Thursday, February 23, 2012

Madurai, India: Thirumalai Nayak Palace

"Kling kling dance! Kling kling dance!", an elderly Indian woman raised her hand brimming with silver jewelry into our sightline, referring to the anklets with bell charms that she was selling - a common (if not compulsory) ladies' accessory in India. I muffled my chuckle with a sarong and motioned for her to come closer.

I surveyed her merchandise while she buckled several varieties of kling kling dance around my ankles. Our travel buddies for that day, Couchsurfers Thea and Camilla from Denmark, refused to be embellished with silverware and merely watched my leg turn into a mobile mannequin right before their eyes.

Thirumalai Nayak Palace's courtyard, where regular performances are staged.

Though extremely cheap at 20 INR, I only bought a piece to stick to our budget for the day. It took a while to brush off the persistent peddler for she was pushing another anklet on a hard sell (I realized days after during our Tiruchirapalli Rock Fort visit that it is imperative to have on both ankles, which I'll explain on another post). She seemed upset, but pasted a red bindi on my forehead as a freebie before scurrying away.

Hubby and I followed the two Danes who led the way to Thirumalai Nayak Palace's ticket booth to pay for admission: Foreign adults 50 INR, still camera 30 INR. There was no queue, but we waited for about half an hour for the lone attendant who came from an unannounced, extended lunch break.

Freebie bindi, sitting on my sixth chakra.

The palace's gate opens out to its capacious courtyard that's utilized for light & sound shows and other performances. This was actually the only section our group was able to see due to time constraints. And well, because a foreign traveler's maundering within the palace grounds (or in any tourist site in India for that matter) is no walk in the park.

Unless you're a celebrity whose walk in the park usually involves being photographed by paparazzis. Ours surely don't.

Because more and more people squeezed in the frame, we ended up with an awkward group shot like this. And a gazillion others.

The mere presence of the Barbie-esque Dane sprung forth a commotion among the local men. Just as we entered the gates, we were photographed here and there. From a distance, and in our faces. We felt like stars who just walked onto the red carpet. I suppressed the urge to do a beauty queen wave, for no one will get the joke. And they'll probably wave back.

We managed to duck out for a few minutes behind the cloisters, where we finally had the chance to amble peacefully by ourselves. So peaceful that I heard the teeny-weeny chimes of my kling kling dance.

My stares of admiration resulted to a stiff neck.

Thirumalai Nayak Palace, constructed in 1636 AD, served as King Thirumalai Nayak's home. Obviously this ain't something you could call a humble abode. Fact is, the king intended it to be one of - if not the most grandiose palace in South India. I must say... Job well done, your highness. Same goes to you, anonymous Italian architect.

I shielded my eyes from the blinding sun's rays as I looked up the marvelously carved and painted ceilings. The intermingling of Islamic and Dravidian architecture produced such stellar progeny.

Locals whiling away the lazy afternoon at their fave, fantabulous hang out.

Just as we emerged from the cloisters, a fresh batch of curious local tourists surrounded us for snapshots. Unanimously, we were no longer game for it. We all scampered towards the exit and left them bobbling their heads in bewilderment and confusion.

Amidst the noise, my kling kling dance's bell charms echoed across the courtyard. That impressive lil thang.

Thank You, India Series:

Madurai, India: Meenakshi Amman Temple
Aboard India's Modes of Transport
Arrival Turned Fans Day
Thank You, India
How To Apply For An India Tourist Visa In The Philippines

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thepinaysolobackpacker said...
February 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM

ang ganda nung ceiling! :) at natawa ako sa group photo nyo, kala ko kasama mu pa yung iba duim, an dame nyo naman! lol

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 28, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Hahaha! Yeah Gael. Parang class photo lang eh. Yung informal pose. LOL.

Tin | The Average Jane said...
February 29, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Hahah! That was so funny! It never entered my mind that there would be places where caucasians are such a fascination to the locals. And to think they were a British colony for such a long time. =)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 29, 2012 at 10:04 AM

They're sooo fascinated with blondes!

Sunset Goddess Manila said...
February 29, 2012 at 11:08 AM

You look so pretty in your picture with the bindi--you have fantastic coloring :) And I also love the last pic--the symmetry of the arches and posts are remarkable.

estan said...
February 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM

wow! ang ganda! makes me want to visit sri lanka.

killerfillers said...
February 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM

grabe sa details ung ceiling. i want to go here someday:)

nomadwayoflife said...
February 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM

very cool.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 29, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Aww... Thanks Judy!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 29, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Killerfillers, details are spectacular!

Bonzenti [Con Tour Blog] said...
February 29, 2012 at 8:09 PM

Perfect ceiling architectural design. Maski ako nag ka stiff neck.:-).

Traveling Morion said...
February 29, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Ganda ng designs sa ceiling, luv the emotions @ the last photo ms gae ,,

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 29, 2012 at 9:22 PM

^^ Thanks! I really love that shot. Not just the shot per se, but also the unhurried pace that the locals portrayed.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
February 29, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Kuya Bonz, haha! Sorry to have caused you stiff neck.

michymichymoo said...
March 1, 2012 at 9:10 AM

They're kinda new with having caucasian tourists pala.haha. :) I agree, the group pic is kinda unusual.haha. :)

Mary @ The World Is A Book said...
March 1, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Beautiful pictures! I love the last two - so grand. How cool to be the objects of the paparazzi. =)

lakwatsero said...
March 1, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Haha, very few posts make me laugh out loud. If you didn't put a description in the "awkward group shot" baka napangiti lang ako, but your description nailed it. BTW, very nice shot of the ceiling. Saves me from getting a stiff neck.

Elal Jane Lasola said...
March 2, 2012 at 2:14 AM

Ang ganda ng place Miss Gay. *Dreamy eyes* I can't blame you bakit ka nagkastiff neck kakatitig sa details :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
March 2, 2012 at 8:03 AM

DG, laftrip eh :) Di man lang kami nakasingle file. Talagang kung san naabutan, dun na lang nagpose. Tapos kung san san pa nakatingin lahat.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
March 2, 2012 at 8:04 AM

Yeah Elal, my photos didn't give justice though... It's really prettier in person.

Malditang "Kura"cha said...
March 2, 2012 at 8:23 AM

at talagang natabunan ng beauty mo silang lahat. hahah! artista lang. lol!

impressive talaga yung ceiling. gano kaya katagal ginawa.. sasakit talaga batok ko sa ganda.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
March 2, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Hahaha! Feeling artista lang, Maricar :)

blissfulguro said...
March 4, 2012 at 9:29 AM

i love the first shot... ang classic! tas yung group shot was sooo funny, where's luna?!

Theonoski said...
March 4, 2012 at 10:48 AM

incredible india!! one of my dream vacation.sadness lang wala akong makasama to go there! wah!

good job sa awkward group shot! hehehe

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
March 4, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Luna was five months then and didn't join us for the India trip.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
March 4, 2012 at 8:18 PM

Theo, it's a nice place to travel solo :)

Micamyx|Senyorita said...
March 6, 2012 at 5:05 AM

What's up? The Ceiling. Ang ganda! :D

Gusto ko na talagang mag-solo sa India pero kelangan paghandaan yan. I-exercise ko na rin yung leeg ko hehe

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
March 6, 2012 at 6:40 AM

Haha! Gow! I-exercise na yan Mica :)

ardee sean said...
March 6, 2012 at 11:30 PM

sensya naman, natawa ako sa group pic.. parang nakikigulo lang.. lols i like the last pic, may drama ang pagtatambay.. india, gusto ko din puntahan.. :P

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
March 7, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Hahaha! Best group pic everrr!

Choice Holidays said...
March 7, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Good wording which is helpful and informative for the tourists.

Solo Traveler said...
January 4, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Informative and very useful content.... glad to know that you visited India and that too some of the less traveled destinations...

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