The cave of St.Francis Xavier
cape Manapad, Manapad, India
The cave of St.Francis Xavier Manapad Reviews
A pearl on the coast Nov 30, 2014
The weather forecast heavy rains and it poured after a drought of two years and deficient rains for five years preceding it.Rain or shine the stories and travels of St.Francis Xavier a Roman Catholic priest who during the 15th century traveled extensively from Spain to Asia and lived particularly in India, Malaysia and south east China always fascinated me and I wanted to visit the cave where he stayed on the shores of Manapad and from where he preached the ministry of christ for about years to the locals who were all pearl divers and fishermen.My nieces and my sister from Wisconsin who had come to visit me at Chennai,were game to the road trip which would be roughly 460 Kms one way and about 9 hours of driving.We drove along the highway towards Kanyakumari the tip of south India and due to bad weather and road conditions,could not take the usual route through Madurai and Tuticorin but routed through Tirunelveli an additional 60 kms.Staying that night at my beach house in Kooduthazhai,which 20 Kms away from Manapad,we visited this beautiful cave and the shore line the next day.
Manapad is a fishing village and has not yet discovered its own worth.The Government too is more concerned about its coastal security and has never thought about this historically important and beautiful place which if developed as a tourist town would surpass many places in India.
Manapad is an unpolished pearl on the coast and has always fascinated me.The cave of St.Francis was cold but bright, the well inside the cave providing drinking water was clean and the water sweet.The floor of the cave was cold and wet not due the rain but due to the many people walking in and out with wet feet.
Standing inside the cave I wondered as to how a rich Lord used too all comforts, conveniences and luxury turned himself into a hermit and became the longest traveled missionary of his time. I learnt that the feast of St.Francis Xavier was to be commemorated on the 3 of this December and I wandered out beyond the cave on to the craggy yet clean shoreline and sat myself on a rock. I kept looking at the beautiful sea as thoughts of the rough time that St.Francis the traveling monk must have encountered in this alien land and bewilderment at his effort in bringing the entire community into the catholic fold kept questioning my sanity,like the untiring waves breaking upon the coral shore. Writing about Manapad and visiting it has always been a joy, yet this time around I decided to let the pictures of the place do some talking..:)
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