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A little description of a travel from Coimbatore via Mettupalayam to Ooty… with the famous “blue mountain railways”- toytrain, the “Nilgiri Express” or “Nilgiri Mountain Railway”.

It was actually quite a nice day, this 9th of August 2008. Well, or I guessed it would be - when I got up at four (yes, AM!) to pack all my crap together and take a nice relaxing hot shower that nearly sent me back to bed…. but, well, the day promised to be quite interesting, so I could not just hang around in a hotel room in boooooring Coimbatore. And actually the only reason that I came to this nothing-of-interest place was - the Nilgiri express.

Nilgiri express Mettupalayam Ooty

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Here they are, a few pictures of Mysore palace - at night. Well, at a special night, because only on sundays and holidays the palace in illuminated at night - for one and a half hours or so. 5000 light bulbs burn and well, attract tourists. And somehow Mysore seems to like it’s tourist (which is a rarity for Indian cities!) - and therefore the entrance is free at illumination-time. And actually it is always to this area (the outside), you just have to pay fees to enter the palace itself (as a foreigner 100rps, 1,70Euro but loads of money for here (India)!). And yeah, it’s worth it. Somehow.

But here, just some pictures of Mysore palace at night :)

Mysore palace at night

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Does pity actually exist to help? Or just: to hurt?

If you feel pity, then it is only hurting - you! The helping starts only when you start action. But then, why do we feel pity so many times when there is no way to help? Or is there always a way and we are just not courageous enough to take it?

And if there is more pity in the world. If more people feel pity. Will the world become a better place? Or will it be worse, with everybody being just depressed?

And why did pity survive the evolution? Will pity for one’s suffering actually help you, too? Or did this just work, back then, when we were living in small groups?

somebody

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Somehow I had to go to Coimbatore. It’s nearly the only way to get to the famous “toytrain” up the Indian “ghats”. The “ghats” is a stripe of mountains in South India, about at the borderline between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. And Coimbatore, by the way, is just 12 km away from Kerala, so right at the border. And somehow the guide describes it as “a commercial city” and “a travelers hub”. With not a single (!) attraction that travelers could be interested to see… Continue Reading »

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Somehow Trichy didn’t like me and therefore I thought I would not like Trichy. And no, the reason is not the totally unspeakable and totally not-used actual name of Tiruchirappalli.

The reason is more that somehow all hotels seemed to be full. I called nearly all those that were mentioned in my guides - one day in advance - and found them to be full. For no apparent reason that they would tell me. And until that time I had learned: In India, if you don’t have a guide-recommended clean hotel beforehand - you will end up in a) a dirty smelly mosquito-polluted room with only cold water or b) in one of those overpriced “business class” hotels that always have free rooms because for offering TV and cleanliness they just charge at least five times the appropriate amount (appropriate for India, btw. - it’s still cheap for European pricelevels..).

Trichy Ranganathaswamy temple

Because of that, and through the guide-descriptions I guessed that Trichy would not be a place that I could ever like Continue Reading »

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Are the Hindus right - and who we are (in the last life) decides where we are born?

Or is it the other way - where we are born decides who we are?

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Hola.. just added some more pics, mostly of Ooty and some of Mysore - still not the most actual ones (and well, since then I have at least a thousand new ones…) but well, we’re getting closer… to the last ones :D

See here for the whole bunch and also the full versions…

or click “continue reading” for a few thumbs (just Ooty):

Nilgiri Express

The Nilgiri Express in Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu, India

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Somehow, Indians seem to love dinosaurs. But not the big nice ones or skeletons - but statues of big evil-looking green tyrannosaurus rex!

That’s what I thought when I accidentally walked into Thanjavur’s “Sivaganga park” - a theme park built next to the big temple’s Sivaganga (huge watertank, formerly used by pilgrims to wash off their sins, now by tourists to take a pedal boat tour) - and having no real theme. Apart from the pedal boats in the Sivaganga there is actually nothing that is related to the tank… well, you can take a toytrain ride around the park (also it was inactive when I came), you can watch the rabbits, foxes or guinea pigs in their respective cages, or - just hang around, watching the inactive fountains, like most Indians do… but actually, if you just want a nice relaxing time out, maybe the park can be interesting. But certainly not on weekends…

Yesyes, ok, the temple. That’s where I wanted to go, but somehow I just took the right turn… anyway,  the Brihadishwara temple is really great! It’s a huge huge complex, with even huger Gopuras (entry-towers outside) but the hugest of all is the central inner sanctum itself. It’s still in use, but somehow not as much as most other temples I’ve visited - there are nearly as many tourists as pilgrims in the temple..

Brihadishwara temple Thanjavur at night

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Ok, this time I will really make it short for not torturing everybody out there… cause I’m already somewhere else and I lost my memory somewhere in the mountains…

After Puducherry I took an early morning (11AM :D ) bus to Chidambaram, about two hours later the conductor suddenly shaked me and made clear that I would have to get off - we arrived in Chidambaram but somehow the bus had to move on - so within two seconds I managed to grab all my spread stuff and bag and jumped out when the bus started…

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Why is there no equality? Is it because we don’t want it, we don’t support it, or is it just impossible? Are all those dreams of equality just that - dreams?

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