Posted by: cochinblogger | November 9, 2009

Trip to Guruvayur

I’d been to Guruvayur to attend a friend’s wedding a few months ago. Here are some impressions from the journey. This was my second visit to Guruvayur.

I traveled by the early-morning train. A colleague told me the departure time was 6:10 am. The board with train timings near the platform entrance, however, said 6 am. I looked at my watch. I had just 7 minutes left to get the ticket and board the train. I made it with seconds to spare. Whew! The Railways had changed the departure time since my colleague’s last journey. A lesson for the future: Get your dope straight from the horse’s mouth. Call the railway inquiry number in future.

A pleasant surprise was in store for me when I entered the railway carriage. The Railways had become photographer friendly! One of the two windows in the compartment had no bars, to make it easy for photographers to do their work unimpeded by metal railings. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this.

I settled down in my chair and treated myself to the scenery outside. The Kerala countryside is, of course, a veritable green paradise. I did not manage to capture the pics I wanted, but here is one.

Guruvayur is a famous temple town. Here is the entrance to the temple complex.

Inside the temple complex are shops with colorful wares on display, like this.

Here are some priests attached to the temple.

The Guruvayur post office is a pretty heritage building.

The dining hall looked inviting with the banana leaves laden with the food served at a traditional vegetarian wedding feast.

A closeup of the food on the leaf. The main course, rice, has not yet been served. Note the reddish color of the water. It’s a common practice in hotels in Kerala to add a herb to drinking water that imparts a reddish hue to the water.

The magnificent eagle below commemorates a temple entry campaign for Dalits, or so I was told. The eagle marks the point up to which Dalits were permitted to approach the temple in the bad old days.

A couple of pics from the return journey (again by train). This is the Periyar river at Aluva. This river is the main source of water to Cochin.

Kerala is dotted with waterways like this.

My train compartment bustled with activity as a group of energetic fellow travelers entertained us with song and dance. Take a look below.

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