Monday, May 7, 2007

Temple-seeing in Mysore.

My Mom has come to visit. And this because she wanted to give my nephew a taste of the bright lights after his exams and my sis couldn't bring him herself. So we went to Mysore the last week- May 1st.
And we treated my dear nephew to - temples instead of malls, strong incense instead of bright lights, and laddos and sugar pieces instead of the delights of KFC and Mac... Poor fella, to his credit, he didn't complain.

We went to Chamundeswari temple, to Nanjundeshwara temple and to another small temple near the latter that was the place where Parasuraman atoned for the sin of killing his mother. That reminds me- I do have to read up on my myths and legends. I do remember he cut off his Mom' s head, but can't remember what on earth for.

Chamundeswari- every time we drove past the hill, had wanted to pay the Goddess a visit. Finally we did. And returned content.
Its another story that we got conned. Mom and I paid 15/- for a mere picture of the Goddess. I mean mere paper- no stand, no hook , nothing. I have never EVER bought such pictures from the many temples I've been to in my life. To think that I could've got a better, proper photograph for the same 15/-! What is worse is that the fellow said he didn't have change and so gave me another picture to compensate! I think he must've done some hypnotising or something.... Seriously.

We also paid a visit to that HUGE statue of Nandi enroute. I remember, when I last visited the place from school , we were told that we'd be blessed with good offspring if we went under the forelegs of the bull. Nandi is in a sitting posture, but with its left(I think) foreleg raised a little. It seemed so easy then. But now, a couple was going under (dunno if for the same reasons) and they were just scraping through with quite some difficulty.

Nanjundeswara Temple was a pleasant surprise. None of us had any idea that the temple was such a big one. The architecture was beautiful, I think it was stone, but painted the colour of wood. So your first impression is that it is carved out of wood. It looks like an enlarged version of those sandalwood carvings. It was beautiful. The main deity is Lord Siva, but it also had several others- Parvathi, Ganesha etc. It was a huge, rambling temple and somehow it reminded me of Rameswaram, tho' my memories of that temple are of a 8-10 year old girl, from the time we used to be staying there. Apparently this temple is also associated with prayers/offerings for the souls of the dead.

We nearly didn't go to the Parasuram temple. It was so small, we didn't think that it could possibly be the one our friend had told us about. The one where you supposedly got all your past sins forgiven by praying at its doors. There was this small temple, hordes of trees all around, a brook flowing past right in front.... totally picturesque. And hens being slain, plucked and cooked, by the devotees themselves! There was a bald rock in front of the temple across the brook, where the sacrifice was done. Have any of you ever been fascinated by something you do NOT want to watch? Made sure my little son didn't catch any 'sights'. But he was sensitive to atmosphere. Knew something was happening that was not totally nice. Well, we prayed, but we certainly didn't kill any hens/cocks.
There was also this pair of old men sitting at the temple with a veena, singing songs if you gave them money. Kind of like the snake worshippers, Pulluvar, in Kerala, where the songs they sing are for the appeasement of the snake gods and goddesses, and also to usher in their blessings and prosperity.

In the evening, went to St. Philomena's Cathedral. My Mom's abiding memory of the place was that there had been some huge beehives there. How we laughed at her! And then we found that there were indeed huge beehives on the spires! Some three or four at least. Still.
But like my nephew said, maybe the bees have all died and its just the hives left. For who would climb up to just break up a bee hive? And at that height, if the bees decide they want a sting, you have to give it to them, you can't run away, you have to hold on for dear life.
My little son saw Jesus for the first time at close quarters, on the cross, hands and feet bleeding. And he said, Amma, paavam Jesus. It was Mass time and the church was gradually filling up. The church was absolutely full of gorgeous flowers, in every nook and corner, and we heard that the arch bishop or somebody was also visiting that day. We sat on the steps and it was very pleasant there, sitting in the evening sun, with the breeze on our cheeks.

Mom was saying that she wished we could visit a mosque, then that would complete the outing.. But as if God had heard, just then we passed a mosque and the muezzin was calling out prayers.

Returned to B'lore, tired, but definitely thinking the trip well worth it. Yeah, my nephew too.


Swati said...

Read your post when 5 is better than 6
Hey will always have dilemma ..i am in the same job no longer adds value to my career but then i am still sticking here for the same reason , weekend off and no late night work. True , money is not all , but that would bring value to our kids future. We just cannot ignore that also.

And yes , about me your blog from Mad Momma and have been a silent reader.

itchingtowrite said...

thanks for dropping by on my blog! read all your posts here.. dont u worry- write for yourself and the comments will follow