I fell in love with the Meenakshi temple of Madurai. Today you can only photograph it from outside, because security requires that you do not carry any electronics in. If a camera were allowed inside, I could have spent days photographing the incredible architecture, the tall columns and the clever use of sunlight, and the sheer scale of the temple. I could capture none of this. The colourful processions of priests, accompanied by nadaswaram and cymbals, the little foodstalls where the only things I recognized by name were laddus and murukku, the people waiting patiently for a darshan, are all things that I have to narrate. Cameras were allowed earlier, and I hope that peace returns to the world so that they can be allowed again.
In the intervening years we will all have to do what I did. Spend time walking around the temple, taking photos of the gopura. This will be a long story. I begin with my first glimpse of the east gopuram. This is supposed to be the oldest of the outer gopura, and was built in the early part of the 13th century.
I had been to Meenakshi temple as a child holidaying with parents, I still have faint memories 🙂
Yes, it does leave memories.
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Beautifully decorative. Why can’t you take cameras in?
At a library in Mexico City, I took my camera out to take a photo but security descended on me and told me not to, pointing to a sign. I then asked if I could take photos with my iPhone, and they said that was OK. Go figure.
No electronics is a security measure. The temple has no objection to photos.