Southern India

Madras/Chennai

Left any sightseeing, in what was then called Madras and renamed Chennai in 1997 a few years after we were there, until the end of our trip and headed to Mahalbalipuram after one night’s sleep following a long flight. The town is famous for its rock monuments, e.g., Descent of Ganges, and many are still active there carving rock sculptures.

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There was a nice beach, but the only problem was that local fishermen used it as a toilet.

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Kanchipuran, our next stop, is a pilgrimage site for Hindus. Kailasanathar Temple built approx. in the year 700 is the oldest temple in the city that still exists.

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Ekambareswarar Temple dedicated to Shiva. 64

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It is also a center of weaving.

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Strolling around town: seeing pictures in the internet, such street scenes might be a thing of the past:

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Movie time

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Bangalore was a bit of shock, since it was already that clean and modern when we visited. The taxi driver did not even overcharge us and used a meter. We only stayed one night and continued to Mysore in the state of Karnataka.

Mysore Palace

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Chamundeshwari Temple

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Celebrating something: Dasara festival ?

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Nandi, statue at Chamundi Hill, Mysuru (Mysore), India. From Wikipedia: Nandi is the gate- guardian deity of Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. He is usually depicted as a bull which also serves as the mount to the god Shiva. According to Saivite siddhantic tradition, he is considered as the chief guru of eight disciples of Nandinatha SampradayaSanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Tirumular, Vyagrapada, Patanjali and Sivayoga Muni who were send to eight directions to spread the wisdom of Shaivism

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Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The cars are so small that some refer to it as toy train. There is no aisle, but instead you get on from the side into each compartment. The gradient of 8.33% is the steepest in Asia (at least at that time). It goes from Mettupalayam at 325 meters altitutde and ascends to Udhagamandalam at 2,203 meters, a distance of 46 kilometers.

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At the top

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One of our daughter’s favorite parts of the trip.

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Madurai

Meenakshi temple, dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi who married Shiva.

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Elephant blessings

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In town

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Train to Thiruvananthapuram, also known by its former name Trivandrum

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and then directly to the beach at Kovalam. A few days relaxing and swimming with great jumbo shrimp and lobster cooked in a tandoor oven in the evenings.

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Visit from a strange creature:

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The train to Cochin also carried the “mortal remains” of somebody important. Our important person got a garland as a result. 272

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Chinese fishing nets in Cochin: they are permanently installed along the sea and it has been speculated that the Chinese explorer Zheng He introduced them.

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We fortunately did not require medical attention:

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Kathakali dancing has an approx. 500 year history and incorporates elements of yoga and ayurvedic medicine. Everything used in made from natural materials. We went to see Devan Gurukaum at Mr. Devan’s home. We arrived early so we could watch them putting on the make-up, quite an elaborate procedure. And the show was fantastic!

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Backwaters in Alleyppy: the snakeboat race for the Nehru Cup.

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Tiruchirappalli (also called Trichy; I guess that also have problems pronouncing the long form), one of the temple cities in Tamil Nadu.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, the largest temple in India. It is enclosed by seven walls, and there is a lot going in within each one: stores, restaurants, hordes of locals and tourists.

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Rockfort Temple

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Thanjavur, another temple city in Tamil Nadu.

The granite gopuran (tower) of Brihadeeswarar Temple built in approx. the year 1000.

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Side trip to Airavatesvara Temple

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Good food everywhere: I always gain weight in India!

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Sitar craftsman

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A skeptical birthday girl:

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But satisfied with the present, a dress, which she would wear one week later at home on her first day of school.

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Beach in Chennai: note that nobody is swimming

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Wonder what all these places look like today? Modernized and changed a lot I bet!

 

3 thoughts on “Southern India

    1. Thanks! I had actually planned to post this in a couple of weeks, but then I saw that you were planning a post about the area, so I thought that photos of these places might interest you while you are traveling there. Enjoy your journey (which I am sure you are)!

      Liked by 1 person

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