Saturday, March 1, 2008

Moving on

Next, we drove to Pondicherry, an area that was French for a while, with the colonial qualities that the French loved reflected in the architecture, foods (of course!) and, as you can see from the gendarme at right, some less expected areas....

We visited a church within walking distance of our hotel. Across from the gate, a man slept on the sidewalk. I gathered from another man nearby that both of them regularly spent their days there.

We traveled next to Chidambaram. We got there in time to witness a morning service which, in this case, involved the offerings of what appeared to be a wealthy family (as evidenced by the amount and quality of the offerings poured on the altar). Many priests were present to participate at the ceremony; these are men of the Brahmin class whose lives are devoted to their temple.

Here (to the right, above) I've drawn the main ceremony, but there were several other, smaller scenes at play, too, such as the body language of the priest to the left and the flower offerings for sale, should a visitor wish to participate in the proceedings.

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