Sunday, July 26, 2009

Capital of "God's Own Country" & Cape Comorin

I had to go to Thiruvananthapuram for some days for office work. I, along with 3 more colleagues, one of them is from Thiruvananthapuram itself and the other two visiting for the first time, went there on Dec 14th, 2008. Same day, during afternoon, we went to Veli village to mark the start of our trip.

Veli tourist village is a good picnic spot, where the Veli lake (rather river) meets Arabian sea, which is around 10 km from Thiruvananthapuram. After wandering in the park for some time, we went for paddle boating. That was first experience for me. We were given life jackets and half an hour time. It was very enjoying. There was horse riding as well, though we weren't interested. I have been to so many hotels, but I never had Coconut milkshake which we had at Veli. It was good. I don't have any snaps of Veli as my Camera battery had dried out.

Next week, we were busy in our work. On 20th, saturday, we visited Napier Art Museum, located at the heart of the ciy, built in 19th century. The museum houses a rare collection of archealogical and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, etc. It's worth visiting the place.

Near to the museum was the zoological park, built in 1859! I had never been to a big zoo before, so I found it providing home to many animals. There were elephants, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, zebra, leopards, tigers, lions, sloth bears, fox, jackals among many more. There were a good number of birds too - various pelicans, parrots, peacocks, vultures, hawks, ostrich etc., Reptiles were there as well.

Next day, we started early to Kanyakumari, southermost tip of Indian peninsula, which was nearly 2.5 hours of journey from Thiruvananthapuram, via Nagarcoil. Wow! Kanyakumari, cape comorin, offers fantastic sight with seas in 2 directions and an ocean in 3rd. It's the very confluence of the 3 water bodies - Indian Ocean, Arabean sea and Bay of Bengal. The thought, of being at the bottom most tip of India, geographically, makes us feel something!

On the beach, I laughed remembering my question to my father, almost 15-16 years before. "How can we distinguish the 3 seas at Kanyakumari" I had asked, to which my father had replied, "The three seas have different colours - Red, Green and Blue and my boy, you can make out the difference."

Post lunch, we went to Vivekananda Rock Memorial. One needs to buy a ticket and wait in a long queue to put your foot on the boat, which carries to the rock. History says that Vivekananda swam to the rock in 1892 and meditated for 2 days and attained enlightenment before leaving for World Religious Conference, held in Chicago. The memorial was built in 1970. Many books titled "Awake, arise and stop not till the goal is reached", the very famous quote of Swami Vivekananda, were found there.

Beside this is Thiruvalluvar statue, 133 feet tall stone sculpture. Thiruvalluvar was a Tamil poet and saint and whose exact period is not known, though it is predicted as between 2nd century B.C and 8th century A.D.

We were waiting for the sunset and on that day, sunset time was 5:50 and clouds covered the sky from 5 to almost 5 45. We just started for bus stand and the clouds started to clear. We could just watch for a minute just before getting into the direct bus to Thiruvananthapuram.

Last place before heading towards Bangalore was Kovalam beach, roughly 15 km from Thiruvananthapuram. My friend Raghu (who is in Cochi) happen to be there in city on 22nd and we went out to Kovalam beach together. There we chatted more, than playing or enjoying the sunset at the beach.

I should tell you about the food practices in Kerala. It was horrible at the Kovalam beach (the only beach I visited in Kerala) to even glance at the shacks, as they display dead prawns, crabs, lobsters, kept on trays. Being a vegetarian, it was not a good sight for me. I used to have Veg meals for lunch in Thiruvananthapuram and the supplier would ask beef toppings or curry along with veg meals!

On 21st, I was in Kanyakumari, TN, 22nd Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 23rd, Bangalore, Karnataka and on 24th, I was at my native place! (Talavata).

For more pictures, click here.