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An Amazing Day in Swamimalai
An Amazing Day in Swamimalai

The Anandham Swamimalai is a gorgeous resort built like a south Indian village and its our home for 2 nights. With deer wandering the property, village like thatched roofs above our rooms, coconut trees, paddy fields, cows and more we almost don’t want to leave here for our next destination.

todays_photosThe day started with a bullock cart ride around the local village. It was loads of fun interacting with the local children who were excited to see foreigners visit their village. Then we watched a pot making demonstration followed by a local who climbed a coconut tree effortlessly to pick us some fresh coconuts to drink.

Late morning we headed to Darasuram, located about 8kms away, to attend a sacred ceremony at the Airateswara temple which was about 900 years old or so. The temple is beautiful and intricately carved, dedicated to Lord Siva. We attended a special abhishekam (bathing of the Deity) and puja ceremony which was very profound. After this we attended a similar ceremony in the temple right next to it that was dedicated to Goddess Abhirami, the Supreme Being in the feminine aspect. That too was equally profound and powerful. An uplifting experience for our whole group.

The area is also popular for its sari weaving and we visited a local weavers home to see how saris are made the old fashion way. And a couple of our participants picked up some gorgeous saris. Later that evening we visited my friend Suri’s workshop. Suri is a metal sculptor and he had generously set up for our group a metal casting demonstration. It was truly fascinating to learn this process that is hundreds of years old. The statues he produces are amazingly detailed and so very well made. Thank you Suri!

Click here to see photos from Day 5.

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Day 4 – Chidambaram to Swamimalai
Day 4 – Chidambaram to Swamimalai

Our morning started in a wonderful way. A few of us were up at a little after 5am and got ready to be at the temple by 6am when it opens to spend some quiet time by ourselves meditating. We stayed for over an hour and watched a procession as well which was led by…

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Day 3 & 4 by Tatiana
Day 3 & 4 by Tatiana

Our trip has gotten off to an amazing start.  After a couple of days in the seaside town of Mamallapuram, where we started our classes on meditation and a course on the beliefs of Hinduism and temple worship, we headed for Chidambaram.  Chidambaram boasts one of India’s oldest working temples and...

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Day 3 – Mamallapram to Chidambaram
Day 3 – Mamallapram to Chidambaram

Click here to see photos from Day 3.

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Day 2 – Mamallapuram
Day 2 – Mamallapuram

Our first full day on the Odyssey began at 6:30am with Hatha Yoga and meditation on the beach as the sun was rising over the Bay of Bengal. It was very special to be in such a relaxing place with an amazing view of ancient temples, colorful fishing boats lining up the shores, a gorgeous…

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Lessons from India by Mike Gehard
Lessons from India by Mike Gehard

Greetings from Mamallapuram!  My name is Mike and I am one of the participants in the 2010 South Indian Odyssey. Well we’ve finished our second day in Mamallapuram and are preparing to head out to Chidambaram mid day tomorrow. Before we head out of Internet range for a couple of days I want...

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Day 1 – Mamallapuram
Day 1 – Mamallapuram

We started our 2010 South Indian Odyssey today with an orientation class this afternoon. The class was held outdoors under some shady trees by the beach and the resort was a perfect setting to begin our journey. Though some of us are still slightly jet lagged we are all happy to be here and eager...

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