Tamil Nadu

A few photos from my husband's trip. This is the Emporer's Palace, inside a large receiving room, looking towards the ceiling. Why aren't all ceilings and pillars this pretty?
One of the many temples that he visited.
Carvings on the facade of the temple gopura, or tower. This is Lord Mruraga (a very special god to the Tamil, and an incarnation of Siva, I think) and his two wives (he thinks Walli and Diwalli, or something similarly rhyming, but again, more info tomorrow.)
Don't you think that Disney must have stolen the style for It's a Small, Small World? Nandi, the vehicle of Siva. (Every god has his own special vehicle, which is in the form of an animal. Ganesha's vehicle is the mouse, which makes some pretty amusing friezes and paintings of a very large, elephant-headed god riding on a mouse. It's all about the metaphor.)
Another cobra eating his tail, this one on the ceiling. Beautiful, isn't it? (Random Harry Potter fact: the name of Lord Voldemort's snake, Nagini? Comes from Hindu mythology. Go, J.K. Rowling.)