I made my pilgrimages so satisfying and fulfilling by proper arrangements and preparations
Getting set for a pilgrimage! To benefit from a pilgrimage one needs to prepare well
Knowledge and experiences of pilgrimages so rewarding!
In a previous article I had outlined the significance of pilgrimage travel and why people undertake it. In this article my aim is to give you a brief of the modus operandi that I decided to adopt as the most effective way to make my pilgrimage most satisfying and rewarding. In subsequent articles I will offer some personal glimpses of pilgrimages I undertook in India and share them with you my fellow-Wikinuts.
My aim in doing so is merely to enhance one's knowledge of holy places and retreats in India. Just as a child on his first day in school is eager and excited to pour out his experiences to his parents on returning home, I cannot wait to bring my wonderful experiences to you so that they appear vividly in your mind's eye. In doing so I hope this article will fulfill several aims. To the casual reader who wants to know more about yatra travels in India it will be a boon. To the uninitiated it may awaken some curiosity and create a veritable reservoir of information and knowledge. To the seasoned yatra travellers among you it will help to reignite nostalgic memories of yatras undertaken in years gone by. Last and most importantly it will be of particular interest to those of you who plan to undertake a yatra. In particular for such nuts it will help them avoid unsuspecting pitfalls and offer them the do's and dont's of yatra travel. Lastly to my fellow-Wikinuts I hope it will be a good source of discussion.and comment. No doubt there are pilgrims the world over who make pilgrimages to various holy sites strewn all across the globe. It will be educational to learn more about such pilgrimages and I hope we can all share this knowledge.
In authoring this piece, let me honestly say I do not lay any claim to be a travel writer or anywhere close to it - while I love travelling I have never documented any of my trips to exotic destinations and locales and this article is my first attempt ever. Hence if you do find any mistake either of omission or commission I beseech your indulgence and implore you merely to imbibe the significance of the yatra in India, ignoring the deficiencies of my writing. My knowledge as well as words used in these articles are not also comprehensive or exhaustive in any way. They simply highlight the salient points of my particular experiences in yatra travel to some important sites in India. I acknowledge that everybody who undertakes such pilgrimages will have their own individual and unique perspectives.
As I travelled I took down notes, talked to local people, read material from various sources, and for detailed background information about the religious significance, customs and history of the various religious and pilgrimage sites I relied on internet sources and other printed material. I have, during the pilgrimages, also assembled a huge montage of pictures all of which cannot find their way into the confines of this little offering. Wherever possible I will attempt to introduce some of the photos to give the articles more authority and flavour.
Another point of note is that throughout my articles I will use South Indian language forms for words like Kasi, Siva, Viswanath, Rameswaram, Saneeswaran etc as opposed to the North Indian style of adding the letter “h” in words, for example, Kashi, Shiva, Vishwanath, Rameshwaram, Saneeshwaran etc. This arrangement is purely for convenience and uniformity because both forms are being used widely.
Of course if not for our son Suresh (and family) who now lives and works in Gurgaon (Delhi), these yatras would have been nothing more than a pipe-dream. Painstakingly and happily he arranged our various yatra itineraries. His encouragement and motivation as well from our other sons Ramesh and Dinesh and all their families made our yatras a pleasure that words cannot adequately spell out.