(this post is in continuation of Travel - Part-6- Reching Madurai dated Oct 3 2009)Madurai is said to be the oldest town in peninsular India, and this thing is a surely a big asset of any great city. My first impression of Madurai was very different from other religious cities. The most important thing was that I saw that the city or the ares around the Temple was totally market and most importantly these markets were not catering to the temple inflow, but they were totally supporting the city economy.
It was not a good idea of ours to just take up a room in the nearest hotel that we found from our LZ(Landing zone :P), as a matter of fact there were several Hotels even nearer to the temple. So before it became any dark , I quickly went to a reconnaissance mission of the temple which we planned to visit early morning. I went around the periphery of the temple. It was good impression to see wide and clean walkway which provided lot of convenience to the visitors. Ohh I really forgot to mention, the first time I came near the temple , I was awestruck by the imposing Gopuram. The Gopuram can be said similar to most of the other temples(the other way I mean) , but the important thing was that each and every detail and carving was painted beautifully with different colours. It was a sight to see and the more you watch the more details you can observe.
After my walk around the temple I had I task to do. I had read that there is a Modern Restaurant near the temple and people like Mahatma Gandhi and J.L. Nehru had eaten there , so I was very exited to find this place and eat there. The location was precise just behind YMCA. I had a coffee and Idly at the place, since my purpose was to find out if this was the actual Modern restaurant. I tries asking the proprietor about that but I got a sort of cold response. So sad that a place of such a history is not exploiting or atleast displaying it with proud and though the whole temple was in center of a large market , I cold not find fruit sellers in the market.
Early next morning we went to Darshan of Meenakshi Ammam Temple. Though I was aware that cameras are allowed I did not took it, just because I though it would not be in sync with the serious sentiments and devotion of the people who visit the temple.