We stayed at the New Woodlands Hotel (everyone we meet who has been to Chennai has stayed there or at least heard of it). We love its South Indian breakfast and thalis. The menu was so enticing that we ate all our meals there. (At lunch and dinner the wait staff is in constant motion - not so much at breakfast. To get breakfast coffee required more than simple hand signals.)
|New Woodlands Courtyard|
|Thali - still to come rice and a sweet|
|Hanuman sporting IU (Indiana Uni) logo?|
|Doug's been to a Shiva Temple|
|A library (we dropped in on a meditation/discussion)|
|An opportunity to advertise|
We had a more satisfying visit to Kapalehwar Temple, a Shiva Temple, in Mylapore, an area of Chennai. A hotel staff member recommended it say that he went there to view the architecture and enjoy the peace. He was absolutely right about the peaceful part. We were sitting and a young man came and introduced himself. He said that he comes to the temple to mediate on the good things that have happened to him and his wishes for himself and others. His few comments will make us feel less hesitant to just sit. At the entrance signs describe the temple and its rituals. It noted that the lingam was not anthroporphic, but rather a "symbol of the form and formless aspects of the deity." Not the story told by our guides in Vietnam and Sri Lanka who equated the lingam with Shiva's penis.
|Devotees walking, sitting and queueing|
|Exotic? Think of the outside of Notre Dame Cathedral|
|The temple at dusk|
And finally a message that could go on many walls.