Oh!! You could not pronounce the name of this place??
How about this?? Keela-raja-kula-raman..Get it!! Keela or more authentically -the way tamilians pronounce it-keezha-rajakularaman. Well, Keelarajakularaman is a village in Rajapalayam Taluka, Virudhunagar District, Tamil Nadu, India.
We planned to take a bus from Rajapalayam to Keelarajakularaman. It is about 12 kms from here and by the time we reach Keelarajakularam, let me narrate the origin of this place.
Once upon a time there was a big family of 30 people that moved here from their native place of Nachiyar Koil (place in TN). They requested their King (Raja of Rajapalyam) to give them a piece of land so that they could start their life here. The King was astonished as the family requested for a very big piece of land. He set a test for the family by asking them to consume 30 measures of rice (approximating to roughly 240Kgs) and 30 red pumpkins within 12 hours (morning 6am to evening 6 pm). The family devised a strategy. They prepared food using a part of the total rice and pumpkin and immediately consumed it and then they would go to the lake and sit there for a while keeping their body immersed in water (this hastens the digestion process). They would come back, prepare food using another portion of rice and pumpkin, eat it, go to the lake and immerse themselves in water and so on till the entire supplies was over. This way they “earned” this place for themselves, the villagers proudly claim.
“Rajolraman..Rajolraman” the conductor calls aloud and we get down. As we got down we were welcomed by arches of bamboos.
As you walk towards the village, the enchanting beauty of the greenery, the sweet fragrance of the trees and grass multiplied with the simplicity of the village will always remind you of the Mother Nature’s affection bestowed upon the village.
There are two lakes here called Chinna Kolam(Small lake) and Periya Kolam(Big lake) named after their sizes! The Periya Kolam is the one which remains alive for the whole year and…Hey! wait a minute….How about a lunch at the lake side..but this harsh sun.. Whoa!! Why din’t I see this huge umbrella before!! There is a huge banyan tree under whose generous shade we could just not bother about the needle rays. The view of the lake is just perfect from here…crystal clear water, greenery all around and the bamboo.
The feel of the soil beneath your feet and the tickling of the grass are all- never-to-miss experiences.
The rustle of the bamboos, the grass tickling your feet are the simplest words to say..
“Another tip to fully experience the village life is walk bare foot.”
After a sumptuous meal we decided to explore the other parts of the village. The fields are a good feast for eyes and you can see a variety of harvest at different stages of their lifecycle. Paddy, banana, vegetables are the main produce here.
As we were walking around we heard some shrill sounds of wings fluttering and some ‘kukkara ku koi’… well it was a cock fight..two cocks were fighting for God-knows-what-prize!!! Some more kukkara ku koi sounds and now we know it is yet another cockfight..We see two… what!! Not cocks but young lads wrestling with each other imitating a cock fight scene…It was complete with a referee! Peacock is a recent member of the village and has been regularly seen proudly showing off its stunning color-burst feathers!! You could also keep gazing indefinitely at the mountains standing majestically with immense serenity.
The night life here is just so mesmerizing….We might have studied about the stars in our geography class but here is where you actually see them. The sky is even more beautiful when the electricity fails and the entire village gets lit in this cool, enchanting moon light!! Its early dinner here and people sit outside their house for a little after-dinner gossip and the children here have a joyous time playing. And we are greeted by the gentle sounds of various insects, croaking of the frogs. “Minmini poochi(Fire Fly)” shouts little Madhavan pointing at some tiny dots of light that we saw at a distance!
There are five temples here. Pillayar Koil(Lord Ganesha Temple), Ayyanar Koil, Irulappa Swamy Koil, Rajagopal Perumal Koil and Amman Koil. Irulappa saami koil is very famous here and every year during the first week of June there is a festival conducted. Folklore says that Irulappa swami comes riding a horse to caution the villagers when the water levels in the Periya Kolam reach dangerous level …wait a second..did I hear a bell ring..sounds like a temple bell..Its the temple bell of Rajagopal Perumal Koil (Lord Rajagopal Temple) ringing for the sandhya kaalam aarthi (evening prayers) followed by Dolotsavam(Bed time prayers). You are just about to there and it starts drizzling..What do you do now?? Wait for the rain to stop..No the prayers might get over..Wear a rain coat/windcheater or try to find where the umbrella is??..No..No..the bell is ringing away..And you look at other villagers rushing towards the temple ..There they are..some with pallu/ thundu(piece of cloth) over their head and some carrying bamboo baskets as umbrellas and well the children…enjoying the drops of bliss..so uncomplicated..so simple..so beautiful..so clutter-free is life here..
As we got into the bus for our return journey to Rajapalayam, we could feel a lump in our throat..so much was attachment towards the ever helping, cheerful villagers , the partiality that nature has given to its dearest child..and you yearn to come back. Just one visit and you experience this bliss..Keelarajakularaman is not just a place but a lifetime experience of nature, beauty, love, bliss, purity and simplicity!!
Radha, Padmaja and Vishnupriya are sisters who share a passion for music and try to find happiness in the smallest, simplest things of life!