Friday, February 1, 2013

More Malleswaram

We went back to Malleswaram today. There are loads more temples we wanted to visit, and more shopping to do! I'm sure we'll be back again. Not only is it a totally charming neighborhood, there are still at least two more temples we want to see! And one of them has magical water from a mysterious sources, sort of like Lourdes. Clearly a must see. But we didn't see it today...instead we saw other exciting things.

Our morning started of with an auto rickshaw ride to 2nd Temple Street. It was a first for Robert and the kids, and Zion and Liel loved it. In fact, Zion has declared ricks to be his favorite form of ground transportation.

Here are my boys in the rickshaw.

And Liel and me.

Our original plan had been to go to the doomed Malleswaram market, and then visit a temple or two. Instead we found ourselves with 4 gorgeous temples right in front of us...and the market a few blocks away. So we went first to this amazing structure that we thought, from my memory of the map, was the Ganesha temple.

It wasn't. It was an alternate entrence to the same temple we'd gone to the last time we were in Malleswaram! We did get to see its prettier side this time, as well as some lovely gardens and a big lot of nagas.

After that we decided to check out the Lakshmi temple. We completely missed the sign saying no pictures, and were immediately scolded when I took this picture of a silver crusted Hanuman. So, no pictures of the goddess or the rest of the temple, I'm afraid.

We went into the main shrine to see the icon of Lakshmi. It was amazing-- loads more gorgeous silver! And, it turned out we were right in time for one of the main pujas. So we got in line with our offering flowers (and by the way, I totally remembered how to say "ten" in Kannada from our last temple outing! Which turned out to be useful because the flower seller spoke no English was relieved when I was able to tell Robert how much to pay). There was one line for men and one for women. We split up, stood on our respective sides...and the we waited. And waited. Priests moved in and out of the area, more people got in the line, and it got hotter and hotter. Finally the ritual began. I was too ignorant to know much of what was going on, but we put our flowers in the offering basket, one priest rang a silver bell loudly and continuously, and another priest chanted in Sanskrit. Liel and I also got dots of vermillion on our foreheads. Apparently these are a must for women, but not men.

Here's Liel with her dot afterwards, refusing to smile. I don't know why she looks so miserable!

Maybe she was still recovering from the heat in the temple. Remember how I wrote about how I've yet to see an Indian sweating? Well, we were up close to the shrine, with probably 2 dozen other people, all Indian. The only ones sweating were the four of us and one Indian man that Robert noticed. My 7 year old daughter apparently sweats more than most grown men around here!

We were in the temple for about 45 minutes, so after that we decided to go find Malleswaram Market. It's primarily a produce and flower market, and it smelled amazing! It smelled cool and green from the shade and the vegetables, and sweet from the jasmine and the incense. It is the best smelling place I've been in in Bangalore! And quite beautiful.

We bought a coconut. I'm not sure how we're going to open it; the current plan involves putting it in a bag and bashing it on the concrete outside our door.

As we continued walking in the neighborhood, we saw lots of lovely, simple mandalas on the ground, like this one.

We also saw a new sari shop (as yet unopened) getting some sort of religious blessing. They had a full on fire going and everything! It looked very cool.

So, that was our day! Afterwards we walked back to campus, had some delicious food, and chatted with a couple of friends we ran into. One of them gave us a great lead on a particular gift we've been looking for, which was extra pleasing.

And when I got home and looked in the mirror while I was washing my hands I saw the vermillion on my forehead, and having completely forgotten about it thought, "Oh my G-d! Why am I bleeding out of my head??" Luckily it all came back pretty quickly ;)


Kristofer Young said...

Thank you so much for continuing to walk us through your walk in India!
Love, Dad

Pusstat said...

I could almost smell the flowers and other beautiful things just by reading your descriptions.