gopuras of Meenaksi Temple
This is the Meenaksi Sundareshvara Temple in Madurai which has been the heart and life of the Tamil people for 2500 years from ancient Madurai until today. It is hard to tell if the city or the temple have grown together as one, but it is evident as you wander from vendors straightway into the temple courtyard where people and animals are resting or sleeping in the shade of giant columns.
Spaced around the perimeter of the temple grounds are 12 gopuras or pyramidal gates rising more than 164 feet that mark the four direction entrances to the temple complex at the four cardinal points.
The solid granite bases are covered with stucco figures of deities, mythical animals, and monsters . The gopurs are all painted in a 12 year rotation using vivid Indian colors.
Enjoy a walk through this spectacular sacred architecture!
This Is Incredible India!
Here is my post from my last time in the south of India !
Posted in Animals, Architecture, India, Travel, Uncategorized
Tagged architectural plan, blogging, city, gopuras, India, Madurai, Meenaksi Temple, sacred architecture, Shiva and his consort Meenaksi, temple, touring
Nothing says India more than the continuous sunshine and camels, unless it is the relentless heat! After my years in Arizona , we would say something is “Hot as Arizona!”, but now it is “Hot as India!” It is understandable that when monsoons start in about a month, that the Indian people dance in the streets in the refreshing rain. We had a taste of monsoons back on March 1st. I remember that morning because that was the day I was filmed in the commercial. Rain came down in buckets full, and it was as if there were a billion buckets full of water being poured all at once. Afterwards water stood in the streets for days as there are no drains in the side of the streets.
So we did our touring yesterday, and when we got back we stayed in the room with the AC cranked up not even venturing out to eat!We did go for breakfast this morning but plan nothing much for the day. Dbell is meeting with the students as they plan their final presentation just under two weeks from now!
Tomorrow morning early will be a special event. We are visiting a slum directly across from the Gandhi Ashram. Our guide is a young architect who has worked for and with the slum and the Assam.
Bye bye from a cat under a hot tin roof in Amdavad, India!
This is Incredible India!
image from Google public domain
Posted in Architecture, India, Travel, Uncategorized
Tagged 111 F, 44C., Amdavad, Amedavad, architect, architecture students, blogging, Gandhi Ashram, heat, monsoons, slum, sun, touring, Travel in India
In Pondicherry, a seacoast city just south of Chennai, we were treated to a tropical resort called Wind Flower. It was located out of the city and honestly, the plantings were more beautiful in my mind, than a Hawaiian resort where we have stayed. The large bush is white Poinsettia bush over 6 feet tall ! Arriving in the outskirts reminded me of visits to Agri-tourism farms in southern Italy which are a great and reasonable way to travel in Italy.
Here are some more pictures I took of the grands. There was an older woman watering once a day in the scorching sun. I looked to see if they had the Arizona watering system on timers but they didn’t . It is amazing that in this heat plants and flowers thrive.
I love the floral hedges. . .
The city has two distinct sections consisting of the French Colonial Planned section with a lovely garden , grid streets, French street names and an iron fence surrounding the Governor’s palace. It was familiar in plan for those of us who had been to New Orleans or cities in Canada.
All around the French Quarter the arms of the Indian Pondicheery wraps herself. There was much excitement as this was the beginning of the 15 day celebration of Shiva’s wedding festival. And Indians love wedding celebrations! There was a huge parade with flowers and the elephant. She had been covered in bright Indian colors, but I was too slow to get that picture.
She is the elephant who lives near the Ganesha Temple. Ganesha is a Hindu god who has the head of an elephant. In this country , elephants are thought to be good luck. After you give a small donation to the elephant in her truck , she will thank you with a pat on the head!
This had been on the bucket list of the students and we have done all four now! Elephant pat on the head, elephant ride, and camel ride, Mindy hands with not just one Indian wedding but two! The trip to India is a success and bucket lists completed with weeks to spare !
This is Incredible India !
Here is my post from the previous trip in 2013.
Posted in Architecture, India, Uncategorized
Tagged elephants, Ganesha, Hinduism, India, Pondicherry, Shiva, Shiva's wedding anniversayr, south India, Travel in India