Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Let's Go, Rock! - Nagercoil - Part 3

It was my long time wish to visit to the tip of India, Kaniyakumari, Tamil Nadu.  I got the chance when I visited my in-laws at Nagercoil.  Kaniyakumari is about 20 kms from Nagercoil.  We got a bus in Nagercoil to Kaniyakumari which took about 2 hours to reach Kaniyakumari.  It is where Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal converge.  (Read Part-1 & Part-2)

After we got down from the bus the first place we wanted to visit is Swami Vivekanda Rock which is situated in the sea, about a half kilometer from the shore.  We had to follow a queue to buy the tickets for the trip to the rock.  Even after buying the tickets we had to follow another queue for the ferries. There are two ferries which make many trips to take tourists from the shore to the rock and back.  The capacity of each ferry as I expect is about 100 passengers per trip. 

That was the first time I travelled by a ferry and I never sailed on the sea before.  It was like a Titanic experience for me.  The other attraction was Tiruvalluvar Statue which was built in the year 2000.  It was made to remember the famous poet in tamil, Tiruvalluvar who wrote couplets called ‘Thirukural’ containing 1330 such kurals (couplets) in 133 different categories which contented in three sections, namely, Aram (Morality), Porul (Wealthiness), Inbam (Pleasure).  This has been translated in many languages in the world including English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Hindi, etc.   

The statue is 133 feet height reflecting the 133 categories weighing about 7000 tons.  We had no chance to visit the statue as it was undergoing renovation and cleaning.  So, we missed the opportunity to have a near look at the statue.  But we could enjoy having a glimpse of the statue from certain distance. 

When the ferry arrived for the next trip we got a chance to get into that.  It took a few minutes to reach the Swami Vivekananda Rock.  Just after we got down at the rock, the first thing we did was photographed ourselves with the ferry in the background.

We had to remove our foot wears at the place that is meant for.  By the time we reached the rock it was already afternoon and the rock started heating up the foot.  There was a white line path all around the rock which helped us to get away from the heat.

Swami Vivekananda Memorial hall was built in the year 1970 on the bigger rock is situated about 200 feet away from the Tiruvalluvar Statue which stands on the other rock in the sea.  There is also a meditation hall for visitors to meditate.  No photographs were allowed inside the halls.  It is believed that he swam in the sea to the rock to meditate.  The place is a must visit one. 

Virtual Tour of the Rock: Click here

Ferry fee: Rs.34/- for Adults, Rs.17/- for students
Entrance Fee: Rs.20/-
Visiting Hours: 8.00 am to 4.00 pm

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sothavilai Beach – Nagercoil – Part 2

The next evening at Nagercoil we spent at Chothavilai or Sothavilai Beach which is about 12-13 kms from Vadasery.  We took a bus from Vadasery to Anna Bus Stand and from there we took another bus to the beach.  There are two bus stands here at Nagercoil.  One is Anna Bus stand for travels in and around Nagercoil-Kanyakumari and other is Vadasery Bus Stand for travelling to other parts of Tamilnadu. Most of the local buses are private owned called Mini-buses and the bus fares are all uniform as it is regularized by the local authority. (Read Part-1)

We placed ourselves on the seats at the end of the bus for which we later regretted.  We had the Roller Coaster experience as the bus was running on the uneven roads. It passed through many narrowed left and right turns finally left us at shore of Indian Ocean.

The beach stretches over 4 kms.  It is one of the beaches in the Kanyakumari district.  The sand on the shore is very clean and soft.  It is one of the Tsunami affected areas in the year 2004 when it hit Southern parts of Tamilnadu, India.

When we visited, we could see only a few families, some couples and a few groups of friends.  The beach looked very calm.  Since we went in the evening we could see the Sun setting, is the other place after Kanyakumari where you can see the Sunset.   That evening was so pleasant with cool breeze in the hot summer.  Since the beach is so interior you can’t stay for long in the late evening.   You have to move before it is dark.  You can enjoy the beautiful atmosphere here. (Read Part-3)

Image Credit: Wikepedia

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Serpent King – Nagercoil – Part 1

It was my first trip to Nagercoil.  I have been invited by my in-laws since after marriage.  I had so many excuses to avoid the visit.  Finally, we decided to give our present at Nagercoil and meet my in-laws. 

The bus was passing through the darkness; there were signs of Wind Turbine even in that gloomy roadside; that indicated we were so near to Nagercoil.  We got down at 3.30 am in those so silent, empty roads.  There were some dogs barking at us if we looked like either the thieves or ghosts.

It was so tiring after getting up in the morning.  I seemed to have no more rest as we had already listed down the places to visit.  We put up in my wife’s Aunt’s house.  The people in the street started visiting us one by one and I was introduced to everyone by my wife.  It was really a great surprise to me as I never experienced that warm welcome.  At Metros, we don’t visit people unless they call us.  But here people are so kind that they didn’t expect us to visit them instead they voluntarily visited us and welcomed.  That is the true love that still exists in Semi-urban and villages.

Nagercoil is situated at southern part of Tamilnadu in India just close to Kaniyakumari, the other end of India.  Earlier the city was attached to Kerala and it was merged with Tamilnadu in the year 1956.  The name Nagercoil means Serpent Temple (Nager – Serpent, Coil – Temple) situated here, called Nagaraja (Serpent King) Temple.  The temple’s the architecture portraits Kerala style temples.  And you can see many Keralites are still living here and the place is visited by them then and there.  I missed the opportunity to go inside of this temple as we were so late when the temple was closed that day and we couldn’t make another visit as we had other places in our list.   The temple is dedicated to Snakes and the architecture and the shrines in the temple are in the form of Snakes.  This is one of the important places visited by many tourists. (Read Part-2 & Part-3)

For Images: Google Images
Image Credit: wikipedia
Our list of places includes Kaniyakumari, Suchindram, Sothavalai Beach which I write later. Just keep visiting.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Guru

On the stretch of Chennai-Tiruvallur High Road, nearby Padi flyover, just opposite to the ‘Padavattamman Temple’, there was a narrow land which led us to the ‘Thiruvaleeswarar Temple’ on that sunny Sunday.   Within a few steps, we found a small piece of vacant land to our right side, in front of the temple. 

It is one of the Shiva Temples in India.  The temple though not so famous, has rich history and has been sung by famous Tamil Poet ‘Thirunana Sambanthar’.   The temple is believed to be about thousand years old one.  Before the entrance there were devotees all around the temple, wearing yellow colour dhotis.  Some of them were digging the land in front of the temple to prepare it for ‘Theemidhi Thiruvizha’ which is one of the famous functions, usually as a custom of dedication to the Hindu Gods.  This function is mostly famous in the southern part of India, especially in Tamilnadu.  The main concept of this function is that the devotees to walk on the fire and complete the ritual.  This literally means to control the mind and forget the pain.  The pain only for the body and mind which is not permanent and the soul is immortal.

Padi Thiruvalleeswarar temple

There is a courtyard in front of the temple with corridor.  Once you pass the courtyard you can have dharsan of main shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva who is called ‘Thiruvaleeswarar’ here.  You can see the idols of ‘Suryan’, ‘Vinayagar’ and ‘Murugan’ on the corridor around the main shrine.

There is one separate shrine for ‘Guru’, one of the nine planets (Navakragam) which rules one’s life.  The planet ‘Guru’ is known as Jupiter in English is believed to have a greater impact in one’s life especially wealth according to the Indian Astrology.  The temple is visited by many people mainly because of ‘Guru’.  The temple is one of the ‘parigara isthalam’ where one can remove the bad things in their life caused by ‘Guru’.

Location: Padi, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India – About 12 kilometers from Chennai Central Railway Station
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