Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bishnupur - Sunday 21 Feb 2010

I'm happy to note that the signwriter made the necessary adjustment to The Institute of Advanced Studies sign. I feel pleased that my intervention has helped improve the visual landscape here ever so slightly.
I forgot to mention in yesterday's entry that the other reason I didn't stay at the Heritage Hotel was that while I was musing over whether I could tolerate the sound of grinding until 7pm, a van arrived, disgorging some Indian tourists. One man, carrying a small suitcase, rushed down the corridor & into the room in question, claiming it as his.
This morning I did a temple tour of Bishnupur for Rs150 by cycle rickshaw for a couple of hours. The temples, built in the 16- & 1700's and made of laterite, are quite unusual & nearly 30 are dotted around the township (we visited about 10 of them). Many are lavishly decorated with ornamental carvings on terracotta tiles or stone, and they often have a quite unusual shape - two parallel sides while the other two sides slope outwards, giving them a skew-whiff look at certain angles. Some of the rooves (?roofs) are curved, like the underside of a small boat. There's a 'sound & light' show at night which I briefly looked at but I couldn't quite see the point of looking at the temples as they changed colour from red to yellow to blue etc. Bishnupur is a pretty relaxed place, and early in the afternoon today (Sunday) most of the shops were shut & hardly anyone was to be seen.


Shyamrai  Temple

My plan for tomorrow is to head toward Shantiniketan, a town made famous by its connection with Rabindranath Tagore. The route there seems a little complicated as apparently there is no bridge where most maps show there to be one. So I'll need to rely on local directions - not always an easy task as local folk, to make a generalisation, just don't seem to have a good ability to give directions or to draw maps. I've been given maps in the past that are quite 'creative' in that directions such as left or right as drawn on the map rarely correlate with left & right in reality. i.e. the manager at Hotel Hindusthan drew me a map showing how to get out of town & back onto the highway - "go to the left at the roundabout" as he drew an arrow pointing to the right ...


Anonymous said...

"go to the left at the roundabout" as he drew an arrow pointing to the right ...

Dont you just love the idiosyncratic culture of India.

Thats great Dave.
Zounds an interesting place.

latrite Hmm Hmm, cant say I would recognize the stone if I fell over it Iam intriqed. Things in OZ are sam ole same ole Politics is getting interesting but I will leave that to your imagination.

Ride Safely Dave.

Bikkhu Pete

david w said...

yep, sure do. And like tonight when the bloke in the hotel told me the internet cafe was at the end of the street & turn right, which I did, and walked maybe a kilometre before turning back. needless to say it was abut 100m from the corner, to the LEFT. it wasn't an English thing, as he'd pointed to the right also. oh well, I needed the walk ...
Re laterite: there's a link to Wikipedia on the word, just for you!