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Old 30th November 2014, 23:23   #16
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Default Re: Pilgrimage: Thirukarugavur, Thanjavur, Pillayarpatti & Madurai


One of the oldest cities of India. The city which Kannaki burned down with the power of her chastity after her husband was unjustly executed by the King. The city centered around Meenakshi Amman Temple (9.920223, 78.119256), where we are going to offer our prayers today.

We got ready to visit the temple. I was in no mood to drive and face the hassle of parking in an unknown city. We hired an auto (Rs. 120) from Mattuthavani Bus Stand. Got down near the temple and had breakfast since it was already 10 am by the time we reached the temple.

Sambar idlis:
Pilgrimage: Thirukarugavur, Thanjavur, Pillayarpatti & Madurai-image00001.jpg

The temple provides free cloak/footwear room, but the attendants will request "tips" anyway . A cursory security screening later, we were in the temple. Being a Sunday, I had expected big crowds, but turned out to be a modest crowd and we could have our darshans fairly easily.

The lotus pond getting refilled:
Pilgrimage: Thirukarugavur, Thanjavur, Pillayarpatti & Madurai-image00002.jpg
Pilgrimage: Thirukarugavur, Thanjavur, Pillayarpatti & Madurai-image00003.jpg

Some interior pics:
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High walls and inner gopuram:
Pilgrimage: Thirukarugavur, Thanjavur, Pillayarpatti & Madurai-image00006.jpg

A closer view:
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An outer and an inner gopuram:
Pilgrimage: Thirukarugavur, Thanjavur, Pillayarpatti & Madurai-image00008.jpg

Prayers over; the kid, the father, and the uncle were left to enact Two Men and a Baby in a park adjoining the temple while the mom and grannies went off for shopping. We should have utilized the time to visit the temple museum, in retrospect.

One of the many shops adjoining the temple:
Pilgrimage: Thirukarugavur, Thanjavur, Pillayarpatti & Madurai-image00009.jpg

Thankfully, she was at her sweet best and made no trouble for the dad and the uncle.

The ladies had a gala time shopping for all kind of knickknacks and we reached back the hotel with considerably heavier bags and lighter wallets than we had set out with.

We had no time to waste, vacated our rooms in a jiffy and set out for the last leg of our drive.

We took the same route back, via Rajapalayam-Sengottai.

The roads were great and traffic sparse:
Pilgrimage: Thirukarugavur, Thanjavur, Pillayarpatti & Madurai-image000011.jpg
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We crossed over to Kerala and was stopped at the Kerala Police checkpost. They shone their torch into the car, saw the kid and ladies and instantaneously waved us on our way.

Stopped for chilli parathas in a restaurant in Punaloor, sometime near 10 pm.
Pilgrimage: Thirukarugavur, Thanjavur, Pillayarpatti & Madurai-image000014.jpg

By the time we left, ours was pretty much the only car on the road. We made good time and reached home in a couple of hours.

We were back home safely after 3 days and ~1200 kms.

The Gods watched our back the entire time.
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