I was wilting in the heat, yet I led the way. I thought, four kilometers can't be gruesome cause yah know, three kilometers is the usual lap used for fun runs. Look, I ain't a runner so I just assumed that four kilometers is a wee bit less "fun". Such assumption made us ignore the rickshaw driver who offered 60 INR for a ride to our next destination, Gandhi Memorial Museum. He followed us for a good half hour (A round of applause for his patience.) and for every hundred meters, his price dropped: 55, 50, 45...
40 INR was his last price. He got off our backs when we crossed a bridge. A long, long bridge. No idea how long, but let me tell you, we finally hailed a tuktuk when we reached the other side. We were clueless as to where we should head next anyways, plus we were worried that the museum might close soon. The cost of tuktuk ride, 40 INR. I know, we should have just hired the rickshaw instead. Less carbon emission.
As the tuktuk pulled in the museum's driveway, a dinosaur came into view. I chortled, choked, and coughed at the same time (I found out it's humanly possible.). Beside Gandhi Memorial Museum? Really? Then it made sense when I read a sign, Government Museum Madurai. Alongside other smaller signs Archaeology, Anthropology, Numismatics, Zoology and Folk Art. The dinosaur may belong to the neighboring museum, but it looked like it's guarding Gandhi's.
Though Godzilla immensely sparked our curiosity, we chose to carry on with our Gandhi Memorial Museum visit. The museum is housed in Tamukkam Palace, former summer palace of queen regent Rani Mangammal from the ol' Madurai Nayak kingdom. The palace itself is well maintained, and it's free admission. The artifacts however, could use a more fabulous presentation (But hey, that's just me.). Visitors should come prepared for some heavy reading. All those text boxes could easily burn a couple of hours. Throw in a few more minutes for that emo moment when you view Gandhi's blood-stained clothes and famous round specs.
It could be a bit of an anti-climax if you've been to the more engaging temple tours earlier in the morn, but I reckon it's still worth the visit. Especially if you feel like doing something less tiresome after getting lost heaps of times in the maze-like passages of Meenakshi Amman Temple. Besides, the narration of the British occupancy and the Indian independence movement from the Indians themselves is an interesting read.
We left the museum just before closing time. And because we weren't in a rush to get back to our Couchsurfer's house, we decided to walk all the way to the bus stop where we alighted earlier. We retraced the tuktuk's trail and our own footsteps. Back at the bridge, I faced an onslaught of Indian kids asking for a pen. Even though I didn't have one on me, they happily posed for a photo.
Little did we know that we were to stumble upon a magnificent pink cathedral later that evening... And lose an iPhone.
Thank You, India Series:
Madurai, India: Thirumalai Nayak Palace
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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