Sunday, 4 August 2013

Kovalam and Thiruvananthapuram

Lighthouse Beach in Kovalam - a refuge to put my feet up and catch up on some reading. Arundathi Roy's "The God of Small Things" and "White Tiger" were two of ten books I managed to binge read while in India.

As always, the sea - like the mountains - offer healing and rejuvenation despite the Monsoon weather.

Kovalam is a tourist haven. Though off season, there were still lots of Russian tourists. Go figure. Have since learned that the Russians are overseeing the construction of a nuclear plant in the region - thus their string presence.

Coconut palms aplenty at Hawa Beach - Eve's Beach, Kovalam

Temple Wall Detail - the sacred cow. Incidentally, they are NOT everywhere, roaming the streets!

I tried to get into this temple in Trivandrum, but didn't have a dhoti - so I chose to stay out. Could have purchased one, but I was too lazy!

Another view of one of the main temples in Thiruvananthapuram

To think that Greek temples were also once this gaudy/colourful. I found a way to process Hinduism and temples - I simply treated them like a living version of ancient Greek and Roman temples. Works for me. Need to do more research and work on this. Unlike the past, I did not feel overwhelmed by the temples and the gods. 

This fabulous black temple in Thiruvananthapuram does not allow pictures, so I took one from a distance. Devotees smash sacrificial coconuts for the gods. Here, you can see the truck carrying sacks full of smashed coconuts.

Mar Thoma Orthodox Church has a strong presence in Kerala. Saint Thomas the Apostle moved to India soon after the death of Christ, bringing Christianity to India. I was hoping to add to my small collection of Orthodox icons, but I couldn't find any.

The impressive City Hall in Thiruvananthapuram was hosting a craft and textile fair. Notice the woman with the yellow pallu. She tried to sell me kleenex!

How British can you get? never got a chance to ride the double-deckers. The buses to Kovalam were different.

Saint Anthony's Catholic Church, with a mosque nearby.

The Main Mosque in Thiruvanathapuram - close to the stadium

This shot for the benefit of my students - this fellow was exiled for his writings!

The choppy waters at Kovalam - I am told that this is a Monsoon Season feature.The water is calm otherwise. Frankly, I liked it like this.

The German Bakery was my favourite hangout. Decent coffee at indecent prices! Grrrrrrr

See, I did like the place. They also had a terrific book exchange which I used.

Lighthouse Beach - again

A stray dog on the boardwalk - Kovalam Beach

For 200 rupees (4 dollars), I took an overnight sleeper from Palakkad to Thiruvananthapuram. Notice the umbrella - protecting me from the leaks during the rainstorms along the way! 

The umbrella protecting me. On the next train trip, I cancelled my cheap ticket and purchased the upgraded 3 Tier Air Conditioned Sleeper from Thiruvananthapuram to Kozikhode (Calicut)  - for 500 rupees - 10 dollars. It came with curtains for privacy, and no leaks!

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