Day 25- Salem
The women drove to the last and final leg of their journey, the fifth and southern-most state of India- Tamil Nadu. The beautiful highways of Karnataka gave way to even better expressways of Tamil Nadu as they drove towards Salem, from Bengaluru via NH7.
They reached the hotel, Windsor Castle, in Salem amidst much hullabaloo. No, no- there was no chaos situation to welcome them but a cheery family crowd of locals at the hotel’s swimming pool on a hot Sunday afternoon..
and our ladies had a sumptuous lunch of local delicacies, soaked up the sun, alongwith some vintage charm that the hotel offered.
They stepped out in the evening to visit the Raghunath temple.
The moment the trio had entered the city, they were enveloped by the fragrance of jasmine flowers, almost every lady they crossed on the roads had her hair decked up with these white beauties. And our ladies couldn’t resist and gave in to the temptation.. decking up with a string of their own…
Salem is a major centre for textile mills and steel which makes the market quite alluring for buyers and tourists equally. However, our ladies had different plans. They skipped shopping in this city, had a light dinner in their own mobile kitchen and prepared for their next station the next day.
Day 26- Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) – The Town of Temples
They woke up the next morning to find a lavish buffet laid out for them with all kinds of delicacies; continental, south Indian, north Indian, fresh fruits- juices!! After so many days of awful breakfast or a quick bite in the car, this felt like ‘heaven’ and they relished each and every ‘bite’ of it!
With their appetite well satiated for the day, and the car tank full- they drove on..
with bikers racing them on the highway…
The ladies crossed the bridge over Kaveri river as they entered the city..
Once the temperature dipped in the evening they took a rick to visit the famous Rockfort Temple. However, they preferred to save up their energy for last few days and resisted the arduous climb to the temple.
While meandering down the by-lanes, they saw each and every person carrying bags of this famous retail clothes shop- ‘Sarathas‘ and in no time they too walked out with their own bag full of merchandise..
From the base of Rockfort temple, they moved towards Srirangam or Rangaswamy temple, where Lord Vishnu rests in a reclining position, built on an island in Kaveri river.
The temple is enclosed by 7 concentric walls with a total length of 32,592 feet or over six miles. This temple has 21 gopurams (towers), 39 pavilions, fifty shrines, Ayiram kaal mandapam (a hall of 1000 pillars) and several small water bodies inside.
Built across an area of 15.6 acres, the temple boasts of being one of the largest Hindu temple structures in India, contending with Akshardham temple (Delhi) and Meenakshi temple (Madurai). One of its many gopurams intricately done in Dravidian architecture-
Another temple tower before the reached the main hall-
The thousand- pillared hall-
While they waited for the doors to garbha-griha to be opened-
After the darshanam, they reached back to the hotel, all excited and enthused to drive to the final destination of their journey, the next morning.