There is no ‘bucket list’ - Lynne and I are both well, thank you – but we have arrived at a point in our lives where we have the time, the money and the good health to indulge in a passion for travel. We know how lucky and privileged we are to be able to do this, and we know it won’t last for ever, but while it does…..



Saturday, 20 December 2014

Cannock Chase Through Fresh Eyes: The (N + 4)th Annual Fish and Chip Walk

In the time honoured, if not quite yet ancient, tradition, a coalition of the willing met on Cannock Chase for yet another annual Chip Walk.

As in 2012, we started from the Punch Bowl, but this time not in torrential rain but on a mild December day that started overcast, though sunny spells were promised later. Everybody else looked cheerful, but I was worried - this was (roughly) the fifteenth chip walk and (exactly) the fifth to appear on this blog. How could I possibly find anything new to write?

As before, we made our way round Hart's Hill and veered left towards the Sher Brook. Most of the usual suspects were present, Francis and myself as ever-presents, Brian, just back from Hong Kong (as usual) and Alison C, up from Cheltenham for her first Chip Walk since 2011. We were also joined for the first time by Anne. Lynne (my non-walking wife) met Anne when they were colleagues in Warwickshire in the late 1970s and began a friendship which has endured for well over thirty years. Anne now lives in Cardiff and had stopped with us en route from Cardiff to County Durham for Christmas especially to take part in the Chip Walk.

Round Hart Hill, Cannock Chase

We reached the Sherbrook Valley and set off up it, passing the stepping stones. Having photographed them the last three years, doing it again seemed otiose.
 
The Sher Brook, but not the Stepping Stone, Cannock Chase


It was the first time Anne had been to the Chase and she was looking at it through fresh eyes. Brian and Francis live nearby and value having so much open country on their doorsteps. I live a little further away and visit the Chase a couple of times a year, regarding it as somewhere to go when alternatives are unavailable or unattractive - Staffordshire clay does not make for good winter walking, but a hundred metre high pile of pebbles inevitably remains well drained. In my head Chase walks involve straight forestry roads through ranks of dark conifers, but having Anne there as a visitor made me look at it again - and I discovered it isn’t like that at all.

I know that the Punch Bowl is an area of older, non-coniferous trees, but I had not realised, or had forgotten, how large that area is. We walked up the winding Sherbrook surrounded by silver birches.
 
Silver hair and Silver Birches, Sherbrook Valley, Cannock Chase

The valley flattens out as it reaches the plateau that tops off the western end of the pebble pile. 'It's different again,' Anne said as we crossed the open moor-like ground.

Near the top of the Sherbrook Valley, Cannock Chase

A swing right brought us in sight of the first conifers of the day, though we certainly were not walking through them. Views opened up to the north-east over the Trent Valley as a shaft of sunlight penetrated the clouds.

Continuing towards the minor road we reached the German War Cemetery, one of Cannock Chase's several oddities. During the First World War the Chase was used for training camps and also for a prisoner-of-war hospital. Those who died there were buried nearby and in the 1950s the graves of most German military personnel killed on, around or over British territory during both world wars were moved here, to a site administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in collaboration with their German equivalent. This year I photographed the outside....
 
The German Cemetery, Cannock Chase


.....but in the past I have photographed the inside. There are some 5000 graves, split almost equally between the two wars. There are is one Field-Marshall, a General and the crews of four airships downed in 1916 and 1917.

 
German Military Cemetery (Dec 2012)
I have visited the German Cemetery before, but I was oddly unaware that there is a Commonwealth Cemetery a little further on. In the spirit of the Christmas truce of 100 years ago Francis suggested we kick a football from one to the other; a good plan but with a fatal defect – we had no football. There are some 150 graves here, 50 of them overspill from the German Cemetery. There is a sad row of graves of men who died on the 8th and 9th of November 1918 - so near and yet so far - but the largest group are from the New Zealand Rifle Brigade who were stationed here and died not in the war, but from influenza. Anne pointed out that Phormium (New Zealand Flax) was prominent among the flowers between the gravestones.
 
Commonwealth War Cemetery, Cannock Chase


The flu pandemic, starting in January 1918 and lasting into 1920, killed more people than the war, some 50 to 100 million world-wide. The deaths were disproportionately among those who were young, fit and previously healthy, like the unfortunate New Zealanders here - and indeed Lynne's great-great uncle who survived the fighting, but still ended up in a military cemetery in northern France.

We drank our coffee sitting on the steps outside the cemetery, then walked down the other side and found, hidden behind the two cemeteries, a couple of benches that would have been far more comfortable than the cold marble steps.

We headed north towards the Katyn Memorial, for the only time in the day on an unfamiliar track. ‘I wondered where this path came from,’ Francis remarked as we approached the memorial. Staffordshire has had a sizeable Polish community since the end of WW2, long before the recent influx, but I still do not fully understand why they choose this spot to commemorate a massacre that happened a thousand miles away. Nonetheless here it is, and here is another photograph of it – very similar to the pictures I posted in 2012 and 2011.

Katyn Memorial (again), Cannock Chase

From the memorial there is only one route to the Chetwynd Arms, our fish and chip providers for the last three years. We crossed the lightly wooded Anson's Bank and turned down Oldacre Valley. The valley has more topsoil than most of the Chase and can be relied upon to provide some mud - soft and black rather than the sticky grey stuff Brian and I slogged through in the Churnet Valley earlier this week. I do not recall if Anne remarked on this further change of aspect, but if she did it could not have been with pleasure - this is nasty stuff.

The muddy Oldacre Valley, Cannock Chase

The bottom of the Oldacre Valley is a place where the footpaths on the ground do not match those on the map. As usual it took us a zig and a zag to find our way past Brocton Pool and down to the road.



Anne passes Brocton Pool

We reached the Chetwynd Arms and Lynne arrived to share our repast - though without having done the work to earn it. I have long considered it unfair that she takes little exercise yet remains so trim while I ….. (see the well-nourished individual, left of next but one picture!)
The Chetwynd Arms, Brocton

It was the Fish and Chip Walk so everybody had fish and chips, except Lynne had scampi (which is acceptable) and Alison had gammon. With a medical reason for avoiding battered fish, this was forgivable - unlike Sue's perfidious bowl of chicken and pasta a couple of years ago. Whenever a group of over sixties get together there is always someone with a new medical condition to discuss. A day will come when we no longer bother with the walk, just meet in the pub to compare operations. Oh, the joys of getting older.

Me, Brian, Francis, Alison, Anne
Chetwynd Arms, Brocton (and Lynne took the picture)
We returned to the Chase via a track between houses and a field followed by an excursion round the back of Brocton where a grey wagtail was hopping from stone to stone in the stream. In the field we had spotted the first spring lamb of the year, though other signs of spring were conspicuously absent. It looked cute, as all new lambs do, but I suspect its life will be short and cold.

The climb up Tar Hill seemed easy, despite having to carry fish, chips and a couple of pints of Banks's Bitter to the top. The sun again peered out from behind the clouds, sparkling on the Argos distribution centre at Junction 13 and its mirror image at Junction 14. Sadly, they bracket the view of Stafford and rather define the town, though today the light also gave prominence to the small hill topped by the remains of Stafford Castle, the reason this unlikely, marshy spot had once been chosen for a settlement. The Wrekin was, as ever, a distant landmark, whilst, much further away, the bulk of the Long Mynd was clearly visible against the horizon. Unlike last year, I chose to point my camera into the near distance and at the gentle folds of the hill’s sparsely wooded summit.


Near the top of Tar Hill, Cannock Chase

The Chase is home to some 800 Fallow Deer, but so far we had seen none. Approaching Coppice Hill we glimpsed a small herd on the bank above us [As Brian points out in the comments, these were Roe Deer]. For the next kilometre or so there were deer in the forest on either side, dozens of them, always half hidden, but feeling little need to run; they are used to humans and do not expect to be harmed by them.

Deer on Coppice Hill
(I know its not a good picture, but it was the best I got, sorry)

A little further along we paused at a bird feeding centre. The trees were alive with a multitude of tits and finches, including a splendidly self-important bullfinch. 'All Britain's woodland birds in one place,' Francis remarked. We (or rather Francis and Brian) had earlier seen fieldfare and waxwings - though the mild Scandinavian winter has meant few have bothered to make the journey south this year - and a redwing or two. As we moved on, an ingot of goldfinches (no that is not the correct collective noun, I just made it up) fluttered busily past.

As we strode on towards Mere Pool the sun in the rapidly clearing sky brought out subtle colours in the bare tree trunks.


Subtle colours near Mere Pool, Cannock Chase

After the pool we turned right and descended back to the Punch Bowl and our cars, arriving just before the sun set at five to four. It had been a lovely day's walk. Anne had seen the Chase for the first time and her frequent remarks about how the landscape changed as we moved across it helped me look at the Chase with refreshed eyes. I am grateful; it is a beautiful place, and I have been undervaluing it.


Back down to the Punch Bowl, Cannock Chase

And that was not quite all. As we drove home under a clear blue sky, the light lingered long after the sun had set giving a summer-like twilight. From tomorrow the days start to lengthen promising that eventually summer will return. I look forward to it.
 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

November - and where to spend it

November is not my favourite month. It is still Autumn but the season of mellow fruitfulness has long gone, the leaves changed colour, gave a show for a while but now lie rotting by the roadside.


Leaves lie rotting by the roadside. Betley, Nov 2008
Thomas Hood
National Portrait Gallery, unknown
artist, image from Wikipedia

 

December starts badly, too, but then comes the winter solstice and the start of a slow, painfully slow, improvement. And the Christmas and New year holidays provide a little light relief at the darkest time of the year.

January is at least the start of something new.

February is mercifully short - and spring might be just round the corner, though sometimes it dawdles.

I do like cold, clear, crisp winter days with blue sky above and crunchy white frost below, but you don't get those in November. Without a doubt, November is my twelfth favourite month.

And others feel the same way. Thomas Hood put it nicely almost two hundred years ago.


"November"
 
No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--

No road--no street--
No "t'other side the way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--

No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!

No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
November!

This year we have spent November at home. I am not complaining, we have ventured abroad four times in 2014, not to mention sundry trips around Britain so I have nothing to complain about - indeed we are very fortunate to be able to travel as often and as far as we do - but that does not change the basic fact: some places get a better deal out of November than Staffordshire.

Here are some photos of several such places, none have appeared in the blog before, either for reasons of space or because they predate it.

Egypt
 
Lynne in the 'White Desert' Farafra Oasis, Egypt
The valley floor is covered with chalk - there is no water down there
In November 2009 we took a trip from Luxor through the oases of the New Valley, then west to Siwa near the Libyan border before turning east along the Mediterranean coast and through the delta to Cairo.

Siwa Oasis, Egypt
Northern Egypt had warm days, but the evenings could be a bit nippy. Further south it was balmy.


On a barchan dune, Kharga Oasis, Egypt
Blown by the wind, these crescent shaped dunes march slowly across the valley floor engulfing anything that stands in their way

China

In November 2010 Kunming, The City of Eternal Spring, failed to live up to its name but our journey through South West China warmed up as we travelled further south. We finished in Guilin with a warm if rather misty trip on the Li River.

On the Li River, Guilin
Even further south in Hong Kong the sun shone brightly and across the estuary in the former Portuguese colony of Macau the temperature was close to the boundary where warm becomes hot.

Portuguese remnants, Macau
Myanmar

November in Myanmar is the start of winter and communities club together to provide new warm cloaks for the monks. That is what they said, but it was no sort of winter we could recognise. Yangon was hot and tropical.

Yangon, hot and steamy (November 2012)

while in the higher lands around Lake Inle it was much cooler - like an English summer's day.

Yawana Village, Lake Inle, Myanmar
Thailand

In Bangkok the heat never lets up, though the few days we spent there in November 2012 were not exactly free from rain.


Lynne goes to visit the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok

Portugal

Even in Europe there are places where November is pleasant. October is a far better month in the Algarve, but I have swum in the Atlantic in November (once) and even on the cooler and windy west coast November is still tee-shirt time.

Praia de Odeceixe, November 2008

 

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Algarve (7): Lagos

This year’s Algarve post will, for the first time, concentrate on a single place. We spent a morning in the small coastal town of Lagos, as we have done several times before, and it is has always seemed a place worth writing about – so I have.


Route finding in Lagos (October 2008)
Towards the western end of the Algarve’s south coast, just west of the city of Portimão, the little River Bensafrim reaches the sea on the leeward side of a small peninsula. It was an obvious site for a harbour and the last few hundred metres of the Bensafrim were canalised many years ago so that it enters the sea a much larger and more important waterway than would seem possible a kilometre or so inland. The canal provides access to the extensive harbour, once exclusively for fishing boats, but now also home to yachts and pleasure craft of all sizes and degrees of opulence.


The River Bensafrim reaches the sea, Lagos
Beside the river the long, palm-lined thoroughfare of the Avenida dos Descobrimentos (Avenue of Discoveries) defines one side of the old town,…..
 
Avenida dos Descobrimentos, Lagos

….. while the semi-circular city wall, still largely intact, defines the landward side. Lagos has long spread beyond its protective wall, but it remains a small town and the outer areas are sympathetic in style and tone.


Lagos city wall (October 2008)
Beside the Avenida dos Descobrimentos is the Praça da República with its statue of the Infante Dom Henrique, erected in 1960 to commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of his death. In front of Dom Henrique is a more recent fountain. The Portuguese are generally good at fountains, but this one needs attention and currently looks like a puddle beside a broken water main.


Praça da República, Lagos

Dom Henrique stares seriously across the puddle. He is better known as Henry the Navigator, but although he sent out Magellan. Vasco da Gama, and the other descobridors on their great voyages of discovery, he never personally navigated anything anywhere, but who would have remembered him if he was known as Henry the Facilitator?


Henry the Navigator, Praça da República, Lagos

In the far corner of the Praça is the site of the old slave market, which became Europe's first slave market since the Roman Empire when it opened in 1444. The local tourist authorities are quick to direct you to the slave market, and equally quick to point out that Portugal was the first major power to abolish slavery, which it did in the 1750s (visiting Korčula in 2012 we encountered the Statute of Korčula which outlawed slavery, if only on that one small Croatian island, in 1214)

They admit, in rather smaller print, that the old Customs House which now stands on the site had nothing to do with the slave market. Like most Algarve towns Lagos was destroyed in the earthquake and tsunami of 1755. The Customs House, though worth seeing in its own right, was built after the earthquake and long after trading in human beings had ceased.


The Old Customs House on the site of the even older Slave Market
Praça da República, Lagos

From here we walked into the cobbled and pedestrianised main street of the old town.

This year's Algarve visit was marred by both a week of poor weather and the cold Lynne brought with her developing into flu like symptoms. Our fifteenth trip of this series and perhaps twenty-first in all was not our best. On the plus side we enjoyed two dinners with our friends (and landlords), Tessa and Malcolm (see Algarve 4), had lunch with my 'cousin' Ricky and her husband Zeca (see Algarve 5), and, two days before visiting Lagos, entertained Mike and Alison - who appear on many of the walking posts on this blog – and their friends Steve and Jan to lunch. They were touring Spain and Portugal in their motor homes and were passing through the Algarve.

It was time for coffee and a pastel de nata, so we headed for the nearest café only to discover Mike, Alison, Steve and Jan there too.


Steve, Lynne, Jan, Alison, Mike
Coffee in the main street, Lagos
 
After our coffee, cake and chat (and this digression) we continued up the long narrow street. Lagos attracts many tourists and the town’s citizens do not want them to go hungry - almost every building is a restaurant. Most are Portuguese, but if you want a pizza or fancy the Indian or Chinese option, well that's available too.
 
Restaurants line the main street, Lagos
The street ends in the Praça Gil Eanes. Lagos-born Eanes, a minor figure of the Age of Discovery, shares his surname with Portugal’s first democratically elected president after the Carnation Revolution ended forty years of dictatorship in 1974. The statue of Dom Sebastião by João Cutileiro dates from that revolutionary period and if the statue of Henry the Navigator, completed in the 28th year of the dictatorship of Antonio Salazar, is overly formal this, perhaps unsurprisingly, tends to the other extreme. Prince Sebastian looks like a skateboarder who has taken off his helmet to scratch his head.
 
Dom Sebastião, Praça Gil Eanes, Lagos
Dom Sebastião became 'King Sebastian I of Portugal and the Algarves' in 1554 at the age of 3. On reaching his majority he proved an active and able, if short-lived monarch. His popularity and his presence here are a reminder that the Portuguese, like the British, prefer glorious losers (Scott of the Antarctic, Henry Cooper, Sterling Moss) to out-and-out winners. Three hundred years after the last of the Moors had been kicked out of Portugal, Dom Sebastião got it into his head that he needed to conquer North Africa and convert the Moors to Christianity. He assembled an army of 18,000 (because you need an army to convert people to a religion of peace and love) and set sail from Lagos in 1578. His makeshift army encountered a far superior Moroccan force at Alcácer-Qibir and was annihilated. Much as I appreciate a hopeless quixotic gesture, taking 18,000 others to their deaths alongside you smacks of unhealthy self-absorption. Despite that he is known as O Desejado (The Desired One) and, like a Portuguese King Arthur, will one day return to save his country in its hour of greatest need.

Walking back down the street, we dropped into the Lagos Regional Museum, which is built round, and indeed contains, the Igreja de Santo António. St Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of those seeking for what they have lost, was a 13th century Portuguese Franciscan friar who devoted his life to the care of the poor. Born in Lisbon he spent the latter part of his short life in Italy and died in Padua. Immensely fussy gilded carvings cover every surface not devoted to paintings of the life of St Anthony. It is regarded as one of the most lavishly decorated churches in the Algarve, an area where decorative excess is the rule rather than the exception. The wood seems to hold the odour of incense, but it could do with some cleaning - a daunting job for anybody. I can't say the interior is really to my taste, but it is difficult not to admire it. Photography was not allowed but a 30 second YouTube video of the interior can be seen here.
 
Church of St Anthony, Lagos
The rest of the museum is an eclectic collection of stuff, most of it connected with or coming from Lagos. The hallway covers the period from the Stone Age to the Romans. There are some solid looking Neolithic tools, an impressive Bronze Age helmet, several reconstructed burials and a collection of oil lights and other pottery fragments. There are tableaux and some wonderful photographs depicting local life a century or more ago when the Algarve depended entirely on fishing and agricultural. There are models of all sorts, including a selection of sample pieces of furniture made and donated by a local master carpenter. There is a collection of banknotes and coins, old and new, a collection of religious artefacts and an art gallery containing local land and seascapes.

Captioned in English as well as Portuguese, there is something to interest everybody.
 
Ponta da Piedade (Oct 2008)
A short distance south of Lagos is the Ponta da Piedade, where the peninsula terminates in cliffs, caves and offshore stacks. You can wander the cliff paths and view the rocks from the angle of your choice.
 
Ponta da Piedade (October 2008)
The ponta can be windswept and the sea wild, but usually a gentle swell laps up against the rocks. A set of steps descend the cliff to where boatmen wait to take punters out to visit the caves.
 
Steps to the boats, Ponta da Piedade (October 2012)

A lot of people visit Lagos, some on large groups, whether on excursions from the major resorts to the east or from cruise ships docked in Portimão, but the small town manages to retain its charm and its sense of proportion. It is well worth dropping by if you are lucky enough to be in the area.
 


 

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Three Favourite Jain Temples

I have not posted a ‘three favourites’ since May 2012, so it is past time for another one.

The origins of the Jainism which has over 4 million adherents in India, are lost in the mists of time. Based on the teachings of the twenty-four Tīrthaṅkaras, humans who achieved liberation and help others to do the same, Jains seek nirvana through personal wisdom and self-control. Mahavira, the 24th and last Tīrthaṅkar of the current half cycle (24 more are expected) was a historical figure who lived from 599-527 BC.

The Symbol of Jainism (thanks Wikipedia)
The swastika was an eastern sign of peace long before it was stolen and perverted in the mid 20th century 
Jain philosophy emphasises non-violence to all living creatures, truthfulness and asceticism. Jains are vegetarians – many are vegans - who also eschew onions and garlic and sometimes all root vegetables. They give great importance to education - the literacy rate among Jains is above 95% compared with 74% for India as a whole.

Shravanabelgola  Feb 2010

I do not have many Jain Temples to choose from, but I do have the best; readers of the Times of India voted the statue of Gomateshvara at Shravanabelgola the ‘No. 1 Wonder of India’ - the Taj Mahal came third.


The head of Gomateshavar at Shravanabelgola
We detoured to Shravanabelgola while travelling north from Mysore. Chandragupta the founder of the Mauryan Empire, the first empire to unite most of what is now India, abdicated in 298 BC to become a Jain monk and died here shortly after.

The small town was full of pilgrims and as we pulled up the car was surrounded by people trying to sell us socks, which seemed odd.

As we walked to the base of the mountain the reason for the sock salesmen became obvious. In all Indian temples everyone is required to remove their shoes, but here you must then climb a set of steps cut into the rock face. We looked at the steps baking quietly in the hot morning sun and bought some socks.


Up the steps, Shravanabelgola
For the elderly and infirm there are sedan chairs, canvas seats slung between bamboo poles. Spotting a couple of (presumably) rich westerners they made straight for us. Sorry lads, we have already bought the socks.
 
Sedan chair, Shravanabelgola
We set off up the hill following a group of school children, two bus-loads of teenagers all dressed in 'English style' school uniforms, grey trousers or pleated skirts, white shirt with school tie and heavy woollen blazers. Predictably we had not gone far before encountering a prostrate thirteen year old girl, being looked after by a couple of concerned teachers. I assumed they knew what they were doing, but my advice would have started with 'take off your blazer and loosen your tie.'

‘Belagola’ meaning 'white pond' and as we climbed the hot rocks we could look back down to the pool that gives the town its name.


The White Pond, Shravanabelgola
Near the top we passed two women who insisted I take their photograph and were delighted when I showed them the picture on my camera. This happens surprisingly often and I usually delete the pictures, but I kept this one.

Two ladies, Shravanabelgola

Gomateshvara was the second of the hundred sons of the first Tīrthaṅkara. Arguing with his older brother, he hoisted him above his head and was about to dash him to the ground when he realised what he was doing. Placing his brother down gently he stayed where he was to meditate, standing so still for so long that the vines started to grow round his arms and legs.


Gomateshvara, Shravanabelgola
The temple is little more than a paved rectangle surrounded by a concrete wall. Gomateshvara stands by the back wall, ‘sky clad’ and 17m tall, with a benign half smile on his face as plants begin to twist themselves around his limbs.
Gomateshvara, Shravanabelgola
He is the largest monolithic statue in the world and has stood here since the tenth century. Every twelve years there is a major festival, scaffolding is placed round the statue so that monks can pour milk and ghee over his head and cover him with saffron and gold coins.
 
Refreshing coconuts, Shravanabelgola

We paid our respects to this symbol of peace and serenity and made our descent, rewarding ourselves with a refreshing coconut after our efforts in the hot sun.

Badami Cave Temples

Three days later and a couple of hundred kilometres further north, though still in the state of Karnatica, is the small town of Badami.

The small artificial Lake Agastya sits in a rocky canyon.


Lake Agastya, Badami
Its main function is to provide laundry facilities for local people…
 
Laundry in Lake Agastya, Badami

….but on one of the sandstone walls four cave temples have been hollowed out.


Badami Cave Temples
Few foreigners come this way, but there are plenty of Indian visitors….
Indian tourists, Badami Cave Temples
The lower three caves are Hindu, the fourth is Jain…


Jain Temple, Badami Cave Temples
 ….where, surrounded by carvings, Mahavira sits cross legged, serenely surveying the world he has left behind.
Mahavira, Badai Cave Temples

Karkala

About as far south as you can go down the coast of Karnatica before arriving in Kerala is the Hindu temple city of Udupi. Making an excursion to the north we reached the small town of Karkala. In the Hindu temple we received a long lecture about the ‘oneness of everything’ from an aged one-toothed priest whose thoughtful and gentle approach even impressed our driver Thomas, a devout Keralan Christian with a tendency to dismiss Hindus as idol worshippers.

The Jain Temple above the town was less interesting, being just a small copy of Shravanabelgola with a priest who seemed overly interested in obtaining a donation.

 
A much smaller Gomateshvara, Karkali

The ‘favourite’ temple here is actually Karkali’s second Jain Temple, which we did not visit, but it sits so spectacularly among the palm trees that I had to include it.


The 'other temple', Karkali
see also
Three Favourite...............