One more story from the south – Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu


When invited to accompany Jennie to the most southern tip of India, where you can watch the sun set and moon rise simultaneously, Jaspreet and I responded with a ‘hell yeah’ and jumped on the first available train back to Trivandrum.

What does one do at the most southern tip of India?
Holy blunder – Upon reaching the most southern tip of India, Jaspreet eagerly steps down the stairs to dip her feet in the water of this popular pilgrimage point. As she’s a couple of steps away from toeing the sea, she slips backwards and respectfully, without even an ‘oh shit’, lands half in, half out, of the water with a splat, dipping her feet, arse and back in where the Arabian sea, the Gulf of Mannar and the Indian Ocean meet. Being a bloopers fan and having an optimum view from the top of the stairs, I thought this was hilarious, but managed an ashram like ‘Are you ok?’ before bursting into a fit of laughter. I may have even clapped and slapped my thigh a couple of times. How many other people can say they’ve fallen arse first into the most southern tip of India?

Introduction to Gulab Jamun (a sweet fried balls desert) – A local delicacy of spunge bread balls deep-fried and doused in syrup, visually displeasing, in only the way two dirty brown balls can be, but absolutely delicious!

The ‘Aum’ prayer room – It took almost 2 hours waiting in line, with hundreds of pilgrims in intense heat, just to catch a two-minute ferry ride to the Kanyakumari temple island. Fortunately, the island had an ‘Aum Room’- a silent dark meditation room the size of a large study, with a single green glowing Om symbol and a tranquil audio repeatedly ‘Auming’ in time with your breath. I instantly fell into a meditational peace, which was miraculous considering how agitated I felt after such a long, crowded, and sweaty line up – Definitely one for the Sivananda suggestion box!

Warning!
Be wary of so-called ‘guides’ that hang out at the tourist sites, memorials and temples.

A local man wearing what could be considered staff attire greets you on entrance and immediately starts stating the popular facts. You won’t understand what is was being said through heavy accents and bad grammar, or you may already know the history (who hasn’t watched the movie Gandhi?), however being a polite individual, you will stand there patiently and allow him to finish his talk, which will eventually end with a sorrowful piece about the tsunami, a bit about his family and how many children he has, and a request for money (In that order.)

And he may even attempt to steal your LED torch.

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