Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Festival & Heritage trip to Tamilnadu, South India

Hi Friends,

I'm back from vacation after a month.. Ya, its indeed a long time. But went like just a sweet week. I had a great time with my family and relatives. I actually planned this trip for our major festival 'Pongal' which was on January 14th.

PONGAL is a South Indian Festival of Rice. In india, as the major component of food is Rice, we devote this day for thanking God by making sweet pongal(made with freshly harvested rice). Its a four day festival with lots of joyful rituals.

The first day, On jan 13th - Boghi - We dispose all the old things for beginning a new year. Literally meaning to leave the old things behind for a new scope and living.

The second day, On jan 14th - Pongal - We make sweet pongal, and offer to gods with poojas and prayers with Karumbu(Sugar cane).

The third day - On Jan 15th - Kanni pongal - This is the fun part, we would mix turmeric powder in a big tub of water and pour on each other and all whoever gets caught. Originally For young girls, this was a way of expressing their interest on young men. They used to pour this water on whomever they chose to marry. Gradually, everyone started having fun.

The last day - Maatu pongal( Cow pongal) - A day for the Cow - regarded as sacred God for Hindus. On this day, we decorate them with new bells, paint their horns and put thilaga and make them ready for the cow race.

Now in Villages all the above rituals and fun continues. But as we live in city, its not possible, so usually we make pongal, pray and offer to gods and munch with sugarcane enjoy with family.

We went to our native Tamilnadu, South India. There I had indeed a great time with all the family members joined together.


We made burner in traditional style with bricks and moulding them with red clay. All done manually.

The big pongal pot and put the rice and jaggery, finished with cashews and raisins. It was a great fun and happiness.


I with my family made a trip to Mahabalipuram, the heritage city. a place with marvellous rock carvings, statues and has a rich history behind.


A glimpse of the village temple surronded by Casurina plantations.

There was a pond by the side of the temple, with a banyan tree. Nature's beauty was clearly evident by that sight.

The famous 'ONE ROCK CARVINGS' :

These are carved in a single rock. A everlasting and marvellous treasure is preserved as our national heritage.


This temple is the main attraction of the heritage city, lots of people from different parts of the world come to take a glimpse of the beautiful architecture of the rock carvings here.
Due to the recent natural calamity, Tsunami, the carvings are starting to go unshape. Climatic changes too contribute to this change and degradation of reserve.

Also some new treasures were excavated by the Archealogical department recently. They were indeed lovely, an animal looks like a boar statue, and some pond-like structure.

Hope you all enjoyed a quick small tour.. See you all in my journey to world treat in the next post..!

Enjoy blogging!! :)


vidhas said...

Sangi, enjoyed reading. Photos are very nice. You Know i was born in
Thanjavur, my mom's place is that only.

Anonymous said...

Mahabalipuram is a treasure house of ancient Tamil art, culture, civilization, & history. A coastal city, Mahabalipuram has an immense place of importance in Tamil history and mythology. This beautiful coastal city of Tamil Nadu is ordained with a number of temples and places of archeological importance. It is not surprising therefore, that because of the overabundance of these places Mahabalipuram is often referred to as a legacy in stone. The unique instances of art, culture and architecture that has been preserved by the kings of the then Pallava dynasty proves to be a delight to the eye even today and it is not for nothing that Mahabalipuram is known as an “open air museum”. The richness of Mahabalipuram has made it one of the most favorite tourist places of South India. Hotels in Mahabalipuram are for tourists from different walks of life. As the place is more of a tourist destination rather than a business one, there are many leisure hotels and budget hotels in Mahabalipuram.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home. What a wonderful holiday for you and your family. I enjoyed the explanation of Pongal. I'd never heard of it before. Your pictures are fascinating too.

Swapna Pravin said...

Sanghi really wonderful photos. That makes me remember my younger days. Lovely...

Rachel Cotterill said...

Just had time to read about your trip :) It sounds amazing - but what a responsibility that you had to make the pongal for everyone!

vidhas said...

Sangi, Kindly pick up your Award Dear ;-D

Sanghi said...

Thanks a lot friends for reading my pongal story. I'm really happy..:)
Vidhas its nice to hear you were born in Thanjavur. Thanks a lot for the lovely awards..!
Martin, thanks for dropping by and the useful information on Mahabalipuram.
Thanks Dedene, Swapna, Rachel for ur lovely comments..

Poornima Nair said...

Thats a beautiful write-up...enjoyed reading it...

Ricardo said...

It can't get any more home cooked than that I am sure, very rustic yet quite chique, this is raw cooking, cooking at it's best I would love to go to India and experience just that...well done thx for sharing

Neha said...

Looks you had a nice time, the thali looks so nice n authentic..
All snaps are so nice..

Superchef said...

enjoyed reading your post...got me all nostalgic about pongal celebrations..looks like you had a lovely time!

Vishali said...

Hey Sanghi ....you have posted wonderful snaps from India...I really miss home country.

We are planning to visit India in few months if all goes well :)
and thank you for ur lovely comments yar..

Are you from South India? Bcoz ur name is similar to my surname
Sanghishetty :)


Sanghi said...

Thanks a lot for all your beautiful comments friends.

@ Yes Vaishali I am from South india. thanks for your comments,:)

Gayathri said...

what a posting, reminded me of my home town, thank you.

Glad to welcome you to participate

A_and_N said...

That was a lovely post Sanghi! It really took me down the memory lane. And the Pongal making is as authentic as it could get :)

I was a bit dissppointed with all the 'picmaker pro demo' icons as they couldnt let me enjoy the architecture related pics but i guess taht what you get with the demo version :)

Sanghi said...

Thanks a lot for all ur comments buddies..!

Sanghi said...

Thanks a lot for all ur comments buddies..!

Gayathri said...

Hi sanghi, thanks for visiting my blog, hoping to get entries for the contest..

Lavanya said...

nice blog n pics !!

Priti said...

Looks like you had real fun in Pongal....loved all the pics...and missing Maha very much now...reminding those old days...glad to find you blog dear..and gr8 to know u r in SG too :0-)

♥Rosie♥ said...

This is a beautiful post with beautiful pics - thank you for sharing!

Please call by my blog I have some awards for you ;0)

Rosie x

Dhanya Nambirajan said...

Hi Sanghi,
Thank you for stopping by my blog and for the lovely comment. I really enjoyed the pictures of pongal festival ,you have a pretty cool blog. The pictures looks very nice.

Dhanya said...

Hey I have something for you in my homecooking blog.Please check it out.

Raaga said...

your post took me back to Chennai and Mahabalipuram :)

Suparna said...

Very interesting read and beautiful pics. I've bn staying in Chennai from the past 1 year :) I love Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram. It's the perfect holiday place :) I was awestruck by the Pongal celebration here...ur celebration snaps looks beautiful. cool blog!

Femin Susan said...

hope you enjoyed your trip. I have heard about pongal but didn't know how it's celebrated. Now I got a basic idea about it.

VG said...

Hi Sanghi, thanks for visiting my blog. Great pictures of India. Makes me want to visit!

Sharmi said...

delicious pongal pics Sangi! you sure had so much fun!

Sakshi said...

Loved the pics of the traditional burner..I remember my grandmom getting up in the early morning hrs and giving instructions to the maids to set them up...used to watch that in bewilderment..
Mahabalipuram trip looks so enchanting...Me and my husband had spent a couple of days there years back clicking pics of the village and all.. Hats off to u for maintaining all ur blogs well..

ARUNA said...

Sanghi, u have a nice space here dear......looks like u had a great trip back home! Hey i like the way they make pongal in that big pot......truly divine taste, nothing can beat it. I'm tempted to make pongal now.

Mahabalipuram pics r great. And i sure did enjoy ur quick small tour!

phanitha said...

Hey Sanghi there is an award waiting for you in my blog please collect it.

Jayashree said...

Love the pics of the traditional pongal paanai.


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