Ken and Desley in India
Chennai (Ramakrishna Mutt Temple, Kapaleeshwarar Temple and Marina Beach)
A good day in Chennai today, starting with a Masala Dosa and very nice milk tea for breakfast and then off by Auto Rickshaw to the Ramakrishna Mutt Temple for a look-see - with a name like this you would have to check it out surely. This is a relatively new building and it was being repainted inside and out whilst we were there. If you look at the photo's you may agree that it resembles a large fancy, pale pink wedding cake. This Temple caters for any faith and whilst we don't yet understand the background of the place there was a full size statue of what / who we assume is / was Ramakrishna - will have to look this up on the Net. The building next door (also run by this Temple) looked to be a free medical clinic. A short walk from here is the Kapaleeshwarar Temple and what an interesting & popular place it is. The buildings in this complex are of what's called the Dravidian style - i.e, they have three dimensional figures crowded all over them (see the pictures). After a quick 'Thums Up' it was off to the famous Marina Beach - a broad 13klm stretch of white sand leading down to the waters of the Bay of Bengal. No-one swims here as it is deemed to be too dangerous due to rips and unpredictable waves. A local told us that the Government had banned swimming here due to the danger. This area copped it severely in the 2004 tsunami. Not much happens on the beach during the day but on Sunday evenings it is apparently crowded with people enjoying the breeze, a stroll and some kite flying. There are many food carts, minature Ferris Wheels and the like left covered on the beach in preparation for Sundays. After this it was back to the Hotel for an Indian style lunch of Chappathy, vegetable Kuruma, sambar rice, curd rice & pickle - plus an unusual salted chilli that was very nice. Up in the room now enjoying the very effective air-con and watching cable TV on the flat screen telly provided. Needless to say, this Hotel is much better than the place in Hyderabad - yay!