Gokarna, India. Wonder where we are in this vast country? Here’s a map to give you a sense of our location on the west coast.
Even paradise can get a little repetitive, so today I took advantage of the resort’s offer of a guided tour into the town of Gokarna. Two of our neighbors signed up too. So we three women and a hotel manager took off in two tuk-tuks to see the sights.
Gokarna is a very holy town, with two major temples, which are both important pilgrimage sites. It’s amazing how busy the Hindu temples we have visited are. Religious rituals are taken very seriously and there is always a crowd waiting to get into the inner sanctuaries. Flower sellers crowd the entrances, as it’s only polite to take a gift to the gods.
Shoes off, we walked through both temple complexes. One has a Ganesh statue said to be over 1500 years old and the other is said to date back to the 4th century. Both were filled with worshipers, who did not seem to take offense at our presence. There is also a tank, used for ritual purification and other religious events.
We walked through the busy main streets and alleys of this pretty little village and saw the most wonderful colors and people everywhere.
Animals receive their due worship here. This wall of snake images must be deeply meaningful, but was somewhat off-putting.
Gokarna is on the sea, and the biggest surprise on the beach were the two camels ready to provide rides to tourists. Poor things.
And then there was a normal contingent of sacred cows, who are numerous and quite at home around the crowds, and the motorcycles and the tuk-tuks. You learn to get out of their way very quickly.
Also in the animal category, Don was a little surprised to see some voyeurs watching him in the bathroom this morning. You have to have a camera everywhere.
We also saw the Thursday market in full swing. Lots of lovely fruits and vegetables, which may end up on our plates tonight.
But the heat and humidity were so oppressive that I didn’t even have to hint to my younger companions that we head for home. They were more eager for the pool than I was, and just as dripping with body fluids.
Don’s Treatment and Food Corner
Don is off tonight, recovering from an intense day of rejuvenation, which he’ll describe tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here are the latest pictures of his humble fare, and my artistically arranged bites of food. Don gets green gruel and mystery goop. I get beet soup, a crostino with pea pesto and a tandoori fish dish. Yum!!!