Wednesday, April 9, 2014

India: Going Back Home

I then started the long journey back home by making the 9 hour drive back to Bangalore. Thankfully, we followed our drivers advice and stopped at Hotel Saravanna's restaurant for brunch.

For the complete back story on my trip to India, read these posts:
Bangalore, India / Tiruvannamalai, India / Pondicherry, India - Day One
Pondicherry, India - Day Two / Pondicherry, India - Day Three

Again, the food was amazing. The Masala Dosa at this restaurant was particularly large and delicious. Within that large pancake is a masala spiced potatoe mash, it is amazing and one of my favorite dishes!

We gobbled it right up and washed it down with Chai tea. 

Mom and I taking pictures of eachother outside the restaurant. 

We then checked out the nearby temple. 

A row of Tuk-Tuk's - also known as motor taxi's and always a good time. 

We then traveled a few more hours and took a quick break at the above temple, which looks very similar to the one we visited at lunch. 


By this time, we were a bit frazzled by the long drive and nearly forgot to follow the custom of taking our shoes off before entering the temple. Thankfully we were warned by the yelling locals. Oops!

In retrospect, it would have been better to wear lightweight flip flops and carry a larger bag with socks to navigate this process more effectively.

We then took our drivers recommendation and visited the Golden Temple (Sripuram Temple), which was started by Guru Amma. This temple is relatively new and not in any of the guide books - it was an amazing sight! Pictures were not allowed so these pictures are pulled from the internet.

You will be denied entrance if your shoulders, upper arms, collar bone or ankles are showing so plan accordingly.

We were shocked to see this temple as the estate is so large you can not see the temple from the roadside - you only glimpse the Golden Temple after you enter and follow a long winding cage-like hallway into the main temple area. 

There were many local people waiting to visit - the wait was about two hours long or you could pay 250 rupees to skip the line. We paid the rupees. It was an amazing sight and the people were curious about our presence but also very kind. Upon exiting the Golden Temple, we followed the crowd thinking the exit was near but instead was directed to an outbuilding where we were served a simple and quick meal of white rice and vegetable mash on a palm leaf. It was quite the experience!


We then drove a few more hours to Bangalore, had a quick dinner and again stayed with our Indian friend in her Rajarajeshwari Nagar neighborhood home. I packed for my departure the next day and said my goodbyes. My mom was fortunate to stay on two more weeks and spent a good portion of that time at an Aryveda Spa.

I woke the next morning at 5am to catch my early flight. My driver was a bit late (as he was stopped by the local police questioning why he was out so early), which provided for an exciting morning. But after crossing through the airport checkpoint and then checking in with the airline, passport and security checks I made my flight with 15 minutes to spare. Phew!

 As Bangalore is the "Silicone Valley of India" the airplane was filled with business professional men traveling for work... and then me in my polkadot slippers. I sat next to two nice young Indian men traveling to Atlanta and London on work contracts - I passed along my last few rupees to one of these men as it was not worth exchanging.

Ten hours later I was at Heathrow Airport in London where I had a five hour layover - I wandered around the airport and blindly bought chocolates and other souiveniers in my jet lagged haze. Due to some confusion with the International time and changing of gates, I nearly missed my airplane but thankfully made it just in time. I buckled into my aisle seat (which I was thankful to have), sat next to a nanny from New Jersey who was returning from a vacation in Dubai and endured an eight hour ride with plenty of turbalance.

After traveling through three countries in 24 hours and living that day twice, I finally returned to Philadelphia... to drive an hour and half home, which my hubby thankfully did. 
Here are a few more fun pictures:

To those who are wondering, I had no issues with safety or food quality. The food was amazing and I never felt unsafe however I took the obvious precautions of only using bottled water (even for brushing my teeth), getting vaccinated, taking malaria pills, and only traveling in a group usually under the guidance of a local driver. I did find it helpful to dress conservatively (keeping my ankles, shoulders and collar bone covered) as is the custom there. There were not many international tourists at the locations I traveled to so the local people were very curious by our presence - this often lead to obvious and constant staring, which was harmless in nature but occasionally felt intimdating to me.

It was a whirlwind and brief trip (only 9 days) to India but unforgettable and amazing. Words do not do it justice, only the pictures and memories can. I made some new and wonderful memories with my Mom and we were able to bond over the experience. I was also able to conquer many of my fears going into this trip, which is always a good feeling. This trip was about living intentionally and taking full advantage of the opportunities that come your way.

Thank you in sharing this journey with me! I wrapped up this review just in time for another trip I am taking soon, I am forever grateful for the travel opportunities that have come my way.
Xo, Kaylin


HappinessSavouredHot said...

Those are very nice pictures and memories. You are one lucky woman. I hope to go to India soon as it's been a lifelong dream. Thank you for bringing back the idea to my mind. :-)

Kaylin Lydia said...

HappinessSavouredHot, thank you for the comment! India was grand, I hope to go back some day but I am so grateful for the experience. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to stay with friends while over there. You will get there some day, make sure to take lots of pictures and to post them! : )

Kaylin Lydia said...

HappinessSavouredHot, thank you for the comment! India was grand, I hope to go back some day but I am so grateful for the experience. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to stay with friends while over there. You will get there some day, make sure to take lots of pictures and to post them! : )