Tue 12 Jan
Early start for drive to Thanjavur. Passed through a lovely rice field and stopped en route to see rope making with coconut fibre. We all had a go at teasing out the fibre.
We also stopped to see a mud house and family by the side of the road. We crossed a dam and saw many crocodiles in the water, bathing on the banks or in the shallows not far from where fishermen were sitting on little rafts with their feet dangling in the water.
Very pleasant South India lunch at the Paradise Resort mid-way on the journey. Arrived at Thanjavur approx. 3pm and dropped our luggage off at the Tanjore Hi Hotel.
Guided by Mr Raja to the Palace to see the wonderful 7C – 11C bronze statues. These are truly great pieces of art, mainly of Shiva and Parvati. Late in the afternoon we visited the famous local temple with its impressive Nandi and great towers. It was atmospheric to enter the interior of one of the “shrines” and observe Shiva in the form of a lingam.
After this, we went to a genuine small bronze-making business and observed the procedures for making bronze items. We bought a little statue of Lakshmi and a little sleeping Buddha. B and P bought a larger impressive Nandi.
Our evening meal was delightful sitting out on a balcony looking up at the starlit sky and a beautiful moon. Nats helpfully suggested which dishes we should sample. His advice in this area is a real bonus on this tour.
Slept well in a beautifully decorated room.