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Music Night at Thiruvannamalai

Sri Ramanashram

29.10.2014 (Day 23 cotd. )

After we came back from our “Midnight pilgrimage” we went to sleep at 6 in the morning. We slept till evening. We woke up and prepared something to eat from our previous day’s food shopping. And we started to think about our future plans for the day. The day had  passed, and it was already evening.

So we decided to visit a few ashrams nearby. There are some 4 or 5 ashrams in this small town. But we were going to Shri Ramanashram.  It was said that there was a chanting or something like that,  at 6pm. So thought of checking it out.

Before going to the ashram, we had to find a laundry place. Due to frequent rains during the Sadhana forest days clothes were either not clean or not dry. As there were no solid plans for the coming days, we had to prepare for longer travel days and every other possibilities. At last we found out a place which was made out of Tin sheets and other scrap materials. That was the laundry place.

Being the only Indian in that small group, I had to deal with the local people. You must be knowing that in India,  there are more than a 1000 languages, unofficially. Even though my home town is less than a 1000km away, I am not very fluent in this language. I can understand it if spoken rather slowly and reply in bits and pieces. If they are intelligent and I am lucky, they would understand what I really meant. So the thing is that I had to talk, I had to bargain and I wasn’t good at any of these.

Even though I was with two obviously non-Indian looking, very fair-skinned people and pretended  to be someone from some Latin American country, the people just wouldn’t believe it. They simply just wouldn’t believe it and  start talking to me in the local language thinking that I would understand. Also I used to get all sorts of funny questions. “Where are they from” “How much are they paying you” “Really, friends?? ”

It was really fun!

Anyway after leaving our clothes at the laundry place, we headed towards the Sri Ramanashram. When we reached there, some chanting was going on. People were sitting on the floor in two sections, ladies on one side and gents on the other.

chanting at Ramanashram
chanting at Ramanashram

I clicked this picture after everything was over. I didn’t spoil the decorum of the place 😀 We spent some more time enjoying the silence and energy of that place.  At the extreme end is the shrine. You can read more about the ashram from here.

Now I realize that this  world, (some people call the universe) has strange ways of fulfilling one’s wishes, however irrelevant it may seem. When I was going through the ashram’s website to include the link here, I felt a sense of familiarity, like a Déjà vu. The faint memories made its way to active memory and I could remember going through similar content a few years back. I remembered reading in some blog about barefoot walk around a holy mountain done by a girl from US. When I searched more about the journey, I landed on to this website. I remember seeing a few pictures that are still there in the site. So this journey was meant to happen! It was a wish came true!

But I wasn’t expecting such scenes from this place.

its our right to get alms!
its our right to get alms!

Don’t get the idea that these people are waiting to board the bus. They were waiting for the tourists to get in the bus. And they expect a contribution from every tourist/traveler. They were like “its our right to get money from tourists”. First time I was seeing people demanding for alms! And this was happening right in front of the Ramanashram.

This is the entrance to the ashram.

Sri Ramanashram
Sri Ramanashram

With a perfect timing this guy appeared in my frame. It was like adding a balance to the picture. On the left side you can see the picture of Sri Ramana Maharshi.

He was not the only person interested in being photographed. Check this out if you don’t know what ‘striking a pose’ means.

Now that is called Strike a pose
Now that is called Strike a pose

“Strike a pose”. After seeing the camera, he wanted a picture of him and posed and taught me the phrase ‘strike a pose’.

Anyway these were not part of our main agenda. Our main attraction for the day was the Music night that was going to happen in a nearby café. We were invited to join. So we headed to the tasty café. First we ordered our food. After finishing our dinner we joined the electrifying, energy packed music night.

They were not some professional music troupe or band performing there. Rather it was a gathering of friends who were musically very active. We also had a member who is a super musician! So we all joined the group. It was a terrific night. You can do a sample analysis by going through this video 😉

We wished we could stay there for longer. But were not in a mood to trek the mountain in that night. Our plan was again to go for an early morning trek the next day. So we really wanted to sleep early. So we reluctantly opted out from the fun. And we started walking back to our room.

But the place still had interesting visuals to offer. At that time of the night we got to see a wedding procession.

Wedding procession at night
Wedding procession at night

Leaving behind those interesting scenes, we walked to our room. And went to bed to wake up early the next day.

Well I forgot to mention an interesting fact about Sleep and Thiruvannamalai. It was told that if you are new to this place and not accustomed to it,  because of the energy of this place, you cannot have a peaceful sleep without waking up multiple times during the night, even if your are dead tired! Usually I used to get good sleep even if it is some new place.  So I took this as a challenge but somehow I didn’t have a nice deep sleep. I woke up quite a few times. My friends also had the same experience. It could be either we were conscious about such a fact and trying consciously to challenge it, or it could really be because of the energy of Arunachala.

If you have similar experience, I would like to hear it. We can discuss it and come to some conclusions.

Anyway that is all for this day. It is sleeping time. One more picture from the wedding procession before the sleep 😉

Bokeh from the procession
Bokeh from the procession


Photographing the journeys to recreate the Travels to take you for a virtual Photo walk.

89 thoughts on “Music Night at Thiruvannamalai

  1. Thank you for sharing with us! 🙂 I have heard there are many different languages Indian speaks, but I didn’t know there are more than 1000 languages unofficially. It gave me a big shock when I came to know about it from your blog. I bet it was very hard to communicate when you and others don’t speak the same language. But sure it was an interesting experience!!! 😉

    1. Thank you for reading 🙂 You can find one Wikipedia link that I shared, among other comments where it talks about number of languages in india. Indeed it is a fun and challenging experience. And we do have a National language Hindi. And you can live in India with English too 🙂

  2. I love the variety of people one gets to meet in travels and of course the unique scenarios created by them,may it be one man ‘striking a pose ‘ or the ‘alms snatchers’ 🙂

      1. Thank you for the link. 122 major languages is daunting! I’m learning so much of Indian culture and history from your blog. The way you tell the stories and your wonderful writing make your readers want to read and learn about it. Thank you, my friend! 🙂

    1. Don’t worry, you will be fine 🙂 Why are you fearing anyway, there is nothing you can do at this point. So just chill or at least pretend that you are chilling 😉

          1. I thought you can get round bokeh’s only on widest aperture.. Never had a clue of Manual focus in my mind.. So it suddenly seems a bit of postpone-able dream 😀

          2. Well manual focus works only for getting just bokeh like this. I mean everything in the frame out of focus. If you have a subject in the frame, you need the magic of 50 mm!!

          3. Yes… I have seen a couple of bokeh’s like that. Amazing creativity..
            Btw, checked out your Christmas post. I must say that was well taken. Very creative indeed. kudos to telephoto 😀

          4. Not that one… My cam doesn’t have a focus motor.. So the one I will buy is Nikon AF-S 1.4G 50mm… 1.4 is 26 k and 1.8 is 14k. I really want the 1.4 though.

          5. I don’t know what a focus motor is. But I think even I don’t have one on my camera. Anyway 7k is for the 1.8 one. 1.4 is even costlier in Canon too. I think even 1.8 will be do a great job

          6. 1.8 is amazing. 1.4 is just faster and you can open the aperture even more. I have set my eyes on that..
            I am not sure what the term for that is in canon, like AF-S for nikon..

          7. Same for nikon, but some cam that already have a autofocus motor needs a normal lens, that’s high end cams… Mine sadly doesn’t have af motor in the cam.

          8. haha.. hurray! 😀 I really don’t know the function buttons and how to use a Nikon! But I think it is easier as it has dedicated buttons.

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