Monday, 18 May 2009

India 2009 - travels part 1

After Kolkata we spent a couple of weeks travelling round Tamil Nadu. We flew into Chennai and headed straight for Mamallapuram on the coast. On our visits to India we have generally avoided touristy areas so this was a bit different for us, we initially found it hard to find Indian food as most of the cafes seemed to be catering for the bland tastes of european visitors. All around the town are fantastically ornate temples which have been carved out of the rocks. Most of the carvings were done between the 7th and 9th centuries. The five rathas are particularly impressive and are carved out of one huge lump of granite. Two of the rathas are in the picture below.After this we spent a few days in Pondicherry. A bizarre but fantastic bit of France in southern India. A town where you can get proper coffee and croissants and hear locals chattering away in french in cafes. The street signs and tree lined avenues near the seafront really do make you feel like you are in France, but the market area, especially on a Sunday, is very much like any other part of India. The beach is a real focal point for the locals and tourists alike. It seems everyone comes out to promenade along the seaside at sunset and quite a few come along at sunrise too.

Those of you who know my fiance Lyndon will know he likes goats. I've promised him that one day we will get some of our own! He took this picture in Mamallapuram early one morning.