Jaisalmer and the temple
Jaisalmer Travel Blog› entry 61 of 88 › view all entries
OK, I have made it to Jaisalmer after a VERY long day of driving. India roads are insane....insane I tell you!! We were seriously holding our breath. This almost topped the crazy Egyptian driver who was going 125 km/hr in a 50 km/hr tunnel in Cairo. There were cows all over the place and they don't seem to want to move, random contruction and potholes, and terrible twisting roads. The WORST though was that our driver constantly passed. Sometimes, we made it by inches before a giant truck almost hit us. Terrible!
On to some good stuff...we stopped at a fantastic Jain temple in the middle of the rolling green jungle-like hills. The architecture was stunning. The jains believe in complete non-violence. They don't eat any meat and don't even eat vegetables that grow in the ground. The head priest of the temple was very nice though and we arrived before anyone else did and he gave us a blessing by putting the yellow dot on our heads. It was nice.
Jaisalmer is a pretty buy town. We leave early tomorrow for another town. I m definately learning some more about the Indian culture though...or at least the tour guide as he loves to talk about himself, himself, and himself (can you tell...Im not a huge fan).
The caste system is still very much prevelant in Indian society, although it is now illegal. They believe there are four different levels...in order from most prestigious to least...the head (at the top), the chest and arms, the stomach, and the feet. As the guide is in a fairly high caste, he seems to think that he is above a lot of the other Indian people we meet and often talks down to them, etc. I am trying to accept that this is possibly part of the culture but am not a big fan. He is proud to tell us that he cheated his way through high school but nevertheless, how great he is....not a fan. On top of it, we hear non-stop how Muslim people are "interbred" and all around just bad people....so many generalizations. He feels that it is okay to judge people and the way to solve the problem is a "Hitler type approach". NOT A FAN! Violence and generalizations do not solve anything!
I am really hoping that this is just one man's perspective and not the Indian culture in general, so I look forward to learning more and hopefully meeting more local people that perhaps, have a different perspective....maybe a more peaceful approach like Ghandi.