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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

the festive spirit of Deepavali ~ shopping at Trichy Saradhas ....

Chennai city bustling with traffic is chocking more…… as the festivities of Deepavali is reaching its feverish peak………. Roads leading to T Nagar, Purasawakkam, Vannaraperttai are all filled with humans … there is no place to walk even, leave alone going by transportation.  In most places, traffic is regulated, made one-way and auto-rickshaws not allowed to ply… as more people rush towards shops.

From crazy shopping to focussed textile purchases – people are on spending spree – you spot everyone moving with few more bags and lot of glee in their faces………… as the festival approaches, this week end became hectic and everyone seemed to be on the roads, heading for shops for buying more.   At every important traffic junction, crossing was laboriously difficult as pedestrians vied with vehicles inching towards their marked destinations.

To many families, it was last-minute shopping……. Gone are the days when one would buy a set of dress, head to the regular tailor and wait anxiously for him to deliver – sometimes promised at the proverbial 11th hour – the night of Deepavali, which we assumed to be around 9 to 10 pm but for the tailor literally 3 0r 4 am – the next day – the Deepavali day…… now – people buy more sets and mostly readymade garments. 

All textile shops have field days and are basking in profits – in the crowded T Nagar – where you have Nalli, Kumaran, Pothys, Chennai Silks,  ~ and the towering Saravana, Saravana Selvarathinam, Jayachandras and the like…. I have always wondered who will buy at the other textile shops that dot T Nagar area – and more so, would somebody still venture to buy at platform hawkers when Saravanas and their ilk sell at ‘very low prices’ …..  one need not think too much………………… there are perhaps market for everyone and each shop have their own set of customers ……. The platforms are overfilled and every shop big and small are having field day…
the scene at T Nagar Ranganathan Street on an otherwise ordinary Sunday......

~ to the shop owners and traders  - no doubt the milling crowds usher in happy atmosphere and brings joy filling their coffers.  Anticipating huge crowds, traffic changes were made in the shopping districts-  it is really a great market – with people on spending spree – it is good for traders not only of textiles – but for autowallahs and other transporters – hotels and eateries doing great business – gift shops and Gold shops too having field days.

Occasioned to be away in Trichy this Sunday – 27th  Oct 2013… had good darshan at Thiruvarangam and at Woraiyur Sri Kamalavalli Nachiyar Kovil in the evening……… from Woraiyur managed to come to Chathiram bus stand by bus…….. travelling in Trichy in private bus is a different experience for a chennaite…. You find so many buses plying on the same route and yet all of them do have crowds… two conductors and the atmosphere is quite different from the Chennai city transport corporation buses…

There are two bus stands in Tiruchirappalli city; the one which connects the town to the rest of the places of Tamilnadu is the Central bus stand…. And there is the old Sathiram [Chathiram bus stand] where city bus services are run.  Closer here is the most famous ‘Rockfort temple’.

The Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort is a historic fort and temple complex built on an ancient rock. The 83-metre rock fort situated in the center of town is a major landmark in the town of Tiruchirapalli and is visible from a long distance. This is also a major tourist spot. During the early part of 16th century, the region came under the control of Madurai Nayaks, who were the earlier governors of Vijayanagara Empire. The Nayaks of Madurai constructed the Rock Fort Temple Lake.  Atop the rock stands the majestic temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, known as ‘Uchi Pillaiyar temple’ – the temple of Vinayaka at the top.  The temple is mystic in its nature with an awe-inspiring rock architecture. The Ganesh temple is much smaller with an access through steep steps carved on the rock and provides a stunning view of Trichy, Srirangam and the rivers Kaveri and Kollidam. Due to its ancient and impressive architecture created by the Pallavas, the temple is maintained by the Archaeological department of India.  The temple legend associates it with  Vibhishana, was the younger brother of the Asura King Ravana.

The roads that lead to the temple is a great market area bustling with activity all the time and uncontrolled crowds now during Deepavali…. Again, the crowds of Trichy appear to be far different than Chennai – at Chennai people are lavish in their spending and money flow is quite high…  ~ and here lies another landmark … the ‘Saradhas’ – of course there are other shops like ‘Anandhas’…. ::: ‘Saradhas’ – Chennai 2 – Trichy 2 used to blare the advertisement in radio……………… some state that mesmerising in variety, attractive in designs, appealing in colours, aesthetic in finish and above all affordable in price is the unique proposition of the shop. Situated in the busiest NSB Road in Trichy its name is  thought to be  synonymous with quality and service by the locals.

On Sunday waded through the crowds at the busy bazaar – joined the crowds, stood in the Queue – went inside that famous shop and did a small shopping……………….. with some difficulty returned to the bus stand, moving to Central bus stand and thence to Trichy junction for the train journey back home.
the queue for entering the store....

Relished the experience
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th Oct 2013.  

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