Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Moving on ... ACS to Logica

I started my career with IBM on 8th Oct 2001 and joined ACS May 2007. Due to uncertainty there I had leave company and move on. Otherwise I had an excellent work environment. Missing my team..

I will be joining Logica on 30th Oct 20o8. Hope my new job would be good for me.

PS: You can view my post when I left IBM and joined ACS Systech --> Here

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Trip to Sri Lanka - The Photo Album

Selected Photos - Quick Album


More Photos - Detailed Albums

Trip to Sri Lanka - Day 4 and 5 - Colombo

Story Board:

The plan - Day 1 (Flight and Dambulla) - Day 2 (Sigiriya) - Day 3 (Kandy) - Day 4 and 5 (Colombo Beach)

The Photo Album -> Link

(Nanna Nambi please.. this is the last post)

The Colonial Hotel Mount Lavinia

Mt Lavinia is one of the best Hotels I have ever stayed. It has got 200 years of history. Excellent colonial beach hotel. The ambience make you feel pampered. We got the room in ground floor just beside the roaring sea shore. It was most exciting part of our stay.

4th day morning we got early in the morning and visited beach which was near to our room. There is a direct entry through a small gate. That part of beach was very ugly. But in the evening we asked the room boy who took us to an excellent place, which was private beach for Mt. Lavinia. It was as if we were in some dream. Only two of us were there and the breeze and sunset was great. It was very cloudy that evening and could not watch very good sunset. However we enjoyed.


Next day morning we went for city tour of Colombo. We just skimmed through all the places in car and visited a Hindu and a Buddhist temple. Finished lunch at an Indian Vegetarian Restaurant and did a lot of shopping in few malls and reached Airport by 4 PM. Our flight was scheduled for 6:30 PM. Till we reached Airport our trip did not have any problems.


Flight delay

Problems started after reaching airport. We saw that display board and realized that Bangalore flight is delayed until 11:10 PM. It was almost 5 Hr delay. We had to stay back in Airport itself. They provided dinner and we waited playing some dumb charades. By the boarding time we were dead tired

Business Class Upgrade

During boarding another funny thing happened. The lady at the counter just asked whether it was 2 of us. We told yea!!. She congratulated and told that as there was 2 seats empty in business class they have selected us for upgrading our seats to Business Class. We thought we had some luck :)

Baggage exchange

As I told, we were dead tired already. As we were in Business class out immigration and customs happened without any delay. It was already 12:30 AM by the time our baggage started to come. We had checked in 2 bags. We got them and ran to BMTC bus station and found the last bus was just waiting for us. We boarded and sat down as if we achieved something. By the time we reached Hebbal we got a phone call from co-passenger saying that we had actually taken his baggage. Oh! Man we realized both of the bags were so very identical we had done big MISTAKE. He was furious on us as well as on Airlines. I convinced him saying that I would drop the bag to his place, the next morning. He was not ready for that. He wanted it right away. I asked him where he stays and found that was Vijayanagar, which is really not too far from my house. We fixed a place at Vijayanagar and I reached home and rested for 15 min and took out my car to exchange the bags. By the time we went to bed, it was almost 3:30 AM.


....THATS ALL FOLKS.... (Nanna Nambi please.. this is the last post)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Trip to Sri Lanka - Day 3(Kandy)

Story Board:

The plan - Day 1 (Flight and Dambulla) - Day 2 (Sigiriya) - Day 3 (Kandy) - Day 4 and 5 (Colombo Beach)


We reached Kandy on Day 2 evening from Sigiriya. We went to Panaroma Point and had nice views of the entire city from there.

Evening Cultural Dance Show

There was a cultural dance show at 5:30 PM. It was nice to see around 10 types of Sri Lankan Folk dance. Most of them were similar to Indian Folk Dance. There attire were attractive

Light Dance

Peacock Dance

Devil Dance

Some skillful circus with dance touch

At the end dance with fire

Tooth of Relic - Temple

Morning we checked out and started at around 9AM and reached tooth of relic temple, where it is believed that Buddha's tooth preserved. But main offering is done to the Tuskar at the first floor. Tooth is supposed to be preserved and opened only during "Parihara", where the Tuskar is taken out for procession around the city.

From there we moved towards Pinnawala elephant orphanage.

Pinnawala elephant orphanage

We reached elephant orphanage at around 2 PM. Elephant feeding is done for small elephants in feeding bottles at around 12 Noon. We missed it. However all the elephants were left in the river for bath. We saw them playing in water while having lunch. (Again Veg Noodles, nothing else)

Romantic giants..

After that we drove towards Colombo. On the way we drank so called - King Coconut -- Wow it was so sweet and tasty. We also captured a small baby enjoying King Coconut.

Yet another marriage we say on the way. I am not sure why new-weds were asked to sit on road side :-). Rohita told that it was Kandian type of marriage.

The Photo Album -> Link

The story Continues..

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trip to Sri Lanka - Day 2(Sigiriya)

Story Board:

The plan - Day 1 (Flight and Dambulla) - Day 2 (Sigiriya) - Day 3 (Kandy) - Day 4 and 5 (Colombo Beach)

The Photo Album -> Link


The Sigiriya Rock:

We got up early in the morning finished break fast (Hardly got anything to eat. We ate bread-butter-jam and some fruit juice) and started to Sigiriya Rock by 8:30 AM. Rock is really hard to climb, its around 1000 ft high with 1200 steps. It was called Simha Giri - which means Lion Rock. You can see that it is in the shape of Lion Sitting.

The Story:

King Kashyapa built the entire fort and palace at Sigiriya around 1500 years back. Kashyapa's father had two wives, one from King's family and other was a keep. Kashyapa was keep's son. As a rule, Kingdom was given to Kashyapa's brother who belonged to King's family. Furious Kashyapa killed his own father and ran away towards Sigiriya and built this fort cum palace. He taken all the security measures to defend enemy attacks. It is believed that he lived for 18 years there and at the end, faced his brother on the battle field and he was on his elephant. For some reason his elephant turned towards right and the whole army thought that they have to move right towards Sigiriya and they ran off the battle field. Without any support King Kashyapa committed suicide.

Sigiriya has 2 palaces, one at the ground level, called Summer palace and other one on the top of this rock called Winter palace. King Kashyapa had 500 women servants. He painted each of their images on the walls of caves with natural paint. Currently only around 18 are remaining and rest have been destroyed either naturally or by Buddhist Monks. After King Kashyapa this area was occupied by Buddhists Monks who did not like women paintings and they destroyed most of them.

King had 3 gardens. One at the bottom called green garden, second in the mid height called boulder garden and the third at the top called Terrace garden. Excavations have been done by Unesco in 1982 and few minor re-constructions have been  done. An amazing historical place to visit in Sri Lanka

Palace had 2 boulder entrances. It has got 2 reasons - One - For security, enemies can not attach with a mob, they have to enter one-by-one. This would be helpful for defenders to kill enemies. Two - It symbolizes performing "namaste" in two hands for the guests.

In the boulder garden, for the security purpose he had built boulder walls without cementing it and around them built the brick walls. So even if enemies broke brick walls, boulders would automatically fall on them, thus it was auto defense mechanism

Fresco Paintings:

After climbing around 1000 steps, we get spiral steps, climbing which we reach a cave where we can see beautiful fresco paintings.

Can't believe they are 1500 years old. Paints have been prepared using natural ingredients, that once painted could not be erased, not even by painter himself. There were some minor human errors during paintings which are still visible. Paint would have absorbed so well into the plaster they prepared over the rocky walls. Excellent technology at that age

The Lion's Paw:

After fresco painting we reached a platform kind of place called Lion's paw. There are 2 paws of Lion which is the actual entrance of Terrace Palace. There was the head of Lion also constructed using bricks, but due to natural calamities, that has been ruined.

Palace at the top

We reached the top and by that time we were dead tired. There are swimming pools of that time and ruined foundations of the palace. The view from the top is breath taking

Last 2 steps of Sigiriya rock

Waters in these swimming pools were all connected and used for pumping up the water from Sigirya lake to the top of rock.

Woow.. you can see white Buddha's statue far from Sigiriya rock. You can also see the path way down, we walked to reach the bottom of Sigiriya rock.

Elephant ride

After climbing down from Sigiriya rock, we were on the way to Kandy and found an elephant ride. We decided to take elephant ride for 2000 LKR :-)

Elephant's name was Monica and it was 25 Year young elephant. It eats 250 KG per day.

On the way to Kandy - Batiks

After elephant ride, we started towards Kandy, which was around 3 Hrs journey. On the way we saw Batiks, where

cotton clothes are colored in a very different manner. All the steps are shown on this picture. Initially they take white cotton cloth and artist will mark the design on it. Apply liquid wax on those areas where they want to retain white and let it dry. Later they dip in next lighter color of the frame, in above example, it is yellow. Then apply wax on those parts of cloths which they want to retain yellow (Elephant) and dip into next lighter color (i.e. red) and so on. The entire process would take tens of days. Its tough job

Artist drawing the design

Applying the wax

Dipping in color


We also dressed in Sri Lankan Attire

Dressing my thimmi

Posing for a click

The Photo Album -> Link

The story Continues..

Trip to Sri Lanka - Day 1 (Flight and Dambulla)

Story Board: The plan - Day 1 (Flight and Dambulla) - Day 2 (Sigiriya) - Day 3 (Kandy) - Day 4 and 5 (Colombo Beach)

The Photo Album -> Link

The start:

It was quite hectic start on 8-Oct-2008. It was Ayudha Puja day. We had to finish puja at home and then start. Flight was at 10:30 AM and as it was international check in we had to be there by 7:30 AM. We had realized that there is a BMTC bus to Airport at 5:20 AM from Padmanabhanagar. We targeted for that and got up at 3:30 AM, got ready and performed all Pujas and started at 5 AM towards BMTC bus station. Bus was around 20 min late but it was very comfortable. Reached Airport very early at around 6:45 AM. We had plenty of time so we decided to have some coffee.

The Flight

It was Sri Lankan Airways. Good that everything went very smooth and it took off on time. It was very bright and sunny day and clouds added some charm to the whole weather. We clicked few snaps from within flight.

This is India's border - Aerial view.

We reached Colombo on time and by the time we came out after Immigration processes, it was around 12 noon. Our driver cum guide was waiting with placard at the arrival spot. His name was Rohita (pronounced as Rohitho)


Golden Temple at Dambulla

The route from Bandaranayake Airport, Negombo to Sigiriya was almost 5 Hr journey. It was Nissan car and comfortable for us. Only problem was it was very low in height and little difficult to get in and out.

The route: Started north towards Chilaw on A3 till we reached Bolwatta and turned right into a smaller road towards Kurunegala. From Kurunegala we took A6 towards Dambulla.

View Larger Map

Dambulla has very old cave temple on the rock and you can see newly built Golden Buddha Statue which is visible from very far also. It was already 5 PM by the time we reached temple and we were dead tired already. Rohita bought the entry tickets for us and we reached the top in 45 min. It has got 5 cave temples and lots of paintings on walls and roofs.

By the time we came out of temple and Sun was already setting. It was very beautiful


We went to Hotel Sigiriya in Sigiriya and stayed there. It was raining cats and dogs. Journey from Dambulla to Sigiriya was around 1 Hr.

The Photo Album -> Link

The story Continues..

Trip to Sri Lanka - The plan

Story Board: The plan - Day 1 (Flight and Dambulla) - Day 2 (Sigiriya) - Day 3 (Kandy) - Day 4 and 5 (Colombo Beach)

The Photo Album -> Link

Deciding the Place:

Idea of this holiday started few months back. I had got a an award, a travel voucher from my company in the annual function. It was from Hammock Holidays. We decided to utilize it for an international trip. After discussing with my travel agent Johnson, our choices of destinations were either Thailand, Maldives or  Sri Lanka. We details of all the three. We took around 10-15 days to just decide where we are going. Johnson should have really pissed off for the number of phone calls and different opinions we were asking.

Maldives was working out better but, it is just one Island-One hotel destination. Nothing much to do. I got  similar opinion from my cousin Aruna, who had gone there for her Honey Moon very recently. Excellent destination for Honey mooners. But, this was around 10th Honey Moon for us :D. So we thought that's not the place.

Thailand, was again very good choice. Pattaya, Bankok and Phuket was under discussion. But due to Airport Taxes, BLR-BKK-BLR air fare was too costly for me. Also for Bankok to Phuket we should take another flight which adds on to it. Due to budget constraint, I had to drop Thailand.

Sri Lanka - Initially it did not really enthuse us, but later after discussing with my sister, who visited Srilanka 7 years back, we started liking it. But only problem was security and political uncertainty. But we just took risk and decide to go Sri Lanka


Detailed planning of Trip:

Johnson suggested to goto Kindy -1 day, Newara Eliya 1 Day, Bentota 1 day and Colombo 2 days. It was 5 nights/6 days. But I wanted to make it 4 nights/ 5 days. More over hr told Newara Eliya is exactly like our Munnar, so if you have seen Munnar, there is no need to visit it. Bentota has only beach nothing else. So for us, it was not so exciting. I spoke to my sister Roopakka, and got very valuable information regarding Sigiriya and Dambulla, which were plances of Historic importance as well and also understood Kandy is like our Ooty and not more than 1 days is needed to cover it. So I proposed that I need to visit Sigiriya and Dambulla and Kandy I wanted to make only 1 day instead of 2. Johnson was very concerned saying that the schedule will be very hectic. But I forced him to continue as I proposed and the final plan was worked out as follows

Day 1: Airport to Sigiriya and halt: Estimated Arriaval was at 11:45 and Airport to Sigiriya is 5 Hr journey. Ahh! that was painful to know. But Sigiriya rock will be closed by 5 PM. It was very difficult to finish Sigiriya that evening.

Day 2: Sigiriya Rock and Dambulla Cave temple. Move on to Kandy, watch cultural dance show and Halt

Day 3: Kandy city tour, botanical garden, gem factory, wood factory. Move towards Colombo visit Pinnawala elephant orphanage on the way. Reach Mt. Lavinia and Halt

Day 4: Colombo city tour, shopping, beach relax and halt

Day 5: More shopping and Airport drop

This was looking good, we were covering a historical plance, famous temples, hill station, cultural dance, Posh beach side hotel, shopping and all. We were happy and fixed for Sep 28th to 2nd Oct. Then I realized that Anil's engagement was on 1st Oct and we had Lalitha Panchami festival at home on 4th Oct. I did not want to miss engagement and disturb anything for festival at home. So I postponed for next week. It was 8th to 12th Oct.

Flight details:

There was another problem, Bangalore - Colombo does not run on Mornings every day. Only Monday - Wednesday it runs in the morning. Similarly not everyday we have flight back to Bangalore from Colombo in the evenings. Only Fri-Sunday we have evening flights. It got very nicely fitted in. Our plan was to leave on Wed (Morning flight) and planned to come back on Sunday (Evening flight). Which was perfect. If it was other way round, we would be wasting the whole day.



View Larger Map


The Photo Album -> Link