Asia | India | Tamil Nadu – fire and vulcano’s
Pondicherry was a nice break, full of bagettes & pastries which were a nice treat after weeks on the road. i also bumped into somebody i knew from England, which was quite remarkable in a country of 1 billion.
i said so long to my dutch friends, arranging to hopefully meet up later.
I then caught a bus to Tiruvannamalai which stands at the bottom of an extinct vulcano. There was a big festival here last week on the last full moon, where they light a huge vat of oil on top of the vulcano. i thought i had missed this, and was suprised (and delighted) to see the fire on the first night here.
The temple complex here is very impressive, the 4 gates all have huge gopta’s, the largest of which must be 200 feet high. With the vulcano as a backdrop it is most spectacular.
the rest of the town is a bit industrial, narrow streets basic stalls and a feel of a real indian town not geared up for tourists. there was a very important saint who died about 80 years ago and a few ashrams seem to be in his name.
i am moving on tomorrow for Madurai which is the 2nd city of Tamil Nadu.