A Break From The Insanity
September 25, 2008 4:54 AM   Subscribe

Here's an article and slideshow to help escape the worries of the world. A great article and slideshow about the Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu (Southeastern India). (NYTimes)
posted by SeizeTheDay (8 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
...seems like everyone's kind of enjoying the insanity. I liked this post though, FWIW.
posted by Jofus at 8:35 AM on September 25, 2008

There is no escape.

Tamil Nadu is great, I go there every year, but you do have to come back.

Also, I think that the worries of the world are that much more in your face in India. Crushing poverty, disease, the extreme disparity between the old world and the new. It is all there, swirling around, unlike my American existence where the worries of the world are passive aggressively under the surface.

It is, however, so inspirational to see how the people there can be so happy in those circumstances. That kind of perspective is almost impossible to see here. In that sense, you're able to (ideally) transcend your worries - not let them get to you.

I visited a primary school there - almost no textbooks, traditional school materials, no fancy playground, everything was simplified in the extreme. But there on the blackboard in every single classroom was the attendance for the day and the previous week. 0 absent. Maybe 2 in the entire school. For kids living in a rural area where the old tradition was for them to work, that is just amazing.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 9:00 AM on September 25, 2008

Also, don't ask for your chai over ice. It borders on insulting.

Because no one has any ice.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 9:01 AM on September 25, 2008

The stone temples of Mammallapuram (Mahabalipuram) are unique. Rather than building their temples from the ground up like everyone else, the people here carved them straight out of the earth.

Amazing. Didn't know that.
Almost like rock graffiti. Oooh. Incredible it was carved directly into the rock, especially in that equatorial heat.

Nice visual vacation and trip to Mahabalipuram. Thanks SeizeTheDay.
posted by nickyskye at 9:08 AM on September 25, 2008

I seem to remember that Mahabalipuram was actually a training school for carving temples, and hence you find many unfinished pieces.
posted by dhruva at 9:13 AM on September 25, 2008

Because no one has any ice.

I think the mango juice man down the street has some.
posted by ageispolis at 9:14 AM on September 25, 2008

Shame there were no photos of my favourites - the temples in Tanjore & Chidambaram.

I love the shots of the devotees inside the temples. At least a couple of times a day (typically, sunrise & sunset) people gather to view the idols in the inner sanctum. The gods are believed to be 'incarnated' within them, and there is a massive buildup of drums & other instruments, as the pandits do the preparations (lots of incense, candles & fire), and when the god is finally revealed everybody goes absolutely batshitinsane, bowing & namaste-ing & so on.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:56 PM on September 25, 2008

look peaceful
posted by jakubsnm at 10:12 AM on September 26, 2008

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