Return to a Model Village

Kumbalangy is known to be India’s first model tourism village, and it has been a place where I spent a lot of my childhood; and a long time later, I made a return to the place. It looks the same as there is the scenic beauty close enough to the city of Cochin, but with better roads and more facilities for tourism than during those earlier days. Here is something that I leave for you readers from my visit, and you can check my earlier post too 🙂

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***All images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Asus Zenfone 5 or Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

TeNy

District 12: The Heights

You should have surely heard about the District 12 of Kerala – Wayanad. As one of the more popular tourist destinations, it came into existence in its present form in 1980 as the twelfth district of Kerala right out of Kannur and Kozhikode districts. The special thing about this district is that there is no place with the name of the district, and the headquarters is at Kalpetta which has developed very well. Wayanad district also has the distinction of being the only district of Kerala to share the borders with both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and it is the district with the least population around here.

Wayanad has been known for its natural beauty, and it has no railway connection anywhere in the district; the nearest airport is at Kozhikode. Kalpetta, Mananthavady and Sulthan Bathery are its major towns. When I was a child, I wished to travel here, but the destination wasn’t considered then. But I managed to be there many years later, and I am sharing a few photos from that trip here, even though I still haven’t explored the destination in detail – that is pending, and this post could have a second part. They were all taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-310. The base of operations for the visit was fixed at Kozhikode at that time with Chevrolet Beat taking that long journey from Aluva, and it extended all the way to Kannur, with three northern districts being toured, and the final one left to visit on another day.

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TeNy

The Tea Photos

It is a lovely Friday even though my laptop’s display screen desired to commit suicide; I can’t access most of my saved material, and so I will share a few tea photos taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 to make sure that this day doesn’t go as a waste 😀 The movie of the day, My God was good though. All these photos shown here were taken at Munnar, Coonnoor and Ooty.

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Hope this inspires you to have more tea 😛

TeNy

Having New Favourites

The recent trip to the North has helped in changing a few ideas that I had about the geography of India, and is a very good boost to my knowledge about the location of the major cities and monuments. It also helps in my further reading of History. There is another major thing that happened, and it is in the arrangement of those monuments inside my mind – throughout my life, I have thought that some monuments were the only ones which I really needed to visit, but now, it seems that the order has been changed.

1. Humayun’s Tomb: This place actually became my Taj Mahal, or one of my favourite Indian monuments of all time along with the temples of Mahabalipuram and Victoria Memorial of Kolkata. I have found it a peaceful place unlike Taj Mahal, and we could wear footwears as well as take pictures inside, unlike the great wonder at Agra. When you visit a historical monument, it is peace that you want the most, and here you can have it. Humayun is also a Mughal Emperor whom I have always liked, as a fine personality from history, despite hearing people saying that he was a weak ruler.

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2. Agra Fort: I had initially thought that this was the Red Fort, but it turned out to the the Agra Fort in red. The colour of the building looks exactly like the colour of my home, if I look at it from a personal viewpoint. Despite all of the fort not being open, there was so much to see around there, and we walked and walked until finally finishing that journey inside the walls. The carvings as well as those white areas inside the red fort catches our attention, and there is the view of Taj Mahal from here, and Shah Jahan was at least lucky enough to have a view of his masterpiece from here even though he was imprisoned by his own son.

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3. Lotus Temple: When we see it from a distance, there is the desperation to visit this place as soon as possible. It is like the feeling automatically comes to you due to that unique architecture. It is a very impressive structure, and nothing like I have seen anywhere due to its variety. This one has cent percent met my expectations, and I am glad that I visited this early in the morning, and when we were back, there was that long queue of visitors. This actually leaves you highly interested in the Bahá’í faith, and I have even bought a book about the same.

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4. Qutub Minar: The popular misconception about this minaret is that it is very tall. Well, it is the tallest brick minaret in the world, but not the tallest one of today’s standard – it is tall according to its times as well as the method used for construction. Begun by Qutb-ud-din Aibak and finished by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, the monument is surrounded by other historical monuments, and among them, this one remains special. Yes, I have visited Qutub Minar, something that I have been longing to do since childhood. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in my Indian bucket list gets another tick.

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5. Red Fort: Being home to the Mughal emperors for a long time and witnessing history a lot, this structure which was built by Shah Jahan surely has a lot of interesting areas, including a number of museums. The fort itself is a beautiful structure, and I do have an attraction towards this colour as I have mentioned earlier. The shops inside were interesting, and were cheaper than those outside Taj Mahal – may be it is because those outside “the Wonder” needed some wonderful bargaining, but that is not my method. I would still prefer the Agra (red) Fort more than this one.

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Throughout my life, I have wanted to visit Taj Mahal. The problem with such repeated praise of a monument is that when you go to see it, you will end up feeling that it is not that much of a wonder. I skipped the Akshardham Temple because I don’t see any point in visiting any place which doesn’t allow photography – the decision is very unfair as it is something of joy to take something from a wonderful place when we go back home, after all we travel so much to witness the beauty of a place – restrict it, but please don’t ban it completely.

***All photos used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 during my recent trip to Delhi.

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TeNy

Of a Romanian Beauty

I have been watching tennis for quite some time now, and I have watched and admired many players, but none so much as Roger Federer, who redefined my days of watching that game which I have never played and might never play. I have spent hours just watching the maestro play, and have watched almost all the grand slams he has won, mostly as live action and sometimes in the form of highlights.

I have also admired Novak Djokovic with his game on a lot of occasions, and has considered him a worthy successor to the number one title which he is holding now. When coming to the women’s tennis, it has never had a clear favourite player in my list, as there used to be Maria Sharapova, replaced by Caroline Wozniacki who still remains one my big favourites, Agnieszka Radwańska who is there forever, and Eugenie Bouchard whom I occasionally root for as part of another army – Genie Army.

Roger Federer and Simona Halep, my choices for every Grand Slam :D

Roger Federer and Simona Halep, my choices for every Grand Slam 😀

Then there is Simona Halep, whom I have been supporting for months now as the latest addition to that list. Along with supporting Roger Federer, I have been wishing that she had one the women’s division too. I might still name my cat Agnieszka who have been the fan favourite player for the last consecutive years (and mine too), but the admiration for Simona has been something that has been growing like a vampire’s fangs. She is not screaming and doing all those strange actions on the court like some of the other players who overdo the same.

It is a feel-good moment when she wins those points :)

It is a feel-good moment when she wins those points 🙂

Ever since reading Dracula, I have always wanted to visit Romania, and support the nation in something, and Simona is the answer to my prayers to find something for the same cause. Yes, another reason to love Romania here, and I was actually surprised at how much she has come up in the rankings all of a sudden and how well she has improved her game. Well, it is still safe to say that not many people from this part of the world knows her yet, and that is rather a disgrace to all kinds of sports.

Always looking good whether on the court or off-court!

Always looking good whether on the court or off-court!

The twenty three year old from Romania has jumped in rankings and has arrived and settled inside the top ten of WTA Rankings, and now sitting steadily at number three below veterans Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. She looks small, but has such an intelligent game to take on the stronger opponents. This was achieved after being a rather less heard name in Women’s tennis, which with frequent serve breaks, has been such an unpredictable side compared to the men’s tennis which has had the big four of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

Hope she wins the next grand slam and more :)

Hope she wins the next grand slam and more 🙂

She came so close to winning the Roland Garros this year too, but there is a thing about the French Open, as it is too elusive for the best players and those who play beautiful tennis. After having not that much of a good record in the grand slams, she could rise to the occasions this year reaching the final of the French Open and the semi-final of the Wimbledon in an year which saw her rise which also lead to the demolition of Serena Williams in the WTA Championships even as she lost in the final to the same opponent.

Not difficult to find Simona here :) (Pic from Simona wiki page)

Not difficult to find Simona here 🙂 (Pic from Simona wiki page)

Among the players who are doing so well in the WTA, I would vote for Simona Halep this time, and the player who recently turned twenty three and at 5 feet 6 inches among the shorter top players, seems to be the rising star for the future of women’s tennis. Lets hope that she continues to play the wonderful tennis that she is producing and keeps us admiring her talent. *All the photos in this post except one are from the official Facebook page of Simona Halep (https://www.facebook.com/simonahalep)

TeNy