Madurai Marauder

Thought I’d kill two birds with one stone today since I’m off out for the afternoon 😉

This is one of the many thousands of pilgrims who descended upon Meenakshi Temple in Madurai during the Pongal celebrations (like Harvest for Hindus).

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Agra’s Not Just The Taj Mahal, You Know

The Taj Mahal is the main reason for visiting Agra, but it’s not the only one. Indeed anyone in the area who doesn’t take in the ‘Baby Taj’ (Itimad-ud-Daulah) is missing a treat as its beauty is almost on a par with her big sister. Sadly this is in stark contrast to the acid-burned arm of the beggar boy we saw at the trainstation. That’s India for you. This week’s post is packed full of photographs, for those who just want to skim through the last of our Agra blog entries.

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The People And The Places Of Madurai

Firstly our apologies for some unscheduled email updates regarding Somalia and piracy. We’re experimenting with a new service but the emails today were only supposed to be test alerts and you weren’t supposed to receive them. Ooops. Please delete these messages. So…before we leave Madurai we wanted to show you our photographs of the people and the scenes of our fave city. It is a pictorial observation of our time there, presented as two slide shows. Once you’ve clicked on the slide-show to activate it, you can select the four-arrowed button to view in full-screen mode. You’ll need a fairly decent connection as they’re high res images but it’s worth it as the portraits are very personal, whilst the street scenes will give you a good idea of the environment in which these people live.

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Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace – Easy For You To Say

As is probably evident from our previous posts, Madurai is a pretty crazy place. Rest, then, from the madding crowd in the calm of one of her grandest buildings, Thirumalai Nayakkar Palace. Deceptively understated from the outside, the open court-yard of the interior is imposing and beautiful. Liz: “If you are in southern India please do not miss this most beautiful palace. I fell in love with it in many ways. Its shape, colour and structure are sublime. Palest peach, vanilla, apricot, and cream combine to impart an ethereal quality”. The palace is close to becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site, which goes some way to illustrate how wonderful this simple building is. At the end of this short post we include a little slide show of a few of the buildings of Madurai.

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Meenakshi Amman Temple Of Madurai

Last time we left you we’d been wandering the back streets of Madurai and offered plenty of photographic evidence of its energy. In this post Liz gives a more cerebral account of our experience in this fabulous city, taking in the huge Meenakshi temple, which wouldn’t look out of place in Disney World. Her guide teaches Liz about the five sense, and they’re not the sense you or I learned about at school. Strangely every single photograph taken inside the temple ‘disappeared’ from Jamie’s camera, but we have plenty more images of the huge ‘gopurams’, as well as the people of Madurai. Liz’s prose is what travel writing is all about…

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The Buildings Of Madurai

This short slide-show gives you a little taster of the buildings of Madurai, and has been published to coincide with our Madurai blog posts. Pictured are the Meenakshi Temple, the palace, and a strange ‘mall’ with a temple in the middle of it. Plaster of Paris gods stacked hundreds of feet high look out across the city, whilst back-streets hide away secret retreats.

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The Magic And Madness Of Madurai

Having finally made it to Madurai after our fairground ride through the Western Ghats, we were able to relax, put on the walking boots and go for a romp through the back streets of this great city. It is full of strange wonders and fascinating people. This post, with its many photographs, captures just a small part of this: street vendors, manual labourers, layabouts, kids, beggars and strange architecture…

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The Streets Of Madurai

The streets of Madurai is a bustling chaotic mass of energy. One doesn’t have to walk far to get a great picture of the people going about their business, weather selling, carrying, begging or playing. I tried my best to get some surreptitious, objective viewpoints but as soon as you point a camera at a Tamil, they smile and pose!

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Pongal, Pilgrims and Palani Pictures

These images were taken in January 2011 on our road trip to Maduarai, Tamil Nadu. Along the way we saw many pilgrims making their way to the Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani temple in Palani. We drove past hundreds of kilometers of people making their way towards this sacred place. Along the way we met a group of villages weaving wickerwork on the road side. They were very happy people.

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Mumbai: A Photographic Feast!

Liz and I have always romanticised with the idea of sailing into a city. Sydney and Vancouver are two such examples but we never thought we’d get a thrill from sailing into Mumbai, the state capital of the Maharashtra region of central India. This truly is a cosmopolitan city and if you have never been then don’t even begin to conjure up preconceptions of this place, they’ll come nowhere near to the real thing! Mumbai is an assault on the senses; it very quickly became one of my fave cities ever visited, proof of which are the many photographs featured in this extravaganza of a blog post. We have photographs galore! In a departure to the usual ‘inline’ photographs that illustrate my narrative, I have instead put together some slide-shows: the images are bigger and there are more of them! Prepare to be dazzled…

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Liz Does Luxor

Tour Luxor Egypt

This is quite possibly our most action-packed log entry. Not only do we have an excellent podcast by Liz, but we have over 50 high-res photographs to accompany it too. The podcast was recorded on the first day of our three day trip to Luxor and takes in Karnak, Hatshepsut’s Temple and The Valley of the Kings, affectionately known as the ‘Valley of the Russian Whores’.

The podcast was recorded on our first day of our three day trip to Luxor and takes in Karnak, Hatshipsuit’s Temple and The Valley of the Kings. It is a fantastic walk-around commentary and is extremely well observed. What else would you expect from the daughter of a professor of archaeology? It’s quite amusing too, especially the observations of the Russian whores who were out in force that day. To help put things in perspective, take a look at these candid shots, all taken within half an hour at Hatshipsuit’s Sacred Temple.

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