Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Oodles of Ooty - Memories and more

I recently went on a short trip to Ooty with family , a place that is very close to my heart.
This time it was more of a relaxed trip than that of visiting places.

We started around 6:30 am from Bangalore via Mysore- Bandipur - Masinangudi - Ooty.
Weather & Nature
The pleasantness started right at the time we entered bandipur , it started pouring and absolutely enjoyed each and every moment.
We spotted deers, elephants , wild boars and of course monkeys all around the stretch.
My daughter was delighted and was more than excited , this brings me the memories of my trip to Ooty for the first time

A trip down nostalgia
The first time i ever visited Ooty was in my 6th grade through my dad's office tour. It was a dream come true because i have seen those lush greenery, beautiful waterfalls and thrilling curves of hairpin bends only in movies but in reality it looked even more breath taking .Imagine how beautiful and glorious Ooty would have been in early 90's , less exploited  and more green that’s exactly the Ooty i saw.Still remember how I ran inside the TTDC (Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation) Hotel as soon as our tour bus stopped . Too cold and too beautiful for my heart to contain the excitement. And i have still not forgotten those delicious steaming hot idlies we were served with piping hot sambhar with all those delicous Ooty carrots , radish and pumpkins. Now that the tummy was full and weather cool , we set on to the visit the lovely botanical gardens, Doddabetta peak, Tea factory visit and quintessential Boating in the Lake .

Still remember how i was shivering while we were in the boat middle of the lake , Inspite of my mom insisting me to wear sweater I never wore it saying , I don't want to miss the cool air which I will be missing in chennai when we go back.
Also an important ritual when visiting Ooty is to buy Homemade chocolates.I was awed when I first saw the shop exclusively for chocolates .I was really and literally the kid in the candy shop. I wanted to buy every other chocolate variety available but my parents strictly told just two boxes to take back home and for cousins. Only consolation was free samples. I still remember those golden wrapped marie biscuits dipped in chocolate still coming in my dreams.

That trip I wanted to stay back in ooty and even asked my parents whether they can work here and put me in a school in ooty. I was laughed at saying that wouldn’t be possible. That cold night still dreaming of those chocolate dipped marie biscuits I slept snugly between my parents

I think have less photos of the trip and more memories which i will cherish time and again.
After this trip and falling in love with Ooty , I have visited numerous times.
I wish every trip is as cherished as this one.

This time we stayed at Space4 Resort , which is absoulety ,prefectly located .
Serene yet pretty close to most tourist attractions. And the rooms were pretty decent.
But the Food the less I talk , the more it is better. Bad food.
This costed us around Rs.6000 for two nights which is not really the bang for the buck because the complimentary breafast was so bad, so went out to eat but other than that the stay was pleasant and service was good.
This is not sponsored... Duh!!!!

Places to Visit and things to do
Ooty toy train
Botanical gardens
Boat House
Tea factory visit
Doddabetta peak
pykara water falls

I have visted all the above places and more but this time went only to boat house and avalanche because we really wanted to relax and enjoy the weather.

I think everything tastes good in ooty maybe because of the weather or the water or the fresh veggies..But i simply love it. If you are vegetarian you have numerous options like Nahar Veg, A2B, Pankaj Bhojanalaya (Jain food) etc...
If you are a non veg you have hotel blue hills, Junior kuppana, etc
of course pizzas, pastas by sidewalk cafe at nahar , dominos etc and don't forget to eat piping hot mini samosas , cutlets and kachoris from prabha sweets and yummy snacks at C-store.
Maggi at boat house was yummm and tea was okayish.

Of course any trip is incomplete without some kind of shopping
Homemade Chocolates - Numerous options available but the good ones are Moody's (Modern stores) this is right opposite to bonatical gardens gate and Kingstar chocolates in Commerical road ooty. Don't forget to grab a sweater at the tibetian market and the yummy tea time friend ooty Varki (something like a puffpastry but crunchy) .Also most importantly Ooty Tea.

As I write this want to go there again. I seem to never get enough of ooty ever.
Ooty Love


Friday, June 23, 2017

Swensens - IceCreams - Sholinganallur

I am not an Ice-Cream person especially "No Chocolate IceCream" for me.
I am sure you would have thought that I am a weirdo for sure but then I don't love chocolates much as well :)

We have visited Swensens in Besant Nagar numerous times and we love it there because of the Location, ambience and yumminess.

While I was passing other day via Sholiganallur spotted Swensens near the Junction and decided to take daughter-dad duo there the next time..

So the next time did happen and hence the post :)

Sholiganallur outlet is quite big and can easily accommodate more people than their Besant Nagar one and with their Trade Mark Swensens Lamps hanging it looked lovely with red interiors.

Coming to the menu its quite vast and choices are great too but I think they can improve on their toppings section.

Coming to what we had on that day Daughter had Chocolate Ice-cream topped with Chocolate sauce and strands

Me and Husband Shared a scoop of Strawberry Swirl and Coffee topped with Cream & Silvered almonds.

We enjoyed our ice-creams and our bill came around Rs.450 odd and they have ranges staring from Rs.79 but please do remember tax will be added hence might slightly shoot up the bill.
Also the service was pretty quick but then we were the only ones sitting in the place :P
Also they have ample space for parking cars.

Do go there and enjoy the yummy icecreams :)

This in not a sponsored post

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Road Trip to Tiruchendur - South India Tamilnadu

I feel ancient as Iam writing a post after a long hiatus ❤💗
Now let me come to the post. 

I have visited Tiruchendur a couple of times when I was a tween maybe that too with my cousin and family during our summer vacation. Those days are still etched to my memory and it brings so much nostalgia.

Its MAY !!! do I need to say more?  :P It was 42C degree
Yes Tamilnadu summers are hot, hotter and hottest and when it comes to Tiruchendur its no different. My recommendation for those who want to visit the Tiruchendur visit either post June-mid  and July onwards would be good time because of better weather and lesser crowd.

Our Journey
We started our family road trip in our car to Tiruchendur on May 26th 2017 at around 6:30 AM and it was a hot sunny day. Tiruchendur is around ~620KM from Chennai and we need to take the following route :

Chennai → Trichy → Madurai → Thoothukudi → Tiruchendur

And it was not just a spiritual trip but just a break from monotony. It took us around 10hours to reach Tiruchendur and we reached around 4:30PM


We stayed in Hotel Chitra Park and I would say its a decent place with Big, Clean rooms.
Its very close to the temple and the restaurants.


So here comes the spiritual part of the trip.
Tiruchendur is one of the six abodes (Arupadaiveedu) of Lord Murgan ( Hindu God) and this is a shore  temple.
Here Lord Murgan is called as Chendur Murgan (Thus the place name) along with Goddess Devayanai and Goddess Valli.
There is a separate sandstone cave called Valli cave which you can visit even today and its intact .
This where Goddess Valli was hidden by Lord Ganesha with the instructions from Lord Murugan.
And Don't forget to visit the beach and Nazhi Kinaru which is the Holy water of the temple


Now comes the very important and vital part of any trip "The Food" :)
While we were travelling from Chennai we had our breakfast at Aaryas veg restaurant in the Tindivanam NH which has sumptuous southindian breakfast items along with its signature chutneys and sambhar
Next comes the Lunch part again we chose to have South indian lunch thali in Temple city restaurant in Madurai NH
And Food in Tiruchendur was done at Hotel Mani Iyer's

I think its best that I share the the pics which do some justice for the food that we enjoyed :)

There are many shops in and around the Temple mostly religious and loads of toy shops
But if you want something as a souvenir  to take back home I would suggest buying conches and shells which is available in plenty in almost all shops.
Also don't forget to buy palm products like palm sugar candies, palm jaggery etc..

You can buy some palm Jaggery and palm sugar here.
This is very good for health and a great alternative for refined sugar

On a final note it was indeed a lovely trip but the weather was a bummer as it was too hot and crowded temple area due to weekend :)

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