Monday, May 20, 2019

Day 2: Beware of the monkeys!

Our second day in India felt a lot calmer. Everyone was much less jet lagged, and even though we had an early start, everyone was ready to go.
Our second day in India felt a lot calmer. Everyone was much less jetlagged, and even though we had an early start, everyone was ready to go. First we stopped at a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, the creator god. Bhargavi explained to us the history of the temple and theology of the Hindu religion.

When we went into the temple everyone had to take their shoes off out of respect. The stones of the temple were hot on our feet, but they were also smooth from the centuries of people walking on them. The temple had statues of Shiva in three different forms, one of his youthful form, another of his marriage to his consort, and another as an infant. People prayed there and asked for blessings from the idols.

Farther into the temple there was a pond surrounded by high steps. There people were soaking their feet. Our group joined the pond and the water offered some cool relief from the hot stones.

Next we went to Nandi Hills. Elbin told us to hide all loose possessions or hold on to them tightly because monkeys are known to steal them away. I had to put my small purse in a friend’s backpack. Nandi Hills is one of the hills overlooking the temple. These provided aerial views of many agricultural fields.

Again, Bhargavi explained the significance. She told us of the current issues surrounding agriculture in India, and the struggles caused by climate change and lack of available water, and of the disconnect between farmers and the government that controls the crops that are grown. Since my group project topic is food and agriculture, I found this very interesting and thought it was a good place to start my education on the topic.

Lydia E.


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