I’m aware that up in the north it’s been raining like crazy. Here in Madurai though, the blistering heat is a regular occurrence. In the past two months that I have been here, it has probably rained only once or twice… and those were just quick downpours. So to break the monotony and escape the heat, we scheduled trips to Kodaikanal and Kanniyakumari this weekend.
Last Saturday, we planned on going to Kodaikanal. However, after some miscommunication, the car didn’t arrive to bring us to the cool mountainous region of the touristy Hill Station. Although our Saturday didn’t go as planned, we still managed to escape the heat by going to one of the hotels on the nearby hills on the outskirts of Madurai. We took a 20 minute rickshaw ride to Taj Gateway Hotel. It was a wonderfully massive hotel that sat on top of a hill and had a great overlooking view of the bustling city streets of Madurai. The peace and quiet atop the hill was a welcome respite from the constant honking and beeping of the vehicles in the city proper. We ventured to their swimming pool for we were raring to cool down. But we were saddened to realize that the pool would close in 30 minutes. Instead, we went to their restaurant and feasted on their delectable buffet menu. We came back to our hostel filled up and ready for our trip to Kanniyakumari at 5:30 am the following day.
We went on a day trip to Kanniyakumari, the Southern tip of India, which is 220 km away from Madurai. We didn’t have anything definite planned but we did get in touch with Rinku and her family. Rinku met Sam and Christina a year ago when she had an operation on her right eye in the Retina Clinic. They welcomed us into their home and fed us too much food. Rinku’s mom even prepared the Paneer that Sam always raved about. After lunch, Rinku and her brother, Saugat, brought us around the tourist attractions of the southern tip of India.
Kanniyakumari is said to be the place where three oceans meet—Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, and the Arabian Sea. We took a short 5 minute ferry ride to the Vivekanda Memorial rock. This rock was said to be where Swami Vivekanda meditated for three days straight. The Vivekanda Memorial Rock also sits beside the huge statue of Thiruvalluvar Statue. It definitely reminded me of scenes from the animated cartoon series Avatar: the Last Airbender. See the picture below for comparison.
Before leaving for home, we were fortunate to see the famous Kanniyakumari sunset. Kanniyakumari is famous for letting visitors see both the sunrise on one side and the sunset on the other. The sunset viewing point beach was littered with these huge rocks and Saugat just ran off and started climbing them. Of course, I didn’t want to be beaten by a thirteen year old and I ended up climbing the slippery rocks, too. It was definitely not very safe to climb those rocks but it did afford us a wonderful view of the sunset. We were not disappointed to watch the magnificent sight. With the cool sea breeze on our faces and with the soothing sound of the ebb and flow of the tides, we sat there, laughed, climbed and took pictures. It was definitely a Sunday well spent.
Till next week!