Trip Start May 31, 2008
Trip End Jun 01, 2009

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Flag of India  , Tamil Nadu,
Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We accidentally got on the Puddukotai bus thinking it would take us to Karraicudi.  Siva and I can read Tamil, which helps a lot, but sometimes gets us into trouble.  But no big deal, we transfered buses in Puddokotai, and took a bus headed for Devakottai to go to Karaicudi.  Who says it's hard traveling around here?!  :)  The bus was full of students and workers coming home for the evening, and some were literally hanging off the end of the bus.

We are staying at my Dad's Aunt's (our Ayah - Grandma) house here.  Her son (who used to live in Calgary), just built a huge mansion in Karaicudi, and we were their first guests!  The house was close enough to the bus station to walk, and after running into some helpful Indian woman who showed us the way (I think we were the adventure for the day), we made it safe and sound.

Karaikudi is a Chettiar (our ancestors) town, full of old Chettiar mansions, jewelery shops, and Chettiar temples in the surrounding villages.  We went to our native place, Vendampatti, so show Calvin our forefathers house and visit the famous Nandi (Shiva's Bull) temple.  We hired a car, and drove through the tiny villages until we got to Vendampatti.  The scenery on these drives is always very interesting whether it's little school children in their uniforms, goats, cows, temple towns...On our way back to Karaikudi, we stopped by two famous Chettiar temples - Vairanpatti and Pilayarpatti.  They were grand and splendid, with huge stones intricately carved throughout the temples.  The columns and gopurams especially are a work of art.

Kural Uncle's (a friend from Calgary) parents live in Karaikudi.  They visited Calgary this summer, and Siva got to know them very well.  We had a great time meeting them and visiting with them, going to nearby temples, and buying Calvin's wedding band with their help.  It's pretty fun shopping for jewelery here.  You can get beautiful custom made pieces in two days!
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