Posted in Asia Trip, South Asia, Vacation

#1647 – 2015 Fall Trip to India (Part II: Chennai)

ENGLISH

Previous post on the 2015 Fall Trip to India series:
1. Part I: Getting to India.

Previously on 2015 Fall Trip to India: Zilko and his friends went to India to attend a wedding. After a day of travel, they arrived at the capital of the Tamil Nadu state, Chennai, and would spend a few days there before going to the wedding.

***

Chennai

Being a coastal city located on a shore of the Bay of Bengal, naturally the air in Chennai was humid, translation: it was so freaking hot out there,😆 . But it was a little bit of a nice break from the colder environment in Europe though; even though in a longer term I would still prefer cold than hot weather, lol😆 . Anyway, in one full day which we decided to spend in Chennai, we visited two types of places: a temple and the shopping malls, haha😆

The Kapaleeshwarar Temple

The Kapaleeshwarar Temple
The Kapaleeshwarar Temple

The Kapaleeshwarar Temple was a medium-sized Hindu temple in the heart of Chennai. While we were allowed to, at least, enter the temple area (inside the gate), we were not allowed to get into the temple itself for being non-Hindus. Too bad when we were there, some construction works were going on to, possibly, maintain the temple’s beautiful structure.

The Shopping Malls

We visited two shopping malls there: the Chennai Citi Centre and the Express Avenue mall. Chennai Citi Centre was a very small mall with few stuffs to see so it was quite boring to me. The Express Avenue mall, however, was much better. My friend got a hair cut there where for the same price as in Europe, she got much more treatments! Haha😆

The Express Avenue mall was connected to the E hotel which, at the time that we were there, had a happy hour buy one get one promotion for drinks at their bar! So we decided to make use of this offer, which turned out to include complimentary (unlimited) snacks as well! Two types of snack were served: the standard salty peanuts and cassava chips! And I loved the cassava chips as it reminded me a lot of Indonesia, haha😆 .

Mamallapuram

On our other full day in Chennai, we decided to rent a car and went to the town of Mamallapuram, some 60 km south of Chennai.

The Crocodile Bank

A lot of crocodiles!!
A lot of crocodiles!!

On our way to Mamallapuram, we passed the Crocodile Bank and decided to pay a visit. As its name suggest, it was a crocodile farm where, basically, there were plenty of different types of crocodiles there. After paying a small entrance fee of only Rs 40 per person for adult, we spent about 45 minutes in the Bank. It was really cool though as we saw (1) many different types of crocodiles, including those with thin jaws and (2) a lot of crocodiles. I don’t think I have seen these many crocodiles since visiting a similar crocodile farm back in Thailand about 12 years ago, haha.

There were also options for people to, if they wanted, adopt some of the crocodiles. I am not really sure what “to adopt” means in the sense whether you would have to take the crocodiles home with you or you would just need to donate some money to the Bank to take care of them. Either way, well, I don’t think I am ready to adopt anything at this point, haha😆 .

The Temples of Mamallapuram

Khrisna's butterball
Khrisna’s butterball
The Five Rathas
The Five Rathas

Mamallapuram was a beautiful small town with its main attraction being the historical Hindu temples, which were really cool. Our driver introduced us to a local guide that he knew and we decided to hire him. His service turned out to be just standard. It was not bad in the sense that his English accent was not difficult to follow; but it was not superb as well as most information he provided was standard information of the site. Too less trivias.

There were four sites which we visited today: The Arjuna’s Penance, The Khrisna’s Butterball, The Shore Temple, and The Five Rathas. It happened that we were in Mamallapuram at the perfect time at around sunset where the sun light made the site even prettier! So if you plan to go there, I would advise you to be there about 1 hour before sunset (and hoping that the weather would be good of course)!

The Shore Temple
The Shore Temple. To me it looked like some Hindu temples in Java

All sites were amazing for their own reason. I loved the carvings on the rock of the Arjuna’s Penance. The Khrisna’s Butterball just looked simply amazing as it was a big roundly-shaped rock that, somehow, got stuck. The Shore Temple and the Five Rathas are ancient Hindu temples and, in some way, they reminded of some Hindu temples we can find in Central Java🙂 .

The Food

When departing for this trip, I could not wait for the food of course! Especially I was so looking forward to those dosas! Haha😆 . And Chennai did not disappoint us. We had a lot of local food, one at a restaurant which another Indian friend of ours, who was a native Chennai, recommended. At the Express Avenue mall, we went to a fancy looking Indian restaurant which also offered good South Indian dish.

Yay!! A dosa again!!
Yay!! A dosa again!!

At Mamallapuram, we had lunch at a seafood restaurant and I was (and still am) sure we were being scammed. They gave us a menu book with prices and we made our decision based on it. We ordered a fish dish and calamari for Rs 350 each, and some rice and drinks. But then a few minutes after we placed our order, the waiter came back and the price for us was Rs 600 per PERSON. Of course we complained because it was not what was stated in the menu book and how could he just come up with a number like that. He said the menu book price was only for small fish while we got big fish. Well, funnily, when I asked about the fish’s size while making the order, he said they only had one size. Lol, so what was the menu book price for?😆

And the fish was not even fresh.

Well, travelling experience in India this certainly was😆 .

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Fall Trip to India:
– Taking an Indian train
– Back in Komarapalayam and Bhavani
– More of Tamil Nadu
– A South Indian Wedding
– Coimbatore

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Fall Trip to India:
1. Part I: Getting to India.

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Fall Trip to India: Zilko dan teman-temannya pergi ke India untuk menghadiri sebuah acara pernikahan. Setelah seharian terbang, mereka tiba di ibukota negara bagian Tamil Nadu, Chennai, dan akan menghabiskan dua hari disana sebelum pergi ke kondangannya.

***

Chennai

Karena merupakan kota pantai yang terletak di tepi Laut Bengal, tentu saja udara di Chennai amat lembab, baca: panass bangeettttt, hahaha😆 . Tetapi asyik juga sih sebenarnya mendapatkan istirahat sejenak dari cuaca di Eropa yang waktu itu sudah dingin; walaupun untuk jangka panjang sih aku masih lebih suka cuaca dingin daripada panas ya, haha😆 . Ngomong-ngomong, di satu hari penuh yang kami habiskan di Chennai, kami mengunjungi dua macam tempat: sebuah kuil dan mall-nya, haha😆

Kuil Kapaleeshwarar

The Kapaleeshwarar Temple
Kuil Kapaleeshwarar

Kuil Kapaleeshwarar adalah sebuah kuil Hindu berukuran sedang di jantung kota Chennai. Walaupun kami dibolehkan untuk, setidaknya, masuk ke dalam area kuilnya (di dalam gerbangnya), kami tidak diperbolehkan masuk ke dalam bangunan kuilnya itu sendiri karena kami tidak beragama Hindu. Sayangnya, ketika kami berada disana, kuilnya sedang direnovasi untuk, kayaknya sih, perawatan strukturnya yang indah itu.

Mall

Dua mall kami kunjungi disana: Chennai Citi Centre dan Express Avenue. Chennai Citi Centre adalah sebuah mall kecil dimana sedikit banget yang bisa dilihat di dalamnya sehingga untukku mall-nya terasa sangat membosankan. Express Avenue, untungnya, jauh lebih menarik. Seorang temanku potong rambut disana dengan biaya yang sama seperti di Eropa tetapi mendapatkan servis dan perawatan yang jauh lebih banyak! Haha😆

Express Avenue terkoneksi dengan Hotel E yang, waktu itu, sedang menawarkan promosi happy hour buy one get one untuk minuman di bar hotelnya! Lumayan kan ya, jadilah kami mampir untuk memanfaatkan penawaran ini, yang mana ternyata termasuk dengan snack gratisan (tak terbatas pula) lho! Ada dua tipe snack yang disajikan, kacang asin yang biasa banget itu dan keripik singkong! Aku sih suka singkongnya karena mengingatkanku akan Indonesia, haha :lol: .

Mamallapuram

Di satu hari penuh lainnya di Chennai, kami memutuskan untuk menyewa mobil dan pergi ke kota Mamallapuram yang berlokasi sekitar 60 km selatan Chennai.

Crocodile Bank

A lot of crocodiles!!
Banyak buaya!!

Di jalan ke Mamallapuram, kami melewati sebuah Crocodile Bank dan memutuskan untuk mampir. Seperti namanya, tempat ini adalah peternakan buaya dimana terdapat banyak sekali macam buaya disana. Dengan biaya masuk sebesar Rs 40 saja per orang dewasa, kami menghabiskan sekitar 45 menit disana. Keren loh karena disana kami melihat (1) banyak sekali tipe buaya, termasuk yang moncongnya pipih itu dan (2) banyak banget buaya. Kayaknya ini adalah kali pertama aku melihat buaya sebanyak ini deh semenjak kunjungan ke tempat serupa di Thailand sekitar 12 tahun yang lalu, haha.

Ada juga pilihan bagi pengunjung untuk, jika mau, mengadopsi buayanya. Aku nggak yakin sih apa yang dimaksud dengan “mengadopsi” dalam artian apakah buayanya harus dibawa pulang lalu dirawat sendiri di rumah atau hanya perlu menyumbangkan sekian ke peternakannya untuk merawat buayanya. Toh yang mana pun, aku sekarang tidak siap untuk mengadopsi apa pun sih, haha😆 .

Kuil-kuil di Mamallapuram

Khrisna's butterball
Khrisna’s butterball
The Five Rathas
Five Rathas

Mamallapuram adalah sebuah kota kecil yang indah yang mana atraksi utamanya adalah kuil-kuil Hindu kunonya yang keren banget. Sopir kami mengenalkan kami ke seorang pemandu wisata lokal yang ia kenal dan kami memutuskan untuk menggunakan jasanya. Layanan jasanya ternyata biasa saja. Nggak jelek sih dalam artian aksen bahasa Inggrisnya bisa dimengerti; tetapi juga nggak spesial-spesial amat karena informasi yang diberikan hanyalah informasi standar saja. Trivianya terlalu sedikit.

Empat tempat kami kunjungi hari ini: Arjuna’s Penance, Khrisna’s Butterball, Shore Temple, dan Five Rathas. O iya, kebetulan kami di Mamallapuram di waktu yang tepat banget yaitu sebelum matahari terbenam sehingga cahaya mataharinya membuat tempat-tempat ini nampak semakin indah! Jadi kalau ada yang berencana kesana, aku sarankan untuk berada di kota ini sekitar 1 jam sebelum waktu matahari terbenam (dan berharap cuacanya sedang bagus)!

The Shore Temple
Shore Temple. Untukku, kuil ini nampak seperti candi Hindu di Jawa.

Semua tempatnya keren banget sesuai dengan karakteristiknya masing-masing. Aku suka banget ukiran di batunya Arjuna’s Penance. Khrisna’s Butterball nampak keren banget dimana ini adalah sebuah batu berbentuk bundar besar yang, entah bagaimana, bisa berdiri diam gitu dan tidak menggelinding. Shore Temple dan Five Rathas adalah kuil-kuil Hindu yang, di satu sisi, mengingatkanku akan beberapa candi Hindu yang bisa kita temukan di Jawa Tengah🙂 .

Makanannya

Ketika berangkat, aku sudah tidak sabar banget untuk menyantap makanannya! Terutama dosa-nya itu! Haha😆 . Dan Chennai tidak mengecewakan kami. Kami hanya makan makanan lokal saja selama disana, dan salah satunya adalah di rumah makan yang direkomendasikan oleh seorang teman kami yang orang India yang memang berasal dari Chennai. Di Express Avenue, kami makan di sebuah rumah makan India yang nampak keren gitu yang menyajikan menu India Selatan yang enak-enak.

Yay!! A dosa again!!
Hore!! Aku makan dosa lagi!!

Di Mamallapuram, kami makan siang di sebuah rumah makan seafood dan aku yakin bahwa kami dikemplang disana. Jadi ceritanya kami diberi sebuah buku menu dan pilihan kami adalah berdasarkan buku menu ini. Kami memesan sebuah menu ikan dan calamari seharga Rs 350 per menu, dan nasi dan minuman. Tetapi beberapa menit setelah pesanan kami masuk, pelayanannya kembali ke meja kami dan berkata bahwa biaya bagi kami adalah Rs 600 per orang. Jelas dong kami komplain karena ini bukanlah angka yang tertera di buku menu mereka dan kok bisa-bisanya ia tiba-tiba datang dengan angka segitu. Ia berkata bahwa harga di buku menu adalah untuk ikan yang kecil dan ikan kami adalah ikan yang besar. Lucunya, ketika aku bertanya ukuran ikannya ketika memesan makanan, ia berkata bahwa mereka hanya memiliki satu ukuran saja. Lah, trus harga di buku menunya untuk apa dong😆

Dan bahkan ketika datang, ikannya pun tidak segar.

Ya gitu deh, pengalaman travelling di India memang ya😆 .

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Fall Trip to India:
– Naik kereta lokal di India
– Kembali di Komarapalayam dan Bhavani
– Lebih banyak tentang Tamil Nadu
– Pernikahan India Selatan
– Coimbatore

17 thoughts on “#1647 – 2015 Fall Trip to India (Part II: Chennai)

    1. Iya Non. India memang suka memakai istilah bahasa Inggris yang lucu-lucu gitu. Kapan-kapan aku tulis ah beberapa. Lumayan buat jadi bahan posting, haha😆

  1. kalo mengadopsi buaya gua rasa sih ya maksudnya ngasih sumbangan aja trus buayanya jadi dikasih tanda kalo itu diadopsi ktia. gak mungkin buayanya disuruh bawa pulang dah. hahaha.

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