May 17, 2011

The Engineering Marvels - Just 1000yrs old

Had visited Tanjavur Big temple, Gangai Konda Cholapuram & Darasuram; all in the chola belt of tanjavur - kumbakonam, Tamilnadu.

The majestic architectural beauty simply blew me off. Lots have been written abt tanjavur & Rajaraja Cholan , the great king, under whose reign the temple was built. But, you have to visit these places to experience the joy! This time around, we had the rare opportunity to climb up the big vimana & actually see the 1000 yr old paintings, the stone karanams (bharathanatyam - poses: there are 108 karanams, but only 81 was carved), and the hollow space that went right up to the kalasam. The temple was built in the 10th century. If you are a historical novel buff - I would recommend u to read Balakumaran's Udaiyar, a book on how the temple was built & the caste politics of that time.

The son of Rajaraja Cholan, Rajendra Cholan shifted the capital from tanjavur to Gangai-Konda-Cholapuram . He had defeated the kings up there & bought Ganga water to perform abishekam in the temple. This temple looks very similar to the tanjore temple. The vimana is unique, in the sense, the base structure is square, becomes hexagonal & finally becomes a circular top. How difficult it would have been, for the entire structure is of stone! This place has lesser buzz than the tanjore temple, so more peace.

Gangai Konda Cholapuram was the last capital of cholas. Due to the repeated wars with Pandyas the city was completely destroyed & the temple partly destroyed in the late 13th
century. The ASI has done a good job in renovating the compound walls & the other structures. The temple was built in 11th century.

The grandson - RajaRaja II also wanted his share in history, so he went ahead & built a temple in Darasuram which oozes beauty in everynook & corner, every pillar, every step. This is an epitome of skillful craftsmanship. The temple was built in the 12th century.



All these temples come under the "UNESCO - World Heritage Sites - The great Living Chola Temples". Looks like the funds are utilized properly.  All of them have beautiful lawns & proper maintenance. Must visit places, if you are looking to tour Tamilnadu.

May 03, 2011

How to reduce 15 Kgs weight

** Self-Reminder Post! "reduced 15 kgs..can't you knock down 5 kgs again?"**
*** Had posted this in my office blogs, way back in 2007..Its action time again ;-( ***
Mind you..It is almost a self-declared WAR. It tests your physical stamina & also your determination to see it through.

Last March, I was weighing 68kgs, now I am hovering between 53-54kgs…thought it would be beneficial to share my experience. Strict Diet & Exercise are the prime reasons for the change.

1. Morning - brisk walk for 45 min
2. Breakfast – 3Idlies/2 dosas/2 chappatis/ two servings of rice
3. Lunch @ office – 1 chappati 
/ uthappam + 2 servings of poriyal + 1 serving of kootu + 1 cup rasam + one serving of rice with curd + appalam
4. Evening gym – 30 min @ treadmill + 5-10 min of cycling..etc
5. 7 p.m – one cup of milk(half sugar)
6. Dinner – fruit salads (one big apple + one orange + one banana).
7. One cup of milk at night

I was very strict about this schedule for the first month – and THERE WAS NO CHANGE.

Learning: Do not expect drastic changes immediately & lose heart.

I continued to do the same for six months and from the second month onwards there was a gradual decrease in weight. After sometime, I eased my diet a little - fruits were given a farewell.

Fighting obesity is more of a mind game. First, you have to believe you are going to lose weight. Then the toughest part.. start thinking that the fruits dinner is the most royal food that any man can wish for…have this contended feel always.

My goal was to reduce 15kgs, so I was strict about the fruits dinner part, but if your target is much lesser, you can go for your normal dinner. (not the heavier one..mind you). It is always better to have your dinner atleast 1- 2 hrs before you hit the bed. If possible, avoid rice at night.


Consciously avoid Sweets, Fried Snacks like samosa, chips, pickle, coconut.

Reduce the number of times you take tea or coffee. The culprit is the sugar that goes along with it.

When you are dieting, if you feel that you are losing out on your fav. dishes, once in a while.. indulge in it. Do not think you are sacrificing something. If you keep on resisting, then at one point of time, you are going to throw up and say ‘Hell with dieting’ and return to your old ways. (I once in a while, took pizzas too Wink

In whatever manner possible, get some physical workout. It is not necessary that you have to do some serious walking, one game of a well-fought shuttle match would do.

Have some partner at the Gym, it is always nice to have somebody with you. (thanks to Jaya. Actually 30 min of monotonous walking on the treadmill was terrible, we found a way out - we mastered the art of reading books while walking!)

Last but not the least check your weight whenever possible - the guilt pang will help you strengthen your resolve to get back in shape.