Ananthapura Lake Temple

Hello friends,

Today I would like to share with you the unbelievable story of one of the most beautiful temples in North Kerala, Ananthapura Lake Temple.

I came to know about this temple recently from a local television channel. I did a small research about the temple before making the plan to visit and was quite surprised by reading the story about the vegetarian crocodile ‘Babiya’ who is believed to be guarding the temple since many centuries. I was very curious as I have never heard about a crocodile who is totally vegetarian. The very next day I made my plan to visit the temple which is situated 42 Km from Mangalore where I live.

I started early morning from Mangalore. Mangalore to Kumbla, Kasargod took me an hour and 15 minutes and from Kumbla to Ananthapura village where the temple stands is around 6km drive. I was greeted by one of the temple staff at the entrance who is ardently narrating the legend about the temple. Along with the other visitors I listened to his story keenly.

The legend says Ananthapura temple is the origin place (Moolasthana) of Trivandrum Ananthapadmanabha Swami temple which recently became famous after opening the vaults which contains enormous treasure.

As per the legend, Sage Vilwamangalam used to reside here and do his rituals and poojas. One day Lord Mahavishnu appeared before him as a boy and requested to let him stay with him. When the childly pranks of the boy became unbearable for the sage, he pushed the boy aside. The boy disappeared into a nearby cave and told the sage, “If you want to see me again, you come to Ananthakat” which is now the Ananthapadmanabha temple of Trivandrum.

The sage after realising that the boy is Lord Vishnu himself, went all the way following him to Trivandrum. He found Lord reclining on serpent chief Ananta. The sage offered Lord Mangoes in the dry shell of coconut which is still being followed as part of pooja in Ananthapadmanabha temple, Trivandrum.

One can see the cave when you go inside the temple. The cave is blocked with a gate. Unfortunately I couldn’t click the picture as photography is not allowed inside the temple.

Another unique feature of the temple is the Idol. Normally the idol placed in the temple is made out of a specific metal or from mixture of metals whereas here the idol is made out of medicines through a process called Katusarkara yogam. The Idol is in a real human form with bones , spinal cord and nerves (sapta nadi) made out of medicinal plants and dried coconut fibres.

The legends may or may not be true but I can assure you that the beauty of nature around the place will steal one’s heart. Apart from the rectangular lake on which the temple is built , there are 2 other ponds nearby. There are beautiful carvings and mural painings on outer wall of temple and few remains which shows the traditional Kerala architecture.

After spending some time in the temple I went to see Babiya, whom I was eagerly waiting to meet. I found Babiya’s story more incredible. The legend says when Lord Vishnu disappeared into the cave , Babiya appeared to guard the shrine. You will be thinking about the life span of the crocodile now. The same question ran in my mind too. Thats the mystery here and make this temple one of its kind. When Babiya dies another crocodile replaces it. Where the other ones come from is still unknown. In 1942 , a British soldier shot Babiya and killed it but the very next day another crocodile was found in the lake. Unbelievable isn’t it? The soldier was later found dead bitten by a snake after a week which is believed by the natives as revenge by serpent chief ‘Ananta’.

Babiya is given the offerings by devotees. This image is taken from web as the feeding time is at 12 in the afternoon and unfortunately I went there in the morning. Natives believe that only fortunate ones can see Babiya and it stays under water most of the time. I got a glimpse of its head when it came on the surface twice.

Its quite surprising that Babiya is Vegetarian. I had to believe it when I saw the amount of fish swimming nearby the crocodile without any fear.

My visit to Ananthapura was to quench the curiosity about Babiya and I came back with my head filled with incredible legends about the temple. The tranquil environment and the peace you get from there is worth mentioning.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Silence

Hey friends,

Here is my submission for this week’s photochallenge – Silence

There is nothing beautiful than the silence of nature. Especially when you live in a city flooded with sound of traffic and people all around you and living life like a robot, these short getaways to the heart of nature where there is no intervention of humans make me feel so good. Its like rebooting myself and filling a fresh energy to push me ahead to prepare for the upcoming routine schedule.

Time stood still in a deep sorrow

My vision blocked by thick fog

Ruling out the parallel life I live

Still I feel I am locked in a cage

Eager to fly like a bird let loose

Wander away to worlds unseen

Move away from all the havocs

Snuggle in the silence of nature

Weekly photo challenge!

I have been going through my gallery searching for a meaningful photo to submit for this week’s photo challenge and got stuck into this capture.

All those who search for the hidden meaning inside this image, I would like to suggest you to read the following poem!

They stood there divided by the river

Struggling hard to be together

Stretching its branches in full length

Leaning towards to feel the touch

Still they feel they are one soul

With the bridge connecting them

Villains are there in all love stories

Here river turned to be one

Still they waited days and months

For that precious moment to come

When their soul and body be one

And remain together forever…

Favourite capture 2017

Scotland of India – Coorg

Hey friends,

After a long break, here I am back with a breathtaking vacation spot which is known as Scotland of India – Coorg. Coorg or Kodagu is a district in Karnataka, India which is known for its natural beauty comprising of beautiful misty hills, acres of coffee plantations, countless streams and lakes, thick forests and magnificent waterfalls.

My search for a peaceful yet beautiful place to explore which contain all essence of Coorg led me to Coffee cadu estate and Mandalpatti hills.

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Coffee Cadu estate stay , Madikeri.

These exotic cottages are located 10 km from Madikeri town in the middle of coffee plantation. I reached Coffee Cadu in the afternoon. After check in formalities and lunch, at 3 pm we started for Mandalpatti hills.

The  lush green Mandalpatti hills are situated 18 km from Madikeri town, at an altitude of 4050 ft and is part of Pushpagiri reserve forest. Only way to reach uphill is by 4 Wheel Drive vehicles. You can hire a bike or can opt trekking too. We hired a Jeep. The drive was bumpy throughout but the effect was nullified by the breathtaking view on either side of the road.

Road to Mandalpatti hills

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View from the hill-top

Mandalpatti is a full-course meal. The magnificent view of the Pushpagiri mountain range along with cool breeze and fog took me to a different world. I dont remember how long I sat there embracing the scenic beauty. I waited till sunset and once the light started fading, the day giving its way to night, I started back to my cottage.

By the time I reached back there was a bonfire awaiting and it was quite a blessing to sit by the fire in that chilled night.IMG_1775

Early morning, I went for a walk through the coffee plantation and was undoubtedly reviving. The whole area was covered with coffee plants with deep red fruits (coffee bean) with orange trees planted in between. Pleasantly cold climate with gentle breeze and mild fog made the walk a memorable experience.

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Coffee beans

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The walkway through the coffee plantation

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coffee plants with beans

Spending some more time exploring the coffee plantation, I went back to the cottage to pack my stuff and have breakfast as it was time to for me to checkout and wind up my small trip.

Theory of life!!!

Entrusting my life on tiny threads

Which are already breaking apart

Wait is long, hunger is strong

All I crave for is a prey in my web

All I can see is darkness ahead

With subtle movements beneath

Waiting to swallow me whole

Trying to figure out my feelings

Fear, hunger, anger or failure

Hope is fading away with time

A home fully ready to collapse

To push me into the deep hole

What awaits there; life or death

Can be answered only by time

I stood there unable to figure out

What exactly is the theory of life!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Rounded

Hey friends,

Here is my entry towards the Weekly Photo Challenge – Rounded

As always I am here with a capture from nature. If you look around you carefully, you can see numerous God created curves and rounds like perfectly shaped trees, curved mountains, the cluster of clouds in the sky and much more.

Though I had many captures of curved roads and other manmade structures, I made my mind to present this before you as I won’t be satisfied from within if I take one of those.

Standing on the hilltop where I grew

Looking down at the life below

The world beneath is full of colours

Smudged into numerous shapes

All I could see is hasty movements

Running straight without deviations

Sailing in vigor in the stream of time

Still the shore is just an imagination

You may say I am looking at the life

Sadly I say I couldn’t see any life…

Twilight Glow…

Hey Friends,

This is my entry towards the Weekly Photo Challenge – Glow

 

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Waves kissed by rays of sun

covering their blushing face

Eager to hold him close

His touch is all she need

Dancing around in glee

winking at the jealous sand

Splashing loudly on rocks

That is  how I express myself

awaiting for that moment

when he dives into my arms

why they call it sunset

its moment of togetherness