April 9, 2009
Yesterday we headed northeast to a nearby city called Warangal, with our friends, Heather and Spence and our kickin hosts, Vijaya (sister in law), Chaitanya (brother in law) and Revi (Vijaya's brother). We hopped on a train for about 2 hours. After arriving in Warangal we got a taxi that could hold us all (some weird sort of Chevy SUV with sideways seats in the back). We then headed up to these old Hindu temple ruins about an hour away. They were hidden up in some hills next to a big lake. The ruins dated back to around 1200 AD. They're somewhat falling apart, but not seemingly from age, but perhaps a mild earthquake or something. Don't worry, there are a few priests and pilgrims that maintain some life at the ruins. Unfortunately, though, no one seems concerned with keeping the ruins free from graffiti, as it seems like e ery visitor feels the need to inscribe their name somewhere on these 800 year old relics.
We then went to another temple, much better maintained, that is bigger and older than the others, it was from around 1100 AD. The highlight for me was the tribe of monkeys that lived off of the mango trees surrounding the area. I dig how monkeys are so much like us, but different.
Then off to a fort, but when we got there they were charging a ton to see the ruins that you could already see from the road, so we decided to pass on that. We then went to some awesome rocks up on a hill. Somewhat like slickrock down in Moab, but more granite like rock. Anyway, we explored those for an hour or so, then headed out to one more temple. This one was called the Temple of a Thousand Pillars. It was even older than the others, build around 1000 AD. And still operational, with a Brahma priest sitting inside making offerings for visitors.
It was at this temple that Spence became an international star. There was a huge group of guys, all dressed in orange (which means they're like fasting or something like that) and they all wanted to take pictures of Spence (being 6 foot 5 or whatever he is). It happens everywhere we go, but there it was awesome... it really was like he was a celebrity.
Ok, for photos, check out the updates on Steve's photo blog at here. I'll try to post some soon.