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Part 10
MADURAI

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"We´re taking you to cell block 1 you son of a bitch" could be what this guard with the impressive raj mustaches has in mind. Or maybe he's simply performing his duty by trying to retain that stiff upper lip appearance which his colonial masters once boasted in good old "British" India!




This bloke would definitely have no tro- uble getting in to the most sacred of all chambers if he could only losen up a bit!



One of numerous icons hidden inside the winding labyrinthines of this mas- sive temple.



Mural paintings telling stories from the Ramayana or Mahabaratha.




One of several Ganesha statues.



Could be mistaken for a cyclopse, or almost!?




In the sultry heat, dimly lit tunnels and alleys just went on and on with thousands of pilgrims and all kinds of visitors rambling about, many of them practicing rituals or cueing up to get in with the holiest of the holy.




Inside the Tirumalai Nayak palace of Madurai.




Ancient statue comprising a total of seven different beasts, among these an elephant, a lion, a bull, a rat and three others which I leave to you to discover! These sculptures are  quite common in South Indian temples.


In front of Taj Mahal
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Quite obviously this sign, which we happened to come across on one of the streets in Madurai is simply urging you to make a local telephone call for which you are prompted to pay a fee of one Rupee, though here it appears more like an offer for anyone who's in the mood to pay for his own imprisonment!


Click on the NOTES for some hindu inspired music by
In the labyrinth!




This decorated cow you could say serves both as a tourist attrac- tion and as part of the celestial concept of the temple.




Into the inner most regions of the temple
we did not get admission.





A fertility goddess of some kind, strangely dressed yet undressed! You'd almost think she's having a hard time deciding on what to wear hanging around all day in this sticky environment while tending to her duties as a holy entity!




One of many rishis taking it easy by the holy pond.





The famous golden water lily perched among "real" water lilies in the holy pond near the mid section of the complex.





One of two holy elephants in service on the out- skirts of the temple giving devotees their blessings by touching their sculls with the tip of her trunk after a submitted coin has been passed over by her to the keeper.




Beautiful, intricate patterns lining the floors in many places, each one of them conveying their own message of ancient wisdom and of holy guidance.




Two sculpted details of the wall surrounding the premises of the Sri Meenakshi temple, these featuring a sadhu in a semi lotus posture and beside him Nandi the holy cow.





Lovely, decorated colonnades inside the palace.





On the road again, now heading by train for Trichy.