During my recent visit to Thiruvananthapuram, I was keen to visit Veli Tourist Village.
Veli Tourist Home is located amidst the lush green coconut groves and backwaters of Thiruvananthapuram, in the Veli Tourist Village, bordered by the Arabian Sea and the Veli Lagoon. It is a great picnic spot, with a beautiful garden and facilities for water sports.
There is also a waterfront park which has a floating bridge that connects to the Shanghumukham Beach.
The Veli Tourist Village is the place where the lake merges with the Arabian sea. The lagoon here is separated from the sea by a narrow sand bar.
It is a nice place for tourists with young children to spend an afternoon. There are lots for the kids to do. Children can also enjoy a horse ride.
Thiruvananthapuram Airport is just 3 kms away, and the railway station is just 8 kms away.
Our last stop was at Golden Temple (also known as Tibetan Monastery). It is located 6 kms from Kushal Nagar, at Bylkuppe. Established in 1961, it is home to more than 7000 monks and students and is still very calm and peaceful.
The main attraction of this place are the 40 ft tall golden Buddha statues. The temple has three resplendent golden statues of Buddha Shakyamuni, Padmasambhava and the Buddha Amitayus.The walls of the temples and the institution are decorated with colourful paintings depicting gods and demons of Tibetan Buddhist mythology. Tibetan festivals are celebrated with great gusto at the monastery.
It is a beautiful place with well laid out gardens There are shops for the purchase of various Tibetan items. They are a little overpriced, but good items are available.
As you enter this place, it gives you an overall different and weird experience as though you are in a country outside India.
I was always a great fan of Ruskin Bond. Recently I read his book "The Blue Umbrella". Though it is categorized as children's book I too enjoyed reading it.
It is a beautifully written simple story of little Biniya set in a small village in Himachal Pradesh. A young tourist takes a fancy for her bead necklace with a leopard amulet and exchanges it with a blue umbrella, which soon makes the little girl the center of attraction in the village. The shop keeper of the village named Ram Bharosa eyes on her blue umbrella and plans to steal it from her.
"The old man had by now had given up all hope of ever possessing Biniya's umbrella. He wished he had never set eyes on it. Because of the umbrella he had suffered the tortures of greed, the despair of loneliness. Because of the umbrella, people had stopped coming to his shop!"Read the book to find out how the old man and the little girl become friends again.
The story is beautifully illustrated with sketc…