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On 15 th of August myself and a group parishioners, totally consisting of 40 members went on a trip to the holy shrines as well as the attractions of Pala, Kanjirappally, Pattumala, Parunthumpara, Kuttikkanam and Panchalimedu. We travelled to this place in a 45 seater bus, arranged by Keralataxi.com.
We started off from Kalamassery, Kochi by around 8:15 in the morning to Pala in Kottayam, Kerala. On the way we stopped at Sree Aryas Restaurant and had a hearty breakfast of fluffy Idlis topped with piping hot Sambar and tasty Chutney.
From there we moved on to the pilgrimage centre of St. Alphonsa at Bharannanganam, Pala. This church was built in the year 1945 and it is now here that the mortal remains of Sr. Alphonsa is buried. Then we went on to the Pattumala Church at Peermedu. The word Pattumala means Hill draped in Silk. Adding to the serenity of the place is the peaks, little streams and green tea plantations. This church is unique for it is completely made of stones. Located on top of the hill this is the shrine of Velankanni Matha and is a famous pilgrimage centre.
In the afternoon all of us went to My Guest Hotel where we enjoyed the delicious fish curry meals. After getting our stomachs full we proceeded on to the hills of Parunthumpara. This scenic location is located en route to Peerumedu near Wagamon/Vagamon. It is also known as Parunthin Para meaning Eagle’s Rock. The Makarajyothi of Sabarimala is clearly visible from here.
When we reached this hill slope it was raining very heavily. Owing to this, the place had a completely different feel. The water drops mixed with the mist gave this place a heavenly look. Also the day being a holiday, this place was fully crowed. From here we left to Panchalimedu which is also a view point. On the way we were stuck in traffic for almost 45 minutes. We took this opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea at the wayside tea stalls.
On reaching Panchalimedu, we found that it was very misty. According to certain myths, this was the place where the Pandavas along with their spouse Panchali stayed while on the one year exile, hence giving the place its name which means the ‘Hill of Draupadi’.
This memorable day ended off with dinner at Hotel Olive International at Pala. After dinner we returned back to Kochi.
In spite of being tired all of us were very happy from our hearts as the memories and experiences of this day would not be forgotten for a very long time.