Hamming it up in Haridwar
Haridwar Travel Blog› entry 7 of 19 › view all entries
The night bus dropped us off at 5.30am into Haridwar and a rickshaw scooped us up and deposited us at the Hotel Om Deluxe.
We discovered that we were not able to check in because checkin is at noon. Again I cursed the shady travel agent. They very generously offered us a different room to sleep in till noon when our room would be ready.
We slept like the dead and moved about 1ish.
Haridwar is a very intense town. We saw only two couples of tourists the whole day which is fantastic but still it leaves me a little intimidated. After an hour or so of strolling trying to not stick out like a sore thumb we were stopped by the town police who requested we pay the madatory donation for city repairs. Our duty done we decided to sit and have some food to collect our thoughts.
The restaurant had the best food I've tasted in India yet and all served in big green leaves from some kind of tree. I asked the english speaking waiter where the temples were and he waved us in a direction.
After a bit he pulled up behind us on a scooter and organised a rickshaw to take us to 6 temples for Rs200, pretty good deal, so we went.
I was expecting austere, simple yet ornate detailed temples with a shrine, incence, holy men and blessings and perhaps a spot to meditate. What we got was temple culture for people with ADHD.
They were huge with walls absolutely covered with mirrored mosaic designs floor to cieling... including ceiling. The shrines were nativity scenes with very dark stories portrayed. They were a little raunchy (I'll post pics soon hopefully) and very disturbing. Each temple took a mere 15 minutes because most also have a cave labyrinth section where you have to duck your head or crawl through so the crowd keeps you moving. You can't get bored in these temples and you can't take a minute to reflect. Its the Carnival of Religion.
I love Haridwar!