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This is the entrance to the ashram. See the stones? They weigh down the rod you see on the left so that it does not lift to allow vehicles to pass. The parking lot is another way. Ingenious and simple, eh? Can you see someone tampering with the stones? Didn’t think so.
Next, is the sacred bull, the Nandi (Lord Shiva’s mount). This is usually placed right in front of Shiva’s shrine. 🙂 I think they just put it here temporarily, outside the Hanuman Shrine. It looked somewhat lonely and pensive. I actually felt like giving it an hug.
Past the gate, as we approached that huge Vittala Statue you saw last week, there’s a little vendor on the right who sells these worship items. We did not buy any. He also watches over devotees’ footwear, which must be taken off at this point, for a nominal fee. From here, it is barefoot all the way until we exit.
Once we get past this point (barefoot) there’s a large shrine to Goddess Durga, outside which is this tree. See the little bunches of baskets hanging from the tree? These are cradles. Tradition has it that women who are unable to conceive can pray here and tie their own cradle to the tree and their wish will be granted. 🙂
Here is a close up of the basket. The shop on the premises sells these, each with a little doll inside.
This is the shop. The lady who owns it lives in a room behind it.
The shop also has toys and eats, ice cream, cold drinks..
Popcorn, puffed and flavored rice and lots of other stuff:
And hundreds of necklaces – beaded, metal, plastic – all in different colors.
I loved these bracelets. Elastic. Sadly, they were too small for my wrist. Aren’t they sweet?
How about this lovely swan keychain? (Ignore the hand, please)
Or these cheerful hearts with arrows and the cute pup? (Oh, I know my hands are large)
Mmnmnn…this is Lord Murugan – Shiva’s son. Yes, I bought this one for Rs.10/- and took him home. Money can buy God.
Money can also buy money. I only paid Rs.10/- for this nicely laminated bunch. It has a sample of every paper money denomination used in India.
I enjoyed seeing some kids pestering their mom to buy them some stuff. The little girl wouldn’t let go of what she wanted. 🙂 Would you blame her?
I could go on and on, you know. My album from this little trip has hundreds of photos. Yes, very shutterbug. My country fascinates me so.
But let’s head over to the fabulous Unknown Mami’s blog who hosts this wonderful link-up and see her lovely city. From there, we can travel the world together! What a treat!
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