India Trip Day 1

August 3rd, 2009 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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This is the first part of a 29-part series on the recent trip to India. One part for each day, plus a summary at the end (when i finally get to that point! 🙂 ). Anyways, some of the postings will have photos and/or videos while others just text.  I need to clarify some things as well:

1. The comments/observations/views are based on Then’s and my own understanding, plus from talking to people like the tourist guides, tour driver, and few people on the streets. Its not meant to represent any particular groups/thinking either in Malaysia or India.

2. The bulk of tour related information stated in the series of postings will most likely change due to infrastructure development, currency exchange rates, new rules and regulations in India, and many other foreseeable and unforeseeable factors.

3. The photos and videos are taken with permission (most of the temples require payment to bring camera/video – all receipts are being kept for record purposes) unless stated otherwise.

Ok…here we go:

The following are events that took place on 4th July 2009.

After nearly three months of planning, we finally arrived at the day where we leave for Chennai on our pilgrimage-cum-vacation trip. Its been few years since we left for overseas trip, so the excitement and trepidation was obvious. Since April, we were busy surfing the Internet on temples and interesting places, charting routes on Google Earth, estimating the budget, flight ticket comparison, surveying tour companies and packing stuff. Even though the planning could have been better, it did help a lot in making the trip a reality.

We took MAS from KLIA to Chennai. on Saturday night,4th July. Met Samy Vellu at the waiting area just before boarding the plane. Plane took off about 9.30pm local time and arrived in Chennai 3 hours and 10 minutes later. Rajini’s Kuselan movie was shown on board. It was quiet trip, but marred by the less than ordinary service by the flight attendants. They forgot to serve our dinner! We had to wait a good 10 minutes after everyone else on the flight got their meals.  There was a bit of turbulence towards the end, but nothing worrying.

Chennai Airport was a bit old, unlike KL. Then said she there’s was a kind of smell at certain places in the airport. There were checks for the AH1N1 flu as we exited.. It was a bit strange seeing Tamil language everywhere, plus whole lot of Indians, Tamils especially. The immigration guy asked if I’m coming for business, whether have friends here or not etc., before allowing me to pass. We waited few minutes to collect the luggage and made our way to the exit.

There was a big crowd waiting, numbering more than 150 people, eagerly looking out for their family members, friends, or customers. Managed to find our agent, Kumaravel easily, as he was holding out my name in BOLD! The was a slight drizzle in Chennai despite the summer heat during the day,  and we just walked to the car. It was an Ambassador, 2003 or 2005 version.

It took a 20 minutes drive to our accommodation for the night. It was a house converted into a guest house called Padmaja Nilayam, located in Arumbakkam. Checked in, arranged things and then took a nap. As advised by our guide-cum-driver, we decided to start the tour at 7.30am the next day.

No photos today as it was near midnight and quite tiring. Next posting will be on Day 2.


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