Hindu temple, Madurai, southern India

Today the city of Madura is often spelled “Madurai.”

On our first evening in Madura—a holy city in southern India—we see a curious cluster of dark towers looming high above the housetops into a starry sky. (CC BY 2.0 ©2012 Vinoth Chandar)


Spread over the walls and towers of Madura’s temple are 30,000,000 images of Hindu gods and demons. It would take an entire lifetime just to count them. What an insane jumble they make! We see goddesses, painted green, riding on red cows the size of dogs. We see blue monsters with heads of elephants and bodies of men. We see all the heroes and demons from all the terrible and fanciful Hindu legends. The jumble makes our heads swim. (CC BY-SA 2.0 ©2007 Appaiah)


Temple at Madura, southern entrance. (CC BY 2.0 Arian Zwegers ©2011)


Inside the temple courtyard at Madura we find this sacred pool, called the Pool of the Golden Lotus. It now has one permanent golden lotus. Can you find it? (CC BY-SA 3.0 ©2006 Bernard Gagnon)


In the halls of the Thousand Pillars. (CC BY 2.0 ©2017 Francisco Anzola)