Day 5-8 : Impromptu Guruvayur Road Trip

Ever since Dad has been down, hardly get any time, busy moving around, meeting relatives etc. Out of the blue, last couple of days ran off to Guruvayur on a Road Trip!

For the first time, I drove straight from Kollam to Guruvayur and back in two days, a total of 444 km! The drive was lovely as the highways are in good shape at this time of the year. [plus the elections around the corner]

Happened to see a construction site of Santhimadom Builders there in town itself, so captured a picture of a Sree Narayana Guru statue there.

Guruvayur Temple

It is best to visit the temple on a Thursday and usually we see a larger crowd. Unlike last visit, we decided to head in for the darshanam as early as 4am. and surprisingly enough managed to get a good darshanam without much rush.

P.S : Women dress up so well when they come to Guruvayur – clad in freshly pressed set Sarees and Kasavu sarees – lovely traditional attire.

Gokulam Sabari continues to be a good stay with exotic meals available at their Nivedhyam Restaurant.

Mom and Dad at Sabari

Was dead tired after reaching home, but after a 3 hour power nap, am all charged up to get back to the routine.

Swami Sharanam

Day 4 – Swami Sharanam

Woke up as early as 3am. Took a bath and headed to pick dad from the Airport. En route while driving over, I was forced to slow down at a Paripally temple, where the festival procession had taken onto the road. On the way, came across 11 elephants in the 60km drive.

Coming to the new Terminal was some experience. Normally we take a right from Chakka circle to head towards Shangumugham beach and to the airport. But the new terminal meant, we stay on the By pass road itself. 1.2 km further from the Chakka circle, a small single lane road from Ananthpuri Hospital gradually climbs up and opens into a 3 lane one way road which slowly but steadily opens into the new international terminal that is spread over 32,200 square metres.

[Too much security denied me capturing the photos of the terminal to share here]

Here are some facts about the new terminal:

  • The new terminal has been constructed at a cost of Rs 290 crore. Spread over 32,200 square metres, the facility can handle 1,600 passengers at a time and an annual capacity to handle 18 lakh passengers.
  • It has 30 check-in counters with Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) facility for easy transit of passengers, 14 immigration counters, two Customs counters and four security check counters in departure. There are 12 immigration counters and nine Customs check counters for the arriving passengers. With glass being a major portion of the new structure, it also provides natural lighting inside the building.
  • Another attraction of the new terminal is that visitors can enter the terminal building up to the point that they could see the departing passengers even after checking-in, which is not possible in the existing terminal. The entry fee is Rs 60 per person.
  • The Airports Authority of India will be charging user development fee of Rs 575 per embarking international passenger from Tuesday. Passengers who had not paid user fee along with the ticket will have to pay the amount at the special counters at the terminal.
  • The terminal is fully-air-conditioned terminal with wi-fi connectivity and is designed to handle the passengers of two A-300s and one Boeing 747 aircraft at the same time.
  • A domestic terminal, a new air traffic control station and a cargo complex will also be built in the near future.

It’s been a year since I met dad and was a great day to catch up with him. Enjoyed a Falafel for breakfast, read the previous day’s Arab Times and in the evening spent time with him at our native place.

Swami Sharanam.

Day 2 – Swami Sharanam

Today woke up an hour late. Yet to come to terms with my ceiling fan – the regulator no longer works and it gets terribly cold in the morning. Morning temple visit was uneventful, though cycling on a light stomach seemed arduous.

Lunch was sumptuous with mom showing a sigh of relief and joy that she no longer has to cook so much. [no fish cutting|cleaning etc.]

In the evening while returning from the temple, stopped by at the football ground near the stadium. Its been so long since I ran on a pitch. Two teams were playing a practice match under a coach. I was enjoying the bundle of energy and enthusiasm of the kids playing. The way the coach re-enacts the play [pausing all the players on the pitch to show one player what he did wrong] was so helpful, and in a few minutes, I was finding myself getting vocal just like the coach. So before things got out of hand, I headed back home. 🙂

Swami Sharanam

Day 1 – Swami Sharanam

All in all was a very good day. Started off by waking up early in the morning 5.30am. Took a bath and went to the Mahaganapathi temple. Did maala pooja and marked the beginning of my fast.

Adapting to a fruit diet for breakfast, even though it sounded good, ended up with a headache at lunch time. 😉 Had a sumptuous vegetarian lunch. Then dozed off for an hour.

Evening cycled to Kadappakada Dharmashastha temple. Lord Ayyappa was gloriously dressed in flowers.

Headed to the Children’s park on the way back. Was good to talk to my BFF after almost 6 months. Some people are so hard to find 🙂

All in all the fruit diet dinner left me wanting to run to the fridge to grab a snack in the middle of the night, but resisted myself and limited to a glass of water.

Swami Sharanam.

Peace, Prosperity and Good Health – Swami Sharanam

Almost a year since my premier pilgrimage to Sabarimala, the abode of Lord Ayyappa. Embarking on my second this month. God willing, I hope to go there as often as my health permits.

From tomorrow, will be embarking on a fast and this time have included facebook to the list of forbidden activities during the fast. Hopefully it will help me wean off completely from the time I spend on it.

Will be visiting the Maha Ganapathy temple and the Kadapakkada Ayyappa Temple daily during the course of the fast. The fast gives me the time to really reflect upon my life and serves as a check point to regulate all emotions in the right manner.

Swami Sharanam!

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