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A world away in 5 weeks - India to Sri Lanka and back

A world away in 5 weeks - India to Sri Lanka and back

Jul 10th, 2019, 12:32 PM
  #21  
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Last edited by progol; Jul 10th, 2019 at 12:43 PM.
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Jul 10th, 2019, 03:10 PM
  #22  
 
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I’m onboard too ! This will prompt some memories for me, your photos are fabulous, thanks for posting.
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Jul 10th, 2019, 04:46 PM
  #23  
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Ian, congratulations! ​​​​​I didn’t see you at first, as you snuck in quietly between the waterfront and the market!

sartoric, nice to see you! I’m sure you’ll recognize a few places here and there, too!
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Jul 11th, 2019, 03:27 AM
  #24  
 
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Your photos are fantastic. I’m really digging all the colors of India.
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Jul 11th, 2019, 07:53 AM
  #25  
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Hi, tp,
I'm thrilled that you're enjoying the photos! India is an incredible immersion into sensory overload, and is as colorful as it can be. It's an amazing place to visit.
Paule
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Jul 11th, 2019, 03:38 PM
  #26  
 
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Just found this progol and so glad I did - your photos are gorgeous, and your itinerary in Southern India very much like one I would like to do.

And I am particularly happy to have seen the pic of you eating the frozen strawberry dessert as now I know what you look like!
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Jul 12th, 2019, 04:07 AM
  #27  
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Hi, annhig!

Glad you’re enjoying this! I do promise more photos to come, too - and even more of me, I suspect, as my husband took a few!
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Jul 12th, 2019, 06:07 AM
  #28  
 
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Signing on. I liked Mamallapuram but I saw it before the tsunami. Not all that excited by Pondy.

I found Sri Lanka peaceful after India, with some good scenery, but India was more interesting.
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Jul 12th, 2019, 11:32 AM
  #29  
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Welcome, thursdaysd! I didn't expect to like Mammalapuram, but we both enjoyed it a lot. Maybe the lower expectations made it easier for us.

<<I found Sri Lanka peaceful after India, with some good scenery, but India was more interesting.>>

An interesting distinction and, while it's a generalization, it has truth to it. India, of course, is huge, so each region has a different flavor. While Tamil Nadu can feel very intense at times, Kerala, or at least the parts that we saw, were much gentler. Sri Lanka is small relative to India, so it's easier to have a broad range of experiences in a short time. But I do agree completely that India is more interesting. I'd definitely return to India again if I get a chance, and while we enjoyed our trip to Sri Lanka, I don't have any itch to return.
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Jul 12th, 2019, 12:59 PM
  #30  
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Touring Tamil Nadu and tons of temples!

From Pondicherry, we drove to Kumbakonam, and began our exploration of the remarkable Chola temples that were built mostly between the 11th & 12 centuries during the Chola Empire. The image of the Tamil Nadu temple with its grand towers intrigued me when I first saw photos of them. And, after our foray into Tamil Nadu, I’d say that they are remarkable structures, filled with vitality, as many are “living” temples, filled with worshipers as well as tourists.

First, one enters through the large gopuram (tower), a gateway into a large complex, consisting of a huge, open courtyard with multiple temples and shrines. Every corner is filled with people! The many shrines within the space is broken up by aisles, formed by columns, beautifully carved, and under gorgeous painted ceilings.

Of course, even before you enter, shoes must be checked. One walks barefoot (though some places are flexible about socks). And it is does get very hot! Photography is generally allowed only in the courtyard/open air and outside the entryway, but not once you enter the actual temples or shrines. Though in Madurai, we even had to check our phones before we entered the complex!

Over the course of about a week, we visited about half a dozen or more of these remarkable sites. It was a fascinating exposure, though I must admit to having gotten a bit of temple overload by the time we left Tamil Nadu. The touring was tiring, and though we were both feeling a bit better as the trip continued, fatigue followed us for much of the first half of it.

We visited 3 temples that first day! Our guide was arranged for the day we were leaving Pondicherry, so we had planned to see the temples near Kumbakonam with her, although we then added another temple along the way.

The first temple we visited was Chidambaram, and we loved it. This is the Nataraja temple, or the temple of the dancing Shiva. Perhaps it touched us because it was the first of the large Chola temples that we visited, or perhaps because it was not quite as busy as some of the later ones, but it had a wonderful vitality and we really enjoyed our visit.

We then visited the lovely Airavateswara temple in Darasuram, with its delightful entryway carved in the shape of a chariot and remnants of paintings on the walls of the temple. Having our lovely guide, Abidamah, really enhanced the experience, too. I was also very pleased to have 2 female guides on our trip.

Finally, we visited the Gangaikondacholapuram, which means ‘the City of the King who Conquered the Ganga’, and had some of the most stunning carvings of any temple we visited.

But try to avoid visiting 3 Chola temples in one day!

A few extra stops, including a stop at a silk weaving shop, part of a collective of an extended family of weavers who settled in this area a number of generations ago. I did end up buying a scarf, of course!

Finally, we arrive at Mantra Koodam, a charming resort that was recently refurbished by CGH Earth, our home for the next 2 nights.

You wouldn’t be at all surprised, I’m sure, to read that we took it easy the next day. We did take a drive to look at 2 bronze casting foundries. This region is the center for the well-known Chola bronze sculptures.

And the rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing at the resort, where we each had Ayurvedic massages - necessary after the last few days!



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Jul 12th, 2019, 01:09 PM
  #31  
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Chidambaram




















Photo, please! At least I'm wearing my signature scarf!

Last edited by progol; Jul 12th, 2019 at 01:17 PM.
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Jul 12th, 2019, 02:46 PM
  #32  
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Another from Chidambaram
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Jul 13th, 2019, 02:47 AM
  #33  
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Shri Airvatesvara Temple (Dharasuram)






























Last edited by progol; Jul 13th, 2019 at 03:16 AM.
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Jul 13th, 2019, 07:48 AM
  #34  
 
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I'm very much. enjoying your photos!
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Jul 13th, 2019, 03:26 PM
  #35  
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Thank you, Kathie! That means a lot to me! I know you have plenty of wonderful photography around you!
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Jul 14th, 2019, 06:12 AM
  #36  
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Don’t you just love these? I’m sure there are a lot of folks who can identify with this!







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Jul 14th, 2019, 12:42 PM
  #37  
 
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What lovely photos of those two children!
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Jul 15th, 2019, 02:40 AM
  #38  
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Thanks, Kathie! I just loved these pix - I felt for the little boy, who clearly did NOT want the little girl (sister?) ruin his fun!

More photos to follow shortly!
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Jul 15th, 2019, 03:16 AM
  #39  
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And our visit to Gangaikonda Cholapuram....this temple had some of the most stunning carvings that we saw anywhere














Ardhanarishvara (half Shiva, half Parvati) statue ​​​​​​​








Last edited by progol; Jul 15th, 2019 at 03:24 AM.
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Jul 15th, 2019, 05:47 AM
  #40  
 
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And I thought I saw a lot of temples! I admire your stamina.
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