Once in a blue moon, a lucky individual gets to capture that life-changing voyage through a strange, mystical land: elephants, saris, pungent food, jingling dancers, sweaty people, hoards of yellow autos, rupees, temple bells, and spiritual unity that exists no where else. What if this fortunate individual was you? Or as a matter of fact, what if it were me? Last summer, my older sister and I went on a three week excursion to
We started off in the
Tirupathi is known to the local South Indians as a religious center for one of their main Hindu gods. The famous temple sits on a high hill. The temple itself caused a small town to thrive around it; the hill and the temple are synonymous to the word “Tirmula.” Any day of the year, one can see a congregation of worshippers or sight-seers there to honor the god. At the bottom of the hill are several buses waiting to take people without vans or cars up to the top. Many people prefer to climb the stone steps to the top; another batch of people chooses to hike up a different path. My sister and I chose to climb all 2,200 stone steps to the top. Each step was decorated with an array of holy powders by various hikers before us (the rain washes it clean each week). The number of every hundredth step was etched into the top of each stone step. After reaching a thousand and twenty steps, the rain started to pound on the plastic coverings above us. The temperature and climate seemed to be completely different than the climate down below in the city. Almost flood-like conditions prompted us to find a stone cave-like shelter on the pathway. The view was spectacular even from there. The rain just made the mood of our trip even more magical, as if we were explorers trying to get to our far-off purpose. We were part of something older than thousands and thousands of years. When we reached the top, we spent about ten minutes searching for our hotel, and we rested for the day. Hotels can be pre-arranged via internet or through local connections.
After Tirmula, we traveled to
We left from the
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