Posts Tagged ‘Kerala tourism’

Christmas 2012 at Varkala: Papanasam, Kayikara, Anjengo, Sivagiri, Gurukulam…

// December 27th, 2012 // No Comments » // Culture and Ecology

Nature that washes away your sins; Varkala Papanasam beach: A view from the north of the cliff

Nature that washes away your sins and dirt; Varkala Papanasam beach: A view from the north of the cliff.  25 Dec 2012.  The unique laterite cliff formation on the verge of the sea is the geo-hallmark of Varkala, famous as the Varkala formation.

Bounty of nature and culture; popular book shops and art galleries on the Varkala cliff awaiting travelers from across the globe.

Bounty of nature and culture; popular book shops and art galleries on the Varkala cliff awaiting travelers from across the globe.  Black beach beyond in the north.

 

The perfect place to unwind and recharge with the nurture of elements. Sandy beach and rockery on Papanasam shore, Varkala.

The perfect place to unwind and recharge with the nurture of elements. Sandy beach and rockery on Papanasam shore, Varkala.

A dip in the mineral rich sea, a ride through the waves, a shower under the natural spa... will rejuvenate you from the dead of habit and the mundane.  25 Dec 2012

A dip in the mineral rich sea surge, a ride through the waves, a shower under the natural spa oozing out of ancient laterite cliff… will rejuvenate you from the dead of habit and the mundane. Papanasam beach, Varkala 25 Dec 2012

 

Asan memorial at Kayikara the birth place of poet laureate Kumaran Asan, 5km south of Varkala.  New sculptural complex and the Govt School in memory of Asan in the back ground.

Asan memorial at Kayikara the birth place of poet laureate Kumaran Asan, 5km south of Varkala. New sculptural complex and the Govt School in memory of Asan in the back ground.  Chandala Bhikshuki sculpted by Chavara Vijayan on the pillar to the left.

Candle lit evenings on rooftops atop the cliff at Varkala beach. 25 Dec 2012

Candle lit evening on rooftops atop the cliff at Varkala beach. 25 Dec 2012

 

Beating the recession blues: A musician from Rajasthan selling his instruments on the cliff at Varkala.

Beating the recession blues: A musician from Rajasthan selling his instruments on the cliff at Varkala. 25 Dec 2012

Narayana Guru memorial on Sivagiri, Varkala.  A view from Narayana Gurukulam on an adjacent northern hillock, the retreat of Nitya Yati who wanted to see his super teacher always from a distance.

Narayana Guru memorial on Sivagiri hill, Varkala. A view from Narayana Gurukulam on an adjacent northern hillock, the retreat of Nitya Yati who wanted to see his super teacher always from a distance (Nataraja the disciple of Narayana was Yati’s master).

 

Colours of enlightenment:  Various facets of the buddha and his symbol the elephant painted by a north Indian artist in his studio gallery on the cliff at Varkala Papanasam.

Colours of enlightenment: Multiple facets of the buddha and his symbol the elephant painted in acrylic by a north Indian artist in his studio gallery on the cliff at Varkala Papanasam.

An archetectural confluence of religious and philosophic polyphony: Narayana Gurukulam convention centre, Varkala.

An architectural confluence of religious and philosophic polyphony: Narayana Gurukulam convention centre, Varkala.

 

An organic vigil:  A diligent Pond Heron at the Black Beach, Varkala.

An organic vigil: A diligent Pond Heron at the Black Beach, Varkala.

A couple from alien shores: Sunset at Papanasam beach, Varkala.  2012 Christmas comes to an end...

A couple from alien shores: Sunset at Papanasam beach, Varkala. 2012 Christmas comes to an end…

 

Fisher women coming for work on the morning of 26 Dec 2012. Black Beach, Varkala.

Fisher women coming for work on the morning of 26 Dec 2012. Black Beach, Varkala.

A European mother showing crabs and marine life forms to her curious little ones on the Black Beach, Varkala. 26 Dec 2012

A European mother showing crabs and marine life forms to her curious little ones on the Black Beach, Varkala. 26 Dec 2012

 

Coconut palm groves at the edge of the laterite cliff on the Varkala coast

Coconut palm groves at the edge of the laterite cliffs on the Varkala coast, attracting a lot of honey mooning youngsters from north India.

Fresh catch from the sea displayed before each seaside restaurant, served fresh and hot as well...

Fresh catch from the sea displayed before each seaside restaurant, served fresh and hot as well…

Narayana Gurukulam, Varkala.  Adjacent to Sivagiri.  It was the retreat of Nitya Chaitanya Yati.  The beautiful yellow bamboos scintillate the air and paint the blue sky in illuminating strokes...

Narayana Gurukulam, Varkala. Adjacent to Sivagiri. It was the retreat of Nitya Chaitanya Yati. The beautiful yellow bamboos scintillate the air and paint the blue sky in illuminating strokes…

 

Bass-relief of the buddha at Gurukulam convention centre, Varkala.

Bass-relief of the buddha at Gurukulam convention centre, Varkala.

 

Lady Christ among the fisher folk: A white woman helping the fishermen to pull the loop-net from the sea at Black Beach, Varkala.

Lady Christ among the fisher folk: A white woman helping the fishermen to pull the loop-net from the sea at Black Beach, Varkala. 26 Dec 2012

Fishing after Christmas:  Fishers active after Christmas day on the Black Beach, Varkala.

Fishing after Christmas: Fishers active after Christmas day on the Black Beach, Varkala.

 

Narayana Guru statue in Narayana Gurukulam, Varkala.

Narayana Guru statue in Narayana Gurukulam, Varkala.

The Chaitya facade to Gurukulam Convention Centre, Varkala.

The Chaitya facade to Gurukulam Convention Centre, Varkala.

 

Anjengo Fort and light house south of Varkala:  A historic battle field between the colonial powers like the Dutch, French and the British.

Anjengo Fort and light house south of Varkala: A historic battle field between the colonial powers like the Dutch, French and the British in Travancore.

At the summit of Anjengo light house.   Photo:  Jerry Antony

At the summit of Anjengo light house. Photo: Jerry Antony

 

Inside the Gurukulam Convention Centre, Varkala.

Inside the Gurukulam Convention Centre, Varkala.

A granite idol recovered from a pond at the birth place of poet Kumaran Asan at Kayikara.  It is seen as Buddha by the local people.  Can be identified as a Siddha idol belonging to the late Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhist stage in Kerala history, the transitional period from Buddhism to Brahmanism in Kerala history.  Siddha is associated with Vajrayana while Arhat is associated with early Teravada or Hinayana and Boddhisatva is associated with Mahayana.  C V Kunhiraman has observed that Ezhava people traditionally worshiped the Chithan and Arathan.  Chithan is Sidhan and Arathan is Arhatan.  Boddhisatva has become Chathan.  It is also associated with Sastha another synonym for the buddha.  Idol now installed at Asan Memorial, Kayikara.

A granite idol recovered from a pond at the birth place of poet Kumaran Asan at Kayikara. It is seen as Buddha by the local people. Can be identified as a Siddha idol belonging to the late Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhist stage in Kerala history, the transitional period from Buddhism to Brahmanism in Kerala history. Siddha is associated with Vajrayana while Arhat is associated with early Teravada or Hinayana; and Boddhisatva is associated with Mahayana. C V Kunhiraman has observed that Ezhava people traditionally worshiped the Chithan and Arathan. Chithan is Sidhan and Arathan is Arhatan. Boddhisatva has become Chathan. It is also associated with Sastha another synonym for the buddha. Idol now installed at Asan Memorial, Kayikara.

Thazhampally region south of Kayikara.  Vamanapuram river and Anjengo Kayal meet the Arabian sea here.  A bird's eye view from the top of Anjengo light house. 26 Dec 2012

Thazhampally region south of Kayikara. Vamanapuram river and Anjengo Kayal meet the Arabian sea here. A bird’s eye view from the top of Anjengo light house. 26 Dec 2012

Playing Christmas: Women in action in beach volleyball at Papanasam, Varkala on 2012 Christmas day.

Playing Christmas: Women in action in beach volleyball at Papanasam, Varkala on 2012 Christmas day.

Nature’s Magical Canvas: Sunset on Vilangan Hills

// October 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Eco Watch

Sunset from the top of Vilangan hills, Thrissur. 29 Sept. 2011

I re-visited the Vilangan Hills a few days ago after a long gap of four years.  It is a delight to ride to the top of this ancient laterite hill that rises to almost 300m from sea level, from the Kol fields of Thrissur in the suburbs of the city towards north west.

City of Thrissur from the Vilangan hills; Sobha city rising in the left

The red-soiled hillock is covered in green vegetation after the long monsoon this year.  Bamboo groves and Bonsai shrubs and scrubs are also doting the hillside with charm. We can also get a panoramic view around.  The view of Thrissur city, the new emerging Sobha city(!) and the breathtaking view o the Kol fields towards the west are really challenging and inspiring for the visually inclined.

View of Kol fields and wetlands towards the west of Thrissur city; from Vilangan hills

There are plenty of visitors.  School girls and local boys, families and lonely travelers are plenty on the top. We also met a film crew from Trivandrum looking for ideal locations to shoot a Prithviraj starer.  The cinematographers in the crew were hooked up the beautiful sunset and its rare colors on the western firmament like me.

Jaime atop Vilangan; Kol fields in the backdrop below

They also tried to capture those incredible moments in camera like me.  Some of them borrowed my Lumix FZ 28 for a while to admire the unique canvas of nature at that unforgettable moment.  It was a soothing and emancipating visual moment for all of us: nature lovers, photographers, artists and sensitive human beings atop the marvelous hillock.

Incredible sunset: Riding upto the summit of Vilangan hills; Photo: Anish Tvm

Colors and textures of nature: Sunset on Vilangan

Melting hues of the eve: Sunset from Vilangan

Returning after the sojourn in Vilangan in the backdrop of a polyphonic sunset. Photo: Anish Tvm