Looking out of the aeroplane and pearing down onto the city of Madras, made me wonder....
where on earth is there room for a plane to land??
The city was dense and vast, as far as you could make out the smog smoothered the skyline of a hugely active and highly populated city. Heaps of dust piled onto every corner of every building and a kind of haziness to the air which you could almost smell from 15,000 ft up!
From the minute we got out of passport patrol, through arrivals and into our car to our hotel, I instantly regretted not going to university to study English Literature and creative language.
I literally dont have the writting skills, vocabulary or descriptive abilities to draw a picture for you in words.
The two words i would use are - beautiful mayhem
In summary - Traffic beyond busy
People beyond the thousands
Dust so thick it could have been snow
Cows chilling out by the road side taking up all the pavement
Goats trying to find a place on the road side where the cows werent hogging the pavement
Buildings upon buildings amongst buildings
And people pissing and s***ting on the road.
That is just the visual.... Then the smells, then the noise, then the 40c heat, and then and only then - are we getting close to describing what our first experience of India was like.
We, almost shamfully, booked ourselfs into a lovely 5* Hotel, for the same amount as it would have cost us for two bunk beds in a hostel in Perth.
We settled into our comfortbale surroundings, had a snooze, had a work out in the gym and dined on the roof of our hotel, looking down from 200meters onto the craziness of Chennai below us.
I felt terrible, knowing we were in slippers and dressing gowns, eating fine Indian foods and sipping from our mini bar, while thousands outside were begging and starving.......
Still a visit to the sauna and steam room, and i soon felt relaxed.
We visited Kapaleeshwarar Temple. A temple of Shiva located in Mylapore, a suburb of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu.The temple was built around the 7th century CE. There are over 3,000 Gods depicted and grafted into the huge colums of the temple, all painted in typical vibrant Indian colours.
The Panguni Peruvizha festival was on, which meant that people from all over India were visiting the temple and praying to Shiva and waiting to be blessed. The crowds of bobbing heads were immense.
The naughty street kids getting beaten by Police for attempting to steal the shoes of people who has left them outside to enter the temple was like a scene out of Slum Dog Millionaire.
The Indian People have such a passion for their religion and showing theie respects for the statues of all the manifestations of Shiva.
I think many were as interested in this couple wondering around who looked a little bit like Posh and Becks. Maybe the boy was Justin Bieber. Either way - we got stared at A LOT.
The temple was amazing but it seems i am prettier.
We learnt all about what certain jewellery means on females and which colour bindhis represent what, and we even got snapped by a journalist who wanted to publish our picture in the newspaper for the next day.
seriously - im not Justin Bieber.... I may get a tshirt printed.
Really, Chennai was a warm up gig for the main event. We knew we were back to buisiness when we spent 10 hours travelling on a bus to Bangalore which was 4 hours away. Bollywood Music blearing from speakers above your head, the TVs showing Indian Movies with hilariously translated subtitles and toilet stops along the way which were so filthy and horrific that they should be illegal.
We are back in the real world of backpacking it seems, and we are keen to see what the rest of India has to offer.
Peace and Panguni Peruvizha festivals
Nic and Katie xx