Wednesday, April 4, 2018

South India

enjoy few insights + pictures :-)
our journey through india this time.

one of google's movie trials on our pictures here

few pictures first, my insights second? ok, why not ;-)
salt extraction
temple feast
on the road in tamil nadu
rivers without water
rice field
we have left tamil nadu, first night in kerala
periyar, kerala ~ finally forests + nature
best of all wives
kalaripayattu show
this should be a wild safari. it was a villages and tee plantations tour instead :-(
backwaters, kerala
chinese fisher nets + tons of indian waste
what a colorful hindu temple :o)
there are also many christians in kerala ...
... and many muslims too and yes, ....
... the communist government in kerala rules them all
northwest border area between kerala + karnataka:
huge ficus tree in karnataka
indian monkey :-)

did i say 'insights' or did i only wanted to copy my google keep notes here?
  • even if south india is much, much more green than the morocco-like rajasthan we have visited two years ago, it was also here much to dry if you asked me. there were water reservoirs and rivers without water (e.g. the kaveri river) and also the soil was really dry. we haven't seen a single forest in the state of tamil nadu the first 6 days on our way from chennai via puducherry (pondicherry) and madurai to periyar in kerala. at least in the hills around periyar on the tamil nadu - kerala - borderline were the first forests and wildlife. my dear indians, it was probably not the best idea to burn / cut most of your forests down, was it? well, maybe the monsoon will bring enough rain in 2 months, we will see. what about sadhguru's campaign save our (indian) rivers, would someone like to support it a little bit?
  • really colorful, manifold and tolerant society with all these different skin colors, nations, languages, scriptures, religions ... it is very interesting to see hindu temples, jain temples, churches, synagogues (in cochin) and muslim mosques close to each other in a peaceful co-existence. at least it looked peaceful and tolerant to me even if the muslims seem to expand quite a bit through all these in construction mosques, women wearing burkas ... we haven't seen a sikh or a buddhist temple this time.
  • very friendly and satisfied people except few really poor, homeless and obviously struggling fellows. in germany we seem to be more in a hurry and look less happy most of the time as the most people we have met in south india. and yes, often have been we tourists an attraction and the locals asked if they can make a picture of us or a selfie with us. the children at an almost empty small beach in kerala even played guess games with us and tried to teach us malayalam language :o)
  • our travel guide was by far not that good as kamalesh in rajasthan, so please switch to my rajasthan-2016 blog if you are interested in indian culture, history, castes, school + education system, religion + gods, marriage and other traditions and customs 
  • anyway, what our pragmatic, organizationally skilled travel guide with heart for the poor & weak really emphasized were food and health issues. so remember: curcuma, ginger, garlic, rum, tee without milk and a glass of water every morning before breakfast are really important for your health :-)
  • sex sells: ice cream, coffee, mobile phones, newspapers, candle sticks, sarees, banking, cameras, eye clinics, education academies, movies & co. ~ everything sells better with pictures of beautiful light skinned ladies. only cement seems to be a pure men's affair :-)
  • english methods to conquer the subcontinent? 
  1. divide + rule (use cultural, religious + national differences and the rivalry between the different indian kings and sultans) 
  2. taxation
  • waste, waste, waste almost everywhere where homo sapiens appeared, even in temples. only our hotels and private shops were really clean. but you know what? the same indians will not spoon on the floor and dump waste on the ground when in singapore. why? the fines in singapore are much too high to undergo that risk :-D 
  • we have seen many, many temples, UNESCO heritage sites, palaces in mysore and the summer residence of tipu sultan (resistance fighter against the englishmen) on a 5 km long island in the kaveri river in srirangapattana, spent some time in an ashram, enjoyed ayurveda, tried kerala's cheap palm wine toddy, suffered traffic noise in all big cities, swum in the indian ocean from both sites of the indian peninsula the bay of bengal and the arabian sea, have seen many outsized catholic church symbols and many communist symbols which the remaining world has long forgotten in communist ruled kerala. of course is kerala's system different from the soviet union era socialism and yes, the folks in kerala like their government. maybe because kerala is probably the state with highest living and education standards among all indian states. the absolute highlight for me was the 2 days stay on a houseboat in kerala's sweet water canal system called backwaters, maybe because it was the only silent place beside the ashram we have encountered in two weeks.
  • we have visited the three southern states tamil nadu (= land of the tamils), kerala (= land of the coconut palm trees), karnataka (= probably land of the black earth. the name of karnataka's main language? kannada) and the clean city state / district with quite cheap alcohol pondicherry (puducherry), where its former french colonial history is still present, not only because of its french street names. did you know that in 1973 they've changed the inner state borders in india according to language borders? if we really have to divide people / states / cultures by borders, so language is probably the best category which we could take into account, isn't it?
  • last but not least, i have met a friend and former colleague in bangalore, whom i didn't see for 15 years or more. he is a kerala native and works in bangalore (bengaluru) now, so he of course provided a lot of useful + interesting information to me during our journey.
two of us
many, many more pictures here. (i will reduce, sort + comment them soon, promised. probably the long weekend end of april)