Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Concord Thaipoosam Patha Yatra

I registered myself for walking pilgrimage trip to Concord Shiva Murugan temple in California on eve of Thaipoosam , as I was missing my Pazhani(Tamil Nadu, India) trip since I am in California, US. Nevertheless its unique though, but I experienced the same feel like walking to Pazhani. 

Few background about the temple, Lord Murugan in this temple is been worshipped since 1957. Earlier this Murugan was providing the blessings from San Francisco and by 1980s moved to Concord, CA. This temple was established by an American born Hindu guru, Sivaya Subramaniya Swami(as said in temple website).Also the information refers to the temple having link with Kauai Hindu monastery in Hawaii.

People used to walk from San Jose which is 3 days walk, from Fremont 2 days walk and one day walk from San Ramon. On 3rd day around 1500 people reached on walk to darshan Lord Murugan. I started from Fremont with total of 50 people and it was pouring in Bueno Visa Park when we started from there, with the blessings of concord Murugan rain helped us with our walk on first stage through Niles Canyon Road, which has green mountain on one side and river in the canyon on other side. The road welcomes with "Niles" written on the mountain in the entrance. We need to walk for 6.5 miles in the road to taste good butter milk, panakkam, thenkuzhal(Chettinad snacks famous in India) during break. While starting the walk in Fremont we split in to 4 groups (G1 to G4), So when we arrived, first group started walk, completing break, but few mins later groups are mixed by breaking rules.

It started to drizzle again when we finished and about to start walk after break, to walk towards the destination for our lunch. This year the lunch has been arranged inside a Korean Church and pastor in church is helpful. We were served with traditional nagarathar lunch including sweet and tender coconut which filled our hunger stomach with taste. Now our feet started to get red , as it is time for applying vaseline, I did so and started with couple of people walks, now the groups have been totally broken :-). With an hour of walking we reached Pleasanton and reached the Trail called iron horse trail parallel to I-680 freeway and this trail reaches the temple.

As we walked we were talking about the Pazhani trip which I do in Tamil Nadu, and all gossips towards Dublin Library for Tea break. Its time for my thigh and knee started to pester me asking for rest before even we reached for break. With Concord Kumaran blessings I continued to walk to taste dhal lentils(Parupu Vada) , Pakkoda and Tea. Just few mins to taste and to start again to reach hotel Residence in San Ramon for overnight stay. It was about 5 miles from Dublin library to Residence inn, with the energy after break managed to walk 3 miles , the last 2 miles of walk become harder where my legs started searching for rest and we used to check the distance for every .1 mile in the google maps. At last we neared the hotel and thankfully the side door along trail. Happy to reach hotel, where my wife and kid had already checked in the hotel, I went straight to the room , sat on floor and streched myself to rest my legs.

When my legs started to rest, my hunger became raising and I was awaiting to taste dinner. Sponsors have arranged for home made delicious dinner including vellai panniyaram, maavu urundai, urulai poriyal, curd rice, idlies, sambar and chuttney. At 8 PM dinner was served in Buffet hall of the hotel, and then instructions was given on next day walk. I was in no mood to listen to all those, as I need rest and sleep. I rushed to room missing my mobile phone which was rescued by my group head and given back next day morning.

On 2nd day we started from the Park in San Ramon opposite to the hotel, through trail. Again the forecast was rainy day, throught the day until I reached temple I was wearing ponchos. When I started my stomach just had coffee until reaching the breakfast point. But we were late to the breakfast point , as we have to wait in queue for bio-break in Starbucks for 30 mins. During which 1100 out of 1200 who started to walk from San Ramon park have crossed us and we were in last 100 which made us wait for an hour to have our breakfast. But its worth where we were served with uppma and sambar.

Finishing the breakfast it started to pour again, this time heavily. I was said in 2 miles Badam halwa will be served , Which made me enthusiastic to walk fast, to my dis-appointment it was over as we were late. My energy level gone down and I started to walk again hoping to reach temple by 3 PM. As time passed my thigh started to pain much as it was continous walk unlike Pazhani were we used to get long break for every 10-12 mile walk. So I was very slow to reach the Park in walnut creek for Lunch. No words to say , again lunch was awesome with Sambar Rice, Biriyani veg, Sprout salad and Curd rice. I don’t want to take rest after lunch as it is already 2.30 PM, So immediately after lunch I started walking in the trail to see Concord Kumaran.

Now my pace is too slow, and I need to hardly stop for bio-break, when I saw queue in the road side public rest room, I decided not to wait and started to walk again in Costa County trail too slowly and reached the road which is few 100 feets to the temple, And then walked towards temple with high energy and saw thousands of people around temple. My wife and kid already reached temple waiting for me until 5. PM when I reached. We then had darshan of Lord Murugan, I was in cloud nine seeing my murugan after walking for 2 days without any other stress or thoughts. We tried to get some prasad in vain, as there were heavy rush for prasad, for shuttles to reach San Ramon. So we decided to Uber and have something on the way.

After 5 mins we got our cab to Fremont to pickup our car, on the way we collected our bags from Residence inn. On reaching Fremont we searched for a place to have some food and chose Taste of India restaurent to have food, which is very average. Reached home around 9 and with leg pains.

Next day we started around 5.30 AM in the morning to reach Concord Murugan temple as I have registered to take Kavadi for Thaipoosam, we reached around 7 AM and was waiting for things to happen. Priests was very busy in the preparation and performing rituals to all kavadi people, at 8.30 it was my turn to touch and lift the kavadi for first time, my body had jerk feeling the presence of god. Around 50 kavadis went around temple once and around murugan urchavar around 3 times. After kavadi, we went for breakfast downstairs in temple to have pongal, idly sambar prepared within temple and then joined the bhajanai (group prayer), where Concord Kumaran offered me chance to sing a song when everyone was waiting for Alankaram to completed after abishekam. To my surprise , I had chance to see a American woman singing the song of Lord Murugan with good prounciation of words which even some of nagarathars and their kids struggle. I felt how much love everyone has on Lord Murugan irrespective of Nation, language, etc. After seeing murugan in Raja alankaram, got our prasad and finished our lunch in temple , then started home with a good feeling and memorable moments.

Concord Muruganku Arohara!!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment