Combo: Airtel 4G Day V

The Day Five is a combination which belongs to #Airtel4G and Samsung Galaxy A5 – these two surely make an interesting team. With 13MP back and 5MP front camera, this dual SIM 4G phone is the biggest phone I have used until now, and it was a lot like getting Nokia N95 at at its peek – well, there are phones bigger than this one, but the Galaxy A5 is also very much more than just a satisfying thing. It should be a master phone to use when you are using #Airtel4G or the same from any other network operators later.

The day’s test once again started with a journey, and this time to the Mattanchery-Fort Cochin area – well, there is this superior phone and high speed, and so it had to be seen what happens with the same at a tourist area around Cochin. There won’t be 4G at any of those places close to nature outside the Cochin area, and so it had to be chosen from somewhere around those islands – Fort Cochin and Mattanchery had to be the obvious choices even as I had visited the place so many times!

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So, this will be just another visit to test the strength of Airtel 4G and Samsung Galaxy A5 – what is life when you have these in your possession and haven’t used them well enough? That should surely call for a small trip, right? Well, Kochi Biennale meant that we would visit this much visited place a lot more, and add another time to that list. The 4G started appearing at the Thottumugham area just before Aluva as before, and remained there all the way until we reached Mattanchery through Padma route.

The strength remained high as we alighted at the bus station and started from the Mattanchery Dutch Palace. The Airtel users among the tourists who are around should have a nice time with this one. Then, after some small shopping, we reached the Holy Cross Church which is known for the famous Coonan Cross Oath and is also a famous pilgrimage centre. Then we left to have food at Fort Cochin, and there was fine speed there too, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise because it is the big, grand tourist place.

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Santa Cruz Basilica remains a beautiful marvel for us even now. One thing I am particularly glad about is that they didn’t paint this one white unlike some of those churches which lost the beauty while being coloured with that particular shade only. This is one of those older and historical churches which you surely shouldn’t miss while visiting this part of the world. The 4G speed was actually the highest around here, right in front of the church, and you know how important it will be for the tourists to have the same around the destinations. So for the tourists, #Airtel4G at Fort Cochin and Mattanchery = big.

You can wander around all the areas of Fort Cochin and see that 4G is almost everywhere, providing the speed to the visitors. We went to the other historically significant church, Saint Francis Church and also that Dutch Cemetery which remained closed this time too. Actually, you can just wander around, and you will just get to some very significant or beautiful place when at Fort Cochin. There are some other interesting churches and temples around which you can just visit along with these to add to the experience. There are also enough buildings around to give you a special feeling too.

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We spent very less time at the beach because of the heat, and had masala tea at Vasco da Gama Square to go to Kumbalangi which had absolutely no 4G at all, and that was surprising because it is also part of Cochin and having good tourist inflow as the first Model Tourism Village in the state. But once we got on that bridge to the island, there was no 4G being shown, and there were areas in the route there from Thoppumpady that didn’t have the 4G either. But it didn’t really bother me in the long run. During the return, the 4G just disappeared at the moment we turned to the Pookkaattupady route from Thrikkakkara.

***The images used in this blog post were all taken by me on my Samsung Galaxy A5.

TeNy

The Spiritual Variety

As I have been thinking about variety, there are a number of churches which come to mind – those which would seem like small structures, but manages to catch our attention with a certain amount of difference with their looks, as they are combined with beauty and spirituality in the right manner. Here are a few of those smaller, but beautiful structures which I wish to share here – all of them from Kerala, and to be more exact – from the Ernakulam district except for the first one in the special mention.

1. St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Muvattupuzha: On the way to Muvattupuzha from Perumbavoor, the dome of this beautiful structure catches our attention from a distance. The photo was taken before the church work for the rebuilding was complete and so it looks even better now. Unlike the other churches around here with a dome, this one has onion domes of different sizes. It reminds me of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, and whenever I dream of traveling to Russia with all the churches with similar domes, I look at this cathedral and be happy, telling myself that I shall see more of it ๐Ÿ˜€

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2. St. Joseph Church, Karayamparambu (Angamaly): I have waited very long for this church to complete its renovation or rather rebuilding. After the process, this surely looks like a structure that you can’t miss while traveling from Cochin to Trichur on the National Highway 47 connecting Salem and Kanyakumari, just after Angamaly, on the way to Chalakudi. It has a very beautiful altar and you have to look under that beautiful dome right after you enter. There is a lot of nice imagery surrounding the dove as the Holy Spirit. A small structure here, but still so Herculean in its beauty.

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3. St. Xavier’s Church, Aluva: This rebuilt church at Alwaye has been my favourite church to attend a Holy Mass for quite a long time. They have the English Mass too, and what catches one’s attention more than anything else are those glass paintings which are around the altar and beyond. The saints are there, and so is the representation of the scriptures. The crucifix image is also different and catching our attention – there is a lot of spiritual feeling with the evening programs as the lights enter through the glasses. It is the major reason why I go for the evening mass too.

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4. St. Thomas Church, Chowara (Aluva): Unlike what people think, Aluva surely has some of the most beautiful churches, scattered around the town and its outskirts, mostly Syro-Malabar and Latin in rite. It has a mixed design, and inside, part of the old altar is preserved. The floor has wood as well as tiles, and the option of AC is also there. The imagery is nice and so are the surroundings. You can see the top of the church building from quite a distance and is located just before the town when coming from Aluva on the route to Sreemoolanagaram/Kanjoor.

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5. St. Thomas Church, Karumalloor (Paravur): With all the lights inside switched on at night and shining in the darkness around, I have found this one a very special structure. You can easily notice the beauty if you have travelled through the route at night. With some very effective lighting, the church has some simpler and yet effective imagery inside. The lighting as well as the borders and colour combinations make the images more beautiful. There are also some nice work on the glasses, even as they are lesser in number. This is on the right side while you travel from Aluva to Paravur.

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Older churches: Special Mention:
St. Thomas Church, Palayur: This church founded by Saint Thomas the Apostle in 52 AD is believed to be the first Church and thus the oldest standing Christian worship place in India. Connected to many ancient trading centres through rivers and lakes, and with the existence of ancient Jewish settlements, this had become a perfect place to find the church, and this structure maintains the ancient Kerala architecture even with a lot of additions being made to it. It has a Saint Thomas Monument and a museum too.

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St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi: Here is the oldest European church in India, and its antiquity is actually easily visible from a distance. Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in the year 1524 and was buried in this church before his remains were moved to Lisbon, Portugal. The structure has a great historical significance, as it was a witness to the colonial battles for supremacy and a long lasting symbol of India’s colonial past. There are a few things of interest inside the church, but as photography is not allowed inside, I have no pictures.

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***All the images used in this blog post are from my camera (Sony Cybershot DSC W-310).

TeNy

Kochi Biennale 20:20

I do still want to visit Kochi Biennale (http://kochimuzirisbiennale.org) this year, but it turns out that I am too lazy to travel that far and have been unable to find someone who can go there with me. Yes, finding partners to seeย art has never been this difficult. Therefore, I was looking at the photos taken by me during last Biennale and I wish to share twenty of them with you. All of them were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 and chosen just because they look interesting for me now at the first look ๐Ÿ˜€

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Keep calm and hope to go for Biennale ๐Ÿ˜€

TeNy

Never Say No to Cochin

Do you know that the Kochi-Muziris Biennale is going on right now? If you haven’t read about it, please check the information about the same on the website http://kochimuzirisbiennale.org/ – but I am pretty sure that there will be enough information about the same on most of the newspapers of India, and it is abundant on the newspapers of Kerala. For those who are not aware of the same, it will be there till the twenty nineth of March this year. Everybody needs to attend a biennale at least once.

A quote I found interesting during the Kochi Biennale :)

A quote I found interesting during the Kochi Biennale – on death by water ๐Ÿ™‚

That would make people wonder if I am writing this from the location, and the answer is no. I haven’t been to this year’s Biennale. But I have been to the last festival which had its times during 2012-2013 and I have to admit that it was so well arranged, and impressively managed. So, is this post about that journey? No, this is more about Fort Cochin in general. I have been to the last Biennale and enjoyed it, and those four journeys to the Biennale were part of my multiple journeys to the place. Fort Cochin is a place which I have visited so many times.

Yes, you can also get captures like this during the Kochi Biennale ;)

Yes, you can also get captures like this during the Kochi Biennale – notice a jealous crow ๐Ÿ˜‰

A journey to Fort Cochin shouldn’t be limited to one place. It should consist of four places – Fort Cochin, Mattanchery, Thoppumpady and Kumbalanghi, the last one being a tourist village and an island with so much of natural beauty – I certify the same. The second last one is on the way to Fort Cochin, and Saint Sebastian’s Church there, a heritage building and a famous religious structure, is worth your time, and you can also have a nice view of the lake from the back side of the building.

Santa Cruz Basilica - a structure that you wouldn't want to miss.

Santa Cruz Basilica – a structure that you wouldn’t want to miss at any cost.

Then, about Fort Cochin and Mattanchery – they can’t be seen separately. The latter has the Dutch Palace which I am yet to visit, and the Jew Street with the Jewish Synagogue which is India’s oldest functioning synagogue. It also has the Holy Cross Church where Church the Coonan Cross Oath took place where an oath was taken by the ancient Christians not to submit to the Portuguese and in the need to continue their culture and traditions. Mattanchery Jain Temple is another much visited destination.

Chinese fishing nets - always part of Cochin and its islands.

Chinese fishing nets – always part of Cochin and its islands, adding to its glory.

Coming back to Fort Cochin, one has to admit that there is no better place to conduct the Biennale considering how much of history this place has, and how much of colonial as well as some of the traditional Kerala culture can be witnessed on the streets of the town. There are the Chinese fishing nets as well as the buildings of its colonial past which form the major part of this end of the extended Cochin city. Given to the Portuguese by the King of Cochin in return for military aid, this place has been under Portuguese as well as Dutch occupation and finally coming under the British till independence.

A day at the beach - Kerala never forgets its football.

A day at the beach – Kerala never forgets its football, and neither does its soul.

Saint Francis Church remains a significant landmark as the oldest European church in India, originally built by the Portuguese, and where Vasco da Gama was buried. It comes under the Archaeological Survey of India and the Church of South India as of now. Santa Cruz Basilica originally built by the Portuguese which was destroyed by the British and was later re-built, remains another symbol of the area’s long history. You would love its Gothic interiors with some beautiful works.

The oldest European church in India - antiquity's own child.

The oldest European church in India; Saint Francis Church – antiquity’s own child.

Then there is the beach, where sometimes the love of football can be seen in full power, and some of the monuments as well as the remains of other few, including that of Fort Emmanuel. You can walk on the paved area or the beach itself and see those ships, boats as well as the Chinese fishing nets. You can also see some more churches, temples and mosques, as well as the Dutch Cemetery. There are some huge trees to add to the beauty and serenity of the already lovable world. When is the best time to visit? Right now, for there is Biennale going on!

The fishing boats with the old bridge of Cochin on the background.

The fishing boats of Cochin with the old bridge of the cityย on the background.

All photos were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 during 2010-2012 period.

TeNy