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Located 37km northeast of Thanjur, Kumbakonam is a dusty Cauvery River basin city with numerous temple gopurams (the distinctly Indian version of temple gate and tower combination) aspiring high in the clear January air. Unfortunately the tempels are only open from 6am til noon and again from 4pm til 10pm, and after seven days on the road Kumbakonan hotels did not look inviting so only had an hour before noon to see a couple of the temples. At some point even the most dedicated temple visitor becomes jaded. And the fact that visitors are tolerated, not welcomed, in most temples, makes one feel like backing off at some point.

But this is Chola country and there are many Chola temples around Kumbakonam that should be worth visiting.

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