Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where has the chirpy sparrow gone?

Y'day when i was traveling to one of my friend's place i got a chance to see a sparrow. I felt surprised and excited by seeing the small creature.Yes the most widely distributed chunky bird with its chirping call became a museum piece today.
Sparrow toy which i brought from some exhibition
My childhood comprises of a bunch of sparrow nothings..I used to wake up with their chirps which have their nests next to my bedroom window.During construction of house, my grand parents had deliberately made some holes on the walls for birds to occupy. Four such holes are there. In the beginning all were occupied by sparrows but no sooner one squirrel comforted on the top most 2 holes and laid its babies. Only the two lower nests were occupied by sparrows.It is such a beautiful experience to see the sparrow couple hatch new ones and teach them fly. Babies keep growing and fly out of their nest constantly.They used to pick the grains winnowed by mom.Sparrows are not very much braved when compared to other birds like pigeons and parrots.If they are suspicious of our presence they wont even fly down to pick the grains. The sparrow family in my house thrived for a number of years. But dont know the reason why they left the house and town.

Population of house sparrows is fast declining due to dangers posed to their survival by a host of factors including mobile phone towers.Many reasons could be cited for the situation like Widespread use of garden pesticides, which kills insects that are vital diet of new-born sparrows, disappearance of open grass lands, rising temperature and avian-unfriendly modern architecture had also grievously harmed the sparrows. Sparrows will remain only in text books for future generations.It they go extinct then the aftermath will be devastating.Birds play an important role in helping pollination.If they start becoming extinct at this rate,we better start worrying for our ecological balance.

When did you last spot a house sparrow in your house or nearby surroundings? Chances are, quite a while ago!!!! Let us makes sense to look for solution like hanging a nest box as a playing host to a sparrow. I am interested to hang such boxes.If any one had come across these kind of boxes in Hyderabad ,kindly keep me posted. Suggestions are welcome.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Book Festival in Hyderabad

It has been definitely a while since my last post. I should keep up better but returned with a very good post on book exhibition that is going on , at Peoples Plaza, Necklace Road.

Reading is one of my good hobbies and passion towards reading books started from my childhood. Since my grand parents are teachers and mom being a teacher i have grown up with book racks surrounding me. I started with Chandamama, Balamithra, Balajyothi.. etc. Mom observed my interest towards the books and she surprised me with Misha books(erstwhile USSR child magazine) and Gokulam. There after book reading became one of my hobbies. I recollect reading a Misha book during my 7th final examinations without my parents knowledge by hiding near the corner of upstairs. My friends and neighbors used to make fun of me calling a bookworm. hmmm coming out of my childhood memories and to book exhibition....
My childhood favorite magazine(Courtesy:Google)
Hyderabad Book Fair is an annual event for the book lovers of Hyderabad. Publishers from all over India participate in the Fair.The 25th Hyderabad Book Fair is organized from 16th to 26th Dec 2010, at People’s Plaza Ground, Necklace Road. The fair is usually held around the same dates every year. This year the book fair is celebrating silver jubilee and promises special attractions. Book fairs are not only fun to visit for good book deals, they are also a place to discover new authors, books. This is a rare treat for those who enjoy and appreciate the marvels of the written word. You can watch a number of good novels, children comics and books from anatomy to astronomy.Special discounts were offered on specific books. Autobiographies of great icons like Gandhi,Nehru,Nelson Mandela,Hitler(Mein Kamph) are available at each and every shop. A good collection of books on Auyerveda, Cooking tips from famous cooks, dairies,calenders,panchangams .. are also available. There is a special shop for Ram Gopal Varma's book "NAA ISTAM". Sri got one book of RGV. The books written by contemporary authors like Chetan Bhagat, Salman Rushdie, Tasleema Nasreen are also available. Its a very big festival for all book worms of the city.
Bundle of books bought by chinna and me
Don’t you hate it when you miss a book fair just because you didn’t know when it came to town—and left? Come on hurry up and grab handful of your favorite books.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Foggy,Rainy,Wintry

This week has been cold and freezing .It was foggy ,drizzling and raining.Today it was difficult to open the door because of chillness... hmmm. but have to count one more day.Though it is bit lazy to get up early in the morning in such a climate but the thought of going around the lawn with a cup of hot coffee , watching the scenic view of fog around the hills ,along with the birds chirps gives me fresh energy to start daily chores. 


In this climate my rose plant bloomed a beautiful rose.Voila! the rose is such that i am unable to alter my looks from it. I can see it while I'm at the kitchen sink. I have such a dilemma.,should I cut it and bring inside to enjoy or leave it on the bush where it will last longer and I can enjoy them from the kitchen window? How many blooms will there be? Enough to cut and leave on the bush? I look through the bush and see there are more buds starting to form.


The whole capital is blanketed in dense fog. Winter or Shishir in Hyderabad is from November to February. Winter season doesn't make the climate chilly like the northern part of India. But this year in Hyderabad its very cold.The mercury has dropped sharply under the influence of the low pressure villain in Bay of Bengal. Till now this villain is not yet named. Now a days the cyclones are given nomen clatures. The depression has also resulted in sporadic showers in several parts of twin cities on Tuesday.Its horrible esp while returning home from office.And its time to pull out my winter wardrobe!

I advise one and all to take precautionary measures to avoid getting infected with winter-related ailments.




Saturday, December 4, 2010

Benefits of Brown Rice

Now a days, we often hear the word 'Brown Rice'. Many articles, news papers, doctors are suggesting to take brown rice instead of white rice. This made me to know about Brown rice. Sri is very health conscious and he always prefer healthy diet. Once when he brought brown rice I did not care about it and continued with white rice. But when i came through some articles, and some public opinions of late, I am incorporating these healthy grains  into our diet on a regular basis.Though the rice is chewy, its worth the effort keeping in mind the nutrition involved.


Well, to be honest, there are a number of reasons, and I don't know which one evolved to the present stand wherein I think of Brown Rice as best than white rice. So here are the reasons.

1.Excellent source of Manganese:
It is an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of both selenium and magnesium. Just one cup of brown rice will provide you a full 88% of the daily value for manganese. That’s huge! You might be wondering why manganese is so important; well, this mineral helps produce energy from protein and carbs. It is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids and in the production of cholesterol.
 
2. Brown Rice helps in reducing Weight:
People eating Brown Rice do not put on weight. The high percentage of fiber and lecithin content present in it doesn’t change much into Carbohydrates. Where as the white rice devoid of these contents makes you fat quickly. This was proved by Harvard Medical School.

3. Brown Rice is Rich in Fiber and Selenium:
Brown rice provides 14% of the daily value for fiber and 27.3% of the daily value for selenium. Selenium is important to various metabolic pathways including your immune system.Selenium also pairs with vitamin E to prevent heart disease, decreasing pain from rheumatoid arthritis, and reduces the risk of asthma. Looking for yet another reason to consume brown rice? The oils in it lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Comparison with white rice :
Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates, and protein. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content.
When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm.
Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. A part of these missing nutrients, such as vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and iron.

All in all, brown rice is a staple that any health-connoisseur must have as a staple in their diet. There is no question about all that it has to offer. Check it out and see that your body will thank you, both now and in the long run.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

visit to Gandi

By last Sunday we were almost recovered. As it was Karthika Pournami mom was  in a plan for Vana Bhojanalu with her colleagues. But as we were in home , she could not go. At the same time we got a call from my cousin who is mom's nephew for his baby boy's Naming ceremony. His wife's native is Vempally ,a village in kadapa district. So we started over there so that we can also cover Gandi a famous Anjaneya Swamy's temple.

Even though I lived in Kadapa for almost 20 years i had never been to neighboring places as i was always busy with my studies. So almost after 25 years I got a chance to visit the temple. First we reached Vemapally and attended the function. The boy was named as Tushar. Later we started to Gandi , its almost 10-15 minutes journey from there.

On the way we passed through Idupulapaya where our late CM YSR was buried .IIIT college was also located on the same way. 
                                                
Gandi is situated on the banks of Papgani river in serene atmosphere presenting a picturesque scene.. It is exactly the opposite side of the Tirumala hills. AP Govt is running Haritha restaurant here for people who come from distant places. The legend of how the temple of Lord Anjaneya had come to being here is very interesting.

During the Ramayana period Sri Vayudeva was on mediation here. Sri Rama had passed through this place while going southwards in search of Sri Sitadevi. While Sri Vayudeva wanted Sri Rama to stay here as his host, Sri Rama had told that he will accept his hospitality on his way back to Ayodhya from Lanka.

On hearing of Sri Rama's victory over Ravana in Lanka, Sri Vayudeva had prepared this place to welcome him and flung a wreath (festoon) of golden flowers across the ravine through which the conqueror should pass on his way northwards to Ayodhya.
At the earnest request of Sri Vayudeva, Sri Rama halted here with his troops. Sri Anjaneya had then gone northwards for informing Sri Bharatha about return of Sri Rama. Sri Rama thinking about Sri Anjaneya, before leaving this place had impressed the mark of figure of Sri Anjaneya with his arrow on a rock. Before he could complete the figure Sri Rama had left for Ayodhya. The figure of Lord Anjaneya is complete in all respect except the little finger of lord's left hand. The figure of Sri Anjaneya drawn in a thin line by Sri Rama was sculptured by Sri Vyasaraja.He tried to complete the figure by sculpting the left over finger but the little finger broke and blood started oozing. He understood the true intention of Lord Rama and left the figure incomplete. Even now we can see the left over finger.

The golden flowers arranged in the thoranam form by Sri Vayudeva for welcoming Sri Rama could be visible between the two hills for those who had faith on the Lord.It is in record that Sir Thomas Manro the District Collector of Cuddapah was one of the blessed to have seen the golden festoon (Bangaru thoranam) during his last visit to "Gandi". It has been recorded in the Madras District Gazetter Cuddaph District Vol I - Chapter I - Page 3 & Chapter XV - Page 217 dated 01.10.1914. We can see Manro's picture in the temple.

I could not paste the photos as i forgot my cam in the house.But we enjoyed a very nice week end in Kadapa.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Karthika masam visit to Sri KalaHasti

Kartika masam is the holiest month for Hindus as it is favorite month for Lord Shiva and Vishnu. As I am in Kadapa mom planned to Sri Kalahasti which is considered as the Dakshin Kailash and one of the most famous Siva's temples in South India . As Sri did not visited the place we planned on last Friday.

Sri Kalahasti temple, situated 36 km away from Tirupati is famous for its Vayu deva temple, which is the only shrine for the God of Wind in India. It is also one among the Pancha Bhuta Lingams. It is situated on the banks of Suvaramukhi river. The temple is also associated with Rahu and Kethu Sarpa dosha nivarana pujas. There is a lamp inside the inner sanctum that is constantly flickering despite the lack of air movement inside. The air-linga can be observed to move even when the priests close off the entrance to the main deity room, which does not have any windows. One can see the flames on several ghee lamps flicker as if blown by moving air. The linga is white and is considered Swayambhu. 

Sri Kalahasti is named after the staunch devotees of Lord Shiva. They were the Spider (Sri), the Serpent (Kala) and the Elephant (Hasti). Appeased with their unflinching devotion, Lord Shiva gave them a boon that their names be merged with the Vayulinga and called as Sri Kalahasteeswara

At Sri Kalahasti, Lord Shiva tested the unshakable devotion of Thinnadu later called as Baktha Kannappa.Kannappa, a devotee, was ready to offer both his eyes to cover blood flowing from the Siva linga before the Lord Siva stopped him and granted him mukti.

As last friday was Ekadashi  some special pujas were going on to Lord. We took the Deeparadhana ticket where limited number of devotees were allowed into the Garbha gudi and can see the various deeparadhanas performed to deities for almost 20 minutes. With good satisfaction of seeing the deities form very near we returned to kadapa the same day.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Visit to Hometown kadapa

After a small gap i am back today. On one fine Friday while coming from office Sri and me fell down from bike and were injured minor. My lunch box got struck in our two wheeler while taking 'U' turn before my(TCS) office in Madhapur and Sri lost control. Sri suffered from bruises and me suffered from pains. Thank god at that time no jumbo vehicle rushed on to the road. The thing which we felt bad was there were number of so called corporate employees but none gave their helping hand. A couple who were working as supporting staff immediately lifted the bike which was on Sri and the lady lifted me up and gathered my hand bag and lunch box.

As i could not manage things here we left to my hometown Kadapa to take rest. Mom's caring , her dishes and the water of my native made me recovered fast except some small pain on my right knee.

Kadapa formerly called as Cuddapah recently renamed as YSR district is one of the important district in Rayalseema Region. As many people dont know the city's name originated from the telugu word "Gadapa" meaning threshold or gate. The city is surrounded on three sides by the Nallamala and Palakonda hills. The city is named "Threshold" because it is the gateway from the north to the sacred hill-'Pagoda' of Shri Venkateswara  of Tirupati. All the people from Kadapa who wishes to visit Tirumala first visits Devuni Kadapa a temple of Lord Venkateswara which is located here. Even in our family we follow the same ritual.

Whenever people asks me about my native place and when i reply as Kadapa every one keeps their face some what feared and cracks jokes on me whether i carry any bombs in my hand bag. Of course Kadapa is famous for bombs but it has its own good history.

As I already mentioned in my previous post Vontimitta Kishkindakanda, one of the 7 kandas of the Ramayanam, is believed to have happened here. The famous Ameen Peer Dargah visited by AR Rahman, Bachan's family is also located in the town. Bramham Gari Matham, the birthplace of the Pothuluri VerraBramhendra Swamy who predicted many future events comes under Kadapa district.

The neighbourhood of Kadapa was the birthplace of several ancient and contemporary poets. The great Annamacharya (Andhra Pada Kavitha Pitamaha) well known as Annamayya was from Rajampet a taluk in Kadapa dist and birth place of my mom. Andhra Kavitha Pitamaha 'Allasani Peddana', the most prominet poet among 'Ashta Diggajams' hails from Kokatam village in Kamalapuram Mandal. Great Poet Bammera Pothana who wrote Andhra Maha Bhagavatham lived in Vontimitta. Vemana (Pedakomati Vema Reddy) who wrote the famous Vemana Sathakam also lived in this district. Vemana Sathakam is the first Telugu Literacy work which got printed and translated into French and English languages. Baddena who wrote Sumati Satakam also hails from Badvel area of Kadapa district. Last but not the least our beloved late CM YS Rajasekhar Reddy also hails from Kadapa district.

 


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Operation Diya painting

It was long week end on the occasion of Diwali. We could not go to either mom's house or in laws house. It was very boring and i dont know how to pass the time. At that time Sri brought different varieties of plain earthern diyas and candles.

plain earthen diyas


Suddenly an idea flashed in my mind , why don't i paint the diyas and make them lovely. We visited Himalaya book shop to get the acrylic colors, brushes and started to work with all my creativity . Here are my creative colorful diyas.



Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Diwali

I wish you and one all a happy and safe Diwali..

Quail Egg Deviled Eggs

Inspired by Raghu Sir's blog on quail eggs i thought of cooking them. When i said to Sri about the quail eggs he told that his granny used to cook quails in his childhood. But for me this is the first time to know about quails. When i said to my mom she told that my dad used to have them in hotels. Last friday when i went to Inorbit mall i bought a dozen of quail eggs.


Quail is a small bird .Quail eggs are considered a delicacy in many countries. They are used raw or cooked as tamago in sushi.Quail eggs are a wonderful alternative to chicken eggs. The shell is beautiful and so cuteeeee. The nutritional values are also very high and very delicious when compared to our chicken egg.

Chinese medical practitioners have used quail eggs for thousands of years to successfully combat allergies such as rhinitis, asthma, hay fever, spasmodic cough and skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Cooking quail eggs is a cakewalk as it takes 3 minutes to boil it but breaking them is a herculean task.
Stick the tip of your knife into the top of the quail egg, and then use your fingers to enlarge the opening. These shells are little harder to break open than chicken eggs.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Garam Garam Green Tea

Today one of my friend Sandhya visited my house and she came along with her father. I remember Sandhya saying that uncle is diabetic and he takes green tea daily twice. So thought of surprising them by giving Green Tea which i brought from Ooty. I prepared the tea and served it. But to my surprise,I can see uncles face changing colors. Finally i asked him whether the tea is okay. He said its too concentrated and even the color should be in light golden. My over action ended like this. Uncle suggested me how to prepare that.



Green tea  which originated from China has many benefits. Regular green tea drinkers have lower chances of heart disease and developing certain types of cancer. Although there is no scientific evidence that plain green tea can produce weight loss, a green tea extract rich in ployphenols and caffeine has been shown to be useful for "obesity management", since it induces thermogenesis and stimulates fat oxidation. In a recent case-control study of the eating habits of 2,018 women, consumption of mushrooms and green tea was linked to a 90% lower occurrence of breast cancer.(Src: Wikipedia)

Don't expect green tea to taste like your regular tea. All the different kinds of green tea have different flavors, but they do have a taste in common. 

1.Boil spring water by using a kettle  (never use microwave please).2 Put some green tea in a teacup by using a dry and clean spoon or by pouring out the green tea less than one minute before the water start to boil. (Never use your fingers to touch the green tea ). Quantity of tea is about one small teaspoon. You add or reduce next time if you feel too strong or too light. After the water is boiling, turn the heating temperature off. Before turning off add 3-4 drops of lemon juice. Sugar is added as per our choice. The tea should resemble thick/light golden color.


Taking too much of green tea leads to insomnia as it has caffeine. So have a cup of garam green tea once a day for good health.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Husband's Day


I don't believe there's an official hallmark day as such, but today i am celebrating my husbands day. When i visited library on morning I saw a bunch of news papers reading by people and i did not get any one of them except one page :( To my surprise in the page i saw an article that today  is celebrated as husband's day. At the moment I can’t remember what made me think of this today in particular, other than I love and appreciate my husband.


This is my husband. He's cute, isn't he? He's a very nice guy. Not only my family members everyone who meets him likes him. He's pleasant almost all time. I could recollect how he surprised me when i was preparing for interviews. One day i slept late night and woke up very late. When i opened my eyes he was ready with my favourite breakfast and a cup of badam milk. So sweet of u my dear.

Thank you honey. I love you and I appreciate everything you did for me and for doing.



A lovely hibiscus sapling on this occasion

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Celebrations of Krishnastami



After marriage this is the first time we are celebrating Krishnastami. Remembered what mom and granny used to do for janmastami and gathered all provisions for the puja.

Krishna Janmashtami is observed on the Ashtami tithi, the eighth day of the dark half or Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhadrapadam in the Hindu Calendart. The festival always falls within mid-August to mid-September in the Gregorian Calendar.


The pooja is performed late in the evening, timed according to the Hindu Calendar to coincide with the birth of Krishna at midnight.Patterns of little children's footprints were drawn outside the house with rice-flour paste, walking towards the house. This symbolizes the entry of the infant Krishna into their homes.



I brought a small silver idol when i went to GRT to exchange deepams on last month . I also placed an idol of Krishna eating butter which i bought from Shilparamam very long back. My neighbor Manasa during her visit to tirumala on last week brought me a small deewanam to place the lord . Really it added more beauty to my decoration. From afternoon i started drawing the footprints by getting suggestions from mom. Later i prepared Poha payasam which is favorite to lord.



On this happy occasion of Krishnastami I wish you all  happiness, prosperity and peace.




Friday, August 20, 2010

VaraLakshmi Vratam-2010

This year i have to do VaraLakshmi puja on my own in contrast with last year mom helped. A day before I purchased all Pooja items.

On friday morning i woke up early at 5'o clock. After taking bath and preparing all food items for naivedyam we started the pooja early as the Rahukalam is at 10:30 AM. Sri helped me in decorating and arranging the kalsam and puja stuff.

Eight forces or energies are recognised and they are known as Sri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Sarasvati (learning), Priti (love), Kirti (Fame), Santi (Peace), Tushti(Pleasure) and Pushti(Strength). Each one of these forces is called a Lakshmi and all the eight forces are called the Ashta Lakshmis or the eight Lakshmis of the Hindus. This is the reason why an AstaLakshmi Kalsam is preferred for this pooja. As health, wealth and prosperity depend upon the rythmic play of these forces, the worship of Lakshmi is said to be to obtain these three. This festival is observed largely by women, invoking the blessings of Lakshmi on them, their husbands and their children.As the legend goes, this is a pooja that was pronounced by no other than Lord Parameswara to be performed by his consort Parvathi to seek prosperity and happiness for the family. Thus it came to be emulated by married women who sought boons (varam) for the health, wealth and knowledge for the entire family.The prescribed day for the pooja is the Friday of the month of Sravanam in the fortnight known as Sukla paksha, preceding the full moon day.Evening by giving tambulam to 5 or 9 married woman the vratam ends.

I wish u all prosperity and happiness for ur families.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Srivari Kalyanotsavam

Though we went for Lord Venkateswara's Darshan immediately after our marriage its mom's wish to perform Kalyanotsavam in Tirumala by Sri and me. Almost every year we plan to Tpt (nearly 20 times i went) but till now i have not participated in any special puja. Going to tirupati is a very great and sweet feeling for me as i remember my college days of studying in SVU campus and climbing the hills by foot with friends in every semester.

Tickets were booked for August 6th. Since booking of tickets is made online we have to collect the tickets in TTD Administrative office in Tirumala a day in advance. But since we could not go a day before from Hyderabad i called the customer care and narrated my problem. They advised us to go early ie before 8 AM on the same day and to request by telling the problem. We should collect before 8'o clock because the temple authorities should finalize the number of piligrims attending Kalyanotsavam.

Finally we collected the tickets and went to Vaikuntam Q complex to join the queue. we should be there by 11 Am. But there was a long queue already and who goes first will be seated very nearer to god. We got our seat very distant from the stage where God is kept. Ofcourse LCD's were arranged in between. 

Srivari Kalyanotsavam is performed to the utsava murti - Lord Sri Malayappa swami (instead of the main deity) and his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. A purohit conducts the marriage and an archaka is consecrated to perform other rituals on behalf of the bridegroom. The wedding ceremony is held according to Vaikhanasa Agama rituals and starts with the Panchamurthi Puja. This is followed by recitation of Vedic mantras and pronouncing the family pedigree of the brides and bridegroom. The idols of the Lord and his brides face each other with a thera (screen) in between them. After the priests perform appropriate homas, the bridegroom and the brides are allowed to see each other at the appropriate auspicious moment as the screen is removed. This is followed by Mangala sutra dharana, Thalambralu and then Lord and his consorts are garlanded.
The duration of the seva is about one hour. Each ticket entitles 2 people to attend this arjita seva and they are awarded one silver Pendant (2 grams), two big laddu, five small laddus, one vastra bahumanam (Cloth Gift consisting of one silk Uttariyam for gents and one cotton blouse for ladies), two vada along with Lord's akshantalu ('sacred rice' used for blessing). At the conclusion of the seva, the ticket holders are also sent for the darshan of the main deity in the sanctum sanctorum.This seva starts exactly at 11:30am and ends up at 1:00pm followed by darshan. More than 500 couples will take part in this seva.

One important thing is TTD is strictly following the dress code for special pujas. Ladies have to wear saree and gents with Dhoti and an upper cloth called uttariyam . People who did not obeyed this rule were been sent out.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Trip to Polavaram, a journey into the heart of Godavari

In June 2010 when the monsoons were just arrived , we started thinking about the next travel.After visiting Shirdi by APTDC package ,this time we opted for IRCTC packages and found one package interesting and exciting.It is none other than trip to papikondalu a 130 kms,9&1/2 hr boat cruise on River Godavari with the Eastern Ghats on either side of the river. My hubby Sri, my sis chinna and I have gone on this trip.

After knowing the details, Sri went to Bigbazar to book the package of 3-tier AC. Two days before our journey we were called by the IRCTC coordinator and told that the boat cruise may be canceled and bus trip will be arranged due to heavy floods in Godavari. We were disappointed and thought of canceling tickets but its not possible. As we paid some 8000 bucks(5500 per couple and 2800 for third person for AC 3-tier package) we thought to proceed , praying god that there should be no rain in our trip. But in Hyderabad its raining cats and dogs and Sri was suffering form severe fever , me from throat pain and cold. But we did not stopped going as we were most excited of our Titanic journey.

We started from Secunderabad by Gouthami-Express Train to Rajahmundry carrying all sweaters, rain coats and tablets. We were received at Rajahmundry Station by IRCTC representative at 6:30 A.M. He dropped us at a hotel for freshening up. We were then picked up at 08:00 A.M. and transferred to an AC car which took us to Purushothamapatnam which is 45 Kms. from Rajahmundry. This journey was pleasant not because of the car or road but due to the greenery of fields and trees all along the way up to the horizon in any direction. At Purushothamapatnam; at 9:45 A.M we boarded an Air-conditioned, 120-Seater boat called Sree Bhageeradhi. Our driver said he will be waiting till we return. All our sickness flew away by seeing the godavari and our titanic.

We had a nice idly-wada breakfast. By the way, breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided on the boat and is a part of the package. The first thing we did was to get onto the deck of the launch to have a view of the Godavari. From there we could see the tiny villages and farm patches on the bank of the river. We could not visit the Gandi Pochamma temple because of the whirl pools. Soon we were taken to Janaki Ramudu temple where the movie Janaki Ramudu was shot. We came across the Devipatnam police station, which was attacked by Alluri Sitaramaraju during his anti-British campaigns.


One nice thing to mention was there was an entertainment troupe who conducted a recording dance show on the deck. We thoroughly enjoyed it. These troupe of students from nearby villages come on their own and entertains. What ever amount given by the passengers of the boat helps them for their studies.After the artists on board danced to the tunes of three Telugu songs, they called all kids on the boat and were asked to dance for "Rabbaru Gajulu" by imitating a dance master dancing in front of them. Then a couple with a kid were called on to the stage and their marriage was performed with all important rituals with song "Srirastu Subhamastu".. This was followed by more dance programs by youngsters , old ladies and couples on board. Sri was called as Nag(Sri is almost 6 feet height) and we both danced for "Gundello Emundo". Chinna danced for "pilichina ranantava"..

Tollywood movies have an everlasting relation with Godavari. All along the trip, the guide showed us places where telugu movies like Bhakta Ramadasu, Gopi Gopika Godavari, Godavari, Megha Sandesham , Janaki Ramudu, andala Ramdudu etc were shot.


After the morning entertainment show, a fairly good lunch was served on the top deck of the boat. This lunch for the tourists was picked up from a place along the shore. The tribal s from near by villages cook the lunch. We can feel the taste of cooking on stew. The boat also has a canteen from where some ready made and cooked snacks, tea and soft drinks were circulated on the boat and sold.

We kept moving freely the whole day long, along all sides of the boat enjoying the beautiful scenery all around. With plenty of river water all around us and small to mighty hills on either side of the river with thick green forests on them is a very beautiful experience beyond my description. As you enter Khammam district the river narrows down between two hills to about 400 metres and the depth of the river here is about 100 metres. And the height of the two hills about 525 metres. Passing between these two hills is said to clear all the sins committed by us. Sins in Telugu means Papaalu and hence the name Papikondalu. But the most popular version for the name Papikondalu is because the river is like Papida – that is the parting of hair on our head and the hills are like the hair on either side of the parting (Papida) and hence the name Papikondalu.


Final destination was Perantalapalli village.At Perantalapalli there is a Shiva temple on top of a hill. This temple was established by Sri Balananda Swamiji in the year 1927 who also strived for the development of the locals called Konda Koyas and Konda Reddies. The temple and the ashram there are called ‘Sri Krishna Munivaatam’. And the small water falls adjacent to the temple as Munivaatam waterfalls.The tribals were selling some hand made flower vases and houses made up of bamboo. Chinna bought one bamboo house. People here does not have any electricity and for all provisions and medical treatments they have to cross godvari river on small boats called as Theppalu.
Our boat turned back here and now traveling downstream we stopped for a while at Kolluru village as one of the newly married couple booked this package where there is a provision for a night stay in the bamboo huts along the river bank.

The weather was very good; just warm, mostly cloudy with strong breeze and it also drizzled for sometime in the evening making it a wonderful day. We got down from Sree Bhageeradhi at Purushothamapatnam and our driver was waiting for us to drop at the lodge in Rajhamundry.

To meet the demands of a growing population, to provide water to the people of Vishakapatnam and to divert the water from River Godavari to River Krishna for irrigation benefits Polavaram Dam is being constructed. And this would soon submerge the beauty of the place forever and as for the tribals who would be displaced in lakhs.

Friday, July 2, 2010

SriKanth's B'day-27 gifts

This is the second b'day of Srikanth after marriage. This time i want to surprise him by giving something special . Thinking thinking an idea flashed in my mind. He is going to complete 27 , so i am  thrilled to give 27 gifts. Getting gifts to a gal is far easy, but for a guy its quite difficult. So now the problem is what should i get for those 27 gifts.

Again I started sharpening my brain and at last I came up with an idea of giving relevant gift  for that appropriate year. I prepared a list and showed to my sis. She gave further suggestions. After a number of revisions I concluded the gift list and one fine Sunday my sis and me started in search of those gifts. Finally we were able to collect all the gifts. Now I am excited and very eager to give all those and to capture the happiness in his eyes in my mind. 

Its July 1st. But its raining cats and dogs in Hyderabad.There is no power from morning. Sri came from office. He was asking me from past  2 days that whether am i gifting anything? Again he asked and when i replied that how can i get you in such a weather! He got angry and he slept. I asked my sis to get a cake if possible as it is continuously raining and we have to be careful with manholes.

By night 9'0 clock some how my sis brought an yummy cake ,but till now power is not given. By 10.30 power is given and i am waiting eagerly to see the clock strucking 12. My mom and bro also were waiting to wish him. Finally when it was 12 i woke up Srikanth wished him and asked him to cut cake. You know what is he saying," let me change my dress and come".

After cake cutting i gave the loads of gifts to him and he was shocked to see that many. One by one i gave by narrating the significance of each. While giving i can see a layer of tears because of excitement and happiness.

Later he said Thanks to my sis for helping me in  getting such beautiful gifts. Morning we went to Baba temple and performed Archana on Sri's name. 
I wish you Sri all happiness and a bright future ahead.

For the list of 27 gifts, have a look at this link:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Trip to Maharashtra

After marriage we never went to Shirdi and we thought of visiting at least now. Since from Hyderabad number of bus services are running both by govt and travels we opted for Kesinenis travels. Unfortunately there were no seats and we have to wait for atleast one month as it is summer vacation. But luckily one of my sis's friend who planned for a trip to Shirdi and Ellora caves by APTDC has 2 tickets left . So happily we nodded our heads to go along with them.

Thursday evening at 4:30 we went to tank bund office to board our bus. Number of luxury buses were arriving and passengers are boarding. When our bus came we not even cared that as it is a very normal bus. When the coordinator told that this is the bus we have to board, we looked at each other into our faces. Very old bus with one Maharshtra driver and Andhra driver.At 6'0 clock bus reached kuktapally and my sis friends family boarded. They too were shocked by seeing the bus. When all people boarded the driver told abt the package details.

Next morning we were taken to Shanishinganapur,where popular shani devas temple is located.Shingnapur is also famous for the fact that no house in the village has doors, only door frames. Despite this, no theft is reported in the village. Recently in a TV ad we can see about this place. Without taking bath we have to visit Shani deva and guys should wear a dhoti without upper garment inorder to perform puja. Ladies are not allowed to go near the shrine.


After Shanishinganapur we reached Shirdi by noon 12:30. We were given guest house for freshening up as it is part of package  and were told to get ready by 4'0 clock early in the morning . After a long continuous journey we had a fresh bath and went to temple. After that we went to see the Annadanam centre where the worlds largest solar steam system is used to cook food for 20000 people at a time. As every one are tired ,we went to bed early after taking a good dinner. Food is not part of package we have to buy our own food.

The next day driver was knocking all the rooms reminding us to get ready early. Again we started our journey by 4'0 clock in the morning and reached Grishneshwar , one of the dwadasa Jyothirlinga temples of lord Shiva.

Grishneshwar temple

After that we had breakfast in some dhabha and started towards Ajanta one of the UNESCO World heritage site in our country.These were created during the Satvahana Dynasty in 2nd - 1st century BCE. These temples have been abandoned and gradually forgotten in due course of time. During the next 1300 years the jungle grew back and the caves were hidden, unvisited and undisturbed. In 18th century a British officer for the Madras Presidency, John Smith, while hunting tiger, accidentally discovered the entrance to one of the cave temples (Cave No. 9) deep within the tangled undergrowth.Captain Smith wrote his name in pencil on one of the walls. Still faintly visible, it records his name and the date, April 1819. Shortly after this discovery Ajanta Caves became well known and renowned due to their exotic setting, impressive architecture, artworks and mysterious, long forgotten history.


Bird eye view of Ajanta caves

Paintings are all over the cave except for the floor. At various places the art work has become eroded due to decay and human interference. Therefore, many areas of the painted walls, ceilings, and pillars are fragmentary. The painted narratives of the Jataka tales are depicted only on the walls, which demanded the special attention of the devotee. We could not visit all caves (nearly 32 caves) as we have to go back inorder to cover the other places in package. But we visited all important caves. There are number of shops selling some decorative pieces but we did not even touched as our driver warned that if we touch we must buy otherwise the local people will make a big halo balo there and makes us to buy for odd rates.

Ajanta paintings
Painting of Padmapani in Ajanta caves

After taking lunch we started towards Ellora caves which is also a world heritage site built by Rashtrakutas. Ellora represents the epitome of Indian rock cut architecture. The 34 caves – actually structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills – being Buddhist, Hindu and Jain rock cut temples and monastries, were built between the 5th century and 10th century. Even though our journey is a bit hectic we felt proud of our Indian architecture and recalled all our history lessons in school days.

Indian Rock cut Architecture
A painted panel showing the dancing Shiva (Nataraja) from the Kailash Temple at Ellora (Cave 16). One can still see a lot of the paint that once covered the entire temple.

Wall carvings in Ellora

Last but not the least is Mini TajMahal also called as Bibi Ka Maqbara, which transaltes as "Tomb of the Lady" .Prince Azam Khan,son of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, built the Bibi Ka Maqbara in 1679 to honor his mother Rabia Durani. He modeled it on the original Taj Mahal.
Like the Taj Mahal the replica has a central dome, surrounded by four smaller domes and four minarets. Four taller minarets complement this central structure.The pathway leading up to the mausoleum has fountains, pools
and tall trees on both side of the walkway.

Mini Taj


I bought lord Buddha's idol as a remembrance of this trip . Then we started to Hyderabad with full satisfaction. Because of losses by running AC bus for this trip APTDC is running normal for this package only otherwise the trip would have been the best.








Monday, March 22, 2010

Golkonda

This sunday we thought of visiting Golkonda as it is very near to Mehadipatnam where we are staying.


Golkonda a ruined city is situated west of Hyderabad.Though Kakatiyas built Golkonda in 13th century it is Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah who laid splendid monuments and designed a perfect acoustical system by which a hand clap sounded at the fort's main gates, the grand portico, was heard at the top of the citadel, situated on a 300-foot (91 m)-high granite hill.


According to a legend, the fort derives its name from Golla Konda, which is a Telugu word for Shepherd's Hill. It is believed that a shepherd boy came across an idol on the hill. This led to the construction of a mud fort by the then Kakatiya dynasty ruler of the kingdom around the site.The city and fortress are built on a granite hill that is 120 meters (400 ft) high.

Kancharla Gopanna, popularly known as Bhaktha Ramadaasu, a devout Hindu who constructed Bhadrachalm temple without informing the sultan at that time Tana Shah, was kept in a jail located inside the fort. It is also believed that there was a secret tunnel to Charminar.


Many famed diamonds are believed to have been excavated from the mines of Golconda like Kohinoor and Darya-ye Noor.

A new attraction at the fort is a sound and light show that brings the legend of Golconda to life. With a spectacular interplay of audio and visual effects, the story of Golconda unfolds over centuries of splendor. The show livens up the glorious past and it is an experience worth watching. The show is presented in English, Hindi and Telugu.