Dr. Allocco here, sharing some photos from the last day before we begin our day focused on Islam and contemporary art in Madurai. We arrived here yesterday morning via an overnight train from Chennai, and the students spent the day at the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), where American students enroll in short- and long-term language learning programs (and where I spent a year from 2003-2004 learning Tamil) and then headed to a Muslim dargah (about which Alanna posted earlier) and a very unique Hindu temple. Last night we enjoyed some classroom time and a fancy dinner (with cavorting peacocks) at a 120-year-old hotel on a hilltop overlooking Madurai, whose city lights twinkled below as we dined on the lawns. Students have time for journalling this morning and then we’re off for a full day in Madurai!
Lauren enjoys the henna artistry of a Tamil woman at Dakshinachitra.
The students listen to our yoga instructor discuss breath control and bodily postures in his breezy rooftop yoga studio during a two-and-a-half hour yoga workshop designed to introduce them to the practices associated with this ancient Indian discipline.
Abbey’s beautiful henna designs.
Sarah M. presenting on yoga in our beachside classroom at Mammalapuram in advance of our yoga workshop. We all enjoyed this breezy and picturesque setting for presentations, lecture, and discussion.
Amy adding to Mary’s presentation on the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai in the beachside classroom at the Ideal Beach Resort (which, we agreed, is truly ideal!).
Liz and Sarah M. excited about sampling all the tastes on their banana leaf lunches at Dakshinachitra, the living museum of South Indian heritage. We enjoyed lunch there following Charlie’s presentation about the site that morning.
Garrett, Callie and Kegan wait for their banana leaves to be filled with all of the delicious vegetarian offerings which comprised their lunch.
The whole group (except Brian, who took the photo) lined up with their banana leaf meals at Dakshinachitra. Lunch followed a drumming performance and afterwards we had more than two hours to explore all that this heritage site has to offer.