The temple that is. After a whole day of shopping yesterday and overindulgence (yet again), I thought it was time I did some cultural visits and a little bit of reflection and being a Sunday, all the more reason to visit the local temples. My driver dropped me outside the entrance to the Dodda Ganapathi Temple, adjacent to the Bull Temple that was recommended that I go see. Crossing the street was yet again somewhat of an adventure and after standing aside for more than five minutes and realising that there will be no break in traffic, I decided to do as the locals and zig-zag through, hoping for the best – and it worked.
The most obvious difference I noticed between my travels in the North and South is probably the architecture. Visiting the north with its forts and palaces, there was a clear influence of the Mughal architecture where the emphasis was on wide open spaces, geometric designs and the many domes and arches (Fatepur Sikri, Amber Palace, Jamia Masjid in Delhi and of course, the Taj Mahal to name a few), decorated by calligraphy and absolutely no depictions of people or animals. Here, it was more organic and temples were adorned with a myriad of small carvings depicting the many gods as well as animals. Inside the Dodda Ganapathi Temple, a prayer service was being held, with many people crowding the entrance in order to give their offerings of fruit and paying their respects. To say it was busy is somewhat of an understatement.
Next stop was the Bull Temple, just a brief walk away. When I got there, it was just that. A big black bull statue in a small temple. I guess it was rather self explanatory by the name but I was expecting it to have a bit more than that. I’m still in the process of discovering the temples of the South and already, compared to the Mughal architecture prevalent in the North I can see how India has had a rich history full of conquests, destruction and rebirth. It is a land of huge contrasts yet also living as one.