Monday, 7 January 2013

Road Trip: Bangalore to Trichy and Thanjavur

We enjoy road trips, and our recent road trip was from Bangalore to Trichy and Thanjavur. We have visited these places before, but this time around we drove. Driving away from the hassle bustle of the city and moving towards a serene stretch of paddy fields was absolutely awesome. Our Scorpio always cooperates and seems to like the road trips especially the worst roads or terrains; city driving seems to domesticate that vehicle!

The cloudy weather was perfect for the drive. Our route was:

The Hosur to Krishnagiri national highway is being expanded, and that slowed our journey. The truck-traffic also slowed us down. The Namakkal to Trichy road runs alongside the Cauvery river. The road is narrow, and the trucks transporting sand tend to monopolize the road. The Srirangam-Trichy bit of the national highway has signs to indicate deviation to Trichy. If one misses the sign, one ends up driving up and down the highway.

We stopped at Namakkal, which is famous for the two caves temples - the Narashimha Swamy temple (Adiyanavaya Visnugrha) and visit the Ranganatha Swamy temple (Adiyendra Visnugrha). The Anjaneya temple is also well-known. The cave temples are beautiful, and dates back to 7th century. We couldn’t visit the Ranganatha Swamy temple on the other side of the Namakkal fort. This temple closes by 11.00 AM (IST). 

During 2011, we visited Namakkal when we drove to Madurai. The travelogue is titled - 'Bangalore to Namakkal - Dec 2011.' Something about the Narashimha Swamy temple... It's gorgeous, and tends to attract us. Relax and look at every pillar and every carving; you'll be amazed at what you'll find!

A glimpse of the Namakkal Narashimha Swamy temple...

From Namakkal, we drove on the Namakkal-Trichy route. The road was narrow; entered and exited the state highways. And reached Trichy. Trichy has several hotels. We decided to stay at one closer to the railway station. It's fun to walk around the busy areas and markets; those are the essence of the place.

We had lunch at the hotel - loved the south Indian meals - which Tamil Nadu is famous for. Rested for a while. That evening, we visited the Samayapuram temple. Ayyapswamy and Amman devotees covered the whole land, resembling a floral carpet. Vehicle parking was over-flowing. Traffic jam was unbelievable. Vendors trying to forceably sell puja items. There was a lot of rush and chaos. We took the special entrance tickets, and entered the sanctum. The Goddess is pretty, and an ocean of warmth. We could feel our spiritual quotient was filling up. :-)

The next morning, we drove (on NH 45) to Tirupattur to visit the Kasi Viswanatha temple and the Brahmapureeshwara temple. It's a rule to first visit the Kasi Viswanatha temple, and then return to the Brahma temple. Both these temples are divine. See It is believed that one's destiny alters after visiting the Brahma temple; however, only those who are destined can visit.

During our previous visit, we couldn't see the Brahma Teertham and the Shiva Lingams at the temple complex. This time around, they were accessible. Each Lingam is unique. The Kailasanathar shrine is absolutely beautiful. If you are planning to travel to this part of world, ensure that you include the Brahma temple in your itinerary.

What can I say about the Kasi Viswanatha temple? It's simply gorgeous. The jeeva samadhi of Sage Vyakrapureeswara is at this temple, as soon as you enter the temple. Adjoining the temple is a tank or a water-body; water from this tank is believed to cure diseases. For more information about the temple and its wonders, please request the purothi to explain. Note that the explanation will be in Tamil. The carvings on the wall, which has been re-assembled, depict extinct animals resembling dinosaurs and fish. Ensure that you observe these cravings.

The Kasi Viswantha temple photos (collages):

The Brahmapureeshwara temple photos (collages):

To be continued...