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Kundala dam forest Munnar

DTPC Munnar day tour: Mattupetty dam, Echo point, Kundala dam – Part 1

Date: March 12, 2018

After arriving in Munnar yesterday, we all woke up early to have our breakfast and then head to DTPC‘s office for our full day tour. DTPC is the District Tourism Promotion Council. You can call a day before to reserve your seats for the tour or just show up on the day of the tour at their office by 8am to get your seats.

After having breakfast, we took an auto-rickshaw to the DTPC office.

DTPC tourism office Munnar Kerala
This is the DTPC tourism office
Inside DTPC Munnar office
We were the first to arrive. We paid up while waiting for the other tourists joining us today.
DTPC tea valley tour
The main tour DTPC offers includes a stop over at Eravikulam National Park. Unfortunately, Eravikulam National Park was closed to the public as it was breeding season for the Nilgiri Tahr, a deer commonly  found in Munnar and the Nilgiri Hills.
Tempo traveller Munnar Kerala
It was time for us to board our Tempo Traveller van and begin our tour
Munnar tea plantation panorama
I know I’ll be seeing sights like this every minute of the journey but tea plantations never stop being beautiful to look at

Munnar tea plantation tree Kerala

Flowers bokeh Munnar Kerala
Some flowers were in bloom along the way
Big beehives Munnar tree Kerala
The driver (cum guide) would stop along the way to show us sights like this — massive beehives
Carmelagiri Elephant park Munnar
Our first stop was at the Carmelagiri Elephant park

Continue reading “DTPC Munnar day tour: Mattupetty dam, Echo point, Kundala dam – Part 1” »

Peralasseri well green water

Kannur’s famous Peralassery Subramania temple – the largest step well in Kerala

Sri Subramanya Temple in Peralassery in Kannur district is home to the largest step well in Kerala. Located 14 km from Kannur town, it is located in the neighbourhood of Peralassery, just metres off state highway 38 (Kannur-Kuthuparamba road).

Local myth has it that Ram and Lakshman halted at Peralasseri temple on their way to Sri Lanka to rescue Sita. (The tale of Ramayana for the uninitiated). The temple in itself isn’t what makes Peralassery famous. The reason for its fame is a massive step well just outside the temple.

Peralasseri well green water
The step well is the largest of its kind in Kerala (and probably all of South India)
Peralasseri step well Kannur Kerala
If you visit the temple on any given weekday, you should find ample parking space just outside the temple

I was at Peralasseri temple one weekend for a cousin’s wedding. The bride’s family wanted to conduct the wedding ceremony (garland and thaali exchange) inside the temple premises.

Hindu wedding Peralasseri temple Kannur
The wedding ceremony didn’t take long as there are other wedding groups waiting for their turn
Perallasherry stone temple Kannur Kerala
I couldn’t take too many photos of the temple. I was outside the inner sanctum and photography is usually restricted. Also, it was quite muddy inside due to the rains and I was barefoot.
Snake statues Perallssery temple Kannur
I’ll take stone-carved snakes over real snakes (sorry Lord Vishnu).

But in all (religious) seriousness, the snakes represent ‘Sarpam/Nagam Dosham‘ (Sarpam = snake). Devotees visit the temple to shed themselves effects of ‘serpent curses’ based on their individual horoscopes.

Peralasherry temple stepwell Kannur Kerala
It was still raining outside which made taking photos tough
Perallasherry stepwell Kannur Kerala
You have to leave your footwear outside if you wish to enter the stepwell
Step wells Peralasherry temple Kannur
Stepwells of this design are indigenous to India

Stepwells were built deep where groundwater was abundant and the steps make it easy for people to reach the water especially when water levels fluctuate throughout the year. The steps also make it easier to maintain the well, as supposed to a traditional cylindrical well which is harder to clean over time — unless you want to risk going down one.

Peralasherri old well Kannur Kerala
The rain was non-stop

It wasn’t the best weather to shoot photos but I’ll probably come back some other day when it is sunny and try to get some better photos and update this blog.

Peralassery temple is an impressive sight and one of Kannur’s best attractions. Best come here during weekdays — and obviously when there is no rain. Stepwells are more common in states like Rajasthan and Gujarat, so it’s quite unique that Kannur, Kerala has one.

Getting to Peralassery temple

From the Kannur city bus stand, or any other stop in the city, board any bus going to Kuthuparamba (കൂത്തുപറമ്പ്). Just ask for a ticket to Peralassery.

By car, it’s an easy drive from Kannur city as it’s one straight road. Once you reach the Peralassery bus stop, take a left turn towards the temple. Ask any local, they can guide you.

Pyramid valley design

Day trip to Pyramid Valley meditation center

Date: 21 April 2014

On a Monday morning, I joined my cousin brother and his family on short day-trip to a place called Pyramid Valley International, just off Kanakapura Road.

Kanakapura road Bangalore drive
Pyramid Valley is around 27 kms from the METRO Cash & Carry store on Kanakapura Road.
Mithun Jithin family GoPro
Even though I was primarily using my phone to shoot photographs, I carried my GoPro with me to take some photos too
Way to Pyramid Valley Kanakpura road
The drive barely took an hour

You have to get off Kanakapura Road when you see the sign pointing left to where Pyramid Valley International is located. Once you get on to the small road, it’s pretty bad. You pass through a village with poor roads before you reach the gates at Pyramid Valley.

There is an open ground for parking and there is no fee for the same. We parked under a big tree as it was quite sunny.

Pyramid Valley map Bangalore
Like many spiritual centers in India, they are spread across many acres

Pyramid Valley International claims to be a “new age meditation” and “spiritual science” center (if there ever is such a thing as spiritual science).

Mahatma Gandhi statue Pyramid valley
Much of the space inside looks like there is still a lot of work to be done

But why is it called Pyramid Valley? Continue reading “Day trip to Pyramid Valley meditation center” »

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