Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Travel Tale Tuesday: Photos from Nandi Hills outside of Bangalore, India

Happy Tuesday! The weather is so beautiful here in Boise, Idaho. It's sunny, and without the breeze, it's quite warm. Odd weather for February but it's beautiful!

I'm feeling a little under the weather, despite all sunshine here! So for today I only have some photos from an amazing hike I took. The place is known as Nandi Hills. Nandi is the mounted bull that pulls the chariot of Lord Shiva, the gatekeeper of him and his wife Pavarti. The bull is a great guru (teacher) of many Indian masters and is seen as a strong, noble, and respectable animal in Indian culture and religion for many reasons. 

My friend who took me on this hike told me all of this as we climbed the top. It was early on in my trip when this excursion took place, but I saw many of the stories of Nandi that I began to hear and read about come to life during my travels through the country. 

Words nor images can explain the vast sphere of space that opens up before the eyes as the top of the mountain is reached. The area around the hills is very flat, desolate and barren. After sitting for about two hours on the back of a scooter while driving through the middle of the night on the highway the sight of the hills in the distance is impossible to miss. 

Four or five massive smoldering mounds protrude out of the floor of the deserted earth. One very windy, very steep, very narrow road leads only halfway to the top. As the road elevates trees, caves, and streams lay off to the side as if the hills are the only place worth living if you were a wild animal. The monkey's sure seemed to enjoy it, as well as stealing snacks and goodies from naive visitors. 

If the plan is successful, if the time is right, and the last half of the hills are hiked with haste in your step, the summit echoes out onto a vast valley that is quite and cool with the morning sun - still below the horizon - beginning to warm the dew and wake the villages below. 

If the time is right, you'll find yourself there and see what I'm trying to say. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert in Indian religion. It is a very vast, unique, and personal belief system. I am not claiming what one of my friends (who is Hindu) told me as the universal shared belief on Nandi. 

© All writing and photos are original content unless otherwise credited & cited. All content is not to be copied without permission of the author.

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