This is when you know you are unfit
27.02.2010 - 27.02.2010 35 °C
Well, soent last Saturday visiting some amazing temples in Kanartaka. The 1st is a Jain temple called Shravanabelagola which has a 60 - 70ft statue carved from a single lump of stone. Really beautiful.
But what they didn't tell me was that it was at the top of a huge hill and we had to climb up.
Not too bad if you are young, fit and healthy, but when you are 43, fat, unhealthy with high blood pressure and just recovering from the flu you feel like you are going to die.
Half way up I was sitting on a step, head between my knees gasping for breath.
But I survived and i am so glad I persevered as it was a truly wonderful place to be.
We then went on to 2 more places Belur (Chennakesava temple) and Halebidu (Hoysaleswara temple).
Both of these were amazing architecture and history. OK, you have to run the gauntlet of the "tat sellers" - "hello madam, my name johnny, buy my postcards - maybe later. Remember my name". But that is all part of the fun.
The temples were amazingly beautiful. But what did surprise me was some of the carvings. This is a country that frowns upon ladies wearing anything that shows a bit of flesh yet they have Karma Sutra carvings on the outside of temples that, if they were in the UK, would be top shelf or brown envelope material.
The problem is, these tend to take a lot of attention away from the rest of the temple as you could see tourists pointing and nudging each other.
One thing I would suggest is that you pay for a guide. They are not expensive. A couple of hundred rupees with get you a detailed tour. But prepare for the commentary to be like something out of "Goodness Gracious Me" (Uk indian comedy show). For those who haven't seen it there was a father character who spend the whole sketch talking to his son and claiming everything to be "Indian" (including Shakespeare). Well these guides were the same. They would find a carving that showed something that could be interpreted as a man looking upwards through a tube and claim it as evidence that Indians had telescopes 400 yrs before Gallileo. Now they may be correct but when this has been said about 1) mini skirts 2) cropped trousers 3) manicures 4) ear rings 5) womens hairstyles 6) Army helmets 7) Lawyers gowns/bathrobes (each guide had a different theory) etc etc it does get to be quite funny.
One thing I will say, if you visit temples, even if you are wearing flip flops, carry a pair of socks to put on when you leave your shoes at the entrance as the stones get incredibly hot. We all ended up doing meercat style hot hopping. There are mats but when you have scorched your feet they are also uncomfortable.
My feel are still tender after 2 days!