Thursday, December 11, 2008

End of KPN monopoly?

I have a couple of posts on the KPN monopoly practices and their callous attitude towards customer and their comfort.

Against KPN
KPN monopoly rant

There was a situation where there seems to be no end to this.

Finally, there is some competition in this area now.

ABT Travels
ARC Travels

Both these guys are conglomerates with long time service in handling parcels. They have started their tour operations recently.

A refreshing change to a normal whining travel. Their buses are brand new and all are air conditioned. Secondly their charges are very fair and way cheaper than KPN volvo charges. More importantly they have decent facilities at their depots and depart in time.

Time for KPN to change or perish.

Airtel Customer Care

It is not worth saying that Airtel customer care (ACC) has still room to improve, rather they have a big warehouse to improve. Exactly, a lot more is desired from their pathetic customer care. For the same issue, every time I heard a different story.

Wanted to change my tariff plan to corporate scheme

ACC Executive 1 says:
Need your corporate employee ID copy
Latest Pay slip
Introduction letter from HR

ACC executive 2 says:
Need your corporate employee ID copy
Latest Pay slip
Introduction letter from HR
Clear all your outstanding dues and unbilled amount through Airtel Relationship Centers (ARC)

ACC executive 3 says:
Nothing required. Corporate employee ID copy is sufficient but send a mail from your official mail ID.

With ACC executive 4 in ARC
With Corporate employee ID copy, I could change my plan (effective with in 48hrs)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Belur Halebidu Trip

Trip time:
1 day (from 6am to 10pm)


Bangalore - Neelamangala - Hassan - Belur - Halebidu - Hassan - Sharavanabelagola - Neelamangala - Bangalore (Mangalore route NH 48)

Both Belur and Halebidu has ancient temples build in Hoysala architecture. The temples are famous for their intricate artwork using soap stones. The temples were latter destroyed during the invasion.

Sharavanabelagola hosts the monolithic stone statue of Gomateswara.

Previous visit post is here


Chennakeshava temple @ Belur

Post @ belur temple

panaromic view of temple complex


Beautiful sculptures

Carved posts

Carvings @ temple entrance

Eg of intricate carvings

One more example


perspective view

Hoysaleshvara temple @ Halebidu

Inside Hoysaleshvara temple

Carvings @ entrance

Example of intricate carvings

Roof carvings

Profile view

View from hill top @ Sharavanbelagola

Stupa on sunset

Gomateswara statue

Friday, December 05, 2008

Finally Airtel budges

I have been whining about the lackluster response from Airtel on competitive mobile tariff plans. Finally Airtel has come up with a relatively competitive plan to Vodafone's corporate plan.

Monthly rental : 199Rs
CLIP - waived off

CUG - Local - Unlimited

Airtel - Airtel - 0.20
Airtel - Ohters - 0.40
Airtel - landline - 0.60

Airtel - Airtel - 0.50
Airtel - Ohters - 0.75
Airtel - landline - 1.00

Vodafone has similar tariff at lower rental of 175Rs.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wayanad Trip

Over last weekend we did a 3 day trip to Wayanad. In a nut-shell it was an awesome place to be at. For a travel buff, the place gives you all the varieties.

Stream Valley Cottages

(This resort offers very comfortable and peaceful stay amidst a stream. This resort is not a very posh property but offers very good VFM. There is no restaurant in the resort but they have a kitchen to serve the guests. There are other restaurants in the vicinity if you would like to taste the local authentic food.)


Bangalore - Mysore - Nanjangud - Gundalpet - Sultan bathery - Kalpetta - Vythiri
750kms (both to and fro with local roundup)

Places to see:
Must see sites...
  • Pookot lake
  • Valley view
  • Chembra peak trek
  • Soojipara falls
  • Edakkal caves

Bandipur reserve forest route

Golden chariot


Evening in pookot lake

Water Lily

Picturesque Pookot lake

Valley view point

Dawn in the valley

Chembra peak panaromic view

Misty mountains

Rustic view in chembra estate

Photos from the trek

Tea estate enroute to falls

Soojipara falls

Edakkal caves

Pre-historic carvings in Edakkal caves

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feature Request in MS Outlook

I manage my official mails in MS Outlook. I have setup "Rules" to move the messages from my Inbox to designated folders. Apart from these rule based categorization of mails, I have certain manual categorization as well (done at the end of completion of tasks in those mails).

Request for feature:
When a new mail arrives with the earlier categorized mail subject, there should be an indication in the Inbox that earlier mails with this subject has been categorized in a particular folder. This way I could get
  • I could get related mails easily
  • I can perform manual categorization easily

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chidambaram Trip

So after a long gap I did a trip to Chidambaram.

How to reach:
Rail: Mysore - Mayiladuthurai Express.
Chidambaram is ~45kms from Mayiladuthurai

Places to visit:
1. Natarajar Temple
2. Pichavaram (Mangrove forest)

Shot from train

Postcard shot

Temple entrance

Another entrance (four entrances all look alike)

Inside the mangrove forest

One more shot inside the forest(~3000 acres and 4000 odd canals)

One of the main canal connecting to sea

At dusk

Bird's view of the mangrove forest