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Thursday, January 1, 2009

December Update...

My India trip was looooooonnng and good! Most of the things I experienced were satisfying except for a few moments here and there. This time around, since it was December time, the climate was bearable and the heat was almost non-existent till I reached Chennai two days before leaving to Singapore. This was how my trip for arranged:

7th-9th Dec: Coimbatore
10th-14th Dec: Salem, my hometown

15th-17th Dec: Temple tour to Madurai, Thanjavur, Karaikkal, Thiruvannamalai
18th-21st Dec: Salem, my hometown
22nd-24th Dec: Tirupathi, Chennai
25th Dec: Singapore, back home :)

Let's deal with the timeline now. In Coimbatore, what we basically did was shopping. We also visited the two famous Temples there, Marudhamalai and Perur Temples. In Marudhamalai, I wasn't able to do much but I got to enjoy the scenery. My prayers were answered there immediately and I got to buy some books in one of the shops they had there. All famous Temples seem to have all kinds of merchandise shops there nowadays. Its good in one way, but I feel the Temples have only become more and more commercialised. Perur was an exceptionally beautiful Temple, although its not as big as Madurai Meenakshi Amman's or Thiruvannamalai Temple. We also visited Thyanalingam Ashramam, which was such a serene and calm place.

Staying in Salem was alright, although most of the times I was bored with the stay. All my cousins
are grown-up and have their own lives to lead now. I was mostly spending my time with books, tv, talking to my relatives and going out with my mum for shopping and such. Keerthi, my nephew, would be the only one to whom I would be talking to, mostly at nights.

We left to Madurai on the 15th Dec. After finding a lodge to stay, we got ready and visited Thiruparanguntram first. I don't know how, but without expecting I always get to visit my Murugan first. I was really happy to go to one of the Aarupadai Veedus. As expected, the visit to the Temple was also satisfying. The Temple had powerful vibrations and I had never felt such vibes before in my life. At one point, I forgot myself. Temple visits should be done alone I suppose, because the only thing disturbing my connecting with the divine was my family and the crowd pushing us in the queue.

After that, we went to Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. We didn't expect the security to be so tight. No cars were allowed to go in near the Rajagopurams. So we had to walk barefoot from the car to the Temple, quite a distance. I didn't feel much of vibes as I felt in Thiruparanguntram. But I did enjoy the grandeur of the Temple, especially the night effect was good. As is my custom, I always get the blessings of Ganesha, who is always there near the Temple entrance or inside the Temple. I would put a coin in His trunk and He would pat my head as a blessing. I love the Temple elephant and always get a feeling that the elephant keeps following me everywhere.

The next day we went to Thanjavur as I was asking my dad that I wanted to visit the Periya Koyil there for so long. I loved the Temple!! It was so huge and not only that, the Temple architecture was so grandeur!!! One whole day is not enough to look around that Temple as there are so many things to observe and admire. I just loved this Temple. All the stones there also had so many carvings. This shows how old the Temple is actually!! Do take a look at my Orkut picture album Tanjore Marvel to admire the beauty. I would have taken more pics, but I didn't get to spend much time there in the Temple. There are so many architectural marvels about this Temple which can be glimpsed here.

The same day we also visited Thirunallaar, which is a Saneeswaran (Saturn God) Temple. I am told that I have seven and a half years of Saturn influence in my astrology and as such it would be good for me to visit this Temple and seek the blessings of Lord Siva and the Saturn God. The same is the case for my parents and my sister. I am not much of a believer in astrology, but so far, most of the things said by my family astrologer has come true. But I still believe that fate can be won. So after this we went to Chidambaram and stayed there for the night.

The next day we visited Chidambaram Temple. I would say I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed Thiruvannamalai. Thousand pillars Temple is what they called big Temples like Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple. It was a marvelous Temple.

After that we visited Thiruvannamalai as planned. I would say my favourite moment of the entire trip would be the time spent in this Temple. This is my favourite Temple and this is my third time visiting this Temple. The first two times I came here, I always had done well in my studies the following year. This is just a belief and I feel that this is somewhat true. Because the vibrations in the Temple are so powerful!! I have no words to describe the Temple. I just wish I know more about Temples.

This marks the end of our Temple tour. We returned to Salem to rest before we left to Tirupathi on the 22nd.

Tirupathi trip was very disappointing to my family and me. The trip was very poorly planned as there were a lot of things that was unexpected. It seemed like there was a VIP visit or something and because of that much of the things were delayed for us. As a result, we ended up waiting for 8 hours in the "free" queue for nothing. We didn't get tickets as they were for the next next day. We couldn't wait that long in Thirupathi as our flight was due! So we stood in the "free" queue. We waited for 8 hours in the cold night weather with basically nothing to cover ourselves with. So then we just left without seeing Mr Venki, the VIP God.

Since the beginning I was a bit reluctant in going to Tirupathi because of the commercialisation there. My parents put me off by saying that its not like that at all. In the end, what I said was the truth. First, you have to buy tickets to see the God. Now, I'm not saying that this is only here in Tirupathi. It is everywhere I agree. But not like in Tirupathi, you have to have a minister letter!! And not only that. You have to have a minister letter to stay in Tirupathi as well!! My goodness! Never have I seen or heard such things, but maybe it is common in India, I don't know. We didn't have time to wait for another day as well, otherwise we would have. The entire fault is with us to have not foreseen all this and to have poorly planned things. But they have the made the whole pilgrimage into a business!!

And after all that waiting we drove back to Chennai. I would have to admit, Chennai has become cleaner!! I am surprised. Singaara Chennai is living up to its name now. I got sick in Chennai itself. And it got worse after I came to Singapore. I went to the doctor the next day itself and got myself an injection. That serious! Now I'm writing this post after I've gotten well. Haha. So yeah... This is how my trip went for those who want to know ;)


Sunand said...

it is good to visit the temples! at the same to try to find out the GOD in yourself :)

Keerthi Vasan said...

Hmm.. Great trip! Visited almost all the important spots..and Yeah.. you were right in telling that these days.. temples have been comercialised..

Rajesh said... first here...

Dropped in from ur orkut profile... ( I had recently scrapped abt NUS admissions)

Well...was a lovely read...being in Chennai, I cud relate to whatever u had narrated.. Virtual sojourn at all the temples...

What I loved the most, was ur lovely narration.. Nice..

P.S: Well...I too blog :)

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