Part – 4 Kanyakumari
The journey from Pondi to Kanyakumari was one helluva rickety ride! Catching a train to Kanyakumari meant treading back to Chennai. We opted for the bus. Had we known what was in store for us, I guess we’d have second thoughts about it. But all said & done we boarded the bus.
It was shortly after three in the afternoon that we started our journey again. We knew we were heading to Kanyakumari but the number of stopovers that were to follow was beyond the means of our imagination.
The bus ride seemed never ending. And the road went up & down. There were too many bumps, and I was sure to get a severe backache by the time we reach our destination. After a drive of about four-five hours we reached this small place called Tiruchchirappalli! From there we were to find another bus that would take us on our voyage. The dusk had set and there arose a feeling of bitterness. We were not sure whether we had done the right thing. We were to blame ourselves if anything unpleasant was to happen to us. Though the same feeling ran through in each of us we didn’t show that! (This we let out while clubbing at a pub in Bangalore – at the end of our backpacking).
Language seemed to be the focal hitch! But somehow we managed to pass across our queries to the in-charge that “we were looking for a bus that would take us to Kanyakumari”.
The in-charge did comprehend and showed us which bus number we should embark.
Once inside the cramped bus, I dozed off. I was tired… the heat & the dust was all over. It never felt like it was the month of December. All I wanted at that hour was a strong cuppa coffee & a nice soothing shower!
I’ve never ever had such a terrible bus ride in my life! This thought came to me almost instantly when the bus started in motion. But what was the use complaining now? So I set my thoughts aside and tried to appreciate the surroundings, though there was nothing much to been see as it was already dark outside.
My sleep was radically broken when the tyres screeched as the driver pulled the brakes! I looked at my watch. It was 1.30 a.m. The glowsign of a shop showed the name Tirunelvelli. So we guesed we were at Tirunelvelli. We were famished to death and headed towards the first food joint we saw. A man came and asked what we would like to eat. Ashima said “ANYTHING”…. Soon we were served paranthas & a mixed veggies & just a single bite left me in disgust. It was not at all eatable. I went to the shop nearby, equipped myself with some biscuits & that’s what saved me from an attack of gastric.
From Tirunelvelli we hopped on to another bus and the rest of the ride was no better. More bumps all the way!
By the time we reached Kanyakumari it was dawn. I was too tired to look at the sunrise. We checked in at a decent hotel and I crashed, whereas Aerosmith & Ashima rushed to the beach to click pics….
We did some sight seeing on our own.
Kanyakumari is located at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. The small temple dedicated to Kanyakumari , or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari was referred to by the British as Cape Commorin . Kanyakumari represents the site where the spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda spent days in meditation upon a rock off of the coast. A memorial built in his honor is accessible via ferry. There is also a recently built memorial to Tiruvalluvar , the author of the philosophical work Tirukkural - a treatise on the Indian way of life.
Swami Vivekananda Rock Memorial - This grand memorial to the great Indian Philosopher Swami Vivekananda is on one of the twin rocks jutting out from the sea about 200 meters offshore.There is a Dhyana Mandapam where one can sit in a serene atmosphere and meditate.Ferry services are available to reach the memorial.
Kumari Amman Temple -Pictures quely situated overlooking the shore, this temple and the nearby Ghat attract tourist from all over the world.According to a legend, Devi did penance here to secure Lord Siva's hand in marriage.When she was unsuccessful, she vowed to remain a virgin (Kanya).The Diamond nose-ring of this deity is famous for its sparkling splendor which is supposed to be visible even from the sea.
Our halt in Kanyakumari was for two days. On the 25th, early morning we crossed borders and reached the next state – Kerala