From Bus Hopping To Shadow Hopping
Trichy Travel Blog› entry 25 of 67 › view all entries
Today I went to visit the temples in Trichy via the local bus.
Have you ever been on a city bus in India? Usually nothing is written in English so you have to depend on strangers to tell you where to catch what bus. This is where I bow my head to the wonderful people at Lonely Planet who write all sorts of little tid bits of info in their guidebooks. There is a lot of fun in riding the buses in India as long as you’re not afraid to depend on strangers for help.
Taking the bus is essentially the whole “it’s not the destination but the journey” idea.
Bus rides give you a seemingly random and relatively safe tour of the city. Relatively. In India, right of way goes to the vehicle that would survive a head on collision. So if you ride a bus, you don’t have to worry about getting run over by traffic cuz you’re inside the vehicle that’s most likely doing the running over.
And then of course there are all the helpful people who are crammed into the bus with you. They all want to know where you’re going and once your stop approaches, THEY ALL let you know that it’s time to get off. It’s funny cuz they need to yell over the Indian music blaring over the speakers.
Yup, there’s a soundtrack to every bus ride.
I think it makes them feel good to help out a wandering foreigner find her way. But I know how to play my part. Lots of smiling is key. Afterall, aren’t you more likely to help someone who looks like she’ll really be happy to receive it?
Well, onwards to the destination part of my journey. Here in Trichy are two well known temples: Rock Fort Temple that sits high on top of a boulder hill in the center of the city, and the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple complex north of the river. Taking up 60 hectares, it is the largest temple complex in India. I still can’t say its name.
Both are Hindu temples as are many of the temples I’ve visited in the last two weeks. And like most Hindu temples, you must take off your shoes before entering. I haven’t had any problems with this until today.
Apparantly, it’s starting to get hotter now that the winter season is coming to an end. So there I was, trying to explore the largest temple complex in India by scampering from shadow to shadow trying to keep my feet from burning! That was a whole new challenge added to my photography. Those stone pathways get really hot by late afternoon.