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What Happened Today at the Monastery?

Bodhinatha and Shanmuganathaswami are in transit and will return to the Aadheenam tomorrow.

Janakan Krishnarajah from Perth, Australia completes his 3-day pilgrimage to Kauai.

He is the cousin of Sadhaka Dandapani.

It’s his first visit and shared that it was the highlight of his trip to north America.

Innersearch Asian Odyssey 2008 Retrospective

January 26th, Tiruvannamalai: (Today’s photos are from the camera of Thomas Kelly) After our girivalam we take a little break then head to Kailas Ashram. We are greeted by a band of tavil and nadaswaram players.

The ashram is run by Sri Jeyandrapuriswami who is based in Bangalore. Swami was kind enough to arrange for the group to have lunch at his ashram in Tiruvannamalai. One of his resident monks greet us.

And performs an arathi to Sri Tiruchy Mahaswamigal, founder of Kailas ashram.

Devi Marks engages with a group of local children at the ashram.

Thank you Sri Jeyandrapuriswami for your kindness in letting us use your premises. It was most helpful.

After lunch it is time to check out of the hotel. Some bags are loaded into auto rickshaws and driven to our bus meeting point.

Today’s series features one of the truly fun and memorable experiences of travel in India “The Great Nite Time Train Ride!”

It is probably the toughest coordination day on the trip. The group is split into three hotels across Tiruvannamalai and we all must gather by the temple to board our buses at the same time.

The bags, more than a hundred pieces, are loaded into a luggage truck or lorry as they say in India and will be driven directly to Rameswaram, our next destination. And all the Innersearchers will go by bus from here to Villupuram Junction to board an overnight train to Rameswaram.

Luggage and participants will, if all goes well, meet up again in Rameswaram at 5:15am.

Arumugaswami is full of smiles, amazed that all is going “as planned”.

Our coordination team hashing out all the little details to make this big move work smoothly.

Saravananathaswami oversees the loading of all the luggage. The last suitcase gets into the lorry.

Ok, we are ready to close the door and send this lorry to Rameswaram. Pray for your luggage!

Few more phone calls to make sure everything is lined up at out next port of call.

We’re off to Villupuram junction.

We arrive at Villupuram Junction and gather outside the railway station. The sun is setting.

Our team of volunteers help unload all the food parcels from the bus.

Dinner packs are then handed out to everyone.

The parking lot of the Villupuram Junction station has temporarily become an Innersearch take-away diner.

Bodhinatha leads the way to the tracks, stopping briefly to say hello to Sivani and her father, Shankar.

Off to our platform.

Our train is yet to arrive.

The station is noisy and chaotic and we start the process of handing out tickets.

Names are called out with seating assignments.

“Bodhinatha, here’s your seating number”.

Our train arrives and we have about 10 minutes to get ourselves and some of our parcels of food onboard. We have an extremely helpful and efficient group of Innersearchers that we are onboard with plenty of time to spare.

All aboard!

Saravananathaswami is last to board making sure no one is left behind.

We all find our seats and get situated for the overnight ride to Rameswaram.

Time for dinner and lots of fun conversations and games. It is a special night and everyone enjoys being in the company of one another.

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