Our trip to Kerala consisted of varied taste of experiences; it was adventurous on one hand and peaceful on the other. In fact, it was my plan to visit the peaceful ambience of Sivagiri, Kerala not only to feel the quiet ambience but also to take my kids on a tour to such a place, which compels a person to meditate. Though not as excited as they were for Eravikulam National Park or Thekkady Lake Palace, my children at least showed some interest in clicking pictures, once they entered the 200 acres sprawling campus of the Sivagiri mutt.
Situated on the top of the Sivagiri hill, the octagonal Sarada temple was founded by the most eminent saint and social reformer of Kerala, Sree Narayana Guru. His Samadhi has also been kept here on a hillock and further down is his residence where his humble belongings are kept on display. This mutt is also the headquarters of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, the organization founded by the Guru himself for the upliftment of the backward classes. While on our tour there, we came to know that the temple was designed by the Guru, which has a unique feature of windows, which is not observed usually in temples. The main idol there was Goddess Saraswati, consecrated by the Guru himself. The Goddess was sitting on a white lotus symbolizing knowledge blossoming on purity. The serene beauty of the place immediately calms down the soul and makes you forget all the worldly worries. Though it was not a place to be enjoyed by children, the mutt provided a contemplating atmosphere, which was evident on the face of my usually jolly husband. Posing for snaps I tried to occupy the interest of my children who otherwise started to nag a bit.
We eventually came to know that the rituals followed at the Sarada temple were different from that of other temples, which allowed the devotees to worship the goddess reciting hymns. This reflected the “one caste, one religion, one God” concept believed by Sree Narayana Guru. Along with the peaceful atmosphere one thing definitely captured my attention, the hygiene maintained at the temple premises. After taking a tour of the temple, it was time for some fun for the kids as we headed towards the Varkala beach. Among the adventures of Kerala a visit to Sivagiri, Kerala was a nice break for the elders.