Skip to main content

Lakshadweep Samudram experience

Overview: I finally booked the Samudram package to Lakshadweep islands after a few months of planning. The bookings were open from the 1st week of Oct after monsoons. The booking process is pretty easy through the Govt website, but the tickets get filled up pretty fast. They also keep slots for waiting list in case of cancellations.
The cruise starts from Willingdon Island in Kochi, so we took an overnight train from Bangalore to Ernakulam. Kochi welcomed us with grey skies and slight drizzle. It takes around 20 mins to reach Lakshadweep Wharf from Ernakulam railway station. We need to queue up for the boarding passes at Lakshadweep Wharf. There was some chaos and confusion at the boarding pass counter, as there was only one person managing the show, and the queue was building up. The officer had to search for the boarding passes and get the papers signed. Also he had to put the T-shirts and caps into a bag and give it along with the boarding pass. After a wait of around 45 mins, we got our boarding passes, and then there was another queue for security check. Its similar to the airport, where the baggage is scanned and the passengers are frisked. The baggage has to be checked into a cargo vehicle, and is transferred to the cabins directly. A bus would be waiting at the other end, to carry the passengers towards the ship. We could see the first sight of the ship MV Kavaratti at the port in Mattancherry.
An interesting story behind MV Kavaratti is that this very vessel was used for evacuating 4000 Indians stranded in conflict hit Yemen in 2015.
Coming to the ship, it can house around 700 passengers and 200 ton cargo. Out of that, around 200 berths are reserved for tourists for the Samudram package. The tourist cabins are set up in 3rd, 4th and 5th decks, and have Diamond class (2 bunker) and Gold Class (4 bunker) cabins, and are fully air conditioned.
We were welcomed at the 3rd deck and were asked to occupy our allotted cabins, and the baggage was sent directly to our rooms. Ours was a 4 bunker room, with cupboards and a study area. The beds were clean and toilet was also spacious and clean. Towels and soaps were also provided for the guests. We took a walk around the ship and explored the area completely. The tour leader Jaffer briefed us about the package and daily itinerary in the evening.
Regular announcements are made all around the ship and also in the cabins for food timings.
The ship leaves Kochi in the afternoon on day 1, and reaches back in the morning of day 5. The transit between islands is done at night time. Overall, the experience in the ship was memorable, with well managed tour and friendly crew and the tour leader.

MV Kavaratti

MV Kavaratti

MV Kavaratti

MV Kavaratti

MV Kavaratti

MV Kavaratti


Popular posts from this blog

The forgotten story of a migration: Nacharamma of South India

This is a story of Nacharamma (fictionised by me to some extent), which is not documented in any inscriptions or ancient texts, but has been told by the ancestors of the community, and also been researched by some historians like M Keshavaiah, Dr Pranarthiharan and a few others.

Overview: Around the early 17th century, the Pilgrims set to sail across the Atlantic to become the first settlers of America. Much before this, a small but no less interesting migration took place in the Southern India of a community called the 'Sankethis'.
It was the summer of 1420 CE, in a place called Sengottai, in Tamil Nadu, along the foothills of the Western Ghats bordering Kerala. The place was flourishing with knowledge of the Vedas where Agraharams were set up. One of the prominent communities of learned people was the Sankethi Iyer community, also known as Sangeethi, derived from the name of the place- Sengottai or Shankotta. Another theory says that they were  The group followed Adi Shankara…

Clock Towers of Bangalore

Overview: In the middle of the 18th century, when home clocks and watches were not so common, there was the practice of having huge clocks on top of iconic buildings or religious places having visibility from all the corners. Clock towers were in fashion all across the globe in the 18th to 20th centuries, and some of them had bells as well, which used to ring at every hour. Bangalore too, has had its share of clock towers, though the city has never been known for its clock towers. The iconic Clock tower once stood at the Russell Market in Shivajinagar, which no longer stands today as it was brought down sometime during the middle of the 20th century.
A few standing clock towers can be seen at the City Market, Baldwin Boys school, Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic, Central College, Police training grounds, St John's Church, Corporation office and the newly constructed towers at South End circle and Omkar Hills. Most of these clocks have been provided by HMT.

Know your neighbourhood-3: Madivala, Agara, Koramangala, Bellandur

Overview: Now famous for high rises, branded showrooms and startups, the villages of Madivala, Agara, Koramangala and Domlur are the villages which have seen an ancient past.

Madivala village was a flourishing agrahara under the Cholas and Hoysalas. There is an ancient Chola era temple, which was later expanded by the Hoysalas behind the road opposite to the Silk Board. This Someshwara temple is of high historical importance, with Tamil inscriptions all along the outer walls of the temple. The most important being the 1247 CE inscription which talks about the grants of some lands near the big tank of Vengalur (2nd inscription of the city name after the one in Begur). This inscription is by an official Pemmataiyar of Veppur (Begur) for the deity Sembeshwaram (Someshwara) at Tamaraikkirai (Tavarekere).

Agara is situated at the junction of the ORR and Sarjapura Road, and is in existance since the Gangas. A 870 CE Ganga inscription mentions about the fixing of sluices to 2 tanks (Agara Lake…