Photographer's Note

Tamil Nadu - Madurai - Tailors in the temple

Here a mini series of five pictures taken in the Pudhu Mandapa in Madurai.
Why the title for these photos? To me, this was one of the most peculiar places in Madurai.
I had the feeling of being in a temple. But the building was full of tailors and their sewing machines. There were also lots of textile shops.

A mandapa is a porch-like structure with many columns, built at the entrance of a Hindu temple.
It is seen as a place for meditation but also used for religious dancing and music. Normally it forms part of the temple compound. A large temple has many mandapas.

I was a bit confused regarding to where exactly I was. The entire construction looked like a room of the well known Meenakshi Temple but it was located separately at the other side of the street that surrounded the temple.
In the Pudhu Mandapa you will find 124 pillars and all of them are adorned with many carvings.
The columns on the sides of the central passage are decorated with carvings of the rulers of the Nayaka dynasty and their family. Other pillars have carvings of the gods.

The most surprising thing for me was that the Pudhu Mandapa complex houses a vibrant market where especially the many tailors occupied a prominent place.
My guide book mentioned that this mandapa, opposite the easter gopuram of the Meenakshi temple, had many textile and crafts stalls and also that there were taylors. But I did not suspect that I would end up in a part of the temple.
Since this mandapa is separated from the actual temple by a street and there’s no control on what you bring inside, you can shoot to your heart's content.
And again a place apparently only visited by Indians.

I didn't find the light management easy. Still, I hope you can enjoy the photos of this special place.
If only I had taken more …

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Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5454 W: 17 N: 13214] (52948)
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