Jyotir Lingum Yatra
Sunday, December 01, 2002
We arrive late in Bombay tonight, after leaving Srisailam after breakfast this morning. It has been a long day, but visiting the Shiva Temple in Srisailam has been the high point of my trip so far.
One of the reasons I come to India again and again is that I feel deeply connected to it. Well, I went through a couple of days of disenchantment, mostly due to airport security (I have had to fight with them not to put my film through the Xray machines--maybe a couple of times through is o.k., but not over a dozen times, as we are taking at least that many flights inside India), long bus rides, and some roommate issues (we are sleeping 3 to a room to save money).
Srisailam brought me back to experiences I treasure from the Himalayas. While Srisailam is in Andhra Pradesh, it is a foothill like area. We stayed in a guest house that was very basic, but clean and comfortable enough to suit me. It was refreshing compared to the veneer of the fancy Taj hotels we are staying at in the bigger cities. The very area itself was permeated with sounds a chanting and the smell of incense. People here were still very curious toward us. As I understand it Westerns are very rare in Srisailam, but they were not as pushy.
While it took some time for our guides to negotiate our being able to actually get a close-up experience with the Jyotir Lingum at the Shiva Temple, it was well worth the wait. The next time you see me, ask me about the electric drum machine there. It was wild!
Shopping in Bombay tomorrow. Wish me luck.
Until next time....