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Embedded Photos: 1.South Gopura, Srirangam Temple, Trichy, Tamil Nadu 2.Internal Shrine, Srirangam Temple, Trichy, Tamil Nadu 3.Mural, Srirangam Temple, Trichy, Tamil Nadu
Two Years & Twice Around the World...  
Srirangam Temple, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India
SRI LANKA Colombo Oct 25 Oct 26 Oct 27-29 Nuwara Eliya Oct 30 Oct 31 Kandy Nov 1-5 (1) Nov 1-5 (II) Polonnaruwa Nov 6 Sigiriya & Dambulla Nov 7 Colombo Nov 8

INDIA Ft.Cochin Nov 9-15 (I) Nov 9-15 (II) Nov 16 Nov 17-18 Madurai Nov 19 Nov 20 Tiruchirapalli Nov 21 Nov 22 Nov 23 Chennai Nov 24 Nov 25-26 Nov 27-28 Ft.Cochin Nov 29 Lakshadweep Nov 30-Dec 4 (I) Nov 30-Dec 4 (II) Trans-India Train Dec 5-7 (I) Dec 5-7 (II) Siliguri Dec 8 Darjeeling Dec 9 Dec 10-13 Dec 14 Sikkim Dec 15 Dec 16-20 Dec 21-23 Dec 24 Dec 25 Darjeeling Dec 26 Dec 27-Jan 2 Siliguri Jan 3 Jaigon (Bhutan) Jan 4 Kolkata Jan 5-6

THAILAND Bangkok Jan 6-13 (I) Jan 6-13 (II) Jan 6-13 (III)

Srirangam Temple, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, INDIA, November 2004

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November 21. MADURAI to TRICHY (TIRUCHIRAPALLI)  Our train to Trichy didn't leave until evening so ended up paying for another 12 hours in our hotel.  We spent part of the day just watching some TV but the weather was beautiful so we had to get back out to visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple again.  In the bright sun and against the blue skies the colorful gopuras were far more stunning.  This time we entered from the west side, with our shoes already stuffed into bags but wearing socks this time.  Passing under the gopura crowned gate we found ourselves in a rather desolate "street" that wrapped around the entire temple complex.  There were no neSrirangam Temple, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, Indiaarby entrancing into the shrine areas of the complex so we walked along the street towards the south entrance.  Along the back of the temple, against the outside wall, was a stable for the sacred cows.  One was on the street, tied to the stable wall and munching happily on its pile of greens.  It right horn was painted red and its left was painted green.  These were ceremonial cows and had a pretty good life for bovine.  Naturally they left "presents" along the street as well so  I was glad to be wearing my socks this time.  

We entered the interior part of the temple from the south gate.  In contrast to our quiet stroll around the temple "street" it was as lively as ever inside.  We retraced our steps from the previous day, taking in more details from the frenzied scene of Hindu worship.  This time we went through the shopping stalls more slowly and looked at the plethora of goods for sale.  The shopkeepers tried to lure us over to see their goods but there wasn't any high pressure selling.  We found a disco deity to take home to my sister, a blinking Ganesh, and created a small collection out of the variety of deity stickers being sold.  I picked up a few small tins with Hindu shapes hammered through the bottom.  They shake rice flower through the holes to leave the image on the ground, like we had seen at our Kathakali performance in Fort Cochin.  

We left the temple from the north gate and found a nearby art store with a rooftop that looked out over the top of the temple.  They were eager to show you their view in hopes that you could be enticed into buying something as you took the stairs back down through several stories of bronze statues, carpets, and textiles.  They had some nice things but the exclusively touristSrirangam Temple, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India clientele told they were probably not the best deal in town.    

From the temple we grabbed a tuk tuk back to the hotel and indulged in an afternoon nap.  We had a long evening ahead of us.  It made sense to be well rested before we had to check out around 5:30.  At check out time we hauled our backpacks up to the hotel restaurant and hung out there while we ate some pulao for dinner and enjoyed a final look at the temple.  When it was finally time for us to leave we stuffed ourselves into a cab and headed to the station.  Our seats were in 3-tier A/C carriage on the 8:30 Pandyan Express, because that was pretty much all that was available.  As soon as we boarded some people started to get their beds ready, which seemed a tad early since it wasn't even 9:00pm yet.  Fortunately our section was full of some nice older men, dressed neatly in dhotis and pressed shirts.  They didn't speak much English but were friendly.  They had all brought their own sheets and pillows and after the train had been under way for a while they slowly started to sort out their beds for the night.  The middle bunk doubled as a backrest for the bottom bunk during the day.  It lifted up and hooked into place but didn't leave enough room to sit underneath.  We had the bottom and middle bunks so we just left the back down and read while we waited for our station to come up.  By the time everybody had settled down to sleep and the compartment became quiet there was just a couple of more hours to go.  The man in the middle bunk opposite us tried to talk to us a bit.  In an old English, probably only still found in India, he inquired "Your good name?"  We eventually turned out the lights so they could all sleep.  He told us not to bother but it didn't seem fair to keep them up for two more hours.  

As it got close to our station we hoisted our packs and hobbled down the aisle to wait at the end of the compartment.  Quite a few people got off at Trichy but Srirangam Temple, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, Indiathe area around the station was pretty quiet.  Our hotel wasn't far from the station but it always felt adventurous finding our way in a new city.  The neighborhood became a bit dark and industrial looking before we found our hotel tucked behind a nearby wall.  I was beginning to question where we were at all when I barely noticed the sign.  There was someone at the front desk who showed us to our room, a large but dark and sort of creepy room.  The fan over the bed was either creating a wind tunnel above us or was off, which gave the mosquitoes free-range to devour us.  It wasn't a particularly good night.  We left the fan on and then turned it off and then back on again.  With the morning chill I just got up and wrapped myself thoroughly in my sheet and snuggled into an old leather chair on the opposite side of the room.  The fan was just too cold.  The chair wasn't great but I slept some and the sheet kept the mosquitoes at bay.