My stay in the fishing town Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu was incredible. Firstly, it was beautiful beach town with some of the most unique and amazing sights I had ever seen on a beach. Secondly, I was so blessed to spend my few nights there in a couple’s home they had converted into an orphanage. Later I got to attend a was Republic Day celebration, which is the day the Constitution of India came into effect. Then I finished up my trip there visiting Nagore Dargah, an Islamic shrine built over the tomb of the Sufi saint Shahul Hameed hundreds of years ago.
The house I stayed in was only a few blocks from the beach. Since I was on the East Coast, I wanted to witness a sunrise from the Bay of Bengal. I woke up before down and headed out to the beach by myself. It was a nice and interesting walk.
This was the first time I had been up this early walking around in India. I also enjoyed getting to have some time to myself. The sunrise was absolutely beautiful and the beach was teeming with life. There were wondering cows, birds, children, vendors, and fisherman getting their boats and nets ready for day.
Nambikkai (Hands of Hope) Home for the Orphans
One of the most blessed experiences I’ve ever had in my life was staying at the Nambikkai Home for Orphans. This orphanage was started by an amazing couple who had lost 3 children in the 2004 tsunami when they were playing on the beach. His wife Choodamani also lost all her family, parents and siblings, because they were in town and playing on the beach with tsunami came. When the tsunami hit most the children were inland at school while the parents were at home near the beach or at sea fishing. Unfortunately, thousands of children lost their parents on that sad Christmas Day.
Karibeeran Parameshvaran personally told me the story of how he had to find his children’s bodies and bury them himself. He was so grief stricken he contemplated taking his own life. He then said he prayed to Jesus and Jesus told him his children are safe with Him in heaven. So Karibeeran got up and went out walking around and noticed children standing in the street with no parents. He started adopting them one by one until he had adopted over 25 kids and had two more of his with is wife. You can read more about his story here.
I got to spend a lot of time with the kids and took photos of their precious faces. I loved all of them. My very short stay there completely changed and inspired me.
While I was in Nagapattinam the Indian holiday Republic Day happened. On that day, January 26 they celebrate the day the Constitution of India went into effect in 1950. They had a lot really fun festivities there including a show that had dogs jumping through rings of fire!
Nagore Dargah, is an Islamic shrine built over the tomb of the Sufi saint Shahul Hameed hundreds of years ago. It had extremely tall intricate minarets including one that was over 131 feet tall. It was night went I went so I was not able to get a great photo of it. I did get blurry photo of the tallest minaret. Once inside, we were greeted by an Imam who guided us around the dargah and brought us into the inner most part where the body of Shahul Hameed laid. He then said a quick prayer over us before sending us off. He was such a kind and welcoming gentleman.
The Imam saying a prayer over us
The inner most part where the body of Shahul Hameed lays
Trip To India Posts
1. India – Arriving In A Mysterious New Place
2. Hosur, India – My First True Taste of India
3. Bengaluru, India – The City of Technology and Religion
4. Salem, India – From Daily Life to the Pongal Festival
5. Coimbatore, India – Small City with Exotic Food
6. Yercaud, India – Getting Some Time With Nature
7. Namakkal, India – All Day Long Celebrations
8. Thanjavur, India – The City of Temples
9. Mayiladuthurai, Tharangambadi, and Poompuhar, India – First View of the Coast
10. Kumbakonam, India – Home Life and Fine Silk
11. Karaikal, India – Meeting Tsunami Survivor K. Pasupathi
12. Velankanni, India – A Small Beach Town With A Famous Basilica
13. Nagapattinam, India – Beautiful Orphans And A Ring of Fire
14. Chidambaram, India – A Small Town With A Long History
15. Puducherry, India – Marriage, Zen, Art, And A Beach
16. Auroville & Mahabalipuram, India – A Golden Dome and Krishna’s Butterball
17. New Delhi & Agra, India – Seats Of Power And Poverty
18. The Taj Mahal