05 Apr - 07 Apr 2011 Tiruchendur

South Asia
Republic of Incredible India, the world's biggest democrazy
Tamil Nadu
K.T.M. Lodge +914639242341.
Rather basic "Honeymoon Suite" with large private balcony for only INR 300.- or US$ 6.80 per night. Innocent and friendly local staff.

Click below for an interactive road map of the K.T.M. Lodge in Tiruchendur, which we would recommend, and for directions:

Flushing the princely donation of INR 200.- or US$ 4.60 into the Tiruchendur Murugan Temple's coffers, catching the immediate attention of the lazy, lolling temple priests and getting our private grand tour into the cave-like intestines of the mighty Tiruchendur Murugan Temple which presides over a spectacular sandy beach: (i) loads of detailed explanations about the subleties of Hinduism (our favourite animals: the green-faced, multi-armed Kali for Konni and the trunk-nosed, flap-eared Ganesh for Matt), all this in high-speed Indian English, (ii) many special darshans (opportunities to eyeball one of the stone-carved gods from up close), and (iii) the complete hocus-pocus of seemingly endless blessings with flower garlands around our necks, white and red dabs of paint onto our foreheads and a jazzy solo performance from one of the temple trumpeters.

Re-visiting the bustling Tiruchendur Murugan Temple at twilight, when everything appears in black-and-white and in countless shades of grey, and musing about the striking similarities between (i) the ongoing hustle and bustle at this 21st-century CE Hindu temple in South India, and (ii) the bygone hustle and bustle in the ancient 5th-century BCE Greece temples which we had visited during our Ionian Islands cruise [1], [2], [3], [4], [5] with our ketch SY "Kamu II" in 2004.
“‎No people whose word for 'yesterday' is the same as their word for 'tomorrow' can be said to have a firm grip on the time.” 

Snacking in our favourite Ashoka Bavan restaurant on delicious banana-leaf “ready meals” (in Tamil: sappadu, in Hindi: thali; for INR 45.- or US$ 1.- per meal) which consist of (i) spicy soup, (ii) crisp and thin chickpea-flour crackers aka papadums, (iii) bottomless plain rice, (iv) three different bottomless veggie curries, (v) spicy gravy aka sambal, (vi) mango pickles, and (vii) lekker rice pudding for dessert; all this washed down with ice-cold Kingfisher Premium beers (c. 5% alc./vol.) for INR 90.- per large 650-ml bottle from the nearby wine shop with its tatty, attached non-a/c bar aka "Permit Room" (open from beer o'clock to midnight), conveniently located on Kovil Street.

Stark: 'Let me finish my beer.'
Kasabian: 'Of course. The end of the world can wait.' 


Taking a T.N.S.T.C. (Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation) rust bucket from Tiruchendur to Tuticorin (c. 40 km, 1 1/2 hours, INR 15.- per person), famous for its pearls which are said to rank among the finest in the world, on a par with those found in the Persian Gulf, and thereafter another T.N.S.T.C. bus (c. 175 km, 5 1/2 hours, INR 58.- per person) from Tuticorin, over the 2-km long Indira Gandhi Bridge, to Rameshwaram, situated on a long spit of land stretching towards Sri Lanka and a major pilgrimage centre for Hindus.

Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2011 Map Konni & Matt

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