When you visit Kanyakumari, viewing the sunrise and sunset would be on the top of your list. However, the bliss of watching the two events is at the mercy of nature ! Many a time, it has happened to us, growing up in Madras, our mom would drag us to the beach to watch sunrise, only to have a thick cloud cover exactly at the sunrise time. It happened to us again during our family trip to Kanyakumari in 2000, 19 years later, we had learnt our lessons and given that there was already a light cloud cover, we did not have any plans to go out and watch the sunrise !
Instead, we went for a lazy walk along the beach, the place was full of tourists and had the hustle bustle of a proper tourist place.
Land’s end and end of the road trip
We had a quick coffee and some breakfast which included delicious Pongal for the 5th day in a row.
Our trip was drawing to a close and it was time to begin our journey back home.
Before starting, we had to take the blessings of Bhagavathi Amman, Goddess Kanya Kumari, the presiding deity of Kanyakumari. It was quite early in the day, so there were hardly anybody in the temple. The Goddess’s shrine was getting ready for the morning Abhishekam, we had a pleasant darsanam of the Goddess. We couldn’t spot the famous nose ring of Bhagavathy Amman, since it was abhishekam time, the idol was not bedecked. One can read about the history and legends of the temple on the internet. The temple is located almost on the land’s end, the east gate of the temple opens out to the sea.
Goddess Kanyakumari finds a mention in Sangam literature, which means the history of the temple can be traced back to 2000 years, though the temple structure as it exists today has been rebuilt and renovated over the centuries under different kings.
After a visit to the temple, we walked to the Triveni Sangam, the point where Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea meet.
One can see the two different directions from which the waves come to the shore, it is an amazing feeling standing there and imagining the whole Indian land mass behind you !
We left Kanyakumari with this parting picture of the two iconic monuments.
It was around 10 AM when we started our 956 kms drive back home.
On our way back home to Nellore, instead of the Madurai-Trichy-Chennai route, we had planned at stopover at Salem because the sibling had travel points at Radisson Hotel, Salem ! The route was the same till Virudhunagar from where we could deviate towards Salem, however, the road side views of cloud covered mountains were breathtaking !
A picture taken from a car window cannot come anywhere close to how beautiful the scene was.
We stopped for lunch at restaurant on the highway at Virudhunagar, a scrumptious Tamil Nadu meal followed. With full stomachs, the rest of the journey till Salem seemed like a drag, refreshing coffee at Namakkal was the saving grace. We reached Salem a little after 5 PM and checked into Radisson. Our tiredness vanished the moment we saw the view of the Servarayan or the Shevaroy Hill range from our room ! One side of the wall in the rooms at Radissson is fully covered by glass windows, the view is amazing.
We had no plans at Salem, except cool our heels, we spent the whole evening simply lazing. For dinner, we walked to the famous Selvi Mess, just next to Radisson. The Mess is supposed to be a paradise for non-vegetarians, however, the omnivores in the family were not too keen to indulge, so we went to the vegetarian outlet of the same Selvi Mess. The food was the best we had in the trip so far. Their Chettinad Panneer fry was simply out of the world, beats any other Panneer delicacy we have had in our lives !
A short walk around our hotel area and we turned in for the night. It was a rainy night with roaring thunder, there was one particular huge lightning and thunder that lit up the city like it was almost daytime and the thunder that followed shook the glass of the window ! The effect was terrifying ! Looked like the rain continued through the night but we had a sound sleep and woke up in the morning and opened the curtains to this most beautiful sight of the sunrise from behind the hills !
We could say, the sole purpose of writing this post which hardly has any travel experiences, is only to relive that moment of watching the sunrise at Salem !
As we were starting the last leg of our journey back, we spent time on an elaborate breakfast at Selvi Mess, Pongal was on the menu for sixth day in a row !
Our drive back home took us on NH44, through Dharmapuri – Krishnagiri, where we stopped for lunch at Hotel Sai Sangeeth on the highway, along with good food, they also have a nice outlet selling handicrafts and other traditional household items.
We passed by Tirupati, the sight of the Tirumala Hills, always makes you want to make a visit to the sacred place, one cannot help but sing “Adivo Alladivo Sri Hari vasamu” ! From there, instead of taking the regular route towards Nellore, we tried an alternative route via Venkatagiri. The route passed through villages and was a tedious drive, by the time we reached Gudur and were back on the NH5, we were drained and wanted to go back home as soon as we could and crash !
And, crash we did, light dinner and straight to bed at home. Two days later, we headed back home to Hyderabad. When we started from Hyderabad, the trip was supposed to be a one week summer break but we ended up forgetting our routine lives for 15 days and a road trip of 956 kms ! If you think summer holidays are only for children, think again !
- Bhagavathy Amman temple is open from 4.30 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8.30 PM.
- If you happen to travel to Namakkal on the Kanyakumari – Salem route, do visit the Namakkal Anjaneyar Temple, we missed it because our folks were too tired.
- The famous hill station Yercaud is only 30 kms from Salem.
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