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Kalady: The Legend

"A sincere prayer will never go unheard,
Nature does it that way…
Before the calf is born,there is milk in the cow,
Know that you will always be provided."

~ Sri Sri.

Kalady,the birthplace of the famous 8th cen. Advait philosopher-saint AdiShankaracharya,was earlier known as Sasalam.Kalady means 'feet' and there is a touching story about how the village of Sasalam got its new name.

The story goes like this. One day, Aryadevi,the widowed mother of little Shankaracharya fainted while walking the 3 km stretch for her daily river bath. Feeling helpless, Shankara asked his favorite deity Lord Krishna for assistance.The Lord blessed him saying, "The River will flow where your little feet marks." Young Shankaracharya marked his little feet on the ground and Kerala's mighty River Periyar took its new course outside his home.

Campus Location:
The Art of Living Kalady Campus is located 7 km from Kalady, on the banks of the River Periyar (also known as Poorna), and is aesthetically constructed in an area of about 2 acres. All constructions are environment friendly.

What the Campus Offer:
The main building, the Meditation Center, is a graceful circular structure that was ceremonially opened by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on 7th January 2013. It has a total area of 633 sq m. (6,810 sqft.) with a hall on the ground floor and a balcony hall on the first floor. Nearby is Guruji's kuteer (cottage), a quiet octagonal shaped building with an abutting snanghat (public bathing area found in temple complexes) to Periyar. In addition the Campus contains a kitchen and dining hall unit and a toilet block, with ample parking space for visitor's vehicles.

Kalady Campus is beautifully landscaped with flowering plants, palm trees, manicured shrubs and verdant grass beds. The delightful little walkways and courtyards are paved with multi colored concrete interlocking blocks.

On entering the gate itself, a divine atmosphere is felt. Various Art of Living programshave already commenced. Weekly meditation sessions are conducted on a regular basis and there is a growing stream of dailyvisitors.

Palces of interest around the Campus:

Kaladyis famous as the holy place where Adi Shankara received divine knowledge. His Ashrams, Temple, Smrithi Mandapam are all located here.

Other places of attraction near the Campus area are Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University, Engineering College, Arts and Science College, Malayattoor Church, Elephant training centre of Kerala Forestry Department, Multi speciality hospital and Research Centre under construction.

How To Get There:

Kalady Campus has two important landmarks - one is the Dhanwanthari temple at Thottuva and the other is the Mangalabharathi Ashram. Both are well known and frequently visited places. Kalady Campus is easily accessible by road: it is 13 km from Nedum bassery International Ashram, 15 km from Angamaly Railway Stationand 8 km Sri Sankara Keerthi Sthubham Ashram.

Trivandrum Campus

Nestled amongst swaying palms, Trivandrum Campus is located on the banks of Killi River (which is the largest tributary of the Karamana River) exalted with all glories of Mother Nature. Blessed by His Holiness Poojya Sri Sri Ravishankarji as the headquarters of Art of Living- Kerala activities and sanctified by his presence in person and in spirit, this holy abode is a gift to Kerala from our dear Gurudev.

The Art of Living spread its roots in Kerala as early as 1991 when a German facilitator for the program conducted the very first Basic course in Kerala at the capital city of Trivandrum.

Under the able guidance of Sri.Gopalakrishnan, the Art of Living activities were conducted in the city and activities happened in a small makes shift hall in his educational institute of Tandem. Then, on one of his visits to the city, Gurudev was driving down the Maruthankuzhy road when intuitively he pointed out to a piece of land and casually mentioned about having an ashram there.

And today we have the Kerala Campus exactly at that place. It was a few years after he had made the sankalpa, on November 29, 2004, that Sri Sri inaugurated Kerala Campus and gifted it to posterity!

Today Art of Living is a significant presence in all the 14 districts of Kerala with Kerala Campus as the headquarters for the state activities.

The Ashram has two large meditation halls, dormitories for ladies and gents, an office and a reception area, two kitchens – a community kitchen and a private kitchen where food for Gurudev and Swamijis are prepared, a Sakti Kutir where Sri Sri and visiting Swamijis stay, A/C rooms where guests of Gurudev stay. The Ashram also houses the Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir, which currently has around 200 students. There is also a Divine Shop where one can buy books and CDs published by The Art of Living foundation.

The Part 1 course is conducted every week and the Part 2, DSN and YES!+ courses happen once a month. Knowledge sessions are also conducted on a regular basis by some of the senior-most teachers from all around Kerala. Blessing courses happen generally once in 6 months. Pre-TTC and Sri Sri Yoga programmes are conducted regularly. Art Excel and YES courses are conducted during the vacations. The Ashram is also preparing to host its first Upanayanam ceremony in April. In addition, pujas and homas are held by Pandits from the Veda School in Bangalore during Shivratri and Navaratri.

Kerala Campus continues to spearhead the implementation of all nation-wide projects initiated from Bangalore and also the state-level activities initiated by the VVK. It provides infrastructure and other facilities towards the smooth and effective functioning of all these activities.

Yoga and Sadhana sessions take place every morning from 6.30 to 7.30. The office and information desk remain open from 10am to 6pm. There is a Divine Shop where one can buy a wide variety of books and CDs published by the AOL foundation. Satsangs are conducted every Thursday from 6.30 till 8.30 pm. Sudarshan Kriya follow – ups happen thrice a week – 8 to 9am on Saturdays, 7 to 8.30am on Sundays and 6.30 pm on Mondays.

The main meditation hall can comfortably accommodate around 400 people and there is also a smaller meditation hall which can seat around 250 people. Separate accommodation facilities are available for men and women and the ashram can lodge around 250 people at a time.

The Ashram remains active with courses and seva programs all year round. During Navaratri and Shivaratri, in addition to the Pujas and Homas, the Ashram wears a vibrant look with a number of cultural programs by eminent artists.

Places of Interest around the Campus:

Udiyanoor Devi temple –A 1300 years old temple, noted for the rare phenomenon of a north-facing deity and the ancient style of art works that decorate it.

Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple – is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Thiruvananthapuram at a distance of around 7kms from the Campus. The vast treasure trove revealed in recent days instantly turned the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple into one of the wealthiest religious institutions in India

The Napier Museum- is an art and natural history museum situated in the city located just 2 kms away from Keralashram. One of the finest architectural wonder in Trivandrum it was constructed in 1855 by Robert Chisholm.

Priyadarshini Planetarium - Opened in 1994 to the public, this is one of the most versatile planetariums in the country

Thiruvananthapuram Zoo - One of the oldest of its kind in India, it occupies 55 acres of woodland, lakes, and lawns. Located in the heart of the temple city of Thiruvananthapuram, the Zoo offers a rare opportunity for the visitors to experience and enjoy unparalleled picturesque and panoramic sylvan surroundings besides vivid animal collections.

Kovalam – Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach with three adjacent crescent beaches. It has been a favorite haunt of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s.A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for exploring the sea. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse-sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programs, Catamaran rides and more.

ISRO Museum – Just a few kilometers away from the Ashram, in the verdant settings of the Thumba beach is the space museum unraveling the golden successes of Indian space program. With real size models and scaled down models of launch vehicles and satellites, one gets to feel proud of our national achievements in space. The original Space Recovery Experiment (SRE) capsule recovered from space after 12 days in orbit and the breath-taking movie giving the feel of being near the real launch pad makes a visit to space museum an unforgettable experience.

Kallar and Meenmutty falls - Situated en route to the popular hill station of Ponmudi, Kallar gets its name from the River Kallar, which flows through the region. Here one can take a dip in the crystal clear waters to cool off, and also watch the many rapids and small pools that dot a good part of the river in this area. From here, one can take a long trek to the majestic Meenmutty falls.

Braemore Estates - Braemore Estate is one of the best trekking destinations in Trivandrum. Established by the British in 1880s, it is a tea, rubber, coffee and spices plantation.Fascinated by its natural beauty the British named it after a place in Scotland. A trekker’s paradise, it is also a great weekend hideout. The bungalows built by the British add charm to this high range holiday destination.

The Mankayam Falls – Very close to the city is the eco-tourism spot of Mankayam. It flaunts a breath-taking water spectacle which can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

How To Get There:

Located at a distance of just around 12kms from the airport and 3kms from the city center, Kerala Campus is placed at a very easily accessible and strategic location, Maruthamkuzhy. A few yards from the junction is the famous Udiyanoor Devi temple and further ahead on the right side of this road, one can spot Kerala Campus.

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Go daan (Donate a Cow): This is considered the highest form of daan (donation) in the Hindu tradition. The VVMVP Campuses have their own goshalas, with the Bangalore Goshala caring for over 200 cows. So you are even welcome to sponsor the upkeep of a cow! Money and cheque contributions are accepted.

Payment can be made in the form of a DD/Cheque in favor of "Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth" payable at Bangalore. Your donation receives tax exemption under Sec. 80G of the Income Tax.

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