Friday, January 12, 2007

Photo catch-up and Madurai pt one

First are some photos to accompany yesterday's blog. These two are from Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary.

We saw some majestic elephants, before our wildly excited tour-mates decided to scare them away. Periyar could have hired a guide to get people into some nature-tour etiquette.

Monkeys, monkeys everywhere! They sure liked playing near the visitor centre. We held tightly onto our camera and ice cream cones in their presence.

This one was a little more contemplative, eating a leaf. He came pretty close to us.

The next day we took the 3-hour drive to Madurai. As we mentioned yesterday, the scenery was reminiscent of the American Southwest:

And these views are from the top of our hotel in Madurai, the Golden Park.

Today our travels brought us to Ramashwaram, yet another 3-hour drive. It is home to the Ramalingeshwara Temple, which was unfortunately closed to us. We did take some photos of the exteriors and outer hall. The outer temple is not painted brightly like many of the other temples in Tamil Nadu. From the looks of it, the inside was more colorful. Around here you can see people getting ready to drench themselves in water at each of 22 stations as part of their pilgrimage. We also spotted a monkey perched at the top of one of these towers!

The ceilings of the outer temple are painted with many of these round panels. As you can see from the second photo, the halls are pretty magnificent.

And the last stop of the day took us toward Adam's Bridge, the string of islands where India meets Sri Lanka.

This area plays a large part in Hindu mythology, and is home to a big shantytown that was another easy target for the 2004 tsunami. Poverty was evident to an extreme both there and in Ramashwaram; open sewers, every other building dilapidated or just made out of palm fronds to begin with, yet people carry on and figure out a way to make life work. We were accosted by several young Indians who wanted their picture with us, and to shake our hands. We obliged, of course. You see trucks like this overflowing with humans all the time.

We'll try to post after our temple visit tomorrow. Thanks again for reading! J&J


vinesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vinesh said...

nice posting

nice collection

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