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A spiritual journey on my motorcycle

Road trip to the temple cities of Madurai and Trichy from Chennai

THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY ON MY MOTORCYCLE

When I feel annoyed with my hectic lifestyle and the same old routine. I take a break and head out for a motorbike journey where I can re-energize my body and mind.

I K.Muralikrishna (35) a passionate biker, Started my passion from the age of 20 by doing solo rides, Charity rides, group rides with my biking brotherhood and finally now it’s time for a Family ride with my Wife.

My wife and I recently returned from a last-minute 975 Km 2 day’s road trip on 29th & 30th July 2017. We hopped in My Bike Yamaha Fazer and headed to the temple cities of Madurai and Trichy in Tamil Nadu from Villivakkam Chennai, as my wife is a big devotee of Goddesses.

This trip is not only special for covering all those beautiful places on my bike but it was special for another reason! As we were able to visit Alagar Kovil Madurai, Pazhamudircholai temple, Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai, Uchi Pillaiyar Temple Trichy and finally Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam.

We started our journey on 29 July 2017 morning 6 Am after doing all the late night preparations for the trip and fuelled the bike with 750 Rs at HP Company owned bunk at Mogappair before starting. A Cloudy and breezy day offered us a wonderful drive.

1st Pit Halt: Melmaruvathur

It took us around 2 hours (110Km) to reach Melmaruvathur from Villivakkam Chennai and the roads were full of traffic. Even our fazer was quite comfortable with a speed of 105-115!

2nd Pit Halt: Ulundurpet

The next halt was at Ulundurpet which was around 120Km from Melmaruvathur which took us another 2 hr. This halt was little long as we completed our Home made breakfast, the south Indian special mini idlis with coconut chutney.

3rd Pit Halt: Perambalur

It took us around 1:30 hrs to cross Perambalur which was around 80km. we were forced to stop as it was raining heavily. So packed ourselves and luggage with rain gear.

4th Pit Halt: Viralimalai

It took us around 2 hours to reach Viralimalai which was 92 Km from Perambalur. Where we had our homemade lunch and refilled the fuel for 770Rs at Reliance petrol bunk.

5th Pit Halt: Alagar Kovil

It was around 95 Km which took us around 1:40 Min, to reach Alagar temple you should take NH 32 for 75 Km to Melur from Viralimalai and take right turn and head 20Km to reach Temple. There are 2 temples, Alagarkoil at downhill and Pazhamudircholai temple is 15 min drive uphill. At the entrance of the hill there is a toll for vehicles, Bus service and Cloak room.

Pazhamudircholai is a small temple with Valli, Deivayanai, and Lord Muruga in a separate shrine. About 600mts up from the temple there is natural spring. When you enter Alagar temple which is dedicated to lord Vishnu there is a huge door and for touching it they charge 10Rs. One can find the main entrance at the right side of the huge door.

6th Pit Halt: Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai

From Alagarkoil it’s around 25Km to Meenakshi Temple which took us around 50 min. After reaching there we parked our vehicle in front of west gate and deposited our luggage and footwear in the temple Counter.

This is a beautiful historic temple, which reveals the architectural skill of ancient Indians. There are many gopurams but the tallest of all is the famous southern gopuram which is over 170 ft. Here we worshiped Meeanakshi Amman first and then Lord Sundareswarar.

The tall sculpture of Lord Ganesha carved of single stone is called Mukkurni Vinayakar. In front of Meenakshi shrine is the Ponthamaraikulam (golden lotus tank),Inside the temple we saw lord Natarajar dancing with right leg up so the same phenomenon we have noticed on the south gopuram where we found two Natarajar statues dancing one with left leg raised and the other with right leg raised. All other places His left leg will be up. Photography is not allowed inside the temple but you can take pictures with mobile phone in the outside praharam and thousand pillar hall. Temple timings 5Am – 12.30Pm and 4Pm – 10Pm. Finally we came out around 8.30Pm and collected our luggage and footwear which will remain open till 9.30Pm.

Now it’s time to get relaxed, so booked a room in Hotel Padmam @ 890Rs. It is very near to railway station, bus stand, as well as meenakshi temple, overall its decent and good hotel. We had a light Tiffin near temple; the taste was good at nominal cost.

The next day we woke up by 5am and planned to visit the temple again. Once again we had a very pleasant darshan and came out around 8am. After coming out we had our breakfast then checked out from hotel, with full energy started our ride again.

Day 2-1st Pit Halt: Uchi Pillaiyar Temple Trichy:

The distance of 140 km took us 2.30Min; finally reached the temple by 12pm. Near the temple we parked our vehicle opposite to a flower shop and deposited our luggage’s, footwear and helmets, Also purchased Pooja items for archana.

Rock Fort has 2 Temples. One is the Thayumanasamy Temple which is at the lower level. Pregnant woman who wish to have normal delivery offer Bananas at the temple after getting the baby delivered normally. The top of the rock is Uchipillayar Temple (Lord Ganesh). From the top you can view the Trichy city and the Temple Towers of Sri Rangam. The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 08.00 P.m.

Day 2-2nd Pit Halt: Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam

It’s Just 5 Km to Sri Rangam from Rock Fort temple which took 30min to travel inside city. After reaching the temple by 1:30pm we came to know that Darshan will be stopped from 1.30 Pm to 3 pm. So we deposited our luggages, footwear and helmets in cloakroom and entered the temple. Where we bought the Rs 50 ticket for my camera. After eating different verities of temple prasadam we entered the darshan line. The temple closes at times during the day and has a huge following of vaishnavites. So be prepared to stand for some time in the queue to have free darshan. It took 2.30 hours for Darshan. If you like to have quick darshan you have to buy tickets for Rs.50/250 per person at the counter near main entrance.

This is the place where Famous Alwar Sri Ramanujar lived and worshipped lord Vishnu in the form of Ranganatha Swamy along with Andalamma. Lord Vishnu is in sleeping posture and the diety is so big. A section of the temple has a mandapam with nicely crafted 1000 pillars. One should visit this temple atleast once in a lifetime.

Final stretch:

Due to small miscalculation in the temple timings we were behind schedule by 4hrs. Now it’s time to head back to Chennai which was around 330 Km and the time was 5:30 Pm. So got geared up for a ride, after taking few clicks and got freshened up in restrooms which was available near the entrance but with poor sanitation. In 4 Kms on the way to highway we filled up the fuel for another Rs 700 at Bp bunk. Suddenly I was able to hear some annoying sound from my bike, so took my tools out and the issue was fixed which delayed us by another 20 min. As the day light was going down, I planned to take a long stretch without any breaks. Which will help me to cover maximum distance before the sunset and avoid opposite headlights hitting my eyes. Finally after all the hurdles started my ride and hit the road to the max. My beast YamahaFazer never let me down as the max speed I was able to drag was 115-120Km/h with the entire luggage and pillion rider.

After drag race for 150Kms in 2 Hr finally reached Villupuram and the day light was completely down. Took a small Tea break and started again, this time kept the speedometer at 90-100 Km/h and travelled a distance of 110 Kms in 2 Hr and reached Chengalpattu. We took a long break at Toll as we have already set our mind to reach home directly without any pit halts after this break. This was our final pit halt so took some photography, with this our short trip come to an end. Now it’s time to say goodbye to the bike trip to temple towns and started on our final lap to home.

Enjoyed the peaceful drive and scenic beauty on the go. Driving along, halting as we please and cherishing all the wonderful memories over the last two days. This exciting road trip is sure to give us memories that will last a lifetime and joys that we will keep recalling throughout the years.

Finding My Own Way-Road Never Ends

K.Muralikrishna

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