Thursday, February 14, 2008
A Day in Madurai
We started out from our hotel and went to the caves to view some ancient places of worship. In true India fashion, the guard who was supposed to open the site wasn’t there, so we couldn’t get in. We decided to come back later in the day. The short drive was not a complete waste because we spend a long time watching the wild monkeys in the vicinity. The monkeys are continually playing with each other, climbing trees or swinging from a branch.
We then drove thru the unbelievable traffic to the main temple to take a more detailed view. One room in the temple is called the Hall of 1000 pillars. We didn’t count them but there sure were a lot.
Cathy and Cliff were blessed by a Temple Elephant. You put a 10 rupee coin at the of the Elephant’s trunk who then takes the coin to the Mahout and places his trunk on your head as in a traditional Indian blessing.
We took a human powered rickshaw thru the market. The rickshaws dropped us off in front of the remains of a palace. It is enormous with very high roofs and incredible columns.
We then returned to the caves which seem very prehistoric. You can only imagine the rites they had there. It is like seeing something out of the stone age.
After returning to our hotel, we went back to the temple complex where Cliff bought a shirt. Or rather Cliff picked out material, was measured and told to return in an hour for a custom made shirt. Amazing!
Cathy found a lovely Ganesh necklace.
We returned to the hotel and packed. I doubt we will have internet service for the next few days, so you might not hear from us for at least 4 days. We are headed for a wildlife sanctuary called Periyar, then on to a 2 day boat trip up the backwaters of Kerala.