Buffalo in Benares
Part 11

For more pics of our latest journey
to INDIA, click on the Image!


Heading for the temple city of Trichy in north eastern Tamil nadu,  we passed through valleys with beautiful mountain ranges on both sides and lush rain forests inveigled in misty clouds. We were seated in an AC coach with families and hindus of all generations around us. Towards the end of the trip torrents of rain suddenly came pouring down and everyone became hastily preoccupied with trying to pull down the blinds to avoid getting drenched.

Beautifully carved sacred figures among hundreds of similar sculptures on the gopuram leading into the titanic compound of the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Trichy (Tiruchirappalli).

Details of the rich ornamentation inside the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple. Being about as huge as the one in Madurai, this one could probably compete for beauty and splendor. However, while not being half as busily attended as the temple of Madurai, it seemed the priests had a negative approach to visiting westerners, at several occasions actually drawing their curtains on us or waving and shouting as soon as they caught sight of ourcamera. Apparently it is to the belief of most hindus that people of the west are out to "steel" their  holy monu- ments by selling photos of these items  to the west world press and thus transforming them into (as they see  it) commercial junk. At times it felt almost as if we were carrying out the virtues of Dame Edna, poking our camera into peoples private affairs (or should I say parts) while knowing we had kindly paid the admission fee (along side of all the other expenses) for bringing in our "magic box" stupid as it may seem!

Click on the NOTES to listen to the
priest play his senai!

View  from a bus window while horns and sig- nals of a thousand kinds were hooting madly from all around and the driver had this pumping Indian techno music turned on so loud that it was in fact quite nerve-wracking! The streets of  this city were among the rowdiest and dirtiest we had ever encountered and yet, in the midst of it all there were kids playing, families preparing food and peasants and animals moving about as if nothing could have ever distracted them.

"Welcome inside and meet King Midas's embellis- hed  family"! But very kindly leave your dirty pan- taloons on the outside or Doctor Ranganathas- wamy may have you deported!

The golden dome of the Krishna temple on the
Rock fort hill.

The last steps leading up to the Hanuman temple. In the vicinity  of the stairs two men were undertaking a ritual by smashing coconuts with all their strength into a trough.

Another holy elephant, rather cruelly chained to this confined, little area in conjunction with the staircases leading up to the temple.

Click on the NOTES to listen to devotees chanting
the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple!

Down town Trichy.

Previous page!
In India there are people all over the place, even occasionally sitting on the rail road tracks. Once in 1997, on our journey from Calcutta up to the Himalayas, the train had to stop at several occasions to avoid running over herds of grazing goats while there were even rumors about a segment of rail having been stolen which caused for a major delay! On this, our latest journey things were seldom that dramatic though we noticed the engine drivers usually kept their signals going non stop both night and day, just to play it safe.

Finally we arrived at Trichy train station where the usual haggling with rickshaw drivers began which eventually brought us to a hotel which seemed decent enough although we had to urge them to fix a thing or two before we could settle in.

A night stall with night workers and other nocturnal pedestrians out for a bite.

Carina trying to find some place to eat in the chaotic city of Trichy.

On the street outside a luxury hotel, this man and other laborers were preparing chapaties by the scores while happily discussing all sorts of issues with us. The actual definition of what is a "chapati" and what is a "nan" bread differs quite a lot  in Southern India from what tends to be  the norm in Indian restaurants here in Sweden, while there are numerous variations of bread like puri, paratha, parantha and so on.

Ancient mural painting in one of few (for foreig- ners) unrestricted areas of the Sri Ranganathas- wamy temple.

Yes there are people just about everywhere in India, not least in and around religious venues such as here in the watch tower enclosing the Hanuman temple at the top of the Rock fort.

A view from the Hanuman temple on the summit of the Rock fort hill  facing the gigantic Sri Ranganathaswamy temple area with its countless gopurams and smaller temple buildings spread out in the distance.

The stairs leading up to the Rock fort temple are many and sporadically lit up by candles along the way.

The Rock fort temple in all its glory, being the one and only elevated spot in the otherwise so feature- less surroundings of Trichy (Tiruchirappalli).

In front of Taj Mahal
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next set of PICS!