Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hey excuse me, Mr. Kanthasamy; Oru coffee kudipom, come with me

We started at 6:13 am from home. We had our first stop for tea-vadai near Thirumayam fort, for the sake of our driver. After some time, we saw 100s of fishermen in less than knee deep water, fishing with koodai (hand woven basket) near a place called Kallal. Nets, fishing rods, bare hands, spears, even dhotis for fishing was a familiar thing, however this was the first time, I saw such a huge crowd that too with koodais.

Kundrakudi Murugan Koil

Our first darshan was in Pillayarpatti a peaceful one. The next stop was Kundrakudi. Typical nondescript temple. Sugi and Cheenu knew my obsession with MS and told me that MS Subbulakshmi’s house was right there. Though I had read TJS George, I eagerly went to the place that they pointed to find it was indeed Subbulakshmi’s abode. And my Subbulakshmi was an aging elephant. I was so let down, but well yes, these younger ones need to have their share of fun teasing me.


Temple Gopuram

Rath outside

We had to climb up and found the lord in his thiruneeru kaapu, prayed and had a view from the tiny square hole. As usual, I gave the temple elephant 1rs and had its trunk brushing my head.

Karaikudi Thiru Nachiappan Palace

The next stop was the Karaikudi Palace. If it was rennovated, it would be a real charming grand house. 5 folks from the family were still surviving it seems, as was told by the guide. We went to the kitchen, the open space and everywhere else we were allowed. (We were not allowed upstairs) After Mysore Palace and vicarious visits to other Palaces and forts, well, it seemed more like a huge traditional house.

Verandah Outside (Pictures of Lakshmi to my right and Saraswathi to my left)

Kinda large foyer as we stepped inside

Up above

Open Space - nadu muttam

Surprised to see sundrying vadams and Tulsi

As we stepped out

Koppudai Amman Koil
Next stop was amman koil and our driver took us to some Mariamman Koil, where I found so many fresh cut roses, the kind I expected to find only in Ooty or Bangalore. I am really wondering, where they came from. They could not have been bought from those places, had to be local.


Finally, we got our directions to the correct Koppudai amman koil. We were in time for the Uchi kaala abhishekam and pooja. The order of things being poured, I remember was ochre yellow liquid– turmeric – milk – curd – fruits paste – sandal. Then they dressed amman in a parrot green sari. My head accidentally hit an aunty’s head who was from blore and out of habit, we gently banged our heads again. (The childhood lore was that, doing so would prevent horns from sprouting on head) There was this bhairavar sannithi, Icha sakthi (left) and Gyana sakthi (right) amongst other prahara devathas.

Lunch in Amsavalli Hotel
This was supposed to be one of the good vegetarian restaurants in Karaikudi. We had beetroot pattani poriyal, cabbage kootu, lady’s finger pachadi (so called), kadamba sambar, murungaka vatha kolumbu, rasam, appalam, yellow coloured semiya payasam – cups and cups of buttermilk. I could not discern anything so Karaikudish in the famous cuisine. It was a typical hotel meals like anywhere else. The waiters were way more courteous than Trichy waiters though.
Way back home – Thirumayam Fort
I am really wondering about the controversy surrounding this fort. It was pretty hot in the afternoon. We just viewed the fort from outside. All ruins. The fort was supposed to have ancient treasures hidden somewhere inside.

View from the vehicle

Fort from the main road

Temple and fort

Practically ruins


Narathar Thavam Irundha Malai and hence Narthamalai. My advice would be never go there, unless you can walk barefoot on garbage. There was this big festival going on. Everywhere we stepped, there were too many coconut husks, bananas and rock salt and left over flowers. It was so very dirty. And amman had to be viewed from raised pedestal. People were leaving live cocks, hens and goats as offerings. Such an act was supposed to safeguard the cattle and the brood of domestic animals it seems. Even swamy had left a goat here and the foxes had kept away from their goats from then on it seems. Nevertheless, straining temple it was.
On the way, I tried to take a snap of my college. I was seeing it for the first time after 8 years. I made the driver rush back for my music classes and luckily ma’m came, just as I alighted from the qualis. She was wondering, how I could sing, after a whole day trip, I somehow managed.
I had meant to blog this right after I wrote about Pillayarpatti, and suddenly lyrics of Kandaswamy’sExcuse me Mr. Kandaswamy that I heard recently made me recollect this whole thing starting with Subbulakshmi.

1 comment:

ashokha said...

the kallal fishing festival is an annual one. some 18 villages will participate. you can take a photo of narathar cave which is not available anywhere else in the net.