A ride to remember: Pykara lake, Ooty Photo essay

Hello friends!!! I t has been so soooo exhaustively long, i never expected this would make a month long ‘off blog’ time. Initially it was my hosting company issues later academic pressure  followed by ill health terminated in to severe, oppressive laziness. I  almost choked to death by that laziness.

 

If you have read few of my old posts, you have an idea that I like to go on bike rides and explore the surrounding places everywhere I go. I found this particular place called “Pykara lake” near Ooty and I had to see it.

One small lake en route
One small lake en route

Like most of the hill stations, to Ooty, you go to enjoy the weather rather than to see any particular tourist spot. Throughout our stay, Ooty experienced rains. It was more of a soft drizzle, the kind of rain that makes wish to stay outdoors to enjoy it. It was softer even for a drizzle, it was as if God is spraying water on Earth with a huge sprayer. That temperature and weather made sure that I never become tired, no matter how much we roamed, hopped and drove.

Pykara
The Ghat road was bright green, how soothing green color is..

Pykara

This beautiful hill with fascinating valley view
This beautiful hill with fascinating valley view
The model tribal hut on hill top
The model tribal hut on hill top
Plenty of small bridges...
Plenty of small bridges…
We were lost in forest and found this tiny two storey temple
We were lost in forest and found this tiny two storey temple, God has an awesome view I believe
Inside the forest, plenty of privacy
Inside the forest, plenty of privacy

Pykara

So a bike journey appeared to be a perfect way to enjoy Ooty. I was not sure whether we would be able to get a bike for rent. So we asked our hotel people and they arranged for not only a bike but also an extra helmet for me.

We started early after breakfast to  The Pykara lake and falls which was located at around 20km from Ooty on Ooty – Mysore road. There are  some other places to visit en route which I will mention in other post.

As we drove lazily and halted at few places, it took us more than two hours to reach this place. Pykara lake and falls are located at two different locations. Pykara lake was in some dense forest. The location was soooo peaceful. The entrance for Pykara lake is 5rs. There is boating option available but we did not go as we thought it was too costly. We drank some fresh carrot juice which was surprisingly tasty. After spending 2 hrs there, we started back. We wanted to come back early as  it would dark early there.

The lake...blue palette
The lake…blue palette

Pykara

We went to Pykara falls on our way back, but were disappointed find there was no falls, only a very small canal kind of thing.

No falls only Pykara canal
No falls only Pykara canal

Some points to remember if you are planning to visit Pykara lake….

  1. There are no proper instructions or sign boards to guide you.
  2. As it was a forest area it is difficult to get signal, do not much rely on Google maps.
  3. There are no proper restaurants in the vicinity, The near by village has small hotels.
  4. Toilets are at the lake only, it is next to impossible to find them anywhere else.
  5. Ooty can experience rain at any time, it is good if you are prepared.

Hope you enjoyed the post, now I promise to be regular.

Only at Hill stations we get to see Vehicles parked on terraces
Only at Hill stations we get to see Vehicles parked on terraces

Shore temple; Mahabalipuram

It is not just the temple, not just the architecture; It is the location, it is the background  music of the tide hitting the rocks, it is the breeze which lifts the spirit, it is the  view of  deep blue water merging with sky at some distant point which make you fall in love with the temple. The shore temple, Mahabalipuram is part of monuments which were recognized by UNESCO as world heritage site.

Shore temple
temple Late afternoon
Me at shore temple. This was in the compound garden outside the temple complex.
Me at shore temple. This was in the compound garden outside the temple complex.
He at the temple, Inside the compound. The one behind had Shiva and the one showing has Vishnu
He at the temple, Inside the compound. The one behind had Shiva and the one showing has Vishnu

This temple was probably used as a landmark for navigation for ships.  I do not want to go into too much  details  of history or  architecture as you can simply find them in Wiki. This is a  three temple complex located on the shore of Bay of Benagal  in Mahabalipuram, making it the shore temple. This shore temple  was built by  Pallava dynasty in 8th century AD.  A pair of temples were on the same platform. The one facing east is the temple of Shiva and behind there is temple of Reclining Vishnu. The temples are pyramidal in shape. Other interesting things are the miniature shrine in the complex and the Monolithic lion. There were numerous Nandi statues on the compound wall.  You don’t need much time to visit the temple but you can enjoy sitting on the rocks behind the temple overlooking sea.

Temple of Lord Shiva
Temple of Lord Shiva

Shore temple

Vishnu in reclining pose which is very uncommon to find in temples.
Vishnu in reclining pose which is very uncommon to find in temples.

You can also spend some time in the beach, but you need to walk a long way to reach the beach which is actually lying next to the temple as they blocked the  direct gates from temple to the beach.

Shore templeMonolithic lion

Nandiiii
Nandiiii

Shore templeShore temple

The beach had a small shopping area where you can buy some hand made sea shell things. In beach you can enjoy raw mangoes cut and sprinkled with chilli powder and salt, go on a horse ride or just enjoy a bath.

Mahabalipuram hosts dance festivals every year at this temple . There was one when we went but we had to go back to Pondicherry by evening. This  shore temple along with other monuments makes Mahabalipuram an awesome place to visit.

For more places and monuments from Mahabalipuram and many more posts.. stay tuned. Like my Facebook page, follow me on Insta. Subscribe for regular updates.

Hotel Willow Hill, Ooty

Ooty left me with some very wonderful memories. This hotel willow hill is part of it. When i was browsing through all the hotels, this one got my attention instantly.   It looked like those hotels which I used to see in old movies shot on hill stations.  Seeing that even reviews were good, I opted for it.

willow hill

My experience with the willow hill, Ooty-

willow hillwillow hill

We faced some problem in reaching the hotel as it was in some distant location and our driver was unaware of it. We could reach with help of the staff. We were surprised to find one telugu speaking person in the staff who was very helpful throughout our stay. The staff also helped us in getting a bike for rent and one person even gave me his helmet for 3 days.

The hotel rooms were built in the cabin style with wood covering normal cement walls. That gave me a very good cozy feel.  The interiors were also matchy with the English cabin theme with dim lighting and high cushion chairs.

willow hill

The room had a  huge glass window with  a garden and valley view.  We used to see staring out of the window drinking steamy coffee and talking about all the rubbish in the world for hours. The bathroom was also big enough to have a good time bathing.

They have a big, pretty garden which was in bloom when we visited. There was also a small children’s play area which we used shamelessly.

willow hillwillow hill

As it is in south India and we too only eat south Indian food, we liked the food. We had plenty of coffee. Actually we were forced to, because of the temperature.

So, as a whole I loveeeee this hotel and i have recommended this to many already.

 

My rating for The willow hill, Ooty is….

Location               4.7/5,

Amenities             4/5,

Service quality      4/5,

Cleanliness           4.5/5,

Food                   4/5,

Overall               4.5/5

Stay tuned for next reviews and posts.

Kindly like my facebook page, Follow me on Instagram, subscribe for newsletter

 

 

Gangaikonda cholapuram: Photo essaay on an ancient and amazing temple.

Gangaikonda cholapuram is an ancient Chola temple located in Tamilnadu which has been recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site as a group of  “Great living Chola temples” . To know more about it, read my article in Safari plus here.

Magnificient temple which catches your eye from the distance.
Tall and heavy sculpture at the entrance
Tall and heavy sculpture at the entrance
The grand Nandi statue
The grand Nandi statue
185ft Vimana
185ft Vimana

Gangaikonda cholapuram

Me eating, see how small I look with the statue behind
Me eating, see how small I look with the statue behind
Sculpture with very intricate craft work
Sculpture with very intricate craft work

Gangaikonda cholapuramentrance from the side

Unknown inscriptions
Unknown inscriptions
Small shrine on side
Small shrine on side
Mandapa on one side
Mandapa on one side

Gangaikonda cholapuramGangaikonda cholapuram

Excavated sulptures
Excavated sculptures

Gangaikonda Cholapuram

From behind
From behind
Gnana Saraswathi Devi
Gnana Saraswathi Devi

Hope you like my post. If you do, comment and subscribe.

Like my Facebook page, follow me on Instagram and twitter.