Trip to South India

Tripoto
1st Oct 2014

Kanyakumari

Photo of Trip to South India by Biswa Ranjan Nayak
Day 1

It was my second time visiting Bangalore in winter of 2014. After meeting with friends, I and one of my friend decided to utilize the long weekend ahead and go to some places in South India. We boarded the bus from Bangalore at night for Madurai, our first stop. At morning 6am, we reached Madurai town. We were very early, so waited for our driver to reach and pick us up. After a while, he arrived in a hatchback and picked us up. We went looking for a hotel to freshen up and get ready to go to Meenakshi Amman Temple. The temple was huge and its surrounding was so clean. Everything was organised properly. Visited every corner of temple premise. Made a few purchase from local shops. Around 12pm, we had our lunch in a restaurant with authentic tamil cuisine. Then we set out for local sightseeing. The first place was St. Mary's Cathedral. The church resembled a structure of victorian era with stained glasses. Spent some time here and then moved on to next place which is Gandhi Memorial Museum. The museum exhibits artifacts and photos from Gandhi's lifetime and his involvement in India's independence movement. A must visit place for all history buffs. Then we did set our course towards Rameswaram, our next destination for night halt.

Day 2

After a journey of approx. 4 hours, we reached Rameswaram. It seemed like an isolated island connected to the mainland by Pamban bridge. While crossing the bridge, we stopped for a moment to enjoy the sunset with lots of small boats on both sides of the bridge and the vast blue ocean around us. After a while, we went out to enquire about hotels for nightstay and chose one close to the temple and beach. The very next day, we woke up early and went to temple. Bought the tickets and stood in the queue. Sri Ramanathaswamy temple is one of the most sacred pilgrimage for Hindus. There are 22 holy wells(aka teertham) inside the temple to take bath and then go to Shiva's shivling darshan. The presiding deity, the Lingam of Ramanathaswamy (Shiva), is believed to have been established and worshiped by Rama, an avatar of the god Vishnu, to absolve the sins created during the Ramayana war at Sri Lanka. The temple has the longest corridor among all Hindu temples in India. After visiting the temple, we had our lunch and set out for some sightseeing. The first place was House of Kalam(Dr APJ Abdul Kalam). A nice tribute by converting his house into a museum/memorial. It showcases books, certificates, medals, his life works. Ground floor is house of Kalam Sir, First floor is an exhibition. On the second floor you will find souvenirs, sea shells, books etc. Very motivational and a must visit place.

Day 3

Next morning, we set out to visit Dhanushkodi, an abandoned town after 1964 cylcone. Parked our car near Car point and took one mini-van to venture into the ghosted town. As we kept going, there was an eerie vibe around with sands and demolished structures like churches,huts, walls etc. After a while, we reached the tip of Dhanushkodi beach and wandered a bit. Could see ocean water all around us and the eeriness. We returned to the Car parking point after about 4 hrs, as our van got stuck in the mud and alternate arrangements were made. We came back to hotel and checked out to proceed towards Kanyakumari, our next destination.

Day 4

The journey from Rameswaram to Kanyakumari was very enjoyable. Beautiful highway with windmills on both sides made me feel like some Scandinavian countryside. We reached KK very late around 12am night. Thankfully, we found a good hotel to check in and a restaurant with sea-food. Even at that time, tourists were pouring in and you could hear the sound of ocean. In the morning, we missed the sunrise. Apparently, there was a sunrise viewpoint in our hotel. However, we had our breakfast and set out for tickets for ferry to visit Vivekananda Rock Memorial. There was heavy rush as it was weekend. After waiting 2-3 hours we got the ferry and went to memorial. It's a nice monument in middle of the sea with soothing breeze. A wonderful place where Sunrise(Bay of Bengal) and Sunset (Arabian Sea) both can be seen. Then our ferry took us to nearby Thiruvalluvar Statue (a Tamil poet). Then we came back to the shore and went to Bhagavathy Amman Temple for darshan. For sightseeing, we visited Kamarajar Memorial. After having lunch, we started our journey to Madurai again to catch bus to Bangalore.

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