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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah


Detail from one of the gopurams (monumental towers) at the Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple.

Thanks to layovers, I got to see much more than I had originally planned on. I got to Munnar via Madurai, so on the way back I visited the temple there. I must have arrived too late in the day (10 or 10:30, maybe?), because the temple elephant was nowhere to be seen. (I went back and asked the guy who sold my ticket and he pointed out where I might find her, but I never did.) I wasn’t too disappointed because (thanks to tips from my new friend Chris at Sadhana) I knew I’d get to see Lakshmi at Hampi.


I had the best thali meal of my trip in Madurai, at a place called Sree Sabarees. Forty-five rupees (ONE DOLLAR!) for a huge amount of food, including a little cup of the most delicious cardamom rice pudding! (I didn’t take a photo in the restaurant because I already felt like a silly tourist as it was, but I did take a photo of another thali plate in Hampi, so I’ll show you that later. In real thali restaurants they give you a banana leaf and come by frequently to refill your ‘plate’ with rice, curries, chutneys, and pappadam or chapathi, but in other restaurants they just bring you the plate and that’s that.)


Anyway, back to the temple: it was marvelous, of course, a riot of color and texture and sound (there were loads of market stalls in shopping arcades offering mostly junk, apart from the flower sellers selling their fuchsia and white garlands). You walk into a place like this and realize just how limited and Eurocentric is your grade-school history education. (I felt this times a hundred while I was walking through the ruins at Hampi; but that’s for another post.) I really enjoyed walking around (even if going barefoot still squicks me out a bit) and watching people at their devotions.





The two statues above are inside the temple art museum.

From Madurai, I took an overnight bus to Bangalore for another layover en route to Hampi. I did a city tour that day, though, so I still have plenty of good pics!

2 Comments to Madurai

  1. June 23, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I love the colors. America doesn’t have enough colors.

  2. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    June 23, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I love all of the color!
    Thali was definitely one of my best food discoveries when in India.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.