On the road

We first drove south from Chennai -- in driving rain. That soon stopped though and when we reached Dakshina Chitra an hour later, you couldn't tell it had rained. But then maybe it hadn't, there. And the weather remained clear and dry for all the rest of our stay. From Chennai to Mamallapuram we drove along the coast with the Indian Ocean visible every now and then across the land and the dunes. After Mamallapuram, we turned inland towards Tiruvannamali. That is where we saw with our own eyes that this region is the rice bowl of India, or at least one of them. Machinery is rare. Most plowing is done with bullocks, planting and transplanting are done by hand, and separating is usually done by hand.
Rice paddyRice paddy
Plowing rice paddyTransplanting young plants
Machine handlingPlowing with bullocks
Separating grains mechanicallyPlowing with bullocks
PorteuseRice paddy
Porting on her headWorkers in rice paddy
Senthil and SivLoaded cart
Our wonderful driver, Senthil, with SivWell-loaded bullock cart (being passed)
LandscapeRice paddy
Beautiful landscapeWorking in the paddy

Two days later, driving south-east from Tiruvannamalai, the scenery was somewhat different. There were still many rice paddies, where it was wet, but more sugar cane, cotton, mango trees, nut trees and other crops. It was quite impressive for descendants of farmers like Siv and myself.

Loaded Indian truckGirls exercising
A typically-loaded Indian truckGirls' exercise class
Aiyannar ShrineAiyannar Shrine
A roadside shrine to the Tamil god Aiyannar
Porting sugar caneGathering grain
Carrying caneThreshing?
Load of bananasPraise the Lord!
A load of bananas"Praise the Lord!" (He doesn't mention which one.)
Cotton fieldMango trees
Cotton fieldMango trees

The road goes on...

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