By Neha Basnet
My longing to travel to God’s Own Country – Kerala – was finally fulfilled. A two and half weeks of travel across this blissful state of nature, food, and cultue taught me lessons in sense and sensibility.
Walking through the buzzing lanes of Trivandrum, I was drawn to the colorful stickers spread out on a board at a shop. The shopkeeper was selling stacks of lottery tickets. People were pushing each other and discussing in a language – Malayalam – I didn’t understand.
Despite experiencing a vibrant culture, I felt I was missing out on a strong spiritual connect. After all it’s God’s Own Country! That’s when I decided to visit the Padmanabhaswamy Temple, dedicated to the serpent god, who is the creator. This temple has a clear resemblance to Budhanilkantha Temple in Nepal. It also has a deep connection with the Shaligrams from Gandaki River. Although I was not allowed to go inside the temple (women are allowed only in saris), I was enthralled with its beauty.
After having taken in the beauty of its other attractions such as ancient forts, coconut groves, and the dance form of Kathakali, I sat on the shore of the Arabian Sea. The all-encompassing silence seemed to be a tangible presence around me. The world was, as if, meditating. Along with the sea waves and the chirping birds, I was a part of it.
Neha Basnet is a graduate from the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University, The Netherlands. She writes about development, child rights, and youth.
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