Weekend Trip to Karaikudi

I have been planning for a while to visit Sri Karpaga Vinayagar (Pillayarpatti) and hence planned the same for this weekend. Though I had booked Pallavan Express for the up journey, I canceled the same because of the following reasons:

  1. Need to take half a day leave because the train crosses Tambaram at 4 PM
  2. Very early reaching to Karaikudi (mid night) and half night sleep would be spoilt.

Hence I booked an overnight bus (TNSTC-SETC) to Karaikudi. However the 9 PM bus came to CMBT only by 11.30 and when crossing Perungalathur it was well around 2 AM. The estimated reach time as on schedule to Karaikudi was 8 AM but because of the delays it reached by 11 AM. From Karaikudi bus stand I caught a local bus and went to Pillayarpatti. The temple devasthanam had made good arrangements for devotees to take bath behind the temple. After completing the morning (?) duties and finishing the darshan started from there to Kundrakudi. Felt very lucky when a TNSTC bus to Kundrakudi came from near temple so saved a bit of walk to the main road (near arch) bus stand.

When I reached Kundrakudi it was around 3 PM so the temple was closed. So waited for sometime and then when the temple opened started climbing the flight of steps. It was around 140 steps I believe. After completing the darshan at Kundrakudi came down and caught a bus to Karaikudi Old Bus stand from where Sri Koppudai Nayaki temple is walkable (~0.75 KM) After completing the darshan and having some food in a nearby restaurant came to know that there is a mini bus service to railway station at 6.15 PM. Took that bus and reached Railway Gate at around 7 PM. From where maneuvered  through the thick blanket of dark roads (street lights missing) to reach Karaikudi Junction. Our train came at around 8.30 PM (Sethu Express). We boarded the same to reach Tambaram next day morning.

As a good citizen, I also reported to Government of Tamil Nadu to provision a TNSTC bus stand near Pillayarpatti Arch and increase the number of buses between Karaikudi and Pillayapatti. Also requested for streetlights to be provisioned near Karaikudi Junction for the safety of passengers and passerbys on that route.

Weekend Shravanam Pilgrimage to Kumbakonam

This weekend I had taken the scheduled trip (pilgrimage) to Kumbakonam Oppiliappan Temple for Shravanam on 4th December 2016. The train (Mannai Express) dropped me quite early and hence I had the opportunity to get a glimpse of Vishwaroopa darshan also. The Sharavana Deepam was at 11 AM and hence was waiting in the temple itself till then. After darshan completion and lunch in the temple itself started back to the Kumbakonam bus stand. There was funny situations in Kumbakonam bus stand. The folks at TNSTC are not tech-savvy and could not accept mobile tickets. Hence had to visit a nearby browsing center to take a printout of the ticket. Again the conductor tried to change the bus for me but the changed bus was too uncomfortable and since I protested, I got the opportunity to board the same bus which was booked at my desired time. I have submitted a petition to Government of Tamil Nadu vide GOVTN/E/2016/03095.

After a lot of ordeal the bus started at 4.15 PM (15 minutes before Rahu Kalam). It reached Tambaram around 9.30 PM. Only then when booking a Uber did we realize that there was local chaos because of Jayalalithaa related news. Fortunately we reached home in time.