Politicians and Serenity
Madurai Travel Blog› entry 7 of 7 › view all entries
Madurai was my favorite city to visit. Mostly because much of my family was there, but also because the traffic was a bit tamer than any other city I was in. The auto rickshaw drivers didn't drive in opposing traffic lanes just to get ahead of you. It was also kind of nice to get away from the Cosmopolitan feel that was flooding Chennai.
We stayed in a "western" hotel, which meant I could finally have an omelette for breakfast (It was a big adjustment for me eating Indian food for all 3 meals!). My uncle booked us into this hotel since all the other Western style hotels were full of politicians. Apparently the state elections were going on in Madurai so 2 of the hotels were full.
This was all fine and dandy until the next morning we woke up to the sound of loud chants coming from our hallway. When I looked in the hallway there were at least 50 people yelling and chanting at the door next to ours. I was actually a bit scared. I thought these were a bunch of ruffians who were going to break down the door. But when my dad cam out he explained it was a political chant they were yelling. Once we got down in the lobby we learned that there was political spillover into our hotel and somehow the room next to ours was being occupied by one of the State Ministers. We managed snag a room on another floor to get away from the noise.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was going to visit our Kuladevam. Every family has a specific temple that is auspicious for their family line called a kuladevam. Sometimes it is a large temple like the Meenakshi temple or sometimes its small. My dad and I had never seen ours, so we, along with our Madurai relatives, piled into a giant van and took a roadtrip to see our Kuladevam. Apparently my ancestors had built a small private temple about 4 hours away. It was in a remote area that was inaccessible by car. The area was gorgeous surrounded by mountains and palm trees. The area was so serene I wish I could have spent a few more hours out there on my own.