Yesterday saw me heading to Kanchipuram in a shared taxi. The Canon 5d mk2 and its lenses at my feet as the taxi negotiated the potholed “main” road. It is all of two hours hard driving along a route seriously affected by torrential rain and flooding last month as well as huge road constructions in a town on route, where a flyover is being built to take the traffic across the railway.
Non Hindus are banned from the inner sanctums of the main temples which is a great shame, but there is plenty to see on a day of half day tour of the main sites.
Of the three temples I saw the Sri Ekambaranathar was the most interesting with its old mango tree, with branches representing the Vedas and a shrine beneath it. Luckily whilst I was there a pujari opened the curtains and performed a puja for a family group. Another pujari in another part of the temple, led a puja for a toddler who could only be described as the “cutest little girl yet” and a newly married couple were waiting in their finery for what I did not understand. The bride was called Shanti, the groom’s name I did not catch but I managed to give Shanti the garland I had been given whilst I viewed the lingam in another part of the huge temple under its 59m gopuram. So – “Shanti Shanti Shanti – Shanti”, may you have a long and happy marriage, be loved and cared for, and have as many children as YOU want.
After the excitement of Sri Ekambaranathar, the other temples were a bit more tame, but the carvings all around the Vaikunta Perumal and the enormous pillared hall of the Devarajaswami temples were memorable.
I also did a few silk related shots, as Kanchipuram is famous for first rate quality silk saris woven with gold patterns from threads of real gold! Eyewateringly expensive Mummydaddys quake at the thought of buying one for daughter dear. Talk about weddings – there was one in Mahabalipuram last week. I was told it cost 35,000euros. The fireworks went on for ages!
All that and back to Mahabalipuram for a shower and then dinner at the Buddha Café – quite a nice day all things considered.
Follow me back to Mahabalipuram – https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/mahabalipuram-a-legacy-in-stone/