Tyson´s Travels

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Tirupathi – Temple Hike

>The largest contemporay art instalation in the world may be the
staircase up to the mountain temple of Tirupathi. This 10km covered
staircase sees thousands of walkers a day many who bend down to put a
dob of paint on to the edge of each stair to show their devotion. The
result is a riot of reds, oranges and pinks stretching up through the
forest for 10 km. Pilgrims do this "hike" day and night. According to
a couple of Indians I talked to there have been tiger attacks at
night on lone walkers. I hiked it in the day and all I saw was a lone
wild samba deer posing for photos with pilgrims as if it was a trained

At the very top of the stairs is a massive pilgramage resort.
Everything that you could need is there including a shopping mall. All
organized courtesy of the temple folk. Parts of it strangely reminded
me a little of the summer resorts I use to go to in the US with my

The biggest difference were the inclusions of massive dorms in
addition to the resort style cottages the large families rented. The
dorms were spotless and the washrooms were constantly wet from
cleaning. In the basement was the massive free food line up.

Three hundred people are let in for each meal sitting which lasts less
then 10 minutes. The doors are opened and everyone rushes in to claim
a fixed to the floor metal stool. It is a lot like musical chairs.
When everyone is seated anybody left standing has to leave. Stainless
steel tables stretch the length of the room and are also fixed down.
Each table is split down the middle leaving a path wide enough for a
cart to be pushed through.

Each table place already had a banana leaf with condiments set neatly
on it. A cart comes around and a massive plate load of rice is scooped
onto each leaf followed by a massive helping of spicy dahl. Usually
accused of an eat and run attitude to dining at home I knew I would be
the slowest eater here but I did my best. The Indian's started
shoveling down the food with their fingers leaving me far behind (no
utensils were given). In four minutes most were finished and having
seconds while I struggled with my first half. The quantity of rice
each person was given was massive and would easily serve six at home.
I was one of the last to leave the dining room even though I didn't
have seconds. My fingers on my right hand had pruned up from using
them as a scoop for the spicy dahl and rice.


Tyson Brooks

In India –


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This entry was posted on October 22, 2010 by in India.

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