South India 2008
Photos by Adam Jones
These photos were taken during two-and-a-half months in South India
(states of Karnataka, Goa, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala) from June to August 2008.
Gallery 8: Madurai
All the photos in this gallery were taken inside the Sri Meenakshi-Sundareshwara temple,
a glorious repository of Hindu art and architecture, and a hubbub of religious activity. With its profusion
of gods and colourful depictions of them, Hinduism to the outsider can seem almost Disney-ish. This
was the first time I had a sense of it as a living faith and a passionately-held belief system.
I believe this detail from a mural on a temple wall depicts a sati, i.e., a widow-
burning of the kind that has been traditional in Hinduism, and still occurs today --
whether the sati is willing or not.
This smaller gopura was the only one left uncovered by the repainting, and
gives a sense of the wider architectural and artistic scheme of the temple.
Three of the fifty or so Hindu priests employed full-time in the temple.
Pilgrims pay their devotions by candlelight.
All photos copyright 2008 by Adam Jones, unless otherwise indicated. These images may be freely used for educational and other non-commercial purposes, if the author is credited and notified. For commercial use, please contact the author.