Excursions

Trip to....the middle of nowhere

3:10 PM

Saturday September 24th, dbf's friends and us went on a road trip to visit some old age temple in the Indian countryside about 90 km outside the city.

Sounded like fun, and was for other reasons. But let's start at the begining on Saturday morning. Five of us jammed and squeezed ourselves in a car and hit the road which ironically is called a highway and certainly was one 10 years ago.
At this point, I closed my eyes and grabbed dbf each time we overtook a truck to get quickly back on our lane because a truck  was comming in the oppsite direction. It had me swear that the day I will find the courrage drive a vehicle in India, it will be a bus or an army tank. I prayed to stay alive until the end of the day.


We went on for an hour or so and then started asking our way around. That's where the problem usually begins because asking your way in India is something that doesn't guarantee that you will reach the destination. One need to master the art of the vague arm sign pointing in one direction, or  the even vaguer explication such as: "go on for 10 minutes and then turn left" (10 minutes at what pace?)
Anyway, we reached the place my friends kept asking for, only to discover it was a modern looking temple dedicated to Shiva. We asked around for an old temple. Called a few friends and while waiting for said friends to call back decided that since we already came that far, we could as well visit the temple in front of us.
It was an imposing complex with shiva-lingams all over (Shiva is represented under the shape of a penis in a cup). We found out quickly that walking barefoot (compulsory in temples) is a torture in itself in this temple. The ground is made of black slate and the sun is already high in the sky. I'm usually ok going into the worship area in temples, but there I was too intimidated so I stayed oustide in the shade, waiting for my friends to finish their puja. Then, we went on exploring the temple complex further. But, within five minute we were all jumping and running as if we were possessed by a strange demon of some kind. The ground was way to hot, and so, we retreated back to the car just to be saved in time by one of our friends giving us some direction to the old temple over the phone.
We hit the road again, asked for a few directions (don't count on a single road sign in the Indian countryside, they are already scarse in cities) and landed at yet another modern looking temple. This time, we did not visit it but asked for our way again. The villager politely waved us in another direction.

We pretty soon found ourselves on tiny roads more accustomed to see bull cart and pedestrians than cars, and went zig-zagging between fields.
An occasion for me to see what the indian countryside really look like and how people live there though, so not a wasted detour at all. We went on for about an hour before reaching a tiny teensy village. And after asking for direction once more... and end up nowhere again, we decided the wisest would be to go back to Bangalore. Both happy and frustrated at the same time.


The guilty person was dbf's friend in this sotry. He had a map under the form of a newspaper clipping, and he actually forgot it at home before we hit the road. So he went on asking around for another temple that another friend told him about withouth knowing those where two different things. We did hundreds of kilometers for nothing because no one actually thought of taking that newspaper clipping along.
Better laugh than cry. Beside, it will make another trip opportunity for another weekend.

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