I think my seat/bed on the train from Trivandrum Central to Katpadi Junction (Vellore) was AGAIN infested with bed-bugs. No joking!
I was completely fine while staying for two weeks in Kovalam, but just yesterday in the middle of the night on the train I woke up and found myself unconsciously scratching my feet and legs....
It was definitely not a mosquito and I had to engage in a merciless fight AGAIN against those brownish bastards.

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I stomped out of the train at Katpadi Junction around 8am: I was sleepy, tired and angry then. But I quickly regained control of myself once I had a cup of very sweet Kopi (coffee) at a little canteen on the platform.

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Vellore is a middle-size town in Tamil Nadu, about two and a half hours by train from filthy Chennai. It's a town that very few international travellers have even heard of the name before and no backpackers would ever think of visiting.
In fact, Vellore wasn't the town that I wanted to visit, but a place called Sripuram (aka the Golden Temple), about 14km outside Vellore, was my destination for today. I left my surfboard in a cloak room at Katpadi Jn. and took two local buses to get there. It was sunny and hot in Vellore with dust, noise and tons of people around.

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On my way to Sripuram what really cracked me up was when I was riding the second local bus: we were stuck in a heavy traffic jam and then the driver suddenly pulled the bus into the opposite lane and resumed driving by honking tirelessly and dodging all the oncoming vehicles. Miraculously, nothing happened to us and no police were chasing. Such is India!

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Lucy with whom I caught up in Bali about two years ago was in Sripuram this September. She told me by email about this "magical place" in the middle of nowhere in India where a spiritual leader called Sri Sakthi Amma established an ashram for all Hindu devotees and cosmopolitan followers.

Once again, I came to India simply out of curiosity and I had no intention to find my own "self" or to become spiritual. Nevertheless, something in Lucy's recent email intrigued me. So I'm now here to find out what it's all about!

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!!!!! Note !!!!!
My accommodation while in Sripuram is called Sripuram Guest House. It's INR500 for a non AC room (a bit pricey) and INR750 for an AC room. Both include very basic Indian breakfast.
I'm staying in a non AC room, but apparently, there is also a dormitory for free of charge! (Bedding = INR25) I saw it in the flier of this guesthouse, but I never asked the staff about it. I don't know why..... I'm quite certain that they have a dorm, but not really sure if it's for tourists or for only local Hindus.


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