A couple of years ago, we traveled with friends to India in a car with a local driver. Of course, first of all they visited the cities of the golden triangle: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur. Not paid attention to the ancient temples of Pushkar (also this city is known for its only Brahma temple in India), one of the most beautiful cities of Udaipur, the Blue City of India Jodhpur, the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri, Chittorgarh, the largest fort of India with a heroic and dramatic history (when men , defenders of the fortress, died, thousands of women committed jawhar – ritual self-immolation). Each of these places worthy of a separate story. I want to talk about two interesting cases of our journey – I will not write about sad things, some other time, in the mood.
One evening we arrived in a small town in the hope of finding an overnight stay. Having toured almost all the hotels (just like Mr. Twister), they were convinced that there were no places. The cause was the feast of lights – Diwali! Everyone wanted to see. They themselves did not know why they were circling around the city. On a deserted street they noticed a lonely Hindu standing, next to him lay a motorcycle. They stopped, and our driver complained: they say, I want to eat like that, and there is nowhere to spend the night. The Hindu raised the bike, waved his hand – we followed him. Streets, lanes, turns, the car was barely placed on the narrow roadway. We stopped near the building of unknown destination and agreed on a small fee for the night. It was already scary, tired and fell asleep quickly.
In the morning we looked around during breakfast (traditional tea with milk, delicious hot tortillas). It turned out that we woke up in the temple of Ganesh (there are rooms for pilgrims inside) – the legal guests, fortunately, lingered. Ganesh is an elephant-headed deity, the patron saint of travelers (our version), the god of prosperity and wisdom. Ganesha is called the wish fulfilling elephant. Checked!
So we think that it was? Had Ganesh himself come to the aid of desperate travelers from a faraway cold country? And in the image of whom – it is not so important. Do you agree?
The second case occurred on the shore of a small lake. Locals, seeing tourists, gladly jumped into the lake from a rather high altitude. They liked our admiration for their courage and dexterity. Of course, everyone tried to take a photo, but this is a difficult task – a snapshot in motion. Sudden jump! I managed to catch a glimpse of a Hindu, he realized that I wanted to shoot his flight. He politely waited until I aimed. The photo turned out great, clear, atmospheric (for where there is still relaxation, if not in flight).
I would also like to talk about the wedding. Somehow they saw the ceremony from afar and became interested. In India, their curious and sometimes scary customs:
necessarily make horoscope young
the bride puts on a red sari (which is interesting: the ancient Slavs’ bridal attire was also red in color, the girl was red!), and henna was applied to her hands and feet
only vegetarian and dairy dishes are served
it is believed that the wedding is a connection of young people for the next seven lives
the bridegroom should appear on the horse (did the expression “prince on the white horse” come from here?)
the symbol of a married woman is a red dot on her forehead, Bindi. The red dot is also often put in temples, symbolizing the beginning of a new life.
If the wife outlived her husband, her fate is sad: her name is not called anywhere, it is believed that she brings unhappiness. In ancient India, widows often performed jawhar. It is said that even now in some villages this happens, this is an ancient custom.
India is a country that is always small, just one visit is not enough. I have plans for Varanasi (a city of life and death) and Khajuraho (a temple complex dedicated to the art of love, known for images from the Kama Sutra). I hope everything will work out!
Inspired by the trip to this vibrant and distinctive country, I began to practice Indian dances. A slice of hot India is now with me even in cold Moscow.