Mylapore is to Chennai, as Chandini Chowk is to Delhi. One of the oldest residential areas of Chennai, Mylapore is home to a colourful bazaar as well as a number of temples. Last year, we decided to explore this area on foot.
We began our journey at the Kapaleeshwarar Kovil.
Of the numerous beautiful temples of Tamil Nadu, the Kapaleeshwarar temple in Mylapore, Chennai is one of my favourites. The detailed sculptures on the gopurams, the elaborate kolams on the floor, and the peaceful ambience of the temple always leave me spellbound.
We then walked towards Santhome Basilica. On the way, we saw a beautiful Jain temple.
The temple was closed, so we continued walking.
Being Christmas time, the Church was decorated with colourful linen and stars.
San Thome Basilica was built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers, after demolishing the original Kapaleeshwarar Temple which stood on the grounds.
There is a small museum next to the Church which has architectural remains from older constructions, including some distinctly Dravidian motifs. Strangely, the plaques on the exhibit attribute it to the Church, even when the stone sculpture is clearly distinct from the rest of building materials on display.
Our next stop was the Marina Beach Lighthouse.
No, we didn’t have to climb all the way up. But it sure was interesting to look down the flight of stairs!
The viewing area at the top of the lighthouse is quite narrow, and it was quite crowded. Nevertheless, the view was amazing!
With the sweeping panoramic views of the beach done, we decided to walk towards the sea.
Sadly, the state of this world-famous beach was not as beautiful as its surroundings. Nearer the sea, the beach looked more like a dump yard than a space to relax in. The only solace, for us, was the sounds of the sea – the waves caressing the sand and filth with equal warmth. Humanity may attempt to seek redemption and forgiveness through spiritual and religious pursuits, but isn’t it ironical how that concept of cleanliness, that is the holiest of them all, is still some distance away?*
Our route map:
* I don’t mean to pick on Chennai. In fact, it is a relatively cleaner city, as compared to many of its northern counterparts (especially the temples).
This is post #14 in this year’s NaBloPoMo, or as Ra calls it Nano Poblano
NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month = Thirty straight days of blogging