The terrifying stone colossus was a Hindu temple; as it lay gleaming in the level rays of the evening sun, it told the astonished newcomer very clearly that these half-naked people with their animal-like gentleness were not the creatures of a primitive paradise, but had possessed ideas and gods, arts and religions for several thousand years.
…They strode past the white man as nobles might stride past a common journeyman, and neither they nor the humble figures following them looked as if they had the slightest inclination to let a newly arrived foreigner instruct them in things divine or human.
–Robert Aghion, Herman Hesse
[I object to the characterization, but not the sentiment.]
Photo of temple in Ambasamudram by Sukumaran Sundar [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) ], via Wikimedia Commons