Sunday, December 12, 2010

More travels - Bylakuppe and Mysore!

We just got back from a 10 day community stay in Auroville (more on that later) where I didn’t have internet, but I’m finally writing more about our travels.
little monk!

monks debating
This is one of the largest Tibetan refugee settlements that India provided after China invaded Tibet. It was very educational.  We got to talk to some of the Buddhist monks at the monastery we were staying at about their philosophy and their life.  We also went to the Old Age Home.  Traditionally, the elderly in Tibet are taken care of by their families.  But these are people who escaped Tibet with the Dalai Lama and have no families.  Some of the students from the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) school came with us to help translate.  It was so sad but inspiring to hear their stories. We also got to go to the TCV school and talk to more students there.  Most of them are sent from Tibet by their parents, and they don’t know if they’ll ever see there families again. We stayed in Bylakuppe for two nights before driving to Mysore.
The Tibetan students that showed us around!
This was the only place we stayed in a normal hotel! We spent two nights here, and mostly had free time and explored on our own.  We did go to a temple on top of a hill that is famous somehow, but it was quick and we didn’t really know anything about it.  We also saw a large stone bull that belongs to the god Shiva, and went into the Mysore palace.  Mysore is known for its silk and sandalwood, so we did some shopping.  An auto-rickshaw driver also convinced us to let him take us to a spice market and essential oils and incense shop. It was fun, but I think we were all ready to be out of the city again by the time we left.  Not to mention, most of the group got food poisoning. Not fun.

spice market

6 people in a rickshaw meant for 3!

Mysore palace

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