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Monday, March 31, 2014

Solo Tour Diary: Trip 2 - Day 4: Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Kutralam, Tiruchendur

Continued from Day 3 -

This was the most jam-packed day of the tour. Too many places to cover. Could I do it? Could I not? My sister-in-law's dad who hails from Tirunelveli told me that I couldn't. I thought I'd give it a try anyway and cover whatever I could. Anyway, I woke up at 3.30 am, got ready and checked out of the hotel at 4.30 am. I caught a bus to Tirunelveli and reached by around 6.30 am. From the bus stand, I had to take another bus to the Nellaiappar temple, which is in the town area. By the time I reached Nellaiappar temple, it was around 6.45 am.

Now, the Nellaiappar temple is THE BIGGEST temple I've ever seen so far. It is HUGE! There is just too much to see, too much to cover and too much to adore :) Apart from the Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram, this is just the most wonderful temple I saw in my tour. The sheer expanse of the temple overwhelms you. You are greeted by a HUGE Nandi statue, as you enter. The darshan tickets cost 3, If I'm not wrong. No restrictions here. Gadgets are allowed but for photography in selected areas, I think you'll have to pay 100 in advance. 

This temple was so huge, by the time I was done, it was 8.15 am. Took me almost an hour and a half. I then had breakfast at Hotel Nellai Saravana Bhava opposite the temple. Right next to that is the famous Santhi sweets, where I bought the famous Tirunelveli Halwa.

I then got a bus to Tenkasi at 8.45 am. The bus went slowly through Alangulam and many farm fields lined with windmills. I finally reached Tenkasi at 10.15 am and headed to the very big Kasi Viswanathar temple.

In this temple, Bags are NOT allowed. Gadgets are allowed, photography is not. Shorts are NOT allowed, Males are supposed to take their shirts off. Tip: Wear socks if you're going in summer. The weather is HOT! 

Anyway, this is another adorable temple which I finished covering by around 10.45 am. I then walked to the old bus stand, a few meters away and caught a mini-bus to Kutralam which is 5 km away. From the Kutralam bus stand, I took an auto to the 5-falls, for 60 ...I reached in about 15 minutes and was sorely disappointed to see this:

Nevertheless, I went for a dip in the water in the corner and it was amazing! I can only imagine what the bath in full flow will be like!

I quickly headed back in the same auto up to Tenkasi bus stand for 200 ...

At 12.30 pm in Tenkasi, I took another bus to Tirunelveli and reached by 2 pm. At Tirunelveli bus stand, I had elai saapaadu for 60. It was yum! I caught a bus to Tiruchendur at 2.30 pm. This was the worst part of the journey. Finally, beyond a point, I couldn't take it any-more and got off at Kayalpattanam bus stand. I had to answer nature's call :P :D ...I went to the toilet complex and to my fortune, it wasn't disgustingly pathetic as one would expect it to be. Sure, it wasn't sparkling clean, but it was good enough, for the moment :P :D ...So from there, I took an auto to Tiruchendur temple and it cost me 200 :-/'s a fleece but it's okay ..10 km + the fact that they've dug up 2 of the 3 roads that lead to the temple justifies the amount.

I reached Tiruchendur temple by 5 pm.

I had a train to catch at 7.15 pm, so I had to quickly finish this one and head back to the station. I first entered the Valli Amman temple where there's 1 Rupee ticket for Darshan.

This is somewhat like the Gaali Anjaneya temple in Bangalore - you're supposed to wear some thread etc and then go to a cave for something else, which I didn't understand. I told the vaadhiyaar that I don't have enough time and rushed along the shore to the Subramanya Swamy temple.

Bags are NOT allowed. Shorts are NOT allowed. Gadgets are allowed but photography is not. Males are required to take their shirts/Tshirts off. Short of time, I took the highest darshan i.e. 250 ticket, but it was absolutely worth it. This takes you right near the Subramanya Swamy idol and you can even sit for 5-10 minutes. Lovely darshan! There are quite a few other things to cover too, in the temple, like the Saniswarar sannidhi. I got out of the temple at around 5.30 pm, took a quick walk at the absolutely lovely Tiruchendur beach.

I then took an auto to the station for 50 and settled comfortably in my train to Chennai. PHEW! That ends the longest solo tour of mine in India :) ...and I'm not sure what words to use, to describe it :) was a highly insane, yet peaceful, blissful, liberating and exhilarating experience. My head feels a lot, lot lighter now and I'm less stressed. My brain cherished its well-earned rest.

Tip to everyone: Get away from the laptop and internet and go and enjoy yourselves somewhere! :) 


C(A RUL)es...... said...

Had you chosen this trip in December or January, you would have enjoyed more.

Debosmita Roy said...

Thank you for your blog on the trip which included visit to Tenkasi. Tenkasi' means 'Kasi of the south' referring to the Kasiviswanathar temple is one of the municipalities of Tamil Nadu. Founded by Pandya kings, famous for historic places to visit in Tenkasi.

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