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November 18th 2018
Published: November 19th 2018
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Landing in MaduraiLanding in MaduraiLanding in Madurai

Thunderheads popping up over Madurai.
November 18, 2018 (Madurai, India) We left Dhaka and it took the better part of the day Saturday to get to Madurai, located in Tamil Nadu province in southern India. Landing among a series of thunderheads, the weather here is noticeably warmer and humid than Dhaka. Notably different, we've gone from a Muslim culture to a Hindu culture and into a more developed country which Bangladesh is working toward. The goal here is to visit and research the Aravind Eye Hospitals and its affiliates LAICO (consulting arm for AEH) and AuroLab (manufacturing of ophthalmic supplies/equipment). We are being housed at the Aravind guest house which offer great accommodations near their facilities. Sunday was a day off to explore a bit and I was able to see some of the local sites: the Thrumalai Naiker Palace (built in 1636) by the king integrating Hindu, Islamic and Italian design. We then went to the famous Meenakshi Temple which, along with the Taj Mahal, was nominated for one of the 7 wonders. Unfortunately, in the last few months, cameras and cell phones have been prohibited so I can't share what we saw in photos. Impressive design, sculpture and massive in scope. The markets here are colorful, lively and entertaining. women in colorful saris, the children with big white grins, the noisy bargaining in each stall! We took a tuk-tuk (scooter taxi) ride to add to the excitement and add to the authenticity of the local experience. The vegetarian southern Tamil diets are delicious - had lunch at a local hotspot - learned to eat rice with only my fingers for served on trays lined with banana leaves. To work in the morning - excited to explore the Aravind legend.

Additional photos below
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The Meenakshi TempleThe Meenakshi Temple
The Meenakshi Temple

14 towers (gopurams) of exquisite stucco statues (the largest has over 1000) in pastel colors

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