Friday, 1 July 2011

Ollie Riley and the Temple of DOOOOM!! (Temple of Nataraja)

I am sorry but I havent got any photos to go along with this. Religious services were going on and it just wasnt appropreite. The temple was very sacred and I was slightly uncomfortable as it was. Please Google Images it and maybe read along with some photos. I will try and describe it as best I can.

This was my first visit to a real Hindu temple. Year 8 Neasdon temple trip in north London doesn't count. As you walk up to the temple you are confronted with what you are probably looking at on Google. There are four of these and this is not the temple, it is simply 4 gates into the temple. They are huge and with such incredible detail that you could spend a lifetime looking at just one. Inside this walled temple are small, personal temples, all relating to different gods but all in the honor of the Lord Shiva. The temple is mainly inside and you almost feel as if you are in caves, the hundreds of bats flying freely do add to this feeling a little bit. The whole experience wasn't in the slightest scary, despite being in the evening with little sunlight and dark corridors and passageways. There was lots of chanting and singing and hypocritically I felt that I was in a protected place, little harm could come to me, it felt very safe. I cant find any picture of the inside of the temple but it is beautiful. Many shrines and statues that hundreds of locals go to worship. Brahmins (the highest class in Hinduism) wear white and look after the Temple, but there was a slight aura of arrogance about them, as if they knew they were at the top. They often sat high up in little coves in the walls and looked down on worshipers below. I was accepted at the Temple and for once I wasn't looked at as a complete stranger. People were more focused on the purpose of them being there than the purpose of me being there. It was incredibly interesting but with so much going on and so so many Gods I wasn't completely aware of what was what. Could have done with Michael Damiani's dissertation as a guide book. It goes without saying that this is recommended and I feel privileged that I have seen what I have. This will not be my last visit.

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