Friday, February 12, 2010

I officially love this country

I know I missed a day, but it's not because I fell off an elephant and wound up in the hospital...we just had a very long, very exciting day yesterday.

It was (and still is) the Feast of Shiva. A two day holiday meant to honor Shiva the destroyer. (The God who smites your foes and woes.) So my husband was off work for the holiday and we hired a cab for a day of sightseeing. Oh my! We saw so many cool things it's hard to remember it all.

First we went to a Muslim site. A Sultan's palace and lands, plus his burial place. Aparently he was a good king despite the many bloody battles depicted on the walls of his palace--or maybe because of them. There were potraits done in 1799 of the Sultan and each of his seven sons. (No, the women didn't get documented for eternity.) Pity, because the potrait artist was incredible. Each wel preserved likeness looked completely unique and detailed.

The next place we went was a bird sanctuary. It had a whole lot more than birds, although our guide said there was every type of bird in India there. I caught a picture of a monkey and her baby. So cute! I got a couple of shots of crocodiles with the telephoto lens. Sorry, wasn't getting close to those things!

My husband is going to put these photos in my photobucket account so I can post them here.

So, after that, we were well rested and it was a good thing since our next stop was a temple dedicated to Shiva. Oh my goodenss. Everyone showed up to honor the God on "his day." We had to take off our shoes to go through the temple--or I should say, be pushed and crushed through the temple. We had our foreheads' dotted with red insence, were given flowers to lay at different spots in the temple, and were blessed with some holy water. After that, we had to pay to get our shoes back and even though we'd already paid, no amount seemed good enough. If you're white, bring lots of money and expect to be overcharged for anything without a price tag...and sometimes, even with one!

As soon as we'd escaped the temple with our shoes, we had to make our way through the many merchants that lined the road back to the parking lot. I made it to the cab with only two saries and two sets of bangle bracelets. Whew!

So, after that, we'd earned a nice rest at a palace guest house. I wish I got more pictures. It looked like another palace. It was comleted in 1921 and had the look of the old British Colonil days. We had a drink in the bar and billiards hall. Then lunch was served in a huge banquet room complete with a fellow playing sitar music.

After that, we went to the actual palace. It was huuuuuuge! We weren't allowed to take pictures, and yet the guards took a bribe to let us in with our camera--even though we promised not to take pictures. Yeah, there was no place to "check" your camera. The place was very impressive--thousands of columns topped with gold, marble floors and staircases, tapestries, statues, weaponry, etc. All the trappings of royalty. Outside I got some good pictures. Including a couple of camels. Don't worry, we're uploading all of these on photobucket.

Today we're off to a national park. I'm told they have tigers and elephants! Can't wait!

Ash

2 comments:

Sherry said...

I am so glad you are doing this. Ash, Man you blog the way you write. So incredibly descriptive.. Love the, got out with only 2 sari's and bangles remark.. Did they honest to God charge you for your own shoes? OMG, I'd have to do some bodily damage to anyone who tried to keep my shoes.. Love the sound of the Sultan's Palace.. How amazing it must to been to live in such beauty all the time.. Tell hubby I said hi.. Keep up the workouts and uhm, Please please please try and take some pics of the sexy Indian men for us poor USA bound Americans.. ;) Oh thanks again for sharing... Hugs, Sherry

Ashlyn Chase said...

Look for the url to my India trip album!

Should be ready son!

Ash