Madurai (Part 2) – Centre of arts and culture

There is no existence of a place without the people, And with civilisation exists the culture. Madurai has its own share.. Here goes the list:

Art:
* The temple arts- the sculptures on the temple towers and the wooden vahanas used to carry the idols.
* Handicrafts- accessories used for decorating Devi idols to made of delicate sequins, etc.
* Mural paintings from the Pandyan era adorning the temple walls

Sculpture on the tower @ the west entrance
Sculpture on the tower @ the west entrance
Some wooden art @ koodal Alagar temple
Some wooden art @ koodal Alagar temple
Handicrafts @ a stall
Handicrafts @ a stall
One of the paintings @ Meenakshi temple
One of the paintings @ Meenakshi temple
Food:
Breakfast –     Idly & Sambar, Pongal + a cup of filter coffee
11.00.a.m –    Jigarthanda(more like a combination of falooda & kulfi)
Lunch-           Puliyogare @ the temple store, curd rice, Sambar rice(similar to Bisibele bath)
4.00.p.m.-     Karupatti(palm sugar) coffee
Dinner-           Anything after 7.00.p.m is called meals. 
                           Must try is the ghee roast & rava Masala dosa 

Jigarthanda - A roadside vendor
Jigarthanda – A roadside vendor

Costume:

* Sarees for women & Dhotis for men
* Madurai cotton sarees with simple prints and zari borders with temple designs are famous

Jewellery:
Among the locals- particularly those belonging to the Thevar cast, it is believed that women are prettier with bigger earlobes. Hence, the girl child born in this community is made to wear a particular traditional earring called the ‘Thandatti’ when she is young. Each piece of this weighs 27 gms and is made of gold. This is particular to Madurai. The thandatti is said to evoke the 3 levels of our world: terrestrial, astral and divine and these levels are associated with Mandala.

A Thevar woman wearing the traditional Thandatti earring
A Thevar woman wearing the traditional Thandatti earring

Shopping:

Shopping at Madurai is all about wholesale vendors… and there are specified streets for each of them.
* Cotton sarees/ dress materials- shops are all around the temple complex
* Steel utensils- plastic beads & girls’ accessories, gold plated imitation jewelery to name a few.
* Pooja related accessories & crafts- particularly inside Pudumandapam
* Varieties of plantains / bananas and green groceries among the others.

A brief intro to a city full of life and activities.. Justice yet to be done.. 
Signing off with a hope that it has helped someone somewhere in some form who is seeking for some info on this Pandyan city…. 
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