Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monuments & Museums

[a random street scene for you and only you]

Hello! Today we did a billion things and I am very very tired (jet-lag? culture shock?) so I will mostly show you some pictures and then scram!

First we drove to a bronze museum. Our guide, Stanley, showed us all of these Hindu statues (no pictures allowed) and we got to see lots of the main three gods: Brahma (the creator, he has 4 heads), Vishnu (the protector, he has 10 incarnations and sometimes appears as different animals), and Shiva (the destroyer, also the lord of the dance) and their wives and kids.

On the way out, some young Indian girls got really excited to see us and all of them lined up to take pictures! I am going to be in so many Indian scrapbooks you don't even know!

[got a little girl to take one for me too, apparently she didn't center it right]

Next, we went to St. Thomas cathedral. It was built in the 1800's over the spot of St. Thomas the apostle's tomb !

[here's the fancy church, we couldn't photograph zee tomb]

I was super excited to be so close to the body of someone who actually knew Jesus, but then I was told that in the 1600's they moved the body! W T F!
Oh well, it was still pretty cool to be there.

[close up of the alter inside the church--Jesus stands on a lotus and peacocks to represent divinity]

[me looking like super hardcore and stuff next to some tombstones]

THEN, we still were not done! We went to Fort St. George. This place was built by the British when they conquered India. There were a bunch of oil paintings and china in the museum. No real winners picturewise.

However, after that we went to an actual Indian temple!!

[me and the temple, best friends]

That fancy gateway is called a gopurum. These are only in south India during the Chola dynasty. This one was built in the 11th century, I believe. Crazy!
They are super intricate and colorful and overwhelming yet awesome. Hmm, kind of like India itself :).

We got to see people entering and leaving the temple too (non-Hindus may not enter). There was a big mix of people and they were all putting colors on their forehead.

[close up on the temple entrance]

And here is my first (somewhat shitty) picture of sacred cows. WOOOO! (or should I say MOO ;)! )

[cow backs, divine]

Then we went back, super tired!! So good night everyone and all!!

P.S. Food shot for Brian...

[mouth-burnin' good]


  1. Christie, this is so cool. I am jealous as I sit at home while everyone is at work..
    Why can't you take pictures in some of those tombs?
    And who are all those people on the tomb's?
    How warm is it there?

    Haha, now you have some questions to answer yay.
    Well have fun :) send a postcard! If possible.

  2. i meant temple entrance....

  3. wow, the st. thomas church looks so european! crazy!

    cool about the symbolism at the st thomas church. i love stuff like that.

    i still don't really understand the sacred cow thing. they look like our cows. is that just me being ignorant? pretty sure it is.

    and thanks for the food picture. i would eat all of that. yum yum yum.

  4. Great pictures!

    Hmmmm...I was kind of surprised that there was a huge cathedral there! It's just me being ignorant about India...but what percentage is Christian, Hindu, etc?

    heehee...I'm assuming your 'somewhat shitty' photo of the sacred cows is just your opinion of the quality of the photo, because I don't see any cow poo in the picture!

    Thanks for sharing your trip!

    Sleep well! :-)


  5. Me again...

    "STANLEY"???? They gave you a guide named STANLEY? Tell me that "Stanley" isn't his real name and that his Indian name was just to hard to pronounce.


  6. Wow Christie that temple is so cool I have never seen anything like it!!

    I too want to know the answers to all of the above questions.

    My favorite line: Mouth burnin good (I'm sorry) hope you are finding plenty to eat, getting some good sleep and feeling ok!!!

    Were you able to buy an adapter? hope so
    love you!

  7. Wow! Lots of questions for this one! :)

    Marina: The only tomb we saw and couldn't photograph was Tomas the apostle's, probably because it is so holy or something.

    And we also couldn't photo the inside of the temples because the statues in there are Hindu gods and you can never photograph it or even go inside if you are non-Hindu because it is too holy.

    The people on the temples are mostly gods, but there are also some animals (such as peacocks which stand for divinity) and heros from some of the Hindu holy books. They tell stories, kind of like stained glass in big churches has bible stories in it.

    Yeah, there are plenty of European buildings here due to British colonialsim and also modernization and globalization.

    For some (most? all?) Hindus EVERY cow is sacred, even the ones we have at home. That's why many Hindus don't eat beef or are even vegatarians. McDonald's here have only chicken patties.

    Most of India is Hindu, but there are also Christians, Buddists, Muslims, Jains (similar to Buddhism), and Sikhs (like Islam with a bit of Hinduism, in a way). I think someone said in Chennai, 13% is Christian, but it varies from place to place, of course. And Christianity has been here since 54 AD, when Thomas the apostle (aka Doubting Thomas) traveled here, that's why I thought that church was so cool--it was his tomb!

    And, yes, I meant the quality of the photo. :)

    Oh and I think his name is actually Stanley. I've met a Rachel here too. Unless he just told us that as a lie to make it easier for us or something. Oh and I know a Francis here too.

    Yes, I bought a converter/adapter combo that works here, but my straightener overheated and broke the first time I used it! My computer and camera charger have been just fine, but the plugs make a buzzing noise when you use them that is kind of nerve-racking!

    Thanks, everyone!!

    (I'll post another blog tonight, I hope!)