28 December, 2011

Weekend gateways from Hyderabad

It's holiday season!! at least, it is for people like me who are working for US clients. Many of our clients will be on vacation from December last week to Jan first week and so we get time to plan long vacations. Iam thinking about how different we can spend this weekend, welcoming new year. 

This time, Dec 31st and Jan 1st are on weekend days, so there will be crowd in every party in city and in malls. What can be a peaceful, but a rejuvenating place away from city buzz? Browsed a lot on net about weekend gateways from Hyderabad. Following are a few good options within 300km range:
1. Srisailam
2. Nagarjuna sagar
3. Ananthagiri - Vikarabad
4. Wargal saraswathi temple
5. Basara
6. Yadagiri gutta 
7. Bidar 
8. Warangal
9. Kurnool
10. Mantralayam

Srisailam is located in Nallamalai hills in Kurnool district on the banks of river Krishna. Besides the Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple, clusters of minor shrines and Wildlife Sanctuary, there is the 512 m long Srisailam Dam on the River Krishna, which offers views of the Ghats, cliffs and forests. 

Nagarjuna sagar is around 150 kms from hyderabad. Nagarjuna sagar dam, Ethipothala waterfalls, Museum with Budhist excavations on Nagarjuna konda are some of the tourist attractions here.

Ananthagiri hills near Vikarabad is nice peaceful place away from city buzz. Lord Anantha padmanabha temple, Vikarabad forest, trekking in Ananthagiri hills are main tourist attractions.

Wargal saraswathi temple is located on a hill top in medak district on karimnagar highway. There is an idol about 10 feet high in front of the temple, which is a magnificent piece of art. The temple architecture is very good. 

Basara gnana saraswathi temple is located on banks of river Godavari about 205 kms. from hyderabad. This is famous place to do 'Akshara abhyasam' for children before commencing formal school education. Lord Shiva temple near Godavari bank is also a beautiful place.

Just 60kms from Hyderabad is holy shrine of Lakshmi narasimha swamy temple in yadagirigutta. Surendrapuri and Bhongiri fort are also good places to visit.

Bidar is a historic place in north-eastern part of Karnataka. It is a popular tourist destination for monuments and temples built in Bahmani era. Bidar fort and tombs of Bahmanis are popular tourist attractions. Black bug jungle resort is an excellent lakeside resort in the forest.

Warngal has many excellent places to visit. Ramappa temple, Ramappa lake, Thousand pillars temple, pakala lake, Bhadrakali temple , Warangal fort and Eturu nagaram sancturay are only a few to name.

Kurnool is a beautiful city on the banks of Thungabhadra river. Kondareddy buruju (kurnool fort), Belum caves, Ahobilam, sangameswaram, Alampur and Mahanandi are some of the important places to visit around Kurnool.

Raghavendraswamy temple ,Lakshmi venkateswara temple in Mutt complex and Panchamukha temple in Raichur are some of the tourist places in Mantralayam. Navabrindavan, an island in between two branches of River Tungabhadra, between the districts of Koppal and Bellary, is at a distance of 175 km from Mantralayam.

So, What's your plan for new year??

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Until next time..

15 November, 2011

Book reading as a hobby

            My hobby of reading books started while I was waiting for my entrance test results to join engineering program. There was one novel 'The Hound of Baskervilles' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which impressed me a lot in my school days. So, I collected all short stories and novels by him and started reading them. The stories about Sherlock Holmes' cases were so good that I completed the entire collection in 2 months (Believe me!! there are 1200 short stories and 4 novels of Sherlock holmes). Then, I started reading the works of Agatha Christie, Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Paulo Coelho, etc. I have also read works of Indian authors such as Jhumpa Lahari, Chetan Bhagat, and Shoba dey. 

           In the early days, I used to keep a note of words that I couldn't understand, search them in dictionary and try to frame a sentence with those new words. In this way, I learnt many new words and improved my vocabulary. I had to give a break to my hobby after I joined college  as I couldn't spare much time for reading. I could take up my hobby again after I moved to a new job in Chennai. I took up membership in a library and read different kind of books.

I feel, everyone can improve their communication skills by just starting with a hobby like reading books and then try to develop other areas like speaking, grammar, and writing.

27 October, 2011

Revolution 2020 - [Book review]

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    I recently read a book 'Revolution 2020' by Chetan Bhagat.I started loving Chetan Bhagat's books from the day i read his book 'One night at call centre'.Then, read  all his books - 'Five point someone', 'The 3 mistakes of my life' and '2 states'.Especially, i was impressed with his writing style in simple English.'One night at call centre' has a good message to follow one's own dreams and work hard for it.'Five point someone' and 'The 3 mistakes of my life' are easy going and interesting. My favorite has been '2 states' which shows the attempts of a couple from 2 states (Punjab and Tamil nadu) to convince their parents for their marriage.

             I would say 'Revolution 2020' is more matured concept-wise when compared to other books. 'corrupted education system' and Love triangle form main backdrop of story. Raghav, Gopal and Arti are friends struggling for success and love in Varanasi. Gopal  is relatively poor among friends and couldn't get a good rank enough in entrance test to enter IITs to do engineering. He feels money can give happiness in his life. He loves Arti very much. Raghav is a kind of guy who wants to fight against corruption, any wrong doing in the society and want to bring in revolution in the youth. Arti loves Raghav and Gopal is in deep love with Arti, though she considers him as only her best friend. 

             Unlike other stories of Chetan's , we feel this has more melodrama and emotions. One weak point i feel is author couldn't explain Revolution 2020 clearly. So, i didn't feel the title is apt. Another weak point is, the story seems to be predictable in the last few chapters. One plus point is the way author explained  education system, how students pressurise themselves to get an engineering seat in IITs, how private engineering colleges gain advantage due to this, how easy it is to start and maintain an engineering college in illegal ways with the support of power and money. Another thing i like is, Chetan wont project or judge his characters as heroes or villains. He tries to depict a common man, and it is for us to decide what is right and what is wrong. 

Overall, this is good read for time pass. I feel, '2 states' is the best novel of Chetan Bhagat till date.

Until next time..

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