My routines on Sunday is always juggling between being a clean freak or getting way too lazy there is no in-between. So when I signed up for a cuddalore trip I thought it’s just one Sunday being productive. And I use the word productive because we had to be on the bus by 4.30 AM.
I could hardly fall asleep because of the mundane thoughts in my head about why had chosen this over my extended hours of sleep or endless day of doing nothing. Sure, being home is awesome laze around in PJ’s read a book, watch a movie but I had chosen to spend this day productively with a lot of work the following day.
Once I was on the bus everything was alright, I had carried two books an MP3 player and with that, my entertainment was sorted. Once we were around ECR we stopped at a restaurant only to savor soft idly’s, crispy vadas and dosas with a dollop of ghee.
After a heavy breakfast, the bus moved through narrow lanes, no buildings in sight and pastures of greenery and after a few hours I couldn’t keep my eyes off the road. We had entered Cuddalore and the only time I heard about Cuddalore was when I was in school about how it was affected by the aftermath of Tsunami.
Green pastures, endless skies, and breathtaking views. The farmers were out early plowing their fields, we passed a canopy of trees and views and finally to halt at a main road in the Chidambaram town. The roads were filled with hawkers selling incense sticks, flowers, and earthen lanterns. With the whiff of the incense sticks and the voices from a blaring speaker that were perhaps chanting a mantra, we had Chidambaram Temple first on our list of things.
THE CHIDAMBARAM TEMPLE
Nataraja or Chidambaram Temple was built in the 10th century, dedicated to Shiva, as the lord of Dance. The entire temple symbolizes the theme of arts, dance and the connection with spirituality. Intricate work pours out throughout the temple from the stone carved pillars to the endless paintings done with natural dyes on the ceilings. I was told that this was the only temple where the deity Shiva is also seen as Nataraja.
After the gaping visit to the temple, we walked further to sample the paneer soda, which had the subtle aroma and the sweet taste while others sipped on their filter coffee.
BOATING AT PICHAVARAM
The next stop was at Pichavaram, which is the worlds 2nd largest mangrove forests. The trees are deeply rooted in a few feet of water and there are more than 400 routes available for boating. You could easily spot birds if you go early morning via a boat. We hopped on to a boat leading us into very narrow water lanes where most of us either had to bend in our seats because of the branches, while the sun played hide and seek. This boating ride was a lot of fun and a quiet time with nature.
Rock Beach, Pudhucherry
We were a bit tired but not so much so we ended up also visiting the rock beach at Pondycherry, we spent quite a while at the seashore at around 3pm and then decided to head back home and also keep a lookout for restaurants serving north Indian meals at around 5pm which was again impossible and that’s a story for a different day. But overall not only did I have fun, I also got a good dose of architechture and nature all combined in a power-packed Sunday.