Thiruvaiyaru presents many destinations to explore. In case you want to break away from the music at the aradhana.
This Sunday we chose to hit the road alongside the river and head to Thirukattupali.
Patches of water keep the river alive - just enough for local people to wash and paddle.
The countryside though is green, rolling rice fields, green and yellow as far as the eye can see on our right side.
Rising from that green and yellow swathe are the spires of a church. That is our first destination.
The basilica dedicated to Mother Mary of Poondi. This is a big destination for the faithful, including non Christians. And this campus is huge by church standards! Lodging rooms, halls, depots and even spaces for birds. So you can plan a pilgrimage picnic and tent here for a sit on sand and eat lunch.
The massive church impresses; the interior does not. The vintage parts have been stripped for granite, wood and steel.
Behind the main altar, is the core shrine - where people are lost in prayer. And enclosed in a monstrance is a sliver of what is claimed to be a piece of the cross.
We choose to spend time gazing at the river. 'Swimming here is Danger', says a board.
The Grand Anaicut was on our plan. We are hungry, so we adjourn for lunch at Thirukattupalli, feel heavy and return.