Crossing the Border: From Kerala to Tamil Nadu

Grapes ready for harvest

The first thing that I noticed about Tamil Nadu was the juxtaposition to the Kerala landscape to which I am now accustomed. Unlike the mountainous western Kerala, where during monsoon rain is plentiful and direct sunlight a rarity, just across the border in Tamil Nadu the land is flat, and during monsoon the air is dry and the sun shining. It is a shockingly fast transition that you can see as soon as you are at the base of the mountains. I knew this part of Tamil Nadu was flat, but I thought it would all be made up of lush green farm land, but instead what I encountered resembled central Texas, dry and rocky. In fact, it made me feel quite at home.

After seeing the landscape it was not surprising to hear from a local organic farmer, that most of the water in Tamil Nadu comes from the Periyar River in Kerala via the Mullaperiyar Dam. The farm boasted many types of fruits, including grapes and pomegranates.  It was well worth the trip to see a farm in action and to see how and where some of the local fruits are grown. 

Meenakshi Temple

After the farm, I traveled further inland in Tamil Nadu to the city of Madurai.  This ancient city, which has been around since the 3rd century BC, is the home of the famous Hindu Meenakshi Amman Temple.  At first glance I thought the temple was comprised of one tower in which we entered, but I soon found out the temple was much larger than that, comprised of multiple towers and underground space. I was in awe at the extravagance of the entire temple which was build over 3,000 years ago. Stone pillars supported most of the structure and you would not guess that they were over three millennia old because of how well they were preserved.

The sculptures of the Hindu Gods were another breathtaking sight, much more colorful than the majority of the stone interior; these sculptures were not only colorful but most often adorned in some gold.  The overall experience of the temple was one of awe and adoration for the people whose belief helped to create and preserve such a beautiful wonder.

3 thoughts on “Crossing the Border: From Kerala to Tamil Nadu

  1. Looks like a fascinating temple. Pictures never capture all that the eye can see so I know it was amazing. Glad you found a little bit of Texas in India. Those grapes looked pretty good. Do they use grapes for just eating or do they make wine or jellies with them? Keep on blogging about this wonderful opportunity you are enjoying. Tina

    • Hi Tina, those grapes are called “table grapes” here, although wine grapes are also grown for export to other states. Please visit the RAXA Collective facebook page (and hopefully “like” it) to view a wonderful album of photos from Meenakshi Temple. Enjoy–and thanks as always for your comments!

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