Photographer's Note

This is from the famous Meenakshi Temple in Madurai in southern India. It was built during the decades around the year 1200, making it about 200 years younger than the Brihadeshwara Temple in Thanjavur, which I showed here before. But I would describe this as the most exciting of the two. And I could walk barefoot here without roasting my feet. Most of the temple grounds are covered with roofs.

The roofs make most of the temple rather dark, which was a disadvantage when I tried to take photos inside the long corridors and very dark rooms filled with sculptures of Hindu gods. But I had a great advantage over more recent visitors: photography was still permitted in 1988. According to reports by PaulVDV and others all cameras are now strictly forbidden inside the temple compound. I could take photos for a meagre fee of 10 Rupees ( ≈ almost nothing).

Today's main photo is from one of the few reasonably bright parts of the Meenakshi Temple. I was very impressed by the paintings on the ceiling and the exquisitely carved columns. One WS provides a glimpse of this corridor from outside, another WS was taken by the wall seen here to the right.

Seeing the Meenakshi Temple is the main reason to visit Madurai. But I soon realized that Madurai is worth a visit in its own right. It's a fairly large city, but the older central parts struck me as one of the liveliest and most colourful areas I had seen in India. The street life (apart from the cars) looked like not much had changed even since before Indian independence in 1947. It felt completely "genuine" – not invaded by tourists – and I enjoyed it very much.

I will remain in the Meenakshi Temple for my next upload of three photos. Years ago I posted a few photos from this very lively and interesting city, like this one:


or this:


All these photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12427 W: 572 N: 23860] (102050)
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