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Old 5th August 2010, 14:04   #121
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Smile Thekkady - Day 4, part IV contd.

For this post, it's gonna be all pictures.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0499.jpg

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Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0507.jpg

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0508.jpg
^^Statue of half Shiva and half Parvati. Notice the legs and the breasts^^

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^^Statue of half Shiva and half Vishnu. Notice the legs^^

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Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0515.jpg
^^Badrakali is not very happy as she cannot pose with her leg up like Shiva^^

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0516.jpg

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Old 5th August 2010, 14:41   #122
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Yeah its actually 985 or something. There are a couple of musical pillars as well right at the entrance of the hall on the right side.

Unfortunately the museum is badly or was badly maintained before. Don't know how it is now. The Nataraja statue inside the museum is awesome.

Also the Nataraja statue near the Sundereshwarar deity's sanctum sanctorum has the right leg lifted up, which is pretty rare.

The whole temple was renovated recently. They sandblasted the ceilings and pillars to clear the grime. However this is controversial as the sandblasting can also deface sculptures and murals.
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Old 5th August 2010, 15:30   #123
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Yes. It has 985. pillars. The museum is good now. After sandblasting the ceilings, they've painted it too. Also they have a nice weaving of Jamakkalam of Meenakshi on display along with many other sculptures. Further they also have a miniature ratha on display there.
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Old 5th August 2010, 17:16   #124
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MX6 & csentil, you guys are a treasure trove of information. I now feel quite stupid having hired the guide. I should have just started a thread before I left to get all this information and then pushed my guide to go towards it. Well, lesson learnt.
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Old 5th August 2010, 18:21   #125
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Smile Thekkady - Day 4, part IV contd.

We get out of the temple to see this by the side.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0526.jpg

Calvin wants to go near but is a little afraid. Our guide as usual is running ahead. So we tag along and round a corner to see the North gopuram.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0527.jpg

Our guides tells us that there is something very different in this gopuram and asks us if we can find it. A closer inspection and we have it. This gopuram has a lot of pillar like structures instead of the figures.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0528.jpg

Just after this gopuram is a tree with cradles tied to it. We saw a foreign couple also walking around the tree with a cradle in the hands.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0529.jpg

We walk along and are back at the West gate.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0530.jpg

Our tour is over. Our guide stops and then gives us a little bit of gyan. He then says that we can catch an auto and go to the palace which is nearby. We turn down his offer and pay him his fee. After that we decide to spend some more time inside the temple by ourselves. As we walk towards the South gate we notice a cattle shed. We can buy some green for Rs.10 to feed the cattle. Calvin is excited and we buy him a bundle. What ensues is a tug of war between Calvin and the bovines. He goes near them with the bundle and they take a bite and then try to pull the entire thing away from him. He does not give up and tries to salvage what he can from them. It was fun seeing this.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0533.jpg

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0534.jpg

After this we came out of the shed and saw a nice statue of a bull.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0535.jpg

We also see the foreign couple that was turned away when we were entering the first time. They seemed to have bought mundus from a shop and had them on over their half pants.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0536.jpg

We enter the temple again and Calvin finds something that we had not noticed the first time. There is a idol there with viboothi all around it and people could just put some on the idol. Calvin did it quite a few times with the net result that he ended up with white hands and white clothes.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0537.jpg

We spend some time in the temple looking over things again and then settle down near the Golden Lotus Pond. Some random pictures below.

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0538.jpg
^^ The roof’s patterns close up^^

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^^ Close up of the top of a gopuram^^

Thekkady Vacation - Four days, three nights, two places, one family-dsc_0543.jpg
^^ Another father son moment. These are much further apart than what I would like. Blame it on the corporate work life?^^

After sometime we leave and go to get our foot wear. The shop keeper asks us to have a look at Madurai sarees and cloth and we do so, more out of an obligation because of the footwear. We do not see anything that we like so we go back to the restaurant from which we had lunch. We have coffee and ice-cream from there and also try the famous “jiggarthanda” (is that what it’s called?). We also have a look around some of the shops around the temple and soon it is time to go back to the station.

Our vacation is towards it’s fag end and I need to go back to work tomorrow morning. I did have a fantastic anniversary and it’s a mixed feeling as I lie on the train waiting for sleep to take over.

The End – the absolute end
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Old 5th August 2010, 18:53   #126
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Many thanks for reminding me of just how magnificent that temple is.

I have one vesti bought in Madurai: as it is nearly worn out, I guess I should go back!
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Old 5th August 2010, 20:28   #127
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@ Thad. Guess you'd look like that gora in the pic with veshti!

@SafeDrive. Check T-BHP before any trip. There are bigwigs here who plan anything and everything and help by sharing things.

The vibhooti laden statue is that of Ganesha. It's got an interesting history which you can find here.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1746954-post102.html

Here's some more of my posts giving brief glimpse of the grandeur of Madurai.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1750070-post113.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1755000-post132.html

Also I'd helped people plan some stuff and stated what can be done in threads below.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/1743961-post2.html

The guide is still indispensable for absolute new comers. But there are bigger guides here in T-BHP! And if the guide does come with some new stuff, you can share with fellow BHPians.

p.s. There's no absolute end. As they say Shashwata shantih, it's all about continuum of time!
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Old 5th August 2010, 20:53   #128
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MX6, you really are a treasure trove of information. Next time will definitely check TBHP before a trip.
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Old 5th August 2010, 22:34   #129
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The temple walkway reminds of the times I walked around.
Not that I stayed in Madurai, but been there few times.

The best was a guest house where we stayed in 1987, and imagine by surprise, when I found it was still around during one of my visits in 2007.


MX that you mention the story behind of these items, for all the times I have been, just explored on my own.
So I on and off remember and then forget!

@Safedrive since you had only few ours, you missed some real good temples around. Pillayarpatti & Pazhamudircholai .
Apart from the temple, I also loved the drive to these places. Simple roads and it was fun.

Last edited by ampere : 5th August 2010 at 22:38.
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Old 4th September 2010, 19:32   #130
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Amazing travelogue! Thanks SafeDrive - your style writing is extremely engrossing! I the entire 9 pages of the thread in one go...

I chanced upon it while looking for some recent Chennai - Thekkady driving experiences - it was worth it.

I have booked at CM Thekkady in Oct 2nd week. Planning to drive down though the family is kind of divided on drive vs. train.
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