Trip Start Apr 07, 2007
41Trip End Sep 20, 2007
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After night of living dead cottage we were up at the crack of dawn and got taxi to temple town Madurai, 3hours and 115km away. The scenery on the drive down the mountain was spectacular. Staying in Hotel Rathna Residency which was basic and clean and fine bar the floor polishing in the middle of the night in the room above us. Its located in old town which contrary to what LP says old town is perfectly fine.
Madurai is a small city, same population as Dublin. The big temple is called Sri Meenakshi and is baroque dravidian architecture style with 12 gopurams (images of gods, mythical creatures & animals) everywhere, designed in 1560 and covers 15acres, there are 4 main gopurams which you can get a great view of from many rooftop restaurants and kashmiri shops
Woudn't use Indian airlines (apart from delays) as the air staff as so not bothered (ground staff were nice though), they didn't make people put up their seats at take off/langing, or check seatbelts, or tell a kid turn off his gameboy during take off and they let tonnes of people open overhead bins while plane still taxiing in, very bloody dangerous. Plus cheap internal flights is a relatively new thing here (but these guys are one of the older airlines and are a bit jaded) so the passengers are not too used to flying and don't know that opening overhead bins is dangerous etc. I think they think they are on a train, also they are ignorant with the queues pushing and jostling (a bit Danish actually).
Anyway would recommend Madurai for a two day stop over.