28.01.2015 - 28.01.2015 28 °C
Out at first light this morning as there is a full day of sights to see. Just coffee for breakfast and we are out the door.
First walk through the streets on the way to the Meenashki Temple and the firsts thing you notice is that Madurai is so much cleaner than Chennai and I am guessing it is the smaller populations which makes waste easier to control.
The streets are already a buzz early and upon arrival at the Meenashki Temple we are greeted by the four carved, colourful pillars of the outer wall of the temple. They are taller than I expected after seeing pictures and the extravagant carved figures have been done with perfect details. stupidly we didn't wear long pants for a temple visit but one of the shop owners invites us in and says he has cloth which he lends to tourists for the temple visit. Going inside the inner wall has smaller towers similar to the outer wall and the inside is a mix of painted ceiling and golden figures.
We are invited up to the rooftop of one of the carpet stalls to take pictures from upstairs and it was refreshing not to be asked to buy something. Everyone in Madurai has been so friendly.
From here we walk down to Vilakkuthoon (Lampost) constructed in memory of a British Collected that contributed to the expansion of Madurai. Interesting for a historical perspective but the lamp post is not that impressive.
Our next stop is the the Thirumalai Nayak Palace. The palace is very colonial and has hundreds of white columns which have been scribbled over with various messages. The painted ceilings are beautifully maintained but there are so many pigeons and with pigeons comes pigeon poo. The place is covered and seems to be building up faster than the poor lady can sweep it away.
Following our visit the palace we head to the Saint Mary's Church. I must say I am not a fan of the White wash paint and blue trip but I can see its fresh appeal.
Next on the agenda, the Teppakalum which is a island pavilion and garden and we are sad that we will be missing the Float Festival which is held here in February. Even so the place is beautiful and is nice to just stop and relax here as he walk seemed to take forever.
Our final stop of the day is to the Ghandi Museum. It's very interesting to read about the many wars dating back through the 1700's which make up such a large part of India's history including the effect and aftermath of the British Invasion.
Following a short rest after 13kms of walking we get a taxi back to the hotel and head to the rooftop for some much needed beer. Spending the rest of the night we snack on stuffed parathas, samaosas, dosa's (paneer and potato) and mixed vegetable bhaji.
We figure we have gone a little hard on the beer, as the staff seems to be having a discussion to see how many we will drink (since hey not cleared any of the bottles off our table). In the end it's a great evening and feels nice not to be cooped up in a rooms, bus or equivalent.