Tamil Nadu Temple Run: Madurai, Tirumalai Nayakar Palace

I’m ending this Temple Run set not with photos of a temple but of a palace. This Nayaka palace dates back to the mid-17th c, and if the current architectural elements are close to the original, the contrast between this palace and Nayaka temples is quite profound. In particular, the amount of Islamic and even European influence on the palace’s architecture is immense, but the temples don’t exhibit any such influence, and when they do, the influence is very subdued (for example the vaulted roofs of the Nataraj temple in Chidambaram). In any case, these are beautiful palace buildings with a completely hybridized architectural style. Continue reading

Downtown Ajmer and Pushkar

The present urban fabric of many cities and towns in India have their roots in the late 19th c and early 20th c, especially the “old town”/”old city” parts of town. Individual structures in these places may be older, but as functional urban entities, this is usually how old the urban landscape is. I’ve become really interested in these parts of town, and while visiting Ajmer recently sought it’s “downtown” out. Pushkar as a whole seems to be from that era. Continue reading