Saturday, July 15, 2006

Kanyakumari

To recap from where I left off in the last post, we were walking toward our hotel in the fast approaching darkness, and my camera caught the static electricity bit, with Dad in the background looking very cross! :D

Next day we set out in an Ambassador car to our third destination, Kanyakumari. As usual I fell asleep almost as soon as the car started moving. This was a strange kind of phenomenon. Each time I stepped into a car on this trip, I would fall asleep almost immediately! I guess the anti-travel sickness pills that I was taking weren't helping matters any!

But I would wake up intermittently, and thank God I did, otherwise I would have missed some amazing scenery. We stopped for a while at the bridge that connects Rameshwaram to the mainland. The water here was of the most fascinating shades of blue and green!

The railway bridge is slightly below the one for motor vehicles. And Ma recalled that when we were on that bridge on our way to Rameshwaram, she felt as though if she just reached out of the window, she could touch the water! I unfortunately missed this sight because I was asleep on the upper berth.

It was a cloudy day when we set out for Kanyakumari. It even rained a little. Masses of grayish-white clouds were bunched up in the sky. Add to that the fields of coconut trees, green shrubs, and hills in the distance.

We even passed by fields of windmills. The sky at that moment took on a peculiar purple tinge. The views were absolutely breath taking!

We reached Kanyakumari sometime in the late afternoon. We could see the Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Thiruvallavar statue from our hotel balcony. On our first day it rained quite a bit, so plans to stroll down to the beach in the evening had to be cancelled.

We were in for a not very nice surprise when we went to the restaurant attached to our hotel for dinner. The food though sort of palatable was quite below par. No Nonsensical Dad flared up and fired all the poor waiters there about what terrible food we had been served. I felt bad for the poor guys, so I stated that there was no need to exaggerate. But next morning Ma found a big fat dead fly in her omlette! It was decided there and then that we would eat all our meals somewhere else.

Anyway, on our second day in Kanyakumari, we first visited the Suchindrum Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. I like the way South Indian temples are designed, with their beautifully sculpted gopurams, which are painted in vivid colours, although the gopuram of the Suchindrum temple wasn’t painted and was plain white.

We then went to the Kanyakumari railway station. It is the last station on the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. Here again D was up to his usual tricks and directed me to record him walking down the tracks, while Ma sang “Musafir hoon yaaron”! :))

Then we visited the Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial and the Thiravullavar statue. For this we had to go in little boats. The sea was very, very rough and the boat tossed around quite a lot. I really had to control a strong urge to lean over and throw up!!

But I reached the Rock Memorial without parting with my breakfast! LOL! All the tourists were first ushered into a room and told about the history of the Memorial and how it was built. Right opposite the Memorial is a structure that houses the impression of a single footprint, which is supposed to be Goddess Parvati’s. Apparently she left it there when she was meditating standing only on her right foot.

The Memorial building houses the statue of Swami Vivekananda. No photography was allowed within, but we could take pictures from the outside.

Outside the memorial a Sunrise Calendar has been inscribed on the ground, and beside that is a structure called Sun Time. I’m guessing it tells one how to calculate the time of sunrise or sunset, but of course I could be wrong.

Strong gusts of wind were blowing, and I just loved that! :)

I forgot to add that from Kanyakumari one can see the waters of three different water bodies. The blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, the white waters of the Indian ocean and the black waters of the Arabian sea. We could just about make out the distinctions, especially the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, because it was a very cloudy day and the distinction is apparently much sharper when the sun shines brightly.

So after wandering about the Memorial for a while, we took another boat to go to the island on which the Thiruvallavar statue stood.

Thiruvallavar was a saint-philosopher-poet who lived in B.C. I forget which year exactly! There are 70 steps leading up to the statue. So Lazy Parents once more elected to sit put at the base and D and I made our way up.

While we felt strong gusts of wind blowing when we were at the Memorial, it felt like a mini cyclone was attacking us when we got to the top of the Thiravullavar statue! We were literally and physically being pushed around by the wind! Sometimes sprays of water also fell on us. It was sooooo much fun!

So after being pushed around by the wind for a while we made our way down.

Next, we made our way to the Wax Museum. It houses mostly Tamilian celebrities, like Jayalalitha, Rajnikanth, Mohanlal and others.

A statue of Rahul Dravid is going to be installed soon. There’s also a statue of Shree Anandamayi Maa, which looked so real that it was spooky! The statues of Jayalalitha and Manmohan Singh were quite accurate too. But Rajnikanth’s statue didn’t look too real. But as I’m a great (ahem!) “Fan” of Rajnikanth, and had promised some friends to pose beside him, I did, with the “Baba” hand gesture!! I was hoping that his statue would be dressed in some flashy clothes on the lines of bright yellow shirt, but was disappointed to see it wearing a plain ole kurta. Ah, well! :D

Anyway, after this we ate at some other hotel and went back to our hotel. And thus the second day in Kanyakumari came to an end.

There was a lighthouse right beside our hotel and the revolving lights at night looked very pretty. I have tried to capture it using night mode on the camera but it’s not come out all that clearly.

Next day after breakfast D returned to our hotel room while my parents and I visited the Kanya Temple after which we did a bit of shopping for our family back in Hyderabad. Of course, I also bought some stuff for myself.

In the evening we visited the Church of Our Lady of Ransom. It was a beautiful church! And it looked even more beautiful with the azure sky in the background.

After spending a few moments there we made our way to Sunset Point. This was beside the sea. But the sea was in the southern direction. So all my dreams of taking the pictures of the sun drowning in the sea were shattered! And also it was a very cloudy day so the sunset was not as fabulous as I had expected it to be. But as most people know, I’m a sucker for sunsets, fabulous or not, and this one was stunning nevertheless! I had clicked 14 snaps of the sunset, and here are some of the good ones.

While the sun was descending we made our way to the rocks at the shore. I shot off toward a nice rocky outcrop, which jutted into the sea, with Dad in hot pursuit!! :)) The waves were lashing against these rocks with such ferocity! In fact I have never seen such rough waters ever in my life before I came to Kanyakumari. Below, the first picture was taken without the assistance of night mode, while the second close up was.

Water bodies and sunsets are two of my most favourite things! So one can imagine how much I loved being there at Sunset Point! I just didn’t feel like leaving, but as usual, all good things must come to an end… but not for too long! :D

The next day we set off for Kovalam in Kerala. But looks like I’ll have to have a separate post for that as this one has gotten quite long too. But I promise the third one will be the last in this series. :)

6 comments:

Vir said...

Really cool pictures...I want to see all those places for myself! :) Glad you had such a nice vacation!

s0ulasylum said...

nice pics.. ! :)
--> fat fly in ur moms omlette..
euugghhh! poor thing must've lost her appetite for the rest of the day.. :(
--> ur a rajnikant fan? *ahem*.. err.. DONT temme tht this is THE ANNIE effect on you! :)
--> kovalam? wow!.. didn't u like totally love tht place?? i rem visiting it as a kid.. and i fell in love with it.. n kept threatening my parents tht if they didnt buy me that beach i would jump into the sea :)
..by the way.. did you get to eat any authentic kerala food? i shd've emailed u a list ..

niki yokota said...

awww~ u look pretty with Rajnikanth!!
sumo wrestler?! lololol
the photos are awesome and breathtaking. thank u soooo much!!

the Monk said...

Nice...looks like you've been having fun...

Phoenix Rises said...

Hey Vir!
Thanks a lot!

Hi Soul!
--> It takes a lot more than a fly to make my mom lose her appetite!!! ;)
--> The Annie effect it is!!! :))
--> Yup!!!! I looooved Kovalam. Am gonna write about it soon.

I had a lotta fried fish Kerala-style!

Hi Niki!
Thank you so much!

Hey Monk!
Yes, I did have fun! :)

Meriaza said...

if you planning to visit kanyakumari(once again) Check this out
It has all those info on secret little places which you might have missed.