Friday, June 19, 2009

Thiruparrap Water Falls

After the bridge we needed to cool off from the heat so we went to Thiruparrap Water Falls. I was there 7 years ago and we had the place almost to ourselves but we weren't so lucky this year. It was extremely crowded but Devin and Naomi still managed to squeeze in a shower under the falls

Naomi and Devin enjoying the water...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mathur Bridge Aqueduct

The Mathur Aqueduct is one of the longest and highest aqueducts in South Asia and it is popular tourist spot. It's quite close to our village so we took a day trip to see it...

As you can see in the next 2 pictures, it's a walking bridge and I’m not going to lie it was a bit scary to walk across. Do NOT attempt the walk across if you're afraid of heights.

You can either walk across the bridge or take those long stairs down

The views are just stunning and so so green from the bridge

Enjoying it...

After walking across the bridge we decided to walk the steps back up... it's the only exercise we got ;-)

Ready for the next stop on our day trip... stay tuned :-)

Schindram Temple

Another attraction very close to our village is Suchindram Temple. It's not very clear when this temple was built but most say it was between the 17th and 18th centuries. We had a great tour guide that showed us the many statues housed inside of Hindu gods and stone musical pillars. We were not allowed to take our cameras inside the temple which is unfortunate because the stone workmanship was just brilliant & amazing to see. Another interesting fact, shoes needed to be removed and the men had to take of their shirts to enter.

as with everywhere else... fresh yummy food can always be found right outside

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day trip to Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari is located at the southernmost tip of Indian, it is also know by its former name Cape Comorin. It’s about 13 miles from my village so we took a day trip to see some memorials. It lies at the meeting point of three bodies of water: the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.

As with everywhere else in South India you see fresh fruit stands EVERYWHERE!!
A typical spice shop... all the spices are so fresh
We needed to take a boat to see our first memorial... Devin showing us the way
It's extremely sunny and hot so hats are a must! You can buy them locally for less than a dollar--stylish, aren't they?

Vivekananda Rock Memorial-a sacred monument and popular tourist attraction that we took the boat ride to. The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 meters off mainland India's southernmost tip. It’s in honor of the visit of the great spiritual teacher Swami Vivekananda. He swam to this rock and meditated about the past, present and future of India. It is said that he attained enlightenment on the rock, and then became a reformer and philosopher.
After the boat ride we got some local sodas... yum!! I already miss the Limca
Gandhi Memorial-ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were kept here as well as other locations all over the country and the world
View of the marketplace from the tip of the Ghandi Memorial
Yummy!! Fried goodness right on the street
The fried onion tastes very much like a bloomin' onion according to Devin I stuck to the fried chilies--very spicy!!
Elephants walking along the streets are not all that uncommon

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kovalam Beach in Kerala

About 1 hour away from our village is Kovalam Beach. We decided to spend 2 days in a hotel there and take in the beach. Our hotel is right on the beach and the cost is a just $35--can't get a better bargain than that :)

Our hotel--Hotel Sea Face... right beyond that is the ocean!!
A statue of the god Shiva
Fresh fruits are always available everywhere you look in India
Building sandcastles Naomi with her Uncle Lee and Paulette
Swinging on the swing right on our room balcony overlooking the ocean... so relaxing!!

Some pictures of the light house and the beach

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My brother's engagement party

One of the reasons for our trip to India was my brothers engagement party. In India the engagement can be almost as big and grad as the wedding itself

Paulette getting ready--a beautician helps with hair, wrapping the sari & the jewelry
Jasmine flowers in the hair is an absolute must at any party

My brother and Devin in Indian Suits
Naomi, Devin and I all ready for the party
My family
Cooks that cooked food for over 1000 guests

Food is cooked outside in huge vats over fire
We eat on banana leaves not plates... kinda like paper plates :)

Village of Attoor... my hometown

We flew from Mumbai to Trivandrum and then drove 2 hours to my village Attoor. I haven’t updated in a couple of days because I didn’t have access to the internet in the village. Right now I’m blogging from a hotel in Kovalam, Kerala where we’re spending a couple of days taking in the beach.

My parents house in Attoor

My grandfather's house
Driving on these tiny tiny roads can be a bit scary but as you can see, they make it work
Unlike North India, South India (Karela and Tamil Nadu) is very tropical and everywhere you look you see green
A typical store you see everywhere while you’re driving or walking around… they sell coffee fruit drinks, sodas and local fresh fruits
small shops along the roads that sell deep fried good like banana fritters… yummy
This is our compost/trash pile in our back yard. In villages we have to dispose trash ourselves so most homes will have this… just a hole in the ground for trash
We also have to get our own drinking water so most home will have a well
No store to buy milk--the milkman comes by on his scooter 2 times a day