Crossroads from the Sky

When you fly over a city, you truly get an opportunity to see the layout of a city. One of the things that naturally catches your eyes are the intersections of major highways as you approach or depart from the city. You can imagine the traffic flowing through these crossroads as they try to make their way to their destination. If you have tried to make your way through older cities that have naturally grown over time, you can start to appreciate why the architects of modern cities take a more practical approach to laying out the streets and highways. This week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge are words or photos that contain the letter X. You might have to use your imagination slightly, but here are several photos of intersections that we have seen as we have flown into various cities.

IMG_0189
Flight into Cochabamba
IMG_1716
Going to Quito
IMG_0151
Flying into Lima
IMG_0423
Landing in Frankfurt, Germany
IMG_1919
Highway in Austin

 

Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica and Saint Thomas Mount in Chennai, India

After going to several Hindu temples during our stay in Chennai, going to the Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica was a unique experience. The church is built over the tomb of Saint Thomas, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, which is one of only three churches in the world to be built over the tomb of a disciple. You should also make time to visit Saint Thomas Mount and Little Mount, which has the cave where Saint Thomas hid. Combined, these three locations create a truly unique experience inside of the country of India.

IMGP2786
View of the Cathedral
IMGP2841
View from Saint Thomas Mount
IMGP2829
Statue as You Climb to Saint Thomas Mount
IMGP2833
Saint Thomas Mount

The original church over the tomb of Saint Thomas was built by Portuguese explorers in the 16th century and then later rebuilt by the British in the 19th century. The current cathedral was finished in the late 19th century and is in the typical Neo-Gothic style. The white exterior is quite striking especially against the blue skies. Unfortunately we were not able to enter the church while we were there, but we understand that it is very beautiful and that you are able to see Saint Thomas’ tomb.

IMGP2784
Standing Outside of the Cathedral
IMGP2782
Cathedral Tower
IMGP2785
Cathedral Spire
IMGP2819
Handprint Worn into the Rock

There are several features that make visiting Saint Thomas Mount and Little Mount quite fascinating. For a small donation, you are able to enter the cave where Saint Thomas hid and there is even a rock that is supposed to have been worn down by his hand. There is also a spring that is just outside of the cave called the Saint Thomas Fountain, which supposed provided healing powers to those that came to listen to him and people still drink from it today in order to be cured. To get to the top of Saint Thomas Mount, where Saint Thomas was speared while praying in front of a cross, you climb up a steep hill and pass by many figurines denoting the history of Saint Thomas. There is a cross carved into a rock that was believed to be carved by Saint Thomas and many believers report that it continues to bleed to this very day.

IMGP2826
Bleeding Cross
IMGP2823
Shrine Inside of the Cave
IMGP2825
Where Saint Thomas was Speared
IMGP2827
Climbing Up the Mount

Seeing both of these locations during our trip was something that was extremely memorable. It can also be a slight refuge from the hectic noises of the city as it isn’t visited by as many people as other place in Chennai.

IMGP2835
Entrance with the Last Supper
IMGP2838
Another View from the Mount
IMGP2834
Bell Tower
IMGP2821
Barred Window Inside of the Cave