So we went to Ernakulum, it was comfortable and relativelt Indian. The regular city buzz and honk HONK loud 'yesssssss sir!' 'havealoook veryhappy price' we stayed at Jhon's residency which was beautiful and clean and deep yellow. There was a chia wallah outside the front door making breakfast effortless and cheap and deidedly upright every morning. Late night chia also a big plus.
Government bus Ernakulum KL to Madurai City Tamil Nadu State. We to the late night to save on a hotel room and got about 20 minutes sleep colectively on the 10 hour drive. LOUDEST BUS EVER!. Government busses overnight is probably just a shit idea. So uncomfortable. You really would be better off standing that is until you collapse in the alsie. Thank GOD for the earplugs we brought in Ernakulum from one of the hardware stores. I couldhave litteraly died from the noise. It's that bad.
We were welcomed to Madurai by swarms of tuktuk drivers at 4 in the morning so we faught with them and proceeded to walk to the city centre were we watched the sunrise over a strange dusty old western looking town full of tired Indians and over the tops of the delecately carved, harshly sun damaged and ancient wooded buildings, with swinging prlour bar doorways and all you could see the peeks of the enormos towers of the Meenakshi Temple at the geographic centre of the city.
We walked around the bahemouth temple at sun down drinking 7up and reveling in the government enforced silence ( not technically silence, not silence at all just no rickshaws or scooters honking at one another and a surprising lack of wallahs)
We stayed at an awful hotel the Gengai. There is little to no difference between at least the anemnities or cleanliness of the hotels we stay in. We have been I think for our budget extremely lucky with our accomodations and still i'm sure i only ever rate either AMAZING or SHIT HOLE. There is no middle ground for me. if a place has no character it can't be amazing it is a default shit hole. The Gengai was a depressing shit hole and no one should stay there. Madurai is alright and the temple is fantastical but I would suggest you stay out of the city where there is real oxygen and healthy, non rabid animals. India is beautiful outside the big cities.
We left Madurai City the next morning.