train from Ernakulam towards Madurai..
with a change in Quilon..bit below was Trivandrum..
did not visit..it's known for an ancient martial art form..
called *kalaripayat* it involves training,puja,meditation..
reminds me bit of the Brazilian capoeira..not easy,I guess??
train trip towards Madurai was quite long..and stressfull..
stayed 2 nights in railway retiring rooms..met an Irish chick..
she told me..she was getting sick of India..constant staring,
overpopulation,stress,heat,poverty,beggars..hassle all the way..
I came to Madurai mainly for the Meenaksi temple..so..I went..
to visit..it took me half a day..I took my time in there..
it's very fascinating..and very strange puja ceremonies going on..
funny thing happened to me there..the Meenakshi temple has got
several entry gates..one has to leave shoes at a guard there..
guess what??I could not find the exact entrance back..
in fact..I did not remember..from which entrance gate..I came in..
they looked all bloody the same..so..bit of panick..my shoes??
after a long search..found them finally..but it had costed sweat
to find them back...ahah..so this Meenakshi temple..
it's in South Indian style with *gopurams*which are multicoloured
deity images..you'll understand when you'll see the pics in a link..
it's amazingly impressiv..it's like a whole city in there..
the places where worship(puja)was performed...
were sometimes forbidden for non Hindu eyes..but..i saw some..
there are black*lingams*=penis like stone..which are for puja..
one throws milk,flower petals,pineapple,cocosnuts over it..
it's all very strange indeed..typical Indian again..I don't think.
Westerners cannot grasp why Hindu's can offer a puja to a black
lingam stone??the temple itself is quite high..
no idea...maybe 40meters...it had more then 10 towers,I bet??
and the bloody entrance gates as well..where my chappal sandals
were left...it's full of activity inside this place..touts as well..
offering a guided tour..it all was very strange..very mystical..
there is a hall of 1000 pillars,a museum,and lots of pilgrims..
as I told..very hectic activity..very beautifil statues of Shiva,Kali,
Ganesha inside the temple..Tamil Nadu woman wear jasmine flowers
in their hair..beautiful..this temple was really worthwhile..
if you go South India..please..don't miss it..amazing place..
no shoes..no photo's inside...photo's allowed..but high price??
and remember on which gate you left your shoes..
stupid Tiger I was..booohh..I stayed quite a while inside that temple..
went back to the railway station...and took some cheap thali food..
will get you peeps some links for Meenakshi temple..
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