India
Cherai

Here you’ll find travel reports about Cherai. Discover travel destinations in India of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

4 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    Flowers are part of daily life

    November 30, 2017 in India

    In every hotel we have been, we are welcomed with a thumbprint of red or saffron paste and a flower necklace. Women wear fresh flowers entwined in their hair. Outside every shrine and temple are stalls selling garlands of flowers to be used as offered gifts to the gods. Fresh flowers figure prominently in Indian life.

    We walked through a raucous wholesale outdoor flower market in the morning. The peak time for the market is at 4 AM; we are there at 8AM and I can’t even imagine how there could be room for 4 times more people and vehicles here a few hours ago. This is where the street vendors, hotels, and restaurants come to buy their supplies. At this market alone, 6-10 tons of fresh flowers are sold daily. There are piles of red roses, golden chrysanthemum, fragrant white jasmine, and light pink lotus bud lying on blue plastic sheeting for inspection.

    The alleys are narrow and muddy as it had been raining overnight. It is noisy and active, each stall deep in haggling between buyers and sellers, while small pick up trucks spilling over with large plastic bags of just-purchased flowers snake through the narrow alleyways making deep mud ruts.

    Like almost everything else in India it is sensory overload—sweet fragrance, sucking mud, a saturation of colors, juxtaposed against the backdrop of rotting garbage behind the corrugated metal lean-to.
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  • Day12

    Our trip wasn’t all temples; we also sampled south India traditional performing arts in he evenings.

    Kalaripayattu Martial Art show. Another traditional art form, the young men begin this specialized training in early in life. With a heavy emphasis on gymnastics and wrestling, paired fighters enter the arena to battle with swords, sticks, and daggers, the match ending when one of them is put into an inescapable hold. There is a bit of showmanship too—a fighter somersaults over 5 people and another jumps through progressively smaller rings of fire. It was a fascinating and impressive show.

    Music Recital. Reminded me of a jazz trio, playing several selections of upbeat toe-tapping music (called ragas) on the Veena, a gourdlike string instrument, the Mradangam two-ended drum, and the morsing mouth harp.

    Classic dance. A brief recital by a 20 year old girl and boy, she studying dance since age 3; he from age 10. Through expressive movements they tell the Hindu stories of the gods.

    Khatakahli drama show. A traditional Kerala art form dating from the 16th century that involves elaborate makeup and expressive facial gestures. The men putting on the makeup before the show—which can take up to an hour—is part of the attraction. The master of ceremonies offered a short explanation of the rigorous training the performers go through and a demonstration of how they express the 9 emotions through facial, hand, and body gesture. Traditionally this type of performance lasts 6-8 hours. For us, thankfully, they provide an abbreviated 30 minute version: the story of a god and a beautiful girl who tries to seduce him. She is in disguise as she is actually a demon and when he finds out he cuts her head off. The entire thing is done to drumming and chanting with the actors dressed in elaborate costumes and acting out their roles with the exaggerated facial and hand gestures that they perfect over years of training.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Cherai

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