Further, the road crossed the hills. In some places it broke out, pits, dust and unhurried Indians with hoes began, who have had their whole lives to improve the country’s infrastructure and several others. Somewhere in the hills were the pearls of Heisal architecture – the temples of Belur and Halebid – with carved images of smiling deities and busty goddesses. The Halebid has already become a popular place: a green lawn, postcard vendors, tourist crowds and game guides, pointing to the carved kamasutra on the temple wall. Belur , on the other hand, has kept its non-touristic identity, which translates into the dust and lack of sharpness of the city, the inability to eat in the restaurants and the particular size of the cockroaches in the hotel toilets. But the entrance to the main temple is free and locals hold picnics and wedding ceremonies here. The unique stone sculpture is no worse than Khalebid’s , and in some respects surpasses it. Well, discussing architectural merit is a business of cultural professionals. And we lovers: we looked and went.
On the way we found a storm. Everything is as it should be: with lightning and thunder! Before the monsoons start in India, we get rid of the fact that something can flow from above. Immediately, crawling elements threatened to wash us off the road. I had to hide urgently under the first shot. The small rural house was closed by a castle. Therefore, we simply sat on the porch, looking nostalgically as the wheels of the motorcycle were gradually flooded with water along the axis. An owner appeared, an old shepherd from the village in a lungi and pagne- with several humpback bulls. The bulls started looking at the bike with interest, but the owner drove the animals into the shed and invited us to enter the house to wait for the rain. Drink tea. Yet, good people live in India, spiritual. And the further we go from cities, the better.
Many other interesting things were on our way. Srawanabelagola , for example, is another Jain sanctuary, with a bare statue of St. Bahubali 17 meters high, smiling with a smile looking at the visitors from the top of the hill. Among the saint’s clothes, there are only creepers that have entangled his legs, while he was in meditation standing for a year. In Mysore we saw typeu sultan’s palace, the last of the Indian rulers who resisted the invasion of the British. In Bangalore, overcrowded, they tried to stand in different types of traffic jams – standing, moving, and even in those who seem to move, but in reality. To ride on Bangalore, our ” pepelats ” did not like. He is constantly in traffic and overheated in the heat. In addition, we were controlled by annoying policemen who wanted to receive 100 rupees as a gift.
My companion decided to finish this motorcycle trip and flew to Sri Lanka. And I went north to Andhra Pradesh . There, in the small town of Puttaparthi , lives the famous guru Sai Baba, whose followers are certain that he is a living god. What only incredible stories do not tell about Sai Baba! Biblical miracle workers would like to read the biography of this Indian guru. It is said that it can materialize objects, read thoughts, predict the future, resurrect the dead and much more. Various people go on pilgrimage to Puttaparthi – poor cripples to Hollywood stars. I, too, leaving the bike in front of the doors of the ashram, spent several days with pilgrims. But for some reason, I did not see miracles. Only an enthusiastic and enthusiastic audience, really honoring his teacher as a god. Once only, Sai Baba pulled a chain from his sleeve and handed it to a little Indian boy. “Gold!” – croaked in ecstasy, someone behind me. I was not impressed by the “miracle”. I saw magic tricks in the circus. But if it were possible to rid Puttaparthi of the dust, merchants and beggars who hammer in front of the ashram, it would be a miracle.
However, in India, not everyone honors Sai Baba. Many consider it a fraud. For most Indians, the source of the miracles is located 300 kilometers east, in the village of Tirumala . At the top of the hill is one of the most visited and richest pilgrimage sites in the world. Affirm that the second after the Vatican.
In Tirumalu , at the top, leads a narrow serpentine of the city of Tirupati. At the entrance of the serpentine, the police search you! They are afraid of terrorists. With the crowds that can be seen in Tirumala , the precautions to take do not seem superfluous. Serpentine stretches for 20 kilometers. Overtaking is forbidden, but drivers do not seem to follow this rule too much, trying to push you aside and move on. It’s amazing how much the Indian mentality changes when they get behind the wheel. Usually relaxed and unhurried, on the road all the time in a hurry, climb forward, push, do not miss.
Tirumala is a colony almost entirely composed of hotels. Most of them are free or very cheap, but you can only get a room for a group of people. Singles are sent to the “waiting room” where you can put your belongings in the safe and sleep on the marble floor with hundreds of other pilgrims. Even in private hotels, it is difficult to find a free single room. I only succeeded after two hours of research. That evening, I went to the Venkateshvara temple (a form of Vishnu). Hindus believe that by visiting this temple, you can get rid of sins, improve karma and achieve fulfillment of your desires. As an offering to the deity, the pilgrims shave their hair, men and women. The collateral income of the temple is the manufacture and sale of wigs. However, the money in this temple has never been transferred.
There are so many people who want to go to the temple that the line lasts several hours. Chains of skinheads move inside metal cells and sing: ” Govinda ! Go- ovinda !” At the entrance of the sanctuary, religious ecstasy reaches its peak. People stop being aware of themselves, pushing and even fighting with the police, moving them away from the object of worship. The shimmering and shimmering statue of Venkateshwara favors everyone.
Leaving all the sins at the top of the sacred and descending hill, I stopped in my thoughts. Where to go We are in the trap of “climate”. The rains have already started in the south. To the north, unthinkable heat. While I arrive at the Himalayas, I melt with a motorcycle. So I decided to go back to Bangalore and leave my iron friend there until better times.