Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hanuman Temple - 5 February 2012

Our friend Sara is getting married and leaving Coonoor next week.  One of the things she really wanted to do before she left was visit this Hanuman temple on the road to Ooty.

"Hanuman, the mighty ape that aided Lord Rama in his expedition against evil forces, is one of the most popular idols in the Hindu pantheon. Believed to be an avatar of Lord Shiva, Hanuman is worshiped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion. Hanuman's tale in the epic Ramayana - where he is assigned the responsibility to locate Rama's wife Sita abducted by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka — is known for its astounding ability to inspire and equip a reader with all the ingredients needed to face ordeals and conquer obstructions in the way of the world."  (from

The temple is at the top of this mountain, but all you can see from the street is this yellow building.

After you pass through the yellow building, you come to this statue of Hanuman.

Behind these statues and under the rocks is this natural pool of water that you bless yourself with before proceeding.  Sara sprinkled us with the holy water.

Needless to say, there were many Hanuman statues en route to the temple, probably a kilometer.

The further up we climbed, the more vast the vistas.

At last, the cave that is the temple.

The little squares are places to place your foot as you walk.  With each stap you chant "Shri Ram."

After the walking "Shri Ram" mantra, at this station you pour oil on the black Hanuman statue and milk on the brass Hanuman.

We paid 20 rupees each for a special puja.  (Did I say that Sara is Muslim?)

After puja, we went down these stairs to the bowels of the temple.  At least Sara did.  The stairs were made of large gravel, roughly plastered with cement, and my feet couldn't continue.

This is what Sara saw below.  Stepping, chanting stones and .....

It was such a truly beautiful hike up, and then the temple itself was moving in its natural massiveness.  (I love the rocks and mountains.)  I am deeply grateful to the Shri Jay Hanuman Kugai Koil Trust for creating such a sacred space in this gorgeous natural place.  It was a great experience.

Friday, February 10, 2012

January 2012

Clouds over Mettapalayam, on our morning walk 4 January.

Our friends, Atul and Shriya, with Gopal on our 8 January visit.

Sun going down behind the clouds, evening walk

We named this street dog Ganzhu
On our walks through Singara, this is the sign on the first tea stand we pass.  It makes us laugh.

The building on the right is The Clinic for the Poor where I volunteer.  On 11 January, as we were closing up for the day, the little old woman in the picture came for pain medication.  She was so frail, she couldn't sit down to rest.  So much pain.  She lives down the hill straight ahead in this picture.  The road is steep, with terrible holes and rough pavement.  Not knowing she couldn't sit down, I pulled my car up and tried to put her in my car so I could drive her home.  But, no.  After she left, I cried for her and her life.  She was also malnourished.  It makes me cry while I type this.

29 January was my friend Sheila's youngest son's wedding.  The picture doesn't do justice to the beauty of my new saree for the occasion.  The wedding was beautiful and so were the bride and groom.  The food was good, and I think I saw every person I know.  Fun.

Beautiful Sara came to help me into my saree.  She's wearing a saree her new husband gave her which is really gorgeous.