it was a long pending trip.
finding the right time that suited everyone in the family meant that it had to be taken as a power break in the middle of the week.
a day [and two consecutive night train journeys] trip to mayiladuthurai [earlier known as mayavaram] was mainly to visit the rare [the only?] saraswati temple in koothanoor [ http://www.hinduonnet.com/2001/10/25/stories/13250799.htm ].
we also visited a temple for lalitha, where the popular lalitha sahasranamam was supposed to have been chanted first as well as a rara temple for Ganesha in a normal human form - before his head was replaced with that of an elephant - the Adi Vinayaka temple. [a quick search before writing this post showed that there are a few other such temples in tamilnadu, in the same area].
our landing point was mayiladuthurai - where the station has been partly converted to broad gauge and the rest is still in meter gauge, under conversion.
the family that hosted us for breakfast lunch [and packed dinner for the night train] were very good family friends of my in-laws.
their affection was extremely touching. we were overwhelmed by the hospitality and the simple and surrounding affection.
i had written earlier on LoL. this obviously does not not apply to them - possibly for all non-urban families.
society and the close knit families still mean a lot and their lives spin around them. while having grown to have the benefits of modern technology and advancements, the basic values and the small-town atmosphere where almost everybody knows everybody else and genuinely cares about them are still to be seen and felt.
it was a refreshing power break. the trains were full, but did not feel crowded.
surely the temples were very quiet and we could spend undistrubed time in all the temples.
i was told that the crowds usually come in during the weekends.
in all this i could not see any peacocks - in the town where once peacocks danced - hence the name mayiladuthurai [or mayooram or mayavaram].
it is surely worth another, more leisurely visit to this part of the country.