Auroville was a good peek into an ‘alternative’ India i.e. a nice escape from the real India!

From there we changed plan and went to Coimbatore instead of thiruvannamalai to visit a famous ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Nithyanandam, son of the legendary Swamigal who features in this interesting documentary on the traditional medicine system of India –

The missus was feeling worn out on many levels and had an appointment with him to see what he recommends. After a feel of the pulse and a glance at the eyes and tongue his diagnosis was complete. She and I decided she’d be better off in Europe armed with these revitalizing herbs to recover in the peace, quiet and cleanliness which I don’t blame her for one bit as the stresses of India can get you down though I will miss her on the rest of my travels.

So companionless henceforth, I’ve come to Ooty, ‘queen of hill stations’ supposedly, to absorb some greenery and fresh air and escape urban India myself I guess before I have to head back to Calcutta for my music study at the end of the week. I suffered somewhat less of a royal welcome then the name suggests probably due to bad timing and my unpreparedness. At over 2200m altitude its pretty nippy up here and damp too, due to the monsoon having brushed its hands of the north and just landed here this week. The bus journey up here basically started in India and ended in London climate-wise. Thus I’ve unexpectedly had to abandon T-shirts for the north face jacket, sandals for socks and shoes, and gone from sleeping pyjama-less under fans to sleeping fully clothed under a heavy blanket! At least I feel somewhat at home if not too cheery about the weather. The clouds cleared up a little today meaning I could actually take in some sights on another jam packed 1-day bus tour in the area featuring, yes, another 30 min whizz around a different tiger reserve among stops at other viewpoints in the surrounding hills. Still no tiger sightings as of yet unsurprisingly but nice landscapes to take in.

Its obvious why the british set up camp here with the cool climate and rolling landscapes:




And a new pair of ivory derby brogues with silk laces (real leather and no synthetic crap!) I picked up here for a tidy £17:


Happy divali!