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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Vailankanni

Our Visit to Vailankani by Special train from Vasco da Gama on 6th Sept 2017
Village: Velankanni, District:  Nagapattinam, State: Tamil Nadu, India


We left on 6th Sept 2017 at 11.20am train from Vasco da Gama and arrived Vailankanni next day at 2pm.
Our hotel check-in timing was 7.30pm so we kept our bags at the reception counter  and set out for sightseeing etc.  Starting with the beach, restaurant/lunch fish curry thali followed by the Church / Shrine tour.

The  entire Vailankani tour was meant for 1.5 days but  for me it was like half day only as I was down with high fever the whole night and the next full day.  We left the hotel at 7.30pm to take return train  to Vasco  at 11.45pm from Vailankani station. Back at Vasco 2am (as against 11.45pm)

To find hotel or accommodation  there was very tough, somehow  we managed to book one triple room online  with two extra mattresses for Rs.3,600 (A/c).  There was one hotel  that was showing Rs.5000 per non- A/c room and the final figure for two rooms with taxes was showing up around Rs.13,000.  We were 6.

It was crowded there and people / pilgrims seen squatting  all over. It was like Old Goa Novena / Feast  scene where we see pilgrim sleeping in the convents and Churches etc but here it was out in the open be it in the  roads, garden or passages or corridors.

Everything there was expensive or sold at premium rates. Even Vasaichim like bananas were sold for Rs.130 per kg or Rs.60 half kg (6pcs), we saw lot of banana plantations from our train though!
Fish curry rice thali Rs.150 (pic)  but it did not come with fried fish, had to pay extra for fish.

At Church Canteen, the thali was cheaper i.e. Rs.70 + GST and that did not come with fried fish too. We paid Rs.40 a piece + GST (See menu pic)

Many devotees were offering tray full of puja items including coconuts and flowers. Yet some were offering coconut sapling inside the main Church.  Sadly, photography/videography is prohibited inside the main shrine.

Masses in all languages including Konkani mass, I missed 10’clock mass in the lower cathedral as I was sick.

Another thing we noted, despite the place being touristic (Church and beaches) the vendors/hawkers speak no  other language than Tamil. 

 During the Car Procession at night, one has be very cautious or best to avoid with kids and elderly.  A simple false alarm could trigger a catastrophic stampede like situation. There is simplly a mad rush and half of the crowd are those who already witnessed the Car procession on previous days.

On our way back, our train had no water in most of the washrooms, saw some using mineral water . Water tanks were only filled up once the train reached Mangalore junction around 5.30pm that’s after 18 hours from Velankani station departure.
Our special train, apart from special fare, there were no security personnel nor we saw TC on both sectors.  Train to Vailankani  was about 70% empty but train back to Vasco was full to the capacity.

Video: 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snfDnxt2Htc

Video: 2 (Night Scene, illumination)
https://youtu.be/GyCP1hXNnP4

Video 3: Car Procession

https://youtu.be/uSRYdnI-8X4

Video 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NUnne8RVxk

Video 5 Walking on knees, Way of the cross etc
https://youtu.be/TzTiExKsFfg


More pics and videos ..

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Car Procession
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Flag

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Priests residence
https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegoaukindia/37213495135/in/photostream/

Crowd / devotees / Mass

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Walking on their knees,
Way of the cross, viasagr

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The beach

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Food, Fish curry Rice thali
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Velankanni Railway Station
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