Where do you meet God? – Part I

Answer:  In God’s own country!  Ouch!  Don’t throw rotten eggs at me for that one!

Seriously!  Do you want to get away from the din of city life and see something different?  Experience greenery all around and near absolute cleanliness?  Please go to Kerala.

To me, Kerala has always meant “home” as in my dad’s family home.  Every visit to Kerala with parents automatically meant going home, spending a few weeks there and visiting all the temples in the vicinity.  So my perception of Kerala was extremely limited.

Recently I had an opportunity to visit Kerala with family.  It was an extremely different experience.  While most of the family decided to visit Guruvayoor temple, I declined.  It was too soon for me after the passing on of my mother – my only surviving parent.  I could not deal with going there and missing them.  So the husband and I decided to visit some other place while the rest of the family visited Guruvayoor.

We camped at Cochin at a hotel close to the airport.  Cochin is just an hour or so by air from Bangalore.  It was a mildly cloudy day and we boarded a flight leaving Bangalore at around 1.30 pm.  From the airport, we went straight to a place called “Kalady” – the birthplace of Adi Sankara – born in the early 8th century  – who was one of the most revered Hindu philosophers and theologians who consolidated the doctrine of Advaita Vedanta.

Kalady is just a 5 km drive from the airport.  Here are some pictures.

1.  Janma Bhoomi Kshetram:  This is said to be the place where Sankara was born. A simple structure housing the samadhi of Aryamba (the mother of Sankara). The stone stupa is said to be from Sankara’s times and helped identify his birth place. Inside this structure are the sanctums of Lord Ganesha and Shri Sharadambal. We visited this place twice during the visit and the second time witnessed a thread ceremony being performed. It was so beautiful to see the sanctity of the passage of rite without any of the distractions of a big do.

2.  Rigveda Pathshala:  A pathshala is a school.  This is a place where the Vedas are taught.

3.  Sad there was no entry.  Would have loved to go in and see the place.

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