Tour of Tamil Nadu, Feb 2008
A wonderful town with a wonderful temple, a town within the town
Sri-Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar Temple seen from our hotel terrace. Meenakshi is another name for Parvati; Sundareshwarar, for Shiva.
Technical books, mostly in English, for sale
I guess the glass was half full; the gopurams were not all entirely covered by scaffolding for the every-12-yearly renovation ...
... but the Golden Lotus Tank was empty too
Skinny cat near the empty tank -- no fish, kitty
The empty tank with gopurams in various stages of scaffolding
Another marriage party
That instrument is a variety of clarinet, which he happily showed off
A yalli, or chimera
Colors on uneven beams
Hall in the temple
Gold-plated horse ...
... and silver-plated elephant
The nine planets (including the sun and the moon)
Shiva stomping an enemy
Nataraja -- dancing Shiva
The marriage of Shiva and Parvati
Nandi with incense
It sounds like a sackbut -- it's loud
Muruga, second son of Shiva, riding on his vehicle, which is a peacock; Muruga is particularly popular in Tamil Nadu
The beautiful Hall of a Thousand Pillars
The Hall of a Thousand Pillars
The Hall of a Thousand Pillars houses a museum of bronzes and other things
Porters in the street
A friendly hi-fi salesman
A little girl sleeps near her mother
This woman piled 12 bricks on her head to carry into the construction site
Gopuram and wires
Top of the west gopuram of the Meenakshi Temple
Friendly young men in the street
Children playing in the outer court of the Meenakshi Temple
Of course they wanted their pictures taken
This little girl hefted up her little brother (we suppose) to have their picture taken
Top of one of the inner gopurams with monster's head at the top
In a corner of the Meenakshi Temple, worshippers before a statue of Hanuman
Ladies worshipping with butter lamps
Butter lamps before a statue of ... who is buried under those garlands?
Part of a door which has 1008 butter candles on it. Like 108, 1008 is a holy number (adds up to 9)
The sign says "Wearing of socks inside the temple are not allowed". Ok...
The evening ceremony of taking Shiva in to bed with Parvati is particularly flamboyant. Here, the gates to the Shiva shrine have not yet been opened.
Priests literally run through the temple, carrying the image of Shiva in a silver chariot to the shrine (and bedroom) of Parvati
Here they come, with lots of incense, candles and smoke.
The chariot arrives before Parvati's bedroom door.
An image of dancing Shiva appears on the silver-covered chariot.
The priests, standing in symbolically for Parvati, make Shiva comfortable by washing his feet, which appear on the gold stool.
Drying Shiva's feet
Lotuses and other flowers
And warming with a butter lamp
The Thirumalali Nayak Palace of Madurai
Royal Palace -- Durbar (Council) Chamber
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam Tank
The Pudumandapa, just to the east of the Meenakshi Temple, is full of tailors and sari wallahs
Shopping for scarves (and pashminas)
A seller of huge Indian padlocks
A tailor working on Siv's salwar kameez
Another tailor at work; all the sewing machines are treadle models.
Irons for sale, the kind you put hot coals in
Cookware row in the Pudumandapa
Another cookware wallah
Reflection of the east gopuram
A street procession
This is how Indians construct a building
Closeup of north gopuram of the Meenakshi Temple
Assembling the scaffolding for the temple renovation
Another log for the scaffolding
Working on the scaffolding. No hard hats; hell, no shoes!
Evening light on steps and columns next to the Golden Lotus Tank
A monkey on the scaffolding
The temple elephant...
... rests his trunk on a silly tourist's head (For tourists, that cost 10 Rps)
Our Madurai driver at a small temple dedicated to the Tamil god Aiyanar (or Ayyanar)
Hanuman, the monkey god
The statues here resemble those of the guardians outside the town limits
The Tamil god Ayyanar on his horse
The tourist doesn't have a moustache (or, for that matter, hair) like the statue
We don't know what the offerings are here, but they stank; it seemed primitive.
The goddess with fangs
Interior of the mosque
Madurai flower market