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Some lying at higher elevations would be the alleged source of rivers and have some mythical tales of epic Hindu deities etc. figuring prominently in some fable or the other.
The "Shringi Theertha" – the temple pond is large and has steps on all four sides. The Bhoginandishwara temple is situated not too far from Bangalore and it was initially built in the 9th century AD.
This pond as per popular legend is supposed to be the source of the South Pennar river and was made when the divine bull Nandi plunged his horn into the earth here.
The day I was there, not too many seekers of divine bliss and fertility were to be found at the temple complex. In the pond area a mother from Andhra Pradesh was bathing her daughter in the holy water after getting her hair shaved off as a part of routine Hindu tradition.
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It is a dusty town in the backyard of Delhi. Quaint would describe this place beautifully. Grunge, filth and decrepitude has taken over the walls and streets and no photograph canmake it look beautiful if it is not.
The township houses a few monuments of some vintage, none better than the Sheesh Mahal that belonged to the erstwhile Nawab whose fiefdom this was. There are no Nawabs anymore, the British Raj promptly got rid of the last one from Farrukhnagar on some convenient excuse of sabotage to hang him in Delhi. That was much before India was given its independence in 1947.
The Nawabs must have done a mighty fine job of the town and pictured here is the bastion and the gateway to the older part of the town. The bastion is crumbling as you can see with the plaster all but gone from the bottom girdle. The ever present advent of petty commerce at every nook and corner has taken its toll of the view and a tomato seller vies with an ugly water booth to obscure the gateway.
The situation is much the same inside the actual bastion with hawkers aggrandizing parts of it for their wares.
This town was important a long time ago. It was the centre of salt trade and famous for "sultanpur "salt which was extracted from saline wells. That also was shut down as Rajasthan open pan salt took over the entire North Indian plains.
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A giant prayer wheel enroute to the Gompa lay waiting for the devout and the believers to rotate it and disperse their prayers. The valley, visible through the rather large opening, stood motionless and silent as if waiting for something to happen.
Nothing much happens though bar the progression of tourists as they stop over and take photos. I wonder if they pray for better photos when they turn the wheel. I really do not think so. Most Indians seek not peace and quiet or a meaningful life but a life of untold monetary riches.
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