India: Thanjavur, Karaikudy & Chettinad Food

After our stay with the carvings in Mahabalipuram, we ventured on through our tour of South India.  In Thanjavur (formerly Tanjore), we visited the Brihadisvara Temple.  The temple is one of the Chola Temples, which as a group make up a World Heritage Site, and tell you the history of the Chola kings who have names like Rajaraja (king of kings).

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And we were again treated to a temple full of stunning carvings:

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And glorious mandalas on the ceilings, painted with natural vegetable dyes:

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This mandala was above a huge Nandi statue (my favourite Nandi of the trip):

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Many tourist sites have elephants around for photo opportunities, and this temple was no exception:

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We also visited the Gangaikondacholisvaram temple:

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Where Shiva followers left handprints of ash:

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And women left offerings at a shrine, hoping for babies:

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The temple also had more ceiling mandalas:

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And my favourite elephant:

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Our final stop at the complex was at the Darasuram temple:

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And off we went driving again.  En route we stopped to see how traditional bronze sculptures are formed:

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We then drove through Karaikudy where we saw these stunning houses:
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Apparently the very wealthy folks in India have holiday homes here, which they only visit once a year. And look at the flowers!
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We were fortunate to be able to tour the inside of one of these houses:
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I always love seeing other people’s kitchens — this is how a traditional kitchen would look:
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The people looking after the home were drying out a paste of ground rice and water, which they would then fry into snacks:
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And outside, another chalk mandala:
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We continued on our way and stopped at a lovely hotel:
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Where we enjoyed a traditional lunch of Chettinad Food, served on a banana leaf:
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Crispy papadum, fluffy rice, coconut curry:
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A lightly fried veggie ball, sweet mango, yogurt & pomegranate, and green bean curry:
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Mixed veggie curry with two of my favourite veggies — eggplant & okra (why don’t I do this all the time?):
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And my favourite part of any meal – sweet mango chutney and spicy hot pickle:
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When we walked out, pleasantly stuffed, dozy, and dreaming of temples, we were greeted by the most gorgeous flowers. A perfect way to end a fantastic meal!
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Categories: Travel

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3 Comments on “India: Thanjavur, Karaikudy & Chettinad Food”

  1. Bonnie Duchscherer
    April 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    What an incrediable experience you are having and thank you for Sharing this with others, now I can look up the places to learn more, also could almost taste the food on the banana leaf, be safe and keep enjoying so we can. Cheers, Bonnie

    • April 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      Thanks, Bonnie!
      I’m home safe and sound and even recovered from the jetlag. I’m working to catch up on blog posts about my tour, so you can know that I’m safe at home and more food and travel photos are coming your way 🙂

  2. April 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Gorgeous architecture, and the food looks amazing.

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