The great Shri Meenakshi Temple, in Madurai.
The centrifugal manifestations of divinity are dense, astonishing, and ubiquitous. So are the masses of pilgrims and local worshippers who dawdle or flock among the carved medieval pillars of the great temple halls or who press tightly against each other in an airless sanctuary for a brief moment of darshan, meeting the god’s gaze. I have been traveling to the major living Shiva temples the Cavery Delta, the ancient heartland of Dravidian India. Many millennia of unbroken classical tradition. The wealth and expanse of the cities here amazed Greek and Chinese traders centuries before any Roman went a-trading.