My next visit was to Madurai, the second larget city in Tamilnadu founded on the banks of the river Vaigai, a city that has been inhabited for more than 2 millenia.
I landed at the Thirumalai Nayak Mahal, locally known as The Mahal (bungalow) which was a pleasure palace built by King Thirumalai Nayak. Once you enter through the massive doorway, you are greeted by this pavilion and well, a human being for scale. As usual, the critics never stop arguing about the finer aspects of the architecture. This was what they were arguing about, I guess.
There is no dearth of people who want to take companion images for posterity, each one waiting their turn to be alone with the monument/throne/sculpture, wherever they go. Next stop was the famous temple of the triple breasted, fish eyed Goddess of Meenakshi. For the legend behind the temple (which is quite elaborate) and touristy postcard photos, visit here and here.
Devotion is for the young and newly wed,and for the old and retired too. (It was dastardly dark in there and I didn’t want to disturb the man’s prayer with flash.)
Yours truly, with classmates, in one of the many pillared hallways of the ancient temple.
Well. couldn’t resist missing this lady lighting her lamps (hence the flash).
The famous Hall of Thousand Pillars.
Human activity fades to evanescence when compared to these immortal poems in stone.
The main deity, Lord Shiva in his dancer image and his consort, Parvati.
And as usual, the reactions to this exemplary epitome of the skill of man confronting the tenacity of stone, vary from wonder, weariness and worry.
PS. Kindly check out the other images of the temple in other websites, I am afraid my images are not doing justice to the architectural marvel that I witnessed.