A Travelogue :
We had decided to leave for KanyaKumari by 5-6am, but by the time we had breakfast and were ready, it was already past 8am and nearing 9 almost ( poor driver - he had to wait for so long, losing his own sleep ). As we left Rameshwaram, at first we headed for the Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's Vivekanda Kendra which is located amidst tall palm trees by the coast. The red building stands out and is quite peaceful within. It has a huge hall with a statue of Swami Vivekananda in middle, a pictoral information room on Vivekanda and Swami Paramahamsa, a meditation room that hums 'OM' on the loop and a book stall. Next to it, is the Interpretation and Art Museum. We spent some time loitering the grounds and then got back on the road. By the time we reached Pamban bridge, the skies had got cloudy. We halted over the bridge and took pictures. There were pineapple hawkers everywhere, we had some of those yummy yellow fleshy-tangy-sweet bites. The weather had turned cooler and as we got back on road, it started drizzling first and then rained quite heavily. We halted after 1 hour ride for roadside tea and bhajiyas ( although I didn't have the tea ). The others chatted, clicked some pictures, while I preferred to stay inside the car. I didn't like the idea of getting wet in the rain. We got on road again and after sometime halted for coconut water. Then to our horror, as we re-started the car, it started groaning and wouldn't move. From Rameshwaram it takes about 6 hours to KanyaKumari. And we had about 20kms to cover yet. Like a miracle, the car did start in the end and we began moving again. It was almost late afternoon when we reached KanyaKumari.
The driver first took us to the hotel which he recommended. But one of the bloggers preferred to go to the hotel recommended by someone he knew - which was by TTDC. When we reached there, first thing we saw were the peacocks. The place was beautiful, with little cozy cottages sprawled around the grounds. We went to the lobby and then started looking at some of the empty ones. Finally, we girls got the bigger deluxe cottage and the guys took a smaller one. No sooner we washed, it was time to hurry and catch the ferry. The last ferry went at 4pm and everything closed afterwards. So we started running to catch it. We went through the special VIP ticket corridors to reach faster, but in the end the line was same for all. The others ran to catch the first spots. I was clueless at first, why everyone was running so madly. Anyways, we got into the ferry boat wearing the orange life-jackets given to us.
The ferry ride was barely 5 minutes or so long, but unforgettable. Once we reached the rocky island, we had to remove our shoes. We walked upto the Vivekananda Kendra, it has several steps going up. I started clicking pictures with my mobile as soon as we entered the hall ( which was filled with tourists ), when I heard someone shouting from behind - No Cameras! No Pictures! I saw a guard wearing a blue stripped uniform who was glaring at me, from behind. All my enthusiasm died immediately. While the others went on ahead with the other tourists, around the Kendra, I decided to go back down and wait for them. What was the use of lingering inside, if we weren't allowed pictures, I thought. I took some selfies instead and sat on the steps of the old temple, which was opposite the kendra. I tried going inside the temple, but same story - pictures not allowed! Its a very old temple with the famous story - where Parvati meditated on one feet to get Shiva for marriage. She was very young that's why the name 'kanya' and 'kumari'. One lady was sitting on the steps of the temple too and I started talking with her ( she told me the story ). She was from Jharkhand and had come with her husband and son, who worked in TN. After a long time, the others finally came, and we soon headed back - taking the ferry again.
The Bhagavathy Temple is located in Cape Kanya Kumari in Tamil Nadu; the southern tip of main land India, there by located on the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Devi Kanyakumari is the goddess of Sanyasa and penance, the goddess herself is a sanyasin. It is a practice that people choose to receive the deeksha of Sanyasa from here in olden times. Kanyakumari Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeth. It is believed that the back spine area of Sati’s corpse fell here creating the presence of Bhagavathy in the region. The idol is in the form of the goddess holding a rosary. The goddess is worshiped by women to get a good husband.
Kanyakumari was one of the important towns of the ancient Tamilakam (Sangam period), and is now a popular tourist destination. It is a holy place for Hindus as there is the presence of two Shakti Peethas (The holiest shrine of Mother goddess) here, Bhagavathy temple and Shuchindram out of the 51 Shakti Peethas all over South Asia. Vavathurai, Kanyakumari – Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvalluvar Statue at sunrise
We ate some bhajiyas on a road-side snack stall interestingly named 'pappu' and had some coffee. After that, the search for the original 'narasu' coffee started. We walked around every narrow lane we could find, hunting the elusive coffee. Someone gave direction to one shop, but finding it was tough, as nobody knew. After a long time, we finally managed to find the shop only to see it's shutters closed. Tired, some of the bloggers sat on the steps of the shop, while others clicked the rainbows that had started appearing above. We spotted two rainbows together, one above the other. A walking tea-vendor informed us that the shop opened after 5pm, so although it was way past 5pm, we waited patiently. The shop-owner did come ultimately. It was a tiny grocery shop, and he only had a limited stock of the coffee ( 3-4 small packets ). We then made our way back. It was already getting dark.
The bloggers went into one general shop and bought some local food items and also asked for drinks. They got two hard drink bottles ( don't remember the names ). After we reached the cottage, we freshened up and later ordered meals. There was absolutely no internet connection in Kanyakymari :-( During meals, everyone chatted casually. Meal was yummy - non-veg starters, biriyani, egg-bhurji, rotis. Later, the others wanted to go by the beach, but somewhere in my mind I remembered that everything closed by 4pm, so I declined to go. The others said it was the last time we'd be together, but I still refused :D So in the end, the others went by themselves, but very soon they were back ~ because everything was indeed closed. In between, one of the elder bloggers decided to play a prank ( again ) and stayed back. I avoided him intentionally and sat outside, in the balcony railing, while he sat inside for almost an hour, alone. They had already done a similar prank in Rameshwaram :D
The female blogger was drunk and behaved weird at seeing a lizard in the room. Totally creeped by her behaviour, that night I decided to sleep on the sofa instead and spent the night there.
Early next morning, we rushed to see the sunrise. Its amazing to see sunrise in a place which is the end of India literally. I had made a funny observation earlier that, we could see sunrise and sunset in KanyaKumari, just by moving our eyes from left to right, standing in the same place without having to move, ( as it happened in same place ). The others got me teasing on this. Anyways, we walked through the busy street ( two bloggers already vanished ahead ). The vendors in KanyaKumari get into business early in the morning itself. The sight is simply superb. I bought a large hat here. How I wish, I had one earlier, I'd have been spared of all the sun-burnt.
We returned to the cottage ( not before going into wrong compound first ) and quickly packed. As we were going to the resort restaurant, we spotted the peacocks again, on the roof-tops this time. We chased one, that jumped from cottage to cottage. We clicked many pictures of the gorgeous one. After breakfast of bread/omlette/coffee we set for Madurai. The driver who spent the night in his car, meanwhile, brought some more 'narasu' coffee for them from somewhere, the evening before ( I didn't get any *sob sob* ).
We bit adieu to KanyaKumari, and were on the road again - this time to Madurai ( to catch our flight back home ). For some time we travelled the same road we had come, so the landscape was the same. We stopped at the same coconut-juice shop, but thankfully the car didn't act funny this time. From KK it is about 4 hours journey to Madurai. The driver showed us his movie CD collection, which is huge. The highway is long and neat and soon we were approaching Madurai. We halted at a highway dhaba 'Hari's' for lunch. The hotel had thumsup and the bloggers decided to play one more prank. They drank thumsup cans in front of me, while instructing the hotel waiters to say that they didn't have thumsup if I ordered. AAArrgghh! Anyways, finally they got me one can too, the waiters that is. After sharing a quick south-Indian thali, we were back on road.
When we reached the airport, two delhi bloggers flights were already ready, so they went off, while we had 4 hours to kill in the airport. Earlier, we had refused a quick Madurai tour on the car ( as we didn't trust ourselves according to the other blogger ), and I too wasn't eager. So, while the airport TV kept playing one same advertisement on the loop for 30 straight minutes, before changing,; we sat, walked, sat, walked till finally our flight was announced. Meanwhile, I bought some yummy banana halwas and some other tasty eatables from the Airport shop. The airport shop owner was too eager to tell me about Madurai, but when I asked if I could record what she was saying - she froze suddenly. She said she'll decide later, but that 'later' unfortunately never came - 'cos we had already left the place.