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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Greenbank pool with coconuts

We manage to cycle into Pondicherry on delightful quiet rural roads, avoiding the truly horrid highway 32 (we were forced to use it to cross a river yesterday). Farmers are struggling in drought conditions. In Tamil Nadu rainfall for the most important  NE winter monsoon is 62% short of normal, and last summer’s SW monsoon … Continue reading »

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Through the Cauvery delta

      Brihadeeswarar is a really impressive Hindu temple, dedicated to Shiva in Thanjavur.  The central gopura is 60m tall, no wonder it’s called “Big Temple” on road signs!  It was built by Rajaraja I (985–1014), a powerful leader in the Cholas dynasty (these were the guys who ruled southern India for over 1,000 … Continue reading »

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Marvellous marble

  Road signs show that Chennai is only 350km from here – so close!! We will detour through settlements from Pandyas, Cholas, Vijayanagar (kings of Hampi), and Nyak dynasties (yes Charles, yet more temples) and hopefully a beach resort or two! While I anticipate the pleasure of family and friends, and my own bed (and … Continue reading »

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Madurai

We bounced along a levee and found quiet lanes to reach the large city of Madurai, one of the oldest cities in South Asia (2,500). It’s river, the Vaigai is a smelly struggling stream in a wide, littered river bed waiting for the Monsoon rains (the current drought is the worst since 1901 ‘India Times’ … Continue reading »

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Pissed!

 This will make you laugh! Pamban bridge connects India to a large island that peters to a sand spit and tiny islands just short of Sri Lanka. It fact one of those islands is the shortest land boundary between any two countries. The bridge is a tourist attraction with dozens of wealthy Indians leaning on … Continue reading »

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Industrial India

The Kaumaram sect of Hinduism worships lord Muruga, the god of war. It’s popular here in southern Tamil India as we discover at the ancient Murugan Temple, site of a bloody battle, in Tiruchendur. There are 100s of devotees who queue to make offerings, then bathe in holy well water to cleanse themselves after a … Continue reading »

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Un-enchanting chanting!

Kanyakumari has a Land’s End tackiness with its dozens of souvenir stalls and ferry boat trips to Vivekananda Rock. But it is also a pilgrimage site for Christians, Hindus and a large group of chanting Russian Hari Krishnas teaching Indians how to pray!! (We sneak into the foyer of their hotel to use it’s WiFi … Continue reading »

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