iAmble | Basking in Kanyakumari

My friend and I were ambling down the tree speckled lane towards the beach through the Vivekananda Kendra lost in our conversation. 
Or at least I was while occasionally watching the rays of the morning sun filter through the trees as I smiled at no one in particular. 
Well, there was no one except the two of us and a few labourers with their bricks.

The spellbinding view of the Kanyakumari beach from the Vivekananda Kendra

Pathways speckled with trees | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

July 2015.
Our second day in Kanyakumari was also our second day on terra firma in six days i.e. six days after having taken two consecutive trains – one from NewDelhi to Dibrugarh in Assam and the second from Dibrugarh to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. The use of bipedal locomotion as opposed to watching the world passing by through the window required a little bit of readjustment or so it seemed to us. 
I was in the midst of narrating one of our moments from sharing a train berth when I was suddenly shushed. It was unlike my friend to shush me but shushed I was. My gaze followed a finger that pointed me towards something blue in colour. As it had turned out, what I had somehow mistaken as an acrylic blue plastic sheet was actually a peacock!

The first sighting of  a peacock | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

 From smiling to myself in nature’s company a couple of minutes ago, I suddenly had the widest grin on my face. I followed my friend’s lead and tip toeing behind her when the call of another peacock stopped me right in my tracks. I fidgeted to pull my month old camera out of its casing and adjust its settings as my eyes darted about the place to match that call with the actual bird itself. Right then there was another call. Lo and behold when I turned around behind there was not one but two peacocks royally perched up on a tree no more than 15 feet away from me.

I don’t know about you but being right there in that moment was nothing short of being mesmerized – be it by just the sighting, the sound of their calls, the élan with which they sashayed their long tail through the brambles and trees or them being somewhat comfortable in our company.
That they didn’t flee away was a good thing because hypnotised by their captivating beauty I had forgotten about my camera lugged around my neck demanding attention.

And then some more... Peacocks perched on a tree | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

Peacock gliding along gracefully with its tail | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

There’s more to Kanyakumari than peacocks
The Gandhi Memorial Mandapam along the Kanyakumari beach is a memorial built in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. This is the place where after being cremated the ashes we places before being immersed into the sea. The beauty of this construction lies in the fact that on the 2nd of October which is the Mahatma’s birth anniversary through a hole in the roof the sun’s rays fall directly on the spot where his ashes were once placed!
Besides the historical significance, the spot is excellent for an above sea-level view of errrr, the sea. And it’s not just one water body that you’ll be seeing because Kanyakumari marks the confluence of the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean – each bring with them their own hues of blue and green which aided by the sunlight offers a kaleidoscope to behold.

The Gandhi Memorial Mandapam | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

The view of the sea from the Gandhi Memorial | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial from the beach | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial though popular and constantly thronged by tourists offers a tranquil spot and the winds ravage your hair bang in the middle of the sea. And if you peer long enough into the horizon you might just find Antarctica waving back at you. Or at least that’s what my friend said. Okay, not in as many words!

The Vivekanand Rock Memorial | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

View of the mainland from the Rock Memorial | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

 The Vivekananda Kendra on the other hand is a sprawling complex with accommodation facilities for devotees and tourists alike. Bookings occur online. The property is a haven in itself and offers an entrance to the beach which is kept open at sunrise and sunset. Evidently, the sunrise is one of those phenomenon that cannot be missed.

Sunrise | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

Our Lady of Ransom Church and the Devi Kanya Kumari Temple were quick and brief stopovers in my case more out of curiosity for architecture than merely devotion.

Our Lady of Ransom Church | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

But what I truly enjoyed the most about being in Kanyakumari was walking through the lanes along the homes of fisherfolk one fine (also sunny) afternoon as men were tending to their nets and women were catching up chores at home after a day of catching and selling fish.

Fisher folk tending to their nets | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

This one obliged for the camera | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

Walking through the lanes | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

I am glad I have been able to savour moments and the emotions they evoke long after they’ve been experienced. I was in Kanyakumari in July 2015 and walking along the beach as the waves tickled my soles a realization dawned on me – around the same time a month ago in June I was in Ladakh soaking in the northernmost part of India.
Incidentally 2015 was a year of hat-tricks – it was my third time not just in Ladakh but also Kanyakumari which is the southern-most tip of mainland India. To have covered such an expanse in just under a month was a milestone in itself. That it was a hat-trick visit just made it even more milestone-worthy. And considering that I was in the eastern-most part of the country four days prior to arriving in Kanyakumari makes this journey around India even more epic. 

A lot like life | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

A line up of boats in the afternoon | Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
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