On this trip, we saw our share of temples. Some had incredibly detailed carvings while others were more modest. Ironically, while 80% of India practices Hinduism, our informal tour guides (our work associates) did not provide much religious detail. Debasis is not practicing and tries to avoid going to temple (he was being a good sport), and Albert very much appreciates the history, but is a Catholic. This almost sounds like a joke…A Jew (Traci is jewish), Hindu, and two Catholics walk into a temple…
Here are some pictures from my favorite temple. It is one of the most ornate temples in the state (Karnataka). It was built in 810 AD. You could almost feel the history and the power in this place.
Carvings were everywhere…Even in places you couldn’t see.
Each temple had an exterior stone wall that was separate from the inner structure or building.
But the inside of this temple was just as ornate…
This is me with a Hindu priest. He had been setting up incense and providing some red chalky stuff for everyone’s third eye. He was very welcoming and was kind enough to stop for a picture.
This is one of the interior structures where they had incense lit for religious rituals.
We ran into a LOT of school children on field trips.
Most of them had never seen a caucasian before so Traci and I reached extreme celebrity status. When they grew brave enough, they came up to us and asked, “What is your name?” or “What country are you from?” Or “How are you?”
They giggled and shook our hands. When we replied with something like, “I’m good. How are you?” They stared at us with blank looks. Their english was limited and scripted. They didn’t know how to respond.
We got a kick out of being found so interesting.
At one point though, they bombarded us a little too much at once. Suddenly I found myself surrounded. They all wanted to shake my hand and ask me my name. It became overwhelming. My paranoia knew that I was now in a compromising situation, and they could go for my purse at any point in time. Luckily these were just school kids, but it did kinda freak me out. So I jumped down from the platform where we were standing.
Here is a picture of them mobbing Traci. You can’t see her, but she is back there.
Traci and the very inquisitive school children…
At each temple, we had to take our shoes off and walk through the temple in a clockwise direction. Outside the temple, there was always a shoe rack and a woman monitoring the rack.