Summer camp and cultural tour of South India

June 9, 2011

Sri Sumukhi Rajasekharan Memorial Foundation was set up by The Mylapore Trio - S Amarnath, S Surendranath and S Aparna. The Foundation contributes towards enriching Indian art and culture in Chennai by engaging children, youth and elders and inculcating in them value based culture, tradition and heritage programs.

Trip to Thennangur, Kanchi and Thiruvannamalai
As part of the summer camp, the Mylapore Trio organized a spiritual sojourn at Thennangur, Kanchipuram and Thiruvannamalai as a part of their 7th year summer camp on 6th and 7th of May 2011. The group of 12 members began its journey by worshiping Lord Vishnu at the Uttiramerur Temple and Dr. Amarnath, being a historian explained the historicity of the famous Uttiramerur Inscription, which talks about the “Kudavolai System” - the origin of democracy. At Thennangur, they performed the celestial wedding of Lord Srinivasa and his consorts Sridevi and Boodhevi at the Panduranga Rukkumayi Mandir on the auspicious day of Akshaya Truthiyai and offered silk clothes to the deities. Youth member Srinithi rendered soul stirring Panduranga abhangs and bhajans during the Kalyana Vaibhavam which enchanted the devotees gathered there.

The Mylapore Trio is happy to share the valuable information that the Akshaya Truthiyai day is the Janma Avatar day of Lord Panduranga. It is not for just buying gold but for doing charity of various kinds. They also said that for the first time in the history of the temple for the last 15 years, the Moolavar (main deity) had been decorated as Panduranga and Rukkumayi as is seen in Pandaripur. It was amazing to see the South and the North Indian style of temple architecture engraved with fiber glass paintings related to Vaishnavism.

In the evening the group proceeded to Kanchipuram and visited Kamakshi Amman temple and Sri Sankara Mutt. The next day, they visited Thiruvannamalai temple and Ramana Ashram. On their way back, they had a darshan of village deities near a lily pond .They also relaxed in a plantain grove surrounded by paddy fields. It was indeed a different experience, pollution free - far from the madding crowd.
Thennangur temple
Dilapidated church
Marudhu Brothers
Footprints from Rameshwaram to Thiruvananthapuram
We are in an era in which our children need to be educated time and again, about our roots, culture and tradition. Many of us believe that faith in our religion, devotion to god and service to elders / mankind are the basic values that need to be imbibed by our children. These values would enable them to accept and enjoy life with optimism. In conformation to this, a 'Dakshina Vidya Yatra,' an educational tour of 10 days to southern Tamilnadu in May 2011 was conducted by Sri Sumukhi Rajashekaran Memorial Foundation, in which members were exposed to our culture and tradition. The group visited temples, historic places, forts, beaches, waterfalls, museums and heritage houses.

The group visited nearly 50 temples / heritage sites between Rameshwaram and Thiruvananthapuram. To mention a few: Rameshwaram (had holy dip in the Agni Theertham followed by 21 other theerthams, ending with Kodi theertham). Danushkodi island tip, Swami Vivekananda Memorial (the first spot where he landed after his visit to Chicago), Ramar Paadham, Marine museum at Mandapam, Dr. Abul Kalam's house, Tirupullani, Uttarakosa Mangai, Sethu Samudhram bridge, Devi Pattinam, Yettayapuram Bharatiar house, Muthuswamy Dikshitar Samadhi, Ramana Maharishi birth place at Thiruchuzhi, Marudu brothers village, Kayataaru (the spot where Veera Paandya Kattabomman was hanged by the British), Jataayu Theertham (where Lord Rama met him), Krishnapuram (exemplary sculptures), Nava Thirupathi, Thiruchendur, Vana Thirupathi, Peichi Paarai, Kazhugumalai, Thiru Kutralam, Srivilliputhur, Kallidai Kuruchi, Thirunelveli Nellaiappar, Sankaran Kovil, Thenkasi, Suseendram, Nagerkovil, Nanguneri, Thiruvananathapuram Padmanabaswamy temple, Kovalam beach, Mandaikaadu Bhagavathy Amman temple, Muttam beach, Thirukurungudi, Thirupparappu falls, Vatta Kottai, Kanyakumari Bhagavathy Amman temple, Beach fort, Chepparai, Kurukutthurai. They also visited the school campus and interacted with the students.

The members sang appropriate songs at various temples to the delight of the devotees all around. One cannot forget the sunrise and sunset at Kanyakumari, holy dip in the sea and 21 holy water wells (punyatheerthams) at Rameshwaram and the inexplicable, thrilling moments at the Dhanushkodi Island – a dream come true. This group of young and old evinced keen interest in studying the sculptures, paintings and inscriptions, gathering historic information, collecting artifacts, and so on. The trio cherished sharing spiritual and philosophical information which had been imparted to them by their foster parents.

Thanks are due to the hospitality extended to the group by the Principal and Correspondent of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal Golden Jubilee Hr. Sec. School, Sankar Nagar, Tirunelveli, during their ten day stay with them. It was indeed a memorable and unforgettable experience to one and all. The group looks forward to more such experiences in the future.