In the recent past I managed to get fractures in my spine. How? I fell off a horse. It was a minor fracture, one that causes more pain than anything else. However, the reason I brought this up was because I was supposed to be on three weeks of bed rest. The dear Colonel, even though he’s a doctor, always knows better. He wanted to travel from Bangalore to Kanyakumari, and then cover the entire stretch of Tamil Nadu. Long story short, I ended up driving 2200 odd kilometres in five days with a broken back.
Why did I drive? I drove because the driver’s seat receives the least jerks, and because while driving i know exactly when the next bump will hurt. And thus, I managed. Why Kanyakumari? The Colonel has been on the northern most tip of India, and his lifelong wish was to be on the southern most tip too. Since the Colonel is the most important person in my life, I obliged.
We started in the wee hours of the morning, drove out of Bangalore and onto the highway. We reached Kanyakumari around 2:30 in the afternoon. Also, CCD’s have the best bathrooms along the highways in Tamil Nadu, and you’ll find them aplenty! We checked into a hotel that overlooked the Bay of Bengal on the eastern side. It also overlooked the Vivekananda Memorial which has been constructed there around 13 years back. There is also a huge statute of Buddha next to it. To get there you need to catch a ferry off the port. Apparently, you can even cross over by walking through the water during low tide.
Kanyakumari is special because it is the southern most tip of India, and the only place where you can see two seas and an ocean merging. The Bay of Bengal collides with the Indian Ocean and that collides with the Arabian Sea, east to west. It’s all the more beautiful thanks to the sunrise happening from the Bay of Bengal and the sun setting into the Arabian Sea. To reach the geographically most southern tip you drive down along the coast and arrive at the watch tower overlooking all three bodies of water. The watch tower stands in the Indian Ocean, and you can see the merging of the water, the line that distinguishes the sea from the ocean.
However, for sunset the best point is at Hidden Twin Beach which is slightly ahead of the watch tower. There are enormous gusts of wind that will probably knock down the pretentious tripods, and hopefully blow away some of the annoying children who keep getting into the camera lens. This beach overlooks the Arabian Sea and the coastline that goes out of Tamil Nadu and becomes Kerala. It is 1km away from Kovalam. If you have enough time and energy to drive down, you could even drive down to the Kovalam beach in Kerala to watch the sun go down into the water.
At the beach you get fresh fish fried right then, and souverneirs such as starfish collected and stored (and they stink). The Colonel decided to go shopping after this while I went back to the room and decided to rest. He came back around 9:30 pm, by when I had passed out. Kanyakumari is the perfect place to buy wooden sculptures (he picked up two elephant sculptures which only made the car heavier). However, those sculptures did receive a lot of appreciation once we were back home.
In the morning we woke up excitedly to view the rising of the sun over the Bay of Bengal. Unfortunately, due to the excessive cloud cover we missed seeing the sun actually rise above the horizon, but we did manage to see the fishing boats in the water with sunlight falling in between them.
This ended our short excursion to Kanyakumari after which we headed to Rameshwaram. The Colonel insists we see the shivling that was made by Sita so that Ram could wash his sins of killing a Brahmin away. More in the next post.