The tip of the subcontinent.

9 Apr

We reached the southern tip of India, where the waters of three seas swirl together:  Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Bay of Bengal.  The highway just goes right to the water and then stops. Here is our driver Vinayan at the end (or beginning) of the road. That arrow points north.

When you approach the tip of a pointy continent it is not just the waters that meet. Wind comes from all directions, and the Indians are harnessing it.

The tip of the continent is a major pilgrimage destination for Indians from all over the subcontinent. The great statue of the legendary Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar (his dates range from 2nd century BC to 7th century AD) occupies an island directly facing the tip.  The colossal statue was unveiled on January 1, 2000, though soon it will be forgotten just how new it is. On the island next to it is the memorial to Swami Vivekananda, a late 19th century guru, who swam to this island and had a moment of enlightenment. That building was unveiled in 1970 (!!). Ghandi also came here and meditated for 3 days, and his memorial is also on the water, in the other direction.

Among the crowds gathered at the water (many of whom plunge in for a three-ocean cleanse), we discerned different northerners: Rajasthanis, Kashmiris, and Punjabis. Everyone was in an excellent mood.

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3 Responses to “The tip of the subcontinent.”

  1. goldenwestclothing April 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Do many people go there just to go? You’d almost expect a souvenir shop.

    • Spirito Pellegrino April 14, 2012 at 7:40 am #

      Thanks for the question. I have added a bit to the entry in order to answer. Yes, there is a whole tent village of souvenir shops awaiting the tourists as they approach and leave the point…

      • goldenwestclothing April 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

        wow that sure beats Peggy’s Cove

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