Wednesday, November 4, 2009

From Bangalore to Mysore

So I still have some India pics to share with you all.   Our trip also took in Khajuraho and Agra.  I haven't posted pictures of these places as lovely as they were.  Mostly because you can see some of the same images in art books and National Geographic.  And they don't have the same presence in pictures as they do in real life.  But if you have the chance you must go to both those places.  Meanwhile here are some pictures of temples and vendors.

I wish I had a better picture of the following temple.  I took the photo as we were rushing past in the car and most of the face of the temple was quite shaded.

Can you believe that parrot?  The sculpture in the south of India is quite cartooney.  I'm sorry I can't explain why.

You can't really tell it while IN Bangalore but the countryside already is quite tropical.

And these temples rise up out of nowhere.

India is a very religious country.  Religion is interwoven into daily life.

Everyone has their own personal god, and seemingly a very personal relationship with that god.  Which includes a little shrine to him/her at home.  You will also find many streetcorner shrines that are much smaller in scale than temples. But people stop by at odd times of day to get in touch with their deity.

Portable temple: BYOG (Bring Your Own God?)

There is a naivete to these representations but still a wonderful sensitivity especially in the animal figures.

I think they are telling the story of the Ramayana, the epic tale of Rama and Gita that everyone in India seems to know and which seems to elicit great happiness in it's recounting.

Rama is assisted in his rescue of Gita by Hanuman, the Monkey God

There are no apparent conflicts between commerce and religion at these sites.  People need to buy flowers and fruit sometimes to bring to their shrines and no one ever minds a cool drink or snack after coming out.  I guess you could call this the Indian version of the mini-mall

Division of labor seems to be that the men engage in the commerce and interaction with the public.

While the women labor.  In the countryside you will see a lot of men lounging like this around shops, outside homes. Meanwhile the woman are on their hands and knees in the fields or doing laundry or carrying water (on their heads, yes!).  Nice life guys!

And yes, the cows do belong to SOMEONE.

Even in the simplest vignette, there exists wide ranging and harmonious interminglings of color.

A family home by the roadside.

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