The erstwhile French colony of Pondicherry is a well loved travel destination for all and sundry owning to it’s leisurely pace, bright colonial buildings, quaint cafes and broad seaside promenade. However, few ever venture further south to visit the remains of the erstwhile Danish settlement of Tanquebar/ Tharangambadi situated in the Nagapattinam district, 120 kms away from Pondicherry. Continue reading “To Tranquebar – The Land of the Singing Waves”
The fantastical Fort of Gingee
It had been six months since we moved to Chennai and we had already covered the most popular weekend escapes from Chennai, Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram. Now, Chennai does have some really beautiful temples in its vicinity but we were not yet keen on a temple tour. So, the Easter weekend of 2015, leafing through the pages of Lonely Planet, we came across Gingee. It’s description was enough to get our interest going:
“Somewhere 37km east of Tiruvannamalai, nature sprinkled a smattering of marbles – rounded boulders and lumpy rocks – in shades of grey, brown and red over the flat green paddies of Tamil Nadu. Then man turned two of these stony protrusions into the Rajagiri and Krishnagiri (King and Queen fort).”
It went on to say, “These edifices, poke out of the Tamil plain like castles misplaced by the Lord of the Rings.” Continue reading “The fantastical Fort of Gingee”
A Lighthouse Moment in Pulicat
About this time last year, in between a horde of working weekends I got a single weekend off. Since we had not been out of town for a long time, my husband suggested that we go to Pulicat for a day trip.
Situated 50 kms north of Chennai, Pulicat is the second largest brackish water lake in India. It is also a well known a bird sanctuary where thousands of migratory birds flock every winter.
Of birds, we didn’t spot any but we were attracted towards the solitary tall lighthouse situated across the creek.
An overnight train journey from Chennai brought us to Chettinad.
The name Chettinad is synonymous with spicy aromatic food prepared from freshly ground masalas. However, it was not food that had brought us there but stories about the grand mansions of Chettiars.