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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Kerala Tour (cont'd)



From Trivandrum I travelled north by Road on NH47. Crossed Attingal & just before Kollam turned right towards Kundara where I had to meet a business associate. From there straight to Kollam - business priorities prevented me from visiting Kollam beach & the large Ashtamudi lake. Kollam,sometimes referred to as cashew country, is the centre of cashew cultivation.
The Ashtamudi is one of the largest wetland ecosystems in Kerala.It is a palm-shaped extensive water body with eight prominent arms - Ashtamudi.The arms converge into a single outlet at Neendakara near Kollam, to enter the Lakshadweep sea.The major river discharging into the Ashtamudi is the Kallada river, formed by the confluence of three rivers, viz., the Kulathupuzha, the Chendurni and the Kalthuruthy.The Kallada river originates from the western ghats. It traverses through virgin forests and finally falls into the Ashtamudi wetland, after travelling a distance of about 120 km.
From Kollam I continued Northwards along the coastline, crossed the Neendakara past Chavara, Karunagapalli, Kayamkulam before turning into Mavellikara to meet another business associate. Kayamkulam Lake, spread over an area of 60 sq km, is one of the most scenic backwaters in Kerala. It is a shallow lake which merges into the sea at Kayamkulam barrage. With a length of 30 km, it is a favorite destination for nature lovers. Kayamkulam Lake connects Ashtamudi lake by the Chavara - Panmana canal.
From Mavelikkara we returned via Oachira back to the NH47 at Haripad proceeded to Mannarsala.
Mannarsala Nagaraja Temple is one of the most important centre of snake worship in Kerala- about 35 Km before Alappuzha. Mannarsala Ayilyam is the famous Festival of this Temple. It is believed that by 'Uruhi Kamizhthal', which is placing a bell shaped vessel upside down as an offering to the deity,childless couples are blessed with children. The sacred turmeric paste of the temple is believed to cure leprosy. The eldest Female member of the Mannarsala Family Known as 'Amma' is performing Pujas in the temple ( Did not visit the temple though - will do so at a later date).
Next we reached Ambalapuzha.The Ambalappuzha temple (click on this for history & legends associated with the temple) is one of the three important Sri Krishna temples in the state of Kerala. As I entered through a tall archway my eyes fall on the magnificent circular temple tank with abundant crystal clear water & convenient bathing ghat - clear invitation to have a refreshing dip. As I went around there was the temple elephant lying on its side & being given a nice scrub & hose bath by its mahout. I could get a nice long peaceful darshan of the deity. The inner sanctum walls are filled with paintings of Lord Krishna as a child & one of Anantha Padbanabhaswamy in reclining pose. The temple is famous for its payasam ( rice & milk kheer) and I was lucky to get a glass of pal payasam. Karumadi is a town near Ambalapuzha - when we make pal payasam at home & it turns out very tasty - we say "Karumadi Etthi" since no payasam can be equated to divine payasam of Ambalapuzha.
During the attack of Guruvayoor by Tipu Sultan, the idol of Guruvayoorappan was brought to Ambalapuzha Temple for protection.

27 comments:

  1. You are so lucky to have tasted the ambalapuzha payasam - and the explanation for Karumadi Ethhi is interesting and witty!

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  2. Sir

    You have a jest for life. Extremely detailed and thorough. One of the best blogs that I have seen on South India. Do keep up the good works

    Sunil Arora

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  3. Thank you Sunil.Log on to www.sankriti.blogspot.com for reading my blog in greater detail.

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