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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Magnificent Munnar Part III – Goodbye to the hills

The next morning, the sun rose bright and early, leaving no signs of the fog of the day before. The view from the room was unbelievable, visibility extending to the road on the other side of the valley. Take a look at the two panoramic photos I took of the view from our room during the fog and the one the next morning in sunlight.
From Munnar Aug 2008

From Munnar Aug 2008
The View from our room --in the fog, and early in the morning......

We had to start back early so that we could reach home and give Sankar a break from driving, as well take some rest before getting back to work. Besides, Samhith wanted to go back to the crocodile park at Amaravathi Nagar.

 Samhith feeds the rabbits (he saved the carrots we bought....and fed them himself) and chases the sole rooster at the resort. It must have been relieved when we finally left!!!

We had a heavy breakfast at Whispering Meadows, where Samhith played with pet rabbits and roosters, finally bidding them goodbye when we had to leave. We planned to drive home, without stopping for lunch, but again, our plans were changed by hands unknown to us.

An hour beyond Munnar town, we stopped for tea at a roadside stall near a waterfall. We thought it was one of the many waterfalls along the route, and appreciated it while having our tea. It was only when we looked for a washroom that we learnt that a little way up the hill, where we could have a better view of the waterfall; washrooms were available for those whishing to change after a bath in the pool formed by the waterfall. This was good news for us, especially for Samhith who wanted to bathe in a waterfall. So, then and there we delayed our departure and climbed up the few steps to the waterfall. 

While the Attukal falls were breathtaking for the sheer force of the water, these falls were simply beautiful. The water was ice-cold, and absolutely wonderful, and we all stepped into it, enjoying the numbness in our limbs induced by the chill. We were content with our feet in the water, but Samhith really looked forward to having a bath, and we let him in after taking off his clothes. The chill was a surprise to him, to be sure, but he really enjoyed it. I am sure he will grow up to be unafraid of water, and always ready to take a dip in any body of water, whatever the conditions might be. 

The Lakkom Falls

The experience we had in the Lakkom falls cannot be expressed, but you can get a feel of our experience by taking a look of the videos I recorded there. Samhith was shivering in the water, but he didn’t want to get out of it either. Shankar and Sandhya made the most of it, egging him on, making him take a dip in the cold water, while Sankar and I recorded the fun, hoping to show it to him when he grows older, and remembers little of the wonderful trip he had……………

It was difficult for us to leave Lakkom falls and carry on with our plan of getting back home, and it was something we did with a heavy heart. We stopped at Amaravathi Dam and had a look at the crocs again, as we had promised Samhith. This time, they seemed to be waiting for us, as a couple of them were actually awake, and opened their huge beady eyes to peer at us suspiciously. This was immensely satisfying to Samhith, and also helped us prove to Shankar that the creatures were actually alive!!!! Some of the sluices of the dam had been opened, probably due to the rain, and it was a wonderful sight to see the canal overflowing.

All good things must come to an end, and our journey too ended with our arrival at Tiruppur. Of course, Sankar made the journey interesting by driving at a speed we scarcely could imagine! Our qualms at such speeds notwithstanding, we were all relieved to reach home early and get some much needed rest.And it is at this point that I must put a full stop and call an end to my recital of a wonderful trip- one which is not just etched on my mind, but now, also on  the net.......


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