Monday, October 29, 2007

Kodaikanal - Day Out

I call this - Superman's view - Imagine flying on top of the clouds ;-)
Kodaikanal stands in a 2,195 m (7,202 ft) high basin at the southern edge of the central part of the Palani Hills in the Western Ghats.

It's lonely @ the top

Monkeys @ the edge of suicide point

The valley below

Waterfalls down the hillside

moving further down

till it becomes a small stream

A Pine Tree forest

View Larger Map

Kodai Lake

One of the main attractions for the tourists of Kodaikanal is the Kodai lake which is at a distance of 3kms from the bus stand. In 1863, Vera Levinge, a former District Collector of Madurai settled in Kodaikanal after his retirement.

He was the man of resource and creative ideas for this lake. By spending his own money he converted the marshy land with several streams of lake by constructing a strong bund and brought boats from Tuticorin.

The lake is situated at 10 deg 14' n latitude and 77 deg 28' longitude at an elevation of 2285m above sea level and it looks magnificent with star shaped glittering water, in the midst of evergreen lush slopes. The hills receive the rainfall during North-East Monsoon months of October, November and December.

The lake is spread over 60 acres and surrounded by fine tarred road of 5 kms length, the maximum depth in 1962 was 11.5m but it is now about 9m due to siltation. The average depth is 3.0m.

It's Cold at Night

Campfire @ making merry :-)

Kodai Town

on the way to Kodai

Kodai International School

The Centre of the Town
Kodaikanal was established by American missionaries around 1845, as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains.

View from our Resort

Flowers of Kodaikanal

the bee sucking it's nectar

Sad to say, I don't think the photos do true justice to the beautiful flowers on the hillside.

Wall Painting in Trichy

Some pictures of rural tamil nadu taken taken from the wall of a Restaurant

Monday, October 15, 2007

Spicer College Cultural Day 2007

Spicer Cultural Emphasis day is a day when all the students from all over India and the world over showcase their cultural dance as well as their food. It's a wonderful time to experience different culture and learn more about different people.

Mizo Cheraw Dance

Garo Dance

African Skit

Graceful Malaysian Dance

Boisterous Punjabi Bhangra

Kerala Festival Dance

Manipur/ Nagaland Dance

Bihari/ Jharkand Dance

Burmese Dance

Telegu Dance

Tamil Festival Dance

Photos courtesty of Jervis Lalramnghaka

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Free Burma

My heart goes out to the Burmese people - from my interactions with them - they have told me of the many hardship that they have to go through like

"It's believed now that the Junta or the Myanmar Govt during the Protest was blaming that the firing of the monks was done by the Chin Battalion ( Chin people are an ethnic tribal minority in the western part of Burma) trying to incite a communal problem between the majority speaking burman people and the Chin."

Forced labor- building roads, railway lines (aka death railway) with pick and spades without any renumeration and their own home cooked food.
Superstition - lots of superstition abound, there's no free knowledge, no free press and people are dirt poor.
But then there are also people who are in favor of the Junta or the Generals as they are known saying that if Burma (Myanmar) were to have democracy- the country would split up , they too have their share of insurgents- the Karen people being the most well known, the Chin could be another. Hence, their support for the Generals out of fear of fragmentation of the country, this could be also one of the reasons that India is not actively supporting the Democracy movement in Burma but is more into building a relationship with the Generals so that the Insurgency in Northeast can be curbed down , many of the Insurgent groups in Northeast ( NSCN-IM, ULFA, MPLF) have camps in Burma, with the probable coming of Democracy, there is a chance that there could be chaos and Balkanization of Burma, leading to Independent states which could further fuel the insurgent movement in India as many of the tribes speaking the same language live on both sides of the border between Burma and India.

Free Burma!


Aizawl, Oct 2: The Mizoram for Democracy in Burma today organized a march rally for democracy in Burma in which hundreds of citizens participated in the rally, marching for the restoration of democracy and end of violence in Burma.

Resolutions made at the march rally:

We, the people assembled in favor of democracy in Burma on October 2, 2007 in Aizawl:

1. Whole heartedly support the peaceful demonstrators for the restoration of democracy in Burma.

2. Strongly condemn the military junta in Burma for its attempt to suppress innocent civilians and monks, who are trying to restore democracy, with great impunity.

3. Agree that restoration of democracy in Burma is the only solution to human rights violation in that country.

4. Demand that India, being the largest democracy in the world, must take strong initiative action for the restoration of democracy in her neighbouring country, i.e. Burma.

5. Plead that India must establish commercial relationship with Burma only when democracy is restored in the country.

6. Demand that Indian Embassy in Yangon must be opened for the safety of the lives of democratic peace demonstrators.

7. Insist that UN envoy and rapporteur should not only try to negotiate with military authorities, but also with the leaders of various ethnic nationalities in Burma.

8. Understand the problems of supporters for restoration of democracy in Burma and if they are forcibly suppressed by the military junta, agree to provide hospitality to those who might come to Mizoram for physical safety.