logo_small foreverfree.net.au india 2013/14


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India 2013/14 - Page 6

Riding my motorbike finally gave me access to areas that would be extremely difficult to reach with public transport.

Thanjavur featured the mos impressive of the Indian temples I had seen that far.

In the Thanjavur temple complex it's not just temples but also these two gigantic gates.

Detail inside the Thanjavur temple compound

What I really like on the temples in India is the fact that they are living monuments. Not simply museums, no, the temples are still in use for prayers, sacrifices and religious activities performed by large crowds. Large complexes like Thanjavur resemble small cities. Complete with shops and relaxation zones where families sit together and have picnic.

South of Thanjavur is another major temple city - Madurai. It would become the largest city in India I would ride my motorbike through. And traffic is pretty messy considering Madurai is a town with over a million population. However, the temple in my opinion eclipses the one in Thanjavur, Madurai temple wins the title of the most impressive temple I would visit on this India journey.

This photo shows only one of the four massive towers of the circumferential temple wall in Madurai. It is a celebration of colour, consisting of thousands of small colourful statues. There are four towers around the temple, each similar in size but showing different statues and scenarios. There was no photography allowed inside the temple but you can imagine if the outside wall is already that impressive, what would the actual temple be like?

Detail of one of the gate towers of the Madurai Temple

It was New Years Eve and I just made it to the location where I wanted to celebrate NYE - Kanyakumari, the southernmost point of the Indian mainland, the 'tip' of the Indian triangle if you want. On two small islands just of the coast you will find this colossal statue of an Indian poet and a small temple which is an important pilgrimage site. If you look close you will see the crowds on the temple island whereas no one visits the poet statue, even though I find the statue the more impressive site.

The southernmost town of India also features the southernmost cathedral.

This small rock outcrop is the actual point - the southernmost corner of mainland India.

The location offers fantastic views of the sunrise and the sunset. Both over the Indian ocean.

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(c) 2014    marco hoffmann