Going India had always been my dream, since a very young age. The more I heard from people who had been there on pilgrimage, the more I wanted to visit India. And so one day, on the 20th Nov 09, it all happened, but still, when I arrived in Malaysia, it all seemed like a dream! A really good dream..
And I must thank my brother, Eeswaran, who actually took me along! Thanks ane.
Upon arriving Tiruchi, we felt kinda lost for a moment, until it clicked in my mind that our guide would definitely hold a card with ane's name on it. Walking out of the airport, I noticed that almost everyone wore a white shirt. Sparkling white!! Ane was good enough to have identified our driver, Segar. We walked to wards the van and I realised that our bags wouldn't fit into the van. Segar who realised my reaction immediately told me not worry and that he would put them on the top of the van. He climbed in less than split second, ane helped lift the bags to him, and within 15minutes, he was done, and we were all set to go.
So the bumpy road journey, began at 7pm (Indian time) and we headed towards Pazhani. Our first stop was at Shri Sangeetas. Allu puri and pani puri got the balls rolling. Trust me, they were really good! Well of course we topped up the order because they just weren't enough. Lol
And so our first long journey on the road began. Due to flight delay, we arrived Tiruchi and eventually arrived Pazhani late too. Apparently the hotel that we were supposed to check in, Vel's Court, had given up our reservation. Definitely we could have avoided this issue if we had called earlier, but I some how feel it's not the way how you run business. Then again, our agency is their regular customer. Damn. I actually thought people in India are smart, but only then I learned that many there, have poor manners, hospitality... Since we were really tired too, the reception was just lucky ane weren't in the mood to arggue.
We woke up next morning, fresh and ready to Pazhani temple, which was just a 5minutes walk from the hotel, but we eventually drove there cause parents definitely wouldn't be able to climb the stairs. Ama & apa took the wrench, while ane, anni and me we walked up to the peak. It was indeed a good workout. Haha..
At the temple, while waited long for ama apa and Segar, Sugi and I went around the temple to learn how big the temple is, actually. Half hour later, after they reached the hill top, we walked towards the special queue.
Many temples have free line(darshanam), and 50, 100, 150, 300 Rupee darshanam. Well it costs to overtake others... Sad, but that's how it works there, either you wait(which is normally least an hour) or you spend a little on what they call special darshan-fee. In certain temples, the special darshan queue brings you all the way to the entrance of the Moolasthanam, and the others, only till the main entrance of the temple. As for this temple, it lead us all the way to the Moolasthanam, but we could only see Lord Muruga for less than a minute. An extra 100Rupee and we would have been able to sit in front of the Moolasthanam for 5minutes and offer our prayer.
After praying, we walked back to the hotel, while Ama Apa & Segar had reached first. Then it was on the go, packed our stuffs, got it loaded onto the van while we had breakfast and we left to our next destination. This was our lifestyle for the next 2weeks.
Temples we covered includes;
1. Pazhani (6 Padai Veedu - Muruga)
2. Palamuthir Soalai (6 Padai Veedu - Muruga)
3. Azhagar Koil (Perumal)
4. Madhurai Meenakshi Amman (Kili & Madhurai Chokanathan)
5. Thiruchentur (6 Padai Veedu - Muruga)
6. Kanyakumari Bagavathi Amman (Mookuthi)
7. Rameshvaram (SIvan & 23 Wells to bathe)
8. Navagraham Kuil (Half sinked under the water)
9. Pillayar Patti (Vinayagar)
10. Tanjore Brigadeshwarar (Sivan)
11. Amman Temple
12. Velangkani (Mother Mary's Church)
13. Thirnallaru Saniswarar
14. Swami Malai (6 Padai Veedu - Muruga)
15. Budhan Temple (Budhan of Navagrahas)
16. Guru Temple (Guru of Navagrahas)
17. Chidambaram (Gold Nadarajah & Chidambara Ragasiyam - Sivalingam)
18. Swami Aurobindo Ashram
19. Hanumar Temple (Huge deity!!)
20. Thiruannamalai (Sivan - Thirukartigai celebration)
21. Raman Maha Rishi's Ashram (You may want to read up his books)
22. Sri Ekambaranathar Temple (Sivan)
23. Kanchi Kamashi Amman
24. Sri Kaalahasti Temple (Paathaala Pilayar & Sivan)
25. Thirupathi Balaji
26. Thirutani (6 Padai Veedu - Muruga)
27. Jambu Lingeshwara Temple (Sivan)
28. Sri Ranggam (Vishnu)
29. Uchi Pilayar
I think it's safe to conclude that:
1. Temples there are really big.
2. The temples are really, really big.
3. Most Murugan temples are on hill-top.
4. Their Goburams are very huge.
5. Temples with Gold goburam are doing okay there.(Good profit turn out)
6. Temples are as two story height, with a single piece of stones that make the pillar.
Guess these are one of the reasons people go India. I serioulsy enjoyed my trip. I shall write next on my personal experience...