Monthly Archives: January 2011

Final destination… Fort Kochi…

So it was the end of #SriniOnTour… My final destination was Fort Kochi… Yes, there have been a lot of detours and a couple of locations missed, a couple of them replaced by others… But come hell or highwater, I was not going to miss Fort Kochi… Visiting Fort Kochi was something I had to had to do…

So I decided to head off around 11:00ish because it apparently would take me around 2.5-3 hours to reach Cochin and from there I was not sure how long to reach Fort Kochi… So I headed towards Kottayam… and took a bus to  Ernakalum bus stand… Around 70 kms from Kottayam.

Alert: If you are in Kumarakom, there is a cheaper and a faster route to reach Ernakalum bus stand aka Cochin…  Go to Cheratala which is 15 kms from Kumarakom and take another bus to Ernakalum bus stand, which is 40 kms from there.. You save about 14 kms and certainly 1 hour of travel time…

Now, since I didn’t know this at the beginning and found out when I boarded the wrong bus while I came back… I made this amazing discovery… Funny how discoveries of most kinds are through accidents… or synchronous incidents I must say… :P

So anyways after I reached the Ernakalum bus stand, quickly had some lunch in the nearby restaurant… one which I was not so pleased about, but that is another story… I walked across to Marine Drive… which was like 1.5 km from the bus stand… I was trying to figure out how to reach Fort Kochi from there, SmSd a few friends, tweeted out… and again, stumbled upon a boat jetty that takes me to Fort Kochi… WoW isn’t that amazing?? Just discovering things and stumbling upon stuff randomly… Wait, there’s more…

 

 

Boat Jetty Building @ Marine Drive

Boat Jetty Building @ Marine Drive

Anyways so I took the ticket to Fort Kochi and certainly was excited that this boat trip would be more scenic than getting a bus or an auto to Fort Kochi… One thing was sure, looking at the expanse of the sea, the wait till the sunset was certainly going to be amazing.. And I made sure I cover all the other spots i.e. Synagogues, Dutch Palace, Jew Street etc before I head towards Chinese FishingNets and the Fort Kochi Beach… right at the time of the sunset…

 

 

Enroute Fort Kochi via Ferry

Enroute Fort Kochi via Ferry

 

A view from the streets

A view from the streets

You will find a lot of trucks, a lot of export stuff, a lot of spices and a lot of art work on the streets of Fort Kochi… That’s their primary way of living….

On the streets of Fort Kochi

On the streets of Fort Kochi

A hindu temple inside Dutch Palace

A hindu temple inside Dutch Palace

This is a temple inside the courtyard of the Mattancherry Dutch Palace, also near the Indo-Portugese Museum…

Temple

Temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very peaceful… the place and the surroundings… You can really relax out there on the lawn after taking darshana of the God inside the temple..

 

 

Jew Street

Jew Street

 

This is the Jew Street, on your way to the Paradesi Jewish Synagogue… You will truly find a very different setting out here and experience a completely amazing feel while walking on this street.

 

 

Black Cat on Jew Street

Black Cat on Jew Street

Found this beautiful cat sitting around with other cats on the Jew Street…  Wonder what it was thinking??

Paradesi Jewish Synagogue
Paradesi Jewish Synagogue

Courtsey Wikipedia:

The Paradesi Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations,[1] located in KochiKerala, in South India. It was built in 1568 by theMalabar Yehudan people or Cochin Jewish community in the Kingdom of CochinParadesi is a word used in several Indian languages, and the literal meaning of the term is “foreigners”, applied to the synagogue because it was historically used by “White Jews”, a mixture of Jews from Cranganore, the Middle East, andEuropean exiles. It is also referred to as the Cochin Jewish Synagogue or the Mattancherry Synagogue. The synagogue is located in the quarter of Old Cochin known as Jew Town,[1] and is the only one of the seven synagogues in the area still in use. The complex has four buildings. It was built adjacent to theMattancherry Palace temple on the land gifted to the Malabari Yehuden community by the Raja of Kochi, Rama Varma. The Mattancherry Palace temple and the Mattancherry synagogue share a common wall.

 

St. Francis Church

St. Francis Church

 

St. Francis CSI Church, in Kochi , earlier called Cochin, originally built in 1503, is the oldest European church in India[1] and has great historical significance as a mute witness to the European colonial struggle in the subcontinent.[2][3] The Portuguese explorerVasco da Gama, died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were removed toLisbon.[4][5] (Wikipediea)

Cheena Vala aka Chinese Fishing Nets

Cheena Vala aka Chinese Fishing Nets

Wikipedia: The Chinese fishing nets (Cheena vala) are fixed land installations for an unusual form of fishing — shore operated lift nets.[1] They are mostly found in theIndian state of Kerala. Huge mechanical contrivances hold out horizontal nets of 20 m or more across. Each structure is at least 10 m high and comprises a cantilever with an outstretched net suspended over the sea and large stones suspended from ropes as counterweights at the other end. Each installation is operated by a team of up to six fishermen.

 

Fort Kochi Sunset

Fort Kochi Sunset

 

After having travelled so many locations, endured so much of travel especially carrying the heavy backpack… Travelling around wandering around like a nomad for 15 days… this was a thing that was waiting to happen… A feeling of bittersweet, telling me  that my journey has come to an end… just like this sun that was setting, telling me it was time to wrap up #SriniOnTour – South India Trip…

 

#SriniOnTour ends… but the journey begins now… What do you think about the overall trip.. Do let me know your comments, suggestions and tips for many more such trips to come :) What say folks??

 

 

Boat to Alaphuzza…

So after having done with the Kumarakom Backwaters, I decided to go ahead and make sure I strike the no.  2 from my list… Yes, travel to Allepy aka Alaphuzza via the Govt. Boat into the backwaters of Alaphuzza… So with that in mind, I called up @vmsajan aka Sajan Mani my friend and guide out here in Kerala. Btw, this man has some really in depth knowledge about Kumarakom and near about areas in this place… He said to me that this is something you would not want to miss out on.. And why would I?? I mean that is listed as a must-do’s in Lonely Planet magazines… Several people from the world throng to be on this Boat ride. It truly is  a spectacle especially since it gives you the feel of Venice of Kerala… Yes, while you are taking the boat ride, you will come across many bridges, which are manually overriden when the boat comes by people holding them with ropes.. can you beat that??

 

 

Venice of Kerala

Venice of Kerala

 

 

You will see people around you working, washing clothes, fishing or going about their daily routine cause, for them it’s their routine…

 

 

A local pondering upon us...

A local pondering upon us...

 

 

So before we began the trip, we quickly gobbled up the very local Malabari Parota and KadalaCurry. Very tasty I must tell you… and then off we went on our trip…

 

Parota & KadalaCurry

Parota & KadalaCurry

 

On the boat we were seated in front of a couple, who were caucaseian but dressed as Indian as they could get… We started talking to them and learnt that they were from Canada… Nancy and Terrence.. and also learnt that they have been travelling from Winchester, Srilanka to India back to Srilanka and then back here in India for about seven months now… Damn, people have been telling me up until now on #SriniOnTour, that they envy me… Now I know what they mean :P

 

 

Nancy & Terrence
Nancy & Terrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So anyways, we got to also know that they write at Travelpod, they’ve been travelling for a while as they are in transition. They were actually Professional Social workers from Canada and they are big fans of India and Arundhati Roy… One of the most amazing things we learn’t was that they were there during the bombing of Varanasi… boy, and when I read about their experience it totally blew my mind off.. Yet, that did not deter them to go back home and stop their adventure is what I respect the most. Check out their experience here.

 

 

Sketched by @vmsajan

Terrence Sketched by @vmsajan

Very quickly our artist @vmsajan drew a small sketch of Terrence, esp since he liked his attire… Truly this is a sketch which can depict his personality the best :)

 

 

A houseboat into the backwaters of Allepy

A houseboat into the backwaters of Allepy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Church in Backwaters

Church in Backwaters

 

 

Boat by the House

Boat by the House

 

 

Beauty at a strech

Beauty at a strech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So we reached the place in about two and a half hours… On our way we got a lot of beautiful shots and videos of the backwaters… truly mesmerizing… Since we were parched to death, we decided to quickly go into town (Allepy) and get something really chilled out to drink… After we had the amazing lemon soda at the stall just outside the boat jetty, we decided to roam the streets of Allepy to find out if we can get some unique pictures and boy… this is certainly unique, what we got out there :)

 

 

Streets of Alaphuzza

Streets of Alaphuzza

 

 

 

Busy earning his bread

Busy earning his bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posing for us...

Posing for us...

 

 

On our return journey, we decided to stop by at the very famous RBLOCK Island… and eat some good food and have local coconut palm beer also known as Toddy… This Island was manmade by over 5000 villagers led by Mr. Baker… this was done in order to get more land to cultivate Paddy… Truly fantastic place for you to take  a pitstop and eat some really delicious food. Since I don’t eat fish or sea-food, I can’t tell you much, but from what I’ve heard from Sajan, the pearl-spot fish and the tiger-prawn out here is really delicious. Check out this amazing post by @hollowmaniac about his visit and his experience here…

 

 

R-Block Island Boat Stop

R-Block Island Boat Stop

 

 

 

Paddy Fields

A view of the Paddy fields from RBlock Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiger Prawn

Tiger Prawn

 

Vallam

Kittu Vallam off Rblock Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kerala Delights & Toddy

Kerala Delights & Toddy

 

 

All in all almost an entire day spent on a boat ride was the best thing to have done… My dream was always to go to Venice… that’s my dream destination… well, at least I reached the Venice of Kerala… Hehe.

 

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Kumarakom Backwaters – Canoe Ride To Bliss…

So after settling down in Kumarakom, I decided to make sure that I didn’t lose out on it’s true beauty… the backwaters especially in the bid to chill out and relax at homestay that I was in.. I could do that after I had taken the tour of a few places in Kerala.. Especially now, since Kodaikanal was out of the picture… I also found out that Thekady, Munnar will have to wait for an exclusive trip to Kerala next time around as they required a full 2-3 days stay in those places… So all I had to do now was chill out in the nearby places…

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as I explored a few places on my way to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, I got some really nice shots inside the Kumarakom village… Some really great surroundings and some really nice places that I enjoyed exploring… It was early in the morning at 7:30 AM… Very quiet, peaceful and serene… You could feel the fresh air, breathe it.. rather, hear the melodious sound of birds chirping in the background and a real feeling that time stood still… That is exactly what it felt like :)

When I reached the Bird Sanctuary, I asked the person incharge, the guy who gives the tickets there if I could also get to do a country boat / canoe ride across the backwaters… I was also told that there aren’t many birds inside the sanctuary.. Pollution via Houseboats being the main reason and a lot of them prefer staying in the backwaters for obvious reasons… access to their food… So I chose to take the backwater ride instead of walking all the way inside the sanctuary…

The bird sanctuary guy, set me up with a local boat rider ‘Raju’ and that is where my journey inside the blissful backwaters began… This is far more better than sitting inside a houseboat and enjoying the beauty around you… This is really real and much more up-close and personal to nature… What’s more, you are not contributing in any form of ecological disturbance, plus you are helping these boatmen, rowers with their daily bread and butter… Since it was season time, their rate was 250 bucks for a ride for say an hour or so… But it is truly worth it as the guy will give you details on the birds you see as well as make sure that you get enough time to take great snaps of your surroundings… So here is the journey that I took…

 

My Boat & Raju, the boatman

My Boat & Raju, the boatman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So this is my boatman, Raju… He worked with Taj, yes, the Vivant, by Taj in Kumarakom for 18 years and just a few years ago, he retired from there and started boating… That’s what he does now…

 

Here I go...

Here I go...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here we set sail to reach the Vembannad lake from this river that we were in… He was gently rowing the boat to make sure that he also keeps an eye on any birds that come our way and that I could get some snaps of them…

 

 

Spotted a Houseboat

Spotted a Houseboat

 

 

Raju tells me that there are 200 houseboats alone in Kumarakom… This is the season time and most of the houseboats get great tourists and visitors to visit them. You can find a lot of info here : http://www.welcome2kumarakom.com

 

 

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that was the first bird I spotted… Sadly my basic kit-lens of the Canon 1000D allowed me only this much focus/zoom… If you guys do come here with a DSLR, it would really best to have a better lens with you… especially since, by the time you reach close to them and try clicking a snap, they fly away….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we head further into the river, approaching Vembannad lake, we find a local fisherman set out to his daily job… Yes, imagine, that is his routine and his life.. to earn his bread and butter everyday… Such is life…

 

That is the lakeside resort and hotel, Coconut Lagoon… fancy name, fancy cottages and really exquisite hotel :) Must cost a bomb though I’m guessing…

 

 

Egress Bird

Egress Bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raju tells me that is the Egress bird… And Once I come back and google it.. he is absolutely right… Not that I was testing him or anything, I just forgot the spelling / name of the bird… so did a little R&D when I came back… He sure knows his birds, in fact is honest when he doesn’t and says that this bird came here last year…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s the Cromaran bird.. Very common one found in the Backwaters of Kumarakom and elsewhere in Kerala. One thing about this bird that really looks beautiful, is when it spreads it’s wings and sits!!! It’s a spectacle to watch… :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All these floating plantations, I’m told by Raju, will be clean when monsoon hits Kerala.. They will just vanish… Kaput!!!

 

After an hour long boat ride in the backwaters, I truly felt relaxed… This is the closest you get to Nature and trust me guys, is a very beautiful and relaxing feeling especially when you have to think of nothing… and I mean the Jerry Seinfeld Nothing… :P

 

What do you think about this journey??

 

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Kumarakom Sunset – Lakeview from my cottage

Since I’d been travelling a lot, I decided to just relax and unwind the next day and take a few pictures of nearby areas in Kumarakom and most importantly, since I have such a beautiful Lake view cottage, make sure I take out my tripod courtesy (@thecoffeenazi) and shoot a really good compilation of the sunset by the cottage… So I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

P.S If you ever come to Kumarakom and want this perfectly beautiful lake view cottage home-stay then you can contact Mr. Anil Kumarar – +91- 9995626969

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Welcome to Kumarakom

So Kanyakumari was finally over… A feeling of satisfaction that I got was marvellous… With the end of Kanyakumari, I also ended the Tamil Nadu leg of #SriniOnTour… Felt really great after achieving these locations in a span of 10 days.. What a marvellous experience it had been and so had been the learning throughout this tour so far… It’s a common fact that travelling gives you great perspective, it does, more than that this particular trip had certainly given me a lot more patience and resilience to push yourself harder… Especially when that backpack of mine kept getting heavier… I wondered to myself, why did I even carry my heavy jacket and the blanket… They were seemingly useless as there wasn’t even a hint of cold throughout my experience up until now…

 

Yes, that is what is the keyword… until now… As soon as I left Nagercoil from where I got a bus to Trivandrum, the entire scenario changed… As soon as I left Kanyakumari district and entered Kerala it felt totally surreal!!! The cold breeze blowing in your face, it was cloudy and started drizzling as well… Greenery all besides you, all you could see is a lot of trees, banana plantations, rice / paddy farms… It was truly brilliant…

 

 

Green Peace :P

Green Peace :P

So I headed to Trivandrum, from where I got an express bus to Allepy… which could drop me off to Kottayam… So my journey this time was a little tricky… Kanyakumari-Nagercoil-Trivandrum-Kottayam-Kumarakom… It took me around 8 hours to reach Kumarakom… Thankfully my accomodation had been taken care of. Once again Tweeple to the rescue!!! @whizkidd aka Rahul Srinivas called up his uncle Anil who has a great and I mean uberly great lakeside cottage homestay… That is where I got my accomodation… I reached there at 10:00 PM… Got off at Chakrampadi stand, which is really close from the cottage where I was to stay…

 

Road to my Cottage

Road to my Cottage

Now I settled down in the cottage and saw the view, couldn’t see much then, so decided to think of it in the morning… I got online, tweeted out to @whizkidd that I reached Kumarakom and thanked him for helping me out… The most unthinkable happened… had not happened till now… @kumarakom360 an official twitter handle for Kumarakom tweeted out to me!!! Welcoming me to Kumarakom… As appropriate as it may sound their website also is called http://www.welcome2kumarakom.com Can you beat that??? Brilliant job I must say… I checked out their website and found  a lot of details about the place… It’s certainly worth checking out…

 

I had made up my mind, there are certainly two things I wouldn’t miss doing in Kumarakom,

 

1. A boat ride / canoe ride in the Kumarakom Backwaters.

2. A boat ride to Allaphuza (Venice of Kerala) from Kottayam… (It’s listed as one of the must-dos by Lonely Planet Magazine)

 

So after a really rough ride from Kanyakumari to Kumarakom, I decided to crash and wake up early in the morning… WOW is the only word I have for the view I see outside my room… The Cabin by the lake was truly blissful… I think it’s time to end the really amazing crusade of hop-skip-jump and truly start enjoying my vacation in the peaceful and ever so lovely God’s Own Country… Just relax, unwind, not a lot of travelling but more of enjoying and letting the experience of being in the most blissful place sink in..

 

That's my cabin by the lake...

That's my cabin by the lake...

 

Anil Kumarar

Anil Kumarar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s Anil Kumarar… @whizkidd’s uncle.. In case you guys down here in Kumarakom, you can ask for Beach County that’s the name of the place, it’s right off the lake and  this lake facing cottage can be all yours… His contact no is +91- 9995626969

Early Morninng View

Early Morning View

Truly, it seems like a really blissful few days ahead… before I hit the grind once again…

 

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The Kanyakumari Sunrise…

I had thought of making a Sunrise collage quite a while back when I started #SriniOnTour… Different stages of the Sun Rising and depicting it’s beautiful layers upon us uncanny humans… After missing out the Marina beach breaking of Sunrise because of the confusion between Park and Park Town station… I thought I would get some great pictures at Pondicherry beach… had been waking up early on most of the days to ensure that I get great pictures and am finally able to make a Sunrise album… I guess it wasn’t to be… As they say, everything happens for a reason… Now I know the reason… The sunrise collage had to be in this most blissful and eternal place of all… Farthest down south and the most beautiful place I’ve seen so far…

 

So I woke up early at 5:30 AM, quickly showered and made sure I got to the Sunrise point at 6:00 AM… Thankfully I got a hotel room not quite far from the Sunrise point.. As expected, everyone in Kanyakumari (mostly tourists, fishermen, malbari swamis) was wide awake and ready to witness the grandeur… After Rameshwaram I had certainly anticipated this one… So I had to make sure that I go to a spot where I get great snaps… So I decided to walk all the way to the bridge near the Muttom fishing Vilalge…

 

 

Muttom Village

Muttom Village

There is a huge bridge of rocks, (I overheard someone saying it’s the bridge that helped Lord Rama get across to Lanka… hahaha.. what imagination some people have) Anyways, it’s  a beautiful sight that I must say… and if you walk down the bridge with the breeze in your face, it’s nothing but eternal bliss that you ‘face.’ So after reaching the bridge midway, I decided to sit down on one of those rocks and patiently wait for the Sun to rise…

 

 

The Rocky Bridge...

The Rocky Bridge...

 

There were clouds and my hopes were diminishing.. Hopes of seeing the sun in it’s orangey best… Well, I was crossing my fingers and hoping that I get some really nice pictures… Slowly I saw the rays of light break through the cloud… Fishermen going into the sea across the horizon, the rays really blissful and the Sun raring to go and break out of those clouds… All I did was cross my fingers and hope in my heart that the Sun does breakthrough those cloudy shackles…

 

 

Breaking Through...

Breaking Through...

 

Slowly, yet steadily, Surya Bhagwan (Lord Sun) answered my prayers and made sure he showed up for one of the best collages thatI’ve been able to shoot so far :) It was an experience that was totally worth it…

 

 

Lord Surya Answered my prayer...

Lord Surya Answered my prayer...

After that was done with… I decided to head off to the Vivekananda Memorial Rock, the first ferry that takes you there starts at 8:00 AM and tickets go up for sale at 7:45 AM… The state-owned Poompuhar Shipping Corporation runs ferry services between the town and the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar statue, situated on rocky islets off the coast.

 

 

Ferry to the Rocks...

Ferry to the Rocks...

 

There is a huge queue that starts gathering around 7:00 AM and I was at the back of it of course… But thankfully, the queue is fast moving and you have to just wait till 8:30 to get there… Getting there is an experience in itself… Wearing Life Jackets just for the heck of it of course, cos none of them were really worth wearing, some broken chords, some tattered jackets… but at the end of it all it’s just a formality so to speak.. Though when the time comes, I’m sure they would help you to a certain extent, but I don’t think its a big ordeal…

 

One of the rocks called Sri Padhaparai is said to bear the footprints of the virgin goddess. Swami Vivekananda is said to have meditated on this rock for three days. Also on this rock, there is a Dhyana mandapam, an area for meditation. Ferry services are available to reach the memorial. (Wikipedia)

 

 

Vivekananda Memorial Rock

Vivekananda Memorial Rock

 

Once you are done with the Vivekananda Rock, you get into another ferry, which will take you to the Thiruvalluvar Statue… the gigantic 133 feet (40.5 m) tall statue of Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar (Completed on January 1, 2000 by the legandary Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, Chennai) is one of the biggest statues in Asia. (Wikipedia) Witnessing this is truly an experience that you should not miss… Truly blissful :)

 

 

 

 

 

Thiruvalluvar Statue

Thiruvalluvar Statue

 

Thiruvalluvar's Foot

Thiruvalluvar's Foot

All in all these two hours in the midst of the ocean really make you wonder… think about what you are really doing in life… Not just about the spiritual existence of your body mind and soul, but also the real question of what you want to do in life… One thing you must do… is get to the top most section at the feet of the statue… From there you can really look out to the horizon.. Look out to the horizon and ask yourself the question… What are you? Who are you?  Why are you here?? How should you go about life… Truly a philosophy of existence is something you will see, with clairvoyance of sorts that you won’t be able to witness elsewhere…

 

 

A distant view...

A distant view...

 

Inside Out...

Inside Out...

Utterly Blissful

Utterly Blissful

This certainly has been a mesmerizing experience for me… Do let me know what you think of this?? Have you ever felt this way??

 

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Reaching Kanyakumari…

So the next day I woke up at 5:00 AM, to go to the temple to witness the early morning procession… I quickly left towards the temple, but before that I had to check out the sea shore, which I hadn’t checked out the earlier night. Surprisingly when I started walking towards the temple… it didn’t even feel like 5:00 AM,  it was just like I was there the night before… People buzzing with chants, talking to each other, some groups of old ladies chanting mantras and singing their kirtanas… Rickshaw drivers waiting outside the temple, for people who are moving out… For them it was a routine… And why wouldn’t it be? This happens everyday out there…

 

Anyways I headed to the bus stop, not surprisingly, the rickshaw driver who was going to drop me today didn’t answer his calls, so I didn’t waste anymore time and decided to head off to the bus stand in another auto…

 

So here I’m at the bus stand and the only bus that goes to Kanyakumari is right there… And boy, was it a bus or what… A SETC ordinary bus, which was going to fill up loads of luggage of all the people going to Kanyakumari and it didn’t even have a luggage compartment at the back… The only one that was available was on the side.. Which mean’t my 20 KG something backpack would have to be crammed beneath the bottom of my seat.. Thankfully the guy sitting next to me didn’t mind and I was sorted…

 

After a gruelling long journey of 9 hours, mostly sleeping, some reading the book Tokyo Cancelled and some tweeting and facebooking, it was really amazing to reach Kanyakumari… Well, enroute Kanyakumari, you would find a lot of Windmills most of them by Suzlon power… a stock in which I used to invest once upon a time and then it fell.. :( Going by the looks of it, these windmills were there for a reason…

 

 

Approaching Kanyakumari

Approaching Kanyakumari

 

 

 

Suzlon Windmills near Kanyakumari

Suzlon Windmills near Kanyakumari

 

 

Anyways as soon as you get off at Kanyakumari… it doesn’t feel anything like the  Kanyakumari you have imagined… the bliss, the enchantment and the convulsion of the tri-sea… The whole picture that you have about it, vanishes in seconds… It’s become a hub for all commercial dwellers… Most of the restaurants where I was staying are run by north indians, marwaris etc.. serving Punjabi food, heck I even ate at a place called ‘Punjabi Dhaba’ just near Hotel Sea View… enroute the sunrise point.

 

Now, speaking of the hotel that I stayed in… the biggest challenge out here arrives… Securing a hotel room because I’m single.. No I didn’t mean my marital status or relationship status on Facebook… I was alone.. 1 guy!! Yes, travelling like a nomad wanderer for 10 days, I hadn’t shaved and definitely looked like a terrorist with loads of weapons in my backpack :P Well anyways, seemingly as imagined, just like Rameshwaram, Kanyakumari also has a directive from the cops/govt. not to give accommodation to ‘single guys.’

 

So yes, it had to do with the high sensitivity around the area with the Sri Lanka issue… I was also told stories by some in Rameshwaram that there have been cases of guys who had come alone… and committed suicide in Lord Rama’s sharan… to get eternal bliss… What the hell… I just looked at myself in the mirror… Heck I certainly look like both of these potential cases… Damn, first thing I’m gonna do is get a shave… :)

 

Anyways, after loooking around for half an hour, carrying the heavy backpack on my back and shelling out a few extra bucks, I got myself a room.. decent enough, but not certainly for the price I paid Rs. 1200… woah… there goes my budget and I’m already two days behind now.. Most probably, will have to skip Kodaikanal…

 

So I settled down and decided to go out in the evening and get some nice shots of the beach to calm my mind especially after the rough ride that I had been through, esp with the constant honking of the bus driver as I was sitting a couple of seats right behind the driver…

 

First shot of Kanyakumari...

First shot of Kanyakumari...

 

 

 

Peace of Mind

Peace of Mind

 

 

 

I need a house like that...

I need a house like that...

 

 

So, I visited the Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam and if you go the top section, you can get really great views of the ocean that sets you apart from all the madness of the world… An enchanting bliss with the breeze blowing in my face, made my irritation vanish in seconds… I was feeling much lighter and much better now… Certainly a Kanyakumari that I had imagined and hoped to look forward to early in the morning the next day… especially the Vivekananda Memorial Rock… I heard it is blissful :)

 

 

 

Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam

Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam

 

 

 

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