Tuesday, March 08, 2011

#474 Unspeakable Names

For me there's something magic about visiting a place I can't pronounce. And from Chennai, we took a trip to Kanchipuram and Mamallapuram. So that's double magic right there.

Turns out Kanchipuram is so much of a "Temple City" that it is sometimes called the "City of 1000 Temples".  Most were built between the 9th and 14th centuries back when people said things like "City of 1000 Temples".  Now in the 21st Century, we'd say "City of 1K Temples" or "City of 1K Temples presented by Doritos" if we were even inclined to get off Facebook long enough make the effort.

On our trip, we did not count all these temples, but that 1K number could be correct since we have experience in not counting temples. In 2006, we were lucky to visit the temple city of Bagan in Burma.  We were younger then with more energy, so we have no excuse, but we didn't count the temples there either. I would say more than 1000 temples are there and UNESCO agrees.
Suddenly I have an urge to compare and contrast these two temple cities. But I've learned this sort of feeling always happens after a few months of the academic immersion that is Semester At Sea and if I lie down for a while, the feeling fades.

So I'll just quietly post some of our Kanchipuram pictures.

Yes, this religious icon needs further explanation.
Yours in saving the Mamallapuram photos for the next post,

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