Madurai - Day 2

This is a link from my blog about my trip to India in 2014
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david63
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Madurai - Day 2

Post by david63 » 12 Nov 2014, 15:56

Today’s update – this morning we were on the excursion road once again, starting with a visit to the Thirumalai Nayak Palace in the city centre of Madurai. This palace was constructed some 350 years ago but sadly today is only about a quarter of its original size. Whilst this was quite an interesting temple it is nothing like the palaces that we have seen in the north of India. We got the feeling that, certainly in this part of the south of India, they have not as yet fully embraced creating the sites in a way for tourists.

Talking to the guide this morning it appears that this year has seen a significant decline in the number of visitors to the south of India (possibly due to the economic situation, the current level of terrorist threats and, possibly, Ebola).

From the palace we then drove to the Sri Meenakshi Temple for a day-time visit and to see it in the daylight is an incredible sight with its towers covered in a profusion of brightly coloured images of gods, goddesses, animals and mythical creatures. Theses towers are repainted every 12 years and take about a year to complete, and whilst this is happening they are all totally covered so nobody is able to see their splendour. The last time they were repainted was in 2008 so the next time will be around 2020/2021 (so take this into account if you are planning a visit!).

This temple is a living/working Hindu Temple which means that (a) you have to remove shoes and socks before entering and (b) there are some areas that non Hindus cannot visit. When there is a temple in India that requires you to remove your shoes (and there are many) then there is always a “shoe keeper” to look after them for a fee, of course – but it is only 10 rupees.

Being the “wedding season” there were several weddings taking place around the Temple which all added to the atmosphere. The Temple takes on almost a party atmosphere during the day with many Hindus coming to spend the day here – picnics and all!

Having seen much of the Temple last night there were only a couple of things to see in the daylight, one was the two Golden Towers and the other being the Hall of a Thousand Pillars, which actually only has 985 pillars. None of the pillars, allegedly, is the same.

After our visit to the Temple, and collecting our shoes it became time for a little retail therapy!

Tomorrow we have a four hour drive to Periyar where we stop for just one night before moving on to Cochin.

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oldbluefox
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Re: Madurai - Day 2

Post by oldbluefox » 12 Nov 2014, 16:22

Enjoying your posts David but are you sure you're not in Leicester - an easy mistake to make and it does sound very similar? :lol:

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