Saturday, August 5, 2017

Family Holy Trip to Rameshwaram

Guest Write-up from my friend - SUDHAKAR H

Rameshwaram!!! The place always sounds me very special. The reason is so thrilling, two years back I had been this place with lovely buddies on Bullet ride. Devine force always pushing me to get family to this wonderful place, the time took almost two years. Yes, we are on family holy trip with beloved friend’s family on 4th – 5th August 2017.

Planning begun three months before. Specially I wanted to organize this holy trip (yathra) to senior family members sometimes in August month. The dates were not finalized, family members were more curiosity to know about schedule. The most important and diversity of this trip is, many friends joined with their family from different location of Bidar, Gulbarga, Benglauru, Mysuru, Muniyalu & Chithradurga. List of members become 30+.

Finally, the dates finalized on 4th – 5th August 2017. The mode of transport chosen INDIAN RAILWAYS from Bengaluru to Madurai and back. Booked the stay in Goswamy Madam Trust. From Madurai to Rameshwaram by taxi. Tickets are booked batch wise to all teams who are coming from different place.
Tentative Itinerary
Bengaluru – Madhurai by Train No. 16236 Tuticorin Express [Time: 21:15 Hrs]
  • Reach Madhurai around 8: 30 AM
  • Madhurai to Rameshwaram Private vehicle
  • Breakfast on the way
  • Rameshwaram around 1 PM
  • Refresh & Relax at Goswamy Madam Trust
  • Darshan & Exploration of Rameshwaram between 4 to 8 PM
  • Retire for the day
  • Early Morning Rameshwaram Darshan
  • Finish Breakfast & Start to Dhanushkodi
  • Explore & relax
  • Return to Rameshwaram around 11 am
  • Finish the Lunch & proceed to Madhurai
  • Reach around 5 PM to Madhurai
  • Meenakshi Darshan, shopping & Dinner
  • Madurai to Bengaluru by Train No. 17236 Bengaluru Express [Time: 23:50 Hrs]
Exciting day at last came, we all gathered at Bengaluru City Railway station at 8.30 pm. Unfortunately, two families could not able to join with us, due to some medical emergency. However, we could able to make the total final count of members is 30. 
Introduced ourselves to new members, by the time train arrived exactly at 9:15pm from Mysuru. We all settled our respective seats without more difficulties. Bidar team brought desi tindi of Jawar Roti, Dal, verities of pickles, everyone enjoyed the yummy dish. Thanks to the team.
The groups were formed in the bogie, according their age, taste etc. Elder women group members were so busy in talking and having fun. After many complaints from adjacent seats, team stopped talking and retired for the day.
When I opened eyes, time was around 6.30am, we were in kodaikanal road station. It took another two hours to reach Madurai i.e., 8.30 am. 

As per our initial plan, from Madhurai to Rameshwaram travel in local train. Unfortunately, we come to know that, there are NO any trains available now. Trains are available morning 6 AM, Noon 1 and evening 6pm. Waiting till 1 PM was challenging and time constrain, immediately we have taken a call to hire a private vehicle. After many round negotiation, hired two mini bus to accommodate 30 members. Now our beautiful journey begun.

All were very hungry, certainly we needed badly break for breakfast. After crossing Madurai city, we found a descent hotel. Luckily it has all facility of freshen up. Team quickly got refreshed & filled yummy breakfast.
Journey is continued towards Rameshwaram. The most fun filled enjoyed part of journey is, Mini Bus. There was no age limit of talent exposing, especially children Rohit, Saanvi & Sachi shown their singling talent. Getting motivation, elders too joined this fun filled singing program. Suddenly BUS stopped, we are already on the popular PUMBAN bridge.

We all amazed to watch beautiful view, bridge mechanism. We spent good time for photography & selfie. Filled our stomach with mangoes, cucumbers pineapple etc. Now we were just 10 KMs away to Rameshwaram. We reached around 1 pm to Goswami Madam Trust (Lodge). We finished the check-in formalities and occupied our rooms.
Team gathered @ 3:30 pm to visit temple for darshan. Re-open of the temple is 4pm. We hired a guide to know more about this ancient holy temple. Group wise we entered temple. 

There are 23 different holy wells in the temple premises. Each & everyone has its own importance. Guide clearly explained about it. The experience which we had was amazing. The holy water of each well has its own story and it is entirely different. One of the interesting fact which I observed, based on water properties, wells are named. After this holy bath, we all felt completely rejuvenated and had different experience which we never. Around 7 pm we finished our darshan and followed by dinner. The day was really packed and memorable to all of us. Relaxed sometime on the beach and retired for the day.
We woke up early morning at 4am to pay the Spatika Linga Darshan. It has very effective and unique experience to all of us. After spatika linga darshan, our feel of satisfaction was beyond everything. We could actually feel that vibes in the temple. One could see that charm or that zenith of satisfaction on devotes face after this darshan, had prasadam.

Our next destination was Dhanushkodi. I love this place very much. Of course, it abounded ghost town, still the place so attractive to all. The beauty about this place is, Bay of Bengal sea meets to Indian Ocean. We can notice, the sea never merges with ocean due to density difference, we can identify line of separation. This view is so wonderful and which made me so happy.

The day of joy is dedicated to children and elders. All enjoyed in the beach and spent good time in photography. Many of us purchased the sea items of Shankh and other ornaments.

After good time spent at Dhanushkodi, continued our journey back to Rameshwaram. Next destination is Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM, Former President of India home. Kalam house converted into beautiful museum. It is really worth to visit in Rameshwaram.

The time is arrived to say goodbye to Rameshwaram. We all reached the lodge, relaxed for sometimes and packed the luggage to start journey back to Madurai. Return journey was again fun-filled, reached Madurai at 6 pm.

Our only place to visit in Madurai was Meenakshi Temple. The temple having four MAHADWARA which are in different direction. The temple parangana is so big, we really get confused to understand, from which door we entered. Spent some good time and paid darshana to Meenakshmi Amma.

Journey was come to an end, train is at @ 11.30pm. Remaining time wanted to kill in shopping. The shopping lovers had a good time. Finished the dinner, rushed to railway station. The train was on time, we all boarded and settled in our respective seats. We just recalled our two days memorable journey and good bye to the team hoping to meet in the next event.

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