Well well well… I went to REC College, yesterday for their culturals. I wanted to participate in the Classical solo event.
I boarded the REC bus at 7:00 am at Thiruvanmiyur RTO. The bus was pretty nice, comfortable, but was a very bumpy one. The bus route was pretty interesting. ECR-> LB Road -> Indira Nagar -> LB Road -> Bessie -> LB Road -> Sardar Patel road -> Kottur -> Sardar Patel road and on to Kathipara and Poonamallee bypass.
A nice guy called Chowdary sat next to me, and showed me some interesting landmarks enroute like the AWESOME Chennai bypass road. The Bangalore highway was awesome as well, though there was quite a bit of traffic.
We reached REC at 8:25. A stern looking, fat and authoritative guy demanded to see our ID cards. Those without ID cards were shown the direction to the Main road. I dunno why a college needs so much security.
The college was beautiful. I took this snap of it.
The whole damn thing was disorganised. Nobody knew who the event coordinators were, and best of all – nobody was there at the Reg. desk. Then, someone realised that and told a few girls to sit there. However, the people there were extremely hospitable and patient, treating their guests very well. The gaming staff especially, were extremely considerate about the participants. These people are good hosts.. only need a little more organising ability.
In the classical solo event, I sang my favourite “Parvathy Nayakane charanam”, making a couple of mistakes and narrowing down my chances of winning. Then, I went on to play Quake 3.. I won the 1st round 30-17-15-10-5-4 and finals 30-7. Got 500 bucks for that 🙂
I came out of REC at 2:00 pm and headed for… you guess where ! Kanchipuram….
Kanchipuram – The land of Temples !
Kanchi was one hell of a place. I reached there by 3:25 pm (Kanchi buses are not very frequent). I got down from the bus stand, fixed an auto to visit the 4 main temples – Kailashanathar temple (Sandstone), Ekambaranathar (Huge), Kamatchi Amman, and Varadaraja Perumal temple.
Kailashanathar Temple was like a dream. Sandstone.. scratch it hard, and you see it wearing out. There was a guide, who was rather happy to see an Indian come there. He showed me some nice parts of the temple, and explained the history of the temple.
Some good shots:
The most awesome thing was the special pradarshanam. I had to fit my 6’4″ frame inside the hole shown below, go around the sanctum, and come out of a 1.5 foot high passage at the bottom of the wall. The passage turned right after 1 foot of going in. I managed to huff and pant my way out.
(I fit in that hole !)
Then, I went on to visit the Ekambaranathar temple. It had me overwhelmed by it’s sheer size.
I went on to visit the beautiful Kamatchi Amman temple !
I went finally to Varadaraja Perumal Temple. A priest there took a liking to me, and told me he would come with me to show me the entire temple. I initially thought this was a way for him to earn some money, but that thought changed later.
He first showed me the 1000 feet Mandapam.
He showed me the tank where the original wooden statue of Perumal is immersed. The statue is taken out once every 40 years and a 48-day festival is held.
He then took me to a quick Darshan of the Lord, and winded things up. He walked with me upto the temple exit, and told me that it was his duty and pleasure to tell me all this. He then bade me farewell !!! I stopped him and offered him some money.
Well.. I then left, had some idlis and coffee at a famous hotel and boarded a bus to Chennai at 6:00. I reached Chennai by around 7:45 and home by 9:00.
In all, a great day !!!!