Day 19 - Finding Mariamman Teppakulam

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March 23rd 2007
Published: March 23rd 2007
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Mariamman TeppakulamMariamman TeppakulamMariamman Teppakulam

Artistic sun setting shot across the Tank
Today turned out to be a hard slog, the realisation has dawned that I’m now into my final week and I’ve got loads to get through. I ended up spending the best part of 10 hours ploughing through numerous performance metrics and data sources to try and produce a definitive specification to present to key stakeholders next week for sign off. Today has helped re-enforce my early career choice of not pursuing a Business Analysis path!

After work I had a few minutes to kill before dinner so I decided to stretch my legs and explore the one direction from the guest house in which I had not yet ventured.

I set out and just followed my nose for 30 minutes or so, I was on the verge of turning round, thinking I had reached the end of anything of remote interest when I decided to round the next corner and then return. Lucky for me I did. Turning the corner revealed an absolute gem of a view.

The busy streets and shops disappeared and there was a huge open square, at least 500 yards on each side, the square contained an enormous man made pool, or
Not a bad spotNot a bad spotNot a bad spot

I was surprised to discover this huge oasis in the middle of a busy, noisy city.
Tank as they are referred to here, the centre of the Tank contained an elaborate looking shrine.

After checking with Mary later, it turned out that I had found the Mariamman Teppakulam, this enormous rectangular tank is the largest of its kind in Tamil Nadu and is the scene of many religious festivals including the annual marriage of the Goddess Meenakshi to Shiva. On this occasion huge images of Meenakshi and Shiva are floated around the tank 3 times before being taken to the Meenakshi temple.

Although time was marching on and I was already late for dinner I decided to stroll around the edge of the Tank. As I was walking round I received, as is very common in Madurai, a friendly greeting of “Hi” from a child of about 7. As always, I responded likewise and carried on walking. 30 seconds later the child returned, but this time accompanied by what seemed like most of the neighbourhood kids!

I ended up spending about 30 minutes chatting to them, finding out their names, hearing how good each of them was at English, taking photographs of them, individually, in pairs, with their best friend, with their brother
My New FriendsMy New FriendsMy New Friends

No idea where this lot arrived from bt they seemed happy to meet me.
etc etc. Each photo was then examined in detail and showed to every child in turn!

Great fun and a perfect demonstration of the warmth and hospitality that is prevalent in this part of India. Not a bad photo opportunity either!

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


Best FriendsBest Friends
Best Friends

The girl on the left has recently hit the age where her hair is shaved off and offered to the Gods, hence the close crop.

The youngest member of the group didn't really have a clue what was going on. Cute though!
The BossThe Boss
The Boss

The serious girl at the back was easily the bosiest and insisted on composing and reviewing every shot.

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