Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gigi's Trip to South India - Part II

(The first part of this post, which appeared 2 weeks ago, can be viewed here.)

I traveled to India in late October and early November this year, my third trip to the country, and my first to the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. We also visited Bangalore, in Karnataka.

I previously posted some of the more serene images from my visit (e.g. boats along the Kerala backwaters and sunrise in Kochi), so today I'm going with the loud vibrancy that hit me as soon as I stepped off the plane.

Traffic in Bangalore.
Theoretically there are traffic lanes in India, but I swear I didn't see a single car drive within a lane. But I've gotta admit it works for them -- because I also didn't witness a single traffic accident. Crossing the street as a pedestrian isn't for the feint-hearted either. But a couple days into the trip I could hold out my arm and jog across the street with the best of 'em.

Women in saris on the back of motorbikes and scooters.
Because of the dense traffic, a motorbike is the fastest way to get where you're going, even for a family of 3 or 4. Women sometimes sit facing forward on the seat, but more often than not they side side saddle, like the woman in the right image.

Men catching a ride on the backs of trucks.
Yes, in the lower left photo that's a guy sleeping on top of the sacks the truck is transporting.

A family traveling with their goat on an autorickshaw.

An elephant walking down the road.

The backs of two colorful trucks.
Both of these trucks bear the common "sound horn" text, asking drivers to honk their horns when passing. Since nobody drives within lanes, this occurred at least once a second in every city I visited.

Moving onto a different type of traffic, just as colorful:

Boats lining the coast in a fishing village along the coast of Kerala.

Colorful boats of Kanyakumari (the southern tip of India).

Crowds walking to the ferry in Kanyakumari.

A banana stand at the side of the road.

And lastly, a detail of the colorful Meenakshi temple in Madurai.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



Sophie Littlefield said...

what amazing pictures - gigi, how i wish i could have been tagging along behind you. uhh maybe not in the middle of traffic that sounds terrifying. some of your pictures made me think of quilting, of collecting a riot of bright fabrics and piecing them together. thanks for sharing with us!

L.G.C. Smith said...

Oh, wow. Lovely. :) Thanks!!

Lisa Hughey said...

Gigi--LOVE these pictures. Whenever I look at pictures of India I am struck by how colorful everything is. :) You can almost hear the noise on the street!! And the elephant! In Ireland, when we had to pause on the lane to let a herd of cows wandering past our van, we were tickled. Cannot imagine how awe inspiring it was to see an elephant in the road. Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us!!

Rachael Herron said...

that whole not-falling-off motorbikes floors me. How do they DO that? I'd love to go there someday -- such gorgeous photos!

Heidi Noroozy said...

Great photos, Gigi! It must have been a wonderful trip. Your description of the traffic sounds a lot like Iran, where traffic laws seem to be guidelines, nothing more. But you are braver than me. It took my much longer to muster up the courage to cross the street on my own.

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