Heading for the temple city of
Trichy in north eastern Tamil nadu, we passed through valleys
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
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 our
Apparently it is to the belief of most hindus that
people of the west are out to "steel" their holy monu- ments by
of these items to the west world press and thus transforming
(as they see it) commercial junk. At times
it felt almost
as if we were carrying out the virtues of Dame Edna, poking our
into peoples private affairs (or should I say parts) while knowing we
kindly paid the admission fee (along side of all the other expenses)
for bringing in our "magic box" stupid as it may seem!
on the NOTES to listen to the
priest play his
View from a bus
window while horns and sig- nals of a thousand kinds were hooting madly
around and the driver had this pumping Indian techno music turned
on so loud that it was in fact quite nerve-wracking! The streets
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
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
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
in the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple!
Down town Trichy.
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
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.
the street outside
hotel, this man and other laborers were
preparing chapaties by the scores while happily discussing all sorts of
with us. The actual definition of what is a "chapati" and what is a
bread differs quite a lot in Southern India from what tends to
be the norm in Indian restaurants here in Sweden, while
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
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 Rock fort temple in
all its glory, being the one and only elevated spot in the
otherwise so feature- less surroundings of Trichy (Tiruchirappalli).
the next set of PICS!