"Wading neck deep in a swamp, your revolver is neither use nor ornament until you have had time to clean it" Mary H. Kingsley (1897)

The Temple Approach


From breakfast in Thanjavur to the grand and ancient temple of Trichy

The temple approach provides a thriving business enterprise zone.
All is for sale:

From kitchen utensils

To human hair, newly shorn from the faithful – an act of religious piety.


Everyone appears to be involved

In either shopping,

Or fixing deals:

A heaving mass of bustling commerce which the children sit back and enjoy.


5 responses

  1. What is done with the hair that has been offered?

    May 27, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    • I think that women buy the hair to augment their own tresses. Perhaps I should have used the opportunity to invest in a nice little toupee for myself!

      May 28, 2011 at 8:51 am

  2. Toffeeapple

    An amazing place, I can’t get over the ‘busyness’ of it all. In the first picture, are those temple offerings? I like the idea of being able to buy a hank of hair and a tin pan.

    May 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    • Bewilderingly busy!.
      Yes, coconuts and flowers seem to be the approved temple offering in south India. Hindu piety demands the sacrifice should entail no violence. Blooded gifts are considered tainted..

      May 28, 2011 at 9:07 am

  3. Pingback: Within The Temple Walls « Neither Use Nor Ornament

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