Social centers in India

All Hindu temples in India seem to be places where devotees and their families can congregate — take a nap on the stone floor, have a picnic, sell flowers or trinkets and visit with friends. Children’s heads are shaved on their first visit to the temple and an antiseptic paste is rubbed on. The orange color is a bit startling!

Temples have many statues, paintings and carvings, and the newer temples are painted in such bright colors, they’re almost blinding in the hot sun. The amazing towers are covered with figures carved in every pose imaginable. Even tiny villages have majestic painted temples with beautiful carved figures often dressed in elegant clothes.

On our visit in November-December ’01, sometimes we were graciously escorted to look inside the walls of the village temple. I really liked being able to converse with anyone I wanted to speak to. I never saw so many beautiful saris; in fact, I never saw the same one twice.

Estes Park, CO