The Gopalaswamy (God Who Tends the Cattle, that is, Krishna) Temple is a beautiful little hillside temple in the eponymous Gopalaswamy Betta (Hill)…and these images caught my eye.
The first thing that strikes one are these mendicants:
Theirs seems to be a pretty organized economic activity; here they are, accepting alms…
You can see one of them putting the plate with the coins to his forehead as a mark of gratitude and respect. The plates are marked with the “naamam” that Vishnu wears on His forehead..and with the “shankha” (conch) and “chakra” (wheel)that are in His hands.
But what tickled me pink was the bike tucked away behind them:
Did the moped belong to the temple priest? Or did one of these beggars make enough money to own it, and zoom off on it at the end of the day? I lacked the courage to ask them, preferring to speculate!
I have posted a picture of the brass vessel that these mendicants use in this post:
and a detail of the sculpture at the corner of the temple, here:
Here is the temple vimana or gopura:
This gopura has very computer-savvy-IT sculptures...heh, heh, because...in the centre of the picture, you can see Vishnu with his "laptop" (who is Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth!)
I loved this "garage" for the wheels and yoke of the temple Ratha. Note the pot of drinking water with a "tumbler"(that's what that small steel vessel is called)and of course the ubiquitous mineral water bottle...and even funnier, note the little framed photographs of various gods (I think that's Ayyappa). Even in a temple premises, apparently, there need to be other such pictures apart from the idols around! I am amazed by the need for such plurality....Hinduism has 33 crore gods and goddesses!
Here's another "set of wheels"--not an American automobile, but really a set of wheels.... (isn't the wood gorgeous!) stacked near the wall of the temple:
Here are the vessels in which the temple prasad (food offered to the deity) is made:
And here's a lot of food that seems to have been just thrown away, surely a crime in a country like ours!
A country where food is still cultivated in the age-old fashion:
Nearby is another temple. Temples usually have a small figurine of the main god or goddess at the rooftop; this one is that of Durga, astride the lion (isn't that funny, in an area which is close to a tiger reserve!)...
Almost all temple walls are painted with red and white stripes in south India; I really don't know why. This building itself has been painted red!
I am closing with this picture, for , of the monsoon in the hills:
And this lovely picture of a ..er…jumbo traffic jam at the Bandipur Forest Reserve reception area, from where jeeps take visitors into the forest (you can see the red-and-white road-block lever which is up right now)….
Going to Bandipur again next week….I do love the place!