Apr 27, 2011

India - Madurai/Pondicherry/Mamallapuram

We left the North of India to go South East. We landed in Madurai and it felt like a different country. In Northern India we visited the must-see sights of a classic tour in the country. Tourism seems less industrialized in the South and the presence of the Bay of Bengal brings a cooler atmosphere.

Madurai possesses a spectacular hindu temple complex called Sri Meenakshi Temple. This huge sight of six hectares is a strange ensemble of corridors, open spaces with sculpted pillars, golden statues and shrines, fully decorated and painted in the most garish colors.

The city is also a textile centre which History was marked by Gandhi's decision, in 1921, to start wearing only the khadi which looks like a big dipper to us. In fact only in Southern India, we saw men wearing this homespun cloth.

A memorial museum is dedicated to Gandhi in town, where is kept the long loincloth Gandhi was wearing when he was killed. The museum illustrates the whole story of the two hundrer years fight for independance against British colonisation.


Our next stop was for a former French colony: Pondicherry now Puducherry. The French colonial quartier with its big mansions full of tree flowers has a characteristic charm. We were really happy to find some sort of French restaurant there. And finally Luis was able to eat a beef steak in the country of sacred cows!

Ecole française

The small town is organized around the seashore. It is really relaxing to walk around the straight wide streets full of vegetation. There are not that many cars, only some autorickshaws going around. Just the perfect place to spend a couple of days!

Seafront promenade


Mamallapuram is an easy-going village between Pondicherry and Chennai (the former Madras) where we have to go to take our plane to Thailand. We ended up staying in Mamallapuram more than we had initially planned, to enjoy the tropical beach and the peacefulness. Like real holidays, we went to the beach every day! :)

Still officially in the dry season, the weather seemed a lot like the beginning of the monsoon, the rainy period. It was raining every night while, during the day, the heavy temperature was cooled by some clouds hiding the sun.

This village was striken by the 2004 tsunami but is pretty well reconstructed. Some beachfront restaurant put up the before/after photos. Still dozens of fishermen pull in their boats on the beach every afternoon when they come back with prolific catch.

But Mamallapuram is more famous for its tradition of stone carving and some ancient monolithic rock carvings:

Packing some statues...

 The Five Rathas, monolitic cut-rocked temples

The Shore Temple facing the Bay of Bengal

Arjuna's Penance


Could you help us to find the name of this fruit?

After drinking the juice, you eat its heart..


  1. C'est TROP beau!! le fruit ressemble beaucoup à une noix de coco, non? ici à paris il faisait plutôt chaud et ça revient au temps parisien, gris et frais...PROFITEZ BIEN!!! Ces dernières photos de l'Inde sont celles qui me plaisent le plus de ce pays. BISOUS! Claire-E.

  2. Amigo Luís,
    Espero que tudo esteja a correr pelo melhor e que a viagem esteja a correr do jeito que esperavas.

    Obrigado por nos brindares com as belas fotos da tua viagem.

    Nuno Brochado

  3. Ola Sr Nuno, muito obrigado pelo comentario. Ficamos igualmente muito satisfeitos de saber que o pessoal adere e visita o blog.
    Tudo de bom, um grande abraco!

  4. Mmh, pour nous, les noix de coco sont plus petites, rondes et poilues.. Le mystère reste entier!;) Bisous la parisienne! :))

  5. Des photos de vous !