I have always been fascinated to stand at a point which is the end of Land and say Yes I have arrived. And Primarily for that Reason I wanted to be in Kanyakumari. I was told that I had visited Kanyakumari 30 years back. The only thing that I remember from the trip is us (me, my dad and mom and Our Gandmother coming back by bus) And in her hand was the carpet that she bought. That carpet is still there in our house. Strange these days whatever I do/think of seem to have a connection to her :).
Well yes finally for the Trip. I had been planning for the trip for quite some time. Finally Rachana wife wanted to go for Pongala in Trivandrum I said yes, let us do it. We added another day to the trip for Kanyakumari.
We booked Train tickets from Bangalore to Kanyakumari , starting on Saturday 7th of Mar 09. Kanyakumari Express
Well Finally we boarded the train from KR Puram; Deepak dropped us till KR Puram. The train was on time. We found little difficulty in locating our position. Bangalore was still having chilly climate & I was getting worried if the change of climate would have an impact on Advika. The train was crowded & we were sitting (not in our berth) till Bangarapet. By 11 everyone was pulling out their sleeping bags and we dozed off.
Chai Chai... was the next thing I remember... I got up for my morning chores. Little did I realize that the Water in the compartment was running out... I was done and I realized that we will not have water supply for long. People from other compartment were coming over to our place. Everyone was complaining about water shortange in the Trains. This being a regular incident in Kanyakumari express. At Trichur Railway station they filled in Water. We bought some Idly from Railway catering. Going by my experience during Shabarimala trip, I did not want to take Risk :). Advika was happy getting a view of a lot of things on the country side. Incidentally Kanakumari express takes the longer route from Eranakulam to Thiruvananthapuram. Via Kottayam, Kayamkulam. At Kollam a few of Rachana's family friends boarded the train. They wanted to meet Advika for the first Time. I had never seen Pongala before and from the rush in the trains I could realize How huge it was going to be! The train was delayed by an hour when we reached Thiruvananthapuram. My Dad and Mom & Rachana's dad joined us from Thiruvananthapuram. They had arrived on Sunday Morning from Kannur. The train chugged along and it was like a local train with a lot of stops until Kanyakumari. 3 hours for a distance of close to 90 km, should be one of the local trains :).
I was eager to get a view of the setting sun, but it was late... By the time we reached Kanyakumari it was was already 7pm. I was amazed at the Railway station. Pretty Long & a terminating station. The First thing that I realized in Kanyakumari is that people are really Good. They do not try to cheat you. Perhaps people have realized that Tourism is their source of revenue. Sajith my School mate who runs his business had booked a hotel for us. We freshed up and came out for a walk. The temple closes around 8pm in the night so we decided to take a visit to the temple.
The Kanyakumari temple is an ancient one and has been mentioned in the Ramayana, Mahabharata. Legend has it that the demon Baanaasuran wreaked havoc on the inhabitants of this world, and that Mahavishnu requested the Gods and the humans to request primeval energy Paraasakthi to vanquish the demon. Answering the prayers of the oppressed, Shakti appeared as a young virgin girl at Kanyakumari and commenced penance with the desire of marrying Shiva at Suchindram.Legend has it that the celestial Sage Narada, fixed the midnight hour as the auspicious time for the wedding. When Shiva's procession reached a site by name Vazhukkumpaarai, a rooster crowed, hearlding daybreak, and that Shiva assuming that the auspicious hour was past, returned to Suchindram. The disappointed Goddess decided to spend her life in Kanyakumari as a virgin, and that all the food prepared for the wedding was laid waste and that it turned into the colored sand seen on the southern shores of the subcontinent.The demon Banaasuran upon hearing of Shakti's story proceeded to Kanyakumari to win her hand in marriage by force, and this led to a fierce battle in which he was slain by her. The Nose Ring of the Goddess is very famous. It is said that it is so glowing to divert ships in the ocean. Hence the Front door of the temple is opened only during 5 festival days in a year.
I was really astonished by the number of people who were lying on the pavement towards the temple. Really poor people from the surrounding areas who cannot afford a hotel in Kanyakumari. Even the cheapest of the hotels. Lying on the pavement, sharing food(rice and curry) brought from home. Just to see a glimse of the diety. Amazing is the power that creates belief in the Poorest of the Poor.
We had dinner from one of the restaurants near by and went back to the hotel.
The next day morning I wanted to witness sun rise. We started off early towards the break water. I decided to walk until the end, but since we were late I had sit down to take a glimse of sun rise. So We sat down waiting for Sunrise. I could also see saint Thirvualluvars statue & Vivekananda Rock. And then it happened the Sun just peeped out of the horizon. As we walked back to the hotel I could see a lot of fishing boats approaching the harbour. Sea Shells in different forms that is the best thing in Kanyakumari. Remember to pick up one for your with your name written on it. And believe me things are relatively cheap. The shopkeepers are really Good. They acknowledge and help out. Perhaps the influence of Swami Vivekananda.
The Train from Kanyakumari starts at 10:30am. We rushed towards the hoteld to have breakfast. Got Ready and took tickets to Trivandrum and boarded the train. Kanyakumari is such a small town, I pretty much know the entire town by now! I definetly want to visit Kanyakumari again and some time soon when Advika is young to understand things.
While I was in the Train I remembered things that I would do the next time in Kanyakumari
1) Watch Sun Set. &
2) Go to Vivekananda Rock
Coming soon.. Aatukal Pongala...
Vivekanada Rock and Saint Thiruvalluvar statue.