One day, very recently, as I was walking it suddenly came to my mind that I should make a pilgrimage to Velankanni which is the abode of our Lady of Good Health. I tried to get a train reservation but was told that I should book at least three months in advance. So I booked in the Volvo bus which is air conditioned and very comfortable.
I left Kochi which is on the western side of South India on a Friday evening and reached Velankanni which is on the eastern side of South India early in the morning on Saturday. I checked into my hotel, had a wash and went straight to church complex which is very sprawling and has four main churched in different locations within walking distance. I spent substantial time in the different churches attending masses and taking part in a procession. I also spent some time in the nearby beach both in the morning as the sun was rising and also in the evening when it became crowded with people. It was a wonderful experience and I could spend most of the day praying and thinking about God and my salvation. I felt very refreshed and rejuvenated and I felt that a heavy weight has been lifted away from my shoulders.
On Sunday morning the bus left Velankanni around 8am and reached Kochi before 9pm. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure. Please click on the photos to enlarge.
Full view of the main church from the western side.Actually this church is so long that I could not get the full church.
The western side of the main church.
A side view of the main church.
The eastern side of the main church.
This church is built on the spot where our Lady appeared before a lame butter milk man.
Photography inside the church is not allowed but I managed to take a few.This is one of them.
Some devotees go on their knees up to the church.I was told that it will take about 2 hours to reach the church.You can imagine their suffering.Not only the sun is hot but the sand on which they move on their knees also get very hot.
This church is built on the spot where our Lady appeared near a water tank.
I lit a candle and prayed
This church has been specially built for prayer,meditation and divine blessings.
Garden of Jordan- Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist.
Some devotees tie their hopes, desires,dreams and prayers here.
Some devotees tonsure their heads as a mark of visit to our Lady of Good Health
I participated in this procession round the church.
This I consider as one of my finest photos. The sun coming up and the main church in the foreground.