Night Market in MaduraiNovember 28, 2017 in India
The internet at our last location was very difficult. We spent two days in Thanjavur (highlights that I’ll have to update you on later) and are now in Madurai for the next two days. Madurai, the oldest inhabited city in India, has a population of 1.4 million making it only the 4th largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu which is the area we have been traveling for the last week. It is nicknamed ‘temple city’ and is home to a very significant 17th century temple which we are going to see today.
Last night we walked around the night market, wending our way through throngs of pilgrims, families, shoppers, and sellers crammed into long narrow corridors in the centuries-old massive granite pavilion next to the temple that now serves as an indoor market space. The labyrinth of alleyways are organized around sections where all the same goods are sold. A long alley of gold braid and beads for dresses. An alley of men sewing dresses and shirts on foot pedal sewing machines. Another long row overflowing with brass temple ware: candlesticks, pots, and tiny bowls to hold the lighted oil candles. A long row of booksellers with school books in Tamil, Hindi, and English for kindergarten up to graduate level stacked up precariously high in boxes behind them. And my favorite, the huge ‘kitchen store,’ several alleys of bowls, molds, strainers, utensils, huge aluminum and iron pots, and cast iron skillets that stand as high as my shoulder. Talk about ‘iron chef’!
The area we are in now is inland from where we had been the previous week. It is a very tropical and prolific agricultural area. We passed cashew farms, coconut groves, banana plantations, rice fields, plus small groups of wandering cows, goats, and chickens. Our current hotel is on the side of a hill overlooking the city of Madurai and as I did my yoga on the veranda this morning I could hear chanting, drumming, bells tinkling—the sounds of a temple city welcoming the day.
Here are pics from the night market and the view from our hotel room, looking over the city of Madurai. Also Ben helping the cashew seller roast her cashews over an open fire on the side of the road.Read more