Tag Archives: Narayana Gurukulam

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

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.

Riding to the Nilgiris: Malkohas, Larks, White Eyes…

A distant view of Silent Valley and Nilgiri mountains from Mannarkad. 29 Sept 2012. I started from Kutipuram. Through Valanchery-Perinthalmanna reached Mannarkad and took the Agali-Attapadi-Anakkatty route.

Flowing along the green bamboos and woodbine:  A sylvan cascade by the Mannarkad-Agali road

Cool migrant: A Grey Wagtail at a roadside stream

The gift of river Bhavani: Agali-Attapady valley and Malliswaran Mudi in the backdrop. A sacred peak of the tribals. Ancient Jains also worship this peak as an icon of Mallinadha Thirthankara.

A Black Eagle spreading its wings above the Bhavani basin: Near Thavalam on the Agali-Anakkatti road

Blue waters of the Bhavani flowing east from the Ghats. Malliswaran Mudi in the horizon. A view from Thavalam/Agali. 29 Sept 2012

Landscape and climate change to dry: Bhavani near Mulli, largely a rain-shadow dale

Perfect camouflage: A Jerdon’s Bushlark near Mulli,  29 Sept 2012

Mulli valley between Thavalam and Mukurthi. For 3kms the Ooty road lacks tarring here. Quails, Larks, Doves… are plenty.

Blue-faced Malkoha on the Mulli-Manjur route near the Dam. Also chanced upon Sirkeer Malkoha just before this ecstatic sight, but could not click. Both beauties are lifers for me!

A Noisy Malabar Parakeet near Mulli

Avalanches in Mukurthi National Park. Mukurthi peak towards the right capped in mist. 29 Sept 2012

Entering the Nilgiri plateau above 2000 MSL through Mukurthi and Manjur by the eve of 29 Sept 2012. The land of Kota, Toda and Paniya. Also an ancient Jain centre called Ootakalmand now turned Udakamandalam.

A brilliant icon of the sun and the enlightened one: A golden-yellow rose in the Govt Rose Garden at Ooty on the morn of 30 Sept 2012

Misty morning in Ooty. One of the ancient mountains in the world, much older than the Himalayas. Ootakalmand town from Fern Hills.

Wild blossoms by the Ooty lake. 30 Sept 2012

Fresh organic vegetables for the whole south India: Carrot, cabbage, cauliflower cultivation in the Nilgiris

Awaiting travelers: Autos and horsemen in Ooty

A Sambhar Deer by the lake in Ooty

Endemic pansies in Ooty Govt Botanical Garden

A lonely visitor in the Ooty Botanical Garden. 30 Sept 2012

Burial urns in Ooty Govt Museum. More than 2000 years old, recovered from the Nilgiris. They show that The tribal peoples reached Ootakalmund in the Sangham age itself before the beginning of the common era.

A White-eye seeking honey at Ooty

Cottages in the Zen garden at Narayana Gurukulam, Fern Hill, Ooty

An enlightening presence: A Buddha head in the zen garden at Narayana Gurukulam, Fern Hill, Ooty. 30 Sept 2012

Film activist Nisar Asoka near the pagoda in Narayana Gurukulam, Ooty

Brother Viju Varghese the current in-charge of Narayana Gurukulam, Ooty

Statue of Narayana Guru in the zen garden at Narayana Gurukulam, Ooty. 30 Sept 2012.  Photo: Nisar Asoka

A fading music: A chirping sparrow in the buddha garden at Narayana Gurukulam, Ooty

On the return ride I took the Masinagudi-Gudalur-Nilambur route.  It was butterflies raining in Masinagudi and Mudumalai Tiger reserve.  Blue Tigers and Common Crows were having some local migration.  I saw Gaurs and elephants grazing all along the road.  My battery was empty and could not take any snaps.  Reached Kutipuram by 10pm on 30th Sept 2012.  Thanks to my Kawasaki-bajaj Avenger the 400 km ride was a great educating and illuminating voyage to the Blue Mountains, the queen among hill stations in South India.  Lack of rain is crucially affecting all these ecologically fragile biodiversity hotspots, especially the rain shadow regions towards the eastern slopes of the Ghats the Malakudam or Malayaparvatam.