Kalady, a town in the state of Kerala, is famous as the birthplace of the ancient Hindu sage Shankaracharya. Kalady means under the feet. Lord Krishna, moved by Shankara’s request for helping his mother, also blessed him saying a river will flow where your feet rests. Shankara installed an idol of Lord Krishna at the current temple.
It took about two hours to reach the town of Kalady. Earlier we had decided to skip going to the Athirappilly Falls realizing the shortage of time to cover both the falls and the town. The town was important as a place of pilgrimage and the fact that it was the birth town of Shankaracharya.
The Mutt sponsored school has a nine storied tower with passageway leading all the way up to the top – Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthampa Mandapam. All along the walls are murals of Shankaracharya’s life. It is quite unbelievable that all what is depicted is true. Shankara’s conversations with gods and goddesses, etc. It is amazing that he took a pilgrimage across India to visit the holy places and the distances are stunning. He even reached Kailash parvat that is in the Himalayas. Imagine travelling to the mountains from down south on foot!! And he wrote prolifically given that he died at the age of 33.
The Krishna temple is a beautiful temple on the banks of river Poorna. This is the only surviving structure from his times. The deity was closed for darshan as it was past noon. Annadaanam – or food giving – was going on in the courtyard. We had good, hot food thanks to the temple. The good thing was we were close to the airport for our return trip to Bangalore. The Cochin International airport was just 15 minutes away from Kalady. However, we didn’t have time to walk to the river behind the temple. Too many things to do on a short 2 week vacation and a three-day visit to places with thousands of years of history.
Past trips to India, we had to plan to take cash along. But the availability of ATMs have exploded and it was a quick stop to get cash to pay off our sweet driver. The last leg of our journey back to Bangalore was on the staid Jet Airways. These cost cutting airlines are so much into cost cutting that they don’t switch on the air-conditioning until the plane is ready to take-off. The heat and humidity outside was still relatively to the shadow inside the plane and a fly had figured it out. I guess it wouldn’t care if it alighted the flight at Bangalore, which is still less humid from its home place. As far as family goes, it would be alone. That is what we feel every time we fly out of India from every visit. That is the choice one makes for their future and children’s future. You start life elsewhere finding new friends, you are establishing a new future.