A pilgrimmage to Velankanni, Tamil Nadu, India
velankanni Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
February 24th, 2010 – by: tholath
The Velankanni church is dedicated to Mother Mary and given the status of a Basilica. This shrine is quite famous for miracles and is visited by believers from all around the world. One can get good information on Velankanni church at www.vailankannichurch.org
The nearest town with railway access is Nagapattinam - around 30 mins by road. The nearest biggest city is Thanjavur, around 3 hours by road.
We started from Mumbai and reached Chennai by flight.
Our tour plan was to visit Velankanni, Poondi (another pilgrimmage centre near Thanjavur) and Thanjavur itself. For this we had booked our room at Thanjavur - Hotel Gnanam (www.hotelgnanam.com) - for the next day since we planned to stay at Velankanni for the first day. So, we just went to the hotel, freshened up and put our main luggage in the cloak room and started for Velankanni with minimal luggage needed for one day. We went to the main bus stand and from there caught a bus to Velankanni - this trip took around 4 hours - and reached Velankanni at about 1:00 PM.
After this we went back to our room, had dinner and went to sleep. Next day morning again it was back to church and attending prayers. Then we visited the church museum just opposite - this place has a lot many letters and gifts sent by devotees as thanksgiving for the various favours received.
A few points to note when you are in Velankanni - we know since we have been visiting Velankanni many times.
Water - please make sure that you do drink only bottled mineral water.
Food - the hotel where we stayed - Hotel Sea Gate (www.hotelseagate.co.in) - has a restaurant on the ground floor and serves good food.
Beggars - plenty ! - as far as possible avoid giving alms because if you give once then a full army of them will start following you!
Beach - DO NOT go into the water at the beach - it is dangerous - there are warning signs and so adhere to it. It is not worth it and if you want to get wet in a beach, reserve it for Goa! :-)
So after our half day visit, we readied ourselves for the return trip back to Thanjavur. When we reached the Bus stand (at about 12:30) the driver of a private car approached us and asked if we were interested in hiring his vehicle. He had come to Velankanni with some visitors and was going back to Thanjavur empty. We negotiated the price and for Rs.500/- it was settled. So we had a comfortable trip back and was dropped at the hotel in Thanjavur at around 4:00 PM. We checked in since we had booked our rooms earlier and settled in.
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