A tour packed with fun and spirituality was arranged by Swami to visit Mysore, Melkot and surroundings. In the very hot summer one can’t concentrate in serious studies and at the same time passing time unfruitfully is not permissible. Hence a tour combining both joy and spirituality was undertaken.
Moreover Swami wanted to develop the talent in the senior students of Srimaan Bhattar Gurukulam. Art of Speaking, Convincing, Planning, funds raising, finance management arranging everything for a sojourn of 4 days including vehicle, tour plan, route, sampradaya prasadam at the place of visit, transportation by various buses (on contract) and return by train, confided on 4 senior students.
Swami directed them with references and cell numbers of selected donors and sponsors. And the children did a wonderful job of it with all successful execution of the plan. Each and every minute requirement was presumed and arranged properly. The share of our donors to sponsor for different expenses was the back-bone of the success of the tour.
We should like to thank all the donors, sponsors and swami’s who made different arrangements for food, residence etc. The Divine Couple of Srirangam certainly shall shower their Kripa Kataksham on them and their families.
The happiness of the packed tour is immeasurable and not easy to explain. Anyhow we would like to share the experience with all so that the happiness expands.
A big 56 seater bus was arranged to get us to Bangalore. About 70 participants (SBG students + SBK students + Volunteers + Parents) started at Srirangam at 7.30 pm on 19th May 2011 and arrived Bangalore on 20thmorning at 6 p.m. Another Karnataka State Bus was waiting ready with the Bangalore Swami and his friend at Bangalore Cantonment.
The bus started at 6.30 am and reached Maloor at 8 am. Maloor is a derived name from Manaloor and first we all took bath and had breakfast following hot milk. The place is called as Madhya Rangam. Where Sriranganatha Swamy abodes with his consorts just as in srirangam. Perumal is called as Srirama prameya perumal and the place is called as Channapattanam. After a good dharshan we travelled to Mysore where lunch was served at 1.30 pm.
After lunch we visited Brindavan Garden and enjoyed the colorful lightings and fountains. Then we went boating too. We had dinner followed by a cup of milk at 8.30 pm and went to sleep with pleasant memories of Sriranganatha.
Next day, on 21st morning we all took a dip in the holy waters of Cauvery in Srirangapatnam which is called as Aadhi Rangam. Sriranganatha’s dharsan at Aadhirangam was highly magnificent and with His blessings we went to the birth place of Swami Anathazhwan which is developed as a grand flower garden with holy cool water pond situated at Kirangur. It is called as Siruputhur and we were blessed with the Dharshan of Swami Ananthazhwan, a disciple of supererogation of Sriramanuja who was called proudly as “Aan Pillai” by Sriramanuja.
Then we visited the Ranganatha Thittu, bird sanctuary where a number of different species of birds from distant places assemble for breeding and sheltering in summar. There is a big lake in the sanctuary and we all went boating to help us watching the various birds without much strain.
After that team visited Sree Parasara Gurukulam which has been founded some 5 years back and been maintained and developed very beautifully. The Gurukulam has got a vast land with Goshala and separate buildings for study, dwelling, madaippalli with modern facilities (to prepare prasadam for 1000 Thadhis within 30 to 45 minutes) for Thadhiyaradhana.
At 1 pm we returned to Mysore, took lunch and went to Mysore Palace. There are 2 places, one maintained by the Government and other by the king’s family. The Govt. maintained palace is gigantic and specious housing a number of halls with superior art work. The collection of old armory, paintings, furniture, lights were unusually superb. And the light decoration of the palace, when seen in the dusk made the place with a paradise look. The children enjoyed it very much. We had our dinner after the visit and proceeded to Melkote.
On 22nd morning we started at 6 am to Thondanur Lake which was dug by Sri Ramanuja’s desire, a vast and very deep water reservoir with cool and pure water. As the lake was not ideal to take bath for children, all took bath in the falls where the waters from the lake in let out. The cool water was very pleasant to take bath in the Sun and we went to Sriramanuja’s Temple where he gave dharshan as 1000 headed Adhisesha. The temple is situated on a small hillock and the children recited Ramanuja Nootrandhadhi.
Then we went to Sri Parthasarathy temple and had dharshan of Thirumanjanam. The students recited in the Goshti and after that we returned to Melkote to take food. After food we went to visit Akka Thangi kulams, Dhanushkodi etc. On returning we visited the Academy of Sanskrit Research which helps a lot for Srivaishnavism by preserving a number of rare chuvadis (palm leaves) and printing of many granthas and research books. Our swami made a short upanyasam on the grass ground of the Academy.
Then we returned to Melkote, took dinner and went to bed.
On 23rd the children were very happy to take a bath in the holy kalyani, had breakfast and climbed the small hill on top of which Sri Yoga Narasimhar, the favourite God of Sri Ramanuja abodes. After the Dharshan of the yoga narasimhar, we returned and participated in the Thirumanjanam of Selvapillai in Serthi of Sriramanuja. It was a rare chance to get to Dharshan of both Perumal and Acharya in Serthi Thirumanjanam.
Actually Reservation for return journey was made in railway from mysore and a bus to carry us to mysore from melkote had been arranged.The bus unfortunately arrived very late to melkote at 2.30pm instead of 1pm.Moreover the bus met an accident on the downhill road and we were delayed for about 1hour. Hence we travelled to mandiya instead of mysore to catch the train. The train reached mandiya at 4.30pm and just 2minutes before that we have got to the railway station. Really it was very thrilling. Until we got into the train and got seated. Prasadam arranged by parasara gurukulam was scheduled to be issued to us at mysore. But as our boarding was at mandiya the prasadam was carried by the same train from Mysore to Mandiya and was handed over to us. We are very grateful for the founder swami of parasara gurukulam who assured the supply of parasadam to children undergoing themselves under trouble and strain. We reached Srirangam at about 4.30 am on 24.05.2011.
The tour needed a lot of arrangements and we got all helps from different persons. Initially when the tour was propose Sri Shyam at Bangalore selected the feasible places of tour in sequences and comfort. On his direction of Sri. Badri of Bangalore made a number of enquiries to select the mode of transportation to make it convenient and economical. He booked buses from Governmant transports of Tamilnadu and Karnataka well in advance. Return journey by train also was booked with minute details of the participants. Prasadams were arranged excellently with good care and devotion by Sri. Yoga swami at Mysore, Sri Sellu swami at Mysore and Sri Ananthazhwan swami at melkote. The strain they all took to confirm proper preparation and distribution and serving was wonderful.
Sri Vasudevan swami and his friend Sri Srinivas at Bangalore were very helpful by joining us at Bangalore and remaining with us until we reached Bangalore on return journey. They also took the strain of providing their cell phones for use in our roaming times. children and their parents from srirangam could contact at anytime during the tour with their cells.
We are very indebted very much for all of them not only for their assistance but also for their sweet hospitality.
The tour mainly helped the students to fraternize with each other and the seniors revealed their talent in the manoeuore of planning, arranging and executing a tour program and the heedfully ineffable arrangements. The tour brought out much pleasure totally which will last in the minds of the children for a long time.
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