Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, southern India. It is also the fourth largest city in the country. It is located in the Gulf of Bengale, and it has a population of about 8 million people, so it is within the 40 largest cities in the world. Madras was part of British India. It was founded in the seventeenth century by the East India Company, to be a commercial port, and take and bring products to the UK. You can still visit the fortifications of the city, who witness the colonial presence. Madras was the capital of India's protectorate. Be sure not to come during the monsoon season, from October to December, though it is much stronger in the southwest. Madras is linked with direct flights to Europe, Air France and British Airways, also has good train connection, you can get to Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi every day. The city's bus station is enormous so be careful not to get lost in it, as it is quite easy to do so. The bus station has buses that link directly to the Pondicherry or Mahabalipuram ruins.
It was constructed between 1003 and 1010 under the reign of Rajaraja I, founder of the Chola Empire which covered all of southern India and neighboring areas, and was built to be a royal temple showing the power of the emperor. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The wall surrounding the temple is crowned by a multitude of bulls since this animal is the vehicle of Shiva . After construction it was expanded to other structures until the 17th century. It is constructed of granite and bricks and unlike most temples of South India is painted in colors.There is a tower 30 meters high and ceiling paintings are lovely and very well maintained, inside there is a statue of the bull Nandi, 25 tons, is one of the biggest statues of Nandi existing in India and is carved in 1 piece. Both the interior and the exterior is decorated with reliefs showing the 108 postures of Indian classical dance represented by Shiva. At the entrance of the temple, as in many other temples in this area, there is an elephant, if you give a coin to the elephant it blesses you with trunk giving the head
Kanchipuram is famous for its silk saris, but it is also full of temples and pilgrims who come. I had a great day, after spending 2 hours in a bus, through dust and heat, honking and even a few scares on the road ... Of all the temples, which gave us an unforgettable experience , the best was the Temple of Ekambareshvara, because that day was a holiday and when we got there it was crowded, women in their silk saris and bright colors, kids ... We had no idea. Upon entering, we saw that there are many bars of "goodies" in the courtyard of the temple itself, balloons, etc.. We were the only tourists, and people looked at us smiling, and when we brough out the camera ... many wanted to pose, even asked us how many rupees for the photos. This temple is the largest of Kanchi (so the locals call it), and the center has a sacred pond where people bathe and drink, seeking purification. All he is painted bright colors, kind Disney, as are characteristic of the temples of South India. Your gopura (tower feature that these temples), painted yellow-beige, is at least 60 m. High. A little further, there is a huge mango tree, representing Shiva and Kamakshi tree where they married, and where women go ask fertility, giving three times around its trunk. Luck also requested financial problems, or find a husband for their daughters ... Since then, the kindness of the people, their joy, and the commotion made the difference in this temple.
Mahabalipuram, which is also called Mamallapuram, is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, whose capital is Chennai (this is known under the name of Madras). Mahabalipuram was a commercial port in the seventh century, under the dynasty of the Pallavas, and its name comes from the Pallava king, Mamalla. If you visit the city, you will see temples and tons of other monuments that remain from the older centuries. It has been deemed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the monuments, we find a temple dedicated to Vishnu, the Thirukadalmallai, which was built to preserve the sculptures of the Pallavas from the damaging salt air, the descent of the Ganges, which is a huge sunken outdoor carved in a single stone block. The sculptures have as the gods came down to earth by the sacred river, whose waters allegedly have sacred powers. Arjuna also, another monolith covered with bas-reliefs, is 3 meters wide and 10 meters high. Another curiosity, the "butter ball" of Krishnais an enormous rock that balances dangerously at the top of the mountain. It is shady if you dare to try sitting underneath it. The site is 60 km from Madras, it is best to take a taxi because the bus takes too long.
Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, has the largest beach across India and the second largest in the world. It is so large that it is almost overwhelming. You could spend hours walking along the coast and soaking your feet, but it is a long walk from the road to the water. It is a sandy beach and very flat, ideal for flying kites, playing a game of football, volleyball or any other sport, or simply relax. Here there is no problem in the forests of umbrellas. There are no crowds here because it is just too big.
This place is dedicated to Meenakshi and Sundareshvara. According to legend, Madurai is the place where they got married. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites to visit in the whole of Southern India. The original temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya, but it reached its peak during the dynasty of the Nayaks who ruled from the 16th to the 18th Century. It is rectangular, surrounded by high walls that are approximately 254x237 meters tall and the total area is about 60,000 m2. 60 priests live here (in an area which is prohibited to the public) to attend the temple. Inside there are lots of large rooms, besides the sacred pond which is surrounded by columns and wall paintings dating back to the 17th Century. The main towers indicating the four entrances to the temple (situated in all the 4 corners) are decorated with over 1000 figures, painted in bright colors, which are refurbished and repainted every 12 years. The most famous building to be found in this temple is called the Hall of the Thousand Pillars, but actually there are 985, all carved in Dravidian style. This room acts as a museum, with sculptures and paintings.
It is an immense natural rock on a hillside, which is also made of stone. According to legend it represents a butter ball lost by baby Krishna, hence this curious name. It casts a large shadow, but it's a little scary to be sheltered under it, it seems that at any moment it will start rolling. Children use it as a springboard to slide down the slope. Below it there is a large meadow where people rest and can have something to drink, even with the nuisance of the cheeky monkeys who come to steal food.
This is an enormous seventh century carving in a great wall of granite (27 meters long by 9 high) and is the biggest highlight of Indian art and one of the most important works of ancient sculpture. It represents one of the most spectacular passages in Hindu mythology: the descent of the Ganges (sacred river) to earth from heaven. It comprises figures of elephants, angels and other mythological creatures. These magnificant creatures appear on the 10 rupee notes.
The "mandapams" are caves dug into the rock, and this one in particular is among the first excavated and is one of the largest. It is right next to the large mural of Penance of Arjuna, which is on your left. At the temple's entrance there is a row of pillars and inside, on the stone wall, there are various realistic portraits, the most noticeable one shows a scene of Krishna raising the Govardhana mountain to protect his family from the Indra's wrath. Another portrait shows scenes from daily life such as a cow being milked and who is licking her calf.
Mamallapuram has over 20 kms. of coast and is a fishing village where the beaches are inhabited by fishing nets and boats. Boats are constantly coming and going and there are lots of people, both locals and tourists who come to enjoy the sea. Enjoying the beach in this area is a very different concept than in the West, virtually no one bathes here, apart from in the beach resorts. There are many dead fish left by the fishermen. Many of the town's restaurants are right on the beach, literally stuck in the sand, and you can enjoy delicious fish dishes there. These premises were destroyed by the tsunami of 2004, but have recovered and are now fully operational.
This is another of the 108 temples dedicated to Shiva that exist only in this city. This particular temple is regarded as the oldest, having been built in 700 AD, during the reign of the Pallava king Rayasimha. It is surrounded by a wall of sandstone, whereas the temple is built in red sandstone. Opposite the main entrance you can see a large sculpture of the bull Nandi, which appears like it's watching you. In the temples of Mahabalipuram, the lions that appeared at the feet of the columns were sat down, whereas here the lions are on their hind legs, as if ready to defend the temple. Inside, there are small altars in honor of Shiva. In the most sacred temples, foreigners are not allowed to go in.
The Kapaleeshwarar Temple is a Shiva temple located in Mylapore, and built around the seventh century with Dravidian architecture. The temple has many shrines, and six daily rituals at different times of day, from 5:30 am, until 10 pm. Also there are four annual festivals on their calendar. If you are up there, talk to Nagu; he can help :)
There are 3 cathedrals in the world built over the tomb of an apostle. St. Peter in the Vatican, Santiago de Compostela and the third and perhaps the least known is the Cathedral of St. Thomas in Chennai. It is certainly the smallest of the three, it's much more simple and unobtrusive, but a representative element of the presence of Christianity in India from the very beginning.
When you're behind the camera you don't see things the way everyone else sees them. The work of these women is priceless. What I remember most is the sound of the looms, in the workshop I did not hear anything else than more than a dozen women working at a frantic pace.
The fabric quality is spectacular and when you see the price, at the end of the mini-tour, t doesn't add up, in my opinion. That is, in the sense that it is worth much more. If there weren't cotton threads hanging outside, one would never know that just a few meters away exists this world.
It is a small temple, monolithic, excavated from the rock, this type of temple are called "mandapams". It dates from the seventh century. It was built during the Pallava dynasty. It is dedicated to the God Vishnu and the goddess of the earth Bhumi. The entrance has columns and semi-columns with lions on the bases. Inside, the walls are decorated with reliefs, naturalistic art, examples of Pallava dynasty.
This NGO is supported by five fundamental pillars which help them take poor small villages out of their situation and make them sustainable, clean, etc. This system began with donations, mainly from a Swedish business, but now continues to finance itself largely by the interests of microcredit. If anyone wants to visit the NGO, here is my email: firstname.lastname@example.org website http://www.hihindia.org/handinhand/our_model/the_five_pillar_programme/
This palace dates back to the 1550s and it was built by the Nayak of Madurai. Now a days, it houses a museum where we can find an art gallery related to the Chola dynasty, where they have a collection of figures in bronze. There is also a library with old copies in different languages, poetry, science, and medicine as well as some drawings of landscapes and various Indian cities (no photos are allowed). On the upper floor we can find a huge whale skeleton, although I do not understand what it is doing in this museum, but there it lays. I must highlight the throne room that has walls decorated with paintings. The general maintenance of the building is quite precarious.
Walking around the city we appered at the bus station, it was packed full of people, buses, children and cows. At the station we could also find many food stalls, which made the wait more bearable. We did not take any bus but I think that it must be quite complicated since all the information signs are written in Hindi and box office ticket sales scattered around the grounds. I must also highlight the bathrooms...