Monday 13 October 2014

Temples, elephants and waterfalls

Come end of Navaratri, we were off to Guruvayur for a long-postponed rendezvous with the dark-skinned God. 
Off we went to Wadakanchery (I love the names of Kerala towns!). Y and I even composed a sing-song rhyme of sorts of all the names of the towns we were passing......Wadakanchery Chalakudy Cheruthuruthy Athirapilly Vazhachal........The place we were staying in, an erstwhile "palace", was nice but a little run-down. We spent the morning lazing around- after having alighted from our train at an unearthly hour, we were all somewhat tired. All of us jumped into the pool to cool off and later the boys had the mandatory game of cricket. We had been advised to reach the temple only post lunch as it was bound to very crowded in the morning on Ekadasi day.  Before we reached the temple, we made a quick stop at the Elephant sanctuary in Guruvayur. Elephants are nothing new to any of us, yet being able to see so many of them in the same place - bathing, eating, trumpeting - was very nice. The highlight of course was watching many of them have a "shower" - the kids were most amused and how we wished we could do the same on that hot and humid day!

Our wait at the temple was relatively short- only an hour which compares very favourably with the likes of Tirupati. Listening to the Panchvadyam and watching richly caparisoned elephants inside the temple kept the children interested and occupied until we finished the Darshan. We still had the Tulabharam to wait for and complete, and by the time we were done, all of us were sweaty and exhausted. A quick snack of dosas and coffee later, we were all to be found snoozing in the car on the way back to our hotel!
Day 2 dawned a little cloudy. After breakfast, we set off to see the famous Athirapilly Falls. They were lovely indeed. S and the kids waded into the water like all the other tourists while I kept watch over our things on the rocky bank. Ten minutes later, I had a headache; even though it was a cloudy day, it was extremely hot. We retreated to a shady spot and only then realized that many people were hiking downhill for a view of the bottom of the falls. I had my reservations; the path looked very rocky, steep and slippery and I wasn't sure whether Y could make it down, much less back uphill. But we obviously had to see the falls from the bottom so we started walking. Atleast it was a little cooler under the shade of all the trees.
The hard work paid off - and how!! We were rewarded with a fantastic and majestic view of sheets of water thundering downwards into a large rocky pool. Even better, there was a fine spray of water over all of us, cooling us off wonderfully. Just what we needed. Ever so often, the wind would make a large gust of water head our way, and the kids would shriek with delight! Within seconds, all of us were soaked to the skin. It was very reminiscent of our boat ride on the Maid of the Mist in Niagara, except that ride was unpleasantly cold and all I can remember is my teeth rattling :)

All that cool water and pretty view kept me going as I huffed and puffed up the track again. We decided to skip the Vazhachal falls 5 km down the road and a couple of other spots on the way back to our hotel, much to the disappointment of our driver/guide. But we thought the kids had had enough. That's the thing about very short trips- you can't pack too much into them...otherwise you run the risk of ending up with cranky kids. As it was, we had enough time for some relaxation back in our room before taking our train back home. Short break over, and once more, lots of sweet memories.


  1. Lucky are those who get to wander in the beauty that is nature.
    Those pictures make me envious.

  2. Ooh..those falls make me want to go there NOW..never knew about these places near Guruvayur..time to visit the dark-skinned God?? ;-)

  3. We loved the elephant sanctuary too! :)

    Didn't know the Guruvayoor temple opens in the afternoon too.. thought it was open only in the early mornings and late evenings. We visited in the evening.

    We didn't get the chance to visit the falls.. maybe, next time. :)


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