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|
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
|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
|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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