Caving in–Day 2, Aurangabad, January 25

After a morning massage (I wasn’t about to let Carol one-up me with hers, yesterday), I meet Carol for breakfast, a new (or at least less achy) man. We’re picked up and set out from Aurangabad to the caves at Ellora.

Now a city of two million, for 25 years, starting in the late 17th […]

Gods, food and textiles, Chennai, January 27

Fond reunion with the Sugarmans for breakfast, then headed to the lobby to be picked up by our guide, Jay. We’re staying at Vivanti, part of theTaj Hotel group, like the rest we’ve been at. We have a very nice villa, looking out on The Bay of Bengal, with hammocks hung outside, beyond the patio. […]

Rocks and “rocking”, Chennai, January 28

After breakfast with the Sugarmans, we drive along the coast to Mamallapuram (formerly called Mahaballipuram). This is a kind of open-air museum of Tamil art in rock, which is the work of students under the patronage of the Pallava rulers. Strewn along the coast are some outstanding examples of 7th century sculpture – forms of […]

Living in peace and harmony, Pondicherry, January 29

Breakfast at the hotel, and then on the road again, heading south for Pondicherry, which was ruled by the French until Indian independence. Along the way, we see a man on a moped, virtually hidden by the pots he is carrying for sale, and bullocks with colorful horns, painted for the harvest festival. We talk […]

Stars of the show, Tamil and Chola, January 29

After breakfast at the hotel, we set out for the capital of the Chola Empire, Chidambaram, one of Tamil Nadu’s most important holy towns. We are traveling comfortably in a minibus, which has a capacity of ten. With Ravi, our driver, and Jay, our guide, we are only six. Ravi has done an excellent job […]