Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Om Krishna

The music was deafening, the air thick with incense, the crowd surging as we threaded our way through narrow streets towards the Krishna temple.

Hawkers sold everything from CDs to bangles to flower garlands, and we stopped at one of the many sweets shops to pick up a box of cookies and candies for our offering to Krishna.

It was a mob scene around the temple, and we were lucky to have Kapil to guide us through the process.  After leaving our shoes outside, we pushed our way into the inner sanctum.

When we finally reached the alter, I did what everyone around me was doing and handed the box of sweets to one of the men in charge.  He scooped out half of the contents and deposited them into a large bowl.  Then he refilled my box with a mix of offerings from other pilgrims who had come before me. A quick dab on my forehead from another fellow and we were herded into the outer temple area.

The outer sanctum was larger and not as packed, but almost more overwhelming.  There were stations for giving money, stations for having your head swiped with what appeared to be a giant feather duster, stations for tying red threads (for fertility, we think (we passed)), and stations for adorning with fragrant, colorful flower garlands.

We met a man who claimed to be 109 years old, bestowing blessings for a long life on the people who came to kneel before him and touch his feet.

We told him he didn't look a day over 90.

I wasn't so eager to touch his gnarled toes with their long, gross toenails, so we settled for a photo (in which I appear extremely skeptical of his powers, yet fetchingly coordinated with his scarf).

Our visit to the Krishna temple ended in typically Rajasthani ways, accosted by beggars and by cows.


  1. Looks like just another crazy day in India. Why do they dab your forehead?

  2. It's called a tikka - it's a red paste with a couple grains of rice stuck on, and it's placed where your "third eye" (your spiritual eye) is thought to be. Some women wear it all the time as a sign of being married.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.