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The Kavadi Cremony

Srilanka Jaffna

sunny 28 °C
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The Kavadi Ceremony
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On the way to Trichnapali from Jaffna i was amazed to see a truck coming towards my car blaring spiritual music which sounded like an arti . It was well decorated with photographs of goddess Durga painted on it , but what took my attention was a man bobbing up and down like a yo yo on strings which was attached to a leaver .
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On top of the leaver stood a man jumping up and down making the guy hanging by the string bob up and down even faster . I asked my driver to stop the car , i jumped out in excitement this was something i had to take a closer look at . I went near this truck and realised that the strings that man was hanging on were attached to iron hooks which were imbedded into the flesh of the man’s back and he was hanging in mid air bobbing up and down by quick thrusts applied by the other man who was jumping on top of the leaver . This was indeed a unique site as kids and women thronged to the truck to take photo’s . The man also had a iron hook going through his cheeks as he looked like a fish caught by a fishing rod . I tried to make sense of all this and rushed into the temple near by .
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There i saw more devotees getting their backs pierced by the local priest , who put oil and cream on their flesh and then inserted iron hooks six inches thick into the flesh of their backs. Then they were also suspended into thin air in this manner ,as the crowd cheered and rooted for them . I was told this is the famous Kawadi Ceremony and is performed by the local people to please the gods so that they can keep bad spirits and omens away from their loved ones .
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It was also performed to keep away famine and sickness away from the villages . I took many a snaps of this unique and fascinating ritual as the kids danced around me . It is amazing how pain has been used as a medium to please the god’s . In islamic faith muhurram is a ritual performed in which people hurt their bodies with knives and lashes till blood oozes out of their body in order to please allah . In india Aghodi’s carry out similar ritual’s to please Shamshan Tara the goddess of the Shamshaan. Human and animal sacrifice has been used for years in many tantric cults . This however was an amazing site as not a drop of blood came out from the body of these devotees . I wanted to try this but was too sacred to , so just took snaps and savoured in this unique ritual .
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In Jaffna i also walked into the famous Murugappa temple , which is a temple made to by homage to lord shiva’s son . It reminded me of the famous temples of Thiruvantpuram in it’s structure and architecture. Full of painting of Parvanti , Ganesh and other deities of the gods , it was grand in it’s splendour with a little pond right in the middel of the temple.

But above all the Kawadi ceremony was the highlight of my day as i reached thrichnapali in the evening to relax in my hotel and savour the experience for the night.

Posted by Anuj Tikku 07:31 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged ocean religion srilanka columbo Comments (0)

columbo to jaffna by road

Jaffna

semi-overcast 28 °C
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Columbo to Jaffna by Road

Got up early today the driver arrived on time around eight in the morning . I had my trip planned by the staff at the Regent Hotel it is an eight day road journey around the coast and northern area’s of Srilanka , covering more then dozen cities like Candy , Trichnapali and many others . The road trip to Jaffna started smoothly . My Driver Jhoseph spoke good english and was alert all the way . We stopped over at a few ancient Hindu Temples on the way . The most remarkable thing i found was how distinctly different these temples and deities were from the ones i had seen in other south indian cities like Kochi and Thiruvantapuram . The colours were very bright and vibrant the sculptures of the various god’s , devi’s and diva’s also varied from the ones i had seen in say Kanyakumari and other South Indian cities . The domes of the temples carried the images of devi’s and diva’s itself , blue , pink and gold were the predominate colours used .

We stopped over at various eateries on the way i tried a beef samosa for the first time here . The Chicken and mutton dishes were very spicy and hot and reminded me of the Chittanad cuzine of India . I smoked the local Dunhill cigarets on the way and enjoyed the coconut water and pineapples . The coconut water in this part of the world is sweeter and the coconut is yellow in colour .

We stopped over at the Jaffna Lagoon on the way which had a huge Buddha staring into the Horizon . I chatted with some locals and some policemen .They informed me that Jaffna is now a peaceful area and their is no fear of the LTTE or their notorious gang leader Prabhakaran . The journey was a long one it took us twelve hours to reach Jaffna and finally to my hotel

Posted by Anuj Tikku 08:11 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged people ocean temple religion srilanka columbo Comments (0)

Roaring Srilanka

Columbo

rain 26 °C
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Reached in the afternoon by the Air India Flight to the capital of Srilanka Columbo , where i was picked up by the Cab driver from the Regent Hotel . I had booked the hotel on booking.com .Trip Advisor had rated this accommodation well and at Dollar 60 a night i thought it was a steal .Till i realised that the taxi pick up from the airport was not a free service and i had to pay dollar 25 for it . The room was good clean and well light but a bit small the other disappointment was that breakfast was not included as part of the package .

My friend Ranesh Weerasinghm had come to the hotel to see me . I was meeting him after 20 years we were together at the university of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology .We had done our Engineering their .Columbo reminded me of Chennai , it’s also a very clean city and as humid with the june temperature of about 29 degrees.

Went for a walk early in the morning near the sea coast .Tried my hands on the latest CANNON Digital Camera that i had bought . Took some amazing snaps of the rowing ocean and harbour . Meet the locals they all looked like Madrasi to me . I am looking forward to having lunch with Ranesh and his family today . He has also planned for me to meet his spiritual guru today that should be a treat .

Posted by Anuj Tikku 20:51 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged ocean srilanka columbo Comments (0)

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