Category: India

The Dance of the Elephants!

Elephants dance at Hindu FestivalNearly forgot!

We visited a Hindu festival on way to visit the 800-year-old synagogues on Vypin Island, north of Cochin. 22 elephants performing to drums and horns in unison!

Vypin or Vypeen is one of a group of islands that form part of the city of Kochi, in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala.

The island is about 17 mi long and is connected to mainland Kochi by a series of bridges known as the Goshree bridges, which start at Kalamukku in Vypin, touch other two islands then finish at Marine Drive, Kochi. There are ten lighthouses along this waterfront!

Breakfast at Brunton Boatyard

Cochin Breakfast

Here we are at Brunton Boatyard enjoying a heavenly morning on Cochin Harbor after some near-ecstatic end-of tour-reviews last evening.

Moored on a historic stretch of Cochin’s famed harbour, the Brunton Boatyard Hotel is a tribute to another age. Resurrected from the remains of a Victorian shipbuilding yard, it gives the modern traveller a unique opportunity to dwell amidst the shadow-plays of 19th century history.

Elegant, restful.

Pattanam, Kerala

Archaeologist in Kerala

Today we are hearing a talk on 3000 years of Jewish India explained by Pattanan archaeologist.

Artifacts found here gave been traced back to Eilat in Israel – brought by traders 3000 years ago. Fascinating!

Pattanam is a village located in the Periyar delta in Eranakulam district in the southern Indian state of Kerala, north of Kochi (Cochin).

 

Pattanam-map

Parade celebrates Hindu god

Skanda-birthday-parade-web

Today is the birthday of Ganesh’s brother Skanda (otherwise known as Kartikeya). There are big Hindu temple festivals everywhere. It is very colorful!

According to Wikipedia, regional differences dictate the order of their births. In North India, Skanda is generally said to be the elder brother while in the South, Ganesha is considered the first born and may reflect historical tensions between the respective sects.

Stories relate episodes of sibling rivalry between Ganesha and Skanda.

Once there was a competition between Ganesha and Skanda to see who could circumambulate the three worlds faster and hence win the fruit of knowledge.

Skanda went off on a journey to cover the three worlds while Ganesha simply circumambulated his parents. When asked why he did so, he answered that his parents Shiva and Parvati constituted the three worlds and was thus given the fruit of knowledge.