Tag Archives: Chennai

Fisherman’s Cove Chennai – A Resort on the Bay of Bengal

Fisherman's Cove Resort Source:  Google Images
Fisherman’s Cove Resort
Source: Google Images

By Lakshmi:

During a trip to India, we wanted to take a break and go to Mahabalipuram and show the kids just an amazingly beautiful place that had withstood the test of time.  So we decided to stay for a couple of days at the Fisherman’s Cove Resort, which is en route to the temples.  I had seen the picture post card idyllic views of this lovely Taj property many times and the idea of staying at a cottage on the beach with a hammock literally outside your front door was perfect.

The minute you enter the tile lined lobby which resembles a giant sunroom with beautiful old world furniture and ceiling fans, you literally are transported a world away from the heat and congestion of Chennai.  We walked across the palm tree filled pool area to our room and were stunned that we were literally on the beach.

Any beach, anywhere in the world just brings a level of contentment to me that few other things do, and this was one of those moments that just made me feel blissful.  The room was spacious and at this point, the hammock on the porch was what we were most attracted to.

It is not an exaggeration to say that except for our sleeping hours, we either sat /walked on the beach or lay on our hammocks reading and watching the sunrise and sunsets.  The tides get pretty dangerous here, and they do warn about swimming at those times.  From the beach, you can see the distant temples of Mahabalipuram (we have featured the temples in a separate post).

During the tsunami several years ago, Fisherman’s Cove suffered extensive damages.  They have remodelled the place significantly and as I walked through the property during a recent visit, everything that took our breath away remains intact.

If you do plan to visit the shore temples of Mahabalipuram or simply want to get away even for a day from Chennai, this property will transport you a world away.

To learn more about Taj’s Fisherman’s Cove property, click here:

http://www.vivantabytaj.com/Fishermans-Cove-Chennai/Overview.html

To learn more about our trip to Mahabalipuram, click here:

http://pauperswithouttravel.com/2012/06/12/mahabalipuram-a-beautiful-day-trip-from-chennai-2/

How to do a day trip to Mahabalipuram from Chennai

By Lakshmi: (Updated Feb, 2016)

When I was a little kid, we lived for a few years in Chennai in southern India.  Every year, for our school’s annual outing, we went to Mahabalipuram, a coastal town about 60 kilometers from Chennai.  My most vivid memories of those trips are just being in awe of the sculptures, the big hunk of rock called the butter ball, the artists chiseling beautiful sculptures from huge blocks of rock and of course the awesome pistachio ice cream that was a much awaited treat at the end of a long summer day.

In the past several years, I have had multiple opportunities to return to this beautiful place.  And while so much of India has changed, Mahabalipuram, much like the sculptures and temples it is famous for, strangely remains untouched with the passage of time.

Mahabalipuram, a group of temples and sanctuaries created by the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th centuries is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The shore temple set against the ocean is a sight to behold and the temples in the form of rathas (chariots) and mandapas (cave sanctuaries) carved with exquisite details including tales from the Mahabharata now remind me of another set of temples so dear to my heart…Angkor.

To appreciate all the wonders of this beautiful location, I would recommend getting an early start from Chennai (hiring a car or taking a tour bus) and spending the day there.  This will not only give you the time to take in the temples and watch the sculptors in action, but also the ability to savor this oceanfront locale.

To learn more about Mahabalipuram, please click here.

http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/mahabalipuram.html

You can find information on tours to Mahabalipuram here.

Tour to Mahabalipuram from Chennai

Traveling with Kids – A Way to Raise Global Citizens

Where do we go next?

By Lakshmi:

If you have not guessed already, I live for my trips.  Since the days we could, my husband and I have always taken whatever points we had, adding on to work or school travel to experience the magic of new places ranging from Paris to Penang, Hawaii to Hong Kong, Singapore to San Diego…..all done on bare minimum budgets, but done nevertheless.

So, when we had kids,  curbing our travel did not even cross our minds.  Instead, a choice to get bumped on a trip to Paris when I was pregnant, resulted in enough airline dollars to subsidize a trip to Amsterdam when our little one was barely five months old.  Several months later, a family wedding found us making a trip to India…with our kid screaming the plane down at landing due to severe ear pain.  That should have taught us a lesson, to maybe wait till the kids were older to take trips.  Instead, we reasoned differently….what is 10 minutes of screaming in a trip that lasted over 18 hours?  Not much, and if that was the worst we had to endure, we would just take our chances.  And off we trotted to destinations near and far, sometimes with incredibly supportive infrastructure and at other times with people glaring us down like we had no business traveling.

Early on, we learned one secret to traveling with kids, travel light, rely on local sources of food and entertainment and do not look like you are taking your kids room on wheels for company.  Sure we had to scramble in the Netherlands for baby formula without reading dutch, find medicine for an ear infection in Phuket  , etc….but the interesting thing is we knew we could manage, the kids could survive and with this confidence we marched on.

Fast forward many years and trips later, and our kids tell us that our biggest gift to them has been the exposure to so much at a young age.   A few years ago, my sixth grader opined happily that she felt good experiencing four great civilizations that were being discussed in history class.  My ninth grader at that time was so deeply touched by her visit to Tibet that it formed the foundation of her college essays many years later.  Besides being the “cool” ones in school because of their travels, the real benefits according to them have been the joys of visiting a new place, learning more about the world around them, appreciating people, foods, languages, signage, ads, cultures and most importantly to have a voice based on experience.  Henry Miller once said, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”   And for the kids, their trips made them view so many things in a new light.

– Roaming freely in Cairo and Alexandria months before the Arab Spring and then seeing all the protests and arrests and deaths on TV hit a new note of reality.

– The ability to tread in the Dalai Lama’s Summer and Winter Palaces as foreigners, and recognizing that the Tibetan leader could not be a visitor to his own homes

– Being on the beaches of Chennai and Phuket months before the Tsunami and knowing first hand of the damaged areas

– Reading about an earthquake in Hawaii, soon after we left….the list could go on and on.

The younger one waits for Time magazine every Saturday to catch up on world events and the older one just like us starts her day with visits to a plethora of websites to get the news of the day from not just the CNN perspective, but a multifaceted one.  Of course, they could have always become curious individuals, but we do believe that the trips that they have taken have promoted a level of growth and maturity that no book or education by itself could provide.

So, our little words of wisdom to parents out there, get out with your kids.  It does not have to be exotic….just some place that is just a tad bit different, with people who bring a new perspective to sow that little seed of curiosity that you can nurture over a lifetime.