Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sunrise in Madurai

In 2009 I had witnessed a sunrise in Pondicherry. That was a magical moment. As was witnessing one in Kanyakumari. Last week, in Madurai, and later in Rameswaram, I got up early enough to witness another sunrise. Sunrises are magical in themselves, but watching one over an ocean is more special. The one in Madurai was made special because of the looming presence of the Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple that looms large over the landscape of the 3000 year old ancient temple town of Madurai.

A peacock perched atop one of the buildings of the Taj Gateway Hotel in Madurai, waiting for the sun to rise.

The Kodai Hills in the background, bathed in the soft light that precedes sunrise.

The first traces of the sun as it emerges on the horizon.

The gopurams of the Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple can be seen at the bottom left while the sun continues its rise on the horizon.

A closeup of the sun. The entire sun is still not visible across the horizon.

Here the entire sun is now visible on the horizon, and already the intensity of the sun seems to be increasing exponentially, by the second. A few minutes more and you are unable to see the sun in the eye. You bow before its awesome power.

With such power in the sun, is it any surprise that Hindus considered the sun as holy and worthy of worship? There are shlokas composed in praise of the Sun god, and a series of yoga asanas meant to exercise the body and mind.
Surya Namaskar - Wikipedia link.
Wikipedia entry on the origins of the Surya Namaskar.
The photos of this sunrise were shot from the Taj Gateway Hotel in Madurai.

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© 2011, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.