Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sabarimala Pilgrimage Part 2 - A Morning Stroll

Day 2 @ Sabarimala

Sabarimala forest photos

The day starts really early at Sannidhanam. 4.00 am to be precise. But I could not get up this early. Finally at about 5.30 got up and by 6.00 ventured out to nearby Malikappuram for a darsan .
Could see the long queue for a darsan at Sannidhanam.

Sabarimala queue
Went to nearby Malikapuram. As per custom, people who are first timers here, rolls a cocunut around the "Nalambalam" inside Malikapuram.
After prayers, decided to take a walk along the hilly road through the side of Malikapuram.
Sabarimala forest photos

These pigs were seen aplenty here, helping to keep this place clean.
Sabarimala forest photos

As we move up, we could see lot of staff quarters, meant for the staff of various functions here at Sabarimala. A single look at these quarters and it is quite evident about the lack of facilities.
Sabarimala lodging

Just stopped for a photo shoot.
Sabarimala photos

As we moved up, saw the pump house managed by Kerala Water Authority which serves the water needs in and around Sannidhanam.
Sabarimala Water Supply

We found some makeshift sheds nearby and was shocked to know that those are the quarters where the personnel of police force managing the crowd at Sannidhanam has to spent their off-duty time.
Sabarimala Police quarters Really feel pity for these guys who does a wonderful job here, considering the fact that Sabarimala is the second largest, in terms of the pilgrims after Mecca.

We were moving higher and higher and the music from Sannidhanam was slowly giving way to the sound of nature.
Sabarimala forest photos

Soon we were inside thick forests. The early morning sun was hiding behind the clouds.
Sabarimala forest photos

The sound of nature and the cool climate made us feel as if we were in some superb hill destination.
Sabarimala forest photos

We reached a point where we saw some construction were going on
Sabarimala forest photos

Seems to be a very huge construction. It is really a tough task to bring the construction materials up here.

Some electric posts had falled on the walk way. So we were not able to proceed further. One among the construction workers told that if we walk for another 1km or so, we could see some dam. But was not able to do so.

So the next plan was to trek back.

The quarters and buildings begin to appear back. Light condition was improving.

Some mobile towers can be seen in this picture.

But surprisingly, some of the service providers had not switched on the towers, seems like they will do so only during the peak season.

The music from sannidhanam was again becoming audible, signalling that we are approaching sannidhanam again.

This hotel on the way, is sure to be busy with activities during peak season, but now it looks like a deserted shed.

The path which we trekked down was now well lit by Mr. Sun

The hill road slowly transformed into concrete steps and we could see sannidhanam now.

Sannidhanam or the main temple is situated between many hills. The area surrounding the Sannidhanam can be seen here.

We went back to our guest house. Some interesting observations were made, which shows the attitude of the authorities in charge here.
Just see he fan in our room.

Poor fan is strandled between the aluminium rods laid for a false ceiling. Amazed at why this has been done like this. The situation will be like this. The authorities must have given contract to one of the contractors for laying the aluminium rods for false ceiling. The contractor when putting the aluminium rod found that the fan comes in between. Since removing the fan is not part of his contract he must have laid it through the fan. No one to question this, and people coming for stay has to suffer. Who cares?

See the way repainting has been done

Since finishing the paint job along the fine edges takes more time the painting contractor has not painted near the electrical fittings.

Another darshan soon followed suite at Sannidhanam. We also bought "Prasadam" - Aravana and "Unniappam". By 10.30 am we were ready for the trek back to Pampa.

The early morning walk through the hilly roads was a new experience to me and added a new dimension to this visit. It was learnt from locals that there are many areas in and around sabarimala - sannidhanam worth exploring.
Click to read - Part 3 - The trek Back through the Picturesque Ayyappan road

Links to all parts of this Travelogue

Sabarimala Pilgrimage (Part 1): Preparations and Onward Journey

Sabarimala Pilgrimage (Part 2): A morning stroll through Sabarimala forests
Sabarimala Pilgrimage (Part 3): Picturesque Swami Ayyappan Road and the return journey

My travelogues on some beautiful destinations nearby. (Click on the names to view the travelogue)

1. Peruthenaruvi - An unexplored but beautiful rocky location near Erumeli where natures unleashes its water craft in full fury

2. Panchalimedu - The historical place, where Pandavas hid along with Panchali. This unexplored hill station is near Kuttikanam and the Ponnambalamedu is clearly visible from this location

3. Vagamon - Know as The Swiss of Kerala and it does complete justice to its name

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