reach thier schools.

This bus service seems to be very crucial to the people in these villages!

Just as I was getting lost on such (un)important thoughts, Suzay, the gang leader, infrmed us to be prepared to get down the next stop.

And yes we reached the base of the trek route. I had little idea that for the next 36 hours I am going to be traveling only by my foot! I waved a bye to the driver. Jus as we started to walk, there were a few elders who welcomed us with a broad smile. Anyone could easily guess, by the size of our backpacks that we had come there to trek and so did they too guess that right. They spoke in the reginal langaugae to Suzay, which I could hardly follow. But the gist was - > lot of rains, lots of leeches! We jus looked around and smiled at each other jus reaffirming the belief the decidion to trek durin this time :)

We slowly started walking. It was proper tar road. and I there was one steep climb of about 100 mts.. which I found hard.

was quite a bit strenous trip.... we walked 18 kms the first day (climb up 7 and climb down 10 or so)
stayed at a priests place.. he offered excellant food!
then started on sunday morning and climbed down another 5 kms to kukke subramanya..(near sakleshpur)
it was raining very very heavily... once on saturday afternoon at the top.. v thot it was not such a good idea to have come now!
but then it worked out great!